European Cities where to spend fantastic Muslim-friendly Holidays
Europe is such an awesome place to be living. So much diversity, beauty, and hospitality everywhere.
After completing a 3-week tour of Europe I thought I will put together a guide of my favorite European cities and the halal places you can eat, mosques to pray and hotels to stay as a Muslim traveler.
Surprisingly there are so many places and there are so many diverse communities in Europe that there is no reason why you shouldn’t visit these cities.
The majority of Europe is Muslim friendly and incidents of racism are very rare. I also aspire to the fact that if we don’t travel we will not be able to break those stereotypes and enjoy bonding with others.
Europe is one of the best places to explore with so many low-cost airlines and only within a couple of hours you can be in a totally different place.
Now, personally, I find that Europe is very Muslim friendly destination because there are millions of Muslims living everywhere, however it is not a Halal destination. If you want to read more about the difference and how I view them you can do so here.
Malta must be one of my favorite Muslim friendly destinations in Europe. Malta is a small island country, located in the Mediterranean sea and this makes it the perfect getaway for a summer vacation. Not expected by many but I find it super beautiful and Muslim-friendly. It has so much history, beautiful beaches, family-friendly activities and they also drive on the same side as the UK. Plus the weather is great all year around. Flights from the UK start from as little as £40 return.
Tip: I would recommend that you rent a car to explore the country especially if you are going during the off-peak season. Car hire is cheap and it provides you with the flexibility to explore on your own. Just make sure you get excess insurance.
Halal Food in Malta
There are several halal food restaurants and we had no issue enjoying some meals. I would also recommend trying the local fish options as there are delicious and always halal too.
- Oz Sofra Kebab (Triq il- Korp tal- Pijunieri, Bugibba SPB 2809, Malta)
- Millenium Kebab (110 Triq Ix – Xatt | Sliema SLM 1020, Sliema , Malta)
- Falafel Street Express ( 2 Triq Bisazza, Tas-Sliema, Central Region 1641, Malta)
- Ali Baba (9 Ponsomby Street, Gzira, Malta)
- Golden Tulip Vivaldi -only lamb is halal (Dragonara Road, Saint Julians, Central Region STJ 3141, Malta)
Also in Malta, you can find one mosque Islamic Centre of Paola at Triq Kordin, Paola, Malta.
Malta’s architectural design is great for Hijab free holidays in private villas, due to seclusion and high walls making it easy for families to enjoy some fun in the sun. Check out my tips for finding Airbnb villas
Vienna is the capital and the largest city of Austria, a beautiful architectural gem with well-known residents such as Mozart, Beethoven and Sigmund Freud. Exploring Vienna as a Muslim traveler is easy and you won’t face any prejudice. We enjoyed our time in the city and even took a free walking tour to find more about the local life and history. The great thing about Austria is that all tours must be done by qualified tour guides so you do get a great free (with optional tip) experience.
While you’re there you shouldn’t miss the Historic Center of Vienna, the Opera House, Schoenbrunn Palace and Kunsthistorisches Museum.
Halal Food in Vienna
There are many halal food restaurants in Vienna so going hungry will not be a choice! Here are some of the many choices you have.
In Vienna there are totally 8 mosques, the Islamic Centre of Vienna is the largest and main mosque – Islamisches Zentrum Wien (Am Bruckhaufen 3, Vienna, Austria 1210).
There are no halal hotels from what I can find in Vienna, we stayed in the Hilton Vienna Plaza and it was great and central.
Read my review of the Hilton Vienna Plaza here
Tip: While in Vienna and if staying central you can walk in many places without an issue. Also, public transport is great and cheap if you want to get to Schoenbrunn Palace. We also used Uber on a few occasions without a problem.
Flights for Vienna start from £60 return from the UK via Skyscanner. Make sure you look for the month flexible option for the best prices.
Budapest the capital of Hungary is a very popular Muslim-friendly destination in Europe, plus also a very cheap one too. Flights for the country from the UK start from as little as £20 return. With great architecture, history and beautiful buildings along the Danube river, there are many reasons why you should be visiting Budapest. Don’t miss out on visiting the Chain Bridge, the Buda Castle, the Hungarian State Opera House and also taking a free walking tour as well. I love enjoying walking tours in the city.
Budapest also has several halal restaurants available for Muslim travelers to enjoy.
There a total of 9 mosques and one of them in the Hungarian Islamic Community ( Városmajor utca 57, Budapest, Hungary 1122).
Tip: While in Budapest we stayed in the Intercontinental hotel which is very central, so we walked to the majority of places. When we went for dinner we used Uber which was a very economical way of transport.
Also, you can use the public metro as it is very good and cheap as well.
If you want something fancy to do on your holiday but yet not break the bank, we enjoyed a Four Seasons Afternoon tea. The tea was not halal (we chose the vegetarian option) but it was cheaper than in the UK and it was a nice way to spend an afternoon in the city.
I don’t think Rome needs an introduction. Italy’s capital and one of the most well-known cities in the world, offering Muslim travelers everything they need from a holiday. Great history lessons with amazing monuments, halal food, walks through parks and squares surrounded by history and fountains.
We never experienced any problems in Rome as Muslim travelers and enjoyed every minute of it. There are many Muslims living in the city so finding halal food and also mosques to pray if you want is not an issue. While in Rome, of course, don’t miss the Colosseum, the Vatican city, Spanish Steps and Fontana di Trevi plus so many more.
Tip: Visiting the Vatican I can say your best option is to go 30min before they open the doors, this for us was a lifesaver as there was no queue.
When it comes to halal food there is also plenty of choices in Roma.
- Himalaya’s Kashmir where Indian and Pakistani food is served (325 Via Principe Amedeo, Roma, Lazio 00185)
- Chicken Hut ( 465 Via Tuscolana, Roma, Lazio 00181)
Falafel King ( 59-61 Via del Mascherino, Roma, Lazio 00193) – close to the Vatican
Termini Halaal Food ( 45-46-47 Piazza dei Cinquecento, Rome, Lazio 00185) close to the train station
With 30 mosques around the city, there is plenty of places where you can pray and meet locals.
Check out the Islamic Faith Center (via di San Vito, 12A, Rome, Lazio 00185) which is the most central option.
Transport in Rome with their metro is cheap and easy to use. You can also book walking tours if you want or even the tour bus. We arrived in Fiumicino so the best way to get into the city was with the train to Termini.
France has a reputation for not being very Muslim-friendly especially with their burkini bans and other controversies. But at the end of the day, the French are known to be on the discriminatory side of everything that is NOT French. Personally, I don’t take offense and I have had great time road-tripping through the country with no problem. After all, according to statistics, Paris has 1,7million Muslims living in the city, the largest population of any other European country. Paris is a very cosmopolitan city, with a great mix of people, cultures, history and architecture.
Paris has over 100 halal restaurants. Here are some of them:
- Le Taj Mahal ( 78 Avenue Du 8 Mai 1945, Le Blanc Mesnil, Île-de-France 93150)
- Sahil (104-106, rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, Paris, Île-de-France 75010)
Le Snack Time ( 96 Boulevard Rochechouart, Paris, Île-de-France 75018)
Topoly ( 25 Rue Saint-André des Arts, Paris, Île-de-France 75006)
l’Arganier ( 19, rue Sainte Croix de la Bretonnerie, Paris, Île-de-France 75004)
Mosques to visit
While in Paris don’t miss to visit the Grand Mosque of Paris ( 2bis Place du Puits de l’Ermite, 75005 Paris, France) , which plays an important role in promoting Islam in the city and bringing cultures together.
Another important mosque in the North of Paris is the Association Cultuelle Islamique Mosquée Adda’wa, which can accommodate up to 1000 people during prayer times. Address: 39 Rue de Tanger, 75019 Paris, France
Great Mosque of Argenteuil check their Facebook page. (2 Boulevard de la Résistance, Argenteuil, Ile-de-France 95100).
Accommodation in Paris is not a problem and you will find a lot of hotels close to halal food options. The main thing to look for is pricing and budget. below are some central suggestions.
The best transport option for Paris is with its metro system and also the cheapest. If you are visiting many attractions look for some that open at night such as the Louvre when there are not many crowds.
The Netherlands is another very popular Muslim-friendly country in Europe with a large Muslim population. As a Multicultural city, Amsterdam is a very popular tourist destination and you won’t have a problem finding places to enjoy, halal food or mosques to pray. Amsterdam is a city full of life, color, bicycles, canals, bridges, museums and quite a picturesque place. With flights from the UK for as little as £20 return and less than 1,5hr, it makes a perfect weekend escape in the summer.
Tip: We never experienced racism or had issues in the country, I would recommend renting a car and visiting during the Tulip season in mid-April. There are also several other beautiful cities such as The Hague, Laden and Rotterdam and even the north of the country where you can swim in the North Sea.
The Netherlands has a large Muslim community so prayer facilities and halal restaurants are never a problem. In Amsterdam only there are over 100 restaurants serving halal food.
- Bazar Amsterdam ( 182 Albert Cuypstraat, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland 1073)
- Meram ( 219 Linnaeusstraat, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland 1093 EP)
Eethuis Albela ( 94 Dapperstraat, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland 1093 BZ)
Zina ( 70 Bosboom Toussaintstraat, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland 1054 AV)
There are several mosques in Amsterdam so there won’t be an issue with you finding a place to pray:
- Westermoskee Aya Sofya -Grand Mosque (Piri Reïsplein 101, 1057 KH Amsterdam, Netherlands)
- Islamic Faith Foundation ( Rozengracht 150, 1016 NJ Amsterdam, Netherlands )
- Djame Masdjied Taibah ( 125 Kraaiennest, Amsterdam-Zuidoost, North Holland 1104 CE)
Check this post out: How to Find Cheap Hotels – Two Hotel Sites I Consistently Find Cheap Deals
Writing about Muslim-friendly cities in Europe we cannot exclude Berlin, one of the largest cities in Germany and home to millions of Muslims. The country in recent years added even more to its Muslim population by accepting several thousand refugees. The city offers a great mixture of young hippy life and also part of history. There are many eclectic cafes and modern areas all in close proximity to history and museums. When in Berlin make sure you visit the Brandenburg Gate as it is a status symbol of the city, Reichstag Building which was constructed to house the Imperial Diet of the German Empire, the Berlin Wall memorial and the Charlottenburg Palace is the largest palace in Berlin.
With such a large Muslim population in Berlin and so many Muslim visitors per year, there are many halal food restaurants in the city. Being one of the largest cities in Europe, it would be illogical not to have a lot of halal places. Considering that the Muslim population in Berlin is numerous there is no shortage of halal with over 300 halal restaurants and 46 mosques.
- Restaurant Hafis (47-49 Alt-Moabit, Berlin, Germany 10555)
- Adonis Imbiss (132 Torstraße, Berlin, Germany 10119)
- Lasan ( 96 Adalbertstraße, Kreuzberg, Berlin 10999)
- Zam Zam (6 Huttenstraße, Berlin, Germany 10553) -alcohol-free
- Boğaziçi Grill (47A Turmstraße, Berlin, Germany 10551) – alcohol-free
- Vapiano ( 9-12 Tauentzienstraße, Berlin, Germany 10789)
- Berlin Şehitlik Camii (Columbiadamm 128, 10965 Berlin, Germany)
- Masjid Al Falah Berlin (Perleberger Straße 61, Berlin, Germany 10559)
- Berlin Mosque (Brienner Str. 7/8, 10713 Berlin, Germany)
There are no halal hotels in Berlin, however, there are plenty of hotel options close to halal food restaurants so you wouldn’t have a problem.
Switzerland is breathtaking no matter which city you visit. For me one of my favorite European cities for exploring as a Muslim is Zurich. Yes, it is not one of the cheapest cities in Europe even though you can find flights to Zurich from the UK for as little as £40 return. I never had a problem traveling with the hijab, people are friendly and the views and architecture of the city mesmerizing. If you are in Zurich make sure you take the ferry and enjoy a few hours on Lake Zurich. Check out my guide on what to do when in Zurich. It would make the perfect destination for a weekend break!
There are almost 20 halal restaurants and a few mosques.
- Curry Queen Take Away (663 Badenerstrasse, Zürich, Canton of Zurich 8048)
- Güven Restaurant & Market (Bahnstrasse 80, Regensdorf, Canton of Zurich 8105)
- Food of Punjab (10 Friesstrasse, Zürich, Switzerland 8050) – alcohol-free
- Lebanese Take Away ( 74 Schaffhauserstrasse, Zürich, Zürich 8057) – alcohol-free
- Zurich Islamic Center – (Müllackerstrasse 36, 8152 Glattbrugg, Switzerland)
- Madni Masjid -Swiss Masjid Zurich (147 Weinbergstrasse, Zurich, Canton of Zurich 8006)
There are no Halal hotels in Zurich but of course, there are several hotels in the city you can choose from close to halal restaurants.
Barcelona, may not be the capital of Spain, but it sure is its biggest one and most multiculturally diverse cities in Spain. It is a very popular destination with tourists from the UK and many Muslim travelers visit the country every year. Thanks for the nice weather and cheap flights from the UK, Barcelona, and Spain in general offer everything you need for a nice Muslim holiday. When in Barcelona don’t forget to visit Gaudi’s extensive architecture in the city, such as Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, Casa Mila and also some of the city promenades for a walk.
There are approximately 300,000 Muslims in Spain so it should come to no surprise that the halal restaurants and mosques are more than enough, for a Muslim friendly stay there.
- Pita House (54 La Rambla, Barcelona, Catalonia 08002)
- Adil Fast Food & Kebab House ( 9 Carrer de l’Est, Barcelona, Catalonia 08001)
- Kapadokya (6 Carrer Fusteria, Barcelona, Catalonia 08002)
- Lal Qila Barcelona (49 Carrer de Roger de Llúria, Barcelona, Catalunya 08009)
- Centro Cultural Islamico Catalán / Barcelona Mosque ( Carrer de Rafael Capdevila, 1-3, 08018 Barcelona, Spain)
- Masjid Tarek Ibn Ziyad (Carrer de Sant Rafael, 10, Barcelona, Catalunya 08001)
There are many hotels in Barcelona close to halal food outlets so finding food shouldn’t be a problem.
Tip: It is known for tourists to get pickpockets in Barcelona so keep your valuables close to you and spread cash and cards around. Traveling with the metro is a cheap and easy way to explore the city. You can also rent a car if you want to explore some of the coastal cities of Spain from Barcelona.
When thinking of the next Muslim friendly destination the capital of Norway might not be the first place that comes to mind, but it is a great place for an awesome vacation, as it combines nature and landmarks in a unique way! Oslo is a great city to explore on foot and enjoy, yes, it is on the expensive side but definitely worth it. While in the city don’t forget to visit the Fram and Viking Museum which are great for exploring the Viking history of the country. Also, I would recommend checking out a Free walking tour as they offer a great first introduction to the city.
Oslo is super friendly and there are plenty of things to see and do plus there is a Muslim community as well so finding halal food, a friendly Salam and a mosque to pray is not a problem.
- Istanbul Kebab & Bakeri (8 Trondheimsveien, Oslo, Norway 0560)
- Lett & Mett ( 12 Storgata, Oslo, Norway 0155)
- Palazzo Pizzeria (19 Kristian Augusts Gate, Oslo, Norway 0164)
- Halal Tøyen Burger (82B Jens Bjelkes gate, Oslo, Norway 0652)
- Saray Restaurant (10 Trondheimsveien, Oslo, Norway 0560)
- World Islamic Mission (Åkebergveien 28, Oslo, Norway 0650)
- Islamic Cultural Centre Norway (Tøyenbekken 24, 0188 Oslo, Norway)
- Central Jamaat-e Ahl-e Sunnat ( Motzfeldts gate 10, 0187 Oslo, Norway)
Tip: Book a hotel with breakfast as food can be expensive in Norway and eating out as well. I love taking snacks with me while out and about bought from the supermarket, which saves you money if you are on a budget.
Public transport and trains in Norway are very good so there is no need for car hire. You can also take the train and explore other cities in Norway.
Original article written by the