Soak in the atmosphere and old-style Arab architecture of Iraq’s main port city of Basra - seaport for traditional dhows through to modern shipping vessels on the banks of the Shatt-al Arab waterway.
Take a step back in time and experience the old and the new in this ancient city that plays a pivotal role in early Islamic history.
Top things to see and do in Basra
- Don’t miss the Old Basra Mosque, a defining element of Islamic history. Rebuilt twice after a ravaging fire then flood, the mosque was originally built with date palm branches.
- Visit the fertile date palm forests. Dates yielded from the palms in the Basra area are considered to be some of the sweetest in the world.
- Enjoy the atmosphere of Basra’s traditional market bazaars, including the ‘Amogaiz’ Indian Market and Hanna Sheikh bazaar built by the powerful Hanna Sheikh family.
- Experience the Gardens of Adam Tree where the Euphrates and Tigris rivers meet, and according to folklore where people go to receive their blessings. The Adam Tree of Life is thought to be the oldest tree in the area.
- See the ruins of the Al Sayyab House, once home of Basra’s most celebrated poet, the late Bader Shaker Al Sayyab, who has immortalised many of Basra’s districts in his writings.
Tips for travellers
Take some time to visit the lush Sinbad Island connected from the mainland by bridge. Fountains and tall trees occupy the substantial gardens, along with shops and refreshment areas.