Things you Should Know Before Travelling to Iraq

Iraq is not the most obvious tourist destination. However, with the improvement of the security situation in the country, it is time to visit one of the most historic countries in the world. You can get PIA ticket prices of flights comparatively at lower rates and you can reach Iraq. Iraq is considered the birthplace of many of the oldest civilizations on Earth, including Babylonians and Assyrians. It is home to five UNESCO World Heritage sites, and tens of thousands of archaeological sites are located throughout the country. If you are in search of cheap airline tickets to Iraq then you can easily find them, but you must know  few things before visiting this country which is listed below.

Visa Process for Iraq

Getting a travel visa to Iraq is complicated and very time-consuming. First, you need to submit an application to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Baghdad, local contact will have to do it for you. After approving this application, you will receive a letter to personally submit the application to the embassy in Iraq. It will have to be in your country of residence. The whole process takes about six months. Even if your visa is secured, you must have a licensed guide and driver at all times. You can easily visit Iraq by paying for cheap PIA ticket prices anytime you want if you have completed the visa process. You will need to stay at government-licensed hotels to sign up. When you book a trip with a local contact or with international travel agencies, transport, guide and accommodation will be included, the price depends somewhat on where and where you want to go and what type of transport you need.

Safety in Iraq

Security is still a serious issue and every western country definitely does not travel to southern Iraq. Although the situation since April 2019 has been calm for over a year, everything can change very quickly. Your guide will learn the daily safety of travel. All local people, the army, militia soldiers, religious scholars were very friendly and hospitable. However, you are advised to register at the embassy before travelling to Iraq and have valid travel insurance, which should also include kidnapping insurance. Big insurance companies like etc. World Nomads will NOT cover you in Iraq, but First Allied will do it.

Photography

Iraq is pretty laid back and relaxed when it comes to taking pictures. You should never take photos of soldiers, checkpoints, government buildings, and inside the sacred Shiite temples in Najaf, Karbala and Kuft. But more or less everything else is allowed. Most of the residentsare happy and they take photos, and most of the soldiers also ask for a selfie. The army in Iraq was nicer and more relaxed than the army inneighbouring Syria and Iran when it comes to taking pictures. Nothing is needed in Iraq, but I recommend taking some good books with you for long rides around the country and earplugs when you go to sleep, there is a lot of noise in the streets.

Currency in Iraq

The local currency in Iraq is Iraqi dinar. However, you will be able to spend euros and US dollars on payments in hotels and gift shops. There are several ATMs in Baghdad that accept international bank cards. Larger hotels also accept bank card payments, but everything else in this country is done with cash. In Iraq, don’t rely on ATMs. Remember to bring enough USDollars for the entire trip by taking cheap airline tickets. Don’t spend too much on your flights so that you may have a lot to spend when you are in Iraq. The airport’s arrival hall and hotels have currency exchange offices. But for the best rate go to the bazaar. The exchange rate changes day by day, and the rate in Baghdad is often better than in other cities around the country, so change your money in Baghdad.

Getting Around in Iraq

As a tourist, you must have a licensed driver and guide at all times. So long-distance bus travel is out of the question. But you can take the local night train from Basra to Baghdad, but your guide will have to accompany you. You will need to obtain permits for any place you want to visit in Iraq outside of Baghdad.
You must inform your guide to make an appointment before travelling. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of military and private Shia militia checkpoints around Iraq. Some just a few hundred meters apart. Checkpoints are rarer in the southern part, but there are hundreds around Baghdad and the holy cities of Samarra, Karbala, Najaf and Kufa. You will NOT be able to go through the checkpoints without the appropriate permits and documents. Even after passing one checkpoint, the next checkpoint must re-check the documents. Even if it is less than one km apart. Often, the guide has to make several calls to get through the checkpoints, even if you already have the right documents. For this reason, travelling by car in Iraq takes a long time.

Conclusion:

If you are planning to visit Iraq then complete your visa process first and then check for PIA ticket prices. Take all the above mentioned precautions and your visit will be safe and enjoyable.

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