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Kirkuk (Kurdish: کەرکووک, Arabic: كركوك, Turkish: Kerkük) is a city in Northwestern Iraq, also known as Kurdistan. However, its population is ethnically mixed, and it is under the control of the Iraqi government.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Kirkuk has its own airport served by a limited number of domestic and international routes within the Middle East. Many visitors also use the major airport in Baghdad.

  • 1 Kirkuk International Airport. Kirkuk international Airport (Q6415856) on Wikidata Kirkuk International Airport on Wikipedia

By bus[edit]

There are plenty us buses departing daily from Baghdad as well as most other cities in Iraq. International long distance services are available from cities in Southeastern Turkey and limited services from Istanbul and Ankara. Journey times are grueling, even if most routes have decent amenities.

By car[edit]

Highway 2 connects Kirkuk with Baghdad, Erbil, Mosul all the way up to the Turkish border. Checkpoints are quite common along parts of the road, increasing travel time massively.

By train[edit]

The Iraqi government has announced the restoration of passenger services between Baghdad and Kirkuk. However delays in infrastructure projects is the norm in Iraq so while trains might return to Kirkuk in 2025-26, don't count on it.

Get around[edit]

It may be better to contact a local to help you get around, you can also go to tourist guidances for advice but there aren't alot here due to majority of the tourists going to other cities.


Map of Kirkuk
  • 1 Kirkuk Citadel (قلعة كركوك, Qal’at Karkuk). Dating back to 858 BCE, this citadel stands on an artificial mound, 40 metres high, on a plateau across the Khasa River. Several hundred families still live in the citadel. Kirkuk Citadel (Q1144137) on Wikidata Kirkuk Citadel on Wikipedia
  • 2 Tomb of Prophet Daniel. One of many traditional burial places for Prophet Daniel, inside the citadel.
  • 3 Qishla of Kirkuk (قشلة كركوك). This qishla, meaning barracks in Turkish, was built in 1863 to be the headquarters of the Ottoman army in Kirkuk. It is in disrepair. Qishla of Kirkuk (Q7267921) on Wikidata Qishla of Kirkuk on Wikipedia
  • 4 Eternal fire of Baba Gurgur. More than 4,000 years old. Baba Gurgur (Q2671176) on Wikidata Baba Gurgur on Wikipedia
  • Pirehmerd market (Bazari Pirehmerd).


Visit many of its historical and modern attractions modern attractions may include places like smileland amusement park (also has a place in Mall of Kirkuk)and baba gurgur amusement Park (it has two areas one near smileland and the other north)


  • 1 Qaysareyah Market. One of the oldest still standing bazaars in Kirkuk, dating back to 1855. Filled with small shops selling jewelry, textils and much more. Qaysareyah Market (Q7267224) on Wikidata Qaysareyah of Kirkuk on Wikipedia
  • 2 Mall of Kirkuk. Largest shopping mall in Kirkuk.


  • Today Rest & Cafe, Baghdad Road. Typical Iraqi fare and traditional tea (sweet). Daily 10:00-23:00. +964 770 347 4444
  • Spicy Rest, Baghdad Road. Fast food and traditional Iraqi cuisine, nice spot has a nice terrace which looks onto Baghdad Road



  • Kirkuk Plaza Hotel, Baghdad Road. This one, rising like a sheet of glass off the desert floor. +964 773 088 0044
  • Altun Saray Hotel Altun Saray Hotel Tisin, next to the Turkish visa appiclation center.

Stay safe[edit]

The bombings and attacks have stopped since 2023, but still exercise precaution. See the warning on the Iraq article for more information.

LGBT travelers: Militias have targeted the LGBT community in Kirkuk. Local police will not help you if you feel threatened for being gay, it's recommended to hide your sexuality.

Go next[edit]

The archaeological sites of Qal'at Jarmo and Yorgan Tepe are found at the outskirts of the modern city.

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