The Republic of Iraq, usually known as Iraq forms part of the Western Asia group of countries. Iraq shares its borders with five other countries, including Turkey, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Syria. Iraq and the cities of Iraq spread around a total land area of 437,072 square kilometers. Iraq is also the world’s 58th largest country. The country has major cities in Iraq that have defined both the history and the existence of the country. Some of these cities in Iraq, such as Karbala, Najaf, and Baghdad, are frequented by Muslims from all over the world because of their status as holy cities. Most of the cities in Iraq are administrative, financial, commercial and political centers. Here are some of the best cities to visit in Iraq.
List of Famous Cities in Iraq
Baghdad is the capital and largest city in Iraq with an estimated population of 7,180,889. Baghdad was founded in the 8th Century located along the Tigris River and immediately evolved intellectual, cultural, and commercial center. The historic Baghdad grew very fast because of the excellent location that enabled it to have control over trading routes along the Tigris and the abundant supply of water in the dry climate. The Tigris River divides the city of Baghdad into two; Risafa in the eastern and Karkh in the western half. The city is built on a fairly flat. The city is divided into nine districts and sub-districts with the Mayor responsible for regional services, for administrative purposes. While several institutions and companies including Iraqi Airways and Al-Naser, This holy city in Iraq account for 40% of Iraq’s GDP.
Basra is located where the border between Iraq and Kuwait along the Shatt al-Arab River touches. The estimated population of 2,750,000 in this city makes it the second-largest and beautiful city in Iraq. The city is Iraq’s main port but has not deep water access. Basra was founded as an encampment for Arab tribesmen in 636 who made up the army of Rashid Caliph Umar while fighting the Sassanid Empire. Because it was a strategic military base the name “Al-Basra” which means “the over watching” was given to the city. The city of Basra is penetrated by several streams and canals which are important for irrigation. The canals were also used for transport across the city but due to pollution and low water levels, navigation is nearly impossible. The majority of the Basra population is ethnic Arabs with the main tribes including Bani Sa’ad, Bani Khalid, Bani Malik, Bani Assad, and Bani Mansour. The economy of this popular city in Iraq is largely dependent on the oil industry with some of the country’s largest oil fields located in Basra. Producing maize, rice, millet wheat, dates, and livestock the city is also a major agricultural region.
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On the Hilla branch of the Euphrates River, Hillah is located in the central region of Iraq, near the ruins of ancient Babylon. The city is located in a fertile agricultural region irrigated with water from the Hilla canal. The farms of the Hillah produce a wide range of fruits, crops, and textiles. The city Hillah is the third-largest and one of the cities to visit in Iraq having a population of 1,729,666. Hillah has a rich cultural history recorded in several books and also one of the popular cities in Iraq. Because of the high number of galleries and cultural gatherings, Hillah city was chosen as Iraq’s cultural capital in 2008. including Babylon ruins, Kish ruins, and Alberes, the city also has important archaeological sites.
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Najaf one of the holy cities in Iraq by the followers of Shi’a Islam, and also the Shiites’ spiritual. Najaf is located in central Iraq to the south of Baghdad. It is also the political center within the country. Because of the tomb of Hazrat Ali ibn Abi Talib Najaf is considered spiritual. Najaf has a population of 1,389,500, the city receives a lot of Muslim pilgrims from all over the world. It is also a fourth-largest city and one of the beautiful cities to visit in Iraq.
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Erbil is one of the oldest cities in Iraq around the 7,000-year-old. The citadel of Erbil has an illustrious history and can be compared to other greats like Cadiz and Byblos in the ancient period of time. This massive castle is located in the center of the city and one of the great highlights here. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other places like Erbil Civilization Museum and the Kurdish Textile Center you can not miss. These attractions are a great way to find out all about the history and culture of this amazing part of the world.
This is one of the holiest cities in Iraq may not sound like much but it is actually the place where 30 million pilgrims make their way every year. Because of the Imam Husayn Shrine, the area is sacred to Shia Muslims. It is also the final resting place of the martyr Husayn ibn Ali who got martyr in 680 AD during the Battle of Karbala.
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This is one of the most welcoming, relaxed and best cities in Iraq. Sulaymaniyah is situated in the rugged mountains in northern Iraq. This city has a cool climate compared with many other cities in the country. It also has a thriving arts scene and is famous for its wealth of delicious eateries where you can enjoy toothsome spiced kofta as well as biryani and an array of other delicacies. This is also a great place to base yourself before venturing further afield if you want to take in the oases towns and valleys of the Goya and Azmer ranges.
The name Mosul has become synonymous with some of the worst destruction in Iraq to date, unfortunately. For several years the city had been under the control of insurgents. This is one of the top cities in Iraq has over 2,000 years of rich history. I hope it will once again be a place that people can visit. Mosul is now a battleground for the Iraqi military forces. The hope is that Mosul will soon be liberated. Including the crumbling ruins of the Umayyad Mosque that dates from 640 AD as well as the cobalt-blue marble work of the Yahya Abdul Kassem Mashad, there are some truly amazing sights to be seen here.
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We have wrapped this article with a brief description of the best cities in Iraq to visit and some of the most beautiful cities in Iraq. I hope this article would be beneficial for you as it provides the name of cities in Iraq which must not be missed and kindly share your views.