Modern day Iraq corresponds with the historical region of Mesopotamia. It was where great ancient civilizations like the Babylonians and Assyrians prospered. A country with breathtaking landscapes, friendly locals, and great historic importance, Iraq is now a war-torn country with an uncertain future.
Though most of the country is unsafe for travel, some parts can still be explored to experience Iraqi culture and tradition. For example, the cities of Sulaymaniyah and Erbil in the Kurdistan region still welcome travelers. Erbil, one oldest continuously inhabited cities on earth, is the capital of the Kurdistan region and feels a world away from the rest of Iraq. It is fast-growing city, with modern hotels, good infrastructure and facilities, but has maintained its culture and traditions. The imposing Erbil citadel, a UNESCO Wold Heritage Site is the heart of Erbil, both geographically and culturally. Roads are laid out in concentric circles around the citadel. Qayasi Bazaar, at the feet of the citadel is a good place to look for deals on handicrafts and carpets and to stock up on fresh produce. The city has some good mosques, parks and museums. Worth exploring on the road from Erbil to Sulaymaniyah are Khanzad castle and the man-made Lake Dukan.
Sulaymaniyah is the most liberal city in Iraq, with great museums, bazaars and a breathtaking location. There are amazing views of the city from Goyje Mountain, which is just a quick drive away.
Iraq is not the safest country to travel to, therefore , it is important to follow latest government advisory before travelling here.
Though most of the country is unsafe for travel, cities like Sulaymaniyah and Erbil can still be explored.