Public Transport in Iran
The easiest and most economical way of sightseeing in Iran is public transportation. But as a solo traveler, it can be tricky to figure out how to use it. Following the tips below would be helpful to make sure you will experience a pleasant trip and getting a sense of the everyday life of local people.
Metro services in Iran
Using the metro in crowded cities like Tehran can save you time and money. Tehran has the most expanded underground railway system in Iran, and you can get to almost everywhere by using it. Each line of the metro has a specific color and is called by the name of its first and last stations.
The red line on the map below connects Tajrish Square on the north to Kahrizak station, which is in the south of Tehran. Also, by using this line, you can have access to most of the tourist attractions of Tehran as well as Imam Khomeini International Airport.
The dark blue line connects the west part of Tehran to the east, from Sadeqiyeh Square to Farhangsara.
The third line, which has a light blue color, runs from Azadegan on the south to Qaem station on the east north.
The yellow line links western Tehran to the east, from Ekbatan station to Shahid Kolahdouz. You can also go to exchange stores in Ferdowsi square and access Mehrabad Airport for domestic flights using this line.
For traveling from the southeast to the northwest of Tehran, you can choose the pink line. By using the purple line, you get to travel from the northwest to the southeast and have access to the railway station.
Tehran Metro Timetable
Tehran metro station is available from 5:30 in the morning to 22:30 except for the pink line, which is only available until 21:15 and the additional route to the Imam Khomeini International Airport, which runs from 6:10 am to 20:10.
Besides the metropolitan Tehran, Metro services are available in Shiraz, Isfahan, and Mashhad as well.
The historical and gorgeous city of Isfahan recently planned metro services to help people transfer to different parts of this vast city quickly and experience less traffic.
The main line connects Isfahan Industrial University to Soffeh Terminal.
Three lines will soon be available for going from the north to the south and the east to the west. The green line will connect Shahinshahr to Soffeh, in which both Kaveh and Soffeh bus terminals will be accessible. The blue line transports passengers from Zeynabiyeh to Khomeini Shahr. This line passes through historical sites in Isfahan, such as Naqsh-e Jahan.
The yellow route runs from Eslam Abad and ends at Azadi station.
Unfortunately, the blue and yellow lines are not available yet to be used; however, there are other kinds of transportation in this fantastic city.
Isfahan Metro Timetable
You can use Isfahan metro services from 6:30 am to 7:30 pm, however, you cannot travel by metro on Fridays and other holidays.
The magical city, Shiraz, gives you the opportunity of traveling from the south to the north of the city and enjoy one of the most amazing places in the world with its colorful mosques and ancient buildings.
You can use the train from Shahid Dastgheyb station in Shiraz International Airport and travel to the city center, which is in the northwestern part of this city. Using this line, you can access Zandiyeh that is one of the oldest streets in Shiraz, and visit the Vakil complex easily.
Shiraz Metro Timetable
The metro services in Shiraz is available from 7 am to 9 pm except for Fridays in which you can use the trains from 7 am to 3 pm.
To visit most of the tourist attractions of the holy city, Mashhad, you can easily use metro services and enjoy a traffic-less journey.
The green line connects Kuhestan Park station to the Shahid Hashemi Nejad International Airport. For accessing Shandiz and Torghabeh, which are two amazing must-see places in Mashhad, you can use this line as well.
Including 12 stations, the blue line links Kashfrood to Shahid Kaveh station.
Mashhad Metro Timetable
Mashhad’s Metro offers its services from 6 to 22, and during the holidays, you can use it from 7 to 10 pm.
Taking transportation in the stunning Tabriz to the next level, the metro started its services in this city from 2015. Since then, you can travel from El Goli to Ostaad Shahriar using the only line of the subway; however, other lines are under construction. The frequency of the trains is every 20 minute and have more than 60 available wagons.
Tabriz Metro Timetable
You can use Tabriz Metro from 6:30 in the morning to 9:30 p.m.
How to Buy Metro Tickets
Entering the metro station, you can see the ticket selling counter in the hall. You can buy one way and two-way paper tickets, or you can purchase electronic tickets, which can be used as many times as you have credit.
By paying some extra money, you can charge your card and use the credit; however, it is better to buy an electronic ticket when you are planning to stay in Tehran for more than a day.
How to Get into Trains
By putting your card on the scanner or inserting the one-way ticket into the device at the gate and hearing the beep sound, the door will open, and you can pass through it. Then you need to find your destination on the map and find your train.
If you are a female traveler, you can use the “only women” wagons in the metro. When you arrive at your destination, you need to scan your card again and pass the gate, but if you had a one-way ticket, you will need to wait for the gate to open and enter it.
Note: Sometimes, metros get very crowded, which can be annoying, especially in Tehran’s metro. Finding seats mostly in rush hours is not easily possible.
Buses in Iran and How to Use Them
Getting around a city by bus is one of the most common ways of transportation in Iran. There are many bus stations in different parts of a city which let you visit every part of it without difficulties at a low price.
In Tehran, you can use Bus Rapid Transport or BRT to have a fast, cheap, and comfortable ride. These buses have different stations than regular buses and travel in a special line, which helps them to not get stuck in traffic and move quickly.
The local bus network in cities of Iran is extensive and cheap. Although they are crowded sometimes, they can be a great option if you want to save some money and visit different parts of a city on your own. To find your bus, you need to know the bus number or name which leads you to the station you want. The information about buses is sometimes available at different stations, but you can also ask local people to help you.
Note: There is gender segregation in Iran buses. One side of a bus is dedicated to female passengers, and the other side is for men which are separated by a bar.
How to buy Bus Tickets in Iran
You can easily use your prepaid Metrocard (transportation card) for buses as well or pay in cash; however, you can charge your card at some MetroCard Vending Machines near bus stations.
Taxis in Iran and How to Use Them?
Taking a taxi in different cities of Iran can help you when metros and buses are crowded. Iranian taxis are colored in yellow or green; however, some of the independent taxis look like regular cars, so you can only distinguish them from private vehicles when they stop in front of you and ask if you need a ride.
To take a taxi, you need to know the name of your destination or the street near it. Then you need to stand by the street, where taxis transport passengers to your destination and around it and wait for a cab to stop in front of you. By telling your destination to the drivers, they will give you a ride if they have the same destination as yours.
Finding where to stand for taking a taxi is a little bit difficult, so you can ask locals to help you with that.
Normally, you share a cab with other people who have almost the same destinations as yours; however, you can take a private taxi by asking for a “Darbast.” By choosing them, you will be the only passenger of the car, and the driver takes you to your exact destination by paying some extra money. It is better to fix the fare before getting into the car because some drivers can overcharge you.
Private taxis might be expensive, so if you need to have one, you should try Snapp or Tap30
Snapp and Tap30 are online transportation systems that let you travel everywhere, whenever you want, at a lower price than regular private taxis. Although they are not as cheap as metros or buses, using them is worth it when you want to travel from one side of a city to another. In order to use them, you need an Iranian Sim Card and the application on your phone, which you can download for Android and iOS on their websites, Google Play and App Store. For getting all information about how to download, install, and use these apps, you can check the “Iranian Versions of Uber and How to Use Them” post on our blog.
Snapp and Tap30 services are available in major cities of Iran.