If you want travel the Iran, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan by bike you have to get visas before at home or on the road. Best is to arrange visas at home or at least in Turkey if you heading there from Europe. If you don’t have a chance to do it there I try to describe best options how to cycle and take visas in Iran based my experiences with doing a visas for Uzbekistan in Teheran on the road.Teheran is uncyclable jungle (you can go if you like smog and lot of cars) and for that the best option is to go to Tabriz or Isfahan by bike. And then without bicycles visit a Teheran by VIP bus (there are few kinds of buses) to make a visa application procedures at consulates and then continue cycling with visas taken there. It’s simple and you are not cycling on this boring straight ahead stretch thru this really huge city. To get Turkmenistan visas you will need Uzbekistan visas.
Best way how get visas for Uzbekistan in Teheran
- Order a letter of invitation for Uzbekistan from Stantours and after receiving it by email check if everything in is allright.
- Prepare 2 photos for visas, 2 copies of your passpost, 2 copies of letter of invitation, application form that you receive also from Stantours with letter of invitation
- Manage a Wamshowers, Couchsurfing host on Sunday or take any cheap hotel in the city, starting price is from 5 US Dollars and ask about rewrite your address of embassy to the Farsi.
- Weak up 5 am in morning and take a taxi to consulate and write your name on the list (if you want to be sure yo get te visas, the list is there from 2 am),
- Find a nice place to stay around, enjoy breakfast or tea.
- Wait until you are not on the turn and bring the papers in and get out from the fresh visas in your passport.
How get visas for Turkmenistan in Iran
With Uzbekistan’s visas is best to go to Turkmenistan consulate and put a papers there. Application form, copy of the passport, copy of the Uzbekistan visa and you will collect your visas in Mashad after 10 days. We did it all in Mashad, because there was no fresh in Teheran at all and it was also difficult to get around the place. City is so big.
We run out bit out of money in Mashad, because of accident and no ATM’s working in whole Iran. We’ve been there for 10 days waiting for visa to Turkemnistan. This cannot be possible without one great Iranian guy and his internet cafe where we slept. He was not speak english, but we get around for cycling and sights. He also invited us for a dinner. We get in the great mosque in Mashad. This guy made our days and have to say big thanks!
Teheran visa story
I’ve got my letter of invitation in Turkey from Stantours. I did it all by email. We went with Helmut from Isfahan to Terehan by bus from terminal in the end of the city for a reasonable price 19 000 Tumans. We left our bicycles at one flat there.
Two days we spent in Teheran visiting the places, art exhibition, concert and local food charity. In exhibition and concert it was looking like on fashion event. Everyone come to show his best dress and new nose surgery result. People were not talking and not having a fun. People in Teheran are mostly not very nice.Everyone is running somewhere and nobody is smiling. You see a lot of people just standing alone on the streets and staring. If want to find a good people, you have search to find them or they have to be young. We we lucky and found some. One guy host on Coachsurfing – Rozbe that he hosted us for a night.
This was Thursday and Friday. The holidays in Iran. On sutarday we went to Embassy on advice of Rozbe that was telling us it’s open for sure. He also give us and address written in Farsi – local language and alphabet. We took Taxi early morning. Every Taxi is from 15 000n Tumans to 25 000 Tumans. Taxi drivers mostly don’t know nothing about a places and their location.
Also you should go by metro, but some places you cannot reach. Price is just 500 Tumans. If you enjoy ride in the car you should take for 5000 Tumans random guys from the street. They will drive you around and go with you to the random location, mostly that you don’t need to go. This happened us when we were going back from Raad Charity we visit and support.
Taxi driver drove us to the place after we spent 40 minutes in the traffic. We found right building and it the ring. On the other side woman is speaking “Da”. “We’ve come to apply for visas.” I’ve told. “Da, closed.” Very good and we should go home now. We went to the copy sop on the corner of the street and print a papers, photos and copies for tomorrow applications. We had to delete a Australia from Helmut’s application with Photoshop. Guys in Stantours make an obvious mistake that they put instead of Austria to country column Australia.
We did a walking around the city. I had a such big knee pain after the accident with tractor. Walking was not good for me. In the evening girls, we met during charity, took us around the city and show us a roof of the Teheran. We had some nice time with this people, drinked tea and talked.
After roof we come to the place of Bijan. Another host form Warmhowers.org. He was stressed and put a list on the tabler after we arrived. List of thing that we are not able to do in his place. Never experienced such a thing. On the paper was writter mostly common sense that everyone who is travelling knows.
After Helmut started explaning that we know that, Bijan says we should go hotel and make a “big muscles on us”. Showing his power on the wrong place and time looks like a small ego hunt. This guy got some mind problems. Also he told Helmut to put the smelly socks to the bag, but in the same time he was going to his other flat and he was not staying with us. Very bad. Only positive was that we have a place to sleep and dinner.
In the morning we were taking a papers to the embassy and my sandal felt on the ground. It makes a sound and after this the Bijan guy kicked us from his place, because we are too loud and we break the rule! It caused another problem to solve today – where to stay at Teheran.
We took our luggage and go with taxi to embassy. We come on the same place. Noone’s there. Helmut is going to the copy shop and meantime I was waiting him in front of embassy. One guy come from embassy and talked to me “What I need from embassy?”. “We want to apply for visas.” I told him. “You have to go to the consulate!” he said. It was not so far, but we’ve to search like 15 minutes. There was few guys waiting in front of the consulate. One of them sended us to write our names to the list. We’ve been 13. and 14. position.
One guy come after us and he didn’t get on the list. It was too late. He is waiting for the visas few days. After waiting of 3 hours there in the strange sunny and cold weather with a lot of smog nothing happen. One guys went out with a lot of passport in the hand. Embassy just made a visas for first 6 guys in the list. Every from these guys had a lot of passports. I ring embassy and tried to explain we need visas because we are cycling in here and we ran out of the Iranian visas. Answer was “It’s your problem!”. We got back to town and spent whole night with looking for hotel. Not an easy.
Another day we get up at 5 am and get on the place by taxi. List was there and the same guys standing in the front of the embassy or sleeping in the cars. This looks like guys from visa mafia are running their business here and ruining a chance to get visas for real tourists or travelers. We wrote a names on the list. Oh god we are on 9. And 10. position. Waiting. Consulate open 9 am and first same guy as yesterday entered with big suitcase. After one hour he was out. Wow. Another day looks like a wasted. We trying to findout what to do.
Helmut tried call on Austrian embassy, but nobody gives a shit. We just wasted another money for calling. 20 minutes before closing one guy is telling me, that today is open longer. Still three people before us waiting. Finally we get in 20 minutes after 11am. Procedure is very short. We just pay and go. We left Teheran as quick as we should.