History lovers, archaeology enthusiasts and pioneer tourists will love Baghdad. Divided by the river Tigris and originally surrounded by circular walls, modern skyscrapers now pierce the skyline close to ancient wonders. Al Rashid Street stretches from the North Gate to the South Gate and is the commercial centre of the city.
At the time of writing, there was civil unrest in Baghdad. Please check with your embassy to find out about any warnings and restrictions before you travel.
Top things to see and do
- Admire the domes and minarets covered in gold leaf in a city drenched in history. And pay a visit to the Mosque and Mausoleum of Al Imam Al Aadham, a famous Islamic place of worship.
- Make the most of being in the birthplace of civilisation and visit the historic sites. If you have time, leave the city and imagine past lives as you wander the ancient cities of Ur and Babylon.
- You might need earplugs to explore the traditional coppersmith souk where pots are still made by hand and the sound of beating hammers can be deafening. If copper isn’t your thing then try the aromatic spice, tea and coffee souks.
- By the North Gate you can walk back in time and admire the antiquities in the Abbasid Palace, believed to date back to around 1200. Wonder at the beautiful brickwork and spot the difference between the original and what has been recently repaired.
- Eat your fill of pistachio pastries or enjoy the city’s speciality, traditional baked fish known as masgouf.
- The Iraq Museum is a treasure chest of culture and artefacts dating back to 6000BC – don’t miss the vase that looks like a porcupine.
Tips for travellers
The Khan Murjan, a legendary 14th century souk built as an inn for weary travellers has inspired Dubai to create its own version. If you’re in Baghdad don’t miss seeing the real thing.