Hiring a Tour Guide in Iran or Seeking Self-discovery
There are hundreds of tours running by different tour operators in Iran. From half-hour guided tours in museums to day-long city tours, it's a popular approach by some travelers to discover somewhere untried even at home and experienced travelers know it's pretty much hit or miss. Even if you deliberate, google and compare reviews, locate a creditable travel company and pick someone with heavenly reviews, you could still have a bad experience. There are many travelers who go down the line of self-discovery and pure adventure instead. But if you're exploring a historical district with narrow twisted lanes and some unmapped routes in a country where you don't speak the language, it might be well-judged to chew over hiring a guide even if you are not required officially to have a tour guide escorted you throughout your stay in Iran as it is the case for the US, British and Canadian citizens at the moment. We have tips we want to tell you about hiring a tour guide in Iran.
How Do You Hire a Guide in Iran
The three recommended options for hiring a guide is to to get the guide from the Tourism Organization which usually assigns official guides at the monuments tourists usually visit or though your hotel or through a travel agency unless you want to take a tour leader for a multi-day tour and before the departure and leaving for Iran you have to hire a guide from an authorized Iranian travel agency as each guided trip will require a police license that only the agencies can apply for. Even if you want to take a tour out of the city you have to refer to a travel agency or go through a hotel or a tour guide that arrange that for you through a travel agency in Iran. It is for all travelers excluding the American, Canadian and UK citizens who have to book an escorted tour with an official Iranian tour operator. These options will ensure that you're accompanied by an official guide who speaks English. Iran used to have a problem with unlicensed guides, but the government has since cracked down on it strictly. Popular tourist destinations are policed by the Tourist Police, and guides with tourists must be able to show their official license upon request.
How Much Does a Guide Cost in Iran
Iran Federation of Tourist Guide Associations announces the rate yearly. The official rates by the Ministry of Tourism for an English speaking guide is roughly 50 USD per day (6 to 8 hours) and 30 USD per 1/2 day (3 to 4 hours) and for a full day or half day tour for hiring a guide speaking Chinese, Spanish or French will cost more. The prices quoted are per group, and not per person. If you're trying to visit attractions that are located farther away, your travel agency, hotel or guide may recommend hiring a driver, which will incur an additional cost. Hiring a driver allowed for hassle-free visits to the monuments that are not reachable on foot.
It must be noted that your hotel or travel agency likely receive a commission for referring you to the guide and the driver. This isn't completely unconventional, most hotels and travel agencies in many countries also receive kickbacks or build beneficial relationships from sending clients to specific businesses. Good travel agencies will ensure the prices are fair, and that your guide will hand over good service, so as to protect their own reputation.
The Benefits of Hiring a Guide in Iran
Make the Most of Your Time in Iran
There are many reasons hiring a guide could be valuable. If you're short on time, a guide could help you see much more than you would on your own, as he's able to navigate the historical part of the city much more efficiently. The historical part of the city is largely unmapped, so it's not difficult to get lost. If you equip yourself with a good map, stick to the main lanes, you'll likely find your way to most of the major attractions. But a guide could take a lot of the guesstimate out.
Insider knowledge of Iranian Culture and Local Stories
Some Tour guides deliver the same information you would find in a guide book, like the history of a place or the reason for its significance. But a professional local guide will also provide deeper insight into the culture and offer things we could have easily missed otherwise. Listening to the experiences and stories of an Iranian tour guide and his/her perspective will be valuable to some.
Reduced Sales Talks in the Iranian Bazaars
Shun The Language Barrier and Cultural Stress
Many travelers may seek thrill in trying to communicate with people who speak a different language without feeling any pressure or stress but if you are looking for an time-saving or easier approach you can book an Iranian tour guide.
15 Destinations in Iran You Better Hire a Guide to Explore
- Golestan Palace in Tehran
- Sa'dabad Complex in Tehran
- 30-Tir Street in Tehran
- Naghsh-e Rostam
- Shiraz Historical District
- Choghzanbil and Susa
- Yazd Historical district
- Zoroastrian Villages around Yazd
- Isfahan Naghsh-e Jahan Square
- Isfahan Historical District
- Tabirz Bazaar & Historical District
- Dasht-e Lut and Shahdad Desert
- Abyaneh Village