The best places to visit in Iraq
2 weeks ago
Iraq is the birthplace of many of the earth’s oldest civilizations including Babylonians and Assyrians. Iraq is a country in Western Asia bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, Kuwait to the southeast, Jordan to the southwest, Saudi Arabia to the south, and Syria to the west. The capital of Iraq, which is also the largest city in the country is Baghdad.
Iraq is often also known as the cradle of civilization and this is in reference to its ancient Mesopotamian City quite famous for its innovations in Science, literature, writing, medicine, law, and theology.
When we think about Iraq we may think about a picture of smoking battlefields, cruise missiles, and charging battle tanks, years of conflict which have besieged this country. Still, Iraq continues to struggle with lots of political strife, rather than just the scars of the war there is so much to see here.
Some of the best places to visit in Iraq are as follows :
The citadel of Erbil is 7000 years old. This beautiful place in Iraq has an illustrious history and can be compared to other greats like Byblos and Cadiz. Erbil is also known as a UNESCO World Heritage site is a massive castle in the centre of the city which acts as a popular highlight of Iraq.
Ur is located in the Southern Iraqi desert. This place is the home of Ziggurat. Ur is a tall structure with high walls with steep staircases that would have been used in days, to worship the Akkadian moon gods. This place is quite famous for its biblical tales of EPIC floods and fearsome Babylonian kings.
It is one of the oldest and most mysterious places to visit in Iraq, and also known for one of the most beautiful ancient ruins in the region.
Bagdad is also one of the most popular tourist destinations to visit in Iraq as this place consists of lots of tourist attractions like a copper bazaar, Monuments such as the unknown soldier, and Assyrian treasures in the National Museum. But in recent times, it has suffered a lot due to incessant bombing and attacks by insurgent groups. That’s why a special permit to enter the green zone of the city must be taken.
Karbala is a town, which is a home of 30 million pilgrims because of the Imam Husayn Shrine ( the final resting place of the martyr Husaynibn Ali who died in 680 AD during the battle of Karbala). This area is sacred to Shiite Muslims. Every year this town sees more than thousands of devotees arrive for the Ashuraday of Atonement.
Basrah is the destination known for one of the most pivotal battles that happened during the Iraq war.
Basra is one of the most fascinating destinations in the entire country Iraq, and it is covered with palm forest and has a beautiful river Shatt al-Arab which is lined by the sunny Corniche al- Basra where you can peacefully walk along and enjoy the cool evening breeze around the river.
Hatra is the place known as one of the most amazing archaeological sites to visit in Iraq, because of its dirty desert, traveling columns, and ornate temples. It is also known as the wonders of the Parthian age and included under the UNESCO World Heritage site.
Dur – Kurigalzu
The ancient 3,500 years old abandoned ruins of the Dur – Kurigalzu is also known as the heart of the cradle of civilization of Southern Mesopotamia. Dur- Kurigalzu was the home of the Kassite kings of old who built the Ziggurat in the 14th century which is quite close to The mighty Euphrates and Tigris rivers.
Dur – Karigalzu can be a good place to visit in Iraq if you are fond of historical monuments and its related historic stories.
Babylon is a place of ancient empires, including hanging gardens and Epic battles between Alexander the Great and Persian kings. In recent times, some places of Babylon are restored and preserved so the traveler can still visit some of the majestic castles in Iraq as well as the vast remains of Homer.
As you started to explore Babylon, you will see, a place full of marvelous artifacts such as gracefully crumbling lions statues and beautiful hanging gardens of Babylon.
Ctesiphon was a small Persian settlement on the banks of the limpid Tigris river, in the middle of the 4th century BC. In the first century AD, it became the Parthian capital and started to include the city of Seleucia for further growth. And then by the 7th century, the Ctesiphon became one of the biggest cities in the region and this is the place where the ark of Asif Khan was built. Ctesiphon is one of the best places to visit in Iraq.
The town Mosul had been under the control of insurgents for several years and now it is a battleground for the Iraqi military forces. The town Mosul unfortunately became the name, synonymous to some of the worst destructions in Iraq to date.
But still, there’s a hope that this town will be soon liberated and this City that has over 2,000 years of rich history will once again be a place where people can happily visit.
The Kurdish town of Dohuk is located in a small dusty Valley in Northern Iraq, away from the Turkish border at a distance of a short bus journey.
This place is known as one of the friendliest and most welcoming places to visit in Iraq and that’s why Dohuk is also one of the easiest places to visit in Iraq with the wealth of cafes and tea houses.
Kirkuk is a part of Iraq that has seen a lot of violence. There are some of its main sights, that allude to its tragic past. Kirkuk extended over Iraqi Kurdistan and it is very famous for its rich oil supply and includes its vast smoldering oilfields located at Baba Gurgur.
Nineveh used to be the biblical epicenter of the Assyrian Empire and this place become famous by the prophet Jonah who made this place an important spot in theological history. Whenever you visit Iraq especially at this place, you will find beautiful ruins such as Kuyunjik as well as some ancient gates of the city.
Sulemania is a town which is located on the rugged mountain in Northern Iraq, and it has a very cool climate as compared with many other cities in the country. Sulaymaniyah is one of the most welcoming and peaceful cities to visit in Iraq and is deemed safe to visit by some foreign governments.
The place has a thriving art scene and is famous for its wealth of delicious eateries and famous restaurants, where you can enjoy toothsome spice kofta as well as biryani and an array of other delicacies.
Zakho is the town of Iraq, which is also said to be the original spot where Christian missionaries settled in the country for the first time and some of his highlights include the pretty Bridge (Delal) that stretches over the little Kabur as well as The haunting ruins of Zakho castle.
Zakho has a clutch of good restaurants and hotels and is the most accessible place in Iraq as it is a border town nestled close to Turkey.
So these were the best places to visit in Iraq. The country has a lot more to offer. Write down in the comments section what are other main tourist attractions in Iraq.
These were the best places to visit in Iraq. I hope, whenever you’re planning to visit in Iraq, you will include these top places in your traveling list.