Money Matters Iran

Photo credit

I kept a record of every cent we spent in Iran, so we know how much money we spent on what. Hopefully the info below can give you a rough guide in terms of costs if you plan on travelling to Iran. There are no ATMS in Iran that accept foreign cards so you must take USD or Euros in cash and exchange them. We took USD and the rate we had in Feb & March 2016 was 1USD = 34,000 Rial. My husband and […]

Food in Iran


This is not at all a comprehensive post on Iranian food… it’s more about our experiences eating, on a budget, in Iran and a few other food related notes. Being a vegetarian meant that my consumption of Iranian food was often limited to eggplant dishes, fresh greens and salads, rice, yoghurt and bread. I was not complaining – the food overall was very good, fresh and divinely presented. Iranians make the best rice in the world too and there were many varieties of bread […]

Couchsurfing in an Iranian Village

Biking in the village

Aside from our first 2 weeks on Qeshm island, the following 6 weeks in Iran were almost exclusively spent staying in cities. There was one night in the desert and one other exception- when we couchsurfed in the village Nasrola Mahaleh, (near Fouman) in Gilan Province, with our host Hamed and his parents. This was quite a different experience and just wonderful. The village was in a green rural valley in the north of Iran. Cows and other animals wandered freely along the roads. […]

Iranian Village Wedding

Hamed with his sister and brother in law at the wedding party.

We had the opportunity to attend an Iranian wedding party with our couchsurfing host Hamed. It was just across the road from our host’s house in the village of Nasroleh Mahaleh, near Fouman in Gilan Province. The bride was in a typical white western style wedding dress and had her hair unveiled (!!) but that’s where the similarities with weddings as we know them ended. There were hundreds of people there, it seemed the entire village was present, but instead of sitting around tables, […]

Touchy Feely Mohammad

Cool table at the hairdressers.

In our two months of travel in Iran, we had one rather unusual couchsurf host. We arrived early in the morning after a night bus ride to his city and took a taxi to the house. “Mohammad” came outside and greeted us with hugs which was slightly odd given that we’d just met and we were in Iran where, out of respect, many men won’t even shake an unrelated woman’s hand- rather place their hand on their own heart.  It was around 5 in […]

18 Tips for Couchsurfing in Iran

Visiting an Aunty and Uncle.

For the first-time couchsurfer Iran will provide a wonderful introduction to couchsurfing – but quite possibly spoil you if you want to couchsurf elsewhere! For the seasoned couchsurfer Iran is a dream come true with many incredibly hospitable and interesting people wanting to host. If you have never couchsurfed before I would recommend at least a few nights doing this if you come to Iran. It is an amazing way to get to know Iranian people and something of their family life, their food, […]

Fabulous Female CS hosts in Iran

Simin & Roha

We stayed with just two female Couchsurf hosts in Iran. Both were married, well educated, spoke excellent English and had one child each. Their husbands knew very little English but were both the loveliest people. We stayed just one night in Shahrebabak with Somaye, an industrial engineer. This was an exception to our usual 2 night minimum policy. Somaye was recommended to us by a couchsurfer from Bandar Abbas – one we didn’t stay with but who provided us with lots of helpful information. […]

Couchsurfing with Single Guys in Iran

Host Amir taking a photo of George & Leonie, Rayen.

Most Iranian hosts on the couchsurfing site seem to be single males in their 20s or 30s. I’ve already mentioned a few of them here. All the guys we stayed with had excellent English and all still lived with their parents, except for our host in Tehran. In Kerman we were hosted by Amir, a lovely guy, who hosted us and a German couple in his small room. It was cosy! He owned a mobile phone shop, had an IT background, liked going to […]

A movie mad host, a paraglider, a wrestler & a businessman…

Mohammad, Shiraz

We will not forget any of our couch surf experiences in Iran – from the movie mad Tarantino fan Ahmad in Ahvaz who lived alone with his sweet, illiterate mother, looked a little like Borat, worked as a chemical lab assistant in the petroleum industry and had a friend with an encyclopaedic knowledge about everything, to the former wrestler now hiking guide Mehdi in Dezful, who despite having an Islamic theologian for a father, had no interest in religion. (Phew that was a looong […]

First Iranian Couchsurfing Experience

Dinner with CS hosts in Bandar Abbas

Keen to meet local Iranians and get their thoughts on life here, we were pleased to hear couchsurfing was popular. Like many things in Iran it is according to some apparently illegal, but like the other illegal things (Facebook, alcohol, satellite TV, playing cards, VPNs etc.) people do them anyway!  We created a public trip and received many invites to stay with people around the country. Of course we also wrote to people in the cities we were going to, asking to stay. Our […]