Money and currency
How to travel to Iran?
Get your best exchange rate on the “black” market
First of all, don’t trust what you could read on Internet. If you Google “exchange rate dollars-Iranian Rials”, you’ll probably only find out the official rate that actually differs a lot from the real rate. To get an up-to-date unofficial rate that you’ll have in Tehran, check out this website : http://www.o-xe.com
Secondly, and that’s a general rule, avoid to change at the airport. You’ll easily find plenty of exchange offices in all the touristic cities of Iran.
Where to change my currencies?
The best place to change your currencies is definitely the Square Ferdowsi in Tehran. Dozens of exchange offices offer more or less the same exchange rate.
Can I use my credit Card in Iran?
As the economic sanctions are not fully lifted, you’re not yet able to use your credit card (Visa, Master Card, etc). Be sure to take enough cash for your whole trip in Iran.
Update : February 2016 (It seems that some shops now accept Visa card in some case. For example if you buy an expensive carpet, they may find a solution to let you pay by card).
How can I travel without keeping all my cash in the pockets?
If you’re not confortable with the idea of travelling with hundreds (thousands) notes in your pocket (socks?), you can make a deposit in any bank of Iran and get a withdrawal card (kart hadiye) that you can use on any ATM you’ll find.
One currency, two names. What does it mean?
If the official currency of Iran is Rial, Iranian prefer to speak about toman in the daily life. A toman, named after the Mongol “Tumen”, means 10 000. Though, Mongol armies were known for their tumen, a group of 10000 soldiers. In Iran we say 1000 toman to mean 10000 rials. For example, if your taxi driver is asking you 5 toman (Panj Hezar Toman), he actually means 50 000 rials and expects you to pay this amount. More convenient isn’t it? Don’t worry you’ll get used to!