- Normal precautions
- High degree of caution
- Avoid non-essential travel
- Do not travel
- Safety and Security
- Local Laws and Customs
- Natural Disasters and Climate
- Additional Information
- Embassy Contact
General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation
We advise you to avoid non-essential travel to Iran, due to the spread of the Coronavirus in the country.
Security Status Last Updated: 29 February 2020
There are ongoing regional tensions and, in the event of any incidents, you should monitor media reports and follow the advice of the local authorities.
Due to the persistently dangerous security situation in these areas, we advise against all travel to
A high number of cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) have been confirmed in Iran (Over 23,000 confirmed cases as of 23 March).
Many land border crossings between Iran and surrounding countries have been closed, or imposed restrictions, including Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Turkey and Pakistan.
Many flight routes from Iran have been cancelled. Several international commercial flights remain operational, although some have restrictions in place regarding which citizens they will carry. As flight options across the world are becoming more and more limited, we recommend that you avail of any scheduled flights if you wish to leave Iran.
The situation is subject to change. If you have concerns about future travel plans, please contact your airline. The following link is the best means of asserting which airlines are still flying from Tehran. https://www.tehran-airport.com/departures.php
If you are in Iran, you should monitor developments regularly and follow the advice of local authorities. See here for information and guidance from WHO regarding the outbreak, it is updated daily.
Additional information on COVID-19 can be found via the following links:
Travellers with dual citizenship
If you are an Irish citizen with Iranian nationality, be aware that Iran does not recognise dual nationality and our ability to provide consular assistance to dual nationals is very limited.
Overland travel from Iran to neighbouring countries
The Irish Government cannot facilitate Irish citizens who want to travel overland through to neighbouring countries with letters of introduction for visa purposes.
The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.
Contact the Embassy
Because there is currently no Embassy of Ireland in Iran, we are limited in the help we can offer you in an emergency. However, if you need assistance, you can contact the Honorary Consul in Tehran or the Embassy of Ireland in Turkey. See Embassy Contact section.
Other EU Embassies
You can also contact the Embassies and Consulates of other EU countries for emergency consular assistance, advice and support.
Our tips for safe travels
Safety and Security
Safety and Security
Safety and security
You are strongly advised to avoid any street gatherings or demonstrations while in Iran and to avoid taking photographs or showing an interest in demonstrations, as such behaviour can result in arrest by the security forces. We recommend you exercise caution and monitor local media reporting for up to date advice on security risks.
There is a global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by tourists and expatriates.
Travellers have occasionally been victims of theft while in Iran so you should take sensible precautions to protect yourself from crime:
- Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place.
- Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.
- Avoid showing large sums of money in public and don’t use ATMs after dark, especially if you’re alone. Check no one has followed you after conducting your business.
- Avoid dark and unlit streets and stairways, and arrange to be picked up or dropped off as close to your hotel or apartment entrance as possible.
- Keep a close eye on your personal belongings and hold on to them in public places such as internet cafés, train and bus stations.
If you are a victim of a crime while in Iran, report it to the local police immediately. You can also contact the Honorary Consul in Tehran or the Irish Embassy in Ankara if you need help.
If you are planning to drive in Iran, you should be extremely careful. The standard of driving, particularly in urban centres, is poor and can be challenging to newcomers. Iran has one of the highest rates of road accidents in the world and travellers should drive with great care.
If you want to drive:
- Bring your full Irish driver’s licence and your international driving permit and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law and you risk being detained, fined or banned from driving if caught
- Keep your vehicle doors locked and your bags kept out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag-snatching if you are stopped at traffic lights
If you are involved in an incident
Do not leave the scene. You should wait until the police arrive to make their report.
Hiring a vehicle
If you are hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.
Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).
Local Laws and Customs
Local Laws and Customs
Local laws and customs
Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or may even be illegal.
Advice for all visitors
People travelling on tourist visas should strictly adhere to the conditions of their visas. Tourists should not engage in any other activities such as voluntary work, research or internships. It is a criminal offence to do so and may lead to prosecution or detention. Tourists should bear in mind that Iranian security forces may be suspicious of foreign nationals, particularly independent travellers or students. Any behaviour that doesn't have an obvious explanation can put you at risk, no matter how innocent you believe it to be. This may include travel off the beaten track, being present near crowds or sensitive sites, taking photographs (except in major tourist sites) and having contact with Iranians who are of interest to the authorities.
Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including fines and long prison terms.
Iran is an Islamic Republic and Islamic practices and beliefs are closely adhered to in the country's customs, laws, and regulations. Common sense and discretion should be exercised in dress and behaviour.
Islamic codes of behaviour and dress are strictly enforced. Visitors should dress conservatively. Men should not wear shorts or sleeveless shirts; women must cover their head with a scarf and conceal the body’s contours by wearing a loose-fitting knee-length outer garment and trousers. Respect religious and social traditions to avoid offending local sensitivities.
There are additional dress requirements at certain religious sites. Women may be asked to put on a chador (a garment that covers the whole body except the face), before entering.
In 2019, the holy month of Ramadan is expected to start at sundown on 5 May and finish on 4 June.
Please note that while in Iran, Irish citizens are subject to Iranian law, which differs in many areas to Irish law.
There are restrictive laws governing modesty and sexuality in Iran. Sex outside of marriage and adultery are illegal and subject to severe penalties, including the death penalty.
Homosexual acts are illegal in Iran and subject to punishments including corporal punishment, prison sentences and the death penalty.
It is prohibited to import alcohol or pork products into Iran. The sale and consumption of alcohol in Iran is strictly forbidden and penalties can be severe.
Photography near military, government installations and many other areas is strictly prohibited and you may see warning signs displayed to this effect. Any transgression may result in detention and serious criminal charges. Be aware that sensitive government buildings and facilities may be hard to identify so take extreme care when taking photographs in any areas that are anything other than very obvious tourist attractions.
Natural Disasters and Climate
Natural Disasters and Climate
Natural disasters and climate
Iran has a variable climate ranging from arid or semi-arid, to subtropical along the Caspian coast and the northern forests.
Iran is located in an active seismic area. In 2012, two large earthquakes struck north western Iran, near the city of Tabriz killing over 300 and injuring many more.
If you are travelling to or living in Iran, make sure you know what to do in the event of an earthquake. Familiarise yourself with the appropriate steps to take in case of an earthquake, including carrying a minimum of emergency supplies, such as a flashlight, whistle and any relevant medication and liquid.
Entry requirements (visa/passport)
If you are unsure of the entry requirements for Iran, including visa and other immigration information, ask your travel agent or contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Iran.
You should also check with them how long your passport must be valid for.
It is advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you. During your stay you should carry a photocopy of your passport at all times.
Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling to see if you need any vaccinations for Iran. Medical facilities are reasonable in the major cities of Iran but poor in remote areas.
It is recommended that you have adequate health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation if required.
Communications can be difficult with low internet speed, frequent interruptions of SMS networks and sporadic severing of the mobile phone network.
Be aware that using a laptop or other electronic equipment in public places can be misinterpreted, especially if it contains photographs. You may be arrested and detained on criminal charges including espionage.
The local unit of currency is the Iranian Rial and Iran is a strictly cash economy. There are no cash machines or ATMs in Iran that accept Irish bank cards or credit cards. Usually it’s not possible to change travellers’ cheques. You should therefore bring enough hard currency (euros or US dollars) with you to fund your stay.
We do not have an Embassy in Iran, please contact Embassy of Ireland Turkey. If you require assistance in the case of an emergency while the Embassy is closed, contact the main Embassy number, 00 90 312 4591000,
Embassy of Ireland
Ugur Mumcu Caddesi No.88
B Blok Kat 3
Monday to Friday 09.00 - 13.00 and 14.00 - 17.00
Honorary Consulate Contact
Mr. Alireza Feizollahi
Honorary Consul of Ireland
S.J. Assadabadi Avenue
Corner of 50th Street, No. 2/6, First Floor
Email: Email us
Get travel and medical insurance
Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.