Details, Kurdistan

May 28, 2011
Getting There

Turkish Airlines offers one-stop flights from Dulles to Irbil in Kurdistan starting at about $2,400 round trip.

Where to Stay

Hotel Rotana

Irbil

011-964-66-210-5555

www.rotana.com/rotanahotelandresorts

This five-star luxury hotel opened in February. Rooms from $199.

Hawler Plaza

Irbil

011-964-66-222-8890

A more modestly priced option with large, clean, modern rooms and a friendly atmosphere. Rooms from $110.

Lalezar Sulaymaniyah

Sulaymaniyah

011-964-53-319-2601

www.lale-zar.com

Its claims to be Iraq’s first spa hotel don’t quite meet expectations, but it has a glorious blue-tiled traditional hamam (communal bath) in the basement and clean, spacious, modern rooms. From $165.

WHERE TO EAT

Basilico

Irbil

In the Rotana Hotel, real Italian food and wine. A meal is about $60 a person.

The Fisherman

Irbil

There are no street addresses in Irbil, but tell a taxi driver to take you to the Awo (Today) restaurant, and you’ll find the Fisherman next door, with the fish you’ll eat swimming in a tank outside. Serves the Baghdad specialty masgouf, or flame-grilled carp, fished out of the Tigris in Baghdad and transported in a water tank along still perilous roads to Kurdistan.

Great Wall of China

Sulaymaniyah

Authentic Chinese food on Salam Street.

Or stop at any of the many kebab restaurants for the local specialty.

WHAT TO DO

Irbil Citadel

Open sunrise to sunset. Free.

Irbil Bazaar

At the foot of the citadel, this traditional eastern bazaar offers exotic shopping opportunities, including a wide assortment of kitsch. Open early morning to midafternoon.

Red Security Building

Sulaymaniyah

Will open when visitors arrive; tell the guards at the gate that you want to go in and they will call a guide to show you around. Free.

Halabja Museum

Open daily. Free.

INFORMATION

iguide.travel/Iraqi_Kurdistan/Introduction

Liz Sly is the Post’s Beirut bureau chief. She has spent more than 15 years covering the Middle East, including the Iraq war. Other postings include Africa, China and Afghanistan.
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