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The Best Time to Visit Iran in 2023 | When to Go

The Best Time to Visit Iran in 2023 | When to Go

Iran is a land with rich traditions and ancient culture worthy of being on your radar, but what exactly makes this country appealing?

What’s more, what is the best time to visit Iran? What about the worst, cheapest, and least busy times? After all, knowing when to visit is key to ensuring you have a smooth trip.

Find out all you need to know about Iran’s low and high seasons in our detailed guide. We can assist you in choosing the best dates for your potential Iranian itinerary, as well as arm you with the necessary travel tips to make sure your stay is as safe as possible.

Let us start, then!

Why You Should Visit Iran in 2023

Colorful reflections from the stained glass windows of a church in Shiraz, pictured during the best time to visit Iran

Mazur Travel/Shutterstock

Iran can be an absolute delight to visit — here’s why:

  • From an architectural point of view, Iran is stunning. Just head to some of the mosques, and you’ll find both locals and tourists gazing at the symmetry, color patterns, and geometric layout. Our top suggestions include: Nasir ol-Molk Mosque (Shiraz), Imam Mosque (Esfahan), Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque (Esfahan), Fatima Masumeh Shrine (Qom), and Goharshad Mosque (Mashhad).
  • The Persian parks and gardens are absolutely out of this world. We recommend Bagh-e Fin, Golestan National Park, El-Goli Park, Bagh-e Golshan, Jamshidieh Park, Bagh-e Shazdeh, Mellat Park, Lar National Park, and Kooh Sangi.
  • Did you know Iran is home to 26 World UNESCO Heritage sites? Some of the most popular ones are the Armenian Monastic Ensembles of Iran, Persepolis, Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System, Golestan Palace, Tabriz Historic Bazaar Complex, Pasargadae, and so on.
  • Given Iran’s rich history, visiting any of its museums will be a valuable lesson. Here are some worth checking out: National Museum of Iran, Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Reza Abbasi Museum, Carpet Museum of Iran, Yazd Water Museum, Isfahan Music Museum, and The National Museum of the Islamic Revolution and Holy Defense.
  • The dynamic bazaars in Iran are worth the visit alone! Just imagine the smell of all the spices, the din of locals interacting with vendors, and the chance to be part of it all. Whether you’re looking for a gift to take home to your loved ones or wish to buy something for yourself, wandering Iranian bazaars is bound to be a fun experience.
  • You can experience things very few places in the world offer — a destination without the well-known Western brands, commercial exchange with other countries, fast food chains, or even snacks and drinks. The authenticity of the experience, together with local laws, Iranian traditions, and local behavior will allow you to form your very own opinions through first-hand experience.

Overall Best Time to Visit Iran

Unique Azadi Tower in the evening light pictured during the best time to visit Iran

TEHRAN, IRAN – NOVEMBER 25, 2016: View of the Azadi Tower in the light of the setting sun. The tower is one of the symbols of the city and Azadi Square most visited place by tourist/Milosz Maslanka/Shutterstock

Weather-wise, the best time to visit Iran is in spring (March–May). It’s neither too cold nor too warm, making the season a popular time to visit, especially for foreigners who’ve had Iran on their bucket list.

Spring climbing is best done on the routes from Neor to Subatan and Tarem to Masuleh. The weather is in your favor if you wish to visit warmer places such as Yazd or Persepolis.

Mashhad, Isfahan, and Tehran should also be visited at this time, as the nights are pleasant, and the daytime temperatures are tolerable. If you visit in spring, you must join the Nowruz traditional festival.

Celebrating the Persian New Year, Nowruz is a busy time, but do note that many businesses are closed for the festivities.

To add a floral touch to your Iranian itinerary, consider the Kashan Rose Water Festival, drawing in both locals and visitors to honor the famous fragrant harvest.

Be on the lookout for “Red Wednesday,” or Chaharshanbeh Suri, featuring dancing, singing, and even jumping over fire! Sizdeh Bedar sees parks become filled with families and friends engaging in games, eating kebab, drinking tea, and so on.

Cheapest Time to Visit Iran

If you’re on a budget, you’ll find the best deals in Iran’s low season — summer (June–August).

The main benefits are affordable airfare tickets and discounted hotel rates, making Iran’s summer season ideal for travelers wanting to go easy on their wallets.

That said, Iran’s summers are the low season for a reason — they get quite hot and dry, so exploring the country may be somewhat problematic, especially for Westerners because they’re expected to also blend in with locals clothes-wise (more about that in a minute).

On the other hand, the coastal region (Caspian Sea) sees much more pleasant temperatures than other areas in the country, so heading there might make your trip more bearable weather-wise.

Tabriz, Yazd, and Kerman are also said to be pleasant, but if you go sightseeing, do it early in the day or late in the afternoon. Many also decide to go trekking in the Alborz mountains to cool off and escape the summer heat, even briefly.

Summer is said to be great for hiking on Sablan, Damavand, and Tochal.

Finally, note that even though summer is the least expensive period to visit Iran, this season is also busy with locals taking advantage of the summer holidays, so make sure to book your stay well in advance.

Least Busy Time to Visit Iran

View of the gorgeous gardens of the Golestan Palace in Tehran, pictured during the least busy time to visit Iran


The least busy time to head to Iran is during the country’s shoulder season, in September or October.

Crowds dwindle, peak season chaos comes to a halt, and both foreigners and locals can enjoy exploring Iran in a more tranquil manner. For this time of the year, we suggest checking out the Tabiz Blue Mosque, the Shiraz Gardens, the Sahand volcano, or simply wandering Tehran.

September and October are also ideal for an adventure in the desert, but try and stick to guided tours. If you wish to climb, nice fall routes include Asalem to Khalkhal and Soha to Laton.

September is also known for the celebration of Ashura. One of the most memorable religious events, Ashura honors the death of Iman Husein. Mid-October sees the celebration of Saffron Harvest, the world’s priciest spice.

If you wish to show your gratitude and express the love you have for the people in your life, mark your calendar for the festival of Mehr (Mehregan) in October.

Worst Time to Visit Iran

The worst time to visit Iran is in winter (November–February). Snow-blocked roads, heavy rainfall, and colder temperatures don’t sound fun, but if you wish to experience Iran’s winter magic, by all means, go for it.

Skiing is available at Shemshak, Dizin Ski Resort, and Tochal. If winter sports aren’t your jam, head to the southern areas, such as Kish and Chabahar, to avoid the winter climate.

Note that climbing in winter isn’t advisable due to the harsh weather conditions — it’s not impossible, but it does require the necessary equipment, skills, and physique.

Also, if you visit Iran in winter, try joining the Yalda Festival, or Shab-e Chellah. Celebrating the winter solstice, this festival is all about uniting families, reciting poetry, and hearing old stories. Can you think of a warmer cultural experience than this one in the midst of an Iranian winter?

February visitors should join the celebrations linked to Sepandarmazgan, a day of Love, Friendship, and Earth in old Persian culture.

Things to Consider

Photo of the interior of the Vakil Bazaar in Shiraz

Shiraz, Iran – December 24, 2015: Traditional iranian carpets shop in Vakil Bazaar, Shiraz, Iran. Vakil Bazaar is the most important tourist attraction in Shiraz, Iran/Mazur Travel/Shutterstock

Iran isn’t your typical getaway, and as such, it requires you to get as much information as you can — so, besides knowing when to visit Iran, here are some extra things worth considering :

  • If you’re an American citizen, you’re required to obtain a visa to enter Iran. That said, it’s possible to arrive with a valid visa and still be denied entrance for no obvious reasons.
  • Most international bank cards aren’t accepted due to US sanctions. This means that you have to rely on cash most of the time.
  • The country has one of the world’s worst internet censorship — most platforms, such as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, are blocked by the Iranian government and the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps)
  • Summers can be quite uncomfortable weather-wise, as the scorching temperatures are very intense — plus, no visitors are allowed to wear shorts or t-shirts, and women are expected to follow hijab rules.
  • Thursdays and Fridays are the weekend in Iran, whereas Saturdays and Sundays are regular working days.
  • Hugging and kissing in public isn’t considered acceptable behavior.
  • Giving a thumbs-up is perceived as rude — it’s the equivalent of giving someone the middle finger in Western societies.
  • It’s common for locals to refuse to accept payment for a service they’ve provided (a gesture known as ta’arof). If you insist and they refuse several times, they’ll likely end up accepting your money, though.
  • Alcohol is banned in Iran. That said, although people find ways to obtain it, as it’s being smuggled from other countries, we don’t advise travelers to engage in illegal behavior.
  • Locals are said to be very welcoming and friendly.
  • If you’re not planning on joining major festivals/events, we suggest that you avoid coming to Iran at this time, as prices skyrocket, crowds multiply, and sometimes even different rules and laws apply. For instance, during the Nowruz celebration, many businesses close, which may affect your itinerary plans.
  • If you visit during Ramadan, note that drinking or eating in public between sunrise and sunset is strictly forbidden. That said, certain restaurants may provide foreigners with food/drinks, but don’t rely on it too heavily. Eating in private is fine.

Frequently Asked Questions

Photo of the subway's Rahahan station in Tehran, pictured during the best time to visit Iran

TEHRAN, IRAN – JULY 5, 2019: Rahahan station of Tehran metro, Iran/Matyas Rehak/Shutterstock

What are five fun facts about Iran?

Here are five fun facts about Iran:

1. Iran has one of the oldest religions in the entire world — Zoroastrianism.
2. Tea is consumed around the clock — even toddlers are brought up with the habit of drinking tea.
3. The origin of Persian cats is in Iran (Persia), hence the name.
4. The country is said to produce some of the best carpets in the world.
5. Iranians use their own calendar, the Solar Hijri calendar.

How much money do I need in Iran?

If you go on a three-day trip to Tehran, you’ll need $340 if you’re traveling solo, $575 if you’re with a partner, and $745 if you’re going as a family of four.

Hotel prices in the city center vary between $155 to $395 (the average being $195 per night). Set aside $25 per day per person for public transportation and eating in local restaurants.

Lastly, make sure to always look for the latest travel data information before you head to Iran, as by the time you visit, the budget requirements may have changed.

What is the typical cuisine in Iran?

Typical Iranian cuisine features combinations of meat, rice, nuts, and vegetables. Herbs are often added, too, together with fruits like quince, prunes, plums, apricots, or pomegranates. Flavors such as cardamom, saffron, turmeric, and parsley are found in the dishes as well.

Popular dishes include:

1. Persian steamed rice
2. Khoresht-e Ghormeh Sabzi
3. TahDig
4. Chelo Kabab Koobideh
5. Khoresht-e gheimeh
6. Baghali polo
7. Sosis bandari

Is it safe to be a tourist in Iran?

There are conflicting answers — certain travelers explain that they felt safe during their stay in Iran, but then there are official recommendations against traveling in Iran, with the US Department of State even issuing a “level 4 do not travel” advisory. The same goes for the British.

If you’re from either of those countries, visiting Iran is likely a bad idea. We suggest that if you end up visiting Iran, stick to tourist areas, join guided tours, don’t wander alone, and stay away from conflicts and demonstrations.

What natural disasters occur in Iran?

Being a disaster-prone country, Iran deals with hazards such as floods, storms, and earthquakes.

So, What Is the Best Time to Visit Iran?

👍 Best Time to VisitMarch to May
💲 Cheapest Time to VisitJune to August
🗓️ Least Busy Time to VisitSeptember to October
👎 Worst Time to VisitNovember to February

The best time to visit Iran is in spring (March–May). The days are comfortable and the nights pleasant, allowing travelers to make the most out of their stay.

Next, those on a budget should visit during Iran’s low season in summer (June–August). If you hope to find cheaper accommodation and more affordable plane tickets, the summer months are the time to do so.

Then, the least busy time to head to Iran is during the country’s shoulder season, in September or October. Visitors looking to explore Iran’s cultural sites and cities in solitude should take advantage of these two shoulder months.

We think the worst time to visit Iran is in winter (November–February). It’s cold, rainy, and gloomy — the ingredients needed to ruin someone’s well-planned itinerary. That said, if you’re planning on engaging in winter sports, going in winter won’t be that bad after all.

On the whole, Iran is one of those special countries you can head to whenever you feel like it. Also, following our tips and suggestions will make sure your Iranian getaway is one to memorize forever. Happy travels!