Iraq shares its borders with Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, Jordan, the Gulf of Oman, Kuwait and Syria. Although currently off the radar for tourists due to ongoing conflict, there are many places to visit in Iraq such as Baghdad, the country’s capital, Mosul, Basra and Babylon.
Baghdad is the ‘City of the Caliphs’ and is located on the River Tigris. The places to see in Baghdad are the old churches and monasteries such as the Church of Meskenta, Kadhimain Shrine and the walls and gates of the city: Mu’adham (North) Gate, Dhafariya (Wastani) Gate, Halaba (Talisman) Gate, and Basaliya Gate and Abbasid Palace.
In Mosul, the second-largest city in Iraq, there are many interesting sites such as the Great Mosque (Nuriddin Mosque), Mujahidin Mosque, Umayyad Mosque and Qara Serai (Black Palace). Basra is the third-largest city in Iraq and it is often referred to as the ‘Venice of the East’ because of the many canals that run through it.
Accommodation in Iraq
At present accommodation in Iraq is geared mainly for military and aid workers. Hotel accommodation is limited and bookings should be made in advance. There are some small hotels available for those on low budgets but these have a low standard of facilities and don’t come with air conditioning. Hotels usually require payment in foreign currency and in cash. A 10 percent service charge is normally added to the bill.
Airport in Iraq
Royal Jordanian Airlines and Iraqi Airways have recently resumed their flights into Baghdad International Airport from Amman in Jordan. It is also possible to enter by land from Syria or Jordan as part of a group tour. A tourist visa is required.