Arbil (Hawlêr in Kurdish and also transliterated as Erbil) is a city in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Kurdistan used to have 2 capital cities, but an agreement on August 1, 2006, set Arbil as the region's sole capital.
- Komari Where the stadium and Hawler Plaza Hotel are located
- Ankawa Christian suburb to the north of the city.
Northern Iraq is served by Erbil International Airport  with a growing number of international airlines serving Erbil.
Austrian Airlines launched flights between Vienna and Arbil (Erbil) (Irbil) twice weekly in December 2006. As of July 2007, Austrian is operating four flights a week to/from Vienna. Regular flights to Arbil are also available weekly from Dubai, Amman, Istanbul and very recently, Tehran.
Lufthansa has recently restarted four weekly round-trip flights from Frankfurt.
Qatar Airways flies 4 times a week between Erbil and Doha
Fly Hellas flies to Arbil from Athens (Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport) and Stockholm.
MEA flies to Erbil from Lebanon on 6 flights per week.
AtlasJet and Turkish Airlines have flights to Istanbul.
FlyDubai has flights to Dubai.
Citizens of the EU, the US, Canada, Japan and Australia are given a free stamp of 10 days on arrival. After that you must visit the residency office to extend your visa. Other nationalities must have an Iraqi visa before arrival.
The security situation in the Kurdish area is very safe compared to the area south of the green line (no fly zone). However one should not travel to Iraq unless there is a specific mission or business. In May 2007, a suicide truck bomber detonated his bomb in front of the Interior Ministry. Local people are welcoming all visitors who are investing money or bringing technology to the area.
It is long time that Iranian bus companies run services connecting Islamic Republic of IRAN to Erbil & vice versa.There is about 916 km or in the other hands 10 hours.There is many cities in Iran that connected to Erbil by bus.Tehran , Isfahan , Tabriz , Shiraz , Kurdistan , Ahwaz & ... are some of them.The VIP buses move from Tehran to Erbil every day , 2 buses per day & every days in week.The ticket price is from 75 to 100 $ for Iranian bus company (Iran Peyman : +982144662744-5) or (Seyr O Safar : +982144648484 )from Tehran to Erbil.The named bus company can give services in other cities of Iran too. If you take move by bus to Erbil , you should stop in Piranshahr city to show your passport.This is border between Iran & Iraq.If you had Iranian passport , you don't need to visa for passing the border.
Recently there are bus companies running services connecting Erbil to Dyiarbakir in Turkey (10–15 hours) and Istanbul (36–48 hours). 'Cizre Nuh' Buses (Tel Erbil: 0750 340 47 73) run everyday at 15.30 from the New City Mall, 60m Road to Istanbul (100$) via Silopi (40$) Diyabakir and other Cities in between. Tickets can be brought at the New City Mall, Flyaway on Barzani Namir and at a Phone Shop on Shekhi Choly close to the Bazaar. 'Can Diyarbakir' Buses (Tel Erbil: 0750 895 62 17-18-19) leave daily from Family Mall on 100mt Road to Istanbul via Ankara, Diyarbakır and other cities in between. There are at least two other Turkish companies running busses from erbil to cities ın Turkey - look around for flyers on Iskan Road. Best Van Running from Ainkawa Road in Erbil to Istanbul via Adana, Aksaray, Ankara (14 o'clock) and Diyabakir (16 o'clock, via Hasankeyf, Batman). Bus from Diyabakir to Erbil is going on 11 o'clock. Arrival time depends on border formalities (around 2 hours from Turkey to Iraq in March 2012 and 5–8 hours back to Turkey).
Public transportation is available in the form of taxis and some bus routes, however at this point, if you don't know your way around or have a guide with local knowledge it is inadvisable to try it alone. Chances are if you are coming to Erbil you will have your trip pre-arranged with someone at this point in time.
In terms of taxis there are essentially two choices:
- Hello Taxi,, which is Erbil's branded taxi company and has English speaking drivers, but at highly inflated rates. USD is accepted. From the Airport to Erbil center the rate is $50, to Ankawa $20.
- "Street Taxis", which are generic independent taxis and will take you most places in Erbil and Ankawa. Rates are negotiable, however, for a drive across town (15–25 minutes) expect between 3000-6000 IQD.
- PNK Taxi, Ankawa Erbil, ☎ 07506337700. 07:00. PNK Taxi Services is a subsidiary of BWFW Services company. PNK Taxi is By Women... For Women. Rates are 3000 IQD + 1000 IQD/KM. PNK Taxi. Is the other Erbil Branded Taxi Service. 1000 iqd/km.
- Citadel of Arbil (قهڵای ههولێر, Qelay Hewlêr), City Center. The Citadel (an UNESCO World Heritage site) sits in the middle of Erbil City. It is a round structure, 30 meters high which dominates the old city and has been built upon seven layers of civilization. The total area of the Citadel is 110,000 square meters. The history of its building dates back to 6000 years and has been continuously inhabited since its founding. The citadel has seen the reign of many historic civilizations including Sumerians, Akkadians, Babylonians, and Assyrians. Other ancient powers including the Achaemenian, Seljuks, and Sassanians also dominated the Citadel before being finally conquered by the Muslims. The Citadel of Erbil consists of three main quarters: Topkhana, Saray, and Taki, with a total of 605 houses in the areas. Picturesque view from the upper floors of the opposite shopping center.
- Kurdish Textile Museum, Citadel. Displays textiles produced in Iraqi Kurdistan.
- Mound of Qalich Agha. Lies within the grounds of the Museum of Civilization, 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) from the citadel. An excavation in 1996 found tools from the Halaf, Ubaid and Uruk periods.
- Mudhafaria Minaret. The 36 m high Mudhafaria Minaret, situated in Minaret Park several blocks from the citadel, dates back to the late 12th century AD and the reign of Arbil king Muzaffar Al-Din Abu Sa’eed Al-Kawkaboori. It has an octagonal base decorated with two tiers of niches, which is separated from the main shaft by a small balcony, also decorated. Another historical minaret with turquoise glazed tiles is nearby.
- Shanidar Park. Near the minaret park (on the other side of the street), connected with the minaret park via cable car
Stroll around in the deserted city inside the hilltop castle (kale)in the centre of Arbil. Hundreds of houses that appears to have been abandoned in a hurry. Walk into the court yards, sleeping rooms and bed rooms or up to the rooftop terraces to enjoy an spectacular panorama of Arbil or ponder what life might have been in this place before the inhabitants were repopulated.
- Arbil has many supermarkets and malls, like Nazamall located on Kirkuk Erbil road, which is the bigger one in the city.
- Hawler Mall located on Shaqlawa road,a modern mall in which you can spend a wonderful time while shopping
- NewCity supermarket on 60th road, which is very good.
- Reihnmall in the Eskan Neighborhood.
- Shopping Center Nishtman(national) Mall.
- Majidi Mall. Western style shopping mall opened in November 2009, with stores such as Mango, Adidas, and Levis. Also has a very large hypermarket in the basement of the mall.
- family mall, 100m street besides family fun. it's one of the biggest and most modern shopping center in iraq with some of the best known clothing labels .
A good many restaurants exist in Erbil just none with any variety of cuisine. Your choices now is unlimited the food is great and fresh especially at Fairuz Two.
- At the Erbil International Hotel, an Asian cuisine restaurant serves curry.
- Sajalreef restaurant on Kirkuk Baghdad Road.
- erza restaurant on ainkawa
- tarin restaurant on saladeen road
- piano bar restaurant
- bakery and more restaurant on shoresh street
- akito restaurant on ainkawa
- Erbil Rest on Ankawa Road.
- Khan al Dejaj.
- Al Mahar (Sea Food)on 60th Street.
- Fairuz Lebanese Restaurant Erbil 60th.
- Abu Shahab restaurant on 60th street.
If German food is your liking then in the Erbil suburb of Ainkawa, you'll find a new German restaurant. Also in Ainkawa you will find Happy Time restaurant which serves a version of western style foods including nice pizzas.
Many sandwich shops may be found in the bazaar.
- T Bar Sports Lounge and Grill, Ainkawa (Ainkawa exit road, across from RRT compound). 5PM to late. American style sports bar and lounge. Where you can enjoy a drink and american style food while watching your favorite sport on the 16 different plasma tv's.
- Baydoner, 100 m street Family Mall (food court). Turkish "Iskender" dish is served, famous Turkish restaurant chain, Erbil branch
You can buy a wide variety of beer, wine, and liquor at pretty reasonable prices in Ainkawa, the Christian suburb of Irbil. Just look for any of the local liquor stores. A liter of Jack Daniels for about $22 (US) is cheaper than back in Tennessee where it is bottled!
- Marina. Great food! Pretty expensive.
- Deutscher Hof. For German draft beer and food
- Erbil International Hotel aka Sheraton is a great place to stay, if you can afford the rates. In November 2008, the rate for a single room (double bed) was around $200 USD (including service charges). Payment is in cash only, no credit card. In November 2008, there were ATMs in the hotel, but it is not clear whether they allow cash withdrawals using international credit cards.
In March 2010 International credit cards allow you to withdraw Iraqi Dinars there. The hotel has excellent food and internet service. There is a dry cleaner and laundry and several relatively good restaurants in the hotel (including East Asian and Indian food).
- Ankawa Palace, Near Residency Office in Ankawa. Approximately 36°14'20.95. It is nice and clean, the staff is very helpful. USD 150.
- Hotel below the main gate to the Citadel. One of the cheapest options in town. Beds on terrace start from 5000 Dinars ($4 USD). Numerous other Hotels in this Area or west of it - Rooms mostly between 25000 and 50000 Dinars.
For more information google, Kurdistan Services.
- Hotel Ali, Bata St. (one street west from the main gate of the Citadel). Basic but clean, shared bathrooms, squat toilets, Sat TV. from 20000.
A good place to stay is the Lonia Motel. It offers rooms which includes a bedroom, sittingroom, kitchen and bathroom at a rate of 80 USD/night. It's located at Kirkuk mainroad near the Tablo Mall. Free internet is included.