Ardabil Travel Guide

  • Things to do in Ardabil

    Attractions and Activities to enjoy your time in Ardabil

Ardabil Travel Guide

Things to do in Ardabil, Activities, and Attractions

Ardabil is the capital city of Ardabil province located in the northwestern part of Iran. The name Ardabil means the holy town. Ardabil province is known for its delightful lakes and heavenly jungles. Many travelers plan to come back to Ardabil after their first trip as they believe visiting it once won’t be enough to absorb all of its beauty. Ardabil also has a rich culture. This magnificent city is the origin of the Safavid dynasty thus; 26th of July was named the national Ardabil day. The people of Ardabil are among the most hospitable races in Iran and their language is Azeri Turkish or Azerbaijani. Ardabil is one of the top Iran destinations in summer due to its endless natural beauties and moderate weather.

Summer Temperature20 °C to 30 °C
Winter Temperature-15°C to 5°C
Significant AttractionsSheikh Safi-al Din Khanegah and Shrine Ensemble (Sheikh Safi-od Din Mausoleum)- Ardabil bazaar – Neor Lake -Gardane Heyran -Fandoqlu forest -Mount Sabalan
UNESCO World Heritage SitesSheikh Safi-al Din Khanegah and Shrine Ensemble (Sheikh Safi-od Din Mausoleum)
AirportsArdabil International Airport
Public Transportation (inner-city)Bus – Taxi – Snapp( Iranian Uber)


Ardabil is one of the coldest cities in Iran with the average annual temperature of 5.8 degrees.  The mountains comprising more than 60 percent of Ardabil province are the main reason of its cold climate. Ardabil has cold winters and moderate summers with the weather being cold for 6 to 8 months of the year. The temperature varies between -15 to 5 in winter and 20 to 30 during summer.

What to see in Ardabil: Historic attractions

Ardabil is one of the oldest cities in Iran with the estimated age of 5000 years .Ardabil is mostly known for its beautiful nature however; this city has several historical monuments as it is the birthplace of Safavid dynasty. Various historical attractions such as the shrines of two of the eponyms of the Safavid dynasty and the ancient Jameh mosque have added to the historical significance of this city.

Sheikh Safi-al Din Khanegah and Shrine Ensemble(Sheikh Safi-od Din Mausoleum)

Shiekh Safi-al Din was the eponym of the Safavid dynasty and a mystic in the 13th century. Sheikh Safi-al Din Khanegah and Shrine Ensemble was his home and a temple but later became a shrine. In addition to Sheikh Safi-al Din a few other noblemen such as king Ismail, are also buried in this shrine. This UNESCO world heritage site is the paradigm of Islamic architecture in the middle ages and is the most significant monument in Ardabil. Ghandil Khane and Chini Khane are two of the magnificent rooms of this complex that amaze the visitors with their staggering decorations.

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Sheikh Safi-al Din Khanegah and Shrine Ensemble(Sheikh Safi-od Din Mausoleum), Ardabil, Iran Tour

Sheikh Jebra-il Shrine

Sheikh Jebra-il or Sheikh of Kalkhoran was the ancestor of Safavid kings and Sheikh Sai-al Din’s father. Located 3km away from Ardabil and in Kalkhoran village, his shrine dates back to the 14th century. The decorations of this monument were added in the Safavid era but some changes were made later on.

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Sheikh Jebra-il Shrine, Ardabil

Pol-e Ebrahimabad

Dating back to the Safavid era, Ebrahimabad Bridge is one of the oldest bridges in Ardebil. This 36-meter long bridge has 3 arches and is built over the Baliqu River.

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Pol-e Ebrahimabad, Ardabil

Jameh Mosque of Ardabil ( Masjed-e Jameh)

Jameh mosque of Ardabil, also known as Jome mosque is one of the oldest monuments in Ardabil. This mosque dates back to the Seljuq dynasty, however; the original structure was destroyed when the Mongols attacked Iran in the 12th century. Today only a few parts of this mosque remain. Jameh mosque of Ardabil is adjacent to an old fire temple, showing the coexistence of different religions in Iran.

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Jameh Mosque of Ardabil ( Masjed-e Jameh), Ardabil

Ardabil bazaar

The ancient Ardabil Bazaar is another one of the famous traditional bazaars in Iran. There are traces from different eras in the history of Iran such as the Seljuq, Qajar, Safavid, and Zand dynasties in the current structure of this bazaar. Ardabil Bazaar was one of the most important trade centers in Iran during the 12th and 13th centuries as it was on the Silk Road. Today Ardabil bazaar is a great choice for buying souvenirs, handicrafts, and local products.

Qeysarie Bazaar the (Historical Bazaar of Ardabil)

Shahar Yeri

Shahar Yeri is an ancient archeological site near the city of Meshginshahr in Ardabil Province. The total area of this historical site is 400 hectares and it consists of three parts: a military fortress, a temple, and an ancient hill called Ghoosha Tappe. The fortress and the temple of Shahar Yeri date back to 1450 B.C and Ghoosha Tappe belongs to almost 7000 B.C. This impressive archeological site includes 280 ancient menhirs that are estimated to be from 8000 B.C. Overall, Shahr Yari is estimated to be from the Late Bronze Age, the Neolithic, the Chalcolithic, and the early Iron Age.


Shahar Yeri, Meshginshahr, Ardabil

Neor Lake

Located in the valleys of Baqro Mountain near Talesh, Neor Lake is the largest lake in Ardabil province and one of the largest ones in Iran. This stunning lake and the surrounding area are one of the favorite camping locations in Ardabil and a perfect choice for spending some time exploring the nature of this province. The fields around this lake are covered in various types of wildflowers and herbs that create a dazzling sight. In addition to the horses roaming around in the valley, several types of birds can be seen if you’re lucky enough to visit Neor Lake in the migration season. Neor Lake offers visitors a large set of activities such as camping, fishing and safari, and horseback riding on the magnificent road reaching Subatan village.

Neor Lake, Ardabil

Gardane Heyran

Gardane Heyran is a road between Astara in Gilan province and Ardabil in Ardabil province. With verdurous mountains on one side and Hyrcanian forests on the other, this road is one of the most stunning pathways in Iran. Traveling on this road, you get the chance to admire the breathtaking scenery, visit nearby villages and even ride in a cable car.

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Gardane Heyran, Ardabil

Fandoqlu forest

Fandoqlu forest is one of the most beautiful forests in Iran and one of the top Iran attractions. This magnificent forest is famous for its unique chamomile fields, attracting many visitors in spring. In addition to enjoying the beauty and delightful atmosphere of the forest, it’s possible to go grass skiing on the equipped field available or relax in the hot spring located in the heart of the forest. Fandoqlu forest is covered in various types of flowers and herbs and is the natural habitat of many animal species such as wolves, foxes, bears, and gazelles. Fandoqlu forest is one of nature enthusiasts’ top choices.

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Fandoqlu forest, Ardabil

Mount Sabalan

Located in the Alborz mountain range and 35 km east of Ardabil, Mount Sabalan (4811 m) is the third most prominent peak in Iran after Damavand and Alam Kuh. This active volcano attracts many mountaineers each year with its spectacular nature, ski resort, and hot springs.

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Mount Sabalan, Ardabil

Things to do in Ardabil

Sarein hot springs

The city of Sarein is famous for its several hot springs attracting many travelers and locals daily. These spring pools help people relax and keep their minds away from daily problems and also have medical benefits. You can enjoy these  pools at one of the several special facilities in Sarein. While you’re at the city you can also buy some of the famous honey known as the souvenir of this city.

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Things to do in Ardabil

Shorabil Lake

Shorabil Lake is one of the few natural lakes located inside cities in Iran and the most popular recreational facility in Ardabil. This lake welcomes many locals and travelers daily. The complex offers many options such as renting boats and jet skis, biking, carting and zip line riding. This complex also includes an amusement park that can entertain children and adults for hours. Shorabil Lake is also the venue of many festivals every year.

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Buying souvenirs is an interesting part of every trip. Luckily Ardabil has several handicrafts and other local products and foods that can be bought as a souvenir. In addition to the famous carpets from Ardabil, carved glass pots, hand-knitted clothes, painted leather bags and Persian paintings are the most popular Ardabil souvenirs. If you prefer eatable souvenirs reminding you of the delicious food you had in Ardabil, this city also has a variety of local products such as honey, rice bread, chocolate and sunflower seeds that you can buy.

All these souvenirs can be found in Ardabil Bazaar

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