Home to ancient holy sites, breathtaking mountains and buzzing cities, Iraq still has a lot to offer despite its troubled past. Located in the heart of Mesopotamia where the first great civilsations were founded, it radiates with old-world charm.
Iraq’s capital of Baghdad is also its cultural core, with a National Museum and various sights including the Monument to the Unknown Soldier, Al-Shaheed Monument and the Al Kadhimain Shrine.
The archaeological site at Ashur is the former capital of the Assyrian Empire and many temple and palace remains have been excavated in recent times. You can explore further ruins at the sites of Ctesiphon and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hatra.
The Iraqi Kurdistan region in the north is also worth exploring, defined by its waterfalls, mountains and natural springs. The area offers plenty of opportunities for hiking amongst these sights, as well as the large lake of Dokan and the ancient cave paintings at Gondik.
Currently, most accommodation comes in the form of hotels located in Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan. A limited number of hotels are also available in Baghdad.
The 12 best places to stay in Iraq: Top hotels, B&Bs, inns, and vacation rentals — Based on real reviews from real guests