Contrasting Iraq: why you should visit the country and how to protect yourself
The Republic of Iraq is an Islamic country in the Middle East, despite the seriousness of fierce wars, revolutions, and destruction, the tourism industry is reviving today. Iraq has managed to maintain its charm thanks to its distinctive traditions, rich history, and amazing architecture. The capital of Baghdad, it is also one of the most noteworthy cities in Iraq, the richest in the number of palaces and mosques. Part of Baghdad has a "green zone" of about 10 km², surrounded on both sides by the Tigris River, which greatly improves the protection of the area. This point is the safest region for tourists.
The hotel and restaurant infrastructure are well-developed in the country. Many hotels in Iraq are chain hotels (Titanic Hotel & SPA, Millennium Kurdistan Hotel & Spa, Hyatt Regency Erbil Residences, and Hayali Boutique Hotel). Accordingly, they provide the highest level of service, comfortable rooms, and a high-quality list of services, including SPA salons, fitness centers, and international cuisine in the best hotel restaurants. In addition, in Iraq, there are many family cafes, pizzerias, steakhouses, sushi bars, and fast-food restaurants for gourmets to eat deliciously and inexpensively.
Iraqi cuisine is another hallmark of the country, which has very ancient roots. Complemented by the culinary traditions of neighboring countries, Iraqi cuisine reflects all of its heritage. Traditional dishes that you should definitely try are grilled kebab marinated with lemon and garlic; gauss (shawarma); popular kuzi (from rice and lamb); manakish (Arabic pizza); fascia (local thick soup with white beans and vegetables).
Iraq is also famous for its traditional sweets, the most delicious must-try: stuffed dates, candied citrus fruits, pumpkin pudding, and of course baklava.
Unlike Iran, Iraq does not have such a strict dry law, but the choice of alcoholic beverages is quite small. Arak (aniseed vodka) is the only local alcoholic drink that was on sale. Since 2016, the import and distribution of alcohol in this state have been banned.
Reasons why it is very worth going to Iraq. Top places of interest
1. Excursion programs in Iraq always include visits to the ruins of ancient Babylon. The ruins of Babylon are popular all over the world and are located in the Babel area. This site is under the protection of UNESCO. The ruins are divided into sections and consist of a group of hills, the most important of which have their own names. And once more than 4500 years ago, the city of Babylon stood here.
2. Acquaintance with Baghdad will leave a lot of pleasant impressions. It is here that the oriental flavor of each street is felt, combined with beautiful religious mosques. Among the important places recommended for visiting is the National Museum of Iraq; the house of prayer "Golden Mosque"; the Hanging Gardens of Babylon (the second wonder of the world); Monument "Swords of Cadisia" (which stands to this day, despite the attempts of constant destruction of this monument); Ancient city of Hatra.
3. Due to the picturesque nature in the beautiful resort area of Kurdistan, eco-tourism is also well developed. Green forests, hills, waterfalls, springs - there is everything for lovers of nature tourism. The main attractions are a hot geyser and a source of Kani Gravan Spring; waterfall Shalmash Waterfall; caves Karaftu Caves; a village in the mountains Uraman Takht village and much more.
4. Traveling to Iraq, you will have a unique opportunity to visit the great Sumerian pyramid - the Ziggurat in Ur or the Ziggurat of the moon god Nanna. The large temple complex, resembling a stepped pyramid, is a grand structure of the ancient city of Ur.
Security in Iraq. Top travel tips
The political situation in Iraq is trying to improve every year, but you should not forget about security:
1. Do not visit the outskirts of Baghdad and the provinces of Diyala, Kirkuk, Salah al-Din, and Ninewa, these cities may not be calm.
2. The local people in Iraq are very hospitable and friendly people, but provide strict requirements for respecting their religious charter and traditions. Dress modestly, the better, women are advised to cover their heads and wear as close clothes as possible.
3. When planning a trip to Iraq, we recommend group trips accompanied by a guide. Since it is they who know the "green zone" of visiting excursion sites.
4. It is forbidden to photograph any strategic and military objects, as well as the local female population.
5 minResidence permit
The simultaneous stay of visitors in the hotel lobby not more than one person per 10 square meters of serviceable area is allowed.
Persons can visit hotels and stay there (outside hotel room) only if they wear respirator or face mask (including homemade mask), so that the nose and mouth are covered.
Hotel guests are obliged to keep the 1.5 meters distance.
Online check-in making in advance is recommended to avoid queues at check-in to hotel.
Meals in hotels are provided through meals delivery service to rooms upon prior order or at hotel restaurants situated inside or in open areas, provided the distance of at least 1.5 meters between seats at adjacent tables.
Not more than 4 clients are allowed to stay at the table (excluding children under 14 years old). Unless these tables are separated by a special partition;
Self-serve is not allowed.
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