Since the thirteenth century, Tabriz has served as a capital during different eras of rule due to its proximity to the Ottoman Empire and Russia. Over the centuries, Tabriz never lost its strategical value. While not technically the capital of Iran today, Tabriz is considered the capital of Iran’s largest ethnic minority the Azeri, who have their own food, language and culture.
As the third largest city in Iran, Tabriz has always been a major trade hub and is home to the world’s largest covered bazaar inscribed as a UNESCO world heritage site in 2010. Travelers are welcome to get lost in this vast and majestic bazar during their visit to Tabriz and see some of the finest Persian rugs in the world. Although it is common for many cities in Iran to have their own set of pattern and colors that distinguish their rugs from other cities, Tabrizi rugs are without question considered to be some of the finest rugs produced in the country.
Tabriz consists of a number of historically significant and visually stunning sites. During the Iranian Constitutional Movements between 1905 and 1911 the city of Tabriz became its epicenter. Nearby the bazar, travelers can walk to the Constitution House where some of Iran’s most noted constitutional revolutionaries met and advocated for the establishment of Iran’s first parliament. Also close by is the magnificent Masjed-e Jameh. This historic blue mosque dates back to the 1400s and is an architectural gem despite being severely damaged by two major earthquakes. In addition, there are a number of historic churches that are well worth a visit, as well as many historic Qajar era mansions hidden in the heart of the city.
The people of Tabriz and Azerbaijan region of Iran in general are known to be warm, and very proud of their Azeri roots and their Iranian heritage. Perhaps the biggest testament to this is the vastly popular Azeri poet Shahriyar. Visit his modest house turned into museum to get a feel of Iran’s Azeri identity. Iranians are huge fans of football and travelers in Tabriz during Iran’s Pro Football League (July – May), should not miss a Traktor Sazi Tabriz match. Travelers visiting Tabriz during the winter should ski down Mount Sahand and take in the beautiful nature that surrounds the city.
From Tabriz, travellers can take a short drive to two of Iran’s most beautiful attractions. The village of Kandovan is a majestic village carved out of the mountain and seemingly defies all the elements of nature surrounding it. Undoubtedly, Kandovan is an absolute must see for any traveler who makes their way to Tabriz. A little further away is the beautiful and historic Church of St Stephanos, a UNESCO world heritage site dating back to as early as AD62. This church is representative of the deep history of the Christian community of Iran.
What to Eat: As with any ethnic city, Tabriz has a diverse and complex cuisine. A local specialty koofte tabrizi is a delicious must eat. The street food in Tabriz is spectacular and will also entice foodies.
Tours & Activities in Tabriz
Tabriz Grand Bazaar
Since the thirteenth century, Tabriz has served as a capital during different eras of rule due to its proximity to the Ottoman Empire and Russia. Over READ MORE
What to buy in Tabriz
Walk through the grand bazaar of Tabriz and shop for some of the most beautiful and precious carpets in the world.