Even by Iran’s super-hospitable standards, Sanandaj is a remarkably friendly city. It’s the capital of Kordestan province, a good base for visits to Marivan, and a great place to learn more about Kurdish history and culture. You’ll see plenty of men wearing traditional cummerbunds and baggy Kurdish trousers. Yet it’s a modern, noticeably prosperous city with a large, fashionable population of students keen to try out their English. In Sanandaj’s Sorani-Kurdish language, ju-an means beautiful and deso hoshbe means thank you.
Busily commercial Ferdosi St links the twin centres of Enqelab Sq and Azadi Sq. From the latter, Abidar St slopes up into the folds of a rocky ridge that was the city’s historic defence and is today the pleasant Abidar mountain park.