You arrive in Imam Khomeini airport in Iran, you pick up your backpack from the luggage belt, the officer at immigration checks your passport and stamps your Iranian visa with a big welcoming smile; now what? You need money to get to your hotel! There are tips you should know about Iranian currency when traveling to Iran.
Rials or Tomans? A matter of confusion.
By the time you arrive in Iran you come up with the question that what is Iran Currency? The price labels are in Rial while the people talk about prices in Toman. The fact is that Iran’s official currency is Rial. However, you will see and hear Toman a lot more commonly in the country.
Toman is one tenth of a Rial. So, when purchasing, if someone quotes 23000 Toman (or 23 Toman), it works out to be 230,000 Rial.
Most prices written on the items in the bazaars, stores, or restaurants are in Toman but to avoid mistakes, always double-check the price to make sure whether it is Rial or Toman.
Bring cash in enough US dollars or euro or UK Pound for the duration of your trip. These currencies are most preferred in Iran’s banks or the private exchange offices named Sarāfi. You cannot use visa or Master card or to withdraw any cash from ATM machines due to the sanctions on banks of Iran. Whichever currency you choose, the most important thing to remember is to bring as much cash as you’re likely to need, even a bit more.
Changing money is possible in all Iranian banks; however, it would take considerably shorter time to do it through official money-exchange offices (Sarāfi) in the cities or even at your hotel, with a taxi driver or in the jewelry section of the bazaar where the whole deal is done in seconds. The Sarāfi offices offer you a better rate of exchange compare to the banks and you can find Sarāfis at the airports, large cities, and tourist centers.
In Tehran, Ferdowsi square is famous as the center of Sarāfi offices which is convenient to access through Metro, there is a Metro station right in the corner of the square.