has been at the forefront in fighting for women rights in Iran. She is the face of women leadership in the Islamic world as her position inspires women to voice their concerns in a largely patriarchal society. As the world embraces modernity and liberty, women in Iran have strict guiding principles. Travelling women have rules to follow to avoid confrontation with the authorities. This article provides travel tips for women in transit in Iran, locals or foreigners.

Mode of Dressing

Hijab is compulsory for all women in Iran, local or foreigners. It is the signature dress for every woman in public. For foreigners coming to Iran, keep a scarf or shawl ready when you set foot in the country. Although their culture is slowly becoming liberal, carry it in case you run into the conservative people on the way.

Body covering is also a big deal. Ladies must cover their arms and bodies up to the knee. It is a standard practice in the Muslim culture, although advocates for the freedom to choose one’s clothing. To be safe, research more on traveling women in Iran and learn from their way of dressing. It might not be comfortable, especially for foreigners, but it will get you from point A to B.

However, modern ladies in Iran have learnt to circumvent this directive. Many can be seen in skinny jeans as long as it covers their thighs. They also prefer long-sleeved cardigans as opposed to the traditional manteaus. All in all, ensure you cover your arms, head and thighs to the knees.


Public interactions, especially for women, is highly restrictive in Iran. You cannot just approach anyone for directions in a bus park without raising suspicion. The following are some of the things travelling women must do when asking for help:-

  • If you have any problem and wish to talk to someone, always approach a woman. You can only talk to a man in case of an emergency, and there are no women in sight. In turn, the man can help you find a woman to address the situation. The law is still silent on women rights in Iran, especially when they are outdoors without a male companion. Ensure you interact less to avoid falling into the wrong hands.
  • In case you want to talk to a man, make sure it is in public and another woman must accompany you. Although it isn’t documented in law, the culture prohibits free interactions between people of the opposite gender.

Public Transport

When travelling by public means, ensure you have a male companion. It can either be a father, brother or husband. It mainly applies to locals, although foreigners are sometimes caught in between. In the Islamic culture, a woman should not be seen in public without a guardian.

Enter the bus or metro from the middle or back door and sit at the back. The front part is reserved for men, while the back is for women. It is an unwritten rule which sifts women from men when using public transport.

There are separate sitting spaces for women and men. However, if a woman finds a man already seated, they have to choose another seat. At no point should a man and woman, local or foreign, share a seat.