How to get to Kandovan from Tabriz

A visit to Kandovan, the troglodyte cave city in Northern Iran, is a must for anyone staying in Tabriz. Here’s how to get to Kandovan from Tabriz as cheaply as possible.

 

Kandovan is a lively town comprised of hundreds of small troglodyte (caveman) caves dug into volcanic rock spires. Though it may seem a bit touristy, due to the large numbers of residents hawking their crafts to sustain themselves, it’s a great destination for a day trip if you’re staying in nearby Tabriz. Here’s how to get from Kandovan to Tabriz, for those uninterested in going as part of a tour.

How to get to Kandovan from Tabriz, Iran

The troglodyte city of Kandovan, Iran.

How to get to Kandovan from Tabriz

Getting a minibus at Railway Square

Minibusses to Osku, the closest town to Kandovan, depart from Railway Square in Tabriz. The square is a bit far out from the city center, so you’ll have to take transportation to get there.

Being completely lost and confused as to where to go (the Lonely Planet was not accurate in this case), we were eventually put in a taxi by a friendly Iranian man. The taxi from the center of Tabriz to Railway Square was 20,000 IRR, and took about 10 minutes. Once there, ask the taxi driver to help you find the minibus to Kandovan, so he can let the driver know where you want to get off.

The minibus ride to Osku took about an hour and cost 25,000 IRR for two people.

The minibus that is essential for getting to Kandovan from Tabriz

The minibus from Tabriz to Osku/Kandovan.

 

From Osku to Kandovan and back 

Unfortunately, there aren’t many, if any, minibusses from Osku to Kandovan–you’ll have to taxi it.

A taxi from Osku to Kandovan set us back 150,000 IRR, a little less than $5, for a one-way trip, and the scenic ride through the rocky hills was about 20 minutes long. To enter the park, you have to pay a 40,000 IRR entrance fee for the car. You can also get out of the car a bit before the entrance. That way you won’t have to pay the fee for the car.

A taxi stand in Osku, part of how to get to Kandovan from Tabriz

The taxi stand in Osku, where you can find a ride to Kandovan.

Once there, you can pay the taxi driver to wait, but we didn’t bother. After walking around Kandovan for a few hours, and having lunch in the sun at one of the many small restaurants/picnic areas alongside the stream through the city, we just wandered around the main street until we spotted another taxi (which turned out to be the same taxi driver). The ride back was the same price: 150,000 IRR to Osku, then another 25,000 IRR for the minibus back to Tabriz. The taxi driver helped us find the minibus location in Osku. It’s a bit beyond the main roundabout if you continue on in the direction you were traveling from to leave Osku.

From Railway Square to Tabriz city center

Once your minibus has arrived in Railway Square, you can take a public bus back to the city center.

To get to the buses, walk out of the minibus terminal, and turn right. Continue walking straight until you hit a wide road filled with buses. Listen for the bus drivers’ shouts–one will be shouting “Bazaar! Bazaar! Bazaar!” for the bus that heads to–you guessed it–the Grand Bazaar.

Looking for more places like this? Check out our off the beaten path Iran itinerary!

A city bus in Tehran, an option for the cheapest way to Kandovan from Tabriz

Boys in the front, ladies in the back.

Don’t forget that the fronts of buses are men-only, women in the back. Enter at the middle of the bus so you can pick the proper side. To pay for the bus, sit and wait until a worker walks down the bus, collecting money or scanning the transport cards of the passengers. The bus ride is cheap, at about 10,000 IRR, and it only takes 15 minutes or so.

 

How to visit the troglodyte cave city of Kandovan–a great day trip for any traveler staying in Tabriz, Iran.

 

Have you recently gone to Kandovan from Tabriz? If you have updates to our information or know which bus to take to get to Railway Square from the city center, do share! We’re always on the lookout for up-to-date information.

Alex Reynolds

American by birth, British by passport, Filipina by appearance. Addicted to ice cream. Enjoys climbing trees, dislikes falling out. Has great fondness for goats which is usually not reciprocated.

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7 thoughts on “How to get to Kandovan from Tabriz

    Mauricio Grecco says:

    Thank you very much for the info, it was really useful and I did it today thanks to it.
    Just updating some info: the savari from center to railway square was 10,000 (always in riels), then the minibus 15,000 and I took also a savari from Osku to Kandouvan which was 50,000 inbound and 40,000 outbound. Then the minibus and savari back were same. The entrance to the park is 40,000 now.
    Thanks again and hope it helps other fellow travelers. Cheers

    Sebastiaan says:

    Awesome, thanks a lot for the update. We added a line at the beginning of the article that people should read this comment, and changed the entrance fee mentioned. When you say savari, do you mean shared taxi or private taxi?

    Tim says:

    I did this a few weeks ago as well, so I’ll tag on with some more information.

    We weren’t able to find a shared taxi from Osku, but after walking away from the square for a little bit, we did find a taxi to take the two of us for 100,000 Rial. He did try to claim that was per person at the end, but we didn’t go along with that, as we’d clearly specified the price beforehand.

    On the way back it took a while to actually find a taxi because it was later in the day, but we eventually got a shared taxi for 50,000 each (after initially being quoted 40,000).

    However, back in Osku there were no more minibusses at 7pm and all the taxis wanted 400,000 for the ride to Tabriz. After unsuccessfully trying to hitchhike for a while, we eventually got a ride to nearby Sahand, where there turned out to be a shared taxi stop for Tabriz that go for 40,000 a seat. This taxi takes you to Golestan Garden from where you can take the bus if needed. I’m not exactly sure where the taxi stand in Sahand was, but it should be easy enough to ask around.

    Eric says:

    Went to Kandovan a few days ago. When in railway square, the bus to Osku was not there yet (it was 9am, coming at around 11 they told me). Instead, took the public bus to Sahand (10.000 IRR). From there savari to Osku and with the same taxi to the toll before Kandovan, and walked to the town (1km) (that way you save the 40.000 car entry fee). The cost of it was 20.000 + 150.000 IRR.

    The way back, asking for a savari, someone took me for free to Tabriz itself, so can’t give info on that way.

    Hope it’s useful for travellers behind!

    Thanks for the blog 🙂

    Alex says:

    Great tips all around, thanks for sharing the updates! You’ve made some (future) travelers happy.

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