Hostel in Marivan (Kurdistan)

The See You in Kurdistan (SYK) project aims to provide a more nuanced understanding of the Kurdish population, culture, and history by drawing direct connections between the locals and visitors/non-locals. Within the centralized linkages of capitalism, where the dynamics of center and periphery do not allow human interconnections, the multi-layered aspects of the everyday life in Kurdistan is being concealed and rendered as secondary. Even in the tourism industry, most independent travelers in Iran – more than 90% – choose the ‘classic route’, which unsurprisingly passes from the center of Iran. This accumulation of tourists, knowledge, representation, capital, jobs, and infrastructure is paid at the cost of other people’s marginalization from cultural encounters, social benefits, and economic advantages. See You in Kurdistan, hopes to facilitate socio-economic connections in the region through sustainable tourism as an instrument, and to bring Kurdistan back to domestic and international dialogue.
Three years after launching and successfully running the See You in Iran (SYI) organization, the See You in Kurdistan (SYK) team conducted a one-year project of research and networking in Kurdistan. Holding the idea that Iran should not be reduced merely to Tehran and other central/touristic cities, the See You in Kurdistan Hostel and Art Residency in Marivan emerged as the socio-cultural embodiment of SYI’s development ideas and functions as SYI’s sister organization. The hostel, as the only English-friendly accommodation in Marivan (Mariwan), consists of a cozy café, private rooms, a large dormitory, a communal kitchen, public bathrooms, an art room, and a large garden in a more than a hundred years old building. The Art Residency provides a room and a studio for international artists who are eager for artistic exchange with local artists. The project aims to combat the lack of artistic resources and facilities in Marivan and hopes to create a space for social art production and education.

Accommodation in Kurdistan, Iran

About Marivan, Kurdistan
Despite the rich culture, openhearted people, fascinating socio-political history, and astonishing nature, the Kurdish parts of Iran do not attract much attention domestically or internationally. Through the same mechanisms that networks of power and representation have caused a sense of disconnection between Iran and the rest of the world, Kurdistan has experienced this disconnection in context with the rest of Iran. The marginalized population of Kurdistan, who are deprived from state-funded development projects and private sectors investments, have been suffering for decades from high levels of unemployment, unfair access to economic growth, public health, education, urban infrastructures, basic civil rights, and etc. However, the Kurdish identity and culture – falsely considered to be a national security threat to the central government – has survived over all these difficulties, and has remained a site of pure humanity, mixed with beauty and resistance.
Located at the heart of Marivan (Mariwan), one of the most beautiful and major cities of Kurdistan by the border, it offers a great opportunity for curious and non-mainstream travelers to meet and engage with the local people. The Marivan bazar (one-minute walk from the hostel), Zrebar Lake, and villages around it are among the main attractions of Kurdistan. In addition, Marivan is a great destination for hiking and village life enthusiasts since it neighbors the Uramanat District, embracing Uraman Takht, Bolbar, Zhiwar, and Slen, among many other stunning villages of Kurdistan. At the hostel, you can book local Kurdish tour guides who can accompany you to explore the hidden gems and the striking nature of the area, and to become familiar with Kurdish people’s culture, history, and the political distress they have faced in this region for decades.

How to Get to Marivan

Marivan is located about 15 minutes drive from Iran-Iraq border (Bashmakh), which makes it a great resting spot for those who want to pass one country to the other. There are several ways to get to our hostel in Marivan:

From Tehran to Marivan: You have two options! One is to get a bus straight from Tehran to Marivan. This option might take quite a while but gets you to the destination right away. There are buses in the West Terminal in Tehran departing from 4 to 8 pm. We recommend taking the latest bus so when you get here we have breakfast together! The other option is to take a bus (anytime during the day till 11 pm) to Sanandaj, spend half a day (or few hours) in Sanandaj and then go to the bus terminal and take a shared taxi to Marivan. Read the From Sanandaj section.

From Tabriz to Marivan: Again you have two options. One is to take a bus around noon to Saqqez (takes around four hours) and from there take a shared taxi to Marivan (takes around 2.5 hours). The other option is to go from Tabriz to Sanandaj and take a shared taxi to Marivan (Read From Sanandaj section). The Saqqez option is faster and more efficient.

From Rasht to Marivan: There is a bus going to Sanandaj everyday at around 5 pm. But that means you get to Sanadaj at around 2 am which is not a good time to get a shared taxi to Marivan. So either stay for one night in Sanandaj (there are good hotels in Sanandaj such as Shadi, Tourism, Kaj, and Hedayat.) or plan to visit Tabriz before coming to Marivan. Or just simply go back to Tehran for few days and get to Marivan after that.

From Kermanshah to Marivan: If you can afford it, you can easily get a private taxi to take you here by around 15 euros. The other option is to go to Sanandaj, Paveh, or Kamyaran and take a shared taxi. For the Sanandaj option, read From Sanandaj section.

From Sanandaj to Marivan: Shared taxis are available at anytime during the day, but we recommend taking them during day time. If you choose this option, the taxi takes about two hours and you will pay around 30,000 Toman (300,000 Rial). We generally recommend spending half a day in Sanandaj. Your options to visit are The Bazaar, Museums, Asef Vaziri Monument (Kurd House), Khosro Abad Mansion, Abidar Park, Tanakora Bazaar (second hand clothes), and etc. Talk to people, they are your best option to explore and learn about Kurdistan.

With Airplane: If you travel with plane, you need to get to Sanandaj first, and from there you can get to any terminal in Sanandaj and then take a cab to come here.  If you have enough time, a half day visit to Sanandaj is recommended. Read From Sanandaj section.

Address for our Hostel in Marivan, Kurdistan

English: No. 112, North side of “Chahar-Rah Asli”, Marivan, Kurdistan (Look for See You in Kurdistan Hostel on Google Map.)

Persian: مریوان، بالاتر از چهار راه اصلی، به سمت فلکه دارایی، بعد از مسجد قرنی ویس، کافه پالت

Telephone: +98 873 454 2266

Hope to See You in Kurdistan

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