No, as of right now there are no direct flights to Najaf from any airport in the United Kingdom. However, there is a preferred route that most passengers choose to take to this city in Iraq. Even though there are many Middle Eastern airlines landing their planes on Al Najaf International Airport, Turkish Airlines provides more options for the traveller going to Najaf from the UK. Having a stopover in Istanbul, the Turkish Airlines flight to Najaf lasts only for nine hours and thirty minutes.
Turkish Airlines are among the most affordable airlines that have scheduled flights to Najaf. Apart from the tourists and travellers who visit Najaf, many Shia pilgrims fly to the city for spiritual relief. Turkish Airlines tickets to Najaf do not float for long in the market and are often purchased quickly, especially around Muharram time (a month in the Islamic lunar calendar).
Around ten flights are leaving to Istanbul every day from just London Heathrow alone. From Manchester, there are three trips to the New Istanbul Airport, and Turkish Airlines operates nine flights from Birmingham every week. The next leg of the journey is from Istanbul to Najaf, and Turkish Airlines offers a trip to the holy city every day at 3:10 AM. The passengers arrive at Najaf at seven in the morning, taking a great sleep through the night. Prefer booking the flight (TK 1972) in the evening, at six, out London Heathrow for the shortest stopover.
The best time to visit Najaf is from October to April, in the cooler winter season. Najaf has a desert climate, and in the summers it can get very warm, so it is ideal to come to Najaf during the time mentioned above. In the months between Octobers to April, the temperature does not diverge from the 13°C to 25°C range. The brief rains in Najaf cool the weather further and motivate the tourist to go out and explore the history and spirituality of Najaf.
The cheapest time to visit Najaf is also the best time to visit the city, weather-wise. The summer might be too intense for the European traveller to enjoy a stay in Najaf; however, many Iraqi expats return to the town during the summer time. Avoid going to Najaf in summer to get a pleasant, less crowded and cheap trip. The cheapest month of the year is November to visit Najaf with low-cost tickets and reduced hotel room costs, so plan your trip accordingly.
Recently built, the Al Najaf International Airport (NJF) is the primary international airport serving Najaf city. Al Najaf International is only 13 kilometres from the city centre, which is a journey not lasting more than 20 minutes by car. In 2018, the airport handled around 50,000 passengers, mostly pilgrims to the third holiest mosque for Shia Muslims after Medina and Mecca.
Najaf is very close to the ancient city of Babylon. There is evidence that there was once an old Christian dwelling in the area before Islam became the primary religion of the region. Najaf has a long history as a hub of spirituality and Islamic art, and the landmarks of the city depict precisely that.
Taxis are everywhere in Najaf. As the price of petrol is low in Iraq, you can go almost anywhere within four to ten pounds. The security situation is fluctuating in the country, so do consult the British Government’s advisories when travelling to the city. Najaf does not have any scheduled bus network or a rapid transit service as yet.
There are few five-star hotels in Najaf. However, there are plenty of economical hotels and inns that house the pilgrims during their stay. Whichever suits your needs; choose from the list of hotels provided below.