Best things to do in Somalia
Find out more about those top places in Somalia
Welcome to Mogadishu, the capital city of Somalia, located in the coastal region of the Somali sea - it is the nation’s most populous city with a population of over two million people as of 2017. Known locally as Xamar, it was once a popular tourist destination before its conflicts and wars, but the city is slowly rebuilding to get back to its peak.
Its incredible landscapes, hospitality and heritage are some things that make Mogadishu very appealing to visitors.
The Mosque of Islamic Solidarity is considered a national symbol and is also one of the most sacred places in all of Somalia. Built in 1987 with financial aid from Saudi Fahd bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud foundation is recognized as the single largest masjid in the Horn of Africa. The 10,000 capacity mosque was shut down due to the civil war, but has since been refurbished and opened to the public once again - visiting the mosque requires wearing a dress code in accordance to the Islamic laws.
The famous site came to be during the 16-hour-long Battle of Mogadishu in 1993, it is where a US super 6-1 black hawk helicopter crashed. The initial operation was not meant to exceed little over an hour, but the U.S. military ran into militia group from Somalia ensuring into a full-blown battle between both parties. Although the Helicopter was returned to the United States in 2013, it still makes a great location to visit and it is particular popular among people who have seen the Hollywood movie about the Black Hawk Down.
As in most countries that have gone through major wars or battles, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is present in Somalia as well. Located at the center of Mogadishu, the monument was built over 60 years ago – it stands on a stone pedestal rising up with the flag of Somalia hoisted at it top. You can stop by and pay your respects to the brave soldiers of Somalia that lost their lives during the country’s battles.
Home to all the major sporting events in the country, the Mogadishu stadium was constructed in 1978 under the Siad Barre administration. The 65,000 capacity stadium is not only used for sports alone, it is sometimes a venue for political events as well as musical concerts – hosting the famous “Mogadishu and Mogool” concert. Close for a while during the unrest in 2008, the stadium has been refurbished and now has an artificial turf. The best time to visit the stadium is during the men’s national team games.
With the harshness of the Somalia weather beaches are very important, one of the favorite beaches in the capital is the Mogadishu beach. Built originally for the country’s Italian colonialists, the beach is now a prime attraction visited by both tourist and locals – it is usually packed on the weekends.