Due to its geographical location and tourist attractions, travel to Urmia is very popular among Iranian and foreign tourists. Urmia is a city with a history of 3000 years and is one of the 19 historical cities of Iran registered with UNESCO. It is interesting to note that the old name of this city was Rezaiyeh and it was renamed Urmia in 1957. Considering the wide range of choices available to travelers who want to visit this city, Eligasht aims to provide you with a glimpse of the natural and historical attractions of this Iranian city as well as the good hotels and restaurants available there.
Travel to Urmia: Geographical location of Urmia
Urmia is located in northwest Iran and is the 10th most populous city in Iran. It has an excellent geographical location and is located 20 kilometers from Urmia Lake. According to the census conducted in 2016, its population was about 740,000 and its area is about 10,000 square meters.
Travel to Urmia: Climate of Urmia
Due to its geographical location, Urmia has good weather conditions most of the time and you can also have a pleasant travel to Urmia, but it should be noted that this city has relatively hot summers and very cold winters.
Travel to Urmia: Recommended hotels in Urmia
1. Ana Hotel
The first 5-star hotel built in Urmia is Ana Hotel, which is equipped with high-level facilities and amenities, and its guests enjoy good comfort. The hotel has a meeting room, gym, Wi-Fi, housekeeping services, and a very good restaurant among its amenities that you can also take advantage of.
Address: Iran – West Azerbaijan – Urmia, Shahid Beheshti Street (Band Road), Jame Jam Street, Ana Hotel
2. Jahangardi Hotel (Urmia)
Jahangardi Guesthouse is one of the 4-star hotels in Urmia, which is affiliated with Iran Gardi and Jahangardi investment company. The hotel is located in the most pleasant climate in the west of Iran, 40 kilometers from the beautiful and famous Urmia Lake. The Jahangardi Hotel, with 74 rooms and a trained and experienced staff, and the best service facilities in a pleasant and relaxing atmosphere, is ready to welcome all guests for travel to Urmia. Some of the nearby tourist attractions include the Naneh Maryam Church, the Koohsir Church, and the historical Three Domes. It should be noted that the hotel does not accept cancellations or changes in reservation dates in September.
Address: Iran – West Azerbaijan – Urmia, Kashani Street, opposite Mellat Bank.
3. International Park Hotel Urmia:
Another famous hotel in Urmia is the International Park Hotel, which holds the top-quality tourism services award in this province. The hotel has seventy-five rooms, suites, royal suites, and super royal suites. Its facilities include private parking, a restaurant with various Iranian and foreign cuisines, modern and equipped fast food, a coffee shop, and Wireless internet.
Address: Imam Street, opposite the Bazaar, Urmia, West Azerbaijan, Iran
Travel to Urmia: Recommended restaurants in Urmia
1. Molavi Restaurant
One of the most famous and popular restaurants in Urmia is Molavi Restaurant. You can order various high-quality Iranian foods and stews when you travel to Urmia and it is also a suitable option for holding parties and special events.
Address: Molavi Square, Molavi Boulevard, Urmia, West Azerbaijan, Iran
2. Haji Baba Restaurant
Haji Baba Restaurant is one of the restaurants in Urmia with excellent food quality and a very chic and tidy environment. You can have a decent lunch in this restaurant.
Address: End of Daneshkadeh Street, Band Road, beginning of Buali, Urmia, West Azerbaijan, Iran
3. Niyavaran Restaurant
Another restaurant in Urmia is Niyavaran Restaurant, which has a green and clean space. The food quality is so high that you have to go to the restaurant an hour earlier because it is always very crowded.
Address: Band Road, opposite the river and 110 mobile stations, Urmia, West Azerbaijan, Iran
Travel to Urmia: Tourist Attractions in Urmia City
1. Lake Urmia
The largest and saltiest lake in Iran is located in Urmia city, and in addition to Iran, it is also the second saltwater lake in the world. In this regard, it has similarities with the Great Salt Lake in America. The lake is situated 17 kilometers east of Urmia, between East and West Azerbaijan provinces.
Address: Urmia, West Azerbaijan, Iran, 17 kilometers east of Urmia
2. Jameh Mosque of Urmia
This magnificent structure belongs to the Ilkhanate period and the 7th century AH. The mosque is located in the bazaar of Urmia and its location is such that it faces three main streets. The oldest part of the mosque is probably the dome-shaped Shabestan, which was built during the Seljuk period. In excavations carried out in the columns connected to the Shabestan, some antiquities belonging to the Ilkhanate period were found. The most important decorative elements of the mosque are the Kufic inscriptions around the dome and the plasterwork of its mihrab. The mosque is one of the tourist attractions of Urmia and you can visit it during your travel to Urmia.
Address: Imam Street, adjacent to Urmia Bazaar, Urmia, Iran
3. Lake Marmisho
Another lake worth visiting in Urmia is Lake Marmisho, which, due to its considerable distance from Lake Urmia, also has a very pristine nature. The lake is located about 45 kilometers west of Urmia, among the neighboring mountains on the Iran-Turkey border. The primary source of Lake Marmisho is the soil of Turkey, which, after receiving other waters in its basin, forms the Nazlu Chay River. The extraordinary tranquility of the area is due to the presence of this lake.
Address: West Azerbaijan, Iran, 45 kilometers west of Urmia
4. General’s House
The General’s Houses of Urmia, which were built during the Qajar period and about 200 years ago, are considered to be one of the tourist attractions of Urmia. The General’s Houses of Urmia belonged to a military commander named General Asghar Khan Abdalmalaki Afshar. Among these historic buildings, there is also a mosque and a Hussainiya. The mosque is also known as the General’s Mosque. The house is located on Asghar Khan Street.
5. Shamalkan Waterfall
This waterfall is located near the village of Shamalkan, in the vicinity of Urmia. The main access to this village is mostly through the village of Band, but it can also be accessed from the slopes of the nearby village of Seer, where a destroyed castle can be seen on the way.
Address: South of Urmia, 4 kilometers south of Urmia
6. Ansari House
One of the late Qajar period houses, built between 1951 and 1961 AH, is the Ansari House. The house belonged to Babak Jafari, who inherited it from his daughter Badr al-Molouk after his death. Saifollah Khan Ansari was the husband of his daughter, which led to the naming of the Ansari House after them. The house is now owned by the Urmia Education and Training District 2. The Ansari House is located on Ansari Alley, along Modarres 2 Street, in Imam Hussein Square (also known as Gol-e-Ostokhan).
7. Sheikh Tappeh Forest Park
Sheikh Tappeh Forest Park, with an area of 44 hectares, is located in the southeast of Urmia, on the hills overlooking the city and in the vicinity of the ancient Sheikh Tappeh Hill. This hill is one of the ancient hills belonging to the Medes period before the spread of Zoroastrianism, which today has no trace due to urban construction.
Address: Nabovat Boulevard, Urmia, West Azerbaijan, Iran.
Shahrchay Lake (also known as Silvana Yilagh Lake) is located in the northwest of Iran, in West Azerbaijan province. It originates from the mountains of Kurdistan at an altitude of 3,271 meters and is joined by a range of border mountains in Turkey. After carving out a valley for itself in the aforementioned heights, it enters the road to Band and irrigates the lands along its path before reaching the village of Band near the city of Urmia, receiving several streams along its course.
Address: Band Road, Urmia, Iran.
Urmia Bazaar is the commercial heart of the city, as with other Iranian cities. It houses several bathhouses (Akhond, Tajalli, Gha’em, and Qarajeh) and caravanserais. The most important trades carried out in the bazaar include those of copper workers, knife makers, jewelers, carpet sellers, seed sellers, crystal sellers, shoemakers, and perfumers.
Shohada Valley is a region where rivers flow abundantly, giving life to it. Suitable vegetation has grown around the river, and numerous animals live in it, making it one of the attractions of Urmia. The valley covers an area of about 35,000 hectares and is located on the Urmia-Ashnawiye road, 35 kilometers southwest of Urmia in West Azerbaijan province. Hunting is prohibited in the valley, and endangered sheep and goats are being conserved since 1997.
Salook Waterfall is located in the village of Salook, 32 kilometers west of Urmia, on the green hills of the border between Iran and Turkey, at the foot of the mountain range of Rosh. The valley has a breathtaking view and leads to the waterfall. The height of the waterfall is about 76 meters, and its water is supplied from the snow of the Zagros mountain range. One interesting fact about this attraction in Urmia is that it moves towards the village in a staircase pattern. It takes about an hour of hiking to reach the waterfall, which is also used for mountaineering and nature exploration.
How to travel to Urmia:
- Airplane: Urmia has a very large airport located 15 km away from the city. Domestic flights from Urmia are to Tehran and Mashhad. International flights are also available to Turkey, Dubai, and Saudi Arabia. Therefore, one of the ways to reach Urmia is by airplane. The flight from Tehran to Urmia takes about an hour. Before purchasing an Urmia plane ticket, it is essential to pay attention to the origin and destination airports.
- Personal car: If you intend to Travel to Urmia by your car, you must travel the 768 km route, which takes about 8 and a half hours. To reach this city, start from the Tehran-Karaj highway and head towards the cities of Qazvin, Abhar, Zanjan, and then Tabriz, and finally Urmia.
- Bus: You can also Travel to Urmia by intercity buses. With this type of vehicle, you are approximately 10 hours away from Tehran to Urmia. If you are going from Tehran to Urmia, you should go to the western bus terminal and buy a bus ticket to Urmia.
- Train: Another option to Travel to Urmia is via the Tabriz train. There is no direct train from Tehran to Urmia; therefore, you must take a train for about 10 hours to Tabriz and then use other means of transportation to reach Urmia.
Tips for travel to Urmia:
– Urmia is a relatively cold city, especially in the winter months. Be sure to bring warm clothing if you’re visiting during the winter.
– Urmia is known for its handicrafts, so be sure to visit the bazaars to see and purchase local crafts.
– If you’re interested in learning more about Urmia’s history and culture, consider hiring a local guide to show you around.
– Urmia is a very safe city, but be sure to take regular precautions to protect your belongings and valuables.
– If you’re visiting Lake Urmia, be sure to check the water level before you go. The lake has been shrinking in recent years, and some areas may not be accessible.
Travel to Urmia is known as a pleasant trip due to its ancient history and ancient monuments left over from different historical eras. Urmia is the largest city in the West Azerbaijan Province of Iran. This city is known for its beautiful natural attractions, including Lake Urmia, the largest lake in the Middle East, and the surrounding mountains. We hope this travel guide from Eligasht would help you with your travel to Urmia.