city in West Azerbaijan Province, Iran

Urmia is the capital of West Azerbaijan province, in the Azerbaijan region of Iran, near the Turkish and Iraqi borders. It is known by its nicknames as the "Cradle of Water" and "Paris of Iran".



Azerbaijani or Azeri, a Turkic dialect, is the primary language spoken by most Urmian people, although many people, especially the younger generation, can communicate in Farsi and English up to some level.

Get in


By plane


By train

  • 2 Urmia railway station (ایستگاه راه‌آهن ارومیه). There are direct trains from Tehran every second day and daily regional trains.  

By car


By the bridge over the Urmia lake you can reach Tabriz within 1½ hours.

By bus


There are daily buses from Van in Turkey and Arbil in Iraq and also to Tehran, Tabriz and major Western Iranian cities.

By boat


Get around

Map of Urmia

Urmia has many parks and touristic coastal villages on the shore of Urmia Lake. The oldest park in Urmia, called Park-e Saat, was established in the first Pahlavi's era. Urmia's largest park is Ellar Bagi Park (Azerbaijani "Garden of the Peoples") along the Shahar Chayi, or the City River.

  • 1 Urmia Lake (a few kilometers east of Urmia). The second saltiest lake in the world. You can go swimming and you will flow on the water.    
  • 2 Urmia Museum. 09:00-19:00 daily. An archaeological museum.
  • 3 Church of Naneh Maryam (Saint Mary) (کلیسای حضرت مریم). The first church in the East built by the magi who made the journey to Jerusalem to see Jesus Christ.
  • 4 Se Gonbad (Three Domes Tower) (سه گنبد ارومیه). The Three Domes Tower is in an alley branched off the Ostad Barzegar Street in the southeastern part of Urmia.    
  • 5 Jameh Mosque (Friday (Grand) Mosque) (مسجد جامع ارومیه). Urmia's Friday Mosque is in the middle of Urmia Bazaar. It has a vast courtyard and a large brick Shabestan (covered area), roofed in the middle part with a high dome.    
  • 6 Old Urmia Bazaa. The Urmia Bazaar is in the southeastern corner of Urmia. The major part of the bazaar which remains intact is flanked by the Imam (Asgarabadi), Eghbal and Mahabad (Montazeri) streets.  
  • 7 Band. Band is a village alongside the route to Piranshar, which is one of the major places for going out in Urmia. Here you can drink tea, smoke water pipe, eat kebab and enjoy long and warm evenings in summer time.    
  • 8 Marserkis Church. The Marserkis Church is one of the stone structures of the province. The roof and all walls are skillfully and solidly built with stones of irregular shapes.    
  • 9 Sardar Mosque. Built in the Qajar dynasty by Abd-o-Samad Khan, father of Agha Khan and great grandfather of Azim-o-Saltaneh Sardar, Sardar Mosque is situated some 500 m away from the Friday Mosque. In 1951, the latter installed a big clock on top of the entrance door, which is why it is also called the Sa’atlu (clock) Mosque.    
  • 10 Natural History Museum. Displays the animals native to the vicinity of Urmia.
  • Nine Steps (Doquz Pelleh) Ice House. The Doquz Pelleh Ice House is situated by a little spring called “Darreh Chay” in an old district of Urmia called “Asgar Khan”. Doquz means “9” in Turkish. The ice house was regularly harvested by the people of Urmia before the city expanded to its present shape. Also, the Chaharshanbe Suri ceremonies used to be held beside the little pool some 40 m away from the spot where the spring water flows into the ice house.





Stay safe


Go next

Routes through Urmia
  Hakkari ← Becomes    Serow/Esendere ←  W   E  OskuArdabil

This city travel guide to Urmia is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!