Ardabil is the capital of Ardabil Province. At the 2011 census, its population was 564,365, in 156,324 families, where the dominant majority is ethnic Iranian Azarbaijanian. Ardabil is known for its silk and carpet trade tradition. Ardabil rugs are renowned and the ancient Ardabil Carpets are considered some of the best of the classical Persian Carpet creations. Ardabil is also considered as a World Heritage Site: the sanctuary and tomb of Shaikh Safi-al-Din eponym of the Safavid Dynasty.
Ardabil is located on the Baliqly Chay River, about 70 km. (43 miles) from the Caspian Sea, and 210 km (130 mi) from Tabriz and with total area of 18.011 km2 (6.954 sq. mi) neighboring on the Caspian Sea and the Republic of Azarbaijan.
This city has been politically and economically important throughout history, especially within the Caucasus region. It is located on an open plain 1,500 meters (4,900 ft.) above sea level, just east of Mount Sabalan (4,811 m), where cold spells occur until late spring.