Iraq — Travel Tips
Arabic is the official language of Iraq, but many minority tongues are also spoken throughout the country. Kurdish is widely used in the northern Kurdistan region, which has two variations, Sorani and Kurmanji. People in Arbil and Sulaymaniyah speak Sorani, while Kurmanji can be heard around Dohuk. English is commonly used throughout the country.
Iraq uses the Iraqi dinar (ID) as its official currency. ID 1 is equivalent to 20 dirhams or 1,000 fils. Dinar notes come in denominations of ID 50, 250, 500, 1,000, 5,000, 10,000, and 25,000, and coins are available in ID 25 and 100. There are over 350 ATMs throughout the country, all run by Warka Bank who can also do currency exchange. Most of them are located in the main cities and towns. Foreign money may be used to purchase items not exceeding US $200 at special duty-free shops.
Iraqi establishments use 220-240 V for electrical standards and socket types are primarily British, Euro and Indian. Bring a step-down transformer or a voltage converter and a plug adapter for electronics from home.
The dialing code for Iraq is +964, followed by the area code and the telephone number. Major repairs have been made on phone lines that were damaged in the war of 2003, improving hard line and cellular service throughout the country, though connections are still spotty in certain locations. A growing number of people now have access to affordable internet service.
Duty-free shops and outlets can be found in Iraq’s international airports as well as in the Green Zone in Baghdad and at select military bases. Baghdad Airport has a spacious duty-free store in the Departures lounge of the Yellow Terminal, while Sulaimaniyah International offers a wide variety of brand name goods in its shops. Basra Airport also has a 24-hour duty-free outlet selling staples like fragrances, electronics, and watches.
Travelers are allowed to bring in: 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 250 g of tobacco without incurring customs duty, along with one liter of wine or spirits, 500 ml of perfume, and gifts not exceeding US $28 in value.
National Bureau of Tourism: +964-1-537-0454
Board of Tourism: +964-1-537-2869 to 70
Consulates in Iraq
US Consulate, Baghdad, Iraq: +964-240-553-0589
Afghani Consulate, Baghdad, Iraq: +964-1-556-9508
Finnish Consulate, Baghdad, Iraq: +964-1-778-6271
German Consulate, Baghdad, Iraq: +964-1-543-1470
Greek Consulate, Baghdad, Iraq: +964-1-778-2273
Indian Consulate, Baghdad, Iraq: +964-1-422-5438
Russian Consulate, Baghdad, Iraq: +964-1-543-4462
Swedish Consulate, Baghdad, Iraq: +964-06-592-2517
Vietnamese Consulate, Baghdad, Iraq: +964-1-541-3409
Emergency services: 122