Top Things to See & Do in Marrakech

Top Things to See & Do in Marrakech

Top Things to See & Do in Marrakech, Morocco

[at_icon icon=”td-marker-location-2″] Marrakech, Morocco, North Africa

 

Marrakech is a former imperial city and one of the most popular cities for tourists in the Maghreb. It is home to beautiful mosques, palaces and gardens, as well as the famous Jemaa el-Fnaa square and souk market. With plenty of things to do and see in both the medieval and modern parts of town, Marrakech is a captivating city. Here is our list explores the Must-See Attractions every traveler needs to do in Marrakech.

 

Jemaa el-Fnaa Market

Jemaa el-Fnaa is the main pulse of Marrakech. By day, the square buzzes with snake charmers, henna tattoo artists and various other entertainers, while at night there are countless stalls boasting traditional lamb dishes and fresh orange juice, among other culinary delights. Tourists flock here all year round to experience the true heart of the city and to discover the intriguing things the locals have to offer in this magical Moroccan square.

 

 

Jardin Majorelle Park

Jardin Majorelle

Jardin Majorelle | © Adam Jones/Flickr

One of the most popular locations in Morocco, the Jardin Majorelle is the creation of French painter Jacques Majorelle, who spent 40 years injecting his passion and creativity into this magical garden. Complete with enchanting little lanes, tranquil streams and over 300 species of stunning plants, Jardin Majorelle is perfect for those who need a break from the busy city.

 

Visit a hammam

Hammam-e Sultan Mir Ahmad
Hammam-e Sultan Mir Ahmad © Philip Block/Flickr

A visit to a hammam (local bathhouse) will usually involve stripping down and immersing yourself in experiences such as a visit to the sauna, an exfoliating massage and a dip in an ice-cold pool. There are a number of bathhouses throughout Marrakech, and a typical price for tourists is between 50 and 100 dirhams. Don’t forget to bring your own towel just in case!

 

 

Koutoubia Mosque

Koutoubia Mosque

Koutoubia Mosque | © Singa Hitam/Flickr

Given the importance of mosques in Moroccan culture, the Koutoubia Mosque is a must-see for those in the area. The largest mosque in Marrakech, the Koutoubia is not only a spiritual center but a point of reference for international architecture. Setting the trend for buildings in Spain and Rabat, the beautiful 12th-century minaret is an example of ornamental expertise, with characterful arches and rigid proportions, it’s an admirable piece of architecture. Enjoy the call to prayer coming from the top of the minaret five times a day and appreciate the architecture of this important building.

 

Stay in a traditional riad

Riad
Riad © Barbaragin/Flickr

Riads are hidden treasures often tucked away in the narrow streets of the old part of town. Those staying in Marrakech should ensure they spend at least one night in the heart of the old town in a spectacular riad. Take Dar Hanane, for example, where guests are transported from the bustling medina streets into a house of relaxation and tranquillity. With en-suite bedrooms and a roof terrace offering panoramic views of Marrakech, this is just one example of the incredible riads in the imperial city.

 

 

Saadian Tombs Archaeological site

Saadian Tombs

Saadian Tombs | © Tracy Hunter/Flickr

These tombs were created to stand as the final resting place for the many rulers and members of the Saadi dynasty. Rich in history, the Saadian tombs were rediscovered in 1917 after being sealed for centuries. Magnificently decorated with bright tiles, Arabic calligraphy, and intricate carvings, Saadian Sultan Ahmed al-Mansour Eddahbi certainly spared no expense on his tomb, making for a beautiful site for tourists. Located just outside of Marrakech, the tombs are easy to reach, and a fantastic alternative to the bustling city. Carefully restored and well preserved, they now stand as one of the most popular things to see in Morocco.

 

 

Tanneries

Tanneries
Tanneries © Gary Vogel/Flickr

Situated in the northeast of the medina, the tanneries cannot be missed. With an overwhelming smell and many invitations from people in the streets, you’ll easily find your way there. Everything from bags to dresses is found here, and it’s wonderful to watch just how all the treasures are made. Visitors can watch workers as they hand dye material in preparation for trade in the city. Offering up an alternative to modern factories, the tanneries are an intriguing feast for all the senses.

 

 

Museum of Marrakech

Musée de Marrakech

Musée de Marrakech © Matthew Robey/Flickr

Marrakech is full of delightful museums, including the Dar si Said, which displays fantastic Moroccan architecture and objects. The Musée de Marrakech, house in the Dar Menebhi Palace, boasts embroidery, weapons and contemporary art. For historical imagery of the city, visit the Maison de la Photgraphie. In the new part of town, visitors can find many contemporary art galleries displaying work from local talent.

 

 

Old Town Souk in Medina

Old Town Souk in Medina, Morrocoo

Old Town Souk in Medina, Morrocoo © Rafal Cichawa / Shutterstock

On a trip to any Moroccan city, the enchanting souks are a must on the agenda. Marrakech is no exception. Labeled one of the most magical cities in the country, Marrakech boasts a full medina with traditional winding souks and countless treasures. Whether you’re looking for literature, handicrafts, or food, there’s a street and an alleyway for everything. Visitors can get lost for hours in the labyrinth of enticing streets. So relax, explore, and discover some locally made treasures.

 

Ben Youssef Madrasa

 

Ali Ben Youssef Medersa Islamic school, Marrakesh, Morrocco | © Nicram Sabod/Shutterstock

Madrasas, translating to ‘schools’, now stand all around Morocco as historical representations of the education of the past. This particular Quranic school, once the largest in North Africa, was dedicated to the teaching of Islamic law and has stood since the 14th century. Guests can explore more than 100 tiny, windowless student chambers and admire the stunning architecture, from the great courtyard to the richly decorated prayer halls. After almost six centuries, this medieval madrasa stands as one of the key tourist attractions of the city.

Original post was written by Rebecca Wilkinson for Culturetrip

 

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The archaeological site of the old Caliphal city of Madinat al-Zahra

The archaeological site of the old Caliphal city of Madinat al-Zahra

Madinat al-Zahra

The archaeological site of the Ummayad Caliphate in Cordoba

 

The archaeological site of the old Caliphal city of Madinat al-Zahra is located approximately 5.5 km west of Córdoba, Andalusia, Spain

 

The city was founded in 940 or 941, by the Caliph Abd al-Rahman III as the seat of the newly created Caliphate of Córdoba. However, it was short-lived being destroyed in 1010 during the riots which brought about the end of this Caliphate. After slowly being abandoned and after the Christian occupation, the city fell into oblivion, so much so, that even its very existence was forgotten, thus converting it into an intangible mythical reference to the Golden Age in a faraway western point of Islam.

Madinat al-Zahra is currently part of the Tentative List in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.

Medina Al Zahra archeological site Cordoba Islamic Heritage

The significance of the archaeological site of Madinat al-Zahra:

The remains of a 10th-century city were hidden and their integrity has been unaltered. The Caliphs, Abd al-Rahman III and al-Hakam II were actually building the most monumental part of the Mosque in Córdoba (declared World Heritage in 1984) at the same time. In fact, the first excavations that took place were started by the architect who was actually restoring the Mosque in Córdoba, Velázquez Bosco. He began this work in order to have more insight into Andalusian Caliphal architecture to be able to better restore the Mosque.

 

Its unique values in the field of art, architecture, town planning and territorial layout. It includes some of the first and most important Islamic gardens ever known, as well as the fact that it represents a testimony, without comparison, of the culture and urban life at a time when al- Andalus was the most important cultural focal point in Western Europe and the Maghreb.

It is a good example of the perfect combination of urban planning with the environment. It is a city with buildings and structured gardens for the population to be able to enjoy the natural characteristics of the surrounding area. This unison with the landscape is shown in the modeling of the territory as well as in the way the local stone, water supply and plants were taken advantage of. The fact that the place has stayed just as it was, affected only by its natural deterioration, without any new con­structions being built, has meant that its value concern­ing its environment, has been conserved.

Its sudden disappearance turned Madinat al-Zahra into a myth. This myth fed rich literature, in which the fortune of a lost paradise was evoked throughout the Arab speaking world.

 

MADINAT AL-ZAHRA MUSEUM

The Madinat al-Zahra Museum has been open since 2009. It is located 1.5 km. away from the archaeologi­cal site and is not visible from the site, thus avoiding any impact on the landscape. Due to the quality of its architecture, the building has in fact been awarded some international prizes. The Museum comprises of reception areas and spaces to explain about the city to the visi­tors: a presentation room, an auditorium, an informa­tion center, etc. There are also areas devoted to the con­tinual conservation and research work carried out by the managing body of the site: restoration workshops, store­houses for goods, a library, research rooms, offices, etc.

 

ORGANIZE YOUR VISIT

Contact
Carretera de Palma del Río, Km. 8 – 14029 Córdoba
General Information: 957 10 49 33
Booking for Visits: 957 10 36 28 / 957 10 36 37
Email: [email protected]

Opening times

16 September-31 March:
Tuesday to Saturday: 09.00-17.30
Sunday and public holidays: 09.00-15.30

1 April-15 June:
Tuesday to Saturday: 09.00-19.30
Sunday and public holidays: 10.00-15.30

16 June-15 September:
Tuesday to Sunday and public holidays: 09.00-15.30

The monument is closed on Mondays, 1 and 6 january, 1 may, 24, 25 and 31 december.
Local holidays (opening times 09:00-15:30): 8 September, 24 october.

Casa Mila “La Pedrera” Anthoni Gaudi’s House

Casa Mila “La Pedrera” Anthoni Gaudi’s House

Casa Mila “La Pedrera

A masterpiece by architecture Gaudí

Barcelona, Spain

Everything in this building is curved and undulating. Its originality and the techniques used in its construction are surprising throughout.

This is one of the best-known works of the architect Gaudí, and is one of the symbols of Barcelona. It was built between 1906 and 1912, and consists of a succession of stone walls on the outside, while the interior has two painted courtyards, columns and a range of rooms. There are large windows and iron balconies set into the undulating façade.

Casa Mila La Pedrera Barcelona Muslim Tour

 

On the roof, meanwhile, there are chimneys and sculptures which are works of art in themselves, as well as a splendid view of the Paseo de Gràcia avenue. The building has been declared a World Heritage and is the pinnacle of Modernist techniques and tendencies.

 

History

In the year 1900, Passeig de Gràcia was the most important avenue in Barcelona. It was here that iconic buildings began to spring up, and the finest theatres and cinemas, and the most exclusive shops, restaurants and cafés opened.

It was also the boulevard on which the wealthiest and most ambitious members of the bourgeoisie decided to build their homes, vying with each other in a bold and exhibitionist manner by commissioning the most eminent architects of the day to undertake their projects.

 

Casa Mila La Pedrera Barcelona Muslim Friendly travel

 

In 1905, Pere Milà and Roser Segimon married. Attracted by the fame of Passeig de Gràcia, they purchased a detached house with garden situated on a plot measuring 1,835 square metres and they commissioned the architect Antoni Gaudi to build their new property.

The main floor of this new building, Casa Mila, was to be their home and they would rent out the other apartments.

 

Casa Mila La Pedrera Barcelona Muslim Friendly travels

 

There was considerable interest in the construction of Casa Mila and various reports about it were published, such as the piece in L’Edificació Moderna, magazine, the publication of the construction employers’ association.

The article stated that Gaudi was determined to meet the needs of modern life “without the nature of the materials or their resistance being an obstacle that limits his freedom of action”, and it described the structure of columns as an innovation that would result in large and well-lit spaces.

The construction of the building was complex and was fraught with financial and legal problems. Nor was it free from controversy. Gaudi kept changing his projects to shape the appearance of the structures of the building as the work advanced. He went well over the expected budget and did not abide by the City Council’s building codes: the built volume was illegal; the attic and the rooftop exceeded the permitted maximums; and one of the pillars of the façade occupied part of the pavement on Passeig de Gràcia.

When Gaudi discovered that an inspector had been by to alert the builder, Mr. Bayó, to these illegalities, he left very precise instructions. If the inspector came back and the column had to be cut, Gaudi would have a plaque put up, stating “the section of column that is missing was cut at the order of the City Council”.

After many years of neglect, Casa Mila, popularly known as La Pedrera and declared a World Heritage Site in 1984 by UNESCO, was restored and opened to the public in 1996.


Plan your visit

From Mar 01 to Nov 04

Monday to Sunday
9:00 AM to 8:30 PM
9:00 PM to 11:00 PM

From Nov 05 to Feb 28

Monday to Sunday
9:00 AM to 6:30 PM
7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
From Dec 26 to Jan 03

Monday to Sunday
9:00 AM to 8:30 PM
9:00 PM to 11:00 PM<

Prices

  • General:€22
  • Reduced:€16,50
  • Children:€11
  • Free entrance: children aged 0 to 6.

Services

Audio guide, Cafe, Guided tours

Contact details

Provença, 261 – 265
08008  Barcelona  (Catalonia)
[email protected]
www.lapedrera.com/es/home
Tel.:+ 34 932142576

European Cities where to spend fantastic Muslim-friendly Holidays

European Cities where to spend fantastic Muslim-friendly Holidays

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

Malta Muslim Friendly Travel Europe

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 1020Sliema , 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.

Accommodation 

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

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.

  • Restaurant Demi Tass (Prinz-Eugen-Straße 28, Vienna, Austria 1040)
  • Kent Restaurant (Brunnengasse 67, Vienna, Austria 1160)
  • Türkis City (4 Goldschmiedgasse, Vienna, Austria 1010)
  • Quicky’s Burgers & More (25 Spitalgasse, Wien, Austria 1090)

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).

Accommodation

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

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.

Halal food in Budapest

Budapest also has several halal restaurants available for Muslim travelers to enjoy.

  • Szeraj ( 13 Szent István körút, Budapest, Hungary 1055)
  • Mughal Shahi (Városmajor utca 57, Budapest, Hungary 1122)
  • Baalbek ( 34 Váci utca, Budapest, Hungary 1052)
  • Antalya Kebab ( Szent István körút 22, Budapest, Hungary 1137)

There a total of 9 mosques and one of them in the Hungarian Islamic Community ( Városmajor utca 57, Budapest, Hungary 1122).

Accommodation 

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.

Rome

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 to “make a wish” ( just dua it! ).

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.

Halal food in Rome
  • 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.

Accommodation 

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.

 Paris

 

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.

Halal food in Paris

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 in Paris:

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

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.

Tip: Pickpocketing in Paris is known to happen so keep your valuables close to you or in your hotel.

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.

Amsterdam

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.

Halal food in Amsterdam

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)

Mosques in Amsterdam

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)
Accommodation 
Check this post out:   How to Find Cheap Hotels – Two Hotel Sites I Consistently Find Cheap Deals

 Berlin

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.

Halal food 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)
Mosques in Berlin
  • 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)
Accommodation

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.

Zurich

Halal food in Zurich

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
Mosque:
  • Zurich Islamic Center – (Müllackerstrasse 36, 8152 Glattbrugg, Switzerland)
  • Madni Masjid -Swiss Masjid Zurich (147 Weinbergstrasse, Zurich, Canton of Zurich 8006)
Accommodation 

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.

BarcelonaHalal food in Barcelona with mosques

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.

Halal food in Barcelona

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)
Mosques in Barcelona:
  • 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)
Accommodation 

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.

Oslo

 

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.

Halal Food in Oslo

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)
Mosques in Oslo
  • 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)
Accommodation

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

Top Five Islamic Heritage Site in Seville, Andalusia

Top Five Islamic Heritage Site in Seville, Andalusia

The travel giant Lonely Planet announced in 2018 the quintessentially Andalusian city of Seville as its top travel city. Home of the flamenco, bullfighting, tapas, and over 500 hundred years of Muslim history. So here are our top five Muslim heritage sites you simply have to visit in the stunning Spanish city once known as “Ishbiliya”.

 

1. THE GIRALDA

Giralda Tower Seville Muslim Tour Ilimtour Spain Muslim Tours

This 90-meter-high decorated bell tower was once the minaret of the city’s mosque. It was constructed between 1184 and 1198, at the height of Almohad rule. The delicate geometric patterns, now common throughout the Muslim world, sit on brickwork that changes color with the light. Said to be Spain’s most perfect Islamic building, the Giralda is the official symbol of the city of Seville. A climb to the top takes you into the 16th-century Christian additions, made after the minaret was converted into a bell tower and the mosque into a cathedral. This is also the best place in town for spectacular views across Seville.

 

2. THE ROYAL ALCAZAR

Alcazar Seville Andalusia Islamic Heritage Tour

This is Seville’s Alhambra. Smaller but equally beautiful, the Alcazar is often overlooked by seekers of Andalusian Muslim heritage. This is because what you see today has been mainly built by Christian kings on the site of the original 10th-century Muslim fort. However, their architects were Muslims, and nowhere is this more apparent than the “jewel” in The Alcazar’s crown, the Mudejar Palacio de Don Pedro. This sumptuous courtyard built by King Pedro I is a direct replica of the one in Granada’s Alhambra, complete with water feature and arabesque arches. Even inside the Alcazar, Christian kings praised their Lord in the then-fashionable Arabic language, using inscriptions such as “Wa la ghalib ill Allah”: “There is no victor but God.”

3. TORRE DEL ORO

The Golden Tower of Seville - Andalusia Travel

This 13th-century “Tower of Gold” is also an Almohad construction. It sits overlooking the River Guadalquivir (from the Arabic “Wadi al Kabir”, or “the Great River”) at what was once a corner of the ancient city. The tower gets its name from the belief that its dome used to be covered in golden tiles. Today, it is home to a maritime museum.

 

4. PATIO DE LOS NARANJOS

Spain Seville_Patio de los NaranjosPhoto: SEVILLA, SPAIN – JANUARY 7, 2016: People strolling through Patio de los Naranjos (Courtyard of Oranges) inside the cathedral in the Spanish city of Sevilla / trabantos / shutterstock.com

Once part of the Great Mosque of Ishbiliya, this courtyard and the Giralda are all that remain of the old Islamic building. It contains 66 Naranjos (orange trees, which are said to have been introduced to Andalusia by the Muslims) and has many of the arabesque arches along the original garden walls that flank the Puerta del Perdon, the stunning Muslim-era gate. With a trickling fountain in the middle, the Patio de Los Naranjos is the perfect oasis to sit and contemplate Seville’s five centuries of Muslim civilization.

 

5. BANOS ARABES

Spain Seville_Banos Arabes_Arabic bath house Aire de SevillePhoto: Aire de Sevilla / Source: Aire Ancient Baths Facebook page

A modern homage to the ancient culture of Ishbiliya, the Aire de Sevilla offers a classical Moorish hammam experience in a setting that evokes Muslim Iberia. The baths are housed in a Riyadh-like set of rooms overlooking an open courtyard, where visitors are whisked back to the age of the Morisco (Muslim Spaniard). The central water fountain is surrounded by eastern lanterns, Moorish tiles and furniture where customers sit sipping warm mint tea. The Aire de Sevilla offers a host of treatments inside rooms lit by soft candlelight, including a cold pool, two warm ones, and a steam room.

This article is written by Tharik Hussain for MySalaam.com

Al Andalus Live Museum at Calahorra Tower

Al Andalus Live Museum at Calahorra Tower

Located inside the Calahorra Tower, opposite the Great Mosque, at the end of the Roman Bridge. Its aim is to provide a recreation of the Cordoba of the period between the 9th-13th centuries, at a time of brilliant cultural, artistic and scientific achievement. Its modern facilities include a system of headphones and infrared data transfer that guide you through the eight themed rooms with dioramas.

History

The building rises up at the south of the Roman bridge, the far end from the city center. It is a fortified gate originally built by the Moors (Almohads) and extensively restored by King Enrique II of Castile in 1369 to defend the city from attack by his brother Pedro I the Cruel from the South. It was originally an arched gate between two towers. Enrique II added a third cylindrical shaped tower connecting the outer two.

In the 18th century, it was used as a prison and in the 19th century, it was a girls school. The tower was declared a national monument in 1931. the restoration of the tower and the Romain bridge and the surrounding area in 2007 was awarded the EU prize for cultural heritage “Europa Nostra” in 2014.

It currently houses the Museo Vivo de Al-Andalus. This fascinating museum is particularly educational with audiovisual presentations which vividly depict how life was in Cordoba around the 10th Century AD when three cultures lived side by side Christianity, Muslim and Judaism. There is a scale model of the Mosque as it was in Moors times before the cathedral was constructed.

Visitors are also able to go on the roof for a spectacular view of the mosque and the city.

 

Location

Puente Romano s/n
14009 Córdoba, Cordoba (Andalusia)

 

 

Opening Hours

 

1st October to 30th April

10 am. to 6 pm.

 

1st May to 30th September

10 am. to 2 pm. / 4:30 pm. to 8:30 pm.

 

Prices

Tickets: 4,50 €

Students and retired people: 3 €

 

Contact

+34 95 729 39 29

www.torrecalahorra.com