Iran is a delightful destination for couples, a country full of romanticism from the beauties of Isfahan to the poetry which brightens the Persian culture. Yet, many travellers wonder if they can freely travel with their partner, and the answer is: yes! Here is all the information you need to know when travelling as a couple in Iran.
According to Iranian's law, members of the opposite sex are not allowed to stay alone together if they are not married or from the same family. Which means that non-married Iranians cannot live together before marriage or rent a hotel room together.
Now, the first thing to keep in mind is that most of the time, non-Iranians and non-Muslim couples are not concerned by these specific rules and legislation. Even though the law doesn't make a distinction, in practice, most hotels won't care. While booking a shared room with your partner, there is indeed little chances that the owner ask for any marriage proof. It's common and not surprising to host unmarried foreign couples.
If you're a married couple, you can take a marriage proof with you just in case. If you're not, the worst-case scenario is that you won't be able to share a room with your partner. But once again, most travellers never encountered such situations.
Travellers must remember that physical contacts between opposite genders are not common in public spaces in Iran. The smaller and more conservative the city is, the more accurate this statement is. Of course, you will notice lots of couples holding hands and young people being close in cities like Tehran.
But you certainly don't want to shock people, so remember to restrict physical contacts with your partner. couples can hold hands in the street, you’d better not kiss each other in public. Otherwise, there is no problem to hang out and be seen with a member of the opposite sex.
Public transportations in Iran are sometimes segregated. In the metro, the first and last trains are for women only. Yet, women can also ride in the other parts of the metro, which means couples can be together.
On the bus, women and men's sections are strictly separated. Usually, women sit at the back of the bus, men at the front. During buses rides between cities, only solo travellers won't be installed next to someone who is from the opposite gender. Couples can buy seats next to each other, without any problem.
The train is like the metro and offers the possibility of women-only sections. Otherwise, men and women travel in the same carriage. On the plane, there is no rule regarding genders.
So be reassured while travelling with your partner, whether you are a married couple or not, you should not encounter any difficulties. On the opposite, you are about to discover a culture which celebrates the beauty of love over centuries!