When to visit Iraq

All visitors to Iraq must remember that nothing is certain, nothing is guaranteed. The arrangements are often chaotic. This is not a country for you if you want everything to run to plan. Most of the historical sites remain; everything else, especially the political situation, can change without warning.


The best months to visit Iraq are the cool, temperate months: April, May, September, October and November, when the weather is very pleasant and warm enough to enjoy sightseeing. December, January and February tend to be cold with rain. In the mountain regions of Kurdistan heavy snow falls during the winter and the temperature can plummet, dropping below zero. The summer months (June, July and August) are very hot, often reaching temperatures as high as 50°C.

Public holidays and festivals

There are two main types of holidays: those in the solar calendar and those relating to the lunar calendar (ten days or so less than the solar year and linked to the sighting of the new moon). On public holidays ministries and government offices are closed. Businesses may also close. If the holiday falls at the weekend (Friday or Saturday), then the next working day is taken as the holiday.

The lunar calendar dictates the days of major festivals like Eid and Ashura so be sure to check before you travel as dates change every year.