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What is Iran currency? Things about Iran Money [2020 update]

Rial and toman Iran currancy

Iran currency

The Official Iran currency is Rial (IRR). The unofficial currency of Iran is Toman which is used by locals.  To learn about Iran currency and Iran money, don’t worry about its complications; we are going to explain everything you need to know about it.

In this article we are trying to explain two things:

  1. We are going through Iranian money and currency, how to count and pronounce it
  2. We are going to talk about costs in Iran and how much money do you need for your trip based on your budget.

Iran economy inflation

After Iran’s revolution and the Iraq war, there were a lot of sanctions against Iran which caused inflation until now. This devaluation of Iran’s currency led to too many zeros in Iranian Rials which makes it hard to read. Iran has two currencies Which are so strange.

The currency of Iran is Rial and the other one is Toman which is unofficial. Toman is used by locals to make it easier for them to read and write. When locals want to read Iranian Rials, they remove last zero and then they call it Toman. Let demonstrate this to you:

10,000 Rials = 1000 Toman

Iranian Rials = Toman *10

When you shop at groceries, restaurants, malls, bazaars, your receipt will be written in Rials but they read it in Toman. Although some restaurant and shops print their receipt in Toman which is very rare. They always print the symbol in front of the receipt.

This is Toman symbol:

تومان

This is Rial symbol:

ریال

At first, when you arrive Iran currency is confusing but you get used to the term of Toman. There are coins in Iran currency which some of them are so rare. 100, 200, 500 Iranian rials which are so rare. 1000, 2000, 5000, 10,000, 20,000 Iranian Rials.

These coins are marked in Farsi, so we recommend you to learn to read Farsi numeral.

persian alphabet, farsi alphabet

Toman is used by locals to count money easier; however, sometimes locals they remove the term “thousand” in their conversation especially when the price is lower than 50,000 Toman. For example, if a taxi driver shows you five finger he means 5000 Toman or shopkeeper often says “10 Tomans” or “20 Tomans” they mean “10,000 Toman” or “20,000 Tomans”. It is hard to say “thousands” in everyday conversations.

iranian toman

Don’t get frustrated. Iranian people are so kind if they figure out that you didn’t understand they will use “thousands”. If you get confused just write down the price on paper or your phone’s calculator and check it is Toman or Rials?

Iran money

Bringing cash in US dollars, Euros, UAE dirham, Turkish lira, Malaysian ringgit is the most important thing you have to do because Iran is a cash country. Other major currencies, such as British pounds, Australian or Canadian dollars, Swiss francs, Iraq dinar can be changed in Tehran and other big cities if not smaller towns. However, other currencies are not accepted in exchange offices.

It’s better to have dollars and Euro because they would trade easier in exchange shops. You can exchange your money in Hotels, Airport, Banks and exchange offices, but we recommend you to exchange your money in exchange offices or use IntravelCard because of its great rate. Here we explained why you should not exchange in airport or banks.

Sanctions mean your credit card, debit card, traveler cheques are not useful in Iran, so don’t bother to bring it with yourself. Although some carpet shops accept credit cards, there will be a 10% commission rate on your receipt, so bring enough cash.

You can get an Iranian Prepaid Travel Card which is issued to tourists so they don’t need to carry cash anymore. You can exchange your currency to Iranian rials, load it to the IntravelCard and have a local prepaid travel card which is accepted everywhere in Iran.

If your IntravelCard and cash run out, don’t worry we can arrange a money transfer to your IntravelCard.

ATMs in Iran

You cant use your credit or master card in ATMs in Iran but if you have IntravelCard, you can access any ATM to withdraw cash. You can find ATMs in any street, you can choose English as your language when using ATMs.

Exchange rate in Iran

While exchange offices and IntravelCard corp are allowed to trade currencies at market rates, exchanging money on the street is illegal.  When a random guy stops by you and wants to trade your money is illegal and also normal in Iran and , but don’t trust them because probably they are gonna give you fake money. Usually, the exchange offices working hours are:

10 AM-4 PM Saturday through Wednesday

10 AM – 2 PM on Thursdays

IntravelCard working hours is 24/7 and you can load Iranian currency to your IntravelCard in less than a day, so you don’t need to worry about closed exchange offices when you ran out of Iranian Rials.

Exchange rate in the black market and the official rate

Due to economy inflation in Iran, the Iran government decided to have two rates for foreign currencies. The official rate and black market rate.
Usually, the black market rate is about 4 times greater than the official rate. You can exchange your currency at the black market rate in exchange offices.

Banks and airports exchange at the official rate that’s why you should not exchange your money in airports and banks. For example, the official exchange rate for dollar and euro is about:

1 USD = 42,000 IRR or 4,200 T (Toman)

1 EURO = 50,000 IRR or 5,000 T (Toman)

while the black market rate is about:

1 USD = 132,000 IRR or 13,200 T (Toman)

1 EURO = 146,000 IRR or 14,600 T (Toman)

Costs in Iran

Iran is a cost-effective country. Due to economic inflation, Iran became one of the cost-effective top countries. no matter how much budget you have, Iran is the best place to travel. We are going to talk about your daily budget in Iran on top end:

A five-star hotel in Tehran or Esfahan: US$ 100 plus

The main meal in top Tehran restaurant: US$ 20-50

VIP buses ticket to different cities from Tehran: US$ 10

Sights fees: US$ 2

English known driver for a day: US$ 50-100

Airport Transfer to Hotel: US$ 15

Espinas Palace Hotel in iran

Wrapping up

We tried to help you to understand more about Iran currency and costs in Iran. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask us.

By using IntravelCard, it is much easier to learn more about Iran currency and make purchases safer while traveling to Iran.

4 Comments

    IntravelCard
  • Thank you for your post. Iran currency was a little confusing for me, but i have some clue about iran currency now. So excited to see Iran

      IntravelCard
    • Hope to see You in Iran Alex

  • IntravelCard
  • Hello… thanks for the information.
    Where is possible to exchange money at black market rate?
    Thanks 🙂

      IntravelCard
    • Hello Federico
      Thank you for your comment. You can exchange money in local exchange offices at black market rate but their work hour is saturday-wednesday 8 AM to 4 PM and closed in weekends. Also you can use our service (IntravelCard) and we exchange money at the black market rate 24/7 and load it to a prepaid Travel card which is acceptable at any POS terminal in Iran, so your cash would be safe and refundable. Good Luck

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