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Asia > Middle East > Iraq > Southern Iraq > Basra


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Travel Warning WARNING: Travel to Iraq is advised against by most governments. Basra is much safer than the western or central areas of Iraq, but even here it is important to always remain vigilant.
(Information last updated Jul 2018)

Basra (Arabic: البصرة Al Baṣrah) is a port city in Southern Iraq, very close to the border with Kuwait. It is Iraq's third largest city with a population of 2,150,000 (2017).

Get in[edit]

Basra is close to Kuwait. The Safwan border crossing is a safe exit point into Kuwait from Iraq, but it is highly inadvisable for foreigners to enter Iraq from Kuwait. The Iraqi immigration entry point is watched by insurgents who will try to kidnap Western-looking individuals on the road once they have crossed into Iraq. Entry from Iran is also very unsafe and is not advised.

By plane[edit]

By train[edit]

There are two overnight trains from Baghdad every day, one slower taking 12 hours and one express train with a journey time of 6-7 hours. However, delays are quite common. The train carries a restaurant car has both seats and couchettes. and There are also occasional trains from the holy city of Karbala, operated mainly around religious festivals.

  • 2 Al Maqal railway station (محطة قطارات المعقل) (Northern end of city centre). Al Maqal Railway Station (Q4704382) on Wikidata Al Maqal railway station on Wikipedia

By boat[edit]

A river ferry is available from nearby Khorramshahr, across the border in Iran, taking just 45 minutes to complete the journey. The ferry is run by Valfajar Shipping Company and there are multiple sailings each week.

Get around[edit]


  • 1 Basra Museum. 09:00-15:00. Opened in September 2016 in the former Lakeside Palace of Saddam Hussein. Iraqi citizens $1, foreign visitors $10. Basrah Museum (Q28114309) on Wikidata Basrah Museum on Wikipedia
  • 2 Old mosque of Basra (Mosque of martyr Hassan). The first mosque in Islam outside the Arabian peninsula.
  • Sayab's house ruins. The most famous home of the poet Badr Shakir al-Sayyab.
  • 3 Sayab statue (At al-Basrah Corniche). A statue of poet Badr Shakir al-Sayyab, one of the statues in Basra done by the artist and sculptor nada' Kadhum.
  • 4 Sinbad Island. A tourist landmark, named after Sinbad the Sailor, who embarked on his legendary journeys from Basra. Decades ago, this island was known for its parks and nightlife. Perhaps it still is!
  • 5 Sayyed Ali al-Musawi Mosque (Mosque of the children of Amer) (In the city center on al-Gazear street). This mosque was built for Shia Imami's leader Sayyed Ali al-Moussawi in Iraq and neighboring countries.
  • Palm tree forests
  • 6 Corniche al-Basra. A street which runs on the shore of the Shatt al-Arab, from the Lion of Babylon square to the four palaces.


  • 1 Basra Sports City. A major sports complex that opened in 2013.
  • 2 River cruise. There are boats that will take you for a short cruise along the Shatt al-Arab.
  • Basrah Land (formerly called Fun city of Basrah). One of the oldest theme parks in southern Iraq, and the largest, involving a large number of games giants.


  • Indian market (Amogaiz). One of the main bazaars in the city.
  • Hanna-Sheikh bazaar. An old market which was established by the powerful and famous Hanna-Sheikh family.




  • 1 Basra International Hotel (فندق شيراتون البصرة) (In Al Ashar District), +964-781-5555472, . One of few high-end hotels in town, has a swimming pool, tennis court and five restaurants. Service, however, is not on par with the quite hefty price. Prices from US$475 per night. Basra International Hotel (Q4867868) on Wikidata Basra International Hotel on Wikipedia
  • 2 Shams Al Basra (شمس البصرة), Al-Watan Street, +964 781 116 5777.
  • 3 Mnawi Basha Hotel (Menawi Basha Hotel). One of the big hotels in Basra. It implies it is a 5-star, but does not make 4-star on any normal scale. It is secure, food is edible, rooms reasonable and there is acceptable Wi-Fi. There are also ATMs. Mnawi Basha Hotel (Q303055) on Wikidata Mnawi Basha Hotel on Wikipedia

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