Page 1 of 1

Backpacking Iraq

Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2022 1:13 am
by maxg
Hello!
Just throwing this topic out there... I know that Iraq is more secure now than it was a few years ago, but is it safe enough to travel without security arrangements? Has anybody made any experiences in the last few years traveling in Iraq? I'm especially interested in the archeological sites in the south (Uruk, Ur, Lagas, Babylon...).

Re: Backpacking Iraq

Posted: Sun Jul 23, 2023 11:53 am
by TautTruffle
Same question. Anyone?

Re: Backpacking Iraq

Posted: Mon Aug 21, 2023 2:05 pm
by merodrem
I only feel qualified to say that the kurdish region is safe except for Qandil mountains where the PKK is based and regularly gets bombed my Turkey. But still, the probability of being at the wrong place at the wrong time is very low. The border areas and the mountains are also mined. I have a good friend in Slemani who knows the region well, MP for details.
The south of Iraq and Basra region is said to be okay-ish, but I have no personal knowledge on this place, just relying on travelriskmap.com. For Bagdad region and the rest of the country, there is still a risk. The same friend (who grew up in bagdad) told me that the situation improved, but people can still get kidnapped and foreigners are targetted. I could tell you that my sister went to Bagdad in april and made it alive, but it's not worth much :-) I guess you're most likely to survive if you go there. My opinion is that you have ponder how much the archeological sites matter to you.

Re: Backpacking Iraq

Posted: Sun Sep 03, 2023 4:06 pm
by Ccandelario430
Hello. I spent two months backpacking through Federal Iraq, not Kurdistan, from March to May 2022. I visited Baghdad, south to Basrah, Nasiriyah (day trip to Chubayish and the marshes) Samawah, Najaf, Kerbala, Hillah (Babylon), back to Baghdad, then north to Samarra, Tikrit, Mosul and Ninewah province, and Kirkuk. I traveled completely independently with shared taxis, minubuses, and buses and stayed at cheap budget hotels. I never felt unsafe and made a lot of Iraqi friends during my trip. I'd like to come back this winter.

Re: Backpacking Iraq

Posted: Sun Sep 03, 2023 4:19 pm
by Ccandelario430
Baghdad is a fascinating city, and I found it to be quite similar to Cairo or Lahore in that it's incredibly chaotic and densely populated yet chalk-full of centuries of history. I got around mostly by public transport and by walking. On my first visit to Baghdad at the beginning of my trip I stayed at the, quote, unquote, "safe" hotel in the international hotel zone on Saadoun Street, but on my second visit towards the end of my trip I stayed at three different budget hotels in Alawi near the Iraq Museum as it's a much more convenient location to be able to easily reach all the main attractions on foot or a short and direct minibus ride. The city is jam-packed with history, including the Abbasid Palance, Mustansariyah Madrasa, Al Murjan Mosque, Abu Hanifa Mosque, Qishla Ottoman Barracks, Zubayda Mosoleum, Sheikh Omar Tomb, Muttanabi Street and Shabandar Café, Coppersmith Market, Iraq Museum, and a lot of the city's history just sits there in plain sight covered in a thick layer of dust without having really been documented in English. It's definitely a place I want to return to once my Arabic improves more so that I can really discover all these fascinating bits of history.

I'm a "digital nomad" and found the upscale cafés at the Baghdad Mall to be excellent for working.

Re: Backpacking Iraq

Posted: Wed Sep 20, 2023 9:07 am
by TautTruffle
Ccandelario, that's really interesting. One thing you did not mention: your physical appearance. It may be uncomfortable to hear it, but independent travel in places without tourists is SO much simpler when one can pass for a local. And conversely, much more complicated - and maybe dangerous - when one cannot.

Re: Backpacking Iraq

Posted: Tue Oct 10, 2023 11:00 pm
by yungexma
How should one approach traveling in Iraq (specifically Kurdistan in my case) given the recent events in Israel?
I’m interested in hearing some perspectives on this and if there seems to be a change in the risk factor.