Let's Discover the Mysteries of Iraq: Traveling by Car
Traveling by car in Iraq promises an incredible adventure through a country rich in history and culture. However, before you set off, it is important to have all the information you need to ensure your trip is safe and enjoyable. Here's a detailed guide to help you plan your road trip in Iraq.
1. International Driving License (IDP)
To legally drive and rent a car in Iraq, it is mandatory to obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP). You can easily obtain an IDP through organizations such as the International Drivers Association (IDA). This document translates your country of residence driver's license and ensures compliance with Iraqi laws.
2. Rent a Car
Requirements: To rent a car in Iraq, you usually need to be at least 21 years old, have a valid IDP, and provide a credit card as collateral.
International Car Rental Agencies: Large international car rental companies such as Hertz, Avis and Europcar operate in Iraq, mainly in large cities.
Local Car Rental Agencies: Local agencies can offer competitive prices and are common in popular tourist areas.
Online Booking: For convenience and possible savings, it is recommended to book your car online in advance.
3. Basic Traffic Rules and Fines
To ensure a smooth journey, please familiarize yourself with the basic traffic rules in Iraq:
Speed Limits: In general, the speed limit in urban areas is 50-60 km/h, while on highways the speed limit is 100-120 km/h.
Seat Belts: Always use seat belts; fines for not wearing them can range from 50,000 to 100,000 Iraqi dinars.
Mobile Phones: Using a mobile phone while driving can result in fines ranging from IQD 50,000 to IQD 100,000.
Drunk Driving: Strictly abstain from drinking alcohol while driving; penalties may include large fines and loss of license.
Overtaking: Overtake on the left and be careful in areas with limited visibility.
Traffic lights: Obey traffic lights and road markings; violations may result in fines.
Signals: Use signals only when necessary to avoid fines, especially at night.
4. Explore the Beauty and Culture of Mesopotamia
Iraq offers many historical and cultural sites during your road trip:
Ancient City of Babylon: Explore the ruins of this legendary city, including the Ishtar Gate and Hanging Gardens.
Erbil Citadel: Visit the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Najaf and Karbala: Shrines for Shia Muslims, known for their magnificent mosques and religious significance.
Local Cuisine: Enjoy traditional dishes such as kebabs, dolma and baklava, as well as delicious Iraqi tea.
Cultural Features: Interact with locals, take part in tea parties and learn about Iraq's diverse culture.
Traditional Events: If your visit time permits, you can witness religious festivals such as Ashura, accompanied by processions and rituals.
5. Scenic Routes and Treasures
Iraq, Baghdad - Basra: Travel along the famous Basra road, famous for its palm groves and swamps.
Erbil - Dohuk: Experience a road through Kurdish villages, passing beautiful scenery and historical sites.
Kirkuk - Sulaymaniyah: Explore the diverse culture and scenic views of the Kurdistan Region.
Mosul Dam: Admire amazing views of the Tigris River from the dam's observation deck.
Your road trip through Iraq promises to be the adventure of a lifetime, where ancient history and modern culture coexist. By following the rules of the road, immersing yourself in the local culture and exploring hidden treasures, you will create memories that will last forever. Fasten your seat belt, hit the road and let Iraq reveal its mysteries to you.