What to take into account when planning to visit Iraq

What should I take into consideration when planning to visit Iraq?

The country has been through wars and conflicts, and its current political situation is unstable. In addition, there are also security concerns due to the presence of ISIS (Islamic State).

When visiting Iraq, you should always check the latest travel advisories before traveling. This way, you’ll be able to plan and avoid potential risks.

There are several things to consider when planning to visit Iraq. This article will provide you with some helpful information regarding travel to Iraq. This includes visa requirements, beautiful places, safety tips, and security. Read on to learn more!

Where is Iraq?

Iraq is a country located in the Middle East. Kuwait borders the country to the south, Saudi Arabia to the southwest, Jordan to the west, Syria to the northwest, Turkey to the north, and Iran to the east. Iraq has over 37 million people and an area of 438,317 square kilometers. The capital and largest city of Iraq is Baghdad.

Six reasons to visit Iraq while planning a vacation trip

If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path vacation destination, look no further than Iraq. Though it may not be the first country that comes to mind when planning a trip, Iraq has a lot to offer visitors. Here are six reasons to add Iraq to your travel plans:

#1. The rich cultural heritage and history

Today’s Iraqi territory was home to some of the world’s oldest civilizations, including Assyria and Babylonia. In addition, the country is rich in archaeological sites.

Furthermore, specific historical sites in Iraq are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. For example, Hatra, Ashur, Babylon, the Ahwar of Southern Iraq, Erbil Citadel, and Samarra Archaeological City are all UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

#2. Religious sites

Iraq is one of the major Islamic centers, with millions of foreigners, particularly Muslims, visiting each year. You can visit these holy sites if you travel to Iraq. Karbala is the most popular pilgrimage destination. Other religious sites include the Malwiya Mosque, the Al Yassin Mosque, and others.

#3. Hospitable people

For those who are wondering, Iraq is located in the Middle East. It is populated by people who are friendly and welcoming. Iraqis enjoy chatting with foreigners and smiling back at them for no apparent reason. Many visitors say they enjoyed the locals’ attitude in Iraq more than anything else.

Surprisingly, many of them can communicate in English, and conversing with foreigners provides an excellent opportunity for them to practice. In addition, many Iraqis are eager to make new friends and will follow you on social media to stay in touch with you.

#4. Prices of things are meager

Traveling to Iraq is one of the more affordable adventures. These people are so friendly that some may even offer you a small portion of their street food for free in exchange for positive feedback. Local sellers, who are honest Muslims who will not overcharge you, are also easy to bargain with. Surprisingly, alcohol can be purchased at a reasonable price in this Muslim country.

#5. delectable food

Iraqi cuisine is among the most delectable in the Middle East. Iraqi cuisine is one of the oldest, and Kurdish and Jewish cuisines later influenced it. Famous regional dishes include Iraqi Biryani, Kubba, Masgouf, and others.

#6. Exploring off-the-beaten-path locations

Many places in Iraq are unknown to foreign tourists. Because few people visit Iraq, you can see many tourist attractions completely different from what you may have imagined. You’ll be one of the few people with photos of off-the-beaten-path cultural sites.

Tips for Traveling In Iraq

Iraq has been through a lot in the last few years. However, despite its difficulties, Iraq is a land rich in culture and history. If you plan to visit Iraq, here are some pointers to help you have a safe and enjoyable trip:

  • Always inquire about the price ahead of time—hotel rooms, taxis, food, tea, etc.
  • Tea is served with a mountain of sugar on the side. Stir to your desired level of sweetness, or request no sugar when ordering.
  • Tea is served with the majority of meals.
  • On the other hand, water is not free if served in a bottle. It will be added to your bill at the end if you consume it.
  • Power outages occur on occasion. They are usually quick—no more than ten minutes.
  • Public transportation consists of shared taxis that leave when full (small cars or 44 SUVs) or minibusses with no air conditioning.
  • In Iraq, the weekends are Friday and Saturday.
  • Most tourist attractions close at 3 p.m. If possible, visit all the monuments and historical sites in the morning.
  • Night markets, on the other hand, are thriving. Make a point of visiting Baghdad’s Book Market on Al-Mutanabi Street.
  • The cities come to life at night. Mosques are as crowded at 3 a.m. as they are at 6 p.m. Get used to staying up late.
  • Alcohol is legal in Iraq, and there are even a few bars in Christian neighborhoods.
  • You MUST bring your passport with you every time you leave your hotel.
  • Iraq’s situation is constantly changing. This means a destination may suddenly become unavailable during your stay in the country.
  • As a woman, you must wear a headscarf. You should also dress modestly and in loose fabrics.
  • While many attractions are free, most historical sites charge a $17 admission fee. Two of them are Babylon and the Ziggurat of Ur.

Following these tips will make you have a great time visiting this fascinating country.

Best time of year to visit Iraq

If you’re looking for an adventure and want to explore a rich country in culture and history, plan a trip to Iraq. The best time to visit Iraq is between October and March, when the weather is cooler.

Keep in mind that some areas of the country are unsafe to travel to, so it’s essential to do your research before booking a trip. Proper planning gives you a unique and memorable experience while visiting Iraq.

Iraq visa requirements

Compared to other Middle Eastern countries, Iraq’s visa requirements are relatively simple.

A tourist visa is usually only valid for 30 days, whereas a business visa can be valid for up to 90 days. There is also a $30-60 USD processing fee.

Check your government’s most recent travel advisories if you plan to visit Iraq. Most governments advise against all travel to Iraq due to the current security situation.

If you decide to visit Iraq, ensure you have comprehensive travel insurance that includes evacuation coverage in an emergency.

Also ReadVisit Iran – Top 15 go-to places and must-see exhibitions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need to know before going to Iraq?

Before traveling to Iraq, there are a few things you should be aware of:

  • Because the current situation in Iraq is volatile, it is critical to be aware of the risks associated with travel.
  • Because Iraq is a Muslim country, visitors should respect local customs and traditions.
  • In addition, visitors should be aware that essential services like electricity and running water may not always be available in Iraq due to the country’s struggling economy.

What should I avoid in Iraq?

There are a few things to avoid in Iraq:

  • Traveling to areas that are known to be dangerous or unstable.
  • Wearing revealing clothing or acting up in public.
  • Carrying large amounts of cash or valuable items with you.
  • Displaying signs of wealth or being ostentatious in public.
  • Take photos of military personnel or sensitive infrastructure.

What should I pack for Iraq?

There are a few things you should remember to pack when traveling to Iraq. First, pack plenty of sunscreen and hats as the sun can be intense. It’s also essential to pack comfortable clothing as you’ll be doing a lot of walking. Finally, don’t forget to pack your passport and visa.

Why should you not visit Iraq?

It would help if you didn’t go to Iraq for several reasons. It is, first and foremost, a very dangerous nation. Terrorist attacks, kidnappings, and other violent crimes are very likely. Very few essential services are available, and the infrastructure is subpar. Finally, Iraq is not a stable or safe place to visit and is still recovering from years of conflict.

Is Baghdad a safe city?

Baghdad is a safe city if you take the necessary precautions. Some areas of the city are more dangerous than others, but overall it is a safe place to live and visit.

Conclusion

Finally, it is only a few things to consider when planning a trip to Iraq. First and foremost, you should be aware of the current situation and how it may impact your travel plans. Second, it is critical to understand Iraqi culture and customs to be respectful and avoid potential misunderstandings. Lastly, ensure you have all the necessary travel documents and vaccinations before embarking on your journey.

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