Plan Your Trip

General Information

Weather

July and August are the hottest months in Tehran with an average temperature of 30°C (86°F). There is a low chance of rain.

Power Plugs

The standard electrical voltage in Iran is 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Travelers may need a transformer for any appliance or electrical equipment to three-pronged UK-style plug.

Currency

The "RIAL" is the currency of Iran. Although the "TOMAN" is no longer an official unit of Iranian currency, Iranians commonly express amounts of money and prices of goods in "Tomans”. For this purpose, one "toman" equals 10 rials. Despite this usage, amounts of money and prices of goods are virtually always written in rials. For example, the sign next to a loaf of bread in a store would state the price in rials, e.g., "10,000 Rials," even though the clerk, if asked, would say that the bread costs "1,000 tomans."

Money Exchange

Euros, US dollars, and UK pounds may be easily exchanged to Iranian Rials at any currency exchange office, one of which will be set up at the Azadi hotel for your convenience. Note that major credit cards such as VISA and Mastercard do not work in Iran.

SIM Card

Each participant is provided with a prepaid SIM card, through which you can make calls, send SMSs and access the Internet. You can purchase extra credit at the IOI offices located in both hotels. All SIM cards are collected at the departure day.

Dressing

Ladies and female contestants are cordially requested to observe local dressing code as to cover their head with a headscarf and wear loose-fitting long clothing. It is also recommended that men avoid wearing shorts in public.

Local Customs

Shaking hands or other physical contacts between two people of opposite genders is not common, unless both people are from the same family. If you try to shake hand with a person of different gender and she or he does not respond, it is absolutely not a sign of disrespect. Iranians are very respectful to the guests from all countries, genders, cultures, and religions.

Drink

Tap water is safe to drink in Tehran. However, it is recommended that those not used to it, drink mineral water instead. Moreover, all alcoholic drinks are forbidden in Iran.

Cuisine

The good news is that Iranian cuisine is superb. Fragrant rice (berenj) is the staple of Iranian food. Boiled and then steamed, it is often colored with saffron or flavored with a variety of spices. When served plain as an accompaniment, it is known as chelo. The two most common meat/chelo combinations are kebab variations (chelo kabāb) or rotisserie chicken (chelo morgh). The variety of options for vegetarians is less. Falafels and garden salads (sālād-e-fasl) and greengrocers are common. Most ash varieties are meat-free and filling, as are most variations of kookoo, the Iranian take on the frittata.

Transportation

Tehran is the hub of almost all bus, train and air services. Every town and city of any size is directly linked to Tehran – always by bus, usually by air and increasingly by train, too.

Also, Tehran Metro is a rapid transit system serving Tehran. Seven lines of the metro are operational while some other lines are still under construction. Tehran's is one of the busiest metros in the Middle East and the cleanest in the world.