Welcome to beautiful Erbil! This historic city is an excellent holiday destination thanks to affordable airfare from Pegasus!
Iraq’s fourth biggest city following Baghdad, Basra and Mosul, is the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan. The city, whose Kurdish name is Hewlêr, has been standing for thousands of years.Erbil is one of the world's oldest cities which have always been used as a residential area; it's history goes back to 6000 B.C. First people to inhabit here were Hurrians. After that Assyrians, Babylonians, Medes, Persians, Greeks, Arabians, Seljukians and Ottomans respectively lived here. Erbil invites you to a historical journey with its central castle, historical texture and traditions. You can visit flypgs.com to get the tickets for low budget flights to Erbil. Before starting this journey, please remember that Erbil is too hot and prepare your baggage accordingly. And don't be surprised by the American soldiers guarding in various spots.
Top Landmarks in Erbil
- Erbil Citadel - The Erbil Citadel is over seven thousand years old, but is still being occupied by people.
- Kurdish Textile Museum - Here you will get to view Kurdish rugs and ornate carrying sacks. If you are lucky, you might get to speak with the museum director about many of the artefacts in the museum, and/or watch some weavers at work.
- Syriac Heritage Museum (Ankawa Museum) - This museum focuses on Christian Syriac heritage. You will get to see traditional attire worn in the different villages around the area, farming tools, Syriac Christian books, and much more.
What to Eat in Erbil
- Iskender is made of thinly cut grilled lamb, tomato sauce, pita bread, yoghurt, and melted sheep butter.
- Bazaar - Many sandwich shops can be found here.
Landscapes in Erbil
When you fly into Erbil, you will notice a historic look to this modern city. Some of the buildings look much older than they really are, but they have a natural look about them.
Transportation in Erbil
There are many different taxi services that will get you around Erbil. Some taxi services are more expensive than others. So be careful!
Erbil airports served
- Erbil is served by Erbil International Airport (EBL)
More information about Erbil
Food and Drink
More Places to Visit
Neighborhoods of Erbil
Calendar in Erbil
There aren't that many ways to reach the city center after you arrival at the Erbil International Airport with Pegasus. The easiest way is using the airport's free buses; buses that take off every 15 minutes will take you to the park area in the city center. If you don't want to use them, you can get to the city center or your hotel by using the taxis that wait at the door of the airport. But in Erbil be careful while using a taxi; taxi drivers may intentionally take longer routes. If you like the service, you can tip them.
Erbil doesn't have an advanced public transportation system. That's why, you can use a taxi on your own or share one with other people who are going to the same direction. Here taxis are shared. Don't forget that you can rent cars on flypgs.com as an alternative way of transportation.
Two important things you need to know while shopping in Erbil is that you need cash with you and you can actually negotiate the prices. Shopping from street sellers is a tradition here. However, people have been mostly shopping in malls in recent years.
- Qalat Street - You can buy rugs and carpets with different patterns as well as gifts from the shops in this street. Don't forget to negotiate.
- Kayseri Market - It's unacceptable to go to Erbil and not visit Kayseri Market. You'll find everything from fresh fruits to organic cheese, from shoes to clothes in this market located at the foot of Erbil Castle.
- Family Shopping Center - You'll find around 350 world brands' stores in the biggest shopping center in Erbil.
- Majidi Shopping Center - This mall, which has been opened in 2009, is located on an area of 135.000 m2. On the first two floors, there are men and women clothes as well as a big market. The food section is located on the third floor and it's open until 12 am.
Food and Drink in Erbil
Erbil cuisine is waiting for you with kebabs and shawarmas sold in the streets. Souk Iskan Street is filled with coffee houses and restaurants from the beginning to the end. If you haven't been able to decide on a restaurant, you can go to this street and let the smells guide you. Restaurants mostly serve Turkish and Lebanon foods but you can also find examples from world kitchens. Here are the ones we've picked for you:
- Seasons Restaurant - Either have a rich breakfast in this amazing restaurant in Divan Hotel or have brunch; or go there for lunch and dinners. You can taste examples from world cuisines while sitting in the garden, by the pool or inside. Address: Divan Hotel
- Marina Restaurant - In Marina, where you can taste the best forms of the Lebanon cuisine, the food is good, service is perfect and fast. Their meat is soft and very delicious. If you're there for a dinner, enjoy the live music. Address: Erbil , Ainkawa , Area 108, Tel: 06 62 50 19 19
- Today Restaurant - In the restaurant that gets very crowded in the evenings, you need to taste the meat or chicken cooked in shawarma style. Also, the fattosh salad that comes with a special pita bread and hummus are very delicious as well. Address: Behind Tablo Shopping Center
- Hawler Restoran - Being one of the oldest restauants in Erbil, Hawler is generally preferred by businessmen. You can taste the best examples of the Eastern cuisine in this place, of which garden you can have a pleasant evening. Tel: 0750 448 25 64
- Sultan - You can eat Turkish food in a classical kebab restaurant atmosphere in Sultan. Its menu is not an innovative one but you can eat familar delicacies in a clean environment. Address: Shoresh Street
- Shanshin - This 3-star restaurant, that has been opened in 2008, offers a fusion of Iranian and Western cuisines. You'll not have enough of the food in the restaurant which mostly has Eastern elemenst in its decoration. Address: Shoresh Street
- Al Bustan - Everything is very delicious in Al Bustan where you can taste Lebanon tapas and grilled meat and vegetables. You can sit in the garden of the restaurant, that is located in Erbil Rotana Hotel, and enjoy the fountain and trees around you. Address: Erbil Rotana Hotel
- Tarin - You'll taste the best examples of Middle Eastern cuisine in Tarin. Starting with mezzes like hummus and stuffed vegetables, you can continue with warm starters like liver and "sambusek" and then move on to one of the highly spicy lamb dishes of Iranian cuisine. Address: On Massif-Salahaddin Road
- Bouba - Don't be fooled by its plain architecture. Bouba is the latest location of the famous hotel and Restaurant owners Saad-Mohamad Khatib brothers. In this place where you can eat Lebanon food in a comfortable atmosphere, you should eat cold and warm tapas followed by shawarma or homemade hamburgers.
- Costa Rica Café - Do you want some coffee? Costa Rica is waiting for you with its amazing coffees, cakes and smoothies. You'll feel happy while sitting in this calm corner and watching people walking. Address: Gulan Street
Accommodation in Erbil
You can prefer both luxurious options and low budget hotels with standard services for accommodation in Erbil. The list we've created for you unclides many alternatives.
- Erbil Rotana - This 5 star hotel welcomes its guests with its 201 rooms, suits, restaurants, conferences and meeting rooms. 1000 people can be hosted in its big meeting room and there are also 5 small meeting rooms. All meeting rooms have equipments with the latest technology. This hotel, which is 10 minutes away from Erbil Airport, is 15 minutes away from Citadel of Erbil. Address: Gulan Street
- Divan Erbil - Located at the center of the city, Divan will first draw your attention with its giant building. Latest technology and luxury are together in Divan, which is known as one of the best hotels of Erbil, to make your life better. Divan enables you both to have fun and to have business meetings with its 227 rooms, parking lots for 200, Seasons Restaurant, which is one of the best of the city, sushi and grill restaurants, Chopin piano bar, boutiques and meeting rooms. Address: Gulan St, Erbil, Iraq
- Erbil International Hotel - Being one of the first luxury hotels if Erbil, Erbil International Hotel is only 2 km away from the city center and it has the view if Gelgand Park. The most important feature of this hotel that is comprised of a 10-floor building and the grean area surrounding it is its professional team. You can keep fit during your trip thanks to its pool, spa and fully equipped gym. Address: 30 Meter Street
- Khanzad Hotel&Resort - This holday resort, which is a the "sister" of Erbil International Hotel, is located a bit outside of the city, in Bastora. You'll have a peaceful and luxurious time in the holiday resort located in a green area. Waiting for its guests with its restaurants that serve foods from world kitchens, a bar and an open pool, Khanzad offers a stress-free vacation with its professional staff. Tel: +964 66 2245273
- Van Royal Hotel - This luxurious hotel located in Kurdistan Street is in the middle of the city and 4 km away from the airport. It has very special of Halil Kayat Mosque. There are 90 suits and rooms in this building with 11 floors. It also has conference and meeting rooms for your business trips. The hotel, which also offers Turkish bath, pool, sauna and massage services, has everyhting you need for a pleasant vacation. Address: Kurdistan Street (60m Road) – Şoriş Intersection, Tel:+964 66 2235840
- Zheen Hotel - This hotel located in a side street on Bata Street is very affordable and you don't have to share your bathroom with others in spite of the other affordable hotels. You can choose a room among shared rooms and private rooms.
- Hotel Shahan - Not stylish but a comfortable hotel. Each room has 2 beds, a bathroom and a television. Walk towards where shops are located to see this hotel on Qalat Street.
- Hotel Bekhal - This hotel's rooms are clean; it always has hot water; located in a great spot and has friendly atmosphere. That's why, all its guests recommend it.
Places to Visit in Erbil
Most places worth seeing are located in the center of Erbil which is home to the remnants of its past.
- Citadel of Erbil - Citadel is reminding us of the thousands years long history by standing on a small hill at the center of the oldest part of the city. There is also Mulla Effendi Mosque in the citadel.
- Mudhafaria Minaret - This 36-meters high minaret is located in Minare Park. The minaret, which is standing since the 12th century is built on a hexagonal foundation.
- Sami Rahman Park - You can lay down and rest in this park where you'll see all shades of green.
- Statue of Ibn Mustafa - This huge statue located on the southern side of Citadel of Erbil offers a great view to take photos. Be careful about the kids who are begging for money around it.
- Kela Hewler Park - This park near the citadel is actually a small green area but a it's an amazing spot to take a breath before going up the citadel. There is also a Turkish bath next to it.
Neigborhoods of Erbil
- Center - This area that surrounds Citadel of Erbil has the past and the present in it. Most of the places to see are located here. This area gets more lively in the afternoons and street sellers, people smoking shishas, kids and families make up the crowd.
- Aikawa - The area known as the Christian neighbourhood is mostly famous for its nightlife.
Calendar in Erbil
- Erbil Literature Festival - Erbil Literature Festival had been held in 2011 for the very first time. The whole event was in Arabic, Kurdish and English. The event, which is organized by Dr Fahdil Tamer, Dr Himdad Abdulqahhar and Dr Rachel Holmes, focuses on Contemporary Iraq Literature. Readings, performances and seminars are organized. This festival that is organized every year in January introduces literature enthusiasts to a less known world.
- International Erbil Fair - International Erbil Fair brings many people from different industries together. Many companies, chambers of commerce, associations, ministries and embassies take part in the fair.
- International Erbil Marathon - International Erbil Marathon organized by professional athletes and sports fans aims to give messages of love, peace and anti-violeerbince.
- Liberation of Erbil - 11thMarch is one of the most important dates of the contemporary Kurdish times. In 1970, Iraq has recognized Kurdish people's national rights for the first time after Aylul Uprising. Today, it's celebrated with joyful shows in Erbil.
- Country code: 964
- Directorate of Tourism: 066 224 43 94
- Ambulance: 122
- Fire: 066115
- Police Erbil: 144/124/104