10 Things To Do In Tabriz, Iran: A City Shaped By History & Nature

Things to do in Tabriz
| 4 min read

Tabriz is the largest city in the northwestern part of Iran, found in the province of East Azerbaijan. Dubbed as the “city of firsts,” its history dates back to more than 4,500 years ago. It has even served as the capital of Iran several times in the past.

Tabriz is one of the cities in the world most vulnerable to earthquakes. Traces of this susceptibility can be seen in its different attractions, many of which have been repaired several times in the past due to damage from the tremors. Let’s check it out the best things to do in the area!

1. Visit the Blue Mosque

Interior of Blue (Kabud) Mosque - Tabriz - Iranian Azerbaijan - Iran - 01 (7421681942)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Adam Jones used under CC BY-SA 2.0

The Blue Mosque, also known as Goy Masjid, is arguably the most well-known among the many landmarks of Tabriz. It is known for the intricate blue tile work along the walls and the ceiling of the mosque, along with Islamic calligraphy. Its blue hue earned the mosque the moniker “Turquoise of Islam.”

The original building was constructed in 1465, but it sustained heavy damage in 1779, when a strong earthquake hit the city. The reconstruction of the mosque began in 1973 under the supervision of the Iranian Ministry of Culture, but it remains unfinished to date. Only the entranceway remains from the original structure.

Blue Mosque

Address: Khiyaban, Tabriz, East Azerbaijan Province, Iran

Website: Blue Mosque

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2. Visit the Azerbaijan Museum

Detail of Anxiety - Sculpture by Ahad Hosseini - Azerbaijan Museum - Tabriz - Iranian Azerbaijan - Iran (7421593886)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Adam Jones used under CC BY-SA 2.0

The Azerbaijan Museum is found near the Blue Mosque. Its three halls serve as the home of important relics of Tabriz’s history, including artifacts identified with the Hasanlu, a town that dated back to the Iron Age. Also notable among the exhibits of the museum are the sculptures of Ahad Hossein, which are said to depict life and war.

Azerbaijan Museum

Address: Imam Khomeini Street, Tabriz, East Azerbaijan Province, Iran

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3. Visit the Arg-e Tabriz

Arg-e-Alishah, Tabriz

Posted by Perzsia on Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Arg-e Tabriz has a dark past. The citadel ruins were once used as an execution ground of criminals, where they were thrown off from the top of the walls, although legend says that one woman was able to survive this by using her chador as a parachute. The structure was then used as a command post by the Russians when they invaded Iran in 1911.

Arg-e Tabriz

Address: Imam Khomeini Street, Tabriz, East Azerbaijan Province, Iran

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4. Check out the stalls at the Tabriz Bazaar

A Carpet Shop in Tabriz Grand Bazaar - 3/365
Source: Photo by user Neeku used under CC BY 2.0

The Tabriz Bazaar was an important trading spot in the 16th-century. It is widely considered as one of the most beautiful bazaars in the world, as well as the biggest covered bazaar, with its high-domed ceilings and multiple side streets. Visitors will enjoy getting lost in one of the many alleys of the market, which sells just about anything, ranging from spices to jewelry. Make sure to visit the carpets section, as Iran is known for their collection of beautiful rugs, each of which is handmade.

At the western end of the Tabriz Bazaar is the Masjed-e Jameh, a mosque built during the Seljuk era, although it has since undergone various reconstructions after being damaged several times over the years by the many earthquakes that hit the city over the centuries.

The Tabriz Bazaar is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Tabriz Bazaar

Address: Rasta Kucheh Street, Tabriz, East Azerbaijan Province, Iran

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5. Visit the Spice Bazaar

Spices on sale in Tabriz
Source: Max Pixel

The Spice Bazaar in Tabriz is one of the best in the entire country because of its wide selection. Foodies will enjoy browsing through the stalls to see which among the various herbs and spices they can purchase to add flavor to their tasty creations. Also sold in the bazaar are various natural remedies and henna.

Spice Bazaar

Address: Tabriz, East Azerbaijan Province, Iran

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6. Visit the Mausoleum of Poets

Poets Mausoleum Tabriz
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Elmju used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Iranians are known for their love of literature and art, so it is not altogether surprising that they had a mausoleum built to honor the country’s poets. Ostad Shahriyar is commemorated in the mausoleum itself, although over 400 notable figures from the realm of arts and letters are also remembered here, as their original tombs were lost because of the city’s various earthquakes.

Mausoleum of Poets

Address: Seqat ol-Eslam Street, Tabriz, East Azerbaijan Province, Iran

Website: Mausoleum of Poets

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7. Visit the Shahriyar House Museum


Posted by Masih Tsb on Saturday, 2 April 2011

Aside from the Mausoleum of Poets, Ostad Shahriyar is also commemorated in the Shahriyar House Museum, which once served as the home of the poet. The personal possessions of Shahriyar are kept intact by the caretakers of the house.

Shahriyar House Museum

Address: Maqsoudieh Alley, Tabriz, East Azerbaijan Province, Iran

Website: Shahriyar House Museum

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8. Explore Elgoli Park

El-goli 1
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Elmju used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Elgoli Park, also known as El Goli or the National Park and formerly called Shah Goli Park, is the favorite of Iranian families who want to find an open place where they can relax.

At the center of the grounds is a small artificial lake, in the middle of which is a Qajar-era palace. Visitors can bring a picnic basket with them so they can enjoy an outdoor meal while here. Alternatively, they can buy food from one of the restaurants and cafes by the lake. The popularity of the park is such that it sees human traffic almost all throughout the day. There are even those who choose to have an overnight stay there, setting up tents so they can spend the night there.

Elgoli Park

Address: Elgoli, Tabriz, East Azerbaijan Province, Iran

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9. Visit the Architecture Faculty at the Islamic Arts University

Behnam house http://ift.tt/1M41Kim Architecture faculty, Behnam house, Tabriz, Iran follow me on instagram: sadeq_nazari

Posted by Manila Central University Graduates on Monday, 1 June 2015

A cluster of three two-story mansions, each of which has its own courtyards and decorative ponds, make up the Architecture Faculty of the Islamic Arts University.

Architecture Faculty of the Islamic Arts University

Address: Walman Street, Tabriz, East Azerbaijan Province, Iran

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10. Visit the Kandovan Village

kandovan hotel(Tabriz)
Source: Photo by user hannaneh710 used under CC BY 2.0

Kandovan Village is a small settlement, with each troglodyte house carved into the side of a cliff. About a hundred households continue to make this village their home.

Kandovan Village is about an hour away from Tabriz by car. It is recommended to visit the village during winter, because the snow adds a romantic touch to the village’s appearance.

Kandovan Village

Address: Kandovan, East Azerbaijan Province, Iran

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Immerse yourself in history

Tabriz has had a troubled past. Aside from the number of earthquakes that devastated the city, it also fell under repeated invasions. Nonetheless, these various events in Tabriz’s past have helped create a city rich in history.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Melanie is a freelance travel writer. She considers freelancing for Trip 101 to be a combination of two of the things she loves: writing and traveling. She has gone sightseeing with family,...Read more

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