As a woman in Iran

What do you wear as a woman in Iran? I actually didn’t know that very well. For days I googled around and asked Iranian people I knew what to wear as a minimum. Because nowhere does it clearly state what you may or may not wear as a female tourist in Iran. Hence, I am happy to share my experiences. Hopefully it will be of some use to you.

Do you have to wear a headscarf as a woman in Iran?

Simple answer: yes. Fortunately, they are not very strict with female tourists. For example, if you have bangs or locks, it is okay to show them under your headscarf. You don’t have to put your hair away completely. Just look at how I wear my headscarf.

My tip: use a scarf made of linen. This is nice and thin and fluffy. I chose a white one. Nice and practical, because that color is also easy to combine. Tying a headscarf is quite a precise job. After several frantic attempts in which I came up with all sorts of possible constructions that then fell apart just as quickly, I gave up. Ok, then just wrap the scarf loosely over my head and then once around my neck. And a sliding pin so the scarf doesn’t blow off my head with every breath of wind. Fortunately, it is not a disaster when it does accidentally blow off your head. Indeed, especially in Tehran , the rules are somewhat looser. For example, in the restaurants there , women noticed that they even left their headscarves on their shoulders when they fell off. But, don’t be too casual, the headscarf is part and parcel of Iran.

I often wore linen pants or long skirts. Ideal! If I were to go to Iran now, I would choose some more dark colors, though. To be a little less conspicuous.

In terms of clothing, what should you wear as a woman in Iran?

Fortunately, this too is not too bad. To be perfectly honest, it was also very nice not to be constantly running in tight pants and shirts. I was advised to wear a manteau. That’s a kind of long coat. In the Netherlands, a long tunic, as it were. With pants or leggings underneath. And yes, even skinny jeans are allowed!

What suited me well was linen pants, because of the high temperatures. Nice and airy. The tunic you wear over it should fall well over your buttocks. Say to at least just above your knee. I used to go to stores like Didi in the Netherlands on sale. There they often have these kinds of tunics. Also useful are long summer dresses with little cleavage and a cardigan. Your arms and shoulders should not be bare, a three-quarter sleeve is just fine because you are a tourist. Women in Iran are not allowed to. Do you really want to be on the safe side? Then in Tehran , go to the gran bazaar and buy a manteau. In doing so, I wore flip-flops and sneakers. Although I felt more comfortable with sneakers on. Also because it ran more pleasantly.

Iranian women often wear a manteau (long tunic) with skinny jeans underneath and a headscarf.

Helpful tips for women

Most women travelers who get away more often already know this. But despite that, I’ll say it again: make sure you bring your own tampons to Iran. These are hard to come by. Even in Tehran , I did not discover them! Do you like to wear makeup in the Netherlands? No worries, they do the same here. Women, and men for that matter, are very vain about their faces. Surely this is the only thing women can really show. So the makeup flows profusely. Oh well, don’t be surprised when you see people walking with white patches on their noses. A nose job is very popular. Among women as well as men!

Safety for women

If I may impart one thing, I have never felt safer while traveling than in Iran. Also in the desert and in other cities such as Isfahan and Yazd. Maybe it’s because of the current regime or people found Sander very scary, but I haven’t had any unpleasant experiences. Now I tell this from the experience of traveling with Sander. Perhaps it is different if you travel alone as a woman.

Traveling alone in Iran as a woman

Would you recommend that Danique? Yes, I would definitely dare to go back alone, also because I have traveled alone for almost 5 months before. So if you are an experienced traveler, you will be fine as a woman going to Iran alone. If it’s your first trip alone and you don’t have much travel experience, it might be a bit exciting. Then it depends on how adventurous you are. In any case, always check the current situation in Iran beforehand. It can’t be down to the people, they are so friendly and helpful! I have never met such lovely people while traveling. And you always have to pay attention. Whether you’re in Rotterdam, Tehran or Berlin .

And what should a male tourist wear in Iran?

Is your boyfriend/husband/brother or other male person going with you? That one has it a little easier, but he too must follow certain rules. And wearing jeans in 30 degrees is not nice either. Because, men are always supposed to wear long pants. Shorts are not appreciated. To that, preferably a long-sleeved shirt. But shirt or short-sleeved t-shirt is also okay. In any case, leave your sleeveless shirts or tank top at home.


If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask! Above all, don’t let the headscarf stop you, as I hope you can see, you never have to cuff yourself like the women there. Iran is a fantastic country!