With its shisha pipes and copper markets, Baghdad was firmly on the hippie trail back in the 1960s. In recent decades the city has been more likely to feature in news bulletins than travel features, but as stability slowly returns to the region, adventurous travellers are starting to rediscover Baghdad’s delights.
Baghdad is one of the hottest cities in the world, with an average summer temperature of up to 44C.
The world-class museum may have been looted, and the zoo – once the biggest in the Middle East – decimated, but booksellers have returned to Mutanabbi Street, revitalising this respected literary community. These days the tables of the city’s outdoor fish restaurants are packed until long past midnight, and you are as likely to be offered a cool beer as a steaming glass of tea.