Iraqi Kurdistan’s capital city is a welcoming destination. Its richness, in terms of culture and diversity, set it apart, and as a hub of commerce it continues to grow.
Ancient history tells Erbil to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities on Earth, with some writings claiming it can be traced back as far as 8,000 years ago.
Nowadays, the Citadel of Erbil is the beating heart of the city – a large mound occupied for thousands of years that was once a cultural hub of Christianity in the region. It fell on hard times after the occupation of the Mongols in 1258 and in the centuries that passed, became all but forgotten. However, in 2007 Erbil set out to restore the Citadel to its former glory, establishing the High Commission for Erbil Citadel Revitalization. In 2014, it was made a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Its dominance on the skyline of the city is something of a wonder, and captures the true essence of Erbil. The 32m high cylindrical structure fits poetically in the middle of the spiralling outer suburbs and is uninterrupted by all else below.
Today, Erbil’s illustrious history is well documented throughout the city. In the same year the Citadel was honoured by Unesco, Erbil as a whole was labelled the Arab Tourism Capital by the Arab Council of Tourism.
Its sweeping streets, landmarks and museums offer a great amount of history to travellers, and a safe and friendly insight into an area of the world troubled for many years.
You’ll find a wide range of great places to eat and drink in Erbil, all at reasonable prices. A person can become happily lost in this timeless and beautiful city.