|Popular in||December||High demand for flights, 11% potential price rise|
|Cheapest in||May||Best time to find cheap flights, 2% potential price drop|
|Average price||$1,925||Average for return flights in May 2022|
There are plenty of flights from New Zealand to Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan, with a choice of departure cities on both the North and South Island. You can take off from Auckland to Erbil, with a total travel time that varies from 30h to 62h, depending on the number of stops the flights make. You can also depart from Wellington, with flights taking between 37h and 60h to get to Erbil. Another alternative is to leave from Christchurch. The travel time from here ranges from around 37h to about 57h 30min.
Unfortunately, there currently aren’t any direct flights from New Zealand to Erbil. However, there are a handful of flights from Auckland International Airport (AKL) that only make one stop on the way to Erbil Airport, Erbil (EBL); these flights all stop at Dubai International Airport (DXB). There are a number of two-stop flights too. You can fly via Dubai and then Cairo International Airport (CAI), via Kuala Lumpur International (KUL) and then Dubai, or first to Dubai and then to Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport (BEY). If you prefer flying from Wellington Airport (WLG), there is a standard two-stop route that flies first to Auckland and then Dubai, before landing in Erbil. You can also fly out of Christchurch Airport (CHC), which offers exactly the same routes as the ones from Wellington. Look out for good Erbil flight deals through Cheapflights.
Erbil Airport is located about 4.5 miles (7.2 km) away from the central district of the town. Unfortunately, there isn’t any form of public transport from the airport to the town, so you’ll have to take a taxi. The trip will take only about 11min.
Erbil is a truly ancient city, believed to be one of the oldest on earth, inhabited since around 5 BCE. One of its significant landmarks is Erbil Citadel, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It won’t be difficult to immerse yourself in local Kurdish culture – simply head to Erbil Main Square, the town’s main gathering place, where you can drink chai tea in one of the historic tea shops and take in the sights and sounds. For nightlife, head to Ankawa in the Christian district. This is also where you’ll find traditional Kurdish restaurants, plus little bistros specialising in Middle Eastern cuisine from surrounding countries. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the town’s bazaars, like Qaysari. For more history, go to the old Arab Quarter, with its historical ruins. Another site worth seeing is Jalil Khayat Mosque; it has unique interior decor and external ceramics.
As a New Zealand citizen, you don’t need to organise a visa in advance to visit Erbil. You will still need one, however, but you can simply get a 30-day tourist visa when you land in Iraqi Kurdistan. You can apply for extensions to this visa, allowing you to stay for 90 continuous days. Also make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months from the date you enter the country.
Booking a flight to Erbil Intl (EBL) is your only option if you intend on flying to Erbil. It is only a 6.6 km journey from Erbil Intl to Erbil’s city centre.