Najaf is a city in Iraq about 160 km south of Baghdad.
It is the capital of Najaf Governorate.
It is widely considered the third holiest city of Shi’a Islam and the center of Shia political power in Iraq.
The city is home to the Imam Ali Shrine and hosts millions of pilgrims yearly.
Iraq is not recommended for visiting by tourists due to military operations in the country.
However, if you plan your trip here, you can see the fantastic sights of the city: a lot of pilgrims visit thanks to the burial “Imām Alī” located here, the First Imam of Shia’s.
Warnings & Dangers in Najaf
OVERALL RISK: HIGH
Najaf is not a very safe city. Its proximity to Baghdad creates a halo of insecurity over the town. If you intend to travel to this city, you should take extraordinary measures to ensure your safety and possibly even have paramilitary security.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: HIGH
In connection with the situation in the country and the region, it is most reliable to have your own transport to travel. It would be better if you will have armored cars with security. Cars in the city are often attacked. Take increased security measures.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: MEDIUM
Pickpockets operate in crowded places in Najaf, in bazaars, and near mosques. It is better to keep personal and precious things in the hotel safe, do not carry a lot of cash with you, and do not flash with jewelry.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
There is a risk of earthquakes, floods, and droughts in the region, resulting in high summer temperatures. However, the risk of these disasters is low. The most significant inconvenience brings high temperatures in the summer and sandstorms.
MUGGING RISK: HIGH
Armed robberies are prevalent here. For your safety, do not travel alone, stick to groups. If you were attacked, give what you are required to save your life. Do not go out into the streets of the city at night; it is incredibly unsafe.
TERRORISM RISK: HIGH
Terrorism in the region is extensive, especially from Daesh, who are responsible for most terrorism in Iraq. The likelihood of attacks is higher during Muslim services and in the mosque area. Remain vigilant at all times. It’s a good idea to have a militarized guard while traveling.
SCAMS RISK: MEDIUM
Do not trust street beggars and people who offer or ask for help. Any action from the local side in your direction will most likely be aimed at deceiving you. Ignore any strangers coming up to you.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
Women are not recommended to travel to Najaf on their own. This is entirely unsafe. You should also wear modest clothes and be accompanied by men. Be very careful with those who contact you.
So... How Safe Is Najaf Really?
Najaf is not a safe city for traveling.
The crime rate here is very high.
Apart from hostilities in the region, the city has a high risk of being robbed.
The main crimes in Najaf are car theft and hacking, theft of personal belongings, insults, kidnapping, drug problems, and a high level of bribery.
In the daytime, moving around the city, unaccompanied, is not safe.
Walking in the city at night is not worth to do at all.
If you intend to travel to this city, you need to take additional security measures.
People of western appearance attract more attention as a target for criminals.
Here’s also a high threat of kidnapping throughout the country, from both Daesh and other terrorist and militant groups, which can be motivated by criminality or terrorism.
You should review your security arrangements regularly and consider carefully any travel plans around the country.
Areas liberated from Daesh are likely to contain remnants of war and improvised explosive devices.
Terrorists have previously targeted religious gatherings, so you should strictly avoid participation in it.
Check out trusted sources from the US and European governments with tips on staying at Najaf.
Before your trip here, carefully consider all options for the development of events and plan a safe stay in this city.
How Does Najaf Compare?
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By the Iraqi law, citizens of all countries require a visa to visit Iraq. Visitors from certain countries are given a visa on arrival in select airports, and individual states are banned from entering Iraq. Nationals of Israel are forbidden from visiting Iraq in general. A valid passport is a must.
The Iraqi dinar is the currency of Iraq. It is issued by the Central Bank of Iraq and is subdivided into 1,000 fils. It has code: IQD. ATMs exist throughout the city and are mostly located outside of banks.
The best time to visit Najaf in Iraq is from February to May and October to November. At that time you will have a pleasant till very hot temperature and limited rainfall.
Al Najaf International Airport is the airport serving Najaf, Iraq, and is located on the eastern side of the city. Formerly a military airbase, the facility consists of one asphalt runway 3,000 meters long and 45 meters wide.
The travel insurance policy is a must when visiting a foreign country. Make sure you got it before starting your journey, the customs officer may ask for it.
Najaf Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
|Temperature / Month
Iraq - Safety by City