20 days in Iraq Itinerary

20 days in Iraq Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Iraq route planner

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Route & dates

20 days in Iraq Itinerary

Start: Johannesburg
Fly:  20 h 30 min
1
Sulaymaniyah
— 2 nights
Drive:  2 h 45 min
2
Erbil
— 5 nights
Fly:  1 h 30 min
3
Najaf
— 2 nights
Drive:  1 h 15 min
4
Karbala
— 3 nights
Drive + Fly:  2 h 30 min
5
Nasiriyah
— 2 nights
Fly + Taxi:  1 h 15 min
6
Baghdad
— 4 nights
Fly:  19 h 30 min
End: Johannesburg

2
nights
Sulaymaniyah

Sulaymaniyah ©
Considered one of the most cosmopolitan and westernized cities in Iraq, vibrant Sulaymaniyah boasts a strong cultural scene with a good selection of museums and educational institutions.
Sulaymaniyah is known for fun & games, museums, and shopping. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: have fun at Chavi Land, get engrossed in the history at Slemani Museum, browse the different shops at City Star Mall, and see the interesting displays at Amnasuraka Museum.

To see ratings, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Sulaymaniyah vacation planning tool.

Johannesburg, South Africa to Sulaymaniyah is an approximately 20.5-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 1 hour traveling from Johannesburg to Sulaymaniyah. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sat) so you can drive to Erbil.

Things to do in Sulaymaniyah

Shopping Wildlife Parks
Find places to stay Dec 24 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
City Star Mall ©
City Star Mall
Chavi Land ©
Chavi Land
Amnasuraka Museum ©
Amnasuraka Museum

5
nights
Erbil

Erbil ©
The capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, Erbil occupies perhaps the longest-inhabited land in the world, with the earliest human settlement here possibly dating back to 5000 BCE.
Erbil is known for historic sites, parks, and shopping. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: steep yourself in history at Erbil Citadel, buy something for everyone on your list at Family Mall, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at The Korek Mountain Resort & Spa, and admire the sheer force of Gali Ali Bag.

To find ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Erbil day trip planner.

You can drive from Sulaymaniyah to Erbil in 3 hours. In December, plan for daily highs up to 17°C, and evening lows to 5°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 31st (Thu) early enough to travel to Najaf.

Things to do in Erbil

Parks Museums Nature
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Sami Abdulrahman Park ©
Sami Abdulrahman Park
Erbil Citadel ©
Erbil Citadel
Kurdish Textile Museum ©
Kurdish Textile Museum

2
nights
Najaf

Najaf ©
Najaf ranks among the most frequented places of Islamic pilgrimage in the world.
On the 1st (Fri), take in the spiritual surroundings of Al Sahlah Great Mosque, don't miss a visit to Shrine Amir al-mo'menin Ali bin Abi Talib peace be upon him, and then stroll the grounds of Wadi Al-Salaam Cemetery. Here are some ideas for day two: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Maytham al-Tammar Shrine, don't miss a visit to Great Mosque of Kufa, and then take an in-depth tour of House of Imam Ali Ibn Abi Taleb.

To see more things to do, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, use the Najaf tour itinerary maker site.

Getting from Erbil to Najaf by combination of flight and taxi takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and car; or drive. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Erbil in December: highs in Najaf hover around 21°C, while lows dip to 8°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Karbala.

Things to do in Najaf

Historic Sites Museums

Side Trip

Kufa
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 2:
Highlights from your plan
Wadi Al-Salaam Cemetery ©
Wadi Al-Salaam Cemetery
Great Mosque of Kufa ©
Great Mosque of Kufa

3
nights
Karbala

Karbala ©
Karbala is a city in central Iraq, located about 100km southwest of Baghdad, and a few miles east of Lake Milh. When in Karbala, make a side trip to see Babylon in Al Hillah, approximately Al Hillah away. The adventure continues: make a trip to Imam Hussain's Shrine, steep yourself in history at Shrine of the two sons of Muslim Ibn Aqeel, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Tal Al Zainabeiah site.

For maps, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Karbala trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Najaf to Karbala takes 1.5 hours. In January in Karbala, expect temperatures between 19°C during the day and 6°C at night. You will leave for Nasiriyah on the 5th (Tue).

Things to do in Karbala

Historic Sites

Side Trip

Babylon
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Imam Hussain's Shrine ©
Imam Hussain's Shrine
Babylon ©
Babylon
Al Abbas Holy Shrine ©
Al Abbas Holy Shrine

2
nights
Nasiriyah

Nasiriyah ©
Nasiriyah is a city in Iraq. Start off your visit on the 6th (Wed): make a trip to Ziggurat of UR.

To see photos, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Nasiriyah itinerary planner.

Traveling by combination of car and flight from Karbala to Nasiriyah takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. On the 7th (Thu), you're off to Baghdad.
Find places to stay Jan 5 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Ziggurat of UR ©
Ziggurat of UR

4
nights
Baghdad

Baghdad ©
It's quite possible that a Baghdad holiday isn't on your list of things to do, but despite the city's reputation for turmoil, it still has plenty to offer to a daring traveler.
Baghdad is known for shopping, museums, and historic sites. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: examine the collection at Iraqi Museum, pause for some photo ops at Al-Mutanabbi Statue, don't miss a visit to Al Yassin Mosque, and take in the architecture and atmosphere at Armenian Orthodox Church - St Gregory The Illuminator.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Baghdad journey planner.

You can do a combination of flight and taxi from Nasiriyah to Baghdad in 1.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of car and flight; or drive. Expect a daytime high around 19°C in January, and nighttime lows around 6°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Baghdad

Theme Parks Historic Sites Museums
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Zawraa Park ©
Zawraa Park
Iraqi Museum ©
Iraqi Museum
Al Mansur Mall ©
Al Mansur Mall