Customs and Etiquette to follow while visiting Iran

Dressing in Iran

Iran observes the Islamic dress code, which calls for women to cover their hair, neck and arms with a chador. But as a visitor, you simply need to cover your head and hair with a hijab or loose scarf.

Photo by Darwis Alwan from Pexels

When in Iran, use a headscarf

For men, shorts and flip-flops are not allowed. Stick to t-shirts and long pairs of pants or trousers, as well as covered shoes.

Social Etiquette

If you are a man, don’t shake hands with women and vice versa. Handshaking is only between men or between women, especially in public or public offices. Even the slightest physical contact with non-family members of the opposite gender, except young children, is forbidden.

Dining Etiquette

  • The people of Iran are very hospitable, and likely to readily invite you over for dinner.
  • If going, carry a small gift along. A box of sweets or a bunch of flowers will do nicely.
  • Unless the host says you can walk in with your shoes, leave footwear outside the main door.
  • Remember to eat with your right hand and try a bit of everything that is served.


Iranians also have a special social system known as ta’arof, which literally means, “meeting together.” Think of it as politeness that’s expressed in both verbal and non-verbal communication. Iranians tend to protest compliments and belittle their own accomplishments in an attempt to appear humble.

In adherence to ta’arof, whenever you are ever offered something, like a tea or sweet, always first decline it (even if you want it) until the person who offered it insists.

Dining Etiquette in Iran

Dining in Iran


  • Tipping is not very common in Iran.
  • You don’t need to tip taxi drivers.
  • At restaurants and cafes, they’ll appreciate a small tip.
  • It’s polite to tip the hotel porter and housekeeping.
  • If you have a tour guide and driver, you should tip them based on the number of days you were together, but you can tip the driver slightly less than the guide.

Researched by Team Travel Secrets