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Erbil Travel Guide

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Erbil is the capital and most influential city of Kurdistan Regional Government and located 210 kilometers away from Türkiye, 180 kilometers away from Iran. Erbil is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities of the world since 28th century BC. Now, the city is on its way to becoming a modern metropolis and attracts more and more international tourists every year.  

Erbil şehir gezi rehberi

General Information

Country: Iraq
Region: Northern Iraq
Area: 115 km2
Language: Kurdish and Arabic
Average temperature: 20.2 °C
Climate: Continental Mediterranean Climate
Vegetation: Steppe
The difference between GMT: GMT+3
Telephone Code: +964 66
Currency: Iraqi Dinar
Socket Type: Type F

How to Get to Erbil?

Erbil is a growing tourism destination of its region with many cultural and historical attractions. Pegasus Airlines offers direct flights to Erbil from İstanbul and Ankara. 

The flight duration to Erbil from İstanbul is 2 hours and 35 minutes.

The flight duration to Erbil from Ankara is 2 hours.

You can buy your direct flight tickets to Erbil from İstanbul and Ankara from here.



Transportation from Erbil International Airport to City Center

Erbil International Airport is located 13 kilometers away from the city center. You can get to the city center with airport taxi and car.

Airport taxis are the only means of public transport in Erbil. The fixed fare from the airport to the city center is 15 USD.

You can also enjoy the city with a rental car. Pegasus Airlines car rental service has great offers for you in here.


Public Transport in Erbil 

You can use taxis to get around in the city. 

The city does not have a reliable public bus system and taxis are the main means of transportation for visitors in Erbil with low fares. There are two types of taxis exist in Erbil. One is colored light tan and its drivers are educated by the government. They mostly have newer and cleaner cars. Others are painted orange and white. They are private taxi associations. Any trip in the city should not cost more than 4.000 to 13.000 Iraqi dinars (2019).


Best Time to Visit Erbil

Erbil ne zaman gidilir

Erbil has a continental Mediterranean climate with very hot and dry summers, cool and rainy winters. The hottest month is July and the coldest month is January. We suggest you to visit Erbil during late summer or late autumn since the weather is more welcoming. It is also recommended for you to enjoy Erbil at least two or three days.

Festivals in Erbil

  • International Erbil Festival (March)
  • International Theatre Festival (December)


Places to Visit in Erbil

Erbil has always been an important city throughout history. Consequently, the city has many remarkable and rare historical landmarks. In addition to these, the city attracts a growing number of tourists every year with its cultural heritage and environment. 

Erbil Citadel

Erbil Kalesi

Erbil Citadel is located in the heart of the city and on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2014. The citadel is huge and still inhabited by thousands of people. Erbil Citadel was built in 3000 BC. and served as a political and strategic center for countless civilizations. The citadel is a must-go place and the most visited attraction of the city.

Erbil Textile Museum

Erbil Textile Museum is located on the south end of the Erbil Citadel. The museum is home to handcrafted rugs of Erbil and its surrounding cities. 

Sami Abdurrahman Park

Erbil şehir parkı

Sami Abdurrahman Park is the iconic park of the city and has two amazing with artificial lakes. The park used to be a military base but now serves as the most visited park of Erbil.

Jalil Khayat Mosque

Erbil Hayat Cami

Jalil Khayat Mosque is the largest mosque of the city and was built in 2007. The mosque is famous for its renowned interiors and tiles. Jalil Khayat Mosque is walking distance away from the Erbil Citadel.  

Majidi Land Erbil

Majidi Land Erbil is the modern attraction of the city. Majidi Land is an amusement park and an all-in-one shopping center. The amusement park is a popular destination among locals and is a great place to shop for Erbil souvenirs. 

Where to Stay in Erbil?

Erbil Otelleri

Erbil is a growing tourism destination and offers great accommodation options for its visitors. If you are looking for a luxury stay in Erbil and still want to be close to the heart of the city, it is best for you to stay in hotels around Sami Abdurrahman Park. If you are in Erbil for business related purposes, hotels in Ankawa district are much closer to the airport and promise a calmer and cosmopolitan neighborhood. 


What to Eat in Erbil?

Erbil ne nerede yenir

Erbil is one of the most prominent culinary destinations of the Middle East. Its cuisine delivers a delicious mixture of Arabic and Kurdish traditional recipes. Visitors can also find diners that serve international food from various cuisines. 

  • Berbesel, Dokliw: Bouba Restoran
  • Erbil Kebab, Biryani, Cucumber Stuffing: Dawa 2
  • Kellane, Kullerenaske, Kutilk: Damasquino


Shopping in Erbil: Best Souvenirs to Buy

Erbil Royal Mall

Erbil is famous for its authentic foods and handicrafts. You can buy dried fruit pulps, walnuts, dried figs from local shops scattered around the Erbil Castle.

There are also many shopping malls in Erbil. You can shop from international brands in Family Mall, Majidi Mall and Royal Mall. 

Nightlife in Erbil

Although Erbil does not offer a variety of nightlife options to its visitors, the city has many bars and pubs located in the northern part of the city. Most of them are located around the Ainkawa Street.

Things to Know Before Visiting Erbil

  • It is important to cover your skin with light, breathable fabric and apply sunscreen against direct sunlight.
  • It is smart to keep a couple of bottled water in your daily bag to stay hydrated.
  • Erbil is a recovering war-weary city. Although Erbil is one of the safest cities in Iraq, it is recommended for you to stay in within city limits.
  • US Dollars are commonly accepted. 
  • There are not many exchange vendors and banks around the city. It would be best for you to exchange some of your currency to Iraqi Dinar at the airport.

Essential Numbers

Country Code: +964

City Code: 66

Erbil International Airport: 964 66 281 0000

Ambulance: 122

Police: 104

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