Cheap Flights to ISU (Sulaymaniyah)
Sulaymaniyah International Airport (ISU) is one of the main gateways to northern Iraq's Kurdish region. If you are looking for a region with unexpected cultural riches, beautiful scenery and plenty of things to see and do, Iraqi Kurdistan is a great choice. Stable, safe and extremely easy to get to these days, Sulaymaniyah is fast becoming one of the most rewarding Middle Eastern tourist destinations. When you touch down, you'll quickly find out why. For one thing, Sulaymaniyah is crammed with memorable attractions. There's Amna Suraka: a building that was once used by Saddam Hussein as a prison, but is now a fascinating museum dedicated to the Baathist era. After that, you won't want to miss the city's vibrant historical centre. Sulaymaniyah was the capital of an independent Kurdish state called Baban for over 80 years, and it's regaining its splendour while reclaiming its past. See the beautiful Great Mosque, check out the historical exhibits at the Sulaymania museum and spend an afternoon navigating the stalls in Sara Square - the city's lively bazaar district. And, if the city loses its allure, you can always take excursions to beauty spots like Dukan Lake.
Things to do
ISU provides a door to the fascinating Kurdish region of Iraq where you can educate yourself about the country's complex history but also enjoy beautiful natural spaces and the fun of amusement parks, cinema entertainment and... even a waxworks museum!
- A fascinating window onto Iraq's recent past
As most visitors will be aware, Iraq has a turbulent recent past, much of which was spent under a brutal dictatorship. Sulaymaniyah's Kurds took the brunt of Saddam's repression, and you can learn all about it at Amna Suraka or Red Security that was once a major torture centre.
On a much lighter note, Kurdistan has some stunning natural sights and nowhere is more appealing than Dukan Lake. Easy to reach from the city, the lake has holiday cabins, swimming beaches, boat hire -- everything you'd expect from a holiday lake in the USA or Europe.
- Take the family to Chavy Land
Sulaymaniyah has amusement parks too, and Chavy Land is the best of all. Featuring rollercoasters, fountains, restaurants, cinemas and a fun waxworks museum, it offers distractions for all the family.
Calendar of Events
If you're planning on flying into ISU, why not organise your trip to coincide with one of the major events in Sulaymaniyah? Slemani, as the locals call it, is Kurdistan's cultural hub, so there's often something going on.
Slemani International Film Festival. This internationally respected cinema event is held every October and combines the film-making talents of Kurdistan with a selection of the world's latest art house masterpieces.
Nawroz. The Kurdish New Year is always a massive event in Sulaymaniyah. Usually scheduled for March 21st, it features spectacular dancing and bonfires, family feasts and a general party atmosphere that brings the community onto the streets.
Eid al Fitr. The end of Ramadan is the biggest day in Sulaymaniyah's religious calendar, and it's a great time to be in the city. The resorts come alive as holidaymakers take time off for the holidays, and street feasts are routine.