Help Wikitravel grow by contributing to an article! Learn how.
New users, please see Help or go to the Pub to ask questions.

Difference between revisions of "Erbil"

From Wikitravel
Jump to: navigation, search
(See)
(Districts)
Line 9: Line 9:
 
*'''Komari''' Where the stadium and Hawler Plaza Hotel are located
 
*'''Komari''' Where the stadium and Hawler Plaza Hotel are located
 
*'''Ankawa''' Originally the Christian suburb to the north of the city, Ankawa now houses a diverse set of professionals from around Arbil, while maintaining its Christian history.
 
*'''Ankawa''' Originally the Christian suburb to the north of the city, Ankawa now houses a diverse set of professionals from around Arbil, while maintaining its Christian history.
*'''Citadel''' A 32 meter high mound with a continuously-occupied 7000 year old settlement, believed to be the oldest continuously occupied human settlement in the world. The Citadel area also includes the city's souk, where you can buy both basic souvenirs as well as more modern items (e.g. cell phones, etc).
+
*'''Citadel''' A 32m high mound with a continuously-occupied 7,000 year old settlement, believed to be the oldest continuously occupied human settlement in the world. The Citadel area also includes the city's souk, where you can buy both basic souvenirs as well as more modern items such as cell phones, etc.
  
 
==Get in==
 
==Get in==

Revision as of 23:33, 16 February 2014

Arbil (Hawlêr in Kurdish and most usually known as Erbil in the English speaking world) is the capital city of Iraqi Kurdistan, a semi-autonomous region of three provinces in northern Iraq. Unlike the rest of federal Iraq, Kurdistan is a relatively safe place for travellers.

Contents

Understand

Erbil is the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, and it is a city in transition from a small town to a growing center for commerce in the region. Restaurants, shops and other locations are best found in relation to key landmarks, districts or large roads. Good examples include the Citadel (landmark), Ankawa (district) or 60m Road. Even if you do not speak Kurdish or Arabic, drivers and hotel drivers will be able to find your destination with the help of landmarks, a map or a Google map.

Erbil is a safe city with real ethnic and religious diversity. There is no tolerance for extremism locally, and the city has suffered only two real security incidents since 2007. Hotels maintain strong security protocols (eg, metal detectors and bag checks).

Districts

  • Komari Where the stadium and Hawler Plaza Hotel are located
  • Ankawa Originally the Christian suburb to the north of the city, Ankawa now houses a diverse set of professionals from around Arbil, while maintaining its Christian history.
  • Citadel A 32m high mound with a continuously-occupied 7,000 year old settlement, believed to be the oldest continuously occupied human settlement in the world. The Citadel area also includes the city's souk, where you can buy both basic souvenirs as well as more modern items such as cell phones, etc.

Get in

IMG 6937.JPG

Entry visas valid for 10 days are available at the airport for most nationalities (US, EU, etc), although some nationalities require a letter of introduction or invitation to facilitate a visa. All foreign tourists will find a warm welcome from locals.


By plane

Northern Iraq is served by Erbil International Airport with a growing number of international airlines serving Erbil.

Austrian Airlines launched flights between Vienna and Arbil (Erbil) (Irbil) twice weekly in December 2006. As of July 2007, Austrian is operating four flights a week to/from Vienna.

Egypt Air flies 4 times per week from Cairo to Erbil, and 3 times per week from Erbil to Cairo.

Lufthansa has recently restarted four weekly roundtrip flights from Frankfurt.

Royal Jordanian has regular flights from Amman.

Qatar Airways flies 4 times a week between Erbil and Doha

Fly Hellas flies to Arbil from Athens (Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport) and Stockholm.

MEA flies to Erbil from Lebanon on 6 flights per week.

AtlasJet ,Turkish Airlines, and Pegasus have flights to Istanbul.

FlyDubai has flights to Dubai.

Turkish Airlines has flights to Istanbul, there to the world.

Mahan Air has flights from Tehran, established in 2012 [1].

Etihad Airlines flies from Erbil to Abu Dhabi with connecting flights onwards.

Citizens of the EU, the US, Canada, Japan and Australia are given a free stamp of 10 days on arrival. After that you must visit the residency office to extend your visa. Other nationalities must have an Iraqi visa before arrival, or they may seek a letter of invitation from the KRG Department of Foreign Relations to facilitate a visa into the Kurdistan Region.

By bus

Recently there are bus companies running services connecting Erbil to Dyiarbakir in Turkey (10-15 hours) and Istanbul (36-48 hours):

  • Cizre Nuh Buses (Tel Erbil: 0750 340 47 73) run everyday at 15.30 from the New City Mall, 60m Road to Istanbul (100$) via Silopi (40$) Diyabakir and other Cities inbetween. Tickets can be brought at the New City Mall, Flyaway on Barzani Namir and at a Phone Shop on Shekhi Choly close to the bazaar.
  • Can Diyarbakir Buses (Tel Erbil: 0750 895 62 17-18-19) leave daily from Family Mall on 100mt Road to Istanbul via Ankara, Diyarbakır and other cities inbetween.

There are at least two other Turkish companies running busses from erbil to cities ın Turkey - look around for flyers on Iskan Road.

  • Best Van: Running from Ainkawa Road in Erbil to Istanbul via Adana, Aksaray, Ankara (14 o'clock) and Diyabakir (16 o'clock, via Hasankeyf, Batman). Bus from Diyabakir to Erbil is going on 11 o'clock.
  • Federal Company: Daily service from Erbil to Istanbul, at 14:00. Charged $80 in late 2012 (the same as other bus lines, at the time), but claimed to be using VIP buses. Friendly service and location near citadel. Can be contacted via email at federal_co1@yahoo.com. Phone at (+964)-0-66-2246999.

Arrival time depends on border formalities (around 2 hours from Turkey to Iraq in March 2012 and 5-8 hours back to Turkey).

Get Around

Public transportation is available in the form of taxis and some bus routes. Private drivers are also available from many three- and four-star hotels and can help show you around the area.

In terms of taxis there are essentially two choices:

  • Hello Taxi,, which is Erbil's branded taxi company and has English speaking drivers, but at highly inflated rates. USD is accepted. From the Airport to central Erbil the rate is $50, to Ankawa $20.
  • "Street Taxis", which are generic independent taxis and will take you most places in Erbil and Ankawa. Rates are negotiable, however, for a drive across town (15-25 minutes) expect between 3000-6000 IQD.
  • PNK Taxi address="Ankawa Erbil" directions="" phone="07506337700" url="www.femaletaxi.com" hours="07:00" price="1000 iqd/km" lat="" long="">PNK Taxi Services is a subsidiary of BWFW Services company. PNK Taxi is By Women... For Women. Rates are 3000 IQD + 1000 IQD/KM. PNK Taxi. Is the other Erbil Branded Taxi Service.

See

The Erbil Citadel sits in the middle of Erbil City and is on the tentative list for nomination as a UNESCO World Heritage site[2]. At 7000+ years old, the Citadel is one of the oldest continuously occupied human settlements [3]. The citadel has seen the reign of many historic civilizations including Sumerians, Akkadians, Babylonians and Assyrians. Other ancient powers including the Achaemenian, Seljuks, and Sassanians also dominated the Citadel before being finally conquered by the Muslims. This longevity was made possible by the existence of abundant ground water, which has sustained the population throughout its long history.

The Citadel is a round structure, 28-32 meters high which dominates the old city and has been built upon seven layers of civilization. The Citadel is a round structure that sits 28-32 m above the surrounding city. The mound itself is not natural but was been formed by successive layers of settlements: Assyrian, Akkadian, Babylonian, Persian and Greek. The total area of the Citadel is 110,000 square meters. The Citadel of Erbil consists of three main quarters: Topkhana, Saray and Taki, with a total of 605 houses in the areas. Picturesque view from the upper floors of the opposite shopping centre.

The UNESCO Revitalization Project of the Erbil Citadel is on-going[4], so the Citadel is currently closed to cars. Visitors can still access the site on foot and walk around the mound. Key attractions include the historic architecture, views of the city and the Kurdish Textile Museum.

Kurdish Textile Museum[5] is located on the Citadel. Entry is free. The Museum is open every day 9:00 - 17:30 from October to April and 9:00 - 19:00 from May to September. During the summer, the Museum is also closed on Fridays. The Museum's director often wanders around chatting with visitors and shares stories about the artifacts and current activities of the Museum. Great items on display include antique Kurdish rugs, ornate carrying sacks used by nomads in the region and pieces from Iran. You may also meet contemporary weavers at the Museum, which is the site for a US Embassy-funded initiative to revive Kurdish textile skills and support local (primarily female) artisans. The gift shop is one of the best spots in town for classy souvenirs; you can purchase traditional hats, jewelry, rugs made by the local Kurdish weavers and traditional "Persian" carpets brought across the border from Iran.

The Mound of Qalich Agha lies within the grounds of the Museum of Civilization, 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) from the citadel. An excavation in 1996 found tools from the Halaf, Ubaid and Uruk periods.

Minaret Park The 36 m high Mudhafaria Minaret, situated in Minaret Park several blocks from the citadel, dates back to the late 12th century AD and the reign of Arbil king Muzaffar Al-Din Abu Sa’eed Al-Kawkaboori. It has an octagonal base decorated with two tiers of niches, which is separated from the main shaft by a small balcony, also decorated. Another historical minaret with turquoise glazed tiles is nearby.

Shanidar Park Near the minaret park (on the other side of the street), connected with the minaret park via cable car.

Do

Stroll around in the deserted city inside the hilltop castle (kale)in the centre of Arbil. Hundreds of houses that appears to have been abandoned in a hurry. Walk into the court yards, sleeping rooms and bed rooms or up to the rooftop terraces to enjoy an spectacular panorama of Arbil or ponder what life might have been in this place before the inhabitants were repopulated.

Volunteer talking to English students at the ALSON language & computer centre (near Sheraton Hotel). To communicate with the students, go on a picnic and give students contact with English speakers. Also, Kurdish language lessons available.

Buy

  • Arbil has many supermarkets and malls, like Majidi mall located on Kasnazan road, which is the bigger one in the city.
  • Hawler Mall located on Shaqlawa road,a modern mall in whiach you can spend a wonderful time while shopping
  • NewCity supermarket on 60th road, which is very good.
  • Reihnmall in the Eskan neighbourhood.
  • Shopping Centre Nishtman(national) Mall.
  • Majidi Mall, [6]. Western style shopping mall opened in November 2009, with stores such as Mango, Adidas and Levis. Also has a very large hypermarket in the basement of the mall.
  • family mall, 100m street besides family fun. it's one of the biggest and most modern shopping centre in iraq with some of the best known clothing labels .

Eat

A good many restaurants exist in Erbil just none with any variety of cuisine. The choice is extensive, and the food is great and fresh especially at Fairuz Group which are currently running the Mamounia Skybar located at the 7th floor of the Noble hotel and Munch Cafe & Restaurant located at Gulan Street. .

  • At the Erbil International Hotel, an Asian cuisine restaurant serves curry.
  • Sajalreef restaurant on Kirkuk Baghdad Road.
  • erza restaurant on ainkawa
  • tarin restaurant on saladeen road
  • piano bar restaurant
  • bakery and more restaurant on shoresh street
  • akito restaurant on ainkawa
  • Erbil Rest on Ankawa Road.
  • Khan al Dejaj.
  • Al Mahar (Sea Food)on 60th Street.
  • Fairuz Lebanese Restaurant Erbil 60th.
  • Abu Shahab restaurant on 60th street.

If German food is your liking then in the Erbil suburb of Ainkawa, you'll find a new German restaurant. Also in Ainkawa you will find Happy Time restaurant which serves a version of western style foods including nice pizzas.

Many sandwich shops may be found in the bazaar.

  • T Bar Sports Lounge and Grill, Ainkawa (Ainkawa exit road, across from RRT compound), [7]. 17:00 to late. American style sports bar and lounge. Where you can enjoy a drink and american style food while watching sport on the 16 different plasma tv's.
  • Baydoner, 100 m street Family Mall (food court), [8]. Turkish "Iskender" dish is served, famous Turkish restaurant chain, Erbil branch
  • For Great Lebanese food there is Zahle Restaurant that is located on the 60m street in the Arabella Hotel. Good food and fairly priced with a garden terrace. 0750 313 898. deliveries and take away service available too!

Drink

You can buy a wide variety of beer, wine and spirits at reasonable prices in Ainkawa, the Christian suburb of Irbil. Just look for any of the local alcohol stores. A litre of Jack Daniels for about US22 is cheaper than in Tennessee, USA where it is bottled!

  • Marina. Great food! Pretty expensive.
  • Deutscher Hof. For German draft beer and food

Sleep

  • Erbil International Hotel aka Sheraton is a great place to stay, if you can afford the rates. In November 2008, the rate for a single room (double bed) was around $US200 (including service charges). Payment is in cash only, no credit card. In November 2008, there were ATMs in the hotel, but it is not clear whether they allow cash withdrawals using international credit cards. In March 2010 International credit cards allow you to withdraw Iraqi Dinars there. The hotel has excellent food and internet service. There is a dry cleaner and laundry and several relatively good restaurants in the hotel (including East Asian and Indian food).
  • Ankawa Palace, [9]. It is nice and clean and the staff are very helpful. USD 150.
  • Hotel below the main gate to the Citadel. One of the cheapest options in town. Beds on terrace start from 5000 dinars. Numerous other Hotels in this area or west of it - Rooms mostly between 25000 and 50000 dinars.
  • Hotel Ali, Bata St. (one street west from the main gate of the Citadel). Basic but clean, shared bathrooms, squat toilets, Sat TV. from 20000. (36.188364,44.007564)

A good place to stay is the Lonia Motel. It offers rooms wich includes a bedroom, sittingroom, kitchen and bathroom at a rate of 80 USD/night. It's located at Kirkuk mainroad near the Tablo Mall. Free internet is included.

  • Rotana, Gulan St (By the airport). This is a new modern hotel very close to the airport. Current rates are about $US450 a night.

Get out




This article is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!
[[fi:Arbil]

Variants

Actions

Destination Docents

In other languages

other sites