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Iraq is one of the oldest countries in the world. It is a land that stands on Mesopotamian soil and has  witnessed countless developments and events throughout the history. Today, it charms its visitors with a great mixture of its authentic and contemporary lifestyle. Thus, it is considered as one of the “must visit” destinations.

Iraq travel guide

General Information

Language Arabic
Capital Baghdad
Location West Asia
Local Time GMT+3
Currency Iraqi Dinar (IQD)
Socket Type C, D, G
Average Yearly Temperature 22.6
Climate Desert climate
Surface Area 437.072 km2
Regime Federal Parliamentary Republic
Means of Livelihood Oil Reserves
Country Code +964

 

The Official Language

The population of Iraq is pretty diverse. Nowadays, there are different ethnicities living in Iraq. To name some, Armenians, Syrians, Turkmens, and Arabs are living together in this land. Even though the official language of the country is Arabic, you can hear many different middle-eastern languages while you go around.

Capital

The capital of the country is Baghdad. It is the largest city in the Middle East after Cairo and Tehran.  Throughout the history, this city has been the commercial and cultural center of the Islamic world.

Climate

Generally Iraq is a hot country with the desert climate. It doesn’t take lots of rain yearly. The average temperature is 22.6 celsius degrees.

Means of Livelihood

The main income source of Iraq is oil, having huge oil reserves. The country also has livestock and agriculture as other income sources.

Where is Iraq?

Iraq has one of the most strategic points in the Middle East. It has several neighbours; such as Turkey on the north, Iran on the east, Kuwait on the southeast, Saudi Arabia on the south, Jordan on the southwest, and Syria on the west.

Best Time to Visit

The ideal season for going to Iraq is spring. Since the summers are very hot and dry in the country, the spring months are more ideal for a pleasant trip.

How to Get to Iraq?

Especially from Istanbul, it is very easy and affordable to find a flight to Iraq. With Pegasus Airlines you can fly to Baghdad International Airport and Erbil Airport in Iraq.

Public Transportation in Iraq

public transportation in Iraq

The public transport is not very developed in Iraq. Due to the fact that there are a lot oil reserves in the country, the citizens prefer transporting via their own vehicles. On the other hand, the cabs are great options for transportation in Iraq. With a cab, you can access anywhere around the country.  Moreover, there is no taximeter system in the country. Therefore, you can make a fixed price deal with the driver. Car rental is also a popular option that is preferred by most of the visitors.


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Transportation from Baghdad Airport to City Center

Baghdad International Airport is located on the west side, about 16 kilometres away from the city. This airport is the largest one in Iraq. There is a taxi option or car rental alternative to get to the city center from the airport.

Transportation from Erbil Airport to the City Center

Erbil Airport is not as big as the Baghdad airport. It’s also convenient to use a taxi or car rental option from the airport to arrive to the city center.

Places to Visit in Iraq

Iraq has one of the most historical locations in the world. Because of this fact, the country has been welcoming guests from all around the world. When you’re there make sure to visit these places.

National Museum of Iraq

The museum is famous for the pieces from Mesopotamian civilization which draws great attention of tourists.

Ancient City of Babylon

This ancient city is located in the capital of the country, Baghdad. If you will have time to visit only one thing in Iraq, you must see this place. It is a remnant not only of Iraq, but also the world’s history.

Baghdad Fortress

Located in the capital, the castle was built during the Abbasid period and has survived until today. If you come to Iraq, you should definitely make sure to visit this fortress.

Basra

Basra is the second-largest city of Iraq.  Today, it is considered the heart of the country due to hosting most of the commercial and cultural activities.

Mosul

Mosul is a city that is famous for its uniquely special woven fabrics. If you can have time to visit that city, you can check the local stores and buy some clothes made of these fabrics.

Where To Stay in Iraq?

In terms of accommodation, Iraq offers a lot of options to its visitors. If you’d like to have a comfortable and luxurious stay, you can check the places in the biggest cities of the country, like Baghdad, Erbil, and Basra. There are also budget options in all cities.

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What To Eat in Iraq?

Having a long history and a special location, Iraq can provide a wide range of dishes to its visitors. The most popular dishes in the country are based on meat, such as Kebabs, grills, and meat stews. You can try these locations to have a satisfying cuisine experience;

  • Traditional food of Iraq : Samad Restaurant, Saj Al Reef Restaurant
  • Sweet-milky : Alfagma
  • International Kitchen: Mazaya
  • Fast-Food: Dojo’s

Shopping in Iraq: Best Souvenirs to Buy

shopping in Iraq

You can buy local products such as; handmade items, ornaments, jewelry reflecting the local texture, jewelry, kitchenware, accessories, spices, silverware, copper, region-specific rugs and carpets. Baghdad and Erbil mostly preferred for shopping as they provide more options..

Things to Know Before Visiting Iraq

  • Shops are closed in Iraq on Friday afternoons.
  • There is no problem about traffic. Pedestrians can walk safely.
  • Theft in Iraq is not very common. Since the rules are strict, the frequency of thefts and similar incidents is low.
  • In Iraq, English is not a popular language, but many people can communicate in some way.
  • You can bargain on taxis and shops.

Nightlife in Iraq

Baghdad used to be the center of entertainment activities of Iraq. However, because of the increase in restrictions of alcohol usage in the capital, the nightlife shifted more to Erbil and Sulaymaniyah. You can find various places to visit and have fun throughout your visit.

 Holidays in Iraq

  • New Year - (January 1)
  • Army Day - (January 6)
  • Labor Day - (May 1)
  • Feast of Ramadan
  • Eid al-Adha
  • Republic Day - (July 14)
  • Iraq Independence Day - (October 3)
  • Islamic New Year
  • Ashura Day
  • Muhammad's Birthday
  • Christmas ( December 25)

Festivals in Iraq

  • Iraq Short Film Festival: August – September
  • International Babylon Festival: September 22 – October 1
  • Flower, Culture and Victory Festival: April

FAQ about Iraq

Is Iraq a safe country?

Iraq is a fairly safe country. You shouldn’t have problems regarding safety.

Are there any clothes limitation in Iraq for women tourists?

There is not a restriction but dressing modestly is preferred.

Is it forbidden to drink alcohol in Iraq?

Despite the fact that in most regions of the country alcohol is prohibited, you are free to drink alcoholic beverages in the regions like Erbil and Sulaymaniyah.

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