Baghdad & Babylon Tour

What's it all about?


Baghdad – Najaf – Babylon – Karbala – Nasariyah – Samarra – Mosul – Erbil.


March 7 – 15th, 2025


For Southern Iraq a visa on arrival scheme is in place for citizens of the EU, UK, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Russia, China, Japan & South Korea.

If you are not from one of these countries then we will apply for an e-visa on your behalf. 

The Itinerary

Baghdad & Beyond

March 7th / 8th - Baghdad Arrival

  • Arrival in Baghdad. We will provide airport transfers for all incoming flights.
  • Check into the hotel and overnight.

March 8th - Baghdad

  • Baghdad tour – see the Liberation square monument and the place where Saddam’s statue was toppled in 2003.
  • See the iconic Al-Shaheed (Martyr) Monument.
  • Visit the Save Iraqi Culture Monument.
  • Visit the happening Adamiya or Karada neighbourhoods in the evening.
  • Traditional Fish Masgouf dinner and overnight in Baghdad.

March 9th - Baghdad & Ctesiphon

  • After breakfast it’s a full Baghdad city tour starting with a visit to the National Museum of Iraq. Reopened in 2015 after notorious looting during the war, it contains various treasure from the Mesopotamian and Babylonian periods.
  • Visit the incredible Al – Mustansariya School. This is commonly known as the oldest school in the world.
  • Stroll through the nearby bazaar with book markets, antiques and cooper galore!
  • Stroll along the Tigris River and see the famous old clock tower.
  • Take a well deserved break in the Shabinder cafe for tea and Shisha.
  • Lunch in the famous Kubba restaurant next door.
  • Drive out to one of the greatest historical sites in the Middle East: the ruins of Ctesiphon. These days all that’s left is a gigantic arch which also happens to be the world’s largest span of unreinforced brickwork.
  • Dinner and overnight in Baghdad.
Continue reading

March 10th - Babylon & Karbala

  • Drive to Babylon, once the largest and most important city in the world. We tour the ancient ruins with our local expert and see what’s left of the hanging gardens.
  • Saddam Hussain Palace – Perched right on top of Babylon, the dictator made sure he had the best view of the site. We spend some time exploring the looted remains of one of his many former palaces.
  • After extensively exploring Babylon, continue onto Karbala.
  • Visit Karbala’s famous Al Abbas mosque and Iman Husayn shrine at dusk
  • Dinner and overnight in Karbala.

March 11th - Najaf & Ur

  • Walking tour of Najaf, including Imam Ali’s house and Shrine.
  • Visit the Wadi-Us-Salaam – the world’s largest graveyard. It is said to contain tens of millions of bodies. Many shiites request to be buried here in one of the numerous catacombs.
  • Continue the journey to Nasiriyah, one of the largest cities in southern Iraq.
  • Stop on the way to visit the Ziggurat of Ur, a neo-Sumerian construction built in 2000 BC.
  • Dinner and overnight in Nasiriyah.

March 12th - Chibayesh & Baghdad.

  • Early drive south to the Mesopotamian Marshes. We’ll take a boat trip through the maze of marshes stopping by local villages for tea. The marshes once engulfed a whole swathe of Southern Iraq with numerous floating villages. Today the receding waters have led most families to change their livelihood but we’ll still see the few that remain.
  • It is also home to the Maʻdān population who over the centuries have adapted to life on the water. Stop by a traditional house for lunch and tea.
  • Tour the local market of Chibayesh and then drive back to Baghdad.
  • Dinner in the modern area of Karada and overnight in Baghdad.

March 13th - Baghdad - Samarra - Mosul

  • Hit the road early and drive north to Samara. We pass through multiple checkpoints along the route driving by many villages recently destroyed during fighting against ISIS.
  • Samara is famous for its Minarets (we will likely see the spectacular & less visited Abu Delef Minaret). We’ll climb the spiral staircase all the way to the top for the 360 degree view. Not for the faint hearted!
  • After lunch drive towards Hatra, an important historic religious center with a strategic position along caravan trade routes. Hatra was one of the first Arab states to be established outside of Arabia.
  • Continue driving to Mosul and overnight.

March 14th - Mosul - Erbil

  • Start the day with a local breakfast before we start discovering the reconstruction of the old city including the Al-Nuri mosque and Al Tahira church. See the Bash Tapia castle.
  • Lunchtime with “Kubba of Mosul” the area’s most popular dish.
  • Before sunset we head to Erbil in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.
  • Final group dinner!
  • Airport transfers depending on your flight time.
  • End of tour.

March 15th - Erbil

  • Transfer to Erbil airport depending on your flight time.
  • End of Iraq tour.

Option to continue on our Iraqi Kurdistan Nowruz tour.

What else?
  • Secure Hotels in Iraq

    Twin share accommodation (single supplements are available for an extra $60 per night)

  • Entrance fees

    All entrance fees (unless otherwise stated)

  • Guides

    Expert local guide only on budget tours. Both a local guide and western tour leader on regular tours.

  • Transport

    Air-conditioned bus and driver.

  • Visa Support

    If you do not qualify for the visa on arrival - We will supply you an invitation letter which will allow you to apply for the Iraqi visa at your nearest embassy.

  • Airport Pickup/Dropoff

    Airport transfers included.

  • International Flights

    Flights in and out of Iraq.

  • Lunch and Dinner

    Most lunch and dinners are extra charge.

  • Visa Fee

    $80 on arrival in Baghdad, Najaf and Basra airports.

  • Tips

    Tips are expected for your Iraqi local guides and driver.

  • Pre/Post Tour Accommodation

    If you would like to spend a day or more pre or post tour, let us know and we'll reserve the hotel for you.

Tour Notes

You’ll be in the vastly experienced hands of our English speaking local guides & fixer as well as your Rocky Road Travel guide. We visit Iraq regularly, so we know the best spots and have perfected the itinerary accordingly. Given the unpredictable nature of travelling in Iraq, the itinerary may change slightly, but we will always go above and beyond with added extras to the itinerary such as stops at local cafe-bars, shisha lounges and amusement parks. We are in constant communication with our local partners on the ground who advise the safest routes to take.

Before & after each tour we will add you to dedicated email and social media groups so you can share photos easily with your travel mates. Just let us know is you want to opt out of this.

To book simply hit the button below and start the conversation today.

Read More

March 7 - 15th, 2025

Southern Iraq Tour

Syria Option

Join us in Syria directly before this tour!

Standard hotel

8 nights in Iraq

The price


Book Now
Erbil Citadel

What are the differences between Iraqi Kurdistan and Iraq?

Iraqi Kurdistan vs Federal Iraq Iraq is a complicated place. Sectarian divisions have long characterised the country, be that between the various factions of Islam or along one of the many other cultural, religious or political splits. But what are the differences between Iraqi Kurdistan and Iraq? Perhaps the most

Read More »
Group shot at the Martyr's moumnet in Baghdad

Is it safe to travel to Iraq as a tourist?

Tourism in Iraq The image that Iraq usually conjures is one of fighting, unrest and turmoil — but slowly, that is changing. Life is returning to normal in most of the country following long periods of turbulence; most recently the unrest caused by ISIS, before that, the American insurgency and

Read More »
The Great Mosque of Samarra

Travel to the Great Mosque of Samarra

How To Travel to the Great Mosque of Samarra The Great Mosque of Samarra is not the easiest place to get to in Iraq – but with the right paperwork we can get you there! So where is it, what is it, why is it so unique and how do

Read More »