Regions in Iraq
The area between and around the upper Tigris and Euphrates rivers, north and northwest of Baghdad.
The belts of suburbs, villages, and cities that radiate out from Baghdad’s center.
The vast, desolate wastelands of the country’s west and southwest.
This is the safest area of Iraq for travel, since it is home to the Kurdish people and is mainly administered by what is for all intents and purposes a distinct national government.
The Cradle of Civilization itself, home to major Shia cities and holy sites, such as Karbala, Najaf, Basra, and Nasiriya, as well as legendary ruins of ancient civilizations, including Babylon and Sumerian Ur.
Cities in Iraq
- Baghdad (بغداد)
- Arbil (أربيل)
- Ar Rutba (الرطبة)
- Basra (البَصرة)
- Dahuk (دهوك)
- Fallujah (الفلّوجة)
- Karbala (كربلاء)
- Kirkuk (كركوك)
- Mosul (موصل)
- Sulaimaniyah (سليمانى)
Other destinations in Iraq
- Ashur — a UNESCO World Heritage site and the historic capital of the Assyrian Empire, this is one of the country’s few major archaeological monuments that has benefitted from the recent invasion—the Hussein administration intended to build a dam nearby that would have inundated and destroyed the site.
- Babylon (بابل) — The remains of ancient Babylon have been destroyed by poor rebuilding, looting, and military neglect, yet they remain some of the most magnificent in the Cradle of Civilization.
- Ctesiphon — Ctesiphon, the historical capital of the Parthian and Sassanid Empires, has left us with majestic, towering remains, most notably the spectacular Arch of Ctesiphon; close over the Tigris, the archaeological site of the ancient Hellenistic city of Seleucia has been discovered.
- Hatra — formerly a UNESCO World Heritage site, this once well-preserved Parthian city in the desert had some of Iraq’s most beautiful remains, which were badly damaged or destroyed by Da’esh militants in 2015.
- Nineveh (نينوى) — Nineveh Is a 3,000-year-old city and one-time Assyrian capital, whose partly rebuilt remains and archaeological site is located across the Tigris from Mosul.
- Ur (أور) — Ur Is the remains of an ancient Sumerian city best known for the Great Ziggurat of Ur, a huge step pyramid.