UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Iraq

Iraq UNESCO World Heritage Sites

The UNESCO Sites in Iraq have resulted from recognizing of 6 cultural and natural landmarks as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Iraq and 14 locations on the Iraq UNESCO tentative list. These tourist sites in Iraq are acknowledged for their unique and valuable cultural, natural, artistic, and historical significance and are preserved for future generations to enjoy.

In addition to these 6 sites in the Iraq UNESCO list, there are many other places to travel to Iraq that are being considered for UNESCO recognition. These sites, listed on the tentative list, showcase the country’s rich cultural heritage and are waiting for approval to join the prestigious and famous World Heritage Sites list.

To help visitors discover these remarkable Iraq tourist attractions, we have assembled an interactive map of the UNESCO sites in Iraq.


Click markers to show information and photo.

Iraq UNESCO Map Placeholder

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Iraq

There are 6 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Iraq. All of these six sites are listed under the Cultural category.

  • Ashur (Qal’at Sherqat)
  • Erbil Citadel
  • Hatra
  • Samarra Archaeological City
  • The Ahwar of Southern Iraq
  • Babylon

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Iraq are protected locations for their cultural and natural importance.

Ashur (Qal’at Sherqat)

Also known as Assur, is a historical city in Iraq that once served as the capital of the Old Assyrian, Middle Assyrian, and Neo-Assyrian Empires. The city’s ruins are located on the western bank of the Tigris River and have been inhabited for around 4,000 years. Ashur is listed as a cultural UNESCO World Heritage Site. However, it has also been added to the list of endangered sites due to conflict in the area following the US-led invasion.

Erbil Citadel

A fortified settlement on a tell, known as Qalat inhabited for over 8,000 years. It’s one of the longest inhabited sites in the world and is notable for its 19th-century walls that still serve as a fortress for the city. The citadel is home to numerous archaeological finds and is considered a rare surviving example of an ancient settlement.


An ancient city in Iraq was built in the 3rd or 2nd century BC and was later ruled by the Parthians. It became a trading and religious center and was developed into a fortified city to defend against the Roman Empire. Hatra is one of Iraq’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, known as the best-preserved Parthian city in the country and protected by inner and outer walls and 160 towers.

Samarra Archaeological City

Home to a mighty Islamic City that governed the Abbasid Empire for 100 years. The site showcases artistic and architectural innovations of the Islamic world and features the 9th-century Great Mosque and Caliphal Palace. Although recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s also endangered.

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The Ahwar of Southern Iraq

A mixed archaeological site consisting of 7 individual sites: three Sumerian cities and four wetland areas. The site is a refuge for biodiversity and a relict landscape of the Mesopotamian cities. It includes Huwaizah Marshes, Central Marshes, East Hammar Marshes, West Hammar Marshes, Uruk Archaeological City, Ur Archaeological City, and Tell Eridu Archaeological Site.

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A historical city located 85 km south of Baghdad, the Neo-Babylonian Empire’s capital between 626 and 539 BCE. The property includes the ruins of the city, surrounding villages, and agricultural areas. It showcases the creativity of the Neo-Babylonian Empire through its outer and inner-city walls, gates, palaces, and temples. Babylon is also associated with one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Hanging Gardens, and has inspired global artistic, popular, and religious culture.

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Iraq UNESCO tentative list

  1. Nimrud
  2. The Ancient City of Nineveh
  3. The Fortress of Al-Ukhaidar
  4. Wasit
  5. The Site of Thilkifl
  6. Wadi Al-Salam Cemetery in Najaf
  7. Amedy city
  8. Historical Features of the Tigris River in Baghdad Rusafa, which extends from the school Al-Mustansiriya to the Abbasid Palace
  9. Bestansur Neolithic settlement
  10. Nippur
  11. Old City of Mosul
  12. Lalish Temple
  13. Kirkuk Citadel
  14. The Hajj Pilgrimage Routes: The Darb Zubaydah

Tours in Iraq

Our choices of tours in Iraq are divided into thematic features such as Babylon, The Ahwar of Southern Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City, Hatra, and the Ashur Experience.