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Getting Around in Iran - Bus & Taxi in Iran

By Air

Iran Air runs services to Ahwaz, Esfahan, Kish, Mashhad, Shiraz, Tabriz, Tehran and Zahedan and other major cities. Aseman Air also runs services to the major cities. The vast size of Iran makes internal flights the most practical method of transport.

Tickets can be bought at airports or travel agents dotted through the most major cities. Book early during the summer months of August and September since finding seats at short notice is virtually impossible.

By Rail

RAJA Trains run a fairly comprehensive internal rail network. Major intercity trains operate on five main regional routes: Azarbaijan route (Tehran-Jolfa); Golestan route (Tehran-Gorgan); Hormozgan route (Tehran -Bandar-e-Abbas); Khorasan route (Tehran-Mashhad); and Khozetan route (Tehran-Khorramshahr). There are many areas in the mountains and the desert which can only be reached by rail. There are some air-conditioned trains, and sleeping and dining cars on many trains. For further details, contact RAJA Trains (c/o Iranian Islamic Republic Railways).

Tickets can be bought from train stations up to one month before the date of departure, and it is wise to book at least a couple of days in advance during the peak domestic holiday months. First class tickets cost roughly twice the comparable bus fare.

By Road

The road network is extensive, with more than 51,300km (31,800 miles) of paved roads and 490km (304 miles) of motorways, but the quality is unreliable. The two main roads, the A1 and A2, link the Iraqi and Pakistani borders and the Afghan and Turkish borders. Traffic drives on the right.

Laws requiring car occupants to wear seatbelts are not always complied with. Be aware also that motorcycles are sometimes seen transporting up to five people without helmets.


Widespread, cheap and comfortable, although services tend to be erratic. The Iranian domestic bus network is extensive and thanks to the low cost of fuel, very cheap. There is little difference between the various bus companies, and most offer two classes: 'lux' or 'Mercedes' (2nd class) and 'super' or 'Volvo' (1st class). First class buses are air-conditioned and you will be provided with a small snack during your trip, while second class services are more frequent. Given the affordability of first class tickets (for example IR 33,000 from Esfehan to Shiraz), there's little financial incentive to opt for the second class services, espcially in summer.

You can buy tickets from the bus terminals or ticket offices up to a week in advance, but you shouldn't have a problem finding a seat if you turn up to the terminal an hour or so before your intended departure time.


Available in all cities. Low fuel costs have made inter-city travel by taxi a great value option in Iran. When travelling between cities up to 250 km apart, you may be able to hire one of the shared sav?ri taxis that loiter around bus terminals and train stations. Savari taxis are faster than buses and Taxis will only leave when four paying passengers have been found, so if you're in a hurry you can offer to pay for an extra seat. Group taxis for up to 10 people are available for inter-city travel. Prices are negotiated beforehand and tipping is not necessary.

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