The Most Beautiful City in Iraq: Discover the Breathtaking Urban Gem

Choose the city you think is the most beautiful!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Sep 10, 2023 05:45
Discover the breathtaking beauty of Iraq's magnificent cities and join us in our quest to unveil the most beautiful city in the country! At StrawPoll, we've compiled a captivating list of top contenders, each with its own unique charm and allure. Immerse yourself in the rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning landscapes as you explore these mesmerizing destinations. But the power is in your hands! Cast your vote for your favorite city or, if you believe we've missed a hidden gem, suggest a new addition to our ever-growing list. So, let the adventure begin and help us crown the most beautiful city in Iraq by participating in this enthralling ranking experience!

What Is the Most Beautiful City in Iraq? (September 2023)

  1. 1
    MohammadHuzam · CC BY-SA 4.0
    Known as the "City of Peace," Baghdad has a rich history and culture that is reflected in its stunning architecture and landmarks, such as the Al-Mustansiriya Madrasah and the Al-Kadhimiya Mosque.
    Baghdad, the capital city of Iraq, is a historically rich and culturally vibrant city. Situated along the Tigris River, it is known for its stunning architecture, bustling markets, and warm hospitality.
    • Ancient History: Baghdad has a history dating back over 1,250 years, making it one of the oldest cities in the world.
    • Vibrant Markets: Baghdad's markets, such as the famous Al-Mutanabbi Street, are known for their bustling atmosphere, where one can find a wide variety of goods, traditional crafts, and delicious cuisine.
    • Gardens and Parks: The city features beautiful gardens and parks, including the picturesque Zawra Park, known as the 'Baghdad Zoo,' where visitors can enjoy leisurely strolls and picnics.
    • Rich Cultural Festivals: Baghdad hosts numerous cultural festivals and events, such as the Baghdad International Book Fair, showcasing the city's commitment to literature and intellectual pursuits.
    • Diverse Population: Baghdad is a melting pot of cultures and religions, with a diverse population that contributes to its vibrant social fabric.
  2. 2
    The capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, Erbil boasts a unique blend of ancient and modern architecture, including the impressive Citadel of Erbil, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
    Erbil is the capital city of the Kurdistan Region in Iraq and it is regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in the country. The city is located in the northern part of Iraq and has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. Erbil is often referred to as the 'Jewel of Kurdistan' due to its historical significance and natural beauty.
    • Citadel of Erbil: An ancient citadel located at the heart of the city, dating back to at least the 5th millennium BCE.
    • Gali Ali Beg: A historical market known for its traditional architecture and vibrant atmosphere.
    • Samii Abdulrahman Park: A large park featuring beautiful gardens, fountains, and a lake.
    • Mudhafaria Minaret: An iconic ancient minaret and a symbol of the city's Islamic heritage.
    • Shanidar Park: A vast green area with playgrounds, artificial lakes, and picturesque scenery.
  3. 3
    Aziz1005 · CC BY-SA 2.5
    Situated on the Shatt al-Arab river, Basra is a bustling port city with a rich history and stunning architecture, such as the Basra Grand Mosque and the Basra Museum.
    Basra is the third largest city in Iraq and is located in the southern part of the country. It is known for its rich history, breathtaking architecture, and vibrant culture. Basra is often referred to as the 'Venice of the Middle East' due to its extensive canal network. The city is famous for its beautiful waterfront and charming old town area.
    • Population: Approximately 2.5 million
    • Area: 49.6 square kilometers
    • Founded: Around 636 AD
    • Climate: Hot desert climate with extremely hot summers and mild winters
    • Historical Sites: Basra Citadel, Great Mosque of Basra, Al-Minaa Stadium
  4. 4
    Puskechina · CC BY-SA 4.0
    Despite the recent conflicts, Mosul remains a beautiful city with impressive landmarks, such as the Great Mosque of al-Nuri and the Nineveh Governorate building.
    Mosul is a city located in northern Iraq, situated on the western bank of the Tigris River. It is a historically significant city with a rich cultural heritage, often referred to as the 'Pearl of the North.' Despite the devastation caused by recent conflicts, Mosul still showcases glimpses of its former beauty and architectural grandeur. The city is known for its stunning mosques, ancient ruins, bustling markets, and vibrant streets.
    • Location: Northern Iraq
    • River: Tigris River
    • Nickname: Pearl of the North
    • Architectural Features: Stunning mosques, ancient ruins
    • Economy: Bustling markets
  5. 5
    Known for its rich history and cultural diversity, Kirkuk is home to stunning landmarks such as the Kirkuk Citadel and the Kirkuk Museum.
  6. 6
    Toushiro · Public domain
    One of the holiest cities in Shia Islam, Najaf is home to some of the most breathtaking religious landmarks in the country, such as the Imam Ali Mosque and the Wadi Al-Salam cemetery.
    Najaf, also known as the City of Knowledge, is a historic and religiously significant city located in Iraq. It holds great importance for Shia Muslims around the world as it is home to the shrine of Imam Ali, the first Shia Imam. The city has a rich history dating back to ancient times and is known for its cultural, intellectual, and architectural heritage.
    • Population: Approximately 954,000
    • Location: Latitude: 32.0000° N, Longitude: 44.3333° E
    • Elevation: 124 m (407 ft)
    • Climate: Hot desert climate with mild winters and scorching summers
    • Religious Significance: Shrine of Imam Ali attracts Shia Muslims for pilgrimage
  7. 7
    SFC Larry E. Johns, USA · Public domain
    Another holy city in Shia Islam, Karbala is home to the Imam Hussein Shrine, one of the most important religious sites in the world.
    Karbala is a historic city located in central Iraq, known for its religious significance and architectural beauty. It holds great importance for Shia Muslims worldwide as the site of the Shrine of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad. The city has a rich history and is a pilgrimage destination attracting millions of visitors annually.
    • Shopping: Traditional markets and bazaars
    • Location: Central Iraq
    • Religious Significance: Shia Muslim pilgrimage site
    • Shrine: Shrine of Imam Hussein
    • History: Founded in the 9th century by Harun al-Rashid
  8. 8
    Known for its stunning Islamic architecture, Samarra is home to the Al-Askari Shrine and the Great Mosque of Samarra, both of which are UNESCO World Heritage sites.
    Samarra is an ancient city located in Salah ad-Din Governorate, Iraq. It is known for its historical significance and architectural beauty, making it one of the most beautiful cities in the country. The city is situated on the eastern bank of the Tigris River.
    • Great Mosque of Samarra: One of the largest mosques in the world, known for its unique minaret.
    • Malwiya Tower: An iconic spiral minaret with intricate Islamic architectural design.
    • Abbasid Palace: An ancient palace built by the Abbasid caliphs.
    • Archaeological Site: Samarra is home to a vast archaeological site filled with ruins and historical artifacts.
    • Unesco World Heritage Site: Samarra's archaeological city has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  9. 9


    Sulayman ibn Abd al-Rahman
    A vibrant and culturally rich city, Sulaymaniyah is home to stunning landmarks such as the Sulaymaniyah Museum and the Amna Suraka prison.
    Sulaymaniyah is a city located in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. It is known for its breathtaking natural landscapes, vibrant culture, and historical significance. The city is surrounded by picturesque mountains, making it a popular tourist destination for nature lovers.
    • Population: Approximately 1.7 million
    • Elevation: 830 meters (2,720 feet)
    • Climate: Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters
    • Historical Sites: Sulaymaniyah Museum, Sulaymaniyah Citadel
    • Cultural Festivals: Newroz Festival, Sulaymaniyah International Film Festival
  10. 10
    The birthplace of Saddam Hussein, Tikrit is also home to some of the most impressive historical landmarks in the country, such as the Tikrit Castle and the Tikrit Museum.
    Tikrit is a historically rich city located in the Salahaddin Governorate of Iraq. It is often considered one of the most beautiful cities in the country due to its diverse range of architectural marvels, cultural heritage, and picturesque landscapes. Tikrit is situated on the west bank of the Tigris River and holds significant importance as the birthplace of Saddam Hussein, the former Iraqi president.
    • Location: Salahaddin Governorate, Iraq
    • Architectural Style: Blend of modern and traditional Iraqi architecture
    • Landmarks: Tikrit Citadel, Great Mosque of Tikrit, Saddam Hussein's Palace, Al-Awja Shrine
    • Historical Significance: Birthplace of Saddam Hussein
    • Natural Attractions: Tigris River, Tikrit Island

Missing your favorite city?


Ranking factors for beautiful city

  1. Historical and cultural importance
    A city's history and culture contribute to its beauty. This includes ancient architecture, archaeological sites, and museums showcasing the rich history and traditions of the region.
  2. Natural beauty
    The natural landscapes, such as rivers, mountains, deserts, and green spaces, are essential factors to consider. A city with beautiful natural surroundings will be more appealing to visitors.
  3. Urban design and architecture
    A city's urban layout and architectural styles can significantly impact its attractiveness. A well-planned city with aesthetically pleasing buildings, wide streets, and public spaces will be more beautiful than a chaotic city with poorly maintained structures.
  4. Cleanliness and safety
    An attractive city should be clean, well-maintained, and safe for its residents and visitors. Well-kept streets, parks, and public spaces contribute to a city's overall beauty.
  5. Cultural and recreational activities
    A beautiful city should offer various cultural and recreational activities for locals and tourists. This includes art galleries, theaters, concert halls, festivals, and events that showcase the city's uniqueness.
  6. Local cuisine and dining options
    The variety and quality of dining options in a city can impact its attractiveness, as food is an essential aspect of any culture. A beautiful city should have various local and international cuisines to cater to different tastes.
  7. Accessibility and transportation
    A city's beauty can be affected by the ease with which people can move around. Efficient public transportation systems, well-connected roads, and pedestrian-friendly streets enhance a city's appeal.
  8. Climate and weather
    The overall climate and weather conditions of a city play a role in its beauty. A city with a pleasant climate is more inviting to tourists and locals alike.
  9. Quality of life
    The overall quality of life, including factors such as job opportunities, education, healthcare, and infrastructure, influences a city's beauty. A city that offers a high quality of life is more likely to be considered beautiful.
  10. Local people's friendliness and hospitality
    People are often considered part of a city's appeal. Friendly and welcoming locals can make a city more attractive to visitors.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most beautiful city in Iraq. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or your favorite city is missing from the list, feel free to help us improve the ranking.


  • 192 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Movers & Shakers

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each city once every 24 hours. The rank of each city is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most beautiful city in iraq

Iraq is a country rich in history and culture, with cities that boast stunning architecture, vibrant colors, and breathtaking landscapes. The debate over which city is the most beautiful in Iraq is a hotly contested topic. From the bustling streets of Baghdad to the ancient ruins of Babylon, there is no shortage of contenders. Each city has its own unique charm and beauty, making it difficult to choose just one. Whether you're a history buff, an architecture enthusiast, or simply someone who appreciates natural beauty, there is a city in Iraq that will capture your heart. So, let's dive into the discussion and explore what makes each city a contender for the title of the most beautiful city in Iraq.