Traveling to Iran during Nowruz
(Persian New Year)
The longest Iranian holiday
Persian New Year or Nowruz is one of the special dates for Iranians. It starts on the 20th of March (1st of Farvardin) and continues for about 2 weeks till the first of April (13th of Farvardin) which is the day Called Sizdah Bedar. Nowruz is the start of spring. It is the month that the earth wakes up from its hibernation and breathes. It is the time of flowers blooming and pleasant winds of spring blowing. Although traveling in Nowruz could be tempting for most travelers, it might not be the best time to travel to Iran.
What Iranians do during Nowruz
Many Iranians plan for these two weeks in advance. For most, it is their longest holiday of the year and they plan to make the most of it with their family and friends. What better time to visit other cities of Iran and sightsee their numerous historical sites?
Main famous tourist cities of the country (Like Esfahan, Shiraz, Yazd, Kashan, Tabriz, and …) become busy. Most hotels will get booked early. All public transportation will be full and all roads leading to these cities will be crowded with private cars. You may visit most sites with local tourists from other cities. In the end, this can make you give up on seeing some parts of it.
The only city that will do 180 and become quiet and peaceful is Tehran the Capital. Citizens of Tehran won’t take this time for granted. They usually plan a holiday for themselves. Despite this, most people from other cities prefer the cities mentioned above and won’t come to Tehran for the holidays. The streets are mostly with no traffic, sites and museums are likely to be empty, and the air is clear and mostly windy. If you wish to explore Tehran for some days, we highly recommend you travel at this time, but if you want to visit other cities or plan to visit Iran for the first time, you may be unable to travel comfortably, especially on the Classic route.
As mentioned above, another problem can be transporting from city to city. Most flight/train/bus tickets can be reserved a month in advance but usually finding them even a month before can be a hassle. Especially if you plan to start from Tehran because many people living in Tehran have families in other cities. They use this time to be with their family and spend time with them. Above that, prices go up in this time and accommodation will become pricier too, so keep that in mind.
But despite many issues that traveling in Nowruz can have, it is the perfect opportunity to explore Iranian culture. Nowruz is one of the highlighted events in the Persian Calendar. Few traditional events are still being celebrated by Iranians, and Persian New Year is one of the most important ones. With many customs and related occasions that happen before or after the New Year, it could be the perfect time to learn about Persian culture and people.
Moreover, if you want to communicate with people and meet people of different cultures, this is the perfect time to travel to Iran. You can discover pretty interesting and new experiences along your trip. You can see different clothes, customs, languages, and foods among travelers that may visit the city you’re in. This is a once-in-a-year occurrence and can be a lot of fun for the right person.
The final reason for traveling at this time can be other events related to the New Year. Sizdah Bedar or Chaharshanbe Soori are among the most highlighted ones. These two are celebrated every year and have their way of festivity.
If you are willing to deal with these challenges and problems, traveling during this time can be a life-changing experience. Basically, you can see Iran as you have never seen before.