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Yemen

Yemen is a country located at the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia, known for its ancient history and rich cultural heritage that includes the old city of Sana'a, a UNESCO World Heritage site. It has been mired in conflict since 2014, leading to a major humanitarian crisis with widespread hunger and disease.

Despite its abundant historical sites and beautiful landscapes, Yemen's economy struggles due to the ongoing conflict, political instability, and limited natural resources.

Day plans

Spend a day exploring around

day 1

Exploring Sana'a

morning:Start your day with a visit to the Old City of Sana'a, where you can wander through the ancient streets and admire the unique architecture. Head to the bustling Bab Al-Yemen market to sample local breakfast delicacies at Al-Qahwa Al-Majdaleyah.

afternoon:Continue your exploration with a visit to the National Museum of Yemen to learn about the country's rich cultural heritage. Afterward, enjoy a traditional Yemeni lunch at Beit Al Jammal, known for its flavorful Mandi dishes.

evening:Experience authentic Yemeni hospitality with a visit to the Dawa Resthouse for a delightful dinner and an evening of traditional music and socializing.

day 2

Adventures in Socotra

morning:Embark on an exciting excursion to the magical beaches of Dihamri Marine Protected Area, ideal for snorkeling and discovering diverse marine life. Fuel up with a hearty breakfast at a seaside cafe in the coastal town of Qalansiyah.

afternoon:Explore the otherworldly landscape of the Dragon's Blood Trees Forest, home to the iconic umbrella-shaped trees found only in Socotra. Enjoy a picnic lunch amidst this surreal natural wonder.

evening:Unwind and enjoy a tranquil evening at the Ayub Cave, a stunning limestone cavern renowned for its mystical ambience, offering a serene setting for stargazing and relaxation.

day 3

History and Heritage Tour in Shibam

morning:Discover the UNESCO-listed Shibam, often referred to as the 'Manhattan of the Desert,' and explore its ancient mud-brick skyscrapers, providing a glimpse into the architecture of a bygone era. Indulge in a delightful breakfast at a local eatery in the heart of the ancient city.

afternoon:Visit the Radaa Museum to delve into the history and traditions of the region, featuring artifacts and exhibits showcasing the cultural significance of Shibam. Enjoy a traditional Yemeni meal at a charming restaurant nestled in the historic district.

evening:Climb to the top of a nearby hill to watch the sunset casting a golden glow over the breathtaking landscape, followed by a leisurely stroll to the lively Al-Khoush market for an evening of exploration and shopping.

day 4

Cultural Immersion in Aden

morning:Begin your day with a visit to the Aden Museum, home to an extensive collection of artifacts, photographs, and documents chronicling the history of Aden and its diverse heritage. Treat yourself to a traditional Yemeni breakfast at a charming cafe overlooking the Arabian Sea.

afternoon:Explore the historic neighborhood of Crater, a labyrinth of narrow alleyways and ancient architecture. Indulge in a sumptuous lunch at a local restaurant known for its fresh seafood and panoramic views of the city.

evening:Conclude your day with a visit to Seera Castle, an iconic landmark offering sweeping views of the coastline, where you can savor a delightful dinner at its renowned rooftop restaurant, complemented by a captivating evening of live music.

Yemen Famous Food

Must-Try local dishes

Mandi

Mandi is a tantalizing dish made with seasoned rice and slow-cooked meat, typically chicken or lamb. It is flavored with a distinctive blend of spices and often cooked in a tandoor oven, resulting in tender, flavorful meat and fragrant rice. To savor authentic Mandi, head to restaurants or local eateries in major cities like Sana'a and Aden.

Must-Try!

Saltah

Saltah is a hearty, stew-like dish that showcases Yemeni flavors at their best. It combines a rich meat broth with vegetables, fenugreek paste, and a dollop of savory fenugreek-based sauce called 'holba'. Enjoy Saltah at traditional Yemeni restaurants across the country, where it's often served with freshly baked bread.

Fahsa

Fahsa is a delightful spicy stew made from shredded lamb or beef, cooked with a fiery blend of chili peppers, garlic, and tomato sauce. It's a beloved dish in Yemen, especially in the region of Taiz, and is commonly found in local eateries and family-owned restaurants.

Food Markets & Street Food

A food market and street food guide

Al-Tawilah Market, Sana'a

Al-Tawilah Market is a bustling hub of culinary delights in the heart of Sana'a. Here, visitors can sample an array of street food options, including mouthwatering kebabs, savory pastries, and falafel. It's a great place to experience the vibrant street food scene and immerse in the local food culture.

Mutawakkilite Kingdom Restaurant, Sana'a

This legendary Yemeni restaurant not only offers exceptional traditional dishes but also provides a vibrant ambiance that captures the essence of Yemeni food culture. Visitors can indulge in an assortment of Yemeni street food favorites such as 'foul' (fava bean dip) and 'samboosa' (fried pastry filled with meat or vegetables).

Dietary Restrictions

Navigating dietary restrictions locally

Vegetarian and Vegan Options

While Yemeni cuisine prominently features meats, vegetarians and vegans can find satisfying alternatives such as ful medames (fava bean stew), falafel, and a variety of fresh salads and vegetable-based dishes at many local eateries and restaurants. It's advisable to communicate specific dietary preferences to ensure a delightful dining experience.

Vegetarian, Vegan

Gluten-Free Choices

In Yemeni cuisine, gluten-free options are available, particularly in dishes like Salta and Fahsa, which are inherently free of gluten. Rice-based dishes, legume-based stews, and grilled meats can also be excellent gluten-free choices. However, it's recommended for individuals with gluten intolerance to inquire about ingredients and cooking methods to avoid gluten cross-contamination.

Gluten-Free

Restaurants & Cafés

Best places to eat and drink in Yemen

Hadda Street, Sana'a

Hadda Street in Sana'a is renowned for its diverse range of restaurants and cafes, offering everything from local Yemeni cuisine to international flavors. Visitors can explore charming cafes serving aromatic Yemeni coffee and traditional desserts, as well as upscale restaurants specializing in Mandi and other Yemeni delicacies.

Bab Al-Yemen Restaurant, Aden

Situated in the historic city of Aden, Bab Al-Yemen Restaurant is a gem for those seeking an authentic Yemeni dining experience. The menu features an array of regional specialties, from seafood dishes to aromatic rice platters, all served in a captivating setting that echoes Yemen's rich culinary heritage.

Popular cities in Yemen

Explore local food, attractions and more!

SanaaTa‘izzAl ḨudaydahAdenIbbIbbDhamārAl MukallāAl ManşūrahAsh Shaykh ‘UthmānTarīmŞa‘dahZinjibārAt TawāhīAl Ma‘allā’ḨajjahAl Bayḑā’AtaqLaḩijAl Ghayz̧ahAḑ Ḑāli‘MaribAl ḨazmḨadībūAl Maḩwīt‘AmrānAl JabīnSay’ūnAsh ShiḩrZabīdBājilRadā‘Bayt al FaqīhAl Qā‘idahYarīmAl MadadJa‘ārMa‘barJiblahAd DīsAz ZaydīyahDammājKhamirMochaRaydahShibām