Is it currently safe to visit Kurdistan Iraq? is a question all Iraqis get asked a lot. And the answer is yes, regardless of the global pandemic, if we’re here to speak from the safety perspective, it’s absolutely safe to go tour around Kurdistan and meet its amazing people, visit the dramatic and mind-blowing mountain sceneries, historical villages, archaeological sites, and live through a crazy adventure and create memories that will definitely last a lifetime.
Below we’ve accumulated all of the places you should visit in Kurdistan, so scroll down to start your journey!
It’s always best to start your journey in Kurdistan by landing at Sulaymaniyah’s international airport. This city is considered to be the most westernized city in Iraqi Kurdistan and, of course, in Iraq.
So, first make sure to not miss the city’s bazaar, and to visit Mount Goyzha; it’s the viewpoint from where you get the most amazing views of the city, it’s actually a very popular spot among locals.
Erbil is the capital city of Kurdistan and is one of the oldest cities in the world; experts say that the city’s first remains actually date back to the 28th century BC.
There are a lot of things for you to do there, from visiting Erbil’s Citadel that’s considered a UNESCO World Heritage site, to Ankawa, the endless bazaars and epic teahouses! Trust us you’re going to love Erbil and wish to stay there for ever.
This town is known to be surrounded by paradise-like nature, it’s a very photogenic town and is absolutely one of the most beautiful places to visit in Kurdistan.
Aqrah has many hiking spots and walking paths where you can walk literally mid nature, breathing fresh air, and surrounded by very lovely people. Make sure to pass by the ancient Christian monastery.
Soran and Rawandiz
Once you are in Soran, you’d quickly get to Rawandiz, they’re only 7km apart. This place is so impressive, mind-blowing, and simply drop-dead gorgeous! It’s not like anything you’ve seen in the region before. It’s the home to the most dramatic mountain scenery that’s filled with lush green valleys, high mountains, and epic roads that’s dramatically situated in the middle.
Make sure to check out the edge of the village to see the cliff, then get out of town in the opposite direction of Soran to go enjoy Bekhal waterfall, it’s another spot that’s worth visiting, it’s usually crowded with local tourists.
Amadiya is a small 5,000-year-old village that’s located over a super gorgeous flat mountain, with an ancient yet well-preserved stone gate. The village has lived through many civilizations including Persians, Christians, Jews, and Assyrians.
There are plenty of fun things to do there, like hiking through the surrounding mountains where you can really appreciate the village from a high viewpoint.
Duhok is another transit city if you’re traveling to or coming from Turkey. There’s one more thing that this city is famous for; it actually has one of Saddam Hussain’s summer houses, situated on top of a breathtaking mountain with an incredible view. Make sure to check out the city’s local souq, and have a walk by the river
Iraq is the home to the largest Yazidi population, and Lalish is a tiny village in Kurdistan where the holiest Yazidi temple is located. The most important thing you need to know about Lalish is that you can’t wear shoes there, you’ll be obliged to walk around the unpaved, full of rocks and very steep roads barefoot! At the entrance of the village, there is a police checkpoint where they’ll ask you to take off your shoes there.
We saved the best for last. Located close to the city of Ranya, Lake Dukan is the largest lake in Iraq and is one of the most beautiful spots in all of Kurdistan. Surrounded by green hills and mountains, the cool bright blue lake is perfect for a quick dip with your friends and family while surrounded by mother nature.