|Although travel as a tourist is not recommended right now, this introduction to Iraq’s tourist attractions has been compiled for a time when the travel situation in Iraq is safer. Hopefully this will not be too long coming.
The city of Erbil (also known as Arbil) is far safer than most of the other cities in Iraq and visitors are welcomed. Erbil has a good range of hotels, restaurants and shops and although there are not a great deal of attractions for tourists, one of particular interest is the Kurdish Textile Museum.
Another city which is relatively safe at present is Dahuk (also known as Duhok or Dohuk). Again the city itself does not have a great deal to offer in the form of tourist attractions, but it is a good base for visiting those close by. About 20 minutes walk from the town are the ruins of Zoroastian Temple and some beautiful waterfalls, whilst in the town you can visit the ancient mosque, the bazaar and the folklore museum.
Lalish is a town about an hours drive from Dahuk. Here you can visit the ‘Holy See’ and the tomb and temples of ‘Sex Adi’. Also about 1.5 hours drive from Dahuk is the village of Gondik which is famous for its cave engravings which depict scenes of man and animals and are believed to date from the 3rd Millennium BC.
Currently very unsafe, and extremely inadvisable to visit by foreigners, is the city of Karbala. However, we’re mentioning it here because it is an important city, considered to be a holy city and houses some very impressive mosques, such as Karbala Mosque. Also in future years it is hoped that the ancient city of Babylon will be accessible to all visitors. Babylon is located relatively close to Baghdad and has been occupied since 2003. When the troubles in Iraq are over it is hoped that the city ruins will be restored.