Recent trip to Iraqi Kurdistan
Replies: 2 - Last Post: Nov 9, 2012 7:42 AM Last Post By: laketraveller
Nov 8, 2012 2:54 PM
Recent trip to Iraqi KurdistanDear all;
Josep from BCN here. I travelled to Iraqi Kurdistan this last month of August for around one week. I was by myself and found it quite easy to get around. Here are some tips in case they can be helpful to anyone considering visiting this country. By the way, I had a great time:
- Visa. I have an EU passport and got my visa on arrival at the airport in Erbil.
- Flights. I flew in from Beirut (MEA) and out to Viena (Austrian Airlines)
- Cities where I stayed: Erbil, Dohuk and Suleimaniyah
- Transportation around the coutry: "Nafarat" is the one word you want to learn while you're there. It means shared taxi and it refers to the (brand new) frequent taxis linking the major cities. They accommodate four passengers and leave when they're full. You need to ask for the bus/nafarat station/stop where they leave for your destination and, once there, everythig runs smooth. Fares from Erbil to Dohuk or Suleimaniyahi were 20,000 Iraqi . Beware the nafarat drivers. They're maniac. Dying in a car crash seemed to me much more likely than in a bombing.
- Places to stay: in Erbil I highly recommend the Safeer hotel (55USD). It's quite central, has free wifi and staff is helpful. In Dohuk I stayed at the Jiyan Hotel (4/5 star), good outdoor pool, and I got a good rate (around 70€), but I know there very good and cheaper options by the marketplace. I forgot the name of the place where I stayed in Sulei, but it was a cheap hotel right in the center which was more than ok for me.
- Security: It felt very safe. The Bradt guide advises you to avoid the Erbil - Suleimaniyah highway that bypasses the outskirts of Kirkuk and take the mountain road, which is also much nicer. Well, the nafarat I took drove on the main road -it seemed to be the normal route- and there were Iraqi (not Kurdish) checkpoints right outside Kirkuk, but everyone seemed quite at ease. I know I took a risk, and I am not saying that this was wise of me, but I am just pointing what will happen if you take a shared taxi. Again, maniac driving seemed much more of a threat to my safety than any terrorist attack.
- Money: bring cash: USD and € can be exchanged anywhere.
Anyone interested in knowing more please feel free to send me a message: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nov 8, 2012 10:49 PM
Nov 9, 2012 7:42 AM
(5 star Hotel)
From US$220.59 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$142.97 per night
(5 star Hotel)
From US$236.10 per night