Alcohol is strictly prohibited in Iran. We remove any alcohol on board the train before crossing the border. Possession of alcohol is a criminal offence and can be punishable by imprisonment.
During the day, dress is casual both on and off the train. In the evening we suggest smart casual. Women are required to wear loose-fitting clothes which cover their body. Loose fitting tops covering the arms that reach mid-thigh or lower in length and full length trousers are crucial. Hair has to be fully covered with a headscarf, however your face is allowed to be exposed, there is no need to wear a burka. A headscarf is also required whist on board the train when passing through residential areas.
For men, it is much more straightforward. Any type of trousers or jeans are acceptable;
however, shorts are not. Loose fitting t-shirts or shirts are fine and all footwear is acceptable.
The official currency of Iran is the Iranian Rial. However, it is advisable to bring US Dollars or Euros. You will need to bring sufficient cash as you will not be able to make ATM withdrawals and credit cards are not accepted. Please note that if you are importing or exporting over 5,000 USD (or the equivalent of in other currencies) this must be declared by submitting a relevant bank notice as proof of where the money was withdrawn.
The official Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA) provides detailed information about their customs regulations on the export of goods including the quantities permitted. To visit their website click here. For U.S. citizens, please be aware of the Iranian import restrictions enforced by the U.S. government, see below for details.
The U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) states that "with limited exceptions, goods or services of Iranian origin may not be imported into the United States, either directly or through third countries". One of the authorised exceptions include the import of gifts valued at 100 USD or less. Please refer directly to the OFAC's official guidance listed here, for further information.
Iran is similar to European climate in the sense that July and August are its warmest months. Temperatures can reach anywhere between 30-37 degrees Celsius. It starts to cool down from October and the coldest months are December and January, with average temperatures below 10 degrees Celsius. December to April is the rainy season and April tends to be the most popular month of travel.
There is no reason to feel unsafe. You will travel on board a private train and will take off-train excursions in groups of around 20 people. There are certain parts of Iran (the areas closest to its borders with Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan) where travelling is prohibited, but the rest of the country is considered to be safe.