Tabriz is the capital of East Azerbaijan province, in the Azerbaijan region of Iran. It is an ancient city with a history going back about 4,500 years. Archaeologists have found evidence for this in digs near the Blue Mosque.
Provincial capital of Eastern Azerbaijan, it is 310 km southeast of Bazargan (Iran- Turkey frontier); 159 km south of Jolfa on Iran-Azarbaijan Republic border, and can be reached by good road; rail (742 km from Tehran, with connections to Europe and Moscow), and air from Tehran, Istanbul and other major cities.
Situated at an altitude of 1,340 meters above sea level, 619 km northwest of Tehran, the second largest city in Iran until the late 1960's and one of its former capitals ( with a population of 1,400,000 according to 1992 census), Tabriz is in a valley to the north of the long ridge of Mount Sahand. The valley opens out into a plain that slopes down gently to the northern end of Lake Orumieh, 60 km to the west. The 160-km long Aji ,Chai or Talkheh River is the major river of the city, formed by merging of three smaller rivers, namely the Ab Nahand, Quri Chai, and Ojan Chai, all of which originate from the Sabalan Mountain and the heights in the southeastern part of the town. The river and streams join the Orumieh Lake after passing through the valleys between the Sorkhband and Yekkeh Chin mountain north of Tabriz and Osku district. Mehran River or Maidan Chai, also called Liqvan River, originates from the peaks between Karim and Sultan mountains overlooking the Liqvan village (a: major center of cheese production in Iran) near Esparakhoun and Qeshlaq. Its worst natural disadvantage, however, is its vulnerability to earthquakes, one of which utterly destroyed the city in 858. Rebuilt in a minor key, it was again devastated in 1041, when more than 40,000 people lost their lives.
By virtue of its situation, Tabriz has an agreeable summer climate, but the cold in winter is severe. Altogether it has a continental climate with low humidity. The average annual rainfall is 288 mm and the average snowfall days are 31.
The town has a long and checkered history: Although the early history of Tabriz is shrouded in legend and mystery, the town's origins are believed to date back" to distant antiquity, perhaps even before the Sassanian era (224-651 AD). The oldest stone tablet with a reference to Tabriz is that of Sargon II, the Assyrian King. The tablet referrers to a place called Tauri Castle and Tarmkis. The historians believe that this castle was situated on the site of the present Tabriz. It was the capital of Azarbin the 3rd century AD and again under the Mongol Ilkhanid dynasty (1256-13 53), although for some time Maragheh supplanted it. During the reign of Aqa Khan of the Ilkhanids, as well as under the reign of Ghazan Khan, Tabriz reached the peak of 1 glory and importance. Many great artists and philosophers from allover the world traveled to Tabriz. During this same period 1 Khajeh Rashid od-Din Fazlollah, the i..: learned historian and Minister of Ghazan , Khan, built the famous Rob'e Rashidi center.
In 1392, after the end of Mongol rule, the town was sacked by Tamerlane. It was soon restored under the Turkman tribe of r the Qara Qoyunlu, who established a short-lived local dynasty. Under the Safavids it rose from regional to national capital for a short period, but the second of the Safavid kings, Shah Tahmasb, moved the capital to Qazvin because of the vulnerability of Tabriz to Ottoman attacks. The town then went into a period of decline, fought over by the Iranians, Ottomans and Russians and struck by earthquake and disease.
Tabriz was the residence of the crown prince under the Qajar kings, themselves of Turkish stock, but the town did not return to prosperity until the second half of the 19th century .The greatest boost to Tabriz came with the opening up of Persia to the West at the turn of this century, when it became the main staging post between the interior of Iran and the Black Sea and, for a short time, the economic capital. In 1908 it was the center of a revolt against Mohammad Ali Shah, which was only put down with the brutal intervention of the Russians.
In the second Irano-Russian War the city was occupied by the Czar troops. however, it was returned to Iran following the signing of Turkmanchai Treaty, a peace and trade settlement that ended the Irano- Russian War of 1826-1828. The Iranian Constitutional Revolution originated in Tabriz and culminated during the reign of Mohammad Ali Shah of Qajar dynasty (1779-1925). Sat tar Khan and Baqer Khan were the two most prominent leading figures behind the movement. Tabriz was occupied by Russians several times in the first half of this century, including most of both world wars. A railway line to the border at Jolfa, built by the expansionist Russians, was of little importance until recently, but it has increased in significance in the '90s as a result of Iran's friendlier relations with its northern neighbors.
Daily flights from Tehran on Iran Air, Iran Aseman and other companies. Fare is 490,000 Rials for 1-way. Direct flights from Dubai have just started on Tue and Sat, operated by Kish Air (around 200 USD for 2-way). Direct flights from Tbilisi (2 flights per week), operated by ATA air.Direct flights from Baghdad have just started on Fri and Mon, operated by ATA Air. Direct flights from Baku (1 flight per week) have just started on Tue and Sat, operated by Kish Air. Direct flights from Gaziantep have just started on Tue, operated by Sky Airlines.
Direct flights from Istanbul (13 flights per week), operated by Turkish airlines (7 flights), Iran air (2 flights) and ATA air (4 flights); fare is around 250 USD for 2-way.There are also direct flights from Damascus.
Flights to other Iranian cities are scarce. Ask your favourite Iranian travel agency for schedules.
By the newly built bridge over the Urmia lake Tabriz is reachable from Urmia in 1.5 hours.
Train times within Iran can be found on the unofficial Iranian Railway Website [www.iranrail.net]. It's wise to confirm the scheduled times at a guesthouse or railway station.
Daily train from Tehran takes 12 hours, 152,500 Rials for one-way.
Daily train from Jolfa (border town to Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan exclave) in the afternoon (about 3h). Might be also interesting option if you cross from Armenia to Iran (at Nordooz) and take a taxi from there to Jolfa.
Until 2015, trains ran twice a week to Turkey: one between Tabriz and Van, the other ("Trans-Asia Express") between Tehran and Ankara. It is not known when these might resume. It seems to be resumed (June 2018).
Tabriz train station is somewhat outside the city centre. A taxi can be hired at the taxi booth in front of the station. A ride to the centre is aroud 150000 IRR (September 2018)
Bus relations with major cities. 6-8 Hours travel from Tehran (normal ticket cost around 150,000 Rials for one-way). The bus terminal is a big and new building in the south of Tabriz. From the bus station, a normal taxi will cost roughly 150,000 rial. A shared taxi to/from the bus station will be around 50,000 rial. You can also take a local bus, the bus number is 104 and it leaves from Mohaqqeqi Street, directly next to the Shadid Mohaqqeqi Metro station (which is currently under construction). This is very convenient for travelers, as Ferdosi Street (with most of the guest houses) is directly next to it. To take this bus from the bus station, leave the terminal on the front entrance and turn left. There is no sign of the bus, but it is next to a big "Taxi Stand" sign (the taxi stand being on the other side of the fence). The bus will arrive there and you can get on and it should be every 15 minutes or so. The bus takes roughly 30 minutes to the city center. If going to to terminal you can always tell people "terminal" (with long "al" at the end), they will understand. The bus costs 5,000 rial.
City transport, awaiting the Metro currently under construction (and still for a long time) is limited to taxis, shared taxis and buses.
Taxis can be chartered for a modest fee (around 20 USD if you need a driver and car for the whole day to visit the region!)
Shared taxis are even more of a bargain, but you will need to speak a few words of Persian and risk your life by stepping on the side of the road and scream your destination at passing-by Paykans. However, the experience of sharing a car with 4 locals of both genders and all ages (+ driver) can be fun! Odds are the fare won't be more than 50 cents (20.000 Rials) for a 10-minutes trip. Some drivers even refuse to be paid, the pleasure of chatting with a foreigner about the various plagues of Iran being apparently enough to make their day. (be careful of tarof, though)
Buses are difficult to take (no map, no schedule) and definitely not worth the experience when compared to shared taxis despite being quasi-free.
Bus no. 104 connects Ferdowsi Street with the Central Terminal. Purchase tickets at the ticket kiosk.
With a very rich history, Tabriz used to house many historical monuments. Unfortunately, many of them were destroyed in repeated invasions and attacks of foreign forces, negligence of the ruling governments, as well natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods. What remains now mostly dates back to the Ilkhanids, the Safavids, and the Qajars. Some of the monuments are unrivaled masterpieces of architecture. The Shahrdari Square is the center of the town, on the south-west of which stands the imposing edifice of Municipality. The railway station (5 km from the center of the town) is at the western edge of the town. The Quri Chai river runs through Tabriz, and most places of interest to the visitor are to the south of this river and along or north of Imam Khomeini Avenue.
- El Goli (formerly Shah Goli) A superb park around a square artificial pond. In the center, a small hall is on an island and hosts a restaurant. Very nice for eating some tchelokebab or sip some tea while enjoying the freshness of the park in summer.
- Blue Mosque Originally built in 1465, this mosque which was once certainly superb, but was severely damaged in an earthquake in 1778, leaving only the entrance Iwan. It was reconstructed at early 1900 by the Iranian Ministry of Culture. The inside of the mosque is tiled with superb blue ceramic, unfortunately, many pieces went missing during the quake and were simply replaced by painting instead of tiles - some of the original tiles can be found around the entrance. Entrance fee is 100,000 rials (~$3)
- The Bazaar of Tabriz is one of the oldest bazaars of the Middle East and the largest covered bazaar in the world. It was inscribed as World Heritage Site by UNESCO in July 2010.
Tabriz has been a place of cultural exchange since antiquity and its historic bazaar complex is one of the most important commercial centres on the Silk Road. Located in the center of the city of Tabriz, Iran, this spectacular structure consists of several sub-bazaars, such as Amir Bazaar (for gold and jewelry), Mozzafarieh (a carpet bazaar), a shoe bazaar, and many other ones for various goods. The most prosperous time of Tabriz and it's bazaar was in 13th century when town became the capital city of Safavid kingdom. The city lost it's status as capital in 16th century, but it's bazaar has been being important as a commercial and economic center. Although, numerous modern shops and malls have been established nowadays, the bazaar of Tabriz has remained economic heart of both the city and northwestern of Iran. It is worthy of mention that Tabriz bazaar has been being an important political place, and one can point out its importance in the Iranian Constitutional Revolution in the last century and Islamic Revolution in the contemporary time.
- Azerbaijan Museum comprises three main sections - the first contains the oldest archaeological finds from the 5th millennium BC until the Sassanian dynasty (212-656 AD), the second section contains more Islamic archaeology and coins and seals. The third section contains sculptures by Ahad Hosseini and a large collection of padlocks. There are good English signs for all the archaeological exhibits and sculptures with a panel explaining the sculptors history in English, Farsi and French. You can buy books including English copies of Lonely Planet's guidebook for Iran at the entrance. Entrance fee is 100,000 rials (~$3)
- Ark-e-Alishah also known as Arg e Tabriz, is a remnant of a fortress built in the Ilkhanate period. Currently it was located in the center of Tabriz. Historians believe that it was used as a military castle but clerics claim that the structure was initially used as a mosque in its early days. After the Revolution, large parts of the building were destroyed by the clerics to prepare a new place for Friday prayers in Tabriz. The structure today stands 28 meters high, and is still used as part of a space for holding Friday prayers.
- Constitution house a house retracing the story of the Iranian constitutional revolution in the early 20th century, Tabriz being a high place of the uprising. Quite well documented and well kept, although few English translations are available. The edifice is located next to the Tabriz grand bazaar, on Motahari Ave. During the years leading up to the Constitutional Revolution and afterwards, the house was used as the gathering place of the leaders, activists, and the sympathizers of the movement, among them Sattar Khan, Baqer Khan, Seqat ol-Eslam and Haji Mirza AqaFarshi. The two-story building was constructed in 1868 by Haj Vali Me'mar-e Tabrizi. It has numerous rooms and halls. The most beautiful parts of the house are a skylight and a corridor decorated with colorful glasses and mirrors.
- Qajar period houses and Qajar museum there are a number of signposted historic houses dating from the Qajar period in the area south of the Municipality building (Saati square) and along Maqsudiyeh alley. Of these, Nikdel house and Heidarzadeh house (which houses the city's tourist office) are freely accessible and often have handicrafts markets. About four others along Ark-e Jadid street are currently occupied by the architecture faculty of Tabriz university and are only accessible after paying a fee. The grandest of such houses currently houses the Qajar museum and is situated in the north of the city, on Shahriyar street. The museum (paying entrance, 150.000 riyal) has a nice collection and is well worth a visit, but its elaborate facade can also be admired from the park at its entrance.
- Eynali A wonderful hiking and recreational area directly north of the city. Several hiking paths head from the entrance and especially from the telecabine area towards a shrine but also continue further northward. There is also an easier paved road that goes up, as well as a telecabine that takes you to another area beyond the shrine. The area up until the shrine can be quite busy as can be the area where the telecabine ends, but once you get beyond that you get into the beautifully desolate and rough mountains of Azerbaijan on small mountain paths. You can also explore large areas closer to the city but away from the main areas along various dirt roads.
There are also numerous places to see around Tabriz. The mountainous region of south Azerbaijan offers breathtaking views and excellent treks among castles, rocky paths and remote villages.
- Orumyeh Lake a salted lake with salt beaches and improbable bathing spots (gender separate, of course). Numerous migratory birds stop there on their long trip for some rest and food. Shared taxis to Orumiyeh city leave from the train station area and can drop you off anywhere on the way. Most of the water on the eastern edge of the lake is currently gone. The northwestern side seems to be the best place to see some water, but is not so easily accessible. There is also still deeply red water alongside the middle of the bridge crossing the lake from east to west where people come to bathe. Quite surreal sights. One easy and wonderful day hike (count about 4 hours) that can be done in the vicinity is crossing the Jezire-ye Eslami peninsula from east to west (or the other way around), from the village of Saray to the village or Agh Gonbad. An dirt road connects both villages along a beautifully elongated valley and a small pass before descending towards the other valley and the other village. Not recommended in the sweltering summer heat. You can easily catch a ride onwards to Orumiyeh city or to Tabriz from the service areas next to these villages.
- Babak Castle breathtaking castle, nested on a rocky peak at an altitude of 2,700 m. Babak was apparently one of the last Zoroastrian heroes fighting the Islamic invasion, 1400 years ago. A 2-hours walk to get up there, but definitely worth it. What a view !
- Kandovan a troglodytic village 2 hours away from Tabriz. Great for discovering both the odd beauty of the place and the daily life of an Iranian village, among sheep, donkeys, hens and cats... Women in printed chadors can go outside and playing kids are all around. Mullahs obviously don't bother going there too often. Resistant walking shoes are mandatory if you want to climb up the village. A living example of human adaptation to exceptionally unusual natural surroundings, Kandovan village is located 50 km to the south of Tabriz, Osku, on the northern slopes of a valley at the foothills of Mount Sahand. A river originating from the Sahand peaks passes through the valley. There are a number of natural springs to the north of the river, the water from which has traditionally been used for the treatment of kidney stones, according to the locals. The physical structure of the village looks like images from fairy tales. Natural cones, scattered over a vast area, serve as human dwellings on rock formations which themselves seem to have been the work certain sculptors. The road from Tabriz goes through this natural artwork. On getting nearer to the dwellings, the visitor finds out that large families are living inside two or three of these hollow interconnected cones with features such as openings on their surface playing the role of actual windows. The lowest cones are used as stables and those on top as the living quarters. The interiors of the dwellings, usually divided into a living and a bed room, are dimly lit; however, the villagers are used to it. The interconnecting corridors are very narrow. From the outside, the dwellings look so similar to each other that one may easily get lost in the village. Steep pathways and steps are made of rock pieces for animals as well as human beings. As the legend goes, the first people to settle here were the soldiers involved in military operations nearly 800 years ago, who found the cones by chance and used them as their temporary camouflage and accommodation. However, among archaeologists, it is considered to be of Pre-Islamic Period.
- Mount Sahand big dome topping at around 3,700 m. Interesting to climb in summer, or for skying in winter (1 lift available, another in project)
- Mount Misho Easily accessible mountain along the road heading north from Tabriz to Marand and Jolfa. Get off at the village of Payam (between Soufyan and Marand) and hike along the paved road heading northwest. The paved road will turn into a dirt road which will turn into a narrow valley, but just before trees start obstructing the path you should turn on a small path to the left, which will take you up on one of the foothills of the mountain after which the ascent is very straightforward and not too strenuous. Wonderful views throughout the walk and quite spectacular at the top. Walking sticks are recommended for the steep descent where you might slip regularly. Count about 4-5 hours from the village to the top and back and take enough water, as there is none to be found once you start ascending the foothills. Shared taxis to Marand which can drop you at Payam leave from the train station area in Tabriz. The train to Jolfa which runs a few times per week also has a stop in Payam. Just south of Payam along the Tabriz-Marand road there is a historic caravanserai that now serves as a hotel (prices unknown).
- Ala Daghlar many-coloured mountains are all around the north of Tabriz and can be admired from the roads leading to Marand (north) and Ahar (northeast), but one relatively easily accessible part where you can explored these rough hills on foot lies to the north and northwest of the village of Khajeh just off the road towards Ahar. There should be shared taxis and buses going towards Ahar which should be able to drop you off at Khajeh.
- Rob-e-RashidiThis complex was built 700 years ago . This place was a place that they do all surgeries in there. The books were made of leather . They teach science in there.
- Gholestan Garden Is good place to relax under the shadows of trees. Also has a daily flea market on the eastern edge of the park.
- Tabriz Art Museum Is the first art museum in Asia and Iran and the fifth in the world.
- Poets Tomb Also known as Maghbarato-Shora Many poets are buried here, as well as Shahriyar.
- Canonical palace This beautiful palace was built approximately 60 years ago.
- El-Goli (former: Shahgoli) park. This place is worth staying 4-5 nights in. There is also a Tourist Info center there with rooms to stay in. Pars Hotel is approximately a 10 minute walk away. Visit this park in summer, because in winter the weather is quite cold, and people from places other than Tabriz can seldom bear it. In summer, El-goli park is a beautiful place to visit. People from different areas come to jog, exercise and play group sports. Especially in the mornings you can see bunch of old men organized in lines, jog around the pool you see in the picture and the exercise for a few minutes. The real fun begins after they finish exercising; they start singing and dancing and other people gather to enjoy. Up on the hill, (100 steps above the pool) there is a vast beautiful green area which is full of boys and girls doing sports in the mornings. In the afternoons, the area is full of families sitting there to have fun at night. You can see hundreds of tents and children laughing around.
- Hot springs and Hydrotherapy Resorts in the north-west of Iran. Important and rich hydrotherapy centers such as "Sare Aine", Boostan Abad, and specially the coastal strip along Urmia Lake enjoy great popularity among all tourists. Situated 20 km off the city of Ardabile, Sare Aine Spa forms one of the most significant health resorts in Iran. Moreover, hot springs rich in phosphoric and other mineral properties, located in this region, substantially contain various medicinal benefits. As a picturesque natural phenomenon comprising distinctive medicinal and healing features, Urmia Lake definitely constitutes one of the main attractions of this scenic province
- Watch a Traktor FC soccer game. Traktor is a hugely popular soccer team in Tabriz. Watching their games in the Iranian Premier League is a must-do experience for tourists in Tabriz. Beware, however, that the Iranian police/Sepah have a haphazard approach to allowing foreigners to view these games, as Traktor's stadium can be home to anti-Islamic, anti-clerical and pro-Turkish/Azeri chants. Always try to go but if the authorities advise against it, do not go!
- Tabriz Miniatrure Park. Coordinates: 38.064406, 46.332595 A quiet little park away from the tourist attractions. It's a nice change from the always busy El Goli where tourists can always count on the locals interest. Here you can enjoy a few quiet hours in the shade and among flowers and none will bother you. It's a very local spot, couples, families sitting on the grass, chatting away the day. It's unlikely that you bump into any other tourists. Also, there are a set of miniature building models in the park, each represents a famous building in Iran. It's very nice. If you would like to stay for the night, there is free camping just 200 metres away in the neighbouring campsite, with free facilities.
If you have (lots of) money, the Tabrizi carpets are among the finest in the world, and you will find masterpieces in shops and inside the Bazaar. Tabrizi rugs are among the most decorative rugs and frequently use colors like pink, red and cream. Rugs here are about 50% less than what you pay in the West, but you can typically only take 2-3 rugs back to your home country without paying a customs fee.
You can buy gold from Amir Bazar.
Tabrizi nuts are very famous.
Kabab(or Kebab), rice, Abgousht (Meat broth) some restaurants serve them all, but if you step inside a more modest Tchelowkebabi, odds are you won't have much choice apart from the traditional rice and kebab. But still you can finid some resturants which serve all, for instance there is a historical bath in tabriz which now has became a traditional resturant and it serves both Abgousht, Kufteh, and other foods.
Kufteh Tabrizi (Meat ball) Tabrizians most popular food; very delicious.
Confectioneries and Dried Nuts
There are lots of confectioneries which are speacially for tabriz Qurabiya is one of the most delicious and famous ones, there are other confectioneries such as Nuga(or Nuqa), others like Ris, there are also lots of other kinds of confectioneries, you may name Tabriz as the capital city for eating!
Nuts just one thing: you don't wanna miss them, although they are a bit expensive but it's worth, they're very delicious.
you can enjoy Tabriz so much, if you have a guide it will help you out to find and go to lots of monuments and also to save up lots of money, because they know how to and where to buy things to be affordable so the money you pay for your guide makes you enjoy, it depends on your luck if you find a good guide or not, but you can ask for it from tourist information.
You may find very great restaurants downtown or outskirts of Tabriz which serve delicious foods.
- Baghe Ana Restaurant (also called Ana Restaurant). This restaurant is the best and well known Restaurant of Tabriz which is located in outskirt and where handy to get there just by taxi. The place is very cozy and scenic with lots of trees such as banana trees which you rarely can find in Iran. They serve great local cuisines such as Abgusht, different kinds of Kebab and fish and so on. You certainly will enjoy your time eating and relaxing there. edit
Tea, dough, tea, Zamzam Cola, tea, Fanta, tea...
You could say that Iran isn't really a destination for binge drinking. It's more the kind of place for Tea and Hubble Bubble (Qalyan) lovers. Or sipping a glass of dough over some Tchelowkebab.
"Nightlife" may not have the same meaning in Iranian towns. Apart from private parties, you won't find anything even vaguely close to a nightclub in the whole country. However, places for getting out at night in Tabriz include ice & juice houses, kebab restaurants, Qalyan (hubble bubble), tchaikhaneh and walking around the Valiasr district. Nothing really exciting, but good enough for spending the evening chatting with friends or trying to meet young locals.
Recently Hotels and Guest Houses (Mosaferkhaneh) have to offer a same tariff for nationals and foreigners. In case of doubt, ask a local to compares your price by the one written on price board in Persian. Main place for regular Guest Houses in Tabriz is Ferdowsi Street and Amin Street. For Japanese Darya Guest House is more friendly. Some richer Turks often go Darya Hotel in Rah-Ahan Street, otherwise one of those in Ferdowsi Street. From best to worst:
- Tabriz Shah-Goli PARS Hotel, . Five-star but not worth the price. Often used by business travelers.
- Shahriyar Hotel, five star, same as above.
- Hotel International, Abresan Crossroads. 50$ single / 75$ double, with breakfast, for foreigners. New interior, very clean and quiet, semi-international standards (meaning new western bathroom, soap, clean towels, room service, buffet breakfast, TV, mini-bar, English-speaking staff ...). Worth a good European 3*.
- Hotel Azarbaijan, 375.000 Rls Double Room. Dirty and noisy, definitely not worth it.
- Mashad Guest House, 200.000 Rls Single rooms. Near the tourist office ask there.
- Pars Guest House, 30.000 Rls for 2 ppl / double rooms. It's on Ferdowsi street, near the Lonely planet recommended Bagh Guest House. It's cheaper and have an inner courtyard. (Recommended for cycle tourers.)
- Ark Hotel inside Ark alley. Very impolite staff. May not relay messages left by your local contacts for you, by phone or orally. Especially if you are a female and message was left by male local or vice versa.
- Sina Hotel, Wifi in lobby, $30 single room, from Ghods hotel, take the left across to the park, walk through the park until you reach the roundabout, hotel is on the other side of the roundabout
- Hotel Morvarid, In front of Baghe Golestan (Fajr) (City center). Formally polite staff but will interfere and investigate your relations with locals! May not get your local contacts messages for you in your absence or let them wait for you in lobby. Will warn them they are not permitted to contact foreigners. edit
- Darya Guesthouse, Mohaqqeqi St. (Close to Golestan Bahce (Golestan park) at Terminal Sq. (for taxi drivers)), ☎ +98 411 554 0008 or +98 914 415 9743 (mobile). checkout: noon. Not to be confused with Darya Hotel (although the guesthouse shows also Darya Otel logo in ts building), taxi drivers might know only Darya hotel, not guesthouse. Friendly owner speaks good English and can help arrange transport and daytrips. Other staff at the reception speaks no English. Good wifi in the room, basic breakfast, most rooms include a fridge and bathroom. If full, other guesthouses (Payram, Mahmoud) are very close on the same street. Single with bathroom about 17$ (without room service). edit
- Ghods Hotel, Mohagegi St (The opposite of previous terminal (in the are of Golestan park, on a large round about intersection. Gas station nearby.), ☎ 5568098. Clean and excellent staff. Breakfast included. Due to the steep inflation it is now better to pay in riyal as the price is vastly lower than the one earlier quoted for 2013. (September 2018) (1 500 000 riyal-single room). edit
- El-goli Park tents", You can stay in tents at the El-goli park, there are electric lights and comfortable camp beds.
- Free camping Coordinates: 38.065781, 46.330417 Designated free camping spot in Tabriz. Actually, you can camp freely in every park in Iran, but this one offers free facilities as well. At the entrance there's toilets and showers and also a 4x5 charger board for your devices. The place is mostly used by domestic travellers, mainly families, but it's also a favourite spot for cycle tourers. - IMPORTANT! You have to hand in a copy of your passport at the gate if you stay for the night. Also, you must not set camp on the grass, but use the designated concrete spots. The grass is for picnic and play only. For safety, there are lights up at night.
- MTN Irancell has three service centers in Tabriz (Check locations at  using East-Azerbaijan region and Tabriz as City). A handy small office is at the northwestern corner of the crossing of Emam Ave. and Shariati St. besides a shop selling smartphones. Open Sat-Wed 8.30-14.00 and Thu 16.00-20.30, Fri and national holidays closed. A SIM Card costs about 3$ and a 10 GB 4G data package for 30 days about 10$ (June 2016). Bring your original passport with you, a little English is spoken. European and Asian mobile devices are most probably compatible with the network frequency bands used in Iran.
- Deniz Internet Cafe, Maghazahaye Sangi Alley (off South Shariati St). A good area to hang out. There is coffee shop down the road that has an expresso machine and the guys who work at the internet cafe are friendly helpful, speak English and are fun to hang out with. edit
There are comfortable night trains and buses to Tehran. There is 2nd class sleeping train (6 people in one room) that leaves Tabriz at 8.30PM and arrives to Tehran at 9.30 AM. (Current price unknown). The more comfortable choice is to take 1st class train for 420 000 IR. This train leaves at 5.30 PM and arrives to Tehran at 6 AM. There are 4 bed-rooms with TV and dinner is included in that price. To get the ticket you need to use some of travel agencies it the city or in the train station (this option only for recent day registration).
There is an early morning train to Jolfa (about 3h, every second day) if you want to go to Nakhcivan or Armenian border (further on at Nordooz by taxi) or just to visit the gorgeous Aras river valley (i.a. Armenian St. Stephanos monastery 17 km west of Jolfa).
A taxi to the border town of Nordooz to cross the border to Armenia takes around 3 hours and should cost around 15 Euros (as of September 2018).
There is also a bus to Yerevan (Armenia) taking 16 hrs and costing 2,200,000 rial (September 2018) at around 8pm (it starts at 1pm in Tehran) by Didar Seir Gity International. The Bus is said to be leaving at the bus terminal south of the city. Make sure you book in advance and have a seat reservation.
There are also buses to Van (Turkey, crossing at Bazargan / Gürbulak, east of Doğubeyazıt) and Baku (Azerbaijan) . Tickets for the bus to Baku can be bought at a travel agent along E. Khomenei Road (between Taleqani St and Artesh). Some staff speak English.
Buses to Maku (the town beforehand Bazargan if you’re crossings into Turkey) leave about 6 times a day from the Central Terminal for about 150,000 IRR (as of June 2018). The journey takes over 4 hours.
There is a bus leaving for Kaleybar (the base town for trekking up to Babak Castle) at 7am from the Central Terminal. The company is Mahan Safar and a ticket costs 100,000 IRR (as of June 2018). The 2-3 hour bus ride offers dramatically different natural landscapes.
It is possible to ship the bicycles on the bus as well as on the train. The cargo on the bus will cost 150.000 IRR, but they might try to charge you more. Stick to the 150.000. If you ship the bikes on the train, it will cost you a fixed price of 7 USD, but you have to be at the train station 2 hours before departure, to hand in the bikes and wait 2-3 hours after arrival in Teheran, to receive back your cargo. It's safe, but a hustle, so you'd be better off with the bus.