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How to Take Taxis in Iran

How to Take Taxis in Iran
Photo by Amin Karimi | TasteIran

Nothing is easier than getting a taxi in Iran, so it’s often the most convenient way to get around. It’s rather cheap and there is a popular culture of shared-taxi that Iranians use daily. You can find taxis in every city, at any time of the day or the night.

There are several kinds of taxis, whether they are private or shared. Taking taxis in Iran is not only convenient; it’s also a unique experience during your trip, and often an opportunity for nice encounters and chats. But first, introduce yourself to the different options available.

Riding “darbast” with private taxis

Private taxis in Iran are called “darbast”. Literally, “darbast” means “closed doors”. You can find taxi drivers at the corner of any street in Iran. They operate 24 hours, every day of the week. You can thus see regular yellow and green taxis at any time and any places, in all cities. They are “official” taxis, which can be called from your hotel or simply stopped in the street. In that case, just wave your hand and say your destination to the first car that stops. Drivers also wait at the main squares and crossroads shouting “darbast”.

Darbast Yellow Taxis in Tehran
Darbast yellow Taxis in Tehran, Amin Karimi | TasteIran

Always pay attention to take an official taxi. Lots of drivers will offer a ride, but for safety reasons, it is advisable to take only the green or yellow cars. Private taxis will drive you wherever you want, you just need to name your destination. Before getting in, agree upon the price first, as most of them do not have taximeters on board. To have an idea of a fair price, you can ask people in the street, they will be pleased to help you. The fares vary from one city to another, Tehran is the most expensive.

Try to carry small bills with you, as the driver may not have enough money to return your change. Most drivers can have difficulties speaking English, which is usually not a problem, as they know the city like the back of their hands!

Ride with Snapp, the Iranian Uber-like application

In the main cities, such as Tehran, Shiraz, or Isfahan, you can also use the taxi application called Snapp. Available on Android and iOS, this mobile application is similar to Uber. It’s really popular in Iran, and also convenient for foreigners as the app is in English and French, as well as Persian.

Simply download the app on your phone and sign up with your number. Once you want a ride, set up your origin and your destination on the map. In a few minutes, the app will find a driver close by and indicate beforehand a fixed price that you can pay in cash to the driver.

The rides are cheaper than with a regular taxi, and depend on the traffic: it usually goes from less than 100.000 rials to more than 300.000 for a long ride during the rush hour. It’s also very safe, as all the drivers are checked by the company before operating, and rated after each ride. They provide a service called “Snapp rose” for women only, with female drivers.

It’s also possible to use “Tap30” (pronounced “Tap see”) another ride-hailing application.

Using the shared taxis in Iran

There is a real culture of shared taxis in Iran. It is a common way of getting around and often the most affordable option. Shared taxis can be taken inside the city, as well as between the cities. They have their own designated routes between two main points.

Inside the cities, most shared taxis drive all along one main road, or between two main squares, and you can go onboard anywhere within their route. Just wait by the side of the road: Drivers will slow down and honk. Make sure they go toward your destination and seat for the ride! Simply thanks to the driver when you want to go out and pay upon arrival.

Drivers also wait at some important crossroads: you can see them parked by the side of the road and hear drivers shouting the name of a destination. If it’s yours, seat in the car and wait for the other passengers. Those taxis can take up to four people: When it’s full, they start driving!

The prices usually go from 20.000 to 40.000Once again, carry small changes with you to pay the driver.

Using taxis to get around big and small cities in Iran is really easy. Private taxis, taken in the street as well as online, is the most comfortable and easy choice. However, sharing a taxi is not only cheaper but also a colourful and local experience.

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