First thing you need before going to Iran is the VISA. If you read online you will find many tips and guidelines, which are not really up to date.
There are many rumors about you need to apply for a Iran Visa with a registration code or you can make it without it. Let me tell me from my experience, you need one! If you heard about Trabzon in Turkey as a great place to get VISA without a registration code: No, Trabzon-Fun is over. Some say Erzurum in Turkey is the new Trabzon.
Anyway we can just not recomment Tbilisi in Georgia. But lets go step by step through the ordinary way of how to apply for a Iran Visa.
Register online for a Registration Code.
Be aware of the fact that this code is only valid for about 30 days. So before this code expires you have to have done one of the next steps.
Go to the Iranian Embassy with your registration code.
Normally there you will be explained what documents you need and you will be send home to come back two days after with those documents. But if you are clever and lucky you can bring the following documents and safe two days:
Two passport pictures - you can smile but women have to wear the Hijab fully covering their hair.
A copy of your travel-insurance
A copy of your passport
Moreover they will ask you to transfer the money for the Visa at an international bank.
They will tell you the exact address of that bank because in times of the sanctions just certain ones worked with Iranian bank accounts. Take a proofment of the transaction and it might work that you will receive your Visa in the same day...or not.
If you go to Tbilisi you have to deal with that kind of Georgian mentality, who generally don't like work. Paired with Iranian mentality, who don't like to discuss. They ask, you answer and do what they want you to do.
Crossing the border
If you walk the border between Armenia and Iran they will bring you with a little electro car to one border and ask you for money. Then you walk the border, which is the bridge over the river. There you will be picked up by another electro car, who is going to ask you for money again.
Inside there is a very friendly guy waiting for you asking if you already have Visa, if not it wouldn't be a problem he could do that with you right away. We are not sure if that is really possible, but if you are planning spontaneously, why not giving it a try.
How to get a sim card
One of the first things you might want to get is a sim card to have access to the Internet. Different than you might expect...like us... this is a complicated process.
There are special shops where you can apply for a Iranian sim card. To get a card you need to leave your details at a application form. Moreover they will take a copy of your passport and you, or in case that you have a man with you, the man has to sign and leave his finger print. Then it will take another two hours until your sim card is signed up and ready to use.
We got a sim card with 4G Internet for 40.000, which is 10 Euro.
s meanwhile well known you won't have access to WhatsApp, Facebook or Twitter. But Instagram and Couchsurfing will work. But of course with a proxy you will be able to enter anything. I recommend the proxy I used for my Android phone Cloud VPN, which is for free and worked best.
For bloggers it is recommended to use VPN also. When you think of all the details you gave them its probably just a safer option.
ow to dress
Another thing is Clothes. Men can do whatever they want, but you won't find many men wearing shorts or T-shirt, moreover there are some stories about men got haircuts by the government. if they were to extraordinary.
For women, I will put an extr blogpost about it, generally a Manto, a coat which is at least covering your hips and a scarf to cover the hair is important. Anything else about colors and cuts is not generally forbidden by the government anymore.
Relationship status to get aroun
The easiest way for man an women traveling Iran is to pretend being engaged. This status is not common, but it allows you to book Hotel or Hostelrooms together.
When you are Couchsurfing it is actually not a problem to tell them you are just friends, but as always been said, be careful. For me this is the worst part! ....That I felt I had to pretend something, which I actually wasn't in front of people who became my friends. That's something I can't let go on and still feel guilty for. How you deal with this situation is always your own choice. Maybe you do better then me and/or us.