Best time to go to Iraq
The autumn and spring months are the most pleasant. Avoid summer in Iraq, especially from May to September, which can get very hot. The north is a bit cooler, in the south you have to expect high humidity. Winter in the north can be cold with snow-capped mountains.
Currency: 1 Iraqi dinar equals 1,000 fils
Currency abbreviation: IQD (ISO code), ID – ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG
Banknotes worth 50, 100, 250, 500, 1,000, 5,000, 10,000 and 25,000 dinars are in circulation. Coins are used in amounts of 25, 50 and 100 dinars.
1 US dollar = 1174 IQD
1 euro = 1726 IQD
1 Swiss franc = 1140 IQD
Although most would advise against a trip to Iraq as this is still a war zone, Iraq is still a rich country culturally. The war destroyed some important sights, but despite the turmoil of the war, numerous important cultural assets are still preserved.
So you should not miss the city, which became famous worldwide for its stories from the Thousand and One Nights. Baghdad, the capital of Iraq, has been an important hub of trade routes for centuries. The city is climatically one of the hottest cities in the world.
Rusafah, the old town of Baghdad, has some old mosques and palaces to offer, although the Iraq war in 2003 caused some destruction, damage and looting of valuable historical cultural assets. So z. B. destroyed the National Library with many thousands of valuable manuscripts by fire. Looters hadn’t stopped at the National Museum either.
Also worth seeing is Basra, the country’s most important port city. It is home to more than fifty percent of Iraqi oil wells. The city was particularly competitive during the Gulf Wars. Even today there are fights between the radical Shiites and the government troops.
The city of Arbil (Kurdish Hewler) on the Tigris River has a particularly ancient history. The age of the city is estimated at over 4,300 years. The city is also considered to be one of the oldest continuously populated cities in the world. The battle of Gaugamela, in which Alexander the Great defeated the Persian king Darius the Third, took place here in 331 BC.
In the Middle Ages, the city was one of the most important trade centers in Iraq. The historical core of the city is located directly on the river plain, while today’s city of Arbil grew on the settlement hill.
Arbil is today the governor’s capital and the seat of government of the Kurdistan Region.
Mosul is also worth a visit. The city was one of the most important economic centers from the beginning of the eighth century. However, it lost its importance when it was destroyed by the Mongols in the 13th century.
Assur is one of the most important archaeological sites and at the same time a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here in northern Iraq on the right bank of the Tigris, some of the most important archaeological finds in the world have been made. The ruined city is more than 4700 years old. Because of the Makhul Dam project, it was placed on the Red List of Endangered World Heritage sites because the future preservation of the ruined city is also not certain.
The ruins of Hatra from the second century are also worth a visit. The ruins are also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Another special attraction in Iraq that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site is Samarra. The ruins and archaeological finds were added to the list by UNESCO in 2007. Here, at the beginning of the twentieth century, some valuable artifacts were discovered that are over eight thousand years old. These ancient finds can be found in museums around the world. One of the most important finds was the Al Askari shrine, which unfortunately fell victim to extremist attacks in 2006. Samarra has also been added to the Red List of World Heritage at Risk.
The ruins of Kujundschick and Nebi Jenaus are something very special. You are near Mosul. Here you can visit the ancient remains of the ancient Mesopotanian city of Nineveh, the foundation of which is estimated to be at least 2300 years before Christ. From the middle of the twentieth century, all palaces and temples, as well as some parts of the ancient city wall and two of the gates, were restored there.
The ruins on Nimrud southeast of Moslul are unfortunately no longer intact today, as most of them were unfortunately destroyed by the Americas in the third Gulf War.
The ancient oriental city of Nimrud, founded in the 13th century BC, was the capital of the Assyrian Empire in the ninth century. It was destroyed by the Mederes and the Chaldeans in 612 BC.
From the nineteenth to twentieth centuries, excavations took place here, which brought to light large palace and fortress buildings, as well as obelisks and monumental figures.
The remains of the city of Babylon are absolutely worth seeing. The city was one of the most important cultural and political centers of southern Mesopotanian culture. Later in 1800 BC it was even the capital of the kings Hammurabi and Nebuchadnezzar the second. In the meantime, the excavated palaces and temples of Nebuchadnezzar II have been restored.
The ruins of Kisch, near Babylon, should not be missed either. The city dates from the third century BC. To this day, only parts have been preserved, such as the remains of three zikurati, a large double temple and an early dynastic palace.
Iraq has a number of other ruins, such as the remains of Ur (the birthplace of Abraham), the ruined city of Uruk, etc.
In Iraq there are also numerous impressive religious buildings to be seen, such as the Mustansirijah madrasah in Baghdad (built in 1227), the Marjan mosque in Baghdad (built in 1356) or the Abu Hanifa mosque in Baghdad, etc. Historical and magnificent mosques to see some in Iraq.
The country also has interesting technical buildings to offer. There would be, for example, the Mosul Dam on the Tigris, the Haditha Dam on the Euphrates or the TV Tower in Baghdad.
Also worth seeing is the country’s national museum in Baghdad, although some of the exhibits from over 6,000 years of human history were looted during the wars.
The Bagadad Zoo was the largest in the Middle East. However, it was largely destroyed in 2003 by the American invasion. The Baghdad Zoo was largely rebuilt. There are even artificial lakes here where boat trips can be undertaken.
Other interesting sights in Iraq are the palaces of Qara Sarial in Mosul from the 13th century or the ruins of the Caliph palaces of Samara.
One of the highlights of Iraq is the Eternal Fire at Kirkuk. Natural gas emissions are a special attraction.