There are many different ways to travel to Iran. Depending on your personal favorite, financial conditions, etc. you can choose one.
Flights to Iran
All international flights to Tehran land at the new Imam Khomeini Airport except pilgrimage flights to Saudi Arabia that still fly from Mehrabad Airport. There are also 70 smaller international airports in different cities such as Shiraz, Mashhad, and Isfahan which have daily flights.
Here are European companies that land in Tehran: BMI, Lufthansa, KLM, Alitalia, Turkish Airlines, Australian Airlines and Aeroflot. The Middle Eastern airlines are Saudi Arabian Airlines, Emirates, and Etihad, Air Asia also has flights to/from Kuala Lumpur.
Trains are available in some countries: Turkey, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan.
- The Trans-Asia Express service runs weekly from Istanbul. This is one weekly connection via Van. First parts are by Turkish wagons from Istanbul to Lake Van. Second part from Lake Van to Tehran. Only the baggage wagon is going to the whole way using the ferry via Lake Van. Both trains are modern trains with first class 4-berth couchettes.
- The Tabriz-Van service (different from Trans-Asia Express service) is a weekly train between Van and Tabriz.
- The Nakhchivan-Tabriz service connects Nakhchivan with Tabriz and crosses from Jolfa border.
- There is a railway from Baku to the border city of Astara. From there you can walk through the border to Iran.
Travelers are allowed to enter Iran from neighboring countries provided they are foreign citizens and have a valid visa to stay at least 6 months in the country.
Refer to the Iranian Customs Administration’s website “http://www.irica.gov.ir” for complete information about this subject. According to Iranian Customs regulations, a foreign traveler or Iranian living abroad can bring his car into the country provided he has a valid visa to stay in Iran and possesses a vehicle passage license from a travel agency which is a member of ‘Carnet de Passage Organization’. Upon submitting his membership license and other necessary documents to the Customs authorities the traveler can obtain an entry permit and stay in Iran for the duration of indicated in his visa (not longer than 3 months). If so he will not need to declare his car and can enter the country without paying customs duty. Meanwhile, he can enter and exit the country as long as his visa is valid. The passenger can keep his vehicle in Iran for a maximum of three months. After three months he must take his car out of the country. The passenger can apply to Customs Administration for extension of his stay in Iran. For further information about the international driving license and temporary vehicle import refer to Customs Organizations website: www.tac.org.ir or www.govahiiname.ir.
Licensing of temporary entry to Iran for arriving passengers cars will be done only for those who are living abroad. This requires a Carnet De Passage unless you wish to pay import tax. A Carnet can be acquired from your local driver’s association (such as the RAC in the UK). An international driver’s license is highly recommended with translation into Persian very beneficial.Some borders (Turkey notably) offer entry with an alternative “transit carnet”, available for 150-euro. This lasts 3 days. A 60-euro fine is levied at the exit border if you overstay these 3 days.
From Armenia: Buses arrive from Yerevan to Tabriz and most of them continue to Tehran.
From Turkey: Buses arrived from Istanbul, Antalya, and Ankara to Tehran. The price of the ticket is $35.
Also, buses arrive from Dough Bayazid to Bazargan border point. One can pick a bus from Dough Bayazid to the Iranian border and drive to Bazargan terminal by taxi and travel to other towns in the country from that point. One can travel from Van to Urmia in less than 6 hours. The reason for the lengthy duration of the trip is the inconvenient roads in Turkey and numerous checkpoints in that country where Turkish police regularly check the movement of PICK activists.
From Pakistan: From Taftan one can ride by bus to Zahedan in Iran, but he cannot receive a visa at the Iranian border. He must obtain a visa from Quetta or other towns in Pakistan before traveling to Iran.
From Iraq: Everyday bus service is available from Erbil to Urmia and from Soleimaniye to Sanandaj and Kermanshah.
From Afghanistan: Every day a bus service is available from Harat to Mashhad. This road has been built by Iran and is quite safe for travel.
From Turkmenistan: There is daily bus service from Ashgabat to Mashhad.
There are some scheduled services from Baku to Bandar Anzali on the Caspian Sea and from cities on the Persian Gulf to cities on the Iranian coast. They are usually of low quality.