European Muslim-Friendly Cities where to spend your next holidays
Most Muslims worldwide would think twice about travelling to Europe as they feel it’ll be hard to find halal food. But thanks to the presence of the Turks, the Moroccans, and the Algerians in the cities, you’ll easily be able to find halal food all around these cities! Not only that but there are also mosques in certain areas, making it convenient for every Muslim traveller venturing into the city.
From visiting the largest department store in Europe (KaDeWe) to taking a stroll in the Grunewald forest, Berlin has everything that’ll entertain your wandering heart!
This city pleases everyone from the shopping enthusiasts to the nature lovers, and whatever your personality is, you’ll find this city magnificent nonetheless? Not to mention that it’s the place where the iconic Berlin Wall is located!
Berlin is also the home of around 300,000 Muslims, which covers 10% of the whole population in the city! You’ll easily find mosques around the city, such as the Berlin Central Mosque, Omar Ibn Al-Khattab Moschee, Wilmersdorfer Moschee, İbrahim Al-Khalil Moschee and Büyük Camii?
Berlin Central Mosque
Credit: @2funyaman on Instagram
Berlin also offers more than 60 halal restaurants! If you’re on a tight budget during your trip, you can head down to Rayan Chicken for yummy Turkish food or Maroush for delicate Lebanese food?
Just like its sister city, Berlin, Hamburg also offers various tourist attractions ranging from historical places to countless museums and incredible architecture. And hey, it’s a major port city in Northern Germany, and it’s no surprise if you find some cool fish markets and water activities too?
Elbe Filarmoni Salonu, Hamburg
Turkish people are the largest migrant community in the city, and their population is around 93,000. The number of Muslims in the city takes up 200,000 people, and it’s more than 10 per cent of the city’s population. There are more than 20 mosques in the city; some of the popular ones include Islamisches Zentrum and Centrum Moschee, just to name a few!
Credit: @zicoalbaiquni on Instagram
For affordable Turkish food, enjoy Turkish barbecue at Restaurant Pamukkale Koz, taste Lebanese delicacies at Békaa Libanesisches Restaurant and Restaurant L’Orient or experience Persian cuisine at Restaurant Teheran! If Middle Eastern cuisine is not to your taste, Jawa Restaurant is also a good choice as it offers authentic Indonesian food?
Say hello to the home of museums, fine arts and breathtaking architectural buildings? Beautifully located on the River Main, this old imperial city will bring romance back and have a classic sensation when you’re in it! As its city’s skyline is highly influenced by North American culture, it also earns the nicknames Manhattan and Chicago of the Main. If you visit this city, don’t forget to enjoy the Römerberg (Frankfurt’s Old Town Center) to witness the city’s historical buildings. Goethe House and Museum is a good place for those in fine arts, while Senckenberg Natural History Museum offers a wonderful sensation for those who love museums with modern touches!
Credit: Scott Jungling on Flickr
The city comprises around 11.8% of Muslims and is one of the most Muslim-friendly cities in Germany. There are four main mosques in the city and they are: Pak Muhammadi Moschee, Bait-us-Sabuh, İslamische Gemeinde Mevlana and Islamische Gemeinde Rodgau.
Bayram Kebap Haus
Credit: @thecherrycross on Instagram
Although dominated by Turkish cuisines like Bayram Kebap Haus, Doy Doy Restaurant and Ramo’s Grill & Kebap Haus, you can also taste some Persian delicacies at Kish restaurant. You can just as well satisfy your Asian appetite by visiting Thai Fun to enjoy some of the finest Thai delicacies around 😋
Munich is a city that offers you endless tourist attractions such as the landmark Frauenkirche and historical buildings with marvellous architecture in the Altstadt old town. The Tierpark Hellabrunn is the world’s biggest zoo; you definitely don’t want to miss this when you visit this beloved city. If you’re a fan of nature, you’ll definitely be interested in visiting Englischer Garten, a gigantic natural park with iconic swimming holes!
Credit: Sven Wusch on Flickr
Have a taste of Afghan cuisines at Kababji Grill Haus! And if you’re into food fusion, El Sham Restaurant offers you a great treat as they are a combination between Arabian food and German food 😍
If you’re looking for a space to fulfil your prayers, drop by one of the most iconic mosques, Mosque Penzberg, and marvel at the traditional Islamic architecture and simple modern designs of this mosque 🤩
Credit: Islamic Art and Architecture on Facebook
P.S. Why not explore beyond these popular cities of Germany and check out Tubingen, a city that’s almost entirely vegan! Check it out here to find out more!
This city is a must-visit, and we’re pretty sure most of you would find it an experience of a lifetime. From iconic Big Ben, spectacular London Eye, majestic Buckingham Palace, Tower of London and historic Westminster Abbey, this city offers you unstoppable beauty that’s to die for!
London is also home to more than one million Muslims 😱 Some mosques you’ll have to visit are The London Central Mosque, East London Mosque, Fazal Mosque and Leyton Mosque. There are also some Islamic centres in the city, such as Deptford Islamic Centre, East London Mosque & London Muslim Centre and The Islamic Cultural Centre. As the city has more than one million Muslim residents, halal food is not an issue. Turkish food, Pakistani food, Indian food or Middle Eastern food, you name it, and London has it!
Credit: Bang-Lish on Facebook
P.S. If you need a guide for your trip to London, we’ve got you covered here!
This city is the centre of arts, media, and higher education! Castlefield, Museum of Science and İndustry, National Football Museum, Manchester Art Gallery and Manchester Town Hall all show that Manchester is a crowd-pleaser as it suits all types of travel personalities?
Credit: Stephen on Flickr
Credit: @thepastimebliss on Instagram
Manchester is one of the most Muslim-friendly cities in England! The diversity in Manchester also showcases the variety of halal food this city has to offer. Ranging from Ethiopian delicacy (Habesha), Mediterranean beauty (Petra, Beirut and Jaffa Restaurant), and takeaways (Caspers UK and Kobeda Place), to even a street filled with many other halal food options (Wilmslow Road), you won’t go hungry! Also, did you know that there are more than 5 mosques in Manchester? 😱
Vienna is Austria’s capital and the largest city, and it’s absolutely rich with beautiful sights 🥰 The attractions vary from great palaces such as Schloss Schönbrunn, the uniquely enchanting Riesenrad Ferris Wheel, and the mindblowing Hofburg İmperial Palace!
Credit: @binarymeow on Instagram
Some famous halal restaurants that you can check out are Quicky’s (halal burgers), Asala Halal (Mediterranean food), Der Wiener Deewan (Pakistani food) and Sen Grill (Turkish barbeque) 😍
Credit: @ramicup on Instagram
So, has the presence of these halal eateries enticed you to visit Vienna yet 🤤
There are two main reasons to visit Barcelona: You’re either a big fan of its famous football team or want to feel the city’s romance! Either way, you will enjoy immersing yourself in this fascinating city. Barcelona is a pedestrian-friendly city, so it’s great for you to discover the city on foot. A bonus point is that you can stay away from the bustling tourist bus?
Nou Camp Stadium
The main mosque in Barcelona is Mezquita Tariq bin Ziyad, and the two Islamic centres in the city include Centre İslàmic de Barcelona and Minhaj Islamic Center! Bismillah Raval Kebabish (Turkish food), Sabor Persa (İranian cuisine), Lal Qila (Halal Indian food) and Zeeshan Kebabish (Pakistani food) are some of the restaurants you need to check. Restaurant Malaysia offers comforting Asian staples and if you are up for a good steak, El Asador de Aranda is a must-visit.
Credit: Sabor Persa on Facebook
Well, this is one of the most romantic cities people have on their bucket lists. And news flash, it’s also Muslim friendly too. The city is packed with iconic attractions such as Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame de Paris, the Louvre and Arc the Triomphe. And if you are a fashionista, this city is a dream come true. You can visit some free attractions such as the most haunting spot in Paris, Cimitière du Père Lachaise, or the beautiful waterfront, Canal St-Martin.
Credit: @see.capture.remember on Instagram
For your hunt for halal food in Paris, you can taste some Middle Eastern and Mediterranean delicacies at Le Helem and Chez le Libanais (Lebanese), Les Quatre Frères (Arabian) or Pacha Kebab (Turkish). If you’re up for some fancy dinners, you can check out one of the best French fine dining restaurants at Alcazar 😍
P.S. Check out our 7 Must-Try Muslim-Friendly Restaurants In Paris article here!
Brussels is the capital city of Belgium and also the capital of the European Union. Most people would think about waffles when they hear about this city, and yes, they DO have some of the most delicious waffles in the world!
Credit: @travellensdiary on Instagram
The city is home to beautiful attractions like Grand Place (Grote Markt), Belgian Comic Strip Center, Place Royale (Koningsplein), Belgian Royal Museum of Fine Arts and Atomium. Known for its beautiful historical buildings, this city will give you unending pleasures, and you would wish that you would be here again soon☺️
Halal food and mosques are things you should not worry about while travelling in Brussels! The city is packed with so many cultures, and you can easily find Arabian halal food (Bab El Hara) and Moroccan delicacy (Le Livre Jaune) and even Ethiopian halal cuisine (Kokob) in the city!
With so many tourist attractions and most of them within walking distance of each other, Copenhagen is a place where you can enjoy the beauty of all sorts of sights! Nyhavn is a must-visit place where you can feel the city’s romance, and marvel at beautiful buildings such as the Christiansborg Palace, Kronborg Castle and Amalienborg Palace!
Once you’re done with that, get ready to bargain at Strøget, as it’s Copenhagen’s largest shopping area 🤩
Credit: Lucky Girl Kris on Flickr
Don’t go hungry on your trip! Halal food can also be found at Al-Diwan, Kebabistan (Turkish cuisine) or Kabab-Ji Grill (Mediterranean Cuisine)!
Whether hopping on your bike or taking a canal cruise, Amsterdam will give you the most memorable journey of your life. You’ll want to visit over and over again as the beautiful city is home to fine arts, museums and beautiful parks? Not forgetting the countless cafes along the pretty cobbled streets! Don’t miss out on The Rijksmuseum, The Anne Frank Museum, or The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam!
14% of Amsterdam’s population consists of Muslims, showing a high growth level compared to the presence of Muslims in the 1990s! Moskee El-Tawheed Amsterdam, Westermoskee Aya Sofya, and Masjid Al-Karam are some of the most notable mosques in the city. Crystal (Steakhouse and Pizza), Restaurant Riaz (İndonesian food), MOZO (Moroccan cuisine), Daarbaand (Persian delicacy) and Istanbul Plaza Doner Kebab (Turkish food) are some of the highlights of halal cuisines in the city. So now you know you won’t go hungry on your vacation 😉
El Tawheed Mosque
Credit: @hussin_momentomda on Instagram
There you have it! We’ve provided you with 12 Muslim-Friendly European cities in this article, and now, there’s nothing that prevents you from enjoying the beauty of this world. What are you waiting for? Book your tickets and show the world that it’s not hard being a Muslim.
Written by Have Halal Will Travel
Top Things to See & Do
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 | © 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 © 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 | © 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 © 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 | © 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 © 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 © 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 © 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
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.
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
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
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
A masterpiece by architecture Gaudí
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.
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.
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.
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.
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<
- Free entrance: children aged 0 to 6.
Audio guide, Cafe, Guided tours
Provença, 261 – 265
08008 Barcelona (Catalonia)
Tel.:+ 34 932142576
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.
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.
Puente Romano s/n
14009 Córdoba, Cordoba (Andalusia)
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.
Tickets: 4,50 €
Students and retired people: 3 €
+34 95 729 39 29