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Getting Around in Iraq
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By Air

Only essential flights were allowed into Baghdad at this point in time. Iraqi Airways (www.iraqiairways.co.uk) is planning to operate domestic flights between Baghdad, Basra, Suleimaniya and Arbil.

By Rail

Rail services are operated by the State Enterprise for Iraqi Railways. Work to the rail track is underway. The principal route is from the Syrian Arab Republic border at Tel-Kotchek to Mosul, Baghdad and Al Basrah. Trains also run from Baghdad to Kirkuk and Arbil. A service operates between Baghdad and Al Basrah. Some sleeping cars, restaurants and air-conditioned coaches are available.

Do note that many rail tracks were destroyed during the fighting in 2003 and insurgency at this moment, and it is uncertain if any passenger services are running at all.

By Road

Traffic drives on the right. Travel by road is not wholly recommended at present, due to the continuing threat of car-jacking, robbery and random attacks; these have often occurred on highways 1, 5, 10 and 15. It is recommended to travel in convoys of at least four per vehicle in daylight hours only. Road closures must also be expected. Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and/or mines are used on some roads. Some cars do not use lights during the night and some urban street lighting may be broken. Road congestion is a problem. Principal routes are from Baghdad to Kirkuk, Arbil and Zakho; Baghdad to the Jordanian frontier; Baghdad to Kanaquin (Iranian border); Baghdad to Hilla and Kerbela; and Baghdad to Al Basrah and Safwan (Kuwait border).

Do watch for the US military. If you are out late at night and effectively trying to blend in with the locals, you could be mistaken for a hostile/troublemaker.

Bus

Some services run from Baghdad and other main cities.

Taxi

Services are available both in cities and for transit. Fares should be negotiated in advance. Metered taxis charge twice the amount shown on the meter. Tipping is not necessary.

Car Rental

Available at the airport and in Baghdad but not advisable as driving in Baghdad is dangerous.

Documentation: International Driving Permit required. Third party insurance is necessary.

Urban Transportation

Baghdad has a few buses and share-taxis running. Buses are poorly maintained and they are often involved in accidents. Services are irregular and frequently change route. Bus tickets should be pre-purchased at kiosks. A metro is under construction.

In Kurdistan, public transport is rare although regular buses do link Zakho and Dohuk and cost about US$2. From Dohuk, shared taxis leave all day for Erbil and other cities. The road from Dohuk to Arbil goes south near Mosul, but does not leave Kurdish territory and is thus safe, although perhaps too close for comfort.

 

 
 


 



 


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