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IRAQ: A Guide to the Top Tourist Attractions of Middle East

Back in antiquity, Iraq has a long and difficult history. The area that is now Iraq was home to numerous illustrious civilizations, including the Sumerians, Akkadians, Babylonians, and Assyrians. Mesopotamia, often thought to as the birthplace of civilization, was the home of these thriving civilizations.

Over the years, several empires, including the Persians, Greeks, Parthians, and Romans, occupied and ruled over Mesopotamia. The Islamic conquest in the seventh century AD brought Arab rule to the region, and in the eighth century Baghdad became the capital of the Abbasid Caliphate.

Iraq was a part of the Ottoman Empire up until British forces invaded it during World War I , became an independent monarchy in 1932 under King Faisal I. Before the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, Saddam Hussein had ruled Iraq with an iron fist since taking office in 1979.

Where is Iraq? Why was it isolated from other countries?

Iraq is a Middle Eastern nation that is bordered to the north by Turkey, to the east by Iran, to the southeast by Kuwait, to the south by Saudi Arabia, to the southwest by Jordan, and to the west by Syria. Baghdad serves as the nation’s capital

Iraq has a long and complicated political history, which includes periods of unrest and hostilities. Iraq was the target of international warrants in the beginning of the 1990s because of its invasion of Kuwait. A protracted insurgency, solitary violence, and terrorism were the results of the irruption’s outcome.

Iraq has just emerged from some of the fighting, but it still has economic and political difficulties. It still has a complicated relationship with other nations, and it hasn’t fully reclaimed the position of transnational integration it formerly held before the 1990s.

How safe is Iraq? Is Iraq safe Now to travel?

Security worries about terrorism, bloodshed, and sectarian conflict persist in Iraq, and things can change quickly. Foreign governments, notably those of the United States and the United Kingdom, advise against visiting many places of Iraq unless absolutely necessary, and some regions are deemed to be extremely dangerous.

If you are considering visiting Iraq, it is imperative to perform in-depth research and consult your government’s travel warnings to learn more about the current security situation. It is also suggested that you hire a reliable local guide and take the necessary safety precautions, such as avoiding crowded public areas and always being aware of your surroundings, to protect your safety.

Architectural wonders and mosques of Iraq

Country influenced with multiple cultures and extensive history has influenced and reflected the architecture of nations.  Structures and mosques, which range from historic ziggurats to modernist libraries, paint an amazing picture of the country’s past and present.

The two most well-known ziggurats are the Sumerian step-pyramid structure and the ancient Babylonian Tower of Babel. Many dynasties and empires throughout history, including the Sumerian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Persian, and Islamic empires, have had an impact on the nation’s architecture.

Another notable example of Islamic architecture is the Al-Ukhaidir Fortress, which was built in Iraq in the eighth century during the Abbasid Caliphate. To protect travelers and pilgrims passing through on their path from Baghdad to Mecca, the desert-based castle was constructed.

Tourism Upliftment of Iraq

The Iraqi government has recently taken steps to encourage tourism in the nation, including easing visa requirements for some ethnic groups, providing encouragement for private sector investment in the sector, and launching marketing campaigns to highlight Iraq’s artistic legacy and historical sites.

Basra southern city of Iraq and Samarra history city called as an ancient city of Babylon tourist destinations that have been discovered.  Also, the Iraqi government encourages religious travel, especially for Shia Muslims, who make up the majority of the nation’s population.

The people and culture of Iraq

Iraq’s population is primarily Arab, with tiny populations of Kurds, Turkmen, Assyrians, and other ethnic groups. The poetry, music, and dancing of this country’s citizens have left behind a rich cultural and literary legacy.

Cuisines in iraq has centered around food and architectural sectors. Popular dishes like kebabs, kofta, dolma, and biryani typically come with bread, rice, and vegetables.

Islam is the most common religion in Iraq, and religion has a significant influence on Iraqi culture. Strong Islamic traditions are present in the country, and Iraq is home to a number of important religious sites, including the holy cities of Najaf and Karbala. The Iraqi people, however, are tenacious and proud of their cultural heritage, and they continue to celebrate traditions & rituals.

Recommended Itineraries for 5 Days Iraq Holiday

1st Day: Baghdad

  • For history and cultural heritage of the nation, visit the National Museum of Iraq.
  • Witness the Al-Shaheed Monument, an imposing memorial built in memory of Iraqi troops who lost their lives during the Iran-Iraq War.
  • Take a stroll through Zawraa Park, a large park in the center of Baghdad.

2nd Day: Babylon

  • Explore the historic city of Babylon, which once held a prominent position in the globe.
  • The Ishtar Gate, Babylon’s Hanging Gardens, and Nebuchadnezzar’s Palace remains.
  • Babylon Museum offers historical information about the city.

3rd Day: Najaf

  • Visit the Imam Ali Mosque, one of Shia Islam’s holiest locations.
  • Visit the Wadi-us-Salaam cemetery in Najaf, which is the biggest cemetery in the world.
  • Explore the Najaf Museum to see the historical relics on display there.

4th Day: Karbala

  • Experience, the holiest site in Shia Islam after the Imam Ali Mosque of the Imam Husayn Shrine.
  • Explore the Abbasid Palace, which was once a center of political and cultural life in Iraq.
  • Stay with the Karbala Museum to view a display of memorabilia from the Karbala Battle.

5th Day: Erbil

  • Explore the historic Citadel of Erbil, which dates back to at least 6000 BC.
  • Learn about the history of textile manufacturing in the area by visiting the Kurdish Textile Museum.
  • Wander through the expansive Sami Abdulrahman Park, which is located in the center of Erbil
Other Information:

Depending on the reason for your trip, how long you plan to stay, and your country of citizenship, you may need a visa to enter Iraq.

  • Tourist visas: Holders of this visa may enter Iraq for leisure travel, sightseeing, or other tourism-related activities. In the international airports of Erbil and Sulaimaniah, you can receive a 30-day visa upon arrival.

It is important to keep in mind that obtaining a visa for Iraq can be difficult, and requirements may vary depending on the applicant’s country. Visa requirements and other applications procedures contact Iraq embassy for more information

  • Languages: Iraq has 2 mainly spoken languages known as Arabic / Kurdish
  • Currency: currency used is the Iraqi dinar (IQD). The current banknotes in circulation in Iraq are 250, 500, 1,000, 5,000, 10,000, and 25,000 dinars.

(1 DINAR = 0.00068 USD)

  • Weather: Weather around Iraq consists of hot summers, mild winters and few rainfall. However, the weather can vary depending on the region and the time of year.

The summer months of May to October in some parts of Iraq can see temperatures as high as 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit). In the northern portions during the winter months of November to April, the temperature can vary between 5 and 15 degrees Celsius (41- and 59-degrees Fahrenheit).

  • Airports: Iraq are an important gateway to the country, and there are several major airports that serve both domestic and international travel. These include Baghdad International Airport, Erbil International Airport, and Basra International Airport, among others.

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