- Location:West of Yemen
- Attraction Type: City
- Significance: An ancient walled city with history, traditions, amazing architecture and beautiful mountains
- Best Time To Visit: From the end of September to April
- How To Reach: Most international flights will bring you to the capital city of Sana’a
- Nearest Airport: Sana’a International Airport or El Rahaba Airport
The city of Sana’a is surrounded by the beautiful mountains of Jabal Nuqum and Aiban. Sana’a, the capital of Yemen, has been inhabited for 2500 years. The city is presently growing into a modern city, yet it has a great deal of old and traditional feel into it. It has become the major transport hub in Yemen. As a tourist, you must keep in mind that Sana’a, Yemen is a traditional Muslim country and respecting local customs is absolutely essential for your safety.
To move around this city, you can avail the public transport in Sana’a. There are vans called Dabaabs which will take you to the inner city. Taxis as well as car rental are also available. In the 7th and 8th centuries the city became a main center for the propagation of Islam. This religious and political heritage is reflected in the mosques, hammams and over thousand houses, all built before the 11th century.
This historical city will offer you various sightseeings as well as affordable shopping in many of its bazaars. Sana’a has a dry mountain climate with warm summers and temperate winters. Attempts are going on to preserve some of the oldest buildings in Sana’a. Many of the houses look like historical skyscrapers, reaching several stories high. These are adorned with elaborate friezes and intricately carved frames and stained glass windows.
Places To See in Sana’a
Old Sana’a has many popular attractions. One of them is Suq al-Milh, here you can buy not only salt but also spices, bread, raisins, cotton, pottery, copper, silverware, antiques and many more.
You can visit the seventh century Jami’ al-Kabir. It is one of the oldest mosques in the Muslim world.
The Bab al-Yaman, a 700 year old wall is the entry point through the city walls. This is a great sight for you and your family.
Al Madina is the commercial area of the old city. In recent years, it is developing rapidly. The area also has three parks and the President’s palace.
In the new and improved Sana’a, you can visit the theme park “Funland”. It will offer you a perfect entertainment and enjoyment.
Next to Al-Mutwakil mosque is the National Museum which is about 100 meters north of Tahrir Square. The museum houses artifacts from ancient kingdoms of Saba, Ma’rib, Ma’in and Himyar.
You can visit the Asser Mountain which is a very high hill overlooking all of Sana’a. The view from here is spectacular.
Situated in a green valley called Wadi Dhar, 10km from Sana’a, the Dar al-Hajar is a rocky palace built by the Imam Yehya Hamid Al-din. It is an outstanding structure and considered one of Yemen’s cultural symbols.
In addition to three large hotels (the Sheraton, Movenpick and Saba), there are numerous stores and restaurants, including branches of American chains such as Pizza Hut and Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Things to Do in Sana’a
Try out the delicious cuisine of Yemen. These cuisines are very authentic dishes which differ from the other Middle Eastern cuisines. The people of Yemen begin their meals with bread accompanied by a fenugreek relish. Bread is very important to a Yemeni and fenugreek is a popular spice.
Do some shopping while in Sana’a. Check out the traditional souks offering various items at a great price.
Accommodation and dining in Sana’a
You will have plenty of choices for hotels in Sana’a. You have the option of staying in new business hotels in the modern part of the city to the restored traditional hotels and cheap guest houses in the old town. Some of the hotels where you can stay include Sheraton Sana’a Hotel, Moevenpick Hotel Sana’a, Mercure Al Saeed, Sheba Hotel, Burj Al Salam, Hadda Hotel, Sam City Hotel and many more. The restaurants in Sana’a serve local and Arabic food. You will also find Ethiopian food in Sana’a. The five star hotels, such as Sheraton and Míövenpick offer good western food. You will also find the following restaurants: Grill 101, Deja vu, Zorba’s coffeeshop (Greek), Mehraja (Indian food), Shalal Wadibana, Al-Hamra, Karmouche Pizza and many more.