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Getting There & Away

Buses to Esfahan (IR350,000, 6.30pm), Rasht (IR250,000, 8.30am) and Tehran (IR250,000, frequent) use the big, empty terminal, five minutes’ walk south of Shilat Sq.

Savaris and some buses for Tehran, Qazvin and Tabriz pick up at the Behesti (Khayyam)/Ferdosi St junction. If arriving on a Tehran–Tabriz bus that’s bypassing Zanjan on the motorway, ask to get off at the tollgate just before the Bijar junction (NOT at the ‘Zanjan’ exit, which is 10km further east). There are plenty of waiting taxis (IR100,000), which are a better option than legging it 4km into town.

Savaris (IR30,000) and occasional minibuses (IR20,000) to Soltaniyeh leave from Honarestan Sq.

The direct bus to Takab (IR120,000, 3½ hours) leaves at 10.30am daily from the small yard on Behesti St near the corner of Ferdosi St and goes via Qam Cheqay. You can hire savaris outside for the run from Takab to the Tahkt-e Soleiman ruins.

The train station is beyond a Dali-esque gateway of winged wheels. The best-timed departures for Tehran (IR128,000 to IR200,000, four hours) via Qazvin (two hours) are at 6.20am and 8.06am, though there are several afternoon trains as well. Buy tickets the day before for the 8.57pm and 10.33pm sleepers to Tabriz (IR375,000, eight hours) via Maraqeh (five hours).