Best things to do in Baghdad
Find out more about those top places in Baghdad
There are few cities in the world with as much historical relevance as Baghdad, it rapidly became a significant economic, cultural and intellectual center for the Islamic world. Currently, the capital of Iraq, it is the nation’s most populous city with over 6 million people, with a mix of ancient and modern attractions such as the Ruins of Babylon and the Al-Shaheed monument.
Over the years the city has been faced with several conflicts, that has led to the decline in most parts of its economy including tourism - it is considered to be an unsafe travel destination for visitors.
Also known as the Martyr’s Memorial, the Al-Shaheed Monument is a giant bisected onion dome built to commemorate the Iraqi Soldiers who lost their lives in the Iran-Iraq War, but it is currently considered to be a monument to all Iraqi soldiers who died in fighting for the nation. Built in 1983 was designed by Iraqi sculptor Ismail Fatak Al Turk, it sits on a 40 m tall platform with an eternal flame in the middle.
Experience a taste of ancient history by visiting the Ruins of Babylon. Built by the Euphrates River, Babylon was one of the prominent cities in old Mesopotamia (present day Hillah). The old city in recent years has been subjugated to several excavations, aimed at restoring it back to a shade of its former glory. Opened again to the public in 2009, visitors can take a tour through its walls while admiring the intricate designs of Babylonian architecture.
Regarded as one of the most remarkable architectural feats of the old era, the Archway of Ctesiphon is a Sasanian-era Persian Monument located near the town of Salman Park. The exact year it was built is unsure but place around the 3rd and 6th century - it is the largest single-span vault of unreinforced brickwork in the world standing at 121 feet (36.88 meters) and remains the only visible structure remaining of the ancient city of Ctesiphon.
Taking a trip to the Tigris River is considered a must while visiting Baghdad. The River is one of the great rivers of Mesopotamia, it flows from the mountains of Turkey, through Iraq before emptying into the Persian Gulf. The River has so many legends attached to it and appears twice in the old testament of the Bible as well as in Islam texts.
Known as the Iraq Museum, it was essentially started after World War I, when archaeologist Gertrude Bell began collecting artifacts discovered from excavations on Iraq soil by various archaeologists from Europe and United States. He stored it in a public building before the establishment of an Antiquities Museum by the Iraqi Government. With over 200,000 items in its collections, it is the biggest museum in the country with items dating as far back as the Mesopotamian and Babylonian Civilizations.