25 Jan 7 Days Budget Itinerary in Iran
Here’s the itinerary that my husband and I ended up following in Iran. This is the usual first-timer’s route recommended by my husband’s Iranian colleague and although 7 Days was too short, it’s a good start!
How much we spent for 2 pax:
Around 800 Euro in total but we could have done better. For example, we stayed in a hotel on the first night and ate in a lot of restaurants when we could have chosen more local options. If we kept it basic, you can easily lower this to 500 Euro.
Things to Note:
Our first two days were DIY and then we booked through a tour operator for the rest of the days. We find that booking through a tour operator will save you time and costs because of the unreliable public transportation. You can walk around the city but the interesting sites can only be reached by car/ taxi. Taxi prices are not fixed so you have to haggle each time, we find this very frustrating.
Almost all sites have entrance fees. I will update on prices. Need to convert and rethink because they use 2 currencies, so confusing!
Day 1 | Tehran to Isfahan
We arrived in Tehran in wee hours of the morning (cheap flight). From the airport, there will be a lot of taxi drivers who will charge you from 25 to 70 USD to Beyhaghi Terminal. It’s about 40 minute ride to the bus station. I believe there are frequent trips to Isfahan so you can just buy your ticket there. It’s a 6hr bus ride to Isfahan and we bough the luxury one. By luxury, the seats recline and you have a box of snacks, nothing fancy.
Arrived we did and checked in to our hotel: Safir Hotel. It’s an okay hotel and think it’s a little too pricey for the basic amenities and unreliable internet, though the internet part is a countrywide issue.
We spent the rest of the day just walking around the city and decided we needed our rest.
Day 2 | Isfahan then Yazd
We decided to just walk around the city and then head off to Yazd in the afternoon. Isfahan have good sites but we were interested to spend most of our days in Yazd and Shiraz.
So in Isfahan, we just walked most of the day and stopped whenever something looked interesting. For me, these are the sites worth seeing:
Naqsh-e Jahan Square
Huge square wth great spots for photos. Nice to walk around and breathe as much of Iran as you can. there are several sites within this square such as the Imam Mosque with its beautiful architecture.
Also found in the square. Nice to walk and shop around. Stop for tea in one of the nooks!
Chehel Sotun Palace
Great reflection of the columns in the waters of the fountain.
Well lit-up and makes for a great photo-op. Definitely worth a visit at night.
DAY 3 | Yazd City
Our favorite here is Kharanaq Village. It looked so exotic and felt like a setting in some Star wars movie. It had great views as well. The location of Holy Chak Chak in the mountains is quite a sight too especially as you drive closer, look closely in the photo . The Ice-house and Abad Garden is so-so but as I always tell to myself, “when will I get the chance to see these places again?”
Holy Chak Chak
Narin castle (the oldest mud brick castle in Iran)
Caravansarai “Shah Abbasi”
Tower of Silence
Return to Yazd to visit: Dowlat Abad Garden
DAY 4 | Yazd City
It’s nice to walk in the old city streets especially in the narrow alleys. Water Museum is very interesting as it tells you the great efforts they went through to have access to water. I would skip Alexander prison because there’s really nothing there, it’s not even a prison. I can’t remember the rest so probably so-so. My favorite is the Bafgh desert. I don’t suggest to ride the camels as I feel bad for them but I tried it though. The best part is just walking through the fine sand and wait for sunset.
DAY 5 | Yazd to Shiraz
DAY 6 | Shiraz
I would suggest to end your trip upon dropped off in Shiraz and just do the tours by yourself. It’s a very small city and you can easily walk around. We didn’t know this so we had our tour guide with us still, which is not bad at all. It’s just wasn’t necessary for us.
Nasirol Molk Mosque
Karim Khan Zand Palace
Vakil Complex (Vakil Mosque, Vakil Hamam, Vakil Bazaar)
DAY 7 | Flyout
So it’s a 7 day itinerary where the highlight of the day is just to fly-out. But not after we enjoyed the free breakfast in our hostel!
About our Tour Operator: Iran’s Travel
I liked how they were very fast to respond and accommodated all our requests. We didn’t plan to get a tour operator so our budget was limited. We mentioned this in our inquiry email the night before we had to leave, and Azimeh, our contact person, asked if we wanted to just go with an English-speaking guide (no separate guide) to lower the price further and thought that was very accommodating. We already know what we want to see so they simply helped us finalize our itinerary. If you don’t know where to begin, they will help you plan, just ask. We were picked up on the night of our arrival and was taken to our hostel. Our guide, Mahdi was very friendly and always tried his best to answer our questions. His english was limited but it was enough to make a decent conversation. However, if you really want to dig into the history and culture, it would be worth paying for an actual guide. In my case, I always read about the sights online before visiting them so that was enough for me.
We paid 280 euro for 2 pax for the Yazd- Shiraz part of our trip (4 full days including pick-up on the night we arrived). This excludes the entrance fees, meals, and your accommodation but included the camel riding ticket and desert entrance fee. We think this is a good price as public transportation is really difficult.
The car is a bit old but it’s common in Iran and this didn’t really didn’t bother us. If this matters to you, then make sure to ask for some photos and inquire about the model of the vehicle.
I will highly recommend their service. On top of the nice experience, we also get to sample a lot of local dishes in local places because of our local guide, something we won’t have access to if we DIY’d.
To book, simply email them at email@example.com.
Note that this is not a sponsored blog. All the opinions expressed here are unbiased and based on my actual experience.