For exchanging money, you can refer to the banks which have a sign of "EXCHANGE" on their entrance. There are also authorized exchange shops in the airport or tourist areas where you can exchange your money at a bit more cost, but fast. These shops are called "SARRAFI" in Farsi which is the equivalent word for exchange.
There are also street exchangers in tourist areas who usually hold a bunch of banknotes and show them to people who are passing and shout Dollars, Pounds, Euros. This way of exchange is not legal and is not recommended.
You can exchange USD, EUR, GBP, AED almost everywhere, but other major currencies can be exchanged in certain bank branches.
Foreign credit cards are not still a reliable way for payments in Iran, as the situation of their acceptance changes a lot. Sometimes, you can use it and sometimes you can't. So, it's better to forget it at least at this time. Hopefully, according to the new financial laws, this problem will be solved soon. There are many ATMs everywhere in Iran, but they only accept the domestic cards and are currently useless to foreigners.
Travelers' Cheques may be accepted by some hotels or shops, but it's not a reliable way of bringing money to Iran.
Considering the above matters, it is recommendable to bring money in cash in form of USD, EUR or GBP. Using a money-belt is proposed.
Current rate of exchange according to Iran's Central Bank.
This can be different from the market rate at which you can exchange at exchange shops.
Iranian currency is Iranian Rial. There is another money unit in Iran which is called Toman and is equivalent to 10 Rials. Toman is more common in oral quotes, while Rial is the official unit and used in most verbal documents. Price etiquettes may come either in Rial or Toman and usually are understood by the buyers. In case of doubt, check it with the seller.
Regulations on Money Export/Import
- Import of foreign currencies in any amount is free.
- Export of foreign currencies in the form of banknotes and travelers cheque is authorized up to US$ 1,000 or the equivalent amount in other currencies by the bearer of passport, and for each companion (in the case of group passport) up to US dollars 500. Excess thereto is permissible in the form of bank cheque or draft drawn by the banking system.
- Export and import of Rials is permissible up to Rls. 500,000.
- Import and export of Syrian Pounds, Arabian Rials, Emirates Dirhams, Iraqi Dinars, Lebanese Pounds and Afghanis are prohibited by passengers and commercially. In case a passenger has them with him at the time of entry, an exchange declaration must be filled to prevent difficulties on exit.
Government Owned Banks:
Bank Melli Iran (National Bank of IRAN)
Bank Saderat Iran
Export Development Bank of Iran
Bank Sanaat o Maadan