Ardabil is a beautiful city located in the stunning northwestern region of Iran, and it is a destination that is worth exploring. With its rich history, captivating landscapes, and warm hospitality, Ardabil offers a variety of experiences that cater to both history enthusiasts and nature lovers. Let’s dive into the top things to do in Ardabil and make the most of your visit!
Sheikh Safi al-Din Khanegah and Shrine
Start your journey by visiting the magnificent Sheikh Safi al-Din Khanegah and Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage site, one of the best things to do in Ardabil. This complex exhibits the intricate architecture of the Safavid era and houses the tomb of Sheikh Safi al-Din Ardabili, a prominent Sufi leader. Sheikh Safi-ad-din Ardabili, the predecessor of Safavid kings, was born in Ardabil in the year 650 AH. He was a Sufi elder from the Ilkhanate dynasty. Sheikh Safi-ad-din wrote poems in Azeri and was the namesake of the Safavid dynasty. He was also associated with Safavid’s Khānegāh in Ardabil, which gained numerous followers over time.
Come and experience the lively bazaar of Ardabil, where you can treat your senses to a delightful journey. Experience the vibrant atmosphere as you wander through an array of bustling stalls that showcase an eclectic mix of goods, from traditional handicrafts to aromatic spices. The bazaar provides a variety of items that highlight the culture and heritage of the city.
This bazaar in Ardabil City dates back to the Islamic period and is still standing strong at its heart.
From the 4th century AH, historians described its shape as a cross extending in four directions with simple domes, giving valuable insight into its physical characteristics. Most of the bazaar’s sections were built or updated during the Safavid Dynasty and Zand era. Surely, no trip is finished without a souvenir, so make sure you get your souvenir from the stunning bazaar of Ardabil.
The Jameh Mosque is one of the Ardabil’s historical significance. Marvel at its grandeur and intricate tilework that speaks of the city’s past glory. The Ardabil Jameh Mosque is an ancient structure comprised of three sections from the Seljukian era, showcasing incredible architecture.
The first part of the building is a minaret, which is a unique architectural element that emphasizes the historical importance of the structure. The second part of the building features a magnificent arch that is covered by a shaft. The arch is supported by a total of nine sturdy wooden columns that are strategically placed throughout the space. Each column is installed on a unique and irregular stony base, adding to the overall charm and character of the building. The third section is the ancient mosque featuring a dome and four arches.
Escape the chaos and commotion of urban life by embarking on a journey to the serene Shorabil Lake, a tranquil heaven hidden amidst lush greenery. Without a doubt, this is the ultimate experience to have while spending time in Ardabil. A scenic walking path has been constructed around the entire lake, making it a popular destination for both locals and tourists visiting Ardabil. This route is suitable for walking, driving, biking, or taking a leisurely carriage ride. Visitors have the option to indulge in water sports such as boat riding and jet skiing.
You can also rent a paddleboat or take a leisurely stroll along the serene shores of the lake, which is one of the best things to do in Ardabil. The location has gained popularity due to the addition of a zoo, hotel, resting area, and two theme parks. Shorabil Lake is conveniently situated within the city and can be easily accessed. It is also open for visitors during nighttime hours.
Sheikh Jebra’il Mausoleum
Experience the beauty of the Sheikh Jebra’il Mausoleum, a stunning piece of architecture in a serene garden. This place should be a must-visit among your top things to do in Ardabil because of its exquisite tilework and tranquil ambiance. The tomb of Sheikh Gabriel was constructed in the early 8th century AH, located in the northern region of Ardabil and the village of Kalkhoran. The tomb is truly a remarkable piece of design and architecture from the Safavid era, and it is widely regarded as one of the most outstanding examples of artistic expression within its category. The stunning octagonal tomb is located within a breathtaking garden. It comprises two petite chambers, a porch, and an internal structure with two pavilions.
Sarein Hot Springs
Experience the ultimate relaxation at Sarein Hot Springs, renowned for its therapeutic benefits. Enjoy a relaxing soak in the mineral-rich warm waters while surrounded by breathtaking natural scenery. It has been noted that certain hot springs located in Sarein experienced temperature changes after the 1990 Manjil-Rudbar earthquake. This geological event has evidently had an impact on the thermal properties of these natural springs. The Sabalan mountain, standing tall as Iran’s second-highest peak following Damavand, plays a significant role in warming the water that flows through the hot springs (Best hot springs in Iran).
Iran is a land of unparalleled beauty and rich cultural heritage, offering a plethora of tourist attractions to explore. Among these is Sabalan, a majestic mountain range that stands tall at an impressive height of 4811 meters. Mount Sabalan was once an active volcano, but it has been dormant for many years now. If you’re looking for an adventure, Sabalan Mountain provides an exhilarating hiking experience. Climb to the top, and you will be rewarded with mesmerizing panoramic views from the summit.
As the country’s third-highest peak, Sabalan offers breathtaking views that are sure to leave visitors in awe of its natural splendor. Whether you are an avid hiker or simply seeking a peaceful retreat amid nature, Sabalan is a must-visit destination that is sure to enchant and inspire. There are many things to do in Ardabil, such as skiing, visiting natural spas, and mountain climbing (Iran mountains).
Meshkin Shahr’s Natural Springs
Discover the rejuvenating natural springs of Meshgin Shahr, known for their therapeutic properties and healing effects due to their mineral-rich content. It’s worth a visit!
Meshginshahr is recognized as the second-largest city in Ardabil province. Its historical and natural attractions have drawn thousands of tourists from across the globe to this beautiful destination every year. This city, popular among tourists, boasts nine natural spa springs, 11 hydrotherapy complexes, waterfalls, rocky landscapes, rivers, plains, groves, forests, and more. It’s a prime location for those who appreciate nature and all it has to offer.
Meshkin Shahr is an ideal adventure destination boasting 600 historical and ancient monuments, the most unique suspension bridge in the Middle East, and paraglider flight sites for tourists to explore.
Sadeghi Historical House
The Sadeghi historical house is a national monument in Ardabil, Iran, dating back to the Qajar period. This residence was built by Haj Ebrahim Sadeghi during the year 1283 AH. The property features three spacious courtyards and three main sections, each with a unique character and design. Additionally, there are three distinct areas within the estate, each one serving a specific purpose. These areas were used for various activities, including social gatherings, religious events, economic activities, and family interactions.
This magnificent residence has been rightfully acknowledged as a national treasure of Iran thanks to its remarkable historical, cultural, artistic, and architectural significance. Sadeghi’s historic house is now a restaurant and café with great traditional food at affordable prices, which you should add to your list of things to do in Ardabil.
The Ghahghaheh Castle is situated in the northwestern part of Iran, specifically in Khalkhal city of Ardabil province. It was constructed during the Safavid era and served as a military outpost to monitor and manage the surrounding region.
This fortress boasts sturdy stone walls and watchtowers, making it one of the most strategically important forts in the region. The central section of the fortress is connected by suspension bridges.
Ghahghaheh Castle is now a significant tourist destination in Ardabil and attracts both local and international visitors annually. Exploring the castle can provide cultural and historical insight for tourists and enthusiasts interested in Iranian heritage and customs.
Ardabil is a magnificent city that boasts a fascinating history and awe-inspiring natural beauty. From stunning mountain ranges to picturesque valleys, this destination offers an array of breathtaking scenes that will leave any traveler captivated. Whether you’re seeking adventure or relaxation, there are many top things to do in Ardabil to suit every taste and preference. From exploring architectural wonders to embracing nature’s serenity, this hidden gem is waiting to be explored. So, pack your bags and embark on a journey to Ardabil, where every moment promises enchantment.