The Best Hostels in Iran on a budget
This post is about the best hostels in Iran for the independent budget travellers. In preparing my trip to Iran, it was sometimes hard to find information on cheap places to stay.
Iran is a very budget friendly destination. Accomodation as well, can be very cheap. You just need to know where to find them. Many hostels in Iran do not have an internet presence yet. This post will help you finding the best hostels in Iran and will explain how to book them.
Hostels in Iran
Hostels in Iran for foreign backpackers are still not very common. While Iran is a popular destination for backpackers, the country’s accommodation options tend to be more geared towards hotels and traditional guesthouses. That being said, in recent years, hostels for foreign travellers emerged in major cities such as Tehran, Isfahan, and Shiraz. These hostels often offer dormitory-style rooms and basic facilities such as shared bathrooms, kitchens, and communal areas.
What was actually more common in Iran, if it comes to budget accomodation, were the ‘mosaferkhaneh‘. Mosaferkhaneh is a traditional Iranian type of lodging house that dates back centuries. The term “mosaferkhaneh” is derived from two Persian words: “mosafer” meaning traveler and “khanneh” meaning house.
Mosaferkhanehs were typically located along major trade routes and served as a place for travelers to rest, eat, and sleep during their journey. They were often run by charitable organizations or wealthy individuals and provided free or low-cost lodging for travelers, regardless of their social status or religion.
Iranians travelling on a budget, still primarily use mosaferkhaneh. They offer simple and basic rooms with shared bathrooms. I also stayed in a mosaferkhaneh a couple of times during my trip in Iran. They are a good alternative for a hostel, especially in less touristy places that have no hostels yet.
The advantage of hostels in Iran for foreign travellers is that it will be more easy to meet other travellers and that they can also help in arranging tours to some ofd the touristic sights that are a bit more difficult to get to, such as Persepolis or Abyaneh. In hostels it is easy to find other people to share the costs of a taxi together.
Because there are not too many hostels in Iran yet, it is recommended to make reservations. Hostels in Iran fill up quickly, especially when you travel in the high season. I will explain below how you can book hostels in Iran online, even those that don’t have a website.
How to book hostels in Iran
Due to the sanctions most established booking sites won’t allow you to book hostels in Iran. On my first trip to Iran I therefore had to make bookings through email, which was, if possible at all, a frustratingly slow process.
Luckily it is now possible to book hostels in Iran online through 1stQuest. They are one of the few reputable companies where you can book tours and hostels in Iran beforehand. If you do so, I get a small commission that keeps this website alive at no extra cost to you.
To help you choose, I decided to share my favorite hostels in Iran. This list is based on my one month trip through the country as a solo female traveller. These hostels are therefore not only suited to backpackers and other budget travellers, but as well for solo female travellers.
Note: I was not sponsored or given discounts to write any of these reviews. They are based on my own experience and hostels were not aware that I was a travelblogger. For my readers, be aware that my only experiences are with the hostels that I described and not the ones in the alternative section.
The best hostels in Iran
Number 1 : Ehsan house, Kashan
By far the best place I stayed in Iran was Ehsan house in Kashan. It is a traditional house with a lovely courtyard. Staff is friendly and they can help you with everything. There is a lovely breakfast buffet included in the price and the restaurant offers a varied menu of traditional Iranian food that is not always easy to find in other restaurants. This is your chance to taste delicious fesendjoon or gorme sabzi.
Ehsan House is centrally located in a quiet alley opposite the Agha bozorg mosque. It’s on walking distance from most things to do in Kashan such as the bazaar and the traditional homes. There are lovely decorated private and double rooms and for backpackers there is a lovely dormitory with 6 beds.
Alternative places: Kashan is full with traditional houses converted into hostels and guesthouses. Other places I heard good stories about from other travellers are Noghli house, Kamal Al Molk house, Sayeh Saray & Manoucheri house.
Number 2: Orient hostel, Yazd
In Yazd, I stayed at the Orient hostel. It is one of the few hostels in Iran that has been open for years and therefore has a lot of experience in welcoming travellers. Orient hostel is a great place to stay. The hotel has a wonderful rooftop restaurant with a beautiful view on the blue mosque that serves delicious food. They have a varied menu including vegetarian options. Try Shuli, a soup speciality from Yazd or try camel meat.
Besides the restaurant the Orient hostel has nicely decorated rooms and a lovely courtyard. For backpackers there are dormitories including a female only dormitory.
Number 3: Kohan hostel, Yazd
I did not stay in Kohan hostel, but visited a friend there and this is another great place to stay. It is much smaller than the Orient hostel with a lovely courtyard in a traditional home. During the day there is free tea and there are nice and clean rooms. For backpackers there is also a very cheap dormitory.
Read more about Best thinghs to do in Yazd.
Number 4: Niayesh Boutique hostel, Shiraz
In Shiraz I stayed at the Niayesh hostel. Niayesh hotel is a bit overwhelmed by its own success. The rooms are all nicely decorated, the dormitory is nice and cheap and it has the best breakfast buffet I had in Iran.
The restaurant also has a nice menu with delicious food. Try kallam pollo, a speciality from Shiraz. The service is a bit mixed tough. Some staff are extremely friendly while others are a bit indifferent.
Read more about the best things to do in Shiraz
Number 5: Nik hostel, Esfahan
This homestay like hostel with a very friendly and helpful owner offers two rooms that can either be booked as a private room for 20 euro or as a dormitory style room for 10 euro per bed. This includes breakfast and tea. It was the cheapest place I could find in Esfahan.
It is outside of the city center and a bit difficult to find, but it is actually quite easy to get there by local bus. The owner will explain how to get to the centre by bus (5 minutes) or by walking (30 minutes). He might not always be open as he closes when he is out of town, but if he is there, it is a very good option in Isfahan.
Isfahan is a very touristic city, but lacks decent budget options. You will not find traditional guesthouses like in Kashan, Shiraz or Yazd. They are there, but definitely on the more expensive side. However, also in Esfahan new backpacker hostels are opening up like Howzak house
Read more about the best things to do in Isfahan
Number 6: Tehran Mori hostel, Tehran
I have great memories from Tehran hostel, because of its extremely helpful and friendly staff. No pictures are included, because when I visited they were still in their old place in a really tiny building.
They have now moved to a bigger location. It’s a great place to meet other travellers and get all the advice and help you need. It’s in a quiet neighbourhood and it is easy to reach by Tehran metro. It has private rooms and a dormitory.
Number 7: Hostel Koosaran, Alamut valley
Hotel Koosaran has no presence on the internet. It’s on number 6 for its amazing location. True, the hostel itself is nothing special. It is a small dormitory style room with 4 beds. The balcony outside with the view on the mountains is amazing though.
The homemade food is a very welcome change from all the kabab. The lady who runs the place is quite a character herself. She might come across as a bit grumpy at first, but try to break the ice and you will find out she is a lovely person.
The guestbooks are a wealth of funny traveller stories and useful advice on hiking possibilities around this small lovely village. It is easy to hike up from here to the Alamut castle. Don’t expect much from the castle, but the views are amazing.
Read more about the Alamut Valley and the castle of the Assassins.
Number 8: Hedayat hotel, Sanandaj
All budget places in the 2012 edition of the lonely planet were closed in Sanandaj. ThereforeI decided to try out the Hedayat hotel. As expected of most mosaferkhaneh’s this place does not earn any award for cleanliness. However, people were very friendly and therefore it still made it into this list.
Also I had a nice view from my room on the top floor of the building. There are not many budget places to stay in Sanandaj and this is a good option.
Read more about Iran’s Kurdistan: Sanandaj & Palangan.
Number 9: Ordibehest hostel, Hamedan
Another hotel without any presence on the internet. In the less touristic central and western parts of Iran you are most likely to stay in the so-called mosaferkhaneh’s or mehmanpazir’s. Local guesthouses used by Iranian men or families.
They are nowhere as atmospheric as the traditional guesthouses in the touristic cities of Kashan, Isfahan, Shiraz or Yazd. Most of them are not so clean and bathrooms are often shared facilities. The Ordibehest hostel in Hamedan was a pleasant surprise in this range. Clean, cosy and friendly.
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