flag Iraq Iraq: Travelling

In this page: Entry Requirements | Organising Your Trip | Visiting | Living Conditions | Eating | Paying | Speaking | Useful Resources

 

Entry Requirements

Passport and Visa Service
Iraqi Ministry of Interior – Visa section
List of Iraqi embassies abroad
For Further Information
 
Check IATA Travel Website for visa requirements and health advices.
 

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Organising Your Trip

Means of Transport Recommended in Town

Recommendation
Major cities, towns, and villages are connected by a modern network of highways and roads (around 45.000 Km in total), thus car and taxis are the easiest way to travel in Iraq. Rental cars are not very common.
Maps of Urban Networks
Bing Maps
Google Maps

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Transportation From Airport to City Centre:


Airport

Distance

Taxi

Bus

Train

Car Rental
Baghdad International Airport 16 km/10 miles IQD 55.000/30-40 min 40-50 min Not available Available
Basra International Airport 15.4 km/9.5 miles    IQD 7.000-10.000/20.30 min Not available Not available Available
Erbil International Airport 9 km/5.5 miles IQD 30.000/15-30 min Not available Not available Available

Means of Transport Recommended in the Rest of the Country

Recommendation
Plane: Iraq has 3 major international airports: Baghdad, Basra and Erbil.
Car/Taxi: taxis are widely available in major cities.
Bus: the most economical way to travel Iraq is by bus.
Train: approximately 2,400 kilometers of track exist throughout the country.

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Airlines

Name Type Domestic Flights International Flights
Iraqi Airways Major Yes Yes
Turkish Airlines Major Yes Yes
Emirates Major No Yes

You Can Consult The EU Air Safety List. Look Also at the rating of the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

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Travelling By Yourself

Recommendation
Iraq has approximately 45,000 km of roadway, mostly paved (only 7,000 km of roadway unpaved). Roads are generally in good conditions, however it is recommended to use planes for long distance trips.
Road Maps
Bing maps
Find an Itinerary
Via Michelin
Google Maps

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Visiting

Different Forms of Tourism

Historical
Iraq can offer several historical tourist destinations, including: the ruins of Babylon, Ziggurats (terraced pyramid temples erected during Ancient Mesopotamia), the Abbasid Palace in Baghdad, the Kirkuk Citadel (a city located in Iraqi Kurdistan, established around 880 BC).
Cultural
Iraq possesses a wide portfolio of museums and galleries, such as: the Slemani Museum (Babylonian artefacts), the Kurdish textile museum, the Iraq museum in Baghdad, the Amna Suraka museum.
Nature
Iraq has a varied landscape, which ranges from the Mesopotamian alluvial plain to the Zagros mountain range and part of the Syrian Desert. The Tigris and Euphrates rivers run through the centre of Iraq, and flow from the northwest to the southeast. Another tourist attraction is the Sami Abdulrahman Park in Iraqi Kurdistan, an oasis sprawling over an area of 200 hectares.
Religious
Iraq is a Muslim country, the main religious attractions include the city of Karbala (where Husayn, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed, was martyred) who is home to two important Shiite mosques, Al Abbass Mosque and Imam Hussain Mosque; Najaf (where there is the Imam Ali Mosque and one of the world's largest and most important Muslim cemeteries); the Al Askari Mosque in Samarra and Kadhimiya – north of Baghdad – which is considered a holy city in Shia Islam.
Thermal
As other Arab countries, Iraq has a large number of “hammam”, a traditional type of public bathing. The country can offer several thermal activities, like the Hammam al-Alil's sulphur springs and spa, who recently reopened after the city of Mosul has been liberated from ISIS.
Beach
Iraq has a coastline on the northern Persian Gulf which measures less than 60 km, thus it is not a main destination for beach tourism.
Winter Sports
In the north-east of Iraq, in the Iraqi Kurdistan region there are several ski destinations, including Mount Halgurd, Choman and the Korek Mountain (where there is Iraq’s only skilift).
Outdoor Activities
Outdoor attractions and activities include the Al Zawra Zoo and Amusement Park in Baghdad, the Chavi Land Park in Sulaymaniyah and the Sami Abdul-Rahman Park in Erbil.
Shopping
The “souq” or “bazaars” - local traditional markets – is where most Iraqis go shopping. They offer a wide variety of products, like foodstuff and handicrafts, carpets, leather and terracotta products, etc.
Shopping malls are growing really fast. The main examples are the Royal Mall and the Family Mall in Erbil, The Babylon Mall and the Al Mansur Mall in Baghdad, the  City Star Mall in Sulaymaniyah.
Tourism Organisations
Babylon ruins
Samarra
Ahwar

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Living Conditions

Health and Safety

Health Precautions
Vaccines include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, hepatitis A, and your yearly flu shot.
Medical facilities in Iraq are limited, hence travellers have to make sure they have an adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.
The temperature in summer months can exceed 50 ºC, which can result in dehydration and serious health problems.
For Further Information on Sanitary Conditions
List of major hospitals, medical centers and clinics located in Iraq
For Further Information on Safety Conditions
U.S. State Department travel information for Iraq
 

Emergency Numbers

Emergencies 112
 

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Time Difference and Climate

Time and Time Difference
It is %T:%M %A In Baghdad (GMT+3 in winter and GMT+4 in summer)
Summer Time Period
Iraq does not apply any Daylight Saving Time clock changes.
 

Map of the Time Zone

Time zone

Type of Climate
Iraq has a hot, dry climate characterized by long, hot, dry summers and short, cool winters. The coldest month is January (temperatures ranging from 5°C to 10°C), whereas August is the hottest month with temperatures above 30°. In summer, daily temperatures can be very hot, reaching easily 45°C or more, especially in the Iraqi desert areas.
For Further Information
Iraqi Meteorological Organization
 

Average Annual Temperatures and Rainfall

Climate

 

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Eating

Food Specialties
Iraq has a long culinary history which dates back to more than 10.000 years ago.
Typical dishes include Mezza plates (appetizers and salads), Gauss (grilled meat sandwich wrap), Kebab (often marinated with garlic, lemon and spices, then grilled), Bamieh (lamb, okra and tomato stew), Quzi (lamb with rice, almonds, raisins and spices), Falafel (fried chickpea patties served with amba and salad in pita), Kubbah (minced meat ground with bulghur wheat or rice and spices), Masgûf (seasoned fresh carp skewered and cooked by barbecuing and grilling on an outside grill), and Maqluba (a rice, lamb, tomato and aubergine dish), Dolma and Mahshi (stuffed vegetable dishes).
Drinks
Tea (known as “chai”) is the most common drink in Iraq. Other beverages include Sharbat (a chilled, sweet drink prepared from fruit juice or flower petals) and Shinēna (a cold beverage of yogurt mixed with cold water, sometimes with a pinch of salt or dried mint added).
Iraq became officially an alcohol-free country after the Parliament passed a law forbidding the import, production or selling of alcoholic beverages at the end of 2016.
Nevertheless, alcoholic beverages can be found in the country. Typical beverages include Arak (an unsweetened aniseed-flavoured drink usually mixed with water) and beer.
Dietary Restrictions
Muslims are not allowed to eat pork (unless it is “halal”, which means it is permissible or lawful in traditional Islamic law).

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Paying

Domestic Currency
Iraqi Dinar
ISO Code
IQD
To Obtain Domestic Currency
It is possible to withdraw IQD directly from banks’ ATMs (small fees apply). There is a wide array of currency exchange companies.
Possible Means of Payment
Payment can be either in cash or through credit card (this payment system has been introduced in 2007). ATMs are accessible all day long.

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Speaking

Official Language
Arabic and Kurdish (official in Kurdish regions only)
Other Languages Spoken
Farsi, Assyrian, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Chaldean
Business Language
English and Arabic
Getting Some Knowledge
Arabic expressions translated in English
Free Translation Tools
Arabic Phrases : Helpful Arabic phrases
World Reference : Arabic/English dictionary

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Useful Resources

To Find an Apartment
4321Property

To Find a Job
Bayt
Indeed

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Latest Update: November 2022