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Sanandaj is the capital of Kurdistan province that it located in western side of Iran as the 23rd largest cities of Iran according to last census in late Nov 2016. Name of this city has been picked up from ancient Kurdish language however, the orginal name was “Sanne”.
The population of Kurdistan province is about 1.6 million who are mostly Kurds and live in urban areas however there are places and villages where they have a lot of inhabitants who live nearby border of Iraqi Kurdistan. What makes exploring this city interesting is, there are different communities of people and religions in Sanandaj such as an small community of Armenians who migrated in 1960s or even this city had an small community of Aramaic speaking Jewish community until Iranian revolution in 1979.
The most popular business for Kurds is producing Persian rugs and carpets that are extremely premium quality and we can categorize them as a nomadic rug. Refined sugar and milled rice are other two populous businesses in Kurdistan. There are different accents and dialects in this province but one of the most popular one that is spoken in Sanandaj is Ardalani dialect which sounds similar to current Persian that is spoken in Iran.
Things to do in Sanandaj:
Today what makes traveling to Sanandaj or even other cities interesting is being exposed to stunning landscapes and marvelous waterfalls and lakes in this area. People are of the opinion that Sanandaj and its surrounding are piece of heaven on earth in terms of meeting extremely hospitable people, food variation, historical sites and local music that are very attractive for everyone to visit.
What we can recommend to do while you stay in sanandaj is visiting Asef Mansion, Anthropology Museum, Bazaar, Abidar. There are several day trips and excursion that are quite interesting for people such as Going to Paveh that is a colorful village or visiting several stepped villages in Huwraman county. it’s highly recommended visiting Uraman village, Selin & belbar and have a decent trek among these villages.
Accommodation is always very challenging in every particular destination especially when it comes to being exposed to very hospitable people, we all expect to go through local houses, however, the facilities and comfort are not in comparison with hotels. So our first suggestion to let you get invited by people to their houses and have a unique experience. Apart from that we would suggest staying in either Shadi & INN hotels are that both top 3* hotels and located in upscale part of the city.
Having local foods are quite amazing especially when it comes to getting invited by a local family in Kurdistan, they will cook for you one of their local dishes such as Aash Gazaneh, kalaneh or Aash Halav. You might be exposed some other local dishes that are similar to other Kurdish provinces too.
Sweets & pastries:
Trying local sweets and deserts of any city might be quite interesting and can be used as a little gift for families and friends or relatives. Some of the famous ones are Kak, Cookies.
We also recommend staying a bit longer in this area in summer time and explore the region on your own too by visiting all these villages and cities.