Possibly the biggest question on the minds of most potential travelers (and the mothers of potential travelers): is Iran safe for American tourists?
The topic of Iran and the USA is a complex and often misunderstood subject.
The western media paints the country of Iran as a pariah state and since the 1979 Iranian revolution diplomatic relations between the USA and Iran have been frosty at the best of times.
Despite the decades-long complications and tensions with western governments, Iran remains one of the most fascinating countries to visit as a tourist.
So here is the big question: can Americans travel to Iran and if so, is it even safe to do so? The short answer is yes!
The main thing when traveling as an American in Iran is to follow the rules and behave yourself. By doing so, you should have no reason to fear for your safety.
For Americans and a few other select nationalities though, there are certain rules one must follow upon arrival in Iran.
Complete independent/solo travel in Iran is not possible for citizens of the USA, UK, and Canada. The rule is that these nationalities must have a government-licensed guide with them when traveling here at all times. Depending on where you are in the country – this rule is either strict or pretty relaxed.
The visa process for the citizens of the USA, UK, and Canada can also seem tricky – but the main thing is that it just takes time. The first step is finding a tour operator that can do the application and visa submission in Iran for you and obtain a Visa Grant Letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). The above-mentioned nationalities can not do the visa application on their own without the aid of a tour operator.
Once the tour operator submits your application, it then takes about a month to receive the visa approval letter.
The final step is either physically going to an Iranian Embassy anywhere in the world to pick up the actual visa or mailing your passport to an Iran Embassy for the same purpose if you are unable to go in person. Then you are all set!
Two important things to note: 1. Getting a visa extension to stay in Iran is not possible for Americans. 2. The exact Iranian Embassy you indicate on your application of where you want to collect your visa can’t be modified either – so think carefully about your EXACT travel dates and where you want to collect the visa before you submit it!
Solo Travel vs Group Travel
Exploring Iran as a solo traveler might be the way you prefer to see the country, but traveling to Iran as an American means you need to join a group tour or find a company that can organize a custom tour in which you will need to have the Iranian guide with you at all times – which can be a lot more expensive than joining a group tour as you pay for the guide, their accommodation, their food, transport, etc on a per-day basis. The cost of traveling to Iran as an American with just you and one Iranian guide can be around $150+ a day when you factor in activities, transport, food, etc.
Are their specific Iran tours for Americans? very few American companies running tours to Iran for Americans.
Customized Iran Tours for US citizens: You are the one to decide which aspect of Iran you wish to experience and we design your tour package for your personality, preferences and interests. So we offer you our recommendations as loyal natives of this country, not as business people.
If you want to learn more about our Iran Tours for Americans (and everyone else) check out our tours .