Question: I am a 24 year old British girl who travels solo frequently in Asia, and am totally confident about doing so. I've been asked to do some work for a week in Tehran, and want to extend my stay for a few weeks afterwards. I have heard that I would be fine to travel in Iran (including rural areas) on my own - is this the case? I would be there during Ramadan. Does Iran tend to slow down during Ramadan? I enjoy getting off the beaten track, but are rural areas are going to not be typical of normal, and very very quiet?
Answer: Travelling during Ramadan isn't a problem and the non-Muslims are not expected to fast. You can eat and drink, but you have to refrain from doing it in public, so just be discreet. Obviously most restaurants are closed during the day, but a few remained open, behind curtains. You won't find any in smaller cities, but you can still buy food in shops. You can eat in bus stations as travelers are not supposed to fast. Some hotels were still serving breakfast, some other ones, especially the cheaper ones, were not. Generally speaking backpacking in Iran is not difficult, even if you won't always find an English speaker. You will meet plenty of people willing to help you. The rural areas are quite safe and the people are so hospitable, the only problem is that they are less familiar with English. A phrasebook might be useful for learning a few basics in Farsi.