Iraq Quick Guide

Iraq is a complex country in Western Asia, bordered on all sides by Turkey to the south, Iran to the northwest, Iraq to the northeast, Kuwait to the northwest and Saudi Arabia to the southwest. The second largest city and capital city is Baghdad. Situated on the Tigris River, Iraq has a diverse landscape consisting of deserts, plains, mountains and villages. It is also home to Iraq's largest oil refinery and largest naval base.

If you are traveling to this part of Middle East, you will need to get yourself a good travel insurance plan before heading to Iraq. This region is not just a danger to travel to, but a dangerous place to be. There are numerous terrorist groups that have sleeper cells that can pose as tourists. It is wise to get yourself an Iraqi or Middle Eastern Travel Guide to protect yourself.

Iraq Travel Guide An autonomous region within the borders of the United Nations Security Council, Iraq has a diverse terrain. The largest cities are Basra, which is the capital, and Iraq, which are the largest city. The major cities of Nineveh, Kirkuk, Erbil, Baghrami, Dhiyan, Sadrud, Zagros and Basra are all within a two hour drive of each other. A good Iraqi or Middle Eastern travel guide will help you plan your route ahead of time to ensure that you get to all of these destinations.

There are several reasons that Iraq is such a great destination for touring. The largest cities are all located here, which makes it easy to visit and experience the various aspects of life. The major cities of Basra, Iraq and Kirkuk are home to large numbers of displaced and mostly Arab refugees who have escaped the conflict. The majority of the displaced people are from the minority groups like Sunnis, Shi'as and Christians. For these groups, a safe and warm place to live and reside is what the autonomous region of Iraq offers. Having said that, there is no need to fear heading to any of the three mentioned cities if you are traveling alone.

Just north of Basra, on the Iraq-Kurdish border is ErBIL, which is known colloquially as the "Free Area." Just south of Erbil, in the middle eastern region of the country is Al-Rous, which is known colloquially as the "Red Zone." This is the region that is controlled by the autonomous region of Iraq. Both these cities are part of the Kurdish region that is known as the autonomous region of Iraq. These cities are the safest destinations for tourists because of the security that they enjoy.

The majority of the citizens in these two cities are peshmer, which are an ethnic group of the Arabs. The city of Erbil is home to many Sunnis, which make up a sizeable minority in Iraq. The largest population of Arabs in both of these cities are the Turkmen. There is no doubt that the majority of the people in these cities would be Arabic speaking, but it is important to remember that this is not an accurate portrayal of their culture. The majority of the Kurds are Sunnis and the ratio of Arabs to Sunnis is 2:1.

There are many reasons why you should consider traveling to these two cities when going to Iraq. The first reason is that they are home to some of the finest and most beautiful sights that you will see in Iraq. It is important to understand that you will need to carry your Iraq Travel Guide to ensure that you are able to recognize certain landmarks, but you will not need any Iraq Travel Insurance for this reason. The second reason that you should consider making the journey to Erbil and/or Al-Rous in order to partake in one or both of the fabulous ErBIL autonomous region tours. These tours take you deep into the heart of the mountains and valleys where the people of these mountain tribes have spent generations living. Once you have experienced the beauty of their life, you will be inspired to do something to help the people of these regions.

You may find that you want to visit both Erbil and Suleymaniyah once you have visited Iraq. If this is the case, you will need to purchase Iraq Travel Insurance so that your medical expenses are covered when you have accidents and/or need rehabilitation services. The cost of the insurance is based on the number of days that you will be traveling, so you may find that the coverage amount is quite inexpensive. Remember that it is never too late to take advantage of the opportunity to show the country and its people how proud you are of their hospitality.

What vaccinations do I need?

Up to date information for vaccinations before you travel to Iraq are available from the NHS Fit for Travel website.

Is it safe to travel?

Best time to visit?

The best time to visit Iraq is from february until may and october and november, when you will have a pleasant till hot temperature and limited rainfall.

Do I need a Visa?

British Citizens will be required to obtain a travel visa on arrival into Iraq. Please note: The FCO strongly recommend that people only travel to Iraq if it is completely unavoidable. The granting of any Iraqi Visa is dependent upon consular discretion.

See which forms you may need for entry into Iraq.

What currency do i need?

The official currency of Iraq is the Iraqi Dinar (IQD). If you're looking to transfer or spend money in Iraq you can grab amazing Iraqi Dinar deals via (GBP to IQD).

What about the wildlife?

The lion, oryx, ostrich, and wild ass have become extinct in Iraq. Wolves, foxes, jackals, hyenas, wild pigs, and wildcats are found, as well as many small animals such as martens, badgers, otters, porcupines, and muskrats. The Arabian sand gazelle survives in certain remote desert locations.

What is the traditional food?

Arabic food? Masgouf (Arabic: المسكوف), is a Mesopotamian dish consisting of seasoned, grilled carp; it is often considered the national dish of Iraq.

What Languages are spoken?

The most widely spoken language in Iraq is the Arabic language (specifically Mesopotamian Arabic); the second most spoken language is Kurdish (mainly Sorani and Kurmanji dialects), followed by the Iraqi Turkmen/Turkoman dialect of Turkish, and the Neo-Aramaic languages (specifically Chaldean and Assyrian). You can learn some basic Arabic before you travel to Iraq and really impress the locals!

How much do you tip?

The currency in Iraq is the Iraqi Dinar (Tipping in hotels in Iraq isn't common or expected. Restaurants: Sometimes a service charge of 10% is included. If you felt the service was good you can leave up to 10% of the bill.).

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Useful Numbers

  • Police: 104
  • Ambulance: 122
  • Fire: 115
  • UK Embassy: +44(0)1908 516666

Time Difference

The GMT time difference is 2 hours

Travel Apps

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Learn Arabic

Learn some Arabic before your trip to Iraq

Iraq Guidebook

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