Best things to do in Yemen
Find out more about those top places in Yemen
The beautiful but chaotic Sanaa is the capital and largest city in Yemen; with over 4 million people it is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the World.
You would be forgiven if Sanaa is not part of your itinerary, seeing as the city and country has been experiencing civil unrest for some years. But looking beyond that, the city of Sanaa presents some attractions that would catch the eye of most visitors - such attractions include the stunning Dajar al –Hajar, and the Bab Al –Yaman.
One of Sanaa main attractions is the Bab Al - Yaman, it is the only surviving gate of seven ancient gates used to access the Sanaa Old City. Bab Al – Yaman which when translated means “Gate of Yemen” was built in the 19th century by the Turks as part of the old fortified wall of the city – the gates are held by two pairs of columns which supports the bridge that connects the old wall. Passing through the gates and into the city will welcome you to life in ancient Sanaa with its architectural structures made of Baked bricks and decorated windows. The Bab Al - Yaman is on UNESCO World heritage list.
Located in the western part of Sanaa is a Jewish settlement atop a hill – the settlement founded during the Sabacan Kingdom by the Bawsites. The historical settlement is somewhat surprising but shows and represents the diverse cultural origins of Sanaa, its main attractions include an old castle, a fort, a synagogue and several Jewish houses. Visitors are always welcomed and it requires no fee.
Popularly referred to as the “Stone Palace” the Dar al – Hajar is easily Yemen’s most famous building. Situated in Wadi Dhar, the palace was built in the 1920s as a summer retreat of Yemeni leader Muhammad Hamid ed-Din who rule the nation from 1904 to 1948. The entire palace sits on a former building built by al-Imam Mansour in 1786. Presently a museum, visitors can be allowed to tour the building for a fee – the tour involves seeing the kitchen, appointment room and living rooms.
Recognized as Yemen’s biggest mosque, the Al Saleh Mosque is one the most visited mosques in the country. Situated within Al-Sabeen square, the mosque has a design that can be described as a mix of both Islamic and Yemeni architectural styles matched up with a Himyarite layout. The 44,000 capacity mosque has five domes and 6 minarets with the highest at a height of 330 ft (100.58 m). Its name was recently changed to “The People’s mosque” after the death of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Situated in Dar Al - Sada (Palace of Happiness), the national Museum contains over 30 thousand antiquity pieces of Yemeni history. It was established by the nation’s government to preserve Yemen’s heritage and educate both locals and foreigner who seek to learn about Yemen. Its main attractions include artifacts of a Yemini Imam and several items from ancient kingdoms of Yemen.