Iran Public Transportation For Tourists

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Public Transportation in Iran

When you are inside the borders of Iran, your first concern is how to travel around the country. However, if you have bought a full tour package from a tour operator or a travel agency, you do not need to think about transport in Iran. But either you are an entirely independent traveler in Iran or prefer to be on your own sometimes during your Iran trip, you need to know this information about Iran public transportation.

Here is a complete guide about Iran public transportation, including urban and inter-city types of public transportation in Iran, their advantages and disadvantages, and approximate costs on popular routes and cities.

Hence, do not miss this helpful guide, and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions. You can also find useful information about traveling to Iran on Best Iran Travel Tips page.

Intercity Iran Pubic Transportation

When traveling in Iran, you have various options for public transport between the cities, from flights to inter-city taxis. But the main issue is to consider is which options are better for each route. So in this section, we explain different types of intercity public transportation in Iran, their advantages and disadvantages, and approximate prices for different routes.

Domestic Flights in Iran

Alongside international airports in the major cities like Tehran, Shiraz, Isfahan, Mashhad, Tabriz, etc., there are plenty of domestic airports all over Iran. In so far that you can fly between almost all cities in Iran at a reasonable price.

Although you may have heard that Iran’s air fleet is not good, so far, very few air accidents have occurred in Iran, and the quality of flights is quite acceptable.

Hence, to save time and have a convenient trip, we suggest traveling long distances between cities by domestic flight.

Please note that in Iran, the domestic flight fare varies depending on the flight hour, day of the week, airline, distance, public holidays and festivals, season, events, etc. For instance, in Nowruz (the Persian new year), domestic flight fares are higher than other times of the year. Also, the roads in Iran are busier during this festival.

Moreover, the best Iranian airlines include Mahan, Iran Air, Aseman, Kish Air, Ata, and Iran Air Tour. You can buy Iran domestic flight tickets through some websites or via tour operators and travel agencies. Of course, you need to have an Iran tourist card to book the ticket online. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Transporting by Plane in Iran

Advantages:

  • It is the fastest form of public transportation.
  • Iran is vast, so to save time during your Iran trip, a domestic flight is the best option for transporting in Iran.
  • Iranian airlines cover almost all parts of the country.
  • The Iranian domestic flights are much cheaper in comparison to in other countries.

Disadvantages:

  • Flight delay is normal in Iran.
  • Some cities do not have direct flights to each other, so you need to purchase an indirect ticket with a stop in Tehran.
  • It is the most expensive type of Iran public transportation.

Iran Domestic Airfare in Popular Air Routes

As mentioned above, Iran is vast, and flight is the best option to travel long distances. Accordingly, the most popular Iran flight path for tourists who visit Iran’s classic route is the distance between Tehran and Shiraz. Other popular airways for tourists in Iran are the airways between Tehran and the major cities such as Mashhad, Tabriz, Bandar Abbas, Ahvaz, etc.

Moreover, if you want to go to the Iran touristic islands, i.e., Qeshm Island and Kish Island, you need to take a flight.

Anyway, Iran’s domestic flight fare is more affordable in comparison to the international average. The table below shows the range of Iran domestic flight fares for some popular routes. Notably, the prices vary depending on the airline, time, day of the week, season, official holidays, etc.

Air Route Ticket* Duration
Tehran - Shiraz 30 to 40 Euro 100 Min
Tehran - Tabriz 30 to 40 Euro 75 Min
Tehran - Mashhad 35 to 60 Euro 100 Min
Tehran - Bandar Abbas 35 to 60 Euro 110 Min
Tehran - Qeshm Island 40 to 45 Euro 110 Min
Shiraz - Qeshm Island 20 to 30 Euro 100 Min
Tehran - Ahvaz 30 to 55 Euro 100 Min

*You may find lower or higher prices occasionally.

Bus in Iran

The most abundant form of inter-city public transportation in Iran is the bus. Generally, there are two types of buses traveling between the cities in Iran, including VIP buses with about 30 passengers capacity and regular buses with about 44 people on board.

However, the quality of VIP buses is dramatically higher in exchange for just a slightly higher price. In VIP buses, the room between 2 seats is that plenty that you can almost lie down to sleep.

Notably, small snacks, including biscuits, chocolate, juice, or bottled water, are served on the bus. Besides, there’s no toilet on the buses, and the drivers regularly stop for refreshing, going to public restrooms, buying food, etc.

Finally, Iran bus tickets are easy to buy; you can ask a travel agency, hotel staff, or directly go to the bus terminal to buy a bus ticket.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Transporting by Bus in Iran

Advantages:

  • VIP buses are convenient and provide quality service at a very reasonable price
  • There are abundant inter-city buses on almost all routes around the country.
  • You can take a night bus for long distances and save the expense of an overnight in the hotel.

Disadvantages:

  • There is no highway on off-beaten paths. And some roads are two-way.
  • The bus tickets are usually in Farsi, and also, the operators selling the tickets are not fluent in English.

Iran Bus Fare in Popular Routes

The most popular Iran route for tourists is the classic route that travelers go through it mostly by bus. Even, some travelers prefer to ride on the night bus to travel between Shiraz and Tehran on the Iran classic route.

Moreover, you can ride on a bus from Shiraz to Qeshm Island and vice versa; The bus is loaded on a ship to pass the waterway.

The table below shows the range of Iran VIP bus fares along some famous roads. Notably, the prices vary depending on the time, season, official holidays, etc.

Route Ticket* Duration
Tehran - Shiraz 10 Euro 12 Hours
Tehran - Tabriz 8 Euro 8 Hours 15 Min
Tehran - Mashhad 10 Euro 12 Hours
Tehran - Kashan 3 Euro 3 Hours
Tehran - Isfahan 5 Euro 5 Hours 30 Min
Isfahan - Shiraz 5 Euro 6 hours
Isfahan - Kashan 3 Euro 2 Hours 45 Min
Isfahan - Yazd 4 Euro 4 Hours 15 Min
Shiraz - Yazd 5 Euro 6 Hours 30 Min
Shiraz - Kerman 6 Euro 8 Hours 15 Min
Shiraz - Qeshm Island 8 Euro 9 Hours
Shiraz - Ahvaz 8 Euro 9 Hours
Shiraz - Bandar Abbas 7 Euro 8 Hours 30 Min
Yazd - Kerman 4 Euro 4 Hours 45 Min

*You may find lower or higher prices occasionally.

Trains in Iran

Rail transport is the safest form of Iran public transportation, and there are different classes of the train from standard to 5-star in Iran. Also, you can find 4-bed, 6-bed, and bus trains.

Iran train tickets are easy to buy; you can ask a travel agency or the hotel staff to buy you the train ticket.

Interestingly, The Trans-Iranian Railway, the 1,394-kilometer-long railway, was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List on July 25, 2021.

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Rail Transport in Iran

Advantages:

  • It is the safest form of Iran transportation.
  • You can take the night train for long distances and save the expense of an overnight in the hotel.
  • The natural landscapes along the Iran railway paths are beautiful and pristine.

Disadvantages:

  • There is no railway between all cities in Iran.
  • It is slower than other forms of Iran public transportation.
  • The train tickets are usually in Farsi, and also, the operators selling the tickets are not fluent in English.

Iran Train Fare in Popular Routes

As mentioned before, the most popular Iran route for tourists is Iran classic route, so most travelers especially budget travelers prefer to take a night train between Tehran and Shiraz.

Other busy railroads in Iran are between Tehran and major cities like Mashhad, Tabriz, Ahwaz, etc.

In the table below, you can find the range of Iran train ticket prices along some popular routes. Notably, the prices vary depending on the train class, time, season, official holidays, etc. Also, some of them are faster, at higher prices.

Route Ticket* Duration
Tehran - Shiraz 5 to 15 Euro 16 Hours
Tehran - Tabriz 5 to 10 Euro 12 Hours
Tehran - Mashhad 10 to 45 Euro 11 Hours
Tehran - Kashan 4 Euro 3 Hours 30 Min
Tehran - Isfahan 7 Euro 8 Hours
Isfahan - Yazd 4 Euro 5 Hours

*You may find lower or higher prices occasionally.

Best Iranian Train Companies

Raja: It is the oldest Iranian train company that covers all of the railways in Iran. Although it offers different classes, it is not usually that modern. However, Zendegi is one of the best Iranian trains that belongs to the Raja company.

Fadak: This company has the most modern trains and offers high-quality services. You can experience a luxury and fast rail journey with Fadak company. However, Fadak trains only travel between Tehran-Shiraz, Tehran-Mashhad, and Qom-Mashhad. 

The other high-quality Iranian trains are Nour al Reza, VIP Ghazal, and Safir.

Inter-city Taxi in Iran

Along with the buses that travel on roads in Iran, exclusive inter-urban taxis travel between major cities and also the towns that are close to each other. 

You can optionally share this taxi with other passengers or pay the whole fare and enjoy a private ride. Their fares vary based on the car model. However, we recommend not to get on Pride (a car model) because it is not safe. Instead, Peugeot, Samand, and Renault are the safer options. 

For taking inter-city taxis, you need to go to the bus terminals or some specific squares in person and take a cab. You’d better ask the driver how much you should pay and negotiate on the price before getting in. Notably, you should pay the fee to the driver.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Inter-city Taxi in Iran

Advantages:

  • It is the second fast type of Iran public transportation after the flight.
  • Although it is assumed public transportation, you can pay the total price for the vehicle and have a private ride.
  • If you travel during daylight, you can enjoy the natural landscapes along the way.

Disadvantages:

  • It costs more expensive than the bus or train.
  • You need to be cautious about using unofficial taxis.
  • Inter-urban taxis do not have tickets, so their fares can be confusing.
  • These taxis don’t have a fixed timetable, and they start the trip as soon as they become fully loaded (It may last long).

Water Transport in Iran

This mode of transportation is limited to southern Iran, where the Iran mainland reaches the Persian Gulf. There are numerous islands in the Persian Gulf, that the most touristic ones are Qeshm and Kish islands. You can get to these islands from coastal cities like Bandar Abbas, Bandar Lengeh, or Bandar Aftab by ferry or speedboat.

Private Car in Iran

Although the private car is not a form of Iran public transportation, we prefer to explain this type of transportation because it is very popular among international tourists in Iran.

Notabely Hiring a driver or a driver-guide in Iran is very affordable compared to other destinations and brings you convenience. There are different types of private vehicles, from sedan cars to buses, that you can rent with a driver.

You can also rent a sedan or SUV car without a driver in big cities like Tehran; However, we do not recommend doing that because some drives drive dangerously in the streets of Iran.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Traveling in a Private Car in Iran

Advantages:

  • Its schedule is flexible.
  • It is faster and more convenient than bus and train.
  • You can visit the en-route sites.

Disadvantages:

  • There are old and insecure cars in Iran, so ask the driver or the travel agency that provides the service about the car model and quality.
  • If you want to reduce Iran travel costs, it is not the best option for you.

Private Car Rental Fee in Iran

Unlike the different types of Iran public transportation, the private car rental fee does not depend on the route very much. Rather it is calculated according to the vehicle type and model and also the travel duration.

In the table below, you can find the private car rental fees per day in Iran. Notably, the cost of hiring a driver-guide with a sedan car starts at 60 Euro per day in 2021.

Private Car Rental with Driver Price (Daily*)
Sedan Car (Up to 3 Passengers) Starts at 40€
Van Iveco A36 ( Up to 6 Passengers) Starts at 50€
Van A50 (Up to 8 Passengers) Starts at 60€
Middle Bus (Up to 15 Passengers) Starts at 70€
Regular Bus (Up to 30 Passengers) Starts at 80€
VIP Bus (Up to 20 Passengers) Starts at 120€

Urban public Transportation in Iran For Tourists

Urban transportation in a foreign country is one of the tourists’ main concerns.  Fortunately, urban public transport in Iran is relatively abundant. Besides, it is cheaper in comparison to the international average. 

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Here we introduce different types of urban public transportation in Iran.

Metro in Iran

The metro is one of the fastest public transportation in Iran available in the major cities such as Tehran, Shiraz, Isfahan, Tabriz, and Mashhad. It is the best option to get rid of the heavy on-the-ground traffic, especially in Tehran; Where the stations are scattered all over the city and easily accessible by bus and taxi. Besides, navigating through the metro lines in Iran is quite easy because metro signs are in Persian and English.

Notably, there are women-only carriages at the two ends of the metro, where the men are not allowed to enter. However, women can get on the other carriages too.

Interestingly, if you arrive at IKA airport in Tehran, you can use the metro to get to the city center.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Metro in Iran

Advantages:

  • It is faster than other types of urban transportations in Iran.
  • It is an affordable form of public transportation in Iran, particularly for long distances. The one-way trip metro ticket price in Iran costs about 0.1 Euro.
  • You can easily find subway stations on Google Maps.

Disadvantages:

  • The metro stations do not cover all spots of the city. However, there are plenty of them in the city centers.
  • During the rush hours, i.e., 7 till 9 a.m. and 5 till 8 p.m, the metros are very crowded, particularly in Tehran.
  • It is normal not to find empty seats in the metro lines that pass the city centers. In that case, you need to stand in the middle of the wagon, waiting for a seat to become empty; However, you might not find any till the end of your trip!

Urban Buses in Iran

There are plenty of buses and bus stations in all Iran cities. Notably, there are two main types of buses in big cities: regular bus and BRT bus (Express bus).

Regular buses are mostly cheaper but more crowded. They stop in many stations close to each other and also have exclusive access to the residential neighborhoods.

On the other hand, BRT or Express buses have exclusive paths in the main parts of the city with fewer stations. Heَnce they are faster than regular buses. Bus fares in Iran are usually less than 0.1 euros.

Notably, the women and men parts are separate on the buses.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Urban Buses in Iran

Advantages:

  • Bus stations are very accessible everywhere.
  • You can get to the subway stations from all parts of the city using Buses.
  • BRT buses with exclusive paths are the best options during rush hours from 7 till 9 a.m. and 5 till 8 p.m, when the traffic is heavy, and metros are very crowded. However, they are also crowded during this interval.
  • Inner-city buses are one of the cheapest urban public transportation in Iran.
  • You can easily find bus and BRT stations on Google Maps.

Disadvantages:

  • Buses are not usually punctual in Iran.
  • You can see old buses in Iran’s urban public transportation system, particularly among the regular buses.
  • It is normal not to find empty seats in the buses that pass the city centers. In that case, you need to stand in the middle of the bus waiting for a seat to become empty. However, you might not find any till the end of your trip!

Taxi in Iran

Taxi is supposed the most convenient type of Iran public transportation inside the cities. You can find different kinds of taxis inside the Iran cities as per below.

1- Online Taxis (Snapp and Tapsi): Maybe the best option for transportation in Iran cities is online taxis. Two pioneer online taxi apps in Iran are Snapp and Tapsi that are like Ubber; you can easily download their applications and use them on your smartphone.

You can pay the online taxi fare in cash or through your Iran tourist card.

Notably, Iran online taxis are available in most cities, including Tehran, Shiraz, Isfahan, Tabriz, Mashhad, Karaj, Ahwaz, and Qom.

2- Agency Taxi: Before online taxis, the Agency Taxi was the most convenient type of Inner-city transportation in Iran. To take a Taxi agency, you need to ask a local or your hotel staff to call the agency. These days, if the online taxi is not available, you can use this option.

3- Private Taxis (Darbast): You can easily hail a taxi and say “Darbast”; then, you should tell your destination and negotiate the fare. Notably, the driver will not pick up any other passengers en route. Please note that most of the official taxis in Iran do not have meters.

4- Shuttle/Shared Taxis: One of the most affordable types of taxi in Iran is called Shared Taxi, used mainly by locals. You should share the taxi room with other passengers.

There is also a kind of shared taxi in Iran called Taxi Khatti; They have a fixed route and fare. So, they’re easy to use. However, you should wait for the taxi Khatii to be filled in the origin.

5- Non-Registered Taxis (Taxi Shakhsi): In Iran, like other parts of the world, the official taxis have signs and mostly are yellow or green. But, Taxi Shakhsi is a non-taxi vehicle that you could easily spot from the yellow and green cabs; Any car can be Taxi Shakhshi. These cars give you rides in all routes, and they can be private or shared based on your demand. However, we recommend no to take these non-registered taxis unless an Iranian friend accompanies you.

6- Taxi Bisim: It is an Iran urban transportation based on making telephone calls to an operator for hailing a taxi. Their phone numbers are 133, 1828, and 1833 in major cities. However, since their operators usually cannot speak English, they are not suitable options if you cannot handle communication in Farsi.

7- Van Taxi in Iran: Van taxis are applied in urban public transportation in Tehran. However, you can find a few of them in other major cities too. They have a capacity of about ten passengers, so you need to wait more for the van to become full.

The Cost Of Urban Public Transportation In Iran

In this section, we have introduced different types of urban transportation in Iran. Fortunately, public transportation in Iran’s big cities is available at a low price. Find the approximate inner-city public transportation cost in the table below.

Inner-City Transportation in Iran Approximate Price
Metro Starts at 0.1€
Online Taxi (Snapp or Tap30) Starts at 0.6€
Shared or Shuttle Taxi Starts at 0.3€
BRT System Buses Starts at 0.2€

Finally, if you have any questions or experiences to share about public transport in Iran, please leave your comments, suggestion, or feedback.

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