Iraq is the cradle of many of the world’s most ancient civilizations, including the Babylonians and Assyrians. Most of Iraq has a hot, dry climate. Summer temperatures average over 48°C (120°F) for most of the country and frequently exceed 49°C (121°F). It borders Jordan, Kuwait, Syria, Turkey, Iran and it’s home to one of the friendliest and most misunderstood culture.

need to know for traveling in Iraq


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Quick facts

Capital CityBaghdad
Official languagesArabicKurdish (official at state level), Turkmen, Assyrian, Armenian,
Area437,072km²
CurrencyIraqi dinar (IQD)
Population36 milion

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Visa

Getting in

You can enter the country with land borders. I used the borders with Iran and Jordan, both of which issue tourist visas. Be careful because if you enter Federal Iraq from Kurdistan, you will have to apply for visa again, but if you go from Federal Iraq to Kurdistan, you can enter with the same visa.

Most travelers come by plane directly to Baghdad anyway and this is also very advisable if you want to get a visa on arrival and later continue to Kurdistan with the same visa.

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Best time to visit

Summer is good for Kurdistan, but Federal Iraq is, unless you can withstand very hot weather (above 40 Celsius), better to visit in spring or fall. Winter is also great, just come with a jacket. Kurdistan have a snow in winter.


Is Iraq safe ?

Iraq Samara Minaret
Malwiya Mosque and its 52m high minaret

Iraq has been portrayed in the mainstream media for several years as a dangerous country full of … I won’t even mention it.

It is not, I feel strongly about saying that.

Yes, there are dangers everywhere, but no more than in any other countries.

Your biggest obstacle will be not existing tourist infrastructure, but that many see as an advantage to explore.


Best experiences in Iraq

Chaotic Baghdad

The capital city of Baghdad is very chaotic with a terrible traffic system, lots of small streets and abandoned cool places waiting to be discovered by curious travelers.

Explore the Cradle of Civilization

Babylon, Ur, Samara and many more are the places that shaped history. A must visit locations for any curious traveler.

Connect with a friendly locals

In Iraq, I was fortunate enough to meet one of the most welcoming people and one of the most misunderstood cultures. Make up your mind and share it with the world. Iraq needs and deserves it.


tips for Iraq


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Accommodation

In Baghdad, there are not yet many hotels suitable for a budget traveler. However, there are a few, namely Hotel Diwan and Royal Garden. Reservations must be made in person or by phone.

Outside the capital, the situation is much better. Just ask the locals or show them the hand gesture and they will surely point you in the right direction. Good thing for a budget traveler can be that hotels tend to concentrate in one place, so if you’re looking for the best price, you can just hop from one to another and try to make your deal.

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Independent travel

Independent travel in Iraq is allowed and fairly easy if you have some experience. You’ll have to deal with a lack of tourist infrastructure, but that’s usually the beauty of independent travel. Your bonus will be a spirit of local people who are ready to help and they are happy when they see tourists.

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Transportation

Transportation in Iraq is very easy, but you will have to talk to local people and get the idea about it. There is no difference between the transportation system in neighboring countries, so if you are comfortable squeezing into small minibuses with unknown destinations or dealing with taxi drivers on the street, you are ready to go.


ALL MY ARTICLES ABOUT IRAQ

  • How to travel Iraq – a complete guide for curious visitor (2023)

    How to travel Iraq – a complete guide for curious visitor (2023)