Iraqi Kurdistan

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Joel Bond Travels

Iraqi Kurdistan

Explore this unique cultural gem

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Rest your head

Image - Shari Jwan Tower
Shari Jwan Tower
Joel Bond:Swanky upscale hotel with a revolving 360-degree restaurant perched on top. Excellent spa and good food offerings at various bars and restaurants on site.
Image - Lalazar Hotel and Restaurant
Lalazar Hotel and Restaurant
Joel Bond:Comfortable, clean hotel in the popular Sarchinar district, within reasonable walking distance of Slemani's night life scene. In summer, the rooftop dining is not to be missed!
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Eating out

Image - فالح ابو العمبة السليمانية
فالح ابو العمبة السليمانية
Joel Bond:The best falafel sandwich you'll have this side of the Tigris River! Served with a signature bittersweet, neon yellow fenugreek sauce.
Image - Habruri Grill
Habruri Grill
Joel Bond:Erbil’s premier Chinese food joint.
Image - Nali Cafe and Pastry
Nali Cafe and Pastry
Joel Bond:Hip and trendy coffee house, with a wide selection of cakes and bistro-style meals.


Worthwhile sights to see

Image - Amna Suraka
Amna Suraka
Joel Bond:Sobering museum dedicated to Saddam Hussein's genocide of the Kurds. Recent additional exhibition detailing the fight against ISIS is well worth the extended visit.
Image - مۆزەخانەی کەلەپووری کورد Kurd Heritage
مۆزەخانەی کەلەپووری کورد Kurd Heritage
Joel Bond:Petite but well-organised museum detailing parts of Kurdish heritage, including farming techniques, religious life and traditional dress. Located in the heart of the bazar, surrounding a Chaihane (tea-house) courtyard. Picturesque coloured glass windows and stone architecture make the visit aesthetically pleasing, while museum staff are more than excited to show you around (limited English spoken).
Image - Sulaimani's Great Mosque
Sulaimani's Great Mosque
Joel Bond:A central landmark for the most sprawling bazar in Kurdistan, this grand mosque serves as religious hub and central meeting point for explorers in the bazar. Alleys and roads radiating out from here will lead you down untold treasure paths in a bazar that is inexhaustible!
Image - Travelade Image
Hawary Shar
Joel Bond:Expansive park hosting streams and man-made water features, bicycle hire, tea houses, and an outdoor amphitheatre built in Roman style.
Image - Travelade Image
Azmar Road
Joel Bond:Schlep up this mountain road at sunset for some spectacular views of the city at night. Tea-houses and kebab stands make for a decent evening picnic atop the mountain in fair weather.
Image - Tomb of Cyaxares
Tomb of Cyaxares
Joel Bond:Precious little by way of information, but this cliff-side tomb boasts some commanding views of the valley below with its Zoroastrian-influenced bas relief carvings.
Image - Qalat
Joel Bond:THE most touristed place in Iraqi Kurdistan, the Citadel perches atop an old volcanic plug, with commanding views over the bazar and fountain plaza below. Purported to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, this UNESCO world heritage site is host to a grand renovation scheme, and has new exhibits and museums opening within the restored city walls. Check out the Kurdish carpet museum for some beautiful displays on traditional carpet designs and clan-related textile patterns.
Image - Jamie Razan
Jamie Razan
Joel Bond:Secluded valley picnic spot with a cool micro-climate to escape the oppressive summer heat outside the valley.
Image - Syriac Heritage Museum
Syriac Heritage Museum
Joel Bond:Unique displays on northern Iraq’s Syriac Christian minority, including an interesting display of Syriac language texts.

My Recommendations

Image - Iraqi Kurdistan Tour Guide- Karwan Wahed
Iraqi Kurdistan Tour Guide- Karwan Wahed
Joel Bond:Highly recommended personal driver-guide for tours in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Wonderguide map

  1. Shari Jwan Tower
  2. Lalazar Hotel and Restaurant
  3. فالح ابو العمبة السليمانية
  4. Habruri Grill
  5. Nali Cafe and Pastry
  6. Amna Suraka
  7. مۆزەخانەی کەلەپووری کورد Kurd Heritage
  8. Sulaimani's Great Mosque
  9. Hawary Shar
  10. Azmar Road
  11. Tomb of Cyaxares
  12. Qalat
  13. Jamie Razan
  14. Syriac Heritage Museum
  15. Iraqi Kurdistan Tour Guide- Karwan Wahed

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