According to Wholevehicles, Tabriz is the capital of the Iranian region of East Azerbaijan with more than 4,000 years of history, the third largest city in the country with a population of one and a half million people and the location of a mass of historical, cultural and natural attractions. As usual in most other Iranian cities, there is certainly the grave of a Persian poet here (Tabriz fell to become the resting place of Shahriyar), an old bazaar, by the way, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List as one of the oldest in the Middle East, and a mosque of remarkable beauty with a turquoise dome. Among other things, in the Tabriz region, you can experience a rare pleasure for Iran from swimming in a salt lake (of course, separate for men and women), wander through the rooms of a high-altitude medieval castle and purchase the most valuable carpets in the country.
How to get to Tabriz
Tabriz International Airport receives flights from all over the world. It is most convenient to get from Russia to Tabriz by landing in the capital of the country, Tehran (Aeroflot or IranAir flights from Moscow’s Sheremetyevo). Tabriz is a popular domestic destination and there are at least 4 flights departing daily from Tehran Airport to Tabriz. The journey will take 1 hour 15 minutes; cost – about 500,000 IRR. Other flight options include flights with transfers from international carriers such as Turkish Airlines (via Istanbul) or Emirates and Kish Air (via Dubai).
You can also get from Tehran to Tabriz by train that departs every evening. Travel time is about 12 hours, the ticket price is around 45,000 IRR in the second class and 190,000 IRR in a comfortable first class.
In addition, Tabriz is connected with other cities of the country by a stable bus service. The road from the capital will take 6-8 hours depending on the route; the journey will cost approximately 150,000 IRR.
Transport in the city
You can move around Tabriz by taxi, minibuses or buses. The most convenient way to travel in the cities of Iran is still a taxi. The trip will cost about 5000 IRR within the city limits. By the way, in order to fully and not tiringly see the sights of Tabriz and its environs, you can rent a taxi for the whole day – it will cost no more than 25 USD. You can also take minibuses plying to popular destinations within the city – the same taxis, only operated collectively. Such a trip will cost 1000-1500 IRR.
Tabriz buses exist as a fact, but they are of little tourist use: the schedule is unclear, and the directions of movement are also shrouded in darkness. A trip to them can only be recommended as an aboriginal entertainment; for travel with a clear end goal, use minibuses and taxis.
Cuisine and restaurants
The ubiquitous kebabs accompanied by rice are the most popular food not only in Tabriz, but throughout Iran. Hunger is also perfectly satisfies “abgusht” – a thick meat stew with bread. From local dishes, try Tabriz kefta – meatballs in thick gravy.
You can wash down the meal with sweet Iranian tea or “dug” – a drink based on yogurt with a mint flavor.
Tabriz is also famous for its confectionery, nuts and dried fruits; Be sure to visit one of the pastry shops for sweet souvenirs.
Shopping and stores
The bazaars of Tabriz are one of the most interesting in Asia. In addition to the magnificent architecture and the stunning beauty of the interiors of the covered rows, this is also the best place for shopping in Tabriz. Here you can buy absolutely everything your heart desires, including magnificent (and expensive) carpets, embossing, gold jewelry, spices, fabrics, interior items and much more. At the Spice Bazaar, among other things, you can buy traditional natural aromas – frankincense, musk, myrrh, etc., as well as aromatic herbs, flower distillates and odorous essences.
You will find a huge selection of gold at the Emir Bazaar.
In Tabriz, you can buy a real hat – only not Caucasian, but Iranian. Get ready to pay around 100,000 IRR for a quality broadtail product. It is better to choose hats at the Kolahdozan Bazaar.
Entertainment and attractions of Tabriz
A newly added UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Tabriz Bazaar is one of the city’s top attractions. The total area of the building is 7 square meters. km.; there are 22 wide covered trade passages and 24 caravanserai, inns for merchants. Once here, it seems that this is not a utilitarian market at all, but some kind of cult building hovering over the mortal. The best carpets of Tabriz are sold here – at the Mozzafariye market.
The Blue (Kabud) Mosque, built in 1495, is one of the most beautiful in Iran. It took 25 years to painstakingly cover the building with majolica and decorate with calligraphy! Unfortunately, most of the mosque was destroyed during the earthquake of 1773, and today one can only guess about the former greatness from the amazing beauty of the surviving fragment of the entrance gate.
Pay attention also to the ruins of the medieval citadel of the 14th century, where criminals were once executed by simply throwing them off the walls. A popular legend tells of an innocently condemned woman who miraculously escaped death thanks to the parachute effect created by her long pleated dress.
Pay attention also to the ruins of the medieval citadel of the 14th century, where criminals were once executed by simply throwing them off the walls.
To learn more about the history of Tabriz and the entire region, visit the Azerbaijan Museum, which displays many artifacts from archaeological sites, including an amazingly well-preserved 3,000-year-old copper helmet.
You can pay tribute to the memory of the great Persian poets in the Mausoleum of Poets. The main character of the complex is the national pride of Tabriz, the poet Ostad Shahriyar; in addition to him, the names of more than 400 masters of verse are mentioned here.
Do not ignore the Kazhar Museum, dedicated to the imperial era of Tabriz. Among other things, it is located in a remarkable building of the late 19th century.
For a breath of fresh air (as well as refreshment with kebabs), head to El Goli Park.
You can enjoy the beauties of East Azerbaijan by climbing out to the salt lake Urmia – its surroundings are extremely picturesque and include the medieval castle of Babak on the top of a 2700-meter hill, the place of life of one of the Zoroastrian heroes of Iran. Take at least 2 hours to get up. In the resort area of Bustanabad on the shores of Urmia, there are many SPA centers operating on the sulfate water of mineral springs. And in the village of Kandovan troglodytes, you can see the cone houses of local residents, something like Cappadocia in the Iranian way.
All prices are for May 2011.