Read our Erbil travel guide to help you have an idea with your next journey and adventure here in the capital city of Iraqi Kurdistan.

Photo by Alan Farhadi CC BY 2.0

Being the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, Erbil offers plenty of experiences for its future visitors. And because of its ethnic and religious diversity, it welcomes anyone regardless of religion, status, or ethnicity. Going here, you will be able to learn more about the city and discover the local’s daily lifestyle. Know more about Erbil by reading this travel guide.

Erbil Travel Guide: Places to Visit in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan

1. Erbil-Kurdistan

Travel Guide to Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan [with Sample Itinerary]
Photo by David Stanley CC BY 2.0

A beautiful square in the center of the city of Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan. You can also find countless bazaars around. This central square is just below the Citadel.

2. Erbil Citadel

Travel Guide to Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan [with Sample Itinerary]
Photo by Adam Jones CC BY-SA 2.0

In one whole day, you can visit the citadel, wander through the bazaar, have a look at the Jalil Kayat mosque, eat delicious kebab, relax in the three large parks – and in the evening in the main square in front of the citadel, you can just enjoy the atmosphere.

3. Sami Abdulrahman Park

Travel Guide to Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan [with Sample Itinerary]
Photo by Mustafa Khayat CC BY-ND 2.0

Another beautifully landscaped and well-kept park in Erbil. A quiet place for relaxation. Here, you can spend your time in many different ways, even with boat trips on the small lake. There are also small cafes located inside the park that you can stop by.

4. Kurdish Textile Museum

Travel Guide to Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan [with Sample Itinerary]
Photo by Adam Jones CC BY-SA 2.0

This is a small, fine museum that gives a good insight into the independent culture of the Kurds. It is located in the middle of the citadel. You get a nice overview of the tradition of carpets in Kurdistan and the corresponding “family patterns”.

5. The Korek Mountain Resort & Spa

Korek Mountain is a must-see natural beauty. The cable car gives great views on the way up. They also have a lot of activities for families for all seasons. Upon going down, you can stop at some of the small towns to eat.

6. Jalil Khayat Mosque

Travel Guide to Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan [with Sample Itinerary]
Photo by Hussam Mustafa CC BY 2.0

You should definitely plan this when visiting Erbil. The mosque has many colored domes and numerous decorations. It is a symbol of the peaceful coexistence of all religious communities in Erbil.

7. Gali Ali Bag

Located near Rawanduz, it is easy to get here by taxi. The sound of the water falling is like music in the ears. You can get very close to the water, but then you’ll get pretty wet. In summer, you can go dinghy, but remember that the current is much weaker.

Erbil Travel Guide: Sample Weekend Itinerary to Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan

Day 1 – Weekend Guide to Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan

Kurdish Textile Museum – Discover one of the Kurds’ rich culture and tradition. See how traditional carpets are made.

The Korek Mountain Resort & Spa – Don’t miss the chance to go to the Korek Mountain. Try the cable car and enjoy a wonderful view on top of it.

Day 2 – Weekend Guide to Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan

Erbil Citadel – On your second day, spend it by strolling around the citadel. By going here, you can also visit the Erbil square which is located just below the citadel. Buy anything at the bazaar and eat a lot of delicious food.

Jalil Khayat Mosque – Ready your camera to capture picturesque shots of the Jalil Khayat Mosque.

Day 3 – Weekend Guide to Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan

Sami Abdulrahman Park – To end your trip to Erbil, have a relaxing day at the Sami Abdulrahman Park. With the quiet and peaceful surroundings, you’ll get the chance to contemplate.

Erbil Travel Guide: Where to Stay in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan

*All prices are subject to change.

Where to Stay in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan if you’re a Backpacker

Logal Hotel 

Travel Guide to Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan [with Sample Itinerary]

All rooms at Logal Hotel are equipped with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels and are fitted with a private bathroom equipped with a bath or shower. There is a 24-hour front desk at the property as well. The nearest airport is Erbil International Airport, 9 km from the property.

Price: Starts at $50 per night for Standard Double or Twin Room, includes taxes and charges, free breakfast, but it’s non-refundable.

Hyksos Hotel

Travel Guide to Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan [with Sample Itinerary]

Hyksos Hotel provides accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking, a bar, and a shared lounge. It also provides accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking, a bar, and a shared lounge. At the Hyksos Hotel, each room includes a seating area.

Price: Starts at $77 per night for Twin Room with Balcony, includes taxes and charges, add $8 for breakfast, and free cancellation

Bella Roma Hotel

Travel Guide to Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan [with Sample Itinerary]

All rooms at Bella Roma Hotel boast a flat-screen TV with satellite channels and a private bathroom. The hotel provides an indoor pool, sauna, evening entertainment, and a 24-hour front desk. You can also enjoy a continental or a buffet breakfast.

Price: Starts at $85 per night for Standard Double Room, includes taxes and charges, free breakfast, and free cancellation.

Where to Stay in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan if you’re on a Budget

Masaya By Emerald

Travel Guide to Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan [with Sample Itinerary]

Masaya Hotel & Residences by Emerald features Cristal’s exclusively designed mattress for a soothing and relaxed stay, an LCD TV, coffee & tea facilities, mini bar, safe box, and complimentary internet access. It is a 10-minute drive from Erbil International Airport and offers free pick up from the airport for guests staying two or more nights.

Price: Starts at $107 per night for Superior Twin Room, includes taxes and charges, free breakfast, and free cancellation.

Darin Plaza Hotel

Travel Guide to Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan [with Sample Itinerary]

Darin Plaza Hotel offers a fitness center, an indoor pool, a sauna, and free Wi-Fi in all areas. all rooms and suites at Darin are decorated in soft tones. Each one offers a flat-screen TV, a wardrobe and a minibar. The suite includes a spacious seating area with a sofa. A buffet-style breakfast is served daily, while à-la-carte specialties are served in the evening at Darin Restaurant.

Price: Starts at $111 per night for Suite, includes taxes and charges, add $10 for breakfast, and free cancellation.

Cristal Erbil Hotel

Travel Guide to Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan [with Sample Itinerary]

Cristal Erbil Hotel is located in Erbil. Free WiFi access is available in the rooms. Each room here will provide you with a satellite TV, air conditioning, and an electric kettle. Featuring a shower, private bathroom also comes with a bath and a hairdryer. At Cristal Erbil Hotel guests can find a fitness center.

Price: Starts at $130 per night for Amber King Limited View, includes taxes and charges, free breakfast, and free cancellation.

Where to Stay in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan if you want Luxury

Ankawa Royal Hotel & Spa

Travel Guide to Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan [with Sample Itinerary]

Ankawa Royal Hotel & Spa offers free WiFi in all areas. Complete with a balcony, the elegant suites are air-conditioned. Each is equipped with a flat-screen TV, a seating area, and a safety deposit box. A bathrobe and free toiletries can be found in the private bathroom. A range of International classical and contemporary dishes can be enjoyed at the hotel’s restaurant.

Price: Starts at $154 per night for Deluxe King Room, includes taxes and charges, free breakfast, and free cancellation.

Divan Erbil Hotel

Travel Guide to Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan [with Sample Itinerary]

Divan Erbil Hotel offers luxurious, air-conditioned guestrooms with 24-hour room service. Each room offers a flat-screen TV, a minibar and an iPod docking station. Each suite has a separate living room with a plush sofa. Seasons Restaurant serves pizza, international, and barbecue cuisine, while Qi 21 Sushi Bar serves sushi.

Price: Starts at $227 per night for Deluxe King Room, add $23 for taxes and charges, $25 for breakfast, but offers a free cancellation.

Erbil Rotana

Travel Guide to Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan [with Sample Itinerary]

The Erbil Rotana is equipped with 201 spacious rooms and suites, each air-conditioned unit at The Erbil Rotana is elegantly decorated. They all have a bathroom with a walk-in rain shower and a separate bathtub. For lunch and dinner, the 5 on-site restaurants serve mesmerizing food adhering to all tastes and served by friendly, professional, and efficient staff.

Price: Starts at $230 per night for Classic King Room, add $23 for taxes and charges, $27.50 for breakfast, but offers a free cancellation.

Erbil Travel Guide: List of restaurants that you can try while in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan

1. DC Steakhouse

DC Steakhouse has raised the standards for premium international dining in Erbil. Their mouthwatering steak has been making the customers go back over and over again.

Operating hours: 12:30 PM – 01:00 AM (Sun-Sat)
Address: Dream City Commercial complex, first floor. Dream City Commercial Complex, first floor., Erbil 44001 Iraq

2. Basilico

Craving, for some Italian cuisine? Basilico is the place to be. You can have a romantic and elegant dining experience here. Don’t forget to try one of their main dishes, the Sea Bass dish.

Address: Gulan Street Hotel Rotana, Erbil 44001 Iraq

3. Well Done Bowl

Travel Guide to Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan [with Sample Itinerary]

For some Asian cuisine, you should head your way to the Well Done Bowl. Serving Chinese and Japanese dishes, it can satisfy your Asian cravings.

Address: Ainkawa main road, close to US consulate Ankawa, Erbil 44001 Iraq

4. Al Bustan Lebanese Restaurant & Garden

From the name itself, this is a Lebanese Restaurant. Al Bustan’s mouth-watering menu is filled with Lebanese and local cuisine that is sure to please every diner’s palettes.

Operating hours: 7:00 PM – 12:00 AM (Sun-Sat)
Address: Gulan Street, Erbil 44001 Iraq

5. Dawa 2

Travel Guide to Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan [with Sample Itinerary]

To have a taste of a wonderful Middle Eastern cuisine, you should head your way to Dawa 2. Those meat-lovers would enjoy dining here.

Address: Mosul Road, Erbil 0964 Iraq

And that’s our Erbil travel guide for you! We hope we’re able to give you enough insights about this city. Have you been here? Or are you planning to go here? Share with us your experience!

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About the Writer

Fatima Turla2Hi there! I’m Fatima. My first major travel was in 2016 in the beautiful city of Cebu. After that, I got interested in traveling. Now I enjoy learning languages and other country’s cultures. My goal is to visit at least one country each year and to share my experiences with other people through writing or blogging. Witness my journey by following me on Instagram.​





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