Iran – Interesting Facts


Ok, the time has come to handle my famous ‘Things You Didn’t Know’ about Iran interesting facts. I have felt in love with this country from the very first minute if not before!

If I would have to think of one word to describe Iran it would be ‘misconception’. You have no idea what kind of scary, horrifying and weird stories I have heard before my visit. I had one friend telling me: ‘Maria do you know what is Iran best known for? Terrorists!’

Even my Mom, who is quite relaxed about my travels by now, freaked out a bit when I said that after Armenia I’m gonna travel to Iran for 5 weeks.

Interesting Facts Iran

No wonder. When men such as Ahmadinejad represent your country in international media and interviews for CNN.

But this series is all about learning from my observations. Not about addressing the serious problems of countries I travel in. Which I will definitely do in upcoming articles. So what are Iran interesting facts? Just read on.

Iran Info/ Iran Interesting Facts

iran flagIran Capital: Tehran

Iran Currency: Iranian rial IRR( read more about currency in paragraph 3)

Iran Languages: Persian(Farsi), Azeri, Kurdish

Iran Population: 80,28 millions

Iran Religion: Shia Islam and some minorities of Baha’is, Zoroastrians and Christians.

Iran Flag: Tricolour, green, white and red with a red emblem. It was adopted on 29 July 1980. Green symbolizes growth, happiness and the Persian language. White stands for freedom and red stands for martyrdom, symbolises bravery, fire, life and love.

The emblem symbolizes Allah and hole tulip shape of the emblem stands for those who have died for Iran and symbolises the values of patriotism and self-sacrifice, building on a legend that red tulips grow from the shed blood of martyrs.

Iran Map/ Where is Iran located?

iran map

Iran is located on the continent of Asia and shares land borders with 7 countries: Turkey, Iraq, Turkmenistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Pakistan.

It has access to the Caspian Sea in the North and the Arabian Sea in the South.

Note: After every single Iranian person who read this blog sent me an email that I have made a mistake I decided to clarify something.

I know about the existence of the Persian Gulf, I’m very well aware of it. And I know that the Arabian Sea was called the Persian Sea in the ancient times. But the Persian Gulf is not a sea, it is an area of the Arabian Sea and it is not a mistake, it is a simple geographical fact, not some crazy conspiracy theory.

So please before you sent me an email, just take a minute to calm down and check the maps. I may not know about many things but I do know about geography. Thanks for understanding and taking it easy about this article about Iran interesting facts.

Iran Interesting Facts

1. Taarof Rules

I see the understanding concept of taarof and its larger social context as essential to understand Persian culture, and I found it most confusing of Iran interesting facts.

It may cause misunderstandings between both parties. It can be a source for awkward situations in a social setting. That is why it is important for all travellers to quickly understand what taarof is.

You always have to insist on paying for services, in restaurants, in taxis. Because people will pretend they do not want to accept the payment.

A host is obliged to offer anything a guest might want, and a guest is equally obliged to refuse it.

If people invite you for dinner or to their house. When they offer you a ride or to help you with something do not be sure they really want to do it. You are obligated to refuse many many times before accepting anything, even a tea after dinner.

It does sound complicated but you quickly should get an idea, at least I did and maybe that is why I had such a great time in Iran. This is one of my favourite interesting facts about Iran.

Understanding 'taarof' rule is essential to understand Iran, its culture and people. Click To Tweet

Interesting Facts Iran

2. Hitch-hiking Issue

Hitch-hiking is the easiest and the most difficult thing to do in Iran and one of the funniest among Iran interesting facts. That is an opinion formed from my experiences. Mr Chinese Man (and no he is not Chinese, it is just his nickname) and I have hitch-hiked on many occasions in this amazing country.

It is super easy because the Iranians are the nicest people in the world and they always want to help. Especially when you are a guest in their country! We usually never waited longer than 5 mins.

We have experienced so much good from people while hitch-hiking that it was overwhelming! At the end of the ride, they always invite you to stay at their place! Your own host will give you a ride to the border of the city and will catch you a ride himself!

People will drive you for hundreds of miles even if they are going in a completely different direction. Even better. They will drive you 100km to tell you at the end that they were just on the way to buy some groceries, but guest are guests!

I know which direction your mind is heading dear reader! So why it is the most difficult thing to do Marysia? The reason is the same! Iranians are super nice people, too nice sometimes!

The best hitch-hike story ever!

And how do I know it? Well, when shop owner who spotted you on the side of the road is so petrified that you are about to hitch-hike that he stops a tour bus; packs your bags, almost push you inside and refuse to hear no for the answer, you get an idea it won’t be easy.

But when people in the bus insist on feeding you, giving you water and start discussing options for dropping you by the police station. So that Police can give you money (because Police help tourists in need) than you know 100%. Hitch-hiking is not an easy task to pull off in Iran.

Of course, we explained many times that we have money. That we hitch-hike for cultural and social immersion. But it was just too absurd for them to understand this idea. At the end the bus driver tried to put money in our backpacks cos he was worried dead about us! Iranian are just too nice!

Hitch-hiking is the easiest and the hardest thing in the very same time! #iranisthebestClick To Tweet

Interesting Facts Iran

3. Numbers – Money Issue

It was the most confusing thing among all Iran interesting facts. The official currency in Iran is Rial, but in any possible situations everyone gives you prices in ‘tomans’.

I’m good with maths, never had problems with numbers, and to be frank the calculation system is easy! 1 toman = 10rials. But what I couldn’t get my head around is why oh why they are still operating in currency which has been replaced in 1932? 80 years ago!

I remember redenomination of Polish currency back in 1995. In the beginning, my grandmother sometimes gave value in the old currency. We all did for the first few months, but after the period of transition and getting used to, it was gone. But not in Iran, oh no!

Rials are an official currency for last 80 years and yet all prices are in tomans? #currencymixupClick To Tweet

Interesting Facts Iran

4. Change Issue

Do you think this Toman/Rial thing slightly confusing but funny? Wait for this!

In Iran, they have another problem regarding money. They are in lack of small notes and coins. And this is super serious, getting a note of 2000rials or even 500 is close to impossible! So when I got one, I was showing it to everyone! Ha ha ha

Ok, but what happens in the shops when they have no money to give you your change back? They pay you back in sweets, yes you heard me well, sweets. They always have some bars next to the cashier and they just throw it in your bag. Seems like heaven? For those with the sweet tooth for sure! Meaning all Iranians!

Change in sweets? That sounds like paradise! #sweetloversgonnabehappyClick To Tweet

Interesting Facts Iran

5. Sweets Obsession

Do you remember this famous crazy phrase “Come to the dark side, we have cookies”? It is all over the Internet but nobody knows where is it from and who started it!?

I have solved this mystery! Iranians came up with, I’m 100% sure! Sweets are hospitality are things Iran is famous for.

These people take the love of sweets and cookies to another level! You know like in Europe you always have banks and pharmacies everywhere. They have sweet shops on every corner, preferably two on each actually!

Sweets are a big part of the culture here! You never come empty-handed when paying a visit. Iranian will refuse taking money for hosting you but will be happy to accept sweets. Life and honour savers to all tourist in this beautiful country. Never underestimate the power of sweets in Iran.

Irani people are sweet lovers, each and every single one of them hahaClick To Tweet

Interesting Facts Iran

6. Everybody is a PhD!

Another famous thing about Iran is education, which is super important in Iran. Almost everyone is a PhD and even though there is a rational reason to explain why it is still impressive how well educated Iranians are.

It is great to see that even though women still experience legal and cultural discrimination at the hands of a patriarchal society, it doesn’t include education!

So why Iranians are so well educated? Three simple reasons.

First, it was always an important part of Persian culture.

Second. Currently, Iran is a quite closed country, the government is censoring the Internet and propaganda is flying all over the place. And I believe they see knowledge as something associated with freedom and aspiration.

A third reason is that there is not much entertainment available to youths. Clubs, dancing, and drinking don’t take the focus away from study. Like it often happens in Poland or other European countries.

Everyone is a PhD? That is highly possible #educationfirstClick To Tweet

Interesting Facts Iran

7. Crazy Drivers

I usually have no issue with people driving like maniacs. It happens everywhere. Of course, it may come across as a culture shock to many people from better-organised countries. But I have been in so many crazy destinations that I have a culture shock every single time I get into the car in Europe, not the other way around.

I thought that after Benin and Georgia I have seen everything and there is no surprising me in this field. Oh, how naive and wrong of me that was.

Iran is by far the craziest place to drive in the whole world! Official! And I’m sure Iranian do not want their driving to be one of Iran interesting facts but in that case, they have driven better haha

There are no rules whatsoever! Not even one. Maybe somewhere on some ancient piece of paper in the archives! And Iran has the highest rate of accidents in the whole world!

After Georgia, I thought I won't experience more crazy driving and here we go :)Click To Tweet

Interesting Facts Iran

8. Iran – Nose Job Capital of the World

Of all Iran interesting facts, this one took me the longest to discover, but it kind of goes without saying when a face is the only feature ‘to show’. Iranian Girls are known for using a lot of makeup, they are the 2nd importer in the world; just after Saudi. So I’m not surprised that nose operations are so popular here.

But there is a funny way how I learned about it. One day when I was travelling I have seen a teenage boy with a plaster on his nose and though yes accidents happen. Then the next day I saw another one and I started to think that men in Iran are quick to hand to hand fights.

This was all in the deep countryside of Kurdistan and those were Boys. That is why the idea of the nose job didn’t cross my mind. Until exactly a day later, in the restaurant in the big city, I saw a young Girl, like 20 years old, with the same plaster on her nose. Eureka!

When I saw her it all became clear. She told me that they keep those plasters longer than they should just to show off they had an operation!

In Iran, everyone pays attention to noses. It is a national obsession, just after sweets. Many times I had to explain that I did not have a nose job myself!

And many times there was picture taking involved so they could show it to their doctor. Who would think that my nose is so good looking?

Nobody believed my nose is real! I took it as a compliment #nosejobsClick To Tweet

9. The Hijab Rule

Another one of Iran interesting facts is a rule of wearing hijab. Yes, it is mandatory in Iran to cover your head. Even when you are a tourist. As a tourist, you should always dress modestly in Muslim countries but it is a first country I had to cover my head, even in Oman where women were full chador.

We all know that I’m way too independent and a rebel to wear a chador. And I must admit I haven’t met many woman travellers going for this option, but there were many with hijab.

I went just for a modest dressing and a scarf. I did all that with my own sense of fashion of course! Colours where flashing all over my clothes, and it was not a problem for anybody.

Women in Iran are very stylish and they try to express themselves with clothes as much as possible. Colourful scarfs, stylish “manteau” which is kind of an overcoat. It is not uncommon to see hair exposed under small loose fitting scarves. And after observing women in Iran I went that way as well, with almost all my hair uncovered.

I had no problems with wearing a scarf and I, kind of, liked the whole thing. I’m a tourist and it was an interesting experience and I knew it has an end date.

But if I would live in Iran and would have to; I would be the biggest protester against this rule. Women should be able to decide about their own clothing, and that goes without saying!

Support Women

I would be definitely fighting the cause with My Stealthy Freedom! Feel free to support them by liking their page!

As Mr Rouhani said on Twitter “#Happiness is our people’s right. We shouldn’t be too hard on behaviours caused by joy.” Kudos Mr Rouhani! Can we please follow up with this attitude in the future legal changes?

Women tourist have to wear hijab in Iran with no exceptions #hijabruleClick To Tweet

Iran Interesting Facts

10. People in Iran are just too nice!

Those Iranians are just too nice. I used this statement like 15-20 times every day! People in Iran are so nice, so hospitable, so welcoming and so helpful that it is overwhelming.

It is partly an effect of taarof and guests being ‘friends of God’ but I believe that it goes way beyond cultural and social restraints. If I have to think about one famous thing about Iran that would be 100% how nice and welcoming people are there for foreigners and travellers.

I travelled around the world and people are amazing everywhere. I always say that I’m The Luckiest Girl in the World because I receive so much good from people on my travels. Iran was a surprise even to me, it really stands out from other countries. Even to me.

I knew that people in this region are hospitable. And I never thought it will be easy to find a place where people will be nicer than in Oman, but I did and it is Iran! Iran is famous for its hospitability in a whole world.

It is the most amazing country I have travelled in and I have millions of examples to prove my point. People go to great lengths to host you, to help you to have the best experience possible.

Iran you have stolen my heart! As much as Israel did a few years ago!

Those are all Iran interesting facts which I have observed on my trip, tell me if you observed sth quirky while you were there! I’m all ears!

Those Iranians are just too nice, I will say it again and again :)Click To Tweet

Iran Interesting Facts

Some of the pictures in this article have been taken by an amazing photographer Boris Le Montagner from Boris Lemon Photos.

Check out Interesting Travel Facts about other countries!

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And do not hesitate to get in touch with me if you have any questions about Iran. More than happy to chat!

Cheers, Marysia



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226 thoughts on “Iran – Interesting Facts

  1. Mohamed Benway

    Hello there! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be ok. I’m absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.

  2. Lenard

    Very interesting information! Perfect, exactly what I wanted!

  3. Coreen Lungsford

    Wonderful post! We will be linking to this great content on our site. Keep up the good writing.

  4. Alex

    Having read this I thought it was very informative. I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this information together. I once again find myself personally spending way too much time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!

  5. Iman

    Hello Marysia, I´m so happy that you enjoyed visiting my country. I invite all of the tourists who want to see my country to stay in my home for free.

  6. ARIYA


    • Hey Dear, thanks for an invitation. I loved Iran but I’m not planning to go back any time soon. Cheers. Marysia
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair 221My Profile

  7. Augustine

    I really like your blog.. very nice colours and theme. Did you create this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz answer back as I’m looking to design my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. thanks

  8. Amir Salehi

    First of all , hi
    I want tell to you that you are in our heart , and all of us love you :D

  9. Clare

    Superb information.

  10. Christopher

    Genuinely wonderful information.

  11. Darrick Mio

    Terrific post, however, I was wondering if you could write a little more on this subject? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit more. Cheers!

    • Darrick, what do you mean elaborate? This article is almost 4000 words, I don’t think I have the authority to write more about this, have you even read this post or you are just spamming my comment section?
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair 197My Profile

  12. Fadux

    Often laughed and made jokes with Iranians about their driving style :)

  13. Well you’ve totally made me want to go to Iran. It sounds fascinating and such an interesting and cultural experience. It’s sad that so many people think bad about the country when there is so much good! Thanks for sharing your inspiring facts and igniting my wanderlust even more.

  14. wilhelm winter

    Hey marysia thank you for youre great post i dont know how describe it i just could say it was awseme and how greatful it would be if you put some pictures of historical places…..anyway im just see youre blog and want to see all of youre post and use youre experience from travling world and hope that coming back to iran again

    and one thing eles you are really like taylor swift ha ha ha maybe im wrong

  15. Masoomeh

    Thanks for your kindness. As you said, Iran has a nice people. Also, Iran has a old civilisation. When I read your article I was so happy. I am happy that you Had a great in my country, that’s my pleasure.

  16. پارسا

    iam ali from iran zanjan city
    i hope waht you see agian to iran and zanjan

  17. Mahshid

    Hi Marysia.I read what you wrote truely about my country.It’s great to see open minded foreigners writing about Iran & facts of it.TNX for visiting Iran.Would you pls tell me Ur insta account,if U have?

  18. Nick

    Hi Marysia

    I’m an American who’s been living in Iran for over 8 years now. I really loved your blog and the wonderful things you’ve posted here including pictures and comments. Believe it or not I’ve read the entire blog and the 190 plus comments and replies!
    I’m sure you’re a really smart girl with all those points you mentioned here. Not everyone can have a clear idea of what’s going on in a country with this complicated culture. I’m hoping with all these recent changes in Iran’s foreign policy, a lot more tourists from around the world have the chance to travel to this mysterious country and get a taste of it on their own.
    I’m a physician but as weird as it may sound, I’m recently involved in a project regarding tourism industry including publication of a book about Tehran, designing tour routes, getting a website and even opening a hotel!
    I think you are a perfect example of a person who can point out hints about the culture and what a foreigner needs to know when they travel to Iran. Therefore if you think you are interested just give me a buzz and send me an email so that we can have a good chat about it.
    Good luck!

    • Hey Nick, thanks for taking time to read everything and the comments :) I will send you an email, would be interesting to hear more about this project :)
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affairs 149My Profile

  19. Wajeehsani

    Iran is very beautiful place no doubt and also very famous because this country contain history of Muslims too. like the article there are many good things about visiting Iran no doubt

    • Yes, but actually Muslims history is a very little part in history of Persia, don’t you think, like what last 500-700 years? And lets be honest Islam has been forced on Persian. But nevertheless I love the architecture!
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair 145My Profile

  20. Muhammad Talha (whatsapp +919167961190)

    Hi Marysia
    I’m an Indian from Navi (new) Mumbai. I liked your facts and experience regarding Iran which you had told to us.

  21. AIDA

    hi Marysia
    Im iranian and thanks for your nice post :)

  22. Milla

    Really great to read your post. I am planning to visit Iran this year, and very much appreciate reading about your experiences.

  23. REZA

    DEAR Marysia

    • Dear Reza, to be frank… both! I would love to visit Iran again and I do recommend all my friends, readers and even strangers to go and visit your lovely country!
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #136My Profile

  24. Mohammad

    thanks for your post about my country

  25. Nima

    Dear Marysia, thanks for writing about my people culture, and I wish you and a lot of people from all around the world come to Iran, my people are good hosts.

  26. alieimani

    iam ali from iran zanjan city
    i hope waht you see agian to iran and zanjan

    • Hello, I have actually been in Zanjan, thank you for reading my post :) And I would love to visit Iran again!
      Marysia recently posted…Best Beach Escapes for 2016My Profile

  27. Reza

    Hello madam
    Peace be upon you
    I hope to soon travel to Iran
    Witam pani
    Pokój wam!
    Mam nadzieję, że wkrótce do Iranu

  28. Amir AH

    Hi Maria
    No doubt you are a very beautiful girl, with the understanding of the situation of tourism in the rest of the universe, I’d be happy to be your host on another trip to Iran in Tehran. Amir

  29. Hi Marysia
    Im Iranian
    Thank you for your writings on Iran .

  30. samaneh

    Hi. I am so glad you come to Iran and see my country. All the things you said is correct. I hope to see again in Iran. e live in tehran and you can be in our home without Ta’arof.

    • Ha ha ha Samaneh you are a Sweetheart, thank you so much and be sure that I will get in touch when I ill be in Iran again :)
      Marysia recently posted…Best Beach Escapes for 2016My Profile

  31. soure

    I really enjoyed reading that. You know when some one from outside describes you and your commonly behaviours that you never noticed how could they can be funny or overwhelming or nice, you got a whole new perspective. I must say. I laughed a lot ! :)
    You are a good writer and I’m glad you had a good time in Iran.
    Actually I’m planning on opening a some kind of traditional guesthouse in Esfahan and I was gathering some information. It would be nice if you are interested in helping me out. I just have some questions based on your experiences.

    • Hello, ha ha ha I’m glad that my observations were to the point, I love Iran and Iranian people! So hat made you laugh so much? And yes please feel free to write me an email and I will try to answer your questions, just use the contact me table on my blog :)
      Marysia recently posted…#I DID IT: Paragliding in Kazbegi – Video!My Profile

  32. Miguel Rushton

    Wow, this article is nice, my sister is analyzing these kinds of things, so I am going to convey her.

  33. Hi Marysia
    when would you come to Iran again?
    Have you ever been in Mashhad?
    I’m from Mashhad and I will be very glad if you come to my historical town…anyway If you come to Iran again don’t forget about me and Mashhad:-)

    • Hello Dear, I’m not sure when again I will be in Iran, but once I will know I will let you know and for sure Mashhad will be on my radar :)
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair 121My Profile

  34. sam

    You mention you went to Israel years earlier, i was under the impression visiting Israel stopped one from being allowed to visit Iran ?

    • Sam I practically live in Tel Aviv and I have travelled in Iran for 5 weeks. I had no problem with visa, now i have an Iranian visa in my passport and never had any problems with retuning back to Israel. I truly believe that in many aspects this conflict is blown out of its real proportions by media and politicians from both countries. Iran and Israel are my two favourite places on Earth after my homeland Poland of course :)
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #118My Profile

      • Sam Harris

        I didn’t think there was a problem entering Israel after being to Iran , just Iran after having been Israel. I did not read this in the media it says so on the Iranian visa application, I only know this as I’m currently applying perhaps things have changed since you went, how long go did I go to iran and was it only the once ?

        • Ok Sam, nothing ever changed about this, of course that Iran officially says that they won’t let you in if you visited Israel, but obviously it is not true, as I have been like 30 times in Israel before I went to Iran. Not really sure what are you worried about? Do you have an Israeli stamp in your passport from old times? If yes just change the passport and apply for Iranian visa after. If you do not have a stamp than just apply, what nationality are you, because some countries have bigger problems than others?!
          Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #119My Profile

  35. Claudia

    Several friends of mine have been to Iran. One keeps going back, in fact. I think I should also go there, looks like the kind of place I would enjoy!

  36. iran alliances

    Your style is unique compared to other folks I’ve read stuff from.
    Many thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I’ll just book mark this blog.

  37. melina

    Its a pleasure for us, Iranians, that you have such nice opinions about us. Merci ;-) Actually there are some strict rules about many things in my country and you mentioned them well. We could’ve had chosen by ourselves to have hejab but its not unfortunately. Anyway, hope you come back again. My mom always say that if a tourist come to iran they probably wont look back :-))))))))

    • Hey Girl, thank you so much for your nice words. I would love to come back to Iran and I will for sure! You can tell your Mother that she is mistaken and everyone who I know and visited Iran they are totally in love with your amazing country and would go back without hesitation! How about we catch up when I’m over next time, so you Mum can change her mind? :)
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #118My Profile

  38. Keva Handke

    Thank you for a great blog !! I found some helpful info and will recommend your weblog for all my buddies.

  39. Oppisite

    Iran is not too nice, yall are liars you guys are having war so that’s a neck!

    • Dear Opposite you are entitled to have your own opinion, but what are you basing it on if I may ask? Because I do base mine on my own experiences in this country! And what kind of war they are having, because this somehow must skipped my mind?
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #118My Profile

  40. Hossein

    thank you for writing this article and share some facts about Iran to other people.
    I hope to you travel to my country again.

  41. atena ameri

    I m from Iran and I became sad about your opinion about he jab. he jab is one of orders of god and we Muslims should obey. do you think it is very hard to wear a scarf?Iranian women wore chador and face cover for many centuries but no one complained. as I think ,a Muslim woman should be educated but with he jab. not like some of so called professors who are ready to unveil themselves in foreign universities. any way،I loved your article.

    • Dear I totally understand and respect the culture I have been travelling in, I was wearing a scarf in Iran and as I have mentioned many times I didn’t mind doing so, as I always behave in countries I travel in and it was not a problem for me, I even kind of liked it. What I say is that it would be a problem for me if I would be born in Iran. I personally do not believe in governments; political or religious leaders ordering me to do things, imposing rules one me… I do not have problems with women choosing to wear hejab… I have a problem with having being obligated to wear one. I have met plenty of women in Iran and some of them liked it and some of them not. I’m a true believer in personal freedom and I should be able to do as I wish… both ways, wearing or not wearing. In Iran women do not have that choice, that is my problem, lack of choice. I’m far away from imposing our western rules for other cultures and religions but I think women should have choice, not pushed on them neither by your leaders or western culture, their on choice and decision. Glad you liked the rest of article, I’m glad when Iranians come to read my post :)
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #111My Profile

  42. MohammadEhsan

    Hey mis , I’m a iranian student and I have a World Silver Medal in Physics, I think that one of the best in the world, I am studying in Iran and That I can talk about studying in Iran. At least I am not teaching because of 3 reasons you have mentioned.
    I am free and I have freedom and I have a lot of fun and entertainment,
    I study because, I feel the Iran and me and Human society need to progress !!
    I think your assumption is wrong ,

    In any case
    I am computer developer and web designer, and I’m very happy to help you do this!
    If you want contact me. Tnx.

    • Hey Mohammad I must I’m a bit confused, I’m not sure what you actually disagree about and what is that you can help me with? With web design? Is mine not good enough?
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #111My Profile

      • MohammadEhsan

        it’s good , could be better , it’s powered by wordpress or joomla ?

  43. Homan Salehi

    You are super nice too!
    Well done!

  44. zabor ilenta

    This design is wicked! You definitely know how to keep a reader amused. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Fantastic job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

  45. Sara

    I really, really enjoyed reading your article! Not just because it’s interesting for me to see what people think of Iranians, but also because you wtite in such a good and funny style!
    I come from Iran (my parents) but I am raised in Sweden, but I do speak fluent persian and visit Iran and my relativas there at least once a year!
    Being raised in a persian household, visiting Iran often and having many iranian friends, I have to say that all your facts are pretty damn true! Good job!
    Also, I am happy that there are some people who actually don’t see iran as a terrible country, but actually visit the country before judging! And hopefully, many will read this amazing article and change their mind!!

    Have a great day!

    • Oh Sara, I’m happy to hear you enjoyed my post. I loved your country and I know plenty of other people who do too. Actually making my own mind about countries/regions/religions/nations is a main reason why I travel, how come you can judge before seeing or experiencing, simple lack of logic :) Thnak you for reading and stopping by, have a great day yourself!
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #105My Profile

  46. Bo

    Loved this. Makes me want to experience the people of Iran.

    • Oh I hope you will get to go and see and experience for yourself! I can’t wait to be back!
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #104My Profile

  47. 17 travel bloggers share their inspiring travel destinations

    […] and you get to be inspired either to continue your journey or move in a new direction. Iran was one amazing country which inspired me the most from 9 years of  traveling solo. I knew I […]

  48. Puala

    Hi Marysia,

    I enjoyed reading this article alot. I’ve been to Iran as well and I miss the pastry with cream! Marsiye is also name they use in Iran!

    • Hey Paula,

      I’m so so happy you somehow found my post and commented on it with a name of those cookies, I totally forget how they were called and I really loved them so so much! Big thanks!
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #99My Profile

  49. Dan Mac

    About the change in sweets, its all about selling them to you. In Portugal they used to do it in the 80’s but then people realized that it was a “scam” to sell you candy. If you think about it, if a candy costs them 2 cents and they sell for 20 cents, when they give you 50cents of change in candy, they are not giving you 50 cents.. and now imagine doing this to everyone.. at the end of the month its a lot. Didn’t know they were still doing this somewhere :) it was a genious strategy to sell candy, thats for sure, because everyone,like you, thinks its funny.

    • I must genuinely disagree with you Dan. I have been travelling in Iran for a while and it is an official problem, government does not issue small bills neither coins anymore. They became so rare that are collectable at the moment. Few times when I said I do not want sweets, they gave me more money back than they should because they had no change.
      I wouldn’t be so quick to judge negativity in people, just a general comment Dan, but I’m a total optimist and my attitude is always for yes abd good.
      Marysia recently posted…Day 16 – Anuradhapura – Sacred CityMy Profile

  50. Hamed
    • What can I say… he is right, I have experience so much kindness from Iranians it was overwhelming!
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #94My Profile

  51. Elmira

    Hi Marysia. I’m Iranian and it’s my honour that you remind your pleasure experiences in Iran.
    I hope to see you in Iran again and again. My people are most welcoming people in the world!

    • Hello Elmira, I know that your people are amazing, I love how welcoming Iranian people are! Hope to be back in Iran soon!
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #93My Profile

  52. Magij Journey

    Hey, great article about my own country! Kudos!

  53. Radman

    Nice article Marysia. Hope that one day Iran becomes free of this islamic regime so there will be more visitors from other countries coz we really love foreigners, no matter where they are from… Poland or Israel.

    • I will cheer to that Radman! Iran is an amazing country and I hope that one day(sooner than later) the situation will get better!
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #93My Profile

    • Radman

      I really appreciate the fact that you answer all of the comments. But can I ask for a favour?? Can u show me a way to be in touch with u? I mean email or something??

  54. Bart van Eijden

    Hey Marysia. Nice post, easy to read and I recognize all of it since I have been in Iran for three weeks myself. I wrote something about it too, it might be a nice addition to yours! Have a look at it and tell me what you think!

    • Ok, I’m off to read it :) Will be back to share my thoughts!

  55. AguaDeCoco.PL

    We always knew that Iran is our dream destination. And your article made it, that we want to go there even more! We should hate you for it ;). Thanks for this amazing content Marysia!
    AguaDeCoco.PL recently posted…On Portuguese street marketMy Profile

    • Ha ha ha, I have the same sometimes, I read articles about countries I know I will love and it makes me even more impatient to visit them!
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #91My Profile

  56. Koralina

    Wow, I didn’t know about all these things! Nice post and good to know. Who knows, I might use it some day when I’ll go to Iran!:)
    Koralina recently posted…Na weekend: Morawy i WiedeńMy Profile

  57. This post comes very handy before my trip to Iran in 2.5 months! Now I’m even more excited for it! Any place in particular you would or would not recommend there?
    kami recently posted…Sunday with Pictures: picturesque Paraty, BrazilMy Profile

    • Oh you are going in winter Kami? North will be quiet cold, so pack some warm clothes! I wouldn’t miss Tabriz, amazing city!
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #91My Profile

      • Hamed kami

        I’m from tabriz
        Glad to see tourist in there ;-)

  58. Wow, I must admit, I didn’t know anything about Iran until I red your blog:) I’m especially shocked at Iran being no2 nose job place in the world – I have thought it’s South American thing:)
    Danuta recently posted…El ritmo negro: SAYA afro-boliviana & CaporalesMy Profile

    • Ha ha ha Danuta I have been quiet shock about that as well, but once you think of it, it is very logical, they can only show their faces so maybe South American countries are first but I bet more in like breast and bum operations :)
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #91My Profile

  59. Hirbod

    Hi, thank you very much for this great article about Iran. I remember that I have visited as a kid and loved Isfahan and Shiraz, would love to be back soon!

  60. What a great article! I genuinely enjoyed reading every sentance you wrote. Iran is one of those wonderful mysteries to many of us so this provided well needed insight for me, and many others. Thank you :)
    Sean recently posted…No dinero, no problemo!My Profile

  61. Chloe

    I loved this article! And I think everything you mentioned in this article is true. I am an Iranian myself. Born and raised in Tehran, I was never proud of my nationality though. I don’t go out much, I’ve spent my life in my room just chatting with my Internet friends. They were mostly American. I always felt ashamed of sharing my nationality with them so I just always tried to hide it which was really hard. This article kinda changed my mind, so thank you! It’s nice to know when people around the world that travel here do understand that Iran is not even that bad.

    • Oh Sweety! Of course Iran is not that bad! Apart from all the problems which your country face politically, Iran is still an amazing place! Chloe you have nothing to be ashamed of! And no matter how cliche it sounds it is You who makes You, so smile and be proud of being Iranian :)
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #89My Profile

  62. Joe Prince

    One of the best articles I have ever read, it does expressed everything I feel but in much better way than I can. And, since less is more, I’ll let the article speak for itself…

  63. Mostafa Akhlaqi

    Hi. I read your article about my country and all comments too. I just want to say THANK YOU for your honesty. I read “” too. I didn’t know you were together till I read the part 2 going: “The first days we arrive in Iran with Marysia we saw some young boys with plasters on the nose….”. Before that I was just wondering why these articles show the same experiences with different words!

    • Hello Mostafa, thanks for your comment and just to clarify we are not together, we just travelled together in Iran. Ha ha ha And article more or less talk about the same as we had similar experiences :)
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #88My Profile

  64. Reza

    Hey Marysia

    Well, Actually I’m international tour guide and I faced with lot’s of Tourists and real Travelers in IRAN! I rid all of Ur report and Ur conservation specially with Amir! first of all thanks about Ur nice point of view about our country, that’s because Cristal Clear it is ;) Maybe it was better change Ur report topic to “IRAN at a glance” or like this ! we have a lots of things that nobody don’t know about us!!

    I think most part off our worry (the youth) is about misunderstanding about real Iran! For example when somebody study Ur report, yes, maybe their idea change but if not u show just some not important things in their eyes!!

    I saw many reports like u, i mean with nice point of view about Iran but always u have something less in Ur report and this is a not comprehensive understand about now of Iran! So, i m sure with cross path again in our country u can find the deep understanding about Reality of us!

    anyway, I’m looking forward to meet you some day for share our experience in this way meanwhile I am friend of Cristian family(Ivan), and i try to help them for achieving our goal :)

    Na zdravie ;)

    • Hello Reza,

      First of all I really dislike this comment about tourists and real travellers, what kind of weird semantics it is, we are all tourists, and we are all travellers. There is no better way to travel, there are just different ways.

      Another thing is that you can’t possibly expect from me to do a comprehensive report about Iran in one article! I think there is no country or a nation that can be excplained in one article. It is always so much more complicated and such much more than meets an eye.

      Please understand that my article is not intended on listing every single thing which is unknown about Iran, as I mention in my article, those were things that surprised or amused me the most on my trip, this is a sum up of my subjective observation. There will be more article about different parts of Iran and people I have met.

      Aiming for trying to be an Iran Guru now is not my point. My blog is a personal travel blog and I write about what I have experience and observed on my travels. Hope it is good enough for Iranians but if not I’m sorry I have been in Iran only for 5 weeks.
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #87My Profile

      • Reza

        Hi again

        I feel you are sad from my statement ! Well obviously I told u just my point of view about Ur report and i respect and appreciate u about Ur nice report ;)
        Generally I’m Landscape Designer and my profession is about the Archaeological open air museum design and of course my field is direct relate to industrial tourism! I should tell you I really distinguish between tourists and travelers! There are a number of underlying differences here. I don’t want tell u a story but in generally a tourist USUALLY come for relaxation like go to the beach , visit sightseeing ,they want luxury, stay in Hotel with variety of stars, don’t meet the native people(real interaction), go to upmarket shops, lively bars and restaurants and so on! but for real travelers like u they try to traveling with background knowledge about their destination, respect to the host community culture, they want to the touch the native people and their culture and start to interaction with them, the quality accommodation is not really important for them, MOST of them are backpacker and they travel on a shoestring, make ends meet and they travel solo!

        Additionally, generally it’s my belief that sometimes we want to attract the audience for our statements and use some advertising topic for our goal, its not bad but sometimes this kind of topics, don’t show the reality of our statements! I just told you my view and not any more ;)
        take it easy and smile to the life :D

        I hope someday you’ll join us And the world will live as one
        All the best

        • Reza I always smile to life and your comment didn’t saddened me, I like to talk with my readers but I really do not understand what are you trying to tell me. First of all no matter what I will never agree with those tourist/travellers thing, no matter how many people believe it is true. As I said there are no better ways of traveling. Maybe I like to interact with locals and someone else love to stay in luxurious hotels and both things are great as long as they make particular person happy. We are all different and we travel for different reasons.

          As for other part, please explain cos I’m not sure I understand. You say I shouldn’t write about Iran cos it is subject that attracts audience? What kind of advertising topic for my goal are you mentioning? You know I have made the whole series of those posts, about Iran, Benin, Jordan, Kazakhstan and they all get the same audience, they are not meant to advertise anything and as I have mentioned before I write a personal travel blog about my subjective experiences on my journeys not really sure how can I be hold responsible for my experience. I have seen what I have seen in Iran, 99% of those things were amazing and nice therefore I written about it.
          Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #87My Profile

          • Reza

            I think we have a lots of things in common!
            I use some Capital word in my last post, plz attention to them. There arent any border between Tourists and travelers but the behavior of them show for us, who are they? and we can dividing them!
            I never told you that don’t tell sth about Iran i just told you the containing of the report its not conform with topic of report, in first post i suggested u that it maybe better the topic changes to” Iran at the first Glance” or sth like this. but its OK, i would like to put the comment for u and tell my view. u can be agree with me or not, both of them its respectful for me.

          • Reza I really think that it is matter of principles rather that dividing. I just dislike this tourist vs travellers distinction, that is all.
            As for the tittle I really do not think it is that inaccurate, those are 10 things most of people outside of Iran wouldn’t know and those are 10 things that made the most lasting impression on my during my stay there. Of course there is other million things I myself and other people have no idea about Iran, but as I have mentioned before this is a personal blog and I write about my experience, and this is what I have seen in Iran and I can’t change that. There will be more posts about Iran and maybe they will touch different subjects and make more Iranian readers happy :) Have a great day. Marysia
            Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #87My Profile

          • Omid

            Ha ha ha! Marysia take it easy! Reza is just like a fresh student that is trying to sell you his mindset! But why?! I don’t know!!!

          • Hey Omid, I always take it easy and never get upset in a heat of conversation, I don’t take it personally. And to be frank I love me some passionate argument! :)
            Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #95My Profile

  65. What a fascinating post! I didn’t know any of these things really – so surprised to hear about the nose job thing but I’m glad they are a nation of sweet lovers as I’ve tried Iranian sweets on a couple of occasions and LOVED them! Great to hear some interesting facts about a place I’ve never been to :)
    Shikha (whywasteannualleave) recently posted…Why I started Travel Blogging – Reflections One Year OnMy Profile

    • Shikha Iranian sweets were great, there are ones that I could eat every day, but they were so so sweet! I will say one more time! Iran is truly great country!
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #85My Profile

      • Omid

        Dear Marysia, Which sweets do you like? Maybe I could send you a carton of them! :D

        • As for sweets, my very favourite ones where kind of profiteroles with fresh cream. Only thinking of them make me crave them as crazy now! I do not remember the exact name but I know they are not good for being send by post, unfortunately :(
          Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #95My Profile

  66. Jia Ying

    Hi, I like your article about Iran. Definitely you know more than I do about Iran. My Iranian classmate didn’t even mention to me about Taarof rule during my Iran trip…

    • That is a big shame Jia, but didn’t you observed that? Nobody mention that to me, I just understood from people behave and than asked to be explained :) But I have been there for 5 weeks and still sometimes I was still confused what was taarof what not :)
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #85My Profile

      • Hahaha… Yup, even I don’t know the term “Taarof”, but I know how to respond them and how to handle well with this rule…. I just spent 10 days in Iran….
        Jia Ying recently posted…One more time~~~ Graduation!!!!!My Profile

        • If you knew how to respond and how to handle it I guess it is not so important to know how it is called :)
          Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #85My Profile

  67. mahnaz

    I am from IRAN and your text make make me happy, please write more about Iran.

  68. Amir

    Hey Marysia, How are you doing?

    For awhile I’d not come here, until I saw one of your twits. I thought it is a good idea and checking up on the comments. I saw some comments insisting on you showing the beautiful parts of Iran instead of showing such humble pictures!

    And you was wondering why Iranian people insist on this and why they think these pictures are not showing the reality!! Actually for a moment I laughed loudly because it is very cute when you want to show that these pictures are beautiful and we (Iranian people) cannot apprehend you!! ha ha ha

    Ok, let me tell you what it is going on in our minds! I know as a professional tourist you’ve read a lot about Iran but maybe I can tell you a little more.

    Marysia, Iran or Persia has been such an important country for long years in Humanity’s history. This people (We) are somehow over-proud about our history. You may not believe but Iranian people still think they are a very important country in the world. Unctuously, we think all the world are beholding us and we play a significant rule in the world puzzle. On the other hand this people think our race is Aryan and we have same race with Germany people. We overestimate ourselves! This people cannot believe out of Iran nobody even knows “where Iran is” or what is the difference between Iran and Iraq!

    If you want to kill an Iranian person, it is very simple. Just tell us “You are Arabs”! We will get pail and get angry! Why? Because we think we are Aryan, Persian and from the Empire of Persia!

    So, look what happened to this nation! Now, these people are well-known as bombers! Terrorists! Wilds! We want to show we are different and in this way we ignore some realities. When you talk about deserts in Iran, we may get sad since for Iranian people desert=Arabs and Arabs are some uncivilised guys (In our wrong minds). So, in your beautiful mind, the rural places, the cultural stuff and crafts are amazing.

    You are looking for historical places, for you women with scarf, deserts, jungles, old places, some people with different dresses are attractive and such new experience but for this people these things are signs of mustiness. They are asking you to show the world that we have coffee shop, we have BMWs, we have Skyscrapers, to show the world that these people are as good as their past !

    And you think “Oh, why these people frequently are asking me to show urbanisation stuff? I am here to see something different.” So, this is the reason.

    • Hello Amir,

      Thanks for reading and taking time to explain so widely. I really truly understand from where Iranian people come from on this subject and I understand how hard it is too be so misunderstood by the rest of the worlds. And I fully realise Iranians are not Arabs, and just to state being Arab should never been taken as being worser than any other nation, we are all different but equal so Arab or Persian or Polish, you can be a great person.

      As I have said in many comments before I will show beauty, modernity and amazing cultural sites, but in other posts, as I’m very busy with travelling they will be coming soon :)
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #83My Profile

  69. Sam D

    Very interesting read Marysia.
    Iran is a country I have never considered travelling.
    I don’t think I would fit in well with wearing a Hijab, but we won’t go into the reasons why.
    Sam D recently posted…Six classic streets from famous European citiesMy Profile

    • Sam I actually though it will be my biggest problem but really it wasn’t. I kind of liked wearing the scarf.
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #81My Profile

  70. TAM

    Thanks for sharing this great & very interesting article! I really enjoyed reading it because it’s full of information! Keep up the great work! I will definitely keep reading all new stuff written by you!

  71. Rashad Pharaon

    Being from Saudi Arabia, I can relate to many of these, and I love Taarof lol. It’s funny how we have to refuse so often, or when paying at a dinner table, how everyone has to insist on paying. I had no idea they were so big on nose jobs, though lol. I saw the same thing in Lebanon, but it was whole families walking together with their nose plastered!
    Rashad Pharaon recently posted…Should You Move to Bangkok or Ho Chi Minh City?My Profile

    • Ha ha ha yes Lebanon is huge for all kind of beauty operations indeed. But didn’t see so many noes ones, but I have been long time ago so things could change :)

      And I would love to visit Saudi!
      Marysia recently posted…Victoria – Exploring Melbourne AreaMy Profile

  72. Sibtain Rizvi

    Marysia I couldn’t agree more on your views on Iran I’ve been lucky to visit twice and the people are really as nice as you state they are kudos to them. I’m from Pakistan neighbouring Iran in the east. We love our guests almost as much as Iranians and we would be honoured if u payed us a visit too you will be blown away (in a good way) by our exuberant culture and lifestyle along with our most diverse geography. Hope to see you soon…

    • I would love to visit Pakistan and yes I hope I will get blow away strictly in a positive way :) LOL I have heard a lot of good things about Pakistan and Pakistani people, and actually I have heard they are as nice as Iranians, but will have to see for myself, hopefully soon!
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #80My Profile

  73. shadi

    I am disagree with second part of PhD section 6. Everybody is a PhD!. As matter of fact one out of Fourth Persian- American has PhD in United States. while clubs, entertainments, fashion shows and etc, are highly available , and affordable. This gives Persian highest rank among other population group in United States.

    • To be frank, not sure what you disagree with me about? I’m not talking about Persian people in general but about Iranians living in Iran and most of those who I met were super smart and doing their PhD’s. So the impression I have got about the nation is that they are very smart people. You disagree with me by saying that they have the highest ratio of PhD’s in whole US, that actually proves my point, no?
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #80My Profile

  74. Nassim

    Hi. You obviously have try to say something good about Iran and Iranians but
    I really feel sad when I see these picture. Of course they are real, and there is no doubt about it, but there is also many beautiful places and views in my country, that I can’t see non of them in your pictures. It is so unfair that you show only dark and primary side of Iran. I just can’t believe that you have not been north of Tehran or Tabriz, Isfahan, Shiraz, especially Persepolis…

    • Nassim I have been to all those places and there will be much more posts about Iran coming and they will include pictures from all those cities you have mentioned.

      I really do not understand why so many Iranians, same as you, think that those pictures are bad and showing bad parts of Iran. Those pictures to me shows delicious cookies, beautiful tea cups and amazing people I have met on my way, who have been super nice and wonderful to me. People who host me in their houses, women who showed her beautiful scarves.

      Not sure you have noticed but non of people who comment on that post, and there is many of them mentioned that they think those pictures are dark or primary. I think it is mentality different between our cultures, those pictures are great and nice!

      And just to calm your nerves, I will post tomorrow an article about beautiful Persepolis.
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #80My Profile

  75. Shodja

    Thank you Marysia :-) Not only for your article but for your patiently replying to everyone. What an excellent source of information about Iran!

    • It is not a full source of information, just things I have noticed and observed. And I think that replaying to everyone is just right, after all people took time to tell me what they think, I can’t just ignore that :) I wouldn’t in real life so I do not here either.
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #80My Profile

  76. Amir

    Hey Marysia ,
    It was amazing. There are some points i’d like to say as an extra information.
    Iranian people know that “Taroff” is funny and they completely know this is an odd habit. Moreover as i know the young generation (18-40) don’t follow most of the traditional habits or rules, Hijab as well (They are doing some social activities objecting this law).

    Mmmm, actually it was great when I was reading your experiences but I have some another points too. First I think mostly the pictures are related to the rural or remote places since I’v never seen a person like the man at #9 in the cities.

    Retroactively, I think it is very rare to find Taxies like those ones have been shown at #6, because these kinds of old taxies are not allowed to be used. I guess these pictures are for 6-7 years ago.

    I have a suggestion, I know for a tourist visiting the traditional and historical parts of a country is more important than visiting the big modern cities but it will be very good if you could show the modern life in Iran too.
    Thanks for sharing your experience.

    • Hello Amir, I’m glad you liked my article so let me address your comments and points.

      As for ‘Taroff’ I have actually experienced people of all ages following this rule everywhere in Iran. I like such kind of traditions and would hope it won’t die any soon.

      As for Hijab, I mentioned in my article than woman try to fight it or go around it and that especially young Girls do a lot to change this.

      Those pictures are taken in different places, some in big cities, some in more rural places. And yes this picture #9 is taken in an amazing part of Iran, Kurdistan. Even though you can not see Kurds in many cities, there is whole region where people dress like that and if you have never been I would highly recommend you to go for few days there, truly an amazing place and amazing people!

      As for Taxis, this picture have been taken last year, like all of them, I have only been once in Iran. Last year in October and November and this picture have been taken in Tabriz which is 5th biggest cities in Iran.

      As for your last comment, when I travel in the country I try to see everything, both modern and rural, both small and big cities. And I did. I loved Iran. I indeed haven’t been impressed with Tehran but not because it is modern but because it is way too big and not that impressive as I would expect. From big modern cities I loved Rasht, Shiraz, Kerman, Isfahan, and many many more.

      I get this comments a lot recently that I do not show modern parts of countries I do travel in, maybe it is because all those big modern cities are nothing special for me, maybe because being from Europe I’m bored of big, modern places and I’m actually up for seeing sth I can’t see in my own country. Of course tourists are always for seeing culture, tradition, history but as well modern parts of the country, but I can’t do anything about my personal likings.

      And I do not try to show to other people that Iran is not a modern, developing country. I just show what I liked and what I think people should not miss. I loved Iran every minute of my stay and every place I have visited, there will be more posts and for sure I will show there different sides of Iran. Both modern and ancient.

      Thank you very much for taking the time and showing that you actually read the article instead of skimming over, I love such kind of comments and conversation, I wish all readers be like you :)
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #79My Profile

      • Amir Jalilifard

        Thanks for your considerations. Actually showing the modern life in Iran is important for Iranian people and they like it because unfortunately nowadays the political propaganda tend to show just bad things about Iran (every minutes BBC and CNN) and show that Iran is located in a desert and people are using camels! (While I guess Iranian people have never used camels in their history and most of us have never seen any camels, maybe just in the zoo). This is why Iranian people may ask you to show the modern life too.

        Before 37 years ago, Iran had a secular government and our parents and grandparents dressed normally, without Hijab, even Bikini! (You can search in Google : Iran before revolution). Then, I think this people think differently in comparison with the other Islamic countries, however, this was a mistake our parents did 37 years ago and now the majority of them are regretful!

        I am living in Brazil. I strongly believe Brazilian people have the most shared behaviours with Iranian people. They even have “Taroff”, ha ha ha. I hope you have taken a trip to Brazil too. I hope I can meet you a day since I wanna make friendship with those ones who dedicate their money and time to fulfil their dreams!

        • Amir I know very well from books and different sources that in the ‘Shah Times’ Iran was a completely different country with much more freedom. I even personally met people who fought against Shah and now they regret it very much. So I do not need to Google Iran before revolution, I know many stories from what actual people in Iran told me.

          Yes, I have been in Brazil that was a long time ago so maybe at some point I will be back, you never know.

          As for modern Iran, I actually do not know people who think that in Iran people ride camels, propaganda is propaganda, but it is mainly political one, to be honest people outside of Iran do not know much about this country except crazy things and ideas of people in power. And Iran is located in the desert! I for example love the desert so that was great. Do not worry about what others think of your country, you can’t change that. But what people should try to change is the way how Iran is ruled and by whom. Good luck with that.
          Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #79My Profile

          • Amir Jalilifard

            Yes. When I talk about “desert” I mean the kind of desert with sands (like central parts of Iran) and without rain and snow, while Iran is a mountainous country, with jungles and very elevated mountains and chain mountain.

            You may not believe, but all of my friends (European or American ones) thought we don’t have snow and we are living in tents! And when I showed some cities in Iran, they were looking for camels and they asked me “Where are camels?”! After years of friendship, 2 days ago, I showed our house to some of my friends. They saw the pictures while surprised and said : “Woow ,Amir, you have LCD TV and sofa!”. Or when they see my old photos with snowy climate they say, “wooow, you have snow”!

            About knowing Iran, you are right. Most of the young and middle aged generation don’t even know the difference between Iran and Iraq but the old generation (like grandparents) in Europe (specially in Germany and Italy), they know Iran very well from before revolution, Iran was a well-known country for tourists because of its rich history and cultures. However nowadays it’s more known as a bomb!

            Actually it is very painful. When I am in a party and there are some people who don’t know me, when they ask me “where are you from?” and I answer “Iran”, they say : “Bomber country??!”. It is painful but we created a community and until now, we have changed the preconceptions of lots of people about Iran however it was not easy.

            I am following you in Facebook. Hope to learn more from you. Thanks

          • Amir I’m truly sorry to hear about your experience. Believe me, there are many people around the world who really knows history and rich culture of Iran and Persian Empire. We Polish learn about it on the history classes. Iran is a beautiful place, with all climates as you say, with mountains, desert, two sea, with rain and sun etc etc It is a huge country with very rich culture.

            I support an amazing project run by one family, in the sidebar on my site you can see a picture saying ‘Iran is great’. Click it and you will find out more about it. They are trying to grow awareness about Iran as well.

            Best of luck with everything.
            Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #79My Profile

        • Aria

          Maybe “your” parents or grandparents wore bikini! But not ours and many people’s (I would say most people). Please give correct info to people who don’t know much about Iran and be more careful about that.
          That’s for sure that most of the people are not regretful about the revolution, they are unhappy about some issues nowadays though.

  77. Martina

    Well, Marysia, I’m also Polish and stay right now in Iran!
    Almost all of the things you wrote here are so much truth! I see them in my everyday life! I’m incredibly glad that thanks to articles and reports like this one you are breaking the actually existing superstitions about Iran that rule especially in European countries with great success. People need to see real face of Iran!

    And coming back to the “almost”, that I mentioned at the beginning….
    Crazy drivers? Ok, maybe a little bit, with breaking all the rules and so on…
    But please go to Armenia, to Yerevan, and compare :) I’ve never felt so scared in car in Iran as I was in Armenia! Check this out, really :) Good luck with the next journeys!!!

    • Martina I have crossed to Iran by land from Armenia where I was traveling for a month. This trip I was 5, 5 months, started in Azerbaijan, through Georgia, Abkhazia, Armenia and Nogorny Karabach. And yes I think that drivers in Caucasus region are super crazy as well, Georgia the worst. I actually felt much more sure in the car there than in Iran. As I have mentioned I’m not easily scared and didn’t have any dangerous situation in Iran. Simply think they are much chaotic and do crazy stuff on the road. And you know, so many opinions as many people ha ha ha

      As for Iran I couldn’t write anything else, it is truly an amazing country!
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #79My Profile

  78. Reza

    Well Marysia, your experience does not count. You are Polish! You are practically the all-time guest of honour here.
    If you went to the right place you might even have met some of your country folk. See
    In fact, I think those adorable Polish noses started the nose obsession year ago! Cheers, thanks for kind words about my homeland and happy traveling!

    • Ha ha ha Reza, indeed Polish Girls usually have small noses :) But I’m not sure we are ready to take responsibility for this new fashion in Iran :)
      As for being Polish and therefore being special in Iran, I had this feeling whole my stay! Polish are the biggest tourist nation in Iran…. and yes everyone should check this link!
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #79My Profile

  79. Wow, interesting facts! I did not know half of those. I’d love to go there, reading this has furthered it up my destination list… :)

  80. Tina

    This is very interesting post about Iran, I’m not an Iranian but really appreciate this.. thanks.. :)

  81. Els

    Great article, Marysia! The taarof principle seems quite exhausting though :-)
    I think countries that people “fear” the most often have the most friendly inhabitants. I experienced this in Albania and heard the same thing about Pakistan.
    Really curious about Iran now!

    • Oh you are so right! I have heard such good things about Pakistan, I really want to visit this country and Afghanistan as well! :) I have never been in Albania, I think I should look into it now :)
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #78My Profile

  82. Loved this article! My husband and I are planning a trip to Iran next year, and everything you mentioned makes me want to experience the country even more! I’m Iranian-American, and it’s great to see travelers shine a positive light on the country.
    Crystal recently posted…Comidas con Onda: Xoco Por Ti Chocolate BarMy Profile

    • It is my pleasure to write such amazing things about Iran, because it is all truth :) You will love you time there!
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #78My Profile

  83. Hadis

    I’m a proud Iranian when I read your post. We have an idiom in Iran: Nice people meet always nice people…. So this nice experience comes from your heart… Good luck Marysia :x

    • Thank you Hadis! And I truly believe that Iranian saying, but in Iran everyone meets nice people all the time :)
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #77My Profile

  84. Very interesting facts indeed! I think I like the one about hitchhiking the most…I don’t know if I could accept them giving me money though; that’s just too nice! Haha
    Ron Robbins recently posted…45 Amazing Photos of Tibet’s Kumpa StupaMy Profile

    • Taking money more me would be too much as well, I was super amazed that this man was trying to give some to us. It only shows the way Iranian people think and how great with guest they are! And hitch hiking was a great experience in Iran, same as couch surfing which I never have done before :)
      Marysia Maciocha recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #76My Profile

  85. Peter

    Hey Marysia, It’s a lovely post about Iran and its culture. It gave me complete overview of this country. I love this post. Really thanks for sharing.

    • Hey Peter, glad to hear that. I really hope more and more people will get to experience what I have in amazing country.
      Marysia Maciocha recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #76My Profile

  86. Franca

    Great article, Marysia! Thank you so much for sharing it, I hate when the medias make a country looks horrible. I know Iran has its problems (like every country really) and it’s good to know that Iran and its people are still a lovely place to visit and discover :)
    Franca recently posted…Why ‘Couchsurfing is free’ Is A MythMy Profile

    • I truly believe in not making your mind without checking the country first :) And Iran is one fascinating place!
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #76My Profile

  87. Mehrdad

    I always liked Polish people and I have some friends on the web and You know Poland is one of the place that I want to visit it someday :). I really enjoyed that the writer of this article is Polish. I hope the next time that you come to see Iran we have a better country. Can I ask which cities did you visit?

  88. Rahman Mehraby

    Great observation Marysia! I appreciate your realistic attitude toward Iran. I’ve been working as a national tour guide for more than 15 years in Iran and I can say that you’ve pointed out the most outstanding features of tourism in Iran. Some of my clients travel to Iran several times and it’s mainly because of the people that they appreciate.

    I hope you come back here again and continue experiencing the beautiful aspects of Iranian’s culture.
    Rahman Mehraby – Destination Iran

    • Thanks a lot for stopping by and your nice words. I would definitely visit again and will for sure sooner or later, there are still places in Iran I would like to discover a bit more.
      Marysia recently posted…Iran – 10 Things You didn’t KnowMy Profile

  89. Greg

    You had me at the sweets. If that is truly the case, I’m totally in.

    All kidding and politics aside, Iran seems like such an interesting place to me. As an American, it seems a bit of a stretch for me to go there any time soon. So, I will just have to live vicariously through my travel blogging friends!
    Greg recently posted…Toledo, Spain: City of WonderMy Profile

    • To be honest Greg I do not really think that is it such a problem. Of course via is much more difficult but you can make it happens. And about the sweets it is totally true! I have gain like few kilos there for sure from all the food and sweets ha ha ha
      Marysia recently posted…Iran – 10 Things You didn’t KnowMy Profile

    • Saeed

      Hey Greg, saying hi from Iran. Man do not worry, I have some friends coming from USA.
      They get Visas, not so much easily but they got it. Of course after elections it is much more easier.
      Come and see our country, I am sure you will enjoy it ;) If you need any help , just contact me via E-mail.

  90. Great article, Marysia! We are going to Iran soon and it’s interesting to know all these things! We have some really good Iranian friends and all Iranians we have ever met outside their country were super friendly so I have no doubt we will have a fabulous time!
    Hitch-Hikers Handbook recently posted…Hitch-hiking in Croatia: advantages and disadvantagesMy Profile

  91. SoHe

    Hi Marysia , glad to see you enjoyed visiting our country. I have a comment about “Crazy Drivers” , mostly the craziest drivers are Taxi drivers , they really drive bad. But others are better and I could say Normal (mostly). And a lot of normal personal cars are being used as taxi , which are not mentioned as taxi on it (the informal ones) and they are in “Most Craziest driver’s category” too ;)
    Happy travelings ;D

    • SoHe I know where you are going and I know that taxi drivers are totally ‘crazy’ but I have been hitch hiking a lot in Iran and have seen some truly terrible things on the roads. I know that cities are better and that local authorities are really trying to make a change but yes it is a bit insane nevertheless.
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #76My Profile

  92. Razia Sheikh

    Great Post Marysia. Great to know all those things about Iran. I’m a bit confuse with currency. You mean to say, tomans and rial both currency working their?

    • Thanks a lot Razia. Sorry for the confusion. Money are only in rials, so no matter what you will only have rials in your pockets and will be paying and given change in rials. But prices given and whole operations will be made in tomans. You always to have to remember to cut or add one zero.
      Marysia recently posted…Iran – 10 Things You didn’t KnowMy Profile

  93. Well Marysia, you got me all excited for my upcoming trip to Iran! I can’t wait to practise the ‘art’ of taarof! :) But, how do you actually refuse something. How did you really say no?
    Sarah recently posted…Why I travel solo even when I’m in a relationshipMy Profile

  94. Hannah Wasielewski

    Wow, I truly learned a lot from this post! Traveling to Iran seems to be more and more popular these days. I have a question, how difficult was it to get a visa to go there? And was the visa expensive? This country is getting higher and higher on my list of places to see everyday!
    Hannah Wasielewski recently posted…Top 10 Things to do in Rio de JaneiroMy Profile

    • Hey Hannah, I traveled in Iran in October and November 2013, and it was super easy to get a visa. But I’m Polish and you must be aware that easiness of getting a visa depends from your nationality and current political situation in Iran, for example before the elections and shortly after they usually stop giving visas. But in my case I have applied online, after a week I got an email that the visa code has already been send to Iranian Embassy in Yerevan, I went to Embassy and got my visa the same day. It was quiet expansive, most probably the most expansive visa I got in my life. It was 75 euro because I got the visa at the spot, normally it is 50. So they say.
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #76My Profile

  95. Giedrius

    Hey, Marysia, I’m just wondering if you speak any other language besides English? Was it hard to communicate with local people?

    • Hey English is not my mother tongue, Polish is. But to be honest I had no problem with communication with people. Many people in Iran can speak very good English.
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #76My Profile

  96. Sammi Wanderlustin'

    So enjoyed this post Marysia. Iran sounds like an incredible place to visit. Amazing. Culture is entirely different, when you only hear things on the news about places like this.
    Sammi Wanderlustin’ recently posted…This Time Next Week….My Profile

    • Couldn’t agree more. As cliche as it sounds travel broadens your horizons and strip you off from any prejustice.
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #76My Profile

  97. Shaun

    hahah I know you do, and lots of respect to you for doing so. There should be a media outlet that only shows positive, compassionate and inspiring stories instead of one story in a mix of mayhem. Been reading about taarof all morning, very interesting that social hierarchy also plays in to the negotiation.

    • Always, that is super important, who first to whom and when :) I can easily say that taarof is a kind of thing why I travel. To understand, to observe, to make my own mind about nations and countries. And what is beautiful about travel it is never ending school of life. And yes you have my full vote on the Good Karma Channel!
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #76My Profile

  98. Talon

    I wish it was easier for Americans to travel there. Still, it’s a country that is high on my travel wish list to visit. It was fun reading your experiences.
    Talon recently posted…My favorite Paris attractionsMy Profile

    • Thanks Talon. Indeed American experience more problems with visa but it is not totally impossible. And Iranian people and government don’t really see eye to eye on this subject. People are super friendly there!
      Marysia recently posted…Iran – 10 Things You didn’t KnowMy Profile

  99. Shaun

    Complete misconception! So glad to (finally :P) hear about this trip. I hate how our media will demonize other countries.
    Taarof sounds like a fun game.. until it becomes too much but super interesting how much they go out of the way to accommodate a guest. I couldn’t agree more about the freedom you mention in #9 but you have to respect the rules and culture of the country that you’re in. Things can change but have to be done in an enlightening progressive way.

    Thank you for sharing!
    Shaun recently posted…Istanbul’s Not So Grand BazaarMy Profile

    • Shaun I always respect rules and cultures of countries I travel in. And I’m not telling anybody they should follow our Western ways but as you said it has to be people making a progressive change. And they do, there are many women in Iran that try to change the hijab rules and hopefully for them one day things will change for the better. What I only underline is that governments should accept a progressive change that comes from its people but this is much bigger discussion about a role of governments in our societies. Maybe once over a glass of wine!

      It is not only your media, it is all the media around the world. You know drama and nasty stories sells. Documentary about visiting school for young geniuses in Tabriz do not!

      As for taarof it sounds more difficult than it really is, but it is worth reading a little about it before visiting Iran.
      Marysia recently posted…Iran – 10 Things You didn’t KnowMy Profile

  100. Very interesting post Marysia. Funny reaction to hitchhikers but I can almost understand and it is touching that they would want to take care of you in this fashion. They obviously want you to have a favourable impression of their country and that is nice. Crazy drivers – no surprise there! Have a friend in Qatar who says THEY have the craziest drivers. I saw the same in Indonesia. Sometimes I think it is because of religion and the fatalism of ‘what will be will be’. Nose jobs – that’s something I never would have expected!
    Good post, Frank (bbqboy)

    • Yes nose job was a big surprise but when I think of it is seems like a natural step in this culture. And to be honest I do mot think they want you to have a good impression of them they are just super nice for guest. But believe me when the driver is checking the map to understand if he has to change the directions to drop you in the place most comfortable for you, you really start thinking that those Iranians are just too nice! And of course it is great to experience good from people but I will have to work out to repay all the good karma I have received in Iran.
      Glad you liked my post.
      Marysia recently posted…Iran – 10 Things You didn’t KnowMy Profile

    • Rahman Mehraby

      About the code of driving, another reason is that people don’t have sufficient and proper education about how to drive and care about others’ rights.

      • I’m not sure if it is only about education, I think there are many more factors involved it this ‘crazy driving’ :)
        Marysia recently posted…Iran – 10 Things You didn’t KnowMy Profile

        • Rahman Mehraby

          Surely it’s not the ONLY reason . However, I’m sure it’s not the craziest in the world. India, Egypt, and other countries shouldn’t be forgotten. Besides, one must see how they would drive if the fines were way too high like in the developed countries. I agree it’s one of the worst in the world.

          A traveling soul like you should have definitely seen a lot of bad drivers in the world.

          • Ha ha ha, I did. And I have been in India and Egypt and Benin and Georgia – where driving is totally crazy. But from my experience Iran was the crazies, and by saying that I do not mean they are always bad drivers, simply not following rules which we are taught in Europe. Like lanes, horns, traffic lights. Everyone seems to do whatever they feel like it. And as I have mentioned in the article I’m not lighthearted so I was fine and often laughed and made jokes with Iranians about their driving style :)
            Marysia Maciocha recently posted…Iran – 10 Things You didn’t KnowMy Profile

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