When planning for a trip. choosing for the country to visit can be tiring. We always ponder on whether finding restaurants that offer halal meals or establishments are available or even places for prayers. Fortunately, today there are several countries that are adapting to the needs of Muslim travelers and expanding day by day. Therefore, to assist in your upcoming trips here's a list of Ten countries that are Muslim Friendly and worth a visit.
Ten Muslim Friendly Countries To Visit
Spain is an excellent country to organise a Muslim trip with family or friends. Known for its Muslim past, Spain has a rich Islamic architectural heritage. Indeed, the Mosque-cathedral of Cordoba is classified with the inheritance of Unesco. This temple has undergone many changes over time. Transformed into a mosque in the 8th century, it became a cathedral in 1236. Nevertheless, you will see during your trip that the remains of the old mosque are present with the columns, the Patio of orange trees or the dome created in the Xth century by Byzantine craftsmen.
Mihrab of Mezquita de Cordoba ( Credit Photo By Ingo Mehling)
Another architectural Muslim wonder, the Alhambra of Granada. Lovers of Muslim architecture will truly enjoy. Located on the plateau of Sabika this palace complex dominates the city of Granada. There is the Alcazaba, a citadel housing the men of war at the time.The Nasrid Palaces, a set of rectangular rooms that surround two architectural splendours, the Patio de los Leones and the Patio de los Arrayanes. The Generalife, former summer palace of the Nasrid princes, a must-visit place in the Alhambra, this palace is known for its breathtaking gardens, This monument is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Other cities are interesting to visit as the capital Madrid with one of its most lively squares, the Puerta del Sol. Or Mallorca with its mountains and beaches.As for Halal restaurants, there are many Moroccan and Turkish restaurants. Because of this, you will be spoiled for choice.
When we think of Japan, we do not imagine that it as a "Muslim-friendly" country: it must be said that historically, Japan has historically resisted imperialism. Also the Muslim population represents a minority in Japan.
However, you won't be disappointed to find restaurants suitable for Muslim religious practice: indeed, many Japanese restaurants have adopted Halal cuisine.
Also, airports and hotels offer prayer rooms and some hotels do offer prayer rugs and indication of the Qibla in their rooms.
The two most important mosques to visit are the Tokyo Mosque and the Kobe Mosque, the latter being the oldest in Japan.The Kobe Mosque construction was funded by donations collected by the Islamic Committee of Kobe from 1928 until its opening in 1935. The mosque was confiscated by the Imperial Japanese Navy in 1943. However, it continues to function as mosque today.
Ideal for lovers of shopping, traditional cultures, volcanoes, fine sand and diving, Indonesia is a set of islands which makes it the largest archipelago in the world.
The country is predominantly Muslim which makes it an ideal country to organize your halal trip. You will not fail to find restaurants suited to your religious values as well as various mosques to pray at. Moreover if you go through Jakarta you can visit the Istiqlal Mosque, which is the largest in Southeast Asia.
This archipelago is part of the Top of the World's Top Destinations so even with a budget there is always something that you will enjoy being there.
4. South Africa
If you are fans of the savanna, majestic giraffes and big cats, head to South Africa. "Muslim-friendly" South Africa country has halal restaurants as well as mosques (like the Auwal Mosque).
One of the Halal places to try is the Gold Restaurant. While honouring African culinary traditions they combine these with modern flavours and techniques to serve up a sophisticated African feast that are changed seasonally.
African food is traditionally shared and enjoyed with family and friends. Similarly, their 14-dish tasting menu is served in generous individual and shared portions. Each dish is brought to the table with country of origin, cooking techniques and spicing explained.
An interesting city to visit "Cape Town". The legislative capital of South Africa, you'll find a multitude of things to discover such as Table Mountain, one of the seven new wonders of nature or the Kirstenbosh National Botanical Garden, where you'll find rare plants.On the Boulders Beach side, you can see the penguins . On Robben Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you'll find a former prison center turned into a museum where you can visit Nelson Mandela's cell.
Sand dunes, camels, mint tea and chorba. Morocco has everything to be in the top halal destinations.
This Berber-Arab country is nothing but the witness of several civilizations (Greek, Roman, zenith and others) whose vestiges are to discover during your trip. To travel in the footsteps of a heritage and the history of a country, choose Marrakech, Fez, Agadir, Tangier or Casablanca which are among the most visited cities.
If you go through Marrakech, the place of Jemaa el-Fna is interesting place to discover, located at the doors of the souks of Marrakech, there are many fairground artists, street artists and restaurants in a traditional ambience.
Museum trip is also a must in the city, do not miss the Museum of Marrakech, the Majorelle Garden or the Koutoubia Mosque. In Fez, stop at Al Quaraouiyine, the oldest university which is still in operation, according to UNESCO.
Turkey is definitely a "Muslim-friendly" country. 98% of the population are Muslims, hence you will not have to worry about finding halal meals, or places of prayer.
With its dominant Ottoman style, the Istanbul Blue Mosque is a Muslim architecture not to be missed.
Pamukkale also deserves a visit with its mineral-rich thermal waters dating back to 2800 years ago , meaning "cotton castle" in Turkish, is a natural site in Denizli in southwestern Turkey. The area is famous for a carbonate mineral left by the flowing water. It is located in Turkey's Inner Aegean region, in the River Menderes valley, which has a temperate climate for most of the year. Its ancient pools are open to tourists, so tourist will enjoy its benefits.
The Maldives is home to a Muslim population: here again, you will not have a hard time finding a halal restaurant or a prayer room. Famous for their blue lagoons, beaches and vast reefs, the Maldives are an ideal destination for diving and snorkeling enthusiasts.
For a more historic visit, visit Male, the capital, where you will find Hukuru Miskiiy, the oldest mosque in Malé with beautiful wooden ceilings and Maldivian-style sculptures.
Maldives Islamic Centre
Whereas the Islamic Centre is an architectural landmark in Malé, Maldives opened in November 1984 by President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. The Grand Friday Mosque located in the Centre is named after the one of the most celebrated Maldivian heroes, Sultan Muhammad Thakurufaanu Al Auzam of the Maldives
On the side of the Port of Malé, sample the local specialties among a multitude of fish from the day's catch.
Do you dream of crystal clear waters and white sand? Take a tour in the different atolls of the archipelago: Ari, Véligandu, Ukulhas or Alimatha promise you a true paradise on earth!
Organizing a Muslim trip to Germany is not excluded. Many halal restaurants are located in Berlin and Munich as well. Cologne is home to the Central Mosque, one of the largest in Europe. Inspired by a flower bud, the mosque was designed with glass walls and a staircase accessible from the street, symbolizing openness to people of all religions. It features two 55-meter (60-yard) minarets and a dome of glass and concrete which appears to open like a flower bud.
Crossing hundreds of canals, the city of Hamburg is also a beautiful place to visit. With its beaches, historical monuments, museums and parks.
Jordan offers the traveller a chance to experience authentic Arabian hospitality where deserts, seas and fertile valleys are all within easy reach.
Whether you choose to explore the ancient Petra, the famous rose-red city or the magnificent ruins of Pella, the history of this compact kingdom is sure to amaze.
Jordan gives travellers a chance to get away from it all and spend a night under the stars in Wadi Rum, where you can experience the generous Bedouin culture. Travel to the west of the country and you will arrive at the Dead Sea, the earth's lowest elevation point on land, where you can float unsupported in the salty waters and benefit from the rich mineral water.
The Taiwanese government have been stepping up efforts in welcoming Muslims from all over to the world to the country. As such Taiwan Tourism board have been working with Hotels to have the Qibla indicated in the rooms as well as a dedicated prayer place in the building.
Also Taipei International airport are equipped with a prayer room as well. Taipei Grand Mosque is the largest and most famous mosque in Taiwan. Its located in the Daan District of Taipei City. Being an important Islamic structure in Taipei, it was registered as a historic landmark on 29 June 1999 by the Taipei City Government.
Chang Beef Noodle
No. 21, Yanping South Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100
As for food, a visit to Chang Beef Noodle one of the Halal restaurant is a must. Having been around for more than 60 years, it known to serve tender beef noodles as well as delicious dumplings.
Still deciding where to head to or any suggestions on which country we should write on? Feel free to comment or drop us an email.
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