You have your visa and your luggage is packed. The only thing left on the list is money which is called /’pʊl/ in Farsi. You might assume that every business accepts credit cards like Pintapin, but unfortunately, you would be wrong!
In general, credit cards will not work in Iran (except in some exchange stores which will charge you a high commission). Therefore, you need to bring enough cash to last your whole trip, preferably US dollars or euros.
We write in Rials but talk in Tomans
The official currency of Iran is the Iranian Rial (IRR or ریال), but in everyday life, we use Tomans, which is the same but with one less zero. If something costs 10,000 Rials, it is referred to as 1,000 Tomans. When neither Rial or Toman is mentioned, the default is always Toman.
There is an official rate, available at banks, and a market rate which is available at currency exchange stores. The rate you see on a non-Iranian website will be the official rate, but the market rate is typically 15% better. We recommend changing your money at stores in major cities and avoiding people in the street.
So if you are looking for the currency exchange market in Tehran, there are many shops at Ferdowsi Square.
Iranian banknotes and American dollars, as well as exchange rates, are on display in a currency exchange shop in Tehran’s Ferdowsi Sq.
You can also receive Iranian traveler’s cheques from exchange stores and banks to pay in fixed-amount cheques instead of hard cash.
Bank Melli Iran has also provided an electronic debit card in Rial for tourists that can be used throughout Iranian banking system. For further information look up here.
The frequently used coins and banknotes are:
Coins: 250, 500, 1,000, 5,000 ریال
Banknotes: 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000, 100,000 ریال
So, get your cash and come on over. In general, Iran is a cheap place to travel. Aside from accommodation and transportation, you are unlikely to need more than $40 per person per day.
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