The Most Useful Iran Apps: A Travel Guide

Preparing Yourself for Your Iran Trip

Woman Overlooking the Tabatabei House

It’s always a good idea to gain as much information as possible about your destination before you travel there. Doing so will help you better interact with the culture, have an easier time planning your day, and avoid any potential dangers, risks, or hassles. Essentially, being prepared in all aspects means you’re going to get the best out of your trip. Now, a very important part of how we interact with the world today is mobile/web applications. Knowing how we locals use apps in Iran (and which ones we use) in advance will help smooth out some of the complications of your travel to a foreign land, and help you enjoy your time as much as you can.

There are of course lots of other things that you probably should know before you visit Iran, which is why we recommend you read our other blogs under the Iran Essentials category. If you still have some unanswered questions, we at Mahbibi and Sarv Hostels are here to help! With all that being said, in this article, we’re going to list the most useful Iran apps, with the hopes that you will come by our country better prepared!

The Essential Iran Apps

Apps on a mobile interface

Some travel apps are useful globally speaking, and for all contexts of traveling. Whether you’re doing so within your own country, in neighboring nations, or across continents, a good navigation app, or a reliable messenger will always be helpful. Some of the essential travel apps for Iran belong to this category, while others are more specific, mainly due to some of the international complications that regard the IRI. Read on and you’ll probably be able to figure out which one’s which by yourself!



Now, Snapp is probably the most accessible and most useful app you’ll come across during your time in Iran. Originally, Snapp was the Iranian equivalent of Uber and other similar services. With its rapid growth, it expanded massively and the result is a multi-purpose application where you can get a taxi, order food or groceries, book accommodation, and even get a doctor’s appointment. One of the things that has drawn tourists to this specific service is its user-friendly English version, which makes for an easy time getting a taxi without necessarily needing a local’s help -something that you will probably need if you intend to use Snapp’s other services.

Google Translate

Google Translate

I mean, this is an obvious one, but still. One of the good things about Iran is that a lot of the people speak at the very least understandable English -especially in the bigger cities which also happen to be tourist destinations, i.e. Isfahan, Shiraz, or Tehran. It should also be noted that oftentimes, a lot of words and phrases get warped in the translation from other languages to Persian when you’re using Translate. But still, if you’re stuck in a situation where you don’t have any other means of communication, and you want to get a simple idea across, Google Translate is the way to go.

Google Maps

Google Maps

There are a lot of navigation maps that are a lot more specific than Google Maps, but the good thing about this service is how comprehensive and broad it is. It may not be enough if you’re driving your own vehicle, for example, but it’s kind of the best option for getting a general idea of where you are headed, and which way you need to go to get to any one destination.

A Good VPN

Now, we’ve talked about this matter enough in our other blog, so we recommend you to go ahead and read that in order to find out what are the best free VPNs you can get on your phone. Suffice it to say that without one, so many of your apps won’t work in Iran.

Navigational Apps for Iran

Navigation Apps in Iran

As for some of the more specific navigational apps for Iran, we have a few suggestions that may be helpful, but they’ll primarily be helpful to those who seriously need a map (drivers, bikers, cyclists, hitchhikers, etc.)


Now you do need a VPN to work with Waze in Iran, but it may be your best choice for driving.


The important advantage of using Sygic is that it is an offline map. This DOES mean you have to download the map for the different cities you’re visiting, and they’re quite sizeable.


Two Iran apps that are widely used by locals, Balad and Neshan are extremely helpful alternatives to Waze. That is, if you have a basic grasp on the Persian language, or have somebody who can help you, as they do not offer an English translation as of right now.

Social Media/Messenger Apps in Iran

Social Media Apps in Iran

The best thing to do about this issue is to just download a good VPN and access your usual social media apps in Iran -Instagram, WhatsApp, Telegram, YouTube, and pretty much every other app you can think of being censored over here.


Imo Messenger is one of the few messengers that is NOT censored in Iran. You can easily have a phone/video call over the Internet with this app while you’re in Iran, there’s just the issue of convincing everyone you want to keep in contact with to download it on their phone in advance.

Miscellaneous Helpful Apps

There are a few more useful Iran apps that don’t necessarily fit in the above categories. If you’ve already been to Iran, you may be able to think of even more that may come in handy. If so, don’t hesitate to mention them in the comment section!

Tehran Metro

If you’re planning on spending any time in the city of Tehran (which you probably should), you’re going to realize that you need to use the Metro. And, if you’re planning on using the Metro, you’re going to realize that it’s very difficult to figure out the 7 operating lines by yourself. The Tehran Metro app is a guide that can help you understand where exactly it is that you’re going.


If you’ve gotten yourself an Iranian SIM Card, having the corresponding application for your operator is definitely a good idea. You can use MyIrancell (for Irancell SIM Cards, obviously) or MyMCI (for Hamrahe Aval SIM Cards) to check your balance, charge your card, buy a data package, and more.

Café Bazaar

We mentioned in our VPNs blog that if there’s an app you’re going to need in Iran, you probably should download it beforehand. That’s because both the App Store and Google Play are censored in Iran. If you’re an Android user, there is some good news: You can use the Café Bazaar application to download some of the apps you’ve realized you need. That said, you can only download apps approved by the Iranian Government from Bazaar, so that means no VPNs.

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