Places to see in Erbil

Local Souk

The local market (or Souk) in Erbil is located in the vicinity of the Citadel. If you are looking for a more traditional feel, as opposed to the new malls, then this is the place to come.

You can find anything from clothes to sweets in the numerous shops that align the streets. You will also find excellent local kebab houses if you care for the ”real” flavours. Do not expect 2 star service, but Mam Yassin’s kebab house is the one to aim for. Watch out for the fake goods that have flooded the market from China, although these make for a good laugh.

You haven’t seen all of Erbil if you haven’t been here.

Textile Museum

Located in one of the traditional houses of the citadel, in the heart of Erbil, the textile museum is a wonderful place where one can enjoy and appreciate traditional handcraftsmanship of the region.

It includes numerous artworks of both settled and nomadic tribes of the Erbil area. The aim of the museum is to preserve the Kurdish cultural heritage as well as to promote Kurdish artforms.

Click here to visit the museums website directly.

Sami Abdulrahman Park

Sami Rahman Park is a green area in Arbil, Kurdistan, northern Iraq. The park is several hectares in size and contains a lake, rose garden and the Martyrs Monument as well as a restaurant and market. The site was formerly the location of a detention centre of Saddam Hussain’s regime. It is named after Sami Abdul Rahman, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government who was killed in a suicide bombing on 1 February 2004, aged 71.

The park was the location for the First Erbil Freedom Day Community Run on 9 April 2007 organised by the Salah Rahman Sports Foundation, which has since become an annual event.

The park is also the location for the Erbil International Fair as well as a sports center.



Erbil Citadel

Located at the heart of the city, the Citadel is a unique structure around which Erbil city is expanding.

The citadel town of Erbil represents a distinct urban entity and should be treated as such. It is not simply an agglomeration of a number of houses and other buildings located within a complex system of narrow alleyways. The citadel town is the unique heritage of human experience and genius of thousands of years.

It tells the story of how hundreds of past generations interacted with their natural environment and how they developed their way of life based on their cultural norms and values. Therefore, any attempt to conserve and develop this citadel should deal with it not as the sum of individual parts but as a total environment.

There are so many lessons, both historical and architectural, that can be learned from this town. Its remaining buildings, houses, and urban spaces and features, represent an extremely valuable and irreplaceable cultural resource that should not be allowed to disappear forever.

Recently, the citadel town has been included as one of the 100 most endangered cultural sites in the world by the World Monument Fund (WMF) in New York. Efforts are also being made to have it included as one of UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites.

Before the advent of modernization since the 1930s of the last century, the citadel consisted largely of traditional courtyard houses- just over 500 in all. Of these there were some 30 or so large palace-like houses that were mostly located on the periphery.

The outer wall of the citadel town is perhaps its single most important feature and is one of the most impressive found anywhere.

It is this perimeter wall which surrounds the town that gives it its fortified look and dominates the modern City of Erbil. The wall is a continuous ring of about a hundred houses of various vintages.

To read more about the Citadel, visit the official website by clicking here