“Iran is different. One of my top 3 favorite countries. The combination of culture, architecture, no western feel, and hospitality makes it stand out.”
“The Iranian people, hospitality and kindness. We were welcomed with huge smiles wherever we went. Everyone wanted to stop us and talk to us and thank us for coming to their country. You are beautiful people inside and out. Your country is equally as beautiful.”
“To me, two things: the architecture and the people. Iranians are incredible, but I have to give a nod to architecture first—I’ve never encountered more incredible works of art than what I saw in Iran. Persians truly are some of the most artistic people in history. From the glittering mirrored mosaics in shrines, to the immensely intricate hand-painted tiles in mosques, my mouth was constantly agape while traveling the country. I’ve yet to encounter anything more impressive than what I saw there.
As for the people, wow! Iran was my first introduction to the immense hospitality you can find while traveling, particularly in the Islamic world. I’d never before had so many people so willing to invite you to tea or a meal or their home, sometimes only after speaking to you for a few minutes! Coming from a country where people are more closed and suspicious of outsiders, it was incredible, and inspired me to be more hospitable to those I meet on the road.”
“Despite the political tensions with our 2 countries, people were so incredibly friendly and welcome. I did not encounter one hostile situation. There may be a few graffiti that were anti-American, but as a frequent traveler, and a person who majored in Cultural Anthropology and Philosophy, I am able to see both sides. I can see why people are angry. I can see the damage that the US and UK have done to the Middle-East in the past century alone that has led us to where we are today. Most Americans simply look at themselves as innocent victims, while they may be, the government certainly is not.
The western media paints Iran and the whole middle-east as one cluster of uneducated, savage type population. But Iranians are clearly highly educated people who are graceful. No matter their socio-economic background, both women and men are courteous and polite. Despite the government enforcing an “Islamic-Republic”, the men (in my experience) kept their distance and I did not encounter any catcalls or harassments as I have in Morocco and Turkey.
I also love seeing the cultural blend of the Middle-East and Central Asia that makeup Iran.”
“Iran has one of the richest stories and oldest patrimonies in the world. The architecture, the food and the culture are amazing and it’s a shame the rest of the world doesn’t know/realize that. However, I would have to say the best of Iran are its people. They are truly altruistic, kind, resilient and honest. Despite all they have been through in the past and the adversities that they face every day from the government, international relations and overall press image, Iranians welcome foreigners with open arms and open hearts.”
“It has to be their extremely hospitable people who go out of their way to make you feel welcome. Be it inviting you for a cup of tea, offering you a free ride to a place you are headed to, helping you when you are lost, mediating with shopkeepers when you don’t seem to be able to understand the language and even inviting you into their homes for food and stay.”
“Culture, Iran has so much culture and history that you cannot find anywhere in the world, everywhere you go you have old castles and mosques with wonderful blue colors that you can’t see anywhere in the world… the cities, friendly people and beautiful landscape surrounding by mountains, love all and writing this make me wants to go back to your beautiful country.”
“We traveled extensively in Asia, Central Asia, and in some Middle East countries, and Iran felt like a unique gateway. Home to one of the oldest civilizations in the world, Persian history had an influence on many cultures from Eurasia to the Caucasus, Egypt, to Oman. No wonder Persians feel pride in their heritage!
One definite element we haven’t seen anywhere else and is truly unique to Persian culture is Taarof! If you don’t know about Taarof when visiting Iran, then you haven’t really experienced the country! The art of politeness means that money is not asked for after an exchange of goods or services. It can be confusing as a taxi driver and a tea shop owner might wave you away when you want to pay. But don’t simply wander off. The etiquette requires you to offer to pay about three times. If then you still can’t pay, then you are fine to accept the hospitality or the complimentary food.”
“We met so many friendly and hospitable people along our journey! As a tourist you are generally not used to that… we appreciated this very much.”
“Iran has so much ancient history it’s fascinating, aside from the natural beauty, but the best were the people, really friendly and helpful and so hospitable.”
“History, architecture, and welcoming people. Many people see Iran only from the current, political perspective but there is so much history, unique culture, and tradition of Persia one might feel overwhelmed with it all. I loved the old architecture of Iran, the monuments were among the most beautiful ones I’ve ever seen. And the local people were one of the most friendly and hospitable I’ve ever met.”
“The people of Iran are the most important reason to visit Iran in my opinion and the ‘Stand out feature’ if you can call it that.”
“The people—how kind they are, in general; and how different they are from what the media leads us to believe about them. Iranians are definitely the friendliest people I’ve met in the world, and are also very open and honestly quite socially liberal. Would you also mind if I say Persians are beautiful people? Wow!”
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