Arbil Travel Guide

  • A typical brick built house
    A typical brick built house
    by Pete.Gibson
  • close up detail of lattace brickwork
    close up detail of lattace brickwork
    by Pete.Gibson
  • North Gate
    North Gate
    by Pete.Gibson

Arbil Highlights

  • Pro
    deimos1818 profile photo

    deimos1818 says…

     Very beautifull, nice attractions(castle etc.) 

  • Con
    deimos1818 profile photo

    deimos1818 says…

     too hot in summer, too cold in winter. The people there don't seem to like foreigners that much 

  • In a nutshell
    deimos1818 profile photo

    deimos1818 says…

     nice city 

Arbil Things to Do

  • Qaysari Bazaar

    A must when visiting Erbil is a wander through Qaysari Bazaar in the downtown area, which has been recently reconstructed using traditional architecture, You will find everything from stalls selling fresh fruit, organic Kurdish cheese or honey, shoes, electronics, clothes and also a chance to buy souvenirs such as kalash (hand-made white Kurdish...

    more
  • Mudhafaria Minaret

    The Choli or Mudhafaria Minaret (Arabic: ÇáãÆÐäÉ ÇáãÙÝÑíÉý) is a minaret located in Erbil Iraq.The minaret is 36 m high, and was built in 1190–1232 AD (586–630 AH) Brick built it is situated in the corner of Minare Park , remnants of the glazed blue tiles which would have decorated it are clearly visible on the leeward side, Acess would have been...

    more
  • Citadel Visit

    Settled around 6.000 years ago, Erbil Citadel is one of the longest continuously inhabited sites in the world. The citadel, which rises some 30 meters above the surrounding area is a elliptical shaped town comprising of mainly traditional brick built courtyard houses some of the most important buildings include mosques, a hammam ( public baths )...

    more
  • Houses in the Citadel

    The Citadel was obviously not just inhabited by poor families, or used by squatters. At one point, the Citadel must have enclosed the houses and estates of the city's wealthy class, and I am sure that there are many houses with exquisite architectural features that are being restored and will be opened to the public at the end of the revitalization...

    more
  • Mulla Afandi Mosque

    The Citadel also houses a mosque, which was, presumably, the main site for religious devotion among the Citadel’s Muslim families. It is the Mulla Afandi Mosque, named after Mulla Afandi, a prominent Kurdish cleric from the city who lived around the turn of the last century. I did not have the opporutity to visit the mosque, but I’m sure that its...

    more
  • Central Square

    The central square in Erbil is, as in many other Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cities, the centre of urban life. Bounded by the citadel to the north and the Qaysari Bazaar to the east, the open spaces and the fountain in the centre of the square allow it to act as a natural gathering place for shoppers and strollers, as well as workers from the...

    more

Arbil Restaurants

  • Lebanese food

    The food was very good , service was exellant and quick.but as i found in Today restaurant when i ordered Lemonade juice ,is that they make it in Erbil very sour obviosely the dont add any water or sugar like my mom does :S we wenmt in the afternoon , the waiteres were preparing the outsied area for the evening , inside there was only us, as i said...

    more
  • Not to be missed!

    The food was good . we had shawarma meat and shwarma chicken , Fattoush salad and hommos . When we asked for bread they brought us Tannouri deliciuos bread. i went to the kitchen and they were very kind to let me in and take fotos. Loved the ambience ,we went at 10 in the evening on a monday and the place was full. you just have to go there, but be...

    more
  • Do not miss it

    Mamounia Sky Bar Is located on the top (7th) floor of Noble Hotel – at the Ainkawa Intersection on 100M Road – it's one of Erbil's most sophisticated nightlife venues. Expect some of the best drinks and alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails in town, and a variety of international dishes and shisha. Relax on the tunes of the latest lounge music,...

    more
  • Some bars and restaurant in Erbil

    Mamounia Sky Bar is located on the top (7th) floor of Noble Hotel – at the Ainkawa Intersection on 100M Road – it's one of Erbil's most sophisticated nightlife venues. Expect some of the best drinks and alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails in town, and a variety of international dishes and shisha. Relax on the tunes of the latest lounge music,...

    more
  • Don't Miss Marina Rest.

    My friends if you come to visit Erbil Don't miss Marina Rest. it is the best one on the entire city and you will not find such food any where in the world they have what ever you want guess and ask and they will make it for you.tried once and you will go every time and its not only the food but the service are great and the live music and also huge...

    more
  • Souk Iskan

    Erbil seemed like a culinary desert for the first couple of days. After sunset, not even a shawarma stall stayed open in the bazaar area, so after a long day of walking, I ended up buying junk from the only grocery store I could find still open, followed by a tamarind sorbet in a plastic cup from an ice-cream parlour that was gearing up to close at...

    more

Arbil Transportation

  • getting around in erbil

    There are lots of taxis to get around Erbil. which shouldnt cost alot , so bargin before you get in . the first taxi we got in from the airport to city center took 20.000 Iraqi derhams ,where as when we left to the airport the taxi had taken us from Familly mall , waited for us infront of the hotel for 15 minutes or so before taking us to the...

    more
  • Shared Taxis

    To Slemani: The direct route to Slemani passes briefly into Arab Iraq and skirts the city of Kirkuk, not somewhere you're advised to linger at present. I'm told it is perfectly safe, although it is a bit nerve-wracking when you reach a checkpoint manned by US soldiers in full body armour. I wasn't particularly keen to take this route, but asking a...

    more
  • Local taxi

    Taxi are plenty in Erbil and you should not wait too long before one stops to pick you up.If you take them from the street, the average price for a ride is about 1500 IRD (1 usd) as a foreigner, they may ask double. In any case, do not pay more than 3000.The journey from Erbil Intl Hotel to Khanzad (out of town) is around 15,000 IRD.

    more

Arbil Shopping

See all 3 Shopping in Arbil
  • Tapestries galore

    This isn't so much a shop as an overladen hole in the wall. It is located at the base of the mount on which the citadel stands, and it is quite obviously intended to service the needs of tourists who pass through the city. I could not tell if it was one shop or two, but given the nature of commerce in the Middle East, it is probably multiple shops...

    more
  • shopping malls in Arbil city

    family mallIt is the biggest one in Arbil located on 100 M Road in Erbil. Part of an already popular theme park, the shopping center will have space for around 350 globally renowned brands. Naza MallMajidi mallopended in 2009 Majidi Mall offers 135,000 square meters of retail space on three levels. The first and second floors will be dedicated to...

    more
  • Buying Jewelry in Erbil

    As most of the oriental town, there is a nice little gold souq in Erbil. It is located just in front of the citadelle in downtown. Gold, rings, bracelets, ..... All what women want

    more

Arbil Local Customs

  • Tea Time

    Kurds, like Arabs, are big tea drinkers, rather than consumers of coffee. In the centre of the city, it is a common practice to spend spare time with friends at one of the many cafés with outdoor seating areas. Here, men will gather to talk and gossip, play games and occasionally smoke hookah. It is also common for people to go from one café to...

    more
  • Kurdish dress

    Kurds do not wear clothing that is similar to the Arab peoples to the south. Their national dress (for men, that is) includes baggy pants and a shirt tucked inside. The ensemble is two-piece, and it is usually kept up by a large belt made from a long piece of cloth. It is very common to see men of all ages in traditional dress, and quite easy to...

    more
  • Revolutionary Folk Art

    It is not a secret that at least a portion of the Kurdish political and military forces have been influenced by left-wing ideology, including (in the first half of the 20th century) direct support from Soviet troops. The Kurdish political spectrum includes a variety of groups, from Islamists to Marxists, but the influence of left-wing liberation...

    more

Arbil Warnings and Dangers

  • NO CREDIT CARD

    Like anywhere else in Iraq, Cash is king.Forget about credit card and traveller checks.Take some green back with you to pay all your expenses.If you need Iraqi Dinar, exchange offices are available in every single town.

    more
  • toilets

    thats not a joke: You won't be abe to use public toiletts in kurdistan!Many of them are unusable for foreigners(you need much "precision"), many are dirty. If you are sensitive in this case(like I am) only use the toilett in the hotel.

    more
  • Ansar il islam/weapons

    Kurdistan has been fighting for its independence the last 50 years. There are millions of weapons and mines in kurdistan whch were left by iraqi, irani and turkish troops which devastated the country.Another threat is the Ansar il islam, a fundemantalist organization.Nobody can say if ansar il islam can again become a danger(the organization was...

    more

Arbil Tourist Traps

  • Haggling down

    Be aware that haggling down the price of any thing you buy,The seller,vendor mostly raise the price because the vendor knows very well the buyer will try to haggle it down. It is part of the culture,cloth,taking a taxi,souveniurs,even the hotel price...etc from 20% to 40%.Do your best ;)

    more
  • vendors

    If you enter a shop: Don't speak english(or your native language).Try to look kurdish! You have an advantage if your skin is not so pale(women can wear a veil for the time they are in the shop).Try to learn the phrase: How much is it? as well as possible!If the salesman recognizes that you are from abroad(especcialy if you look pale) they'l double...

    more
  • Arbil Hotels

    0 Hotels in Arbil

Arbil What to Pack

  • by deimos1818 Written Apr 24, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: Due to the presence of UN personell you can get EVERYTHING in arbil.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: As I said before: In sumer too hot, in winter too cold. Therefor try to purchase the same clothes the peshmerga(the soldiers) have.

    Photo Equipment: You should buy the memory cads for digital cams at home. You can get them in arbil as well, but they are hard to find.

    Was this review helpful?

    more

Arbil Off The Beaten Path

  • Kela Hewler Park

    Erbil is a surprisingly green city. Of course, Kurdistan is a far cry from central Iraq, and it is not hard to see greenery from the airplane or in the distant mountains. Nevertheless, given the general lack of urban planning in the Middle East, it is always a treat to find a city in which attention is given to parks and green spaces. Kela Hewler...

    more
  • Bakhi Shar

    Bakhi Shar is the city park in Erbil, and it is located at the end of the long square the stretches south of the citadel. It has a small clock tower that is reminiscent of similar structures in other Ottoman towns, and it provides the city’s children with a much needed green and safe space in which to play. When I visited Erbil, it was February,...

    more
  • Bata Street

    Bata Street is located on the western side of the Bazaar. It contains a large number of shops that sell a variety of goods, but also a quaint little park that is, presumably, intended to beautify the area near some government buildings.

    more

Arbil Favorites

See all 2 Favorites in Arbil
  • shopping malls in Arbil city

    family mallIt is the biggest one in Arbil located on 100 M Road in Erbil. Part of an already popular theme park, the shopping center will have space for around 350 globally renowned brands. Naza MallMajidi mallopended in 2009 Majidi Mall offers 135,000 square meters of retail space on three levels. The first and second floors will be dedicated to...

    more
  • Peaceful Erbil

    Erbil is one of the safest cities in the entire Middle East if not the world. The people of Erbil are proudly tolerent, peaceful and friendly. So far no coalition soldier or foreign national was attacked or injured in Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Erbil is an ancient city that has been the vicitim of the previous Iraqi regimes, but now, thanks to...

    more
  • Ask a Question

    Got a question about Arbil? Get an answer from our Location locals and frequent travelers

Instant Answers: Arbil

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

91 travelers online now

Comments (1)

  • RyanJFA's Profile Photo
    Jun 28, 2013 at 8:02 AM

    My stay in Arbil was enjoyable, if not quite as long as I'd have liked - although I found it lacking the same pedestrian energy as Duhok, the people were still incredibly friendly and curious about me and where I come from. The food isn't so great and the summer heat took some getting used to, but the experience was unforgettable. Check out the bazaar near the castle and the park to the southwest - very crowded during the day, with some fountains and smatterings of green. If you're looking to drink, there are plenty of cornerstores that sell alcohol, but most of the bars are located in the suburb of Ainkawa. I never felt unsafe here, and I honestly can't stress enough how friendly most everyone I met in Iraqi Kurdistan was. Just prepare for heat and some smelly streets if you're visiting in summer; if you're very pale like me, expect to get blatantly stared at by every man on every street, as well as some of the women.

 
Explore Deeper into Arbil
Ainkawa Road
Off The Beaten Path
Sheikh Mahmud Hafid Square
Off The Beaten Path
Nishtiman Shopping Centre
Off The Beaten Path
Sheikh Allah Road
Off The Beaten Path
Sawaf Mosque
Off The Beaten Path
Mobile Market
Things to Do
Mudhafaria Minaret
Things to Do
Qaysari Bazaar
Things to Do
Ibn Mustawfy Statue
Things to Do
Kurdish Textile Museum
Things to Do
Erbil Citadel
Things to Do
Souk Eskan
Things to Do
Citadel!
Things to Do
Tipping
Local Customs
Culture Dos and donts
Local Customs
Haggling down
Local Customs
Female taxi (pink taxi)
Things to Do
Sami Abdul Rahman Park
Things to Do
Koya Qishla
Things to Do
Pashai Gawra Castle
Things to Do
Kurdish National Anthem
Local Customs
shopping malls in Arbil city
Local Customs
shopping malls in Arbil city
Things to Do
Citadel: Entrance
Things to Do
Erbil Exhibition Centre
Off The Beaten Path
Traces of Old Erbil
Off The Beaten Path
Martyr Sami Abdurrahman Park
Things to Do
Monument to the 2004 Suicide Attacks
Things to Do
Shanidar Park and Art Gallery
Things to Do
Park-e Minare
Things to Do
Jalil Khayat Mosque
Things to Do
Bazaar-e Qaysari
Things to Do
Citadel: North Gate
Things to Do
Citadel: The Walls
Things to Do
Citadel: Overgrown Ruins
Things to Do
Citadel: Old Mosque
Things to Do
Citadel: Kurdish Textile Museum
Things to Do
Fountain Square
Things to Do
The citadelle
Things to Do
CASH IS KING
Local Customs
Map of Arbil

View all Arbil hotels