Najaf: Explore Iraq’s City of Saints

Najaf is a city in Iraq, located about 160 kilometers south of the capital Baghdad. It is one of the holiest cities in the world for Shia Muslims, and also has significance for Sunni Muslims and other religions. The city is known for its historical sites and religious shrines, as well as its traditional markets. Home to the tomb of Imam Ali, the cousin and son-in-law of Prophet Muhammad, Najaf is a must-visit destination for any visitor to Iraq.


History and Culture

Najaf has a long and storied history. For centuries, it has been a site of pilgrimage for Shia Muslims, and is now considered one of the most important religious cities in the world. It was founded in the 7th century and has since become a center of Islamic learning and culture.

Najaf is renowned for its religious sites and shrines. The most important is the Shrine of Imam Ali, which is located in the center of the city. This shrine is the second-most-important site in Shia Islam, after the Shrine of Imam Hussein in Karbala. The city also has other important sites, including the Wadi al-Salam cemetery, the Shrine of Imam al-Hadi and the Shrine of Imam al-Kadhim.

The city is also known for its traditional markets, which offer an array of goods from handicrafts to spices. The most famous market is the Grand Bazaar, which dates back to the 9th century. The market is a great place to find souvenirs and unique items.


Things to Do in Najaf

There are plenty of things to do in Najaf, from visiting religious sites to exploring markets. Here are some of the top activities for travelers to the city:

  • Visit Imam Ali’s Shrine: The Shrine of Imam Ali is the most important religious site in Najaf. It is a must-see for any visitor to the city.
  • Explore the Grand Bazaar: The Grand Bazaar is a great place to find souvenirs and unique items. It is also a great place to experience the city’s traditional culture.
  • Visit the Wadi al-Salam Cemetery: The cemetery is the largest in the world and is an important site for Shia Muslims. It is a great place to learn about the city’s religious history.
  • Explore Religious Sites: Najaf is home to many other religious sites and shrines, including the Shrine of Imam al-Hadi and the Shrine of Imam al-Kadhim.
  • Visit Local Markets: The city is known for its traditional markets, which offer an array of goods. Visiting these markets is a great way to experience the city’s culture.


Getting to Najaf

Najaf is easily accessible by air and land. The city is served by the Najaf International Airport, which has flights to major cities in the Middle East and Europe. The airport is also connected to Baghdad via the Najaf Expressway.

By land, Najaf is connected to Baghdad via the Najaf Expressway, which is an important route for travelers. The city is also connected to other major cities in Iraq, such as Karbala and Samarra.


Accommodation in Najaf

Najaf has a range of accommodation options, from luxurious hotels to budget-friendly guesthouses. Many of the hotels in the city offer a range of amenities, including swimming pools, restaurants, and spas. For those wanting a more traditional experience, there are a number of guesthouses and hostels available, offering comfortable and affordable lodging options.



Najaf is a city of immense religious and cultural significance, drawing pilgrims and travelers from around the world. With its historical sites, religious shrines, vibrant markets, and welcoming atmosphere, Najaf offers a truly unique experience for visitors. Whether you’re exploring the revered Shrine of Imam Ali, wandering through the bustling Grand Bazaar, or paying your respects at the Wadi al-Salam Cemetery, Najaf is sure to leave a lasting impression. Plan your visit to this captivating city and immerse yourself in the rich heritage and spirituality of Iraq’s City of Saints.

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