Top 50 Things to Do and to See in Yemen

Yemen is a country situated in the Arabian Peninsula. It is a country rich in history and culture, offers some of the best tourist attractions. Yemen is bounded by Saudi Arabia to the north, the red sea to the west, the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Aden to the south and Oman to the east. The country of Yemen has over 200 islands, the largest of which is Socotra, about 415 km towards the southern part of Yemen, off the coast of Somalia. It is indeed regarded as one of the best-looking countries in the world. Fifty things that you can enjoy in Yemen along with your family are listed below:

1. The Rock Art of Sa’da

The Rock Art of Sa’da is one of the major tourist attractions of Yemen and an absolute must for all history buffers. Once here you can witness the spectacular ancient drawings and texts that were believed to have been written by nomadic tribes. They date back to about 4,500 years ago. The drawings you will see in the canyon walls are animals that were leading during that era such as rams, snakes, cattle, people and lots more, including plants.

2. Socotra Island

The Socotra island of Yemen is considered to be the major source of attraction of the country. This magnificent island is home to a very diverse flora and fauna that cannot be found anywhere else. Only here will you see a centipede that eats flesh as well as a myriad of reptiles and birds. There are also the Dragon’s Blood trees, which is always a sight to behold.

3. The Incense Road

The Incense Road that can also be found in Socotra is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Yemen. Once here you can very well follow the prehistoric Incense Road. There are cities, towns and villages along the way if you are up for the 62-day journey. The Incense Road is legendary because it was calculated that more than 3,000 tons of incense was transported through this way during the ancient times.

4. Wadi Dhahr

Another spectacular reason to visit Yemen is this extremely beautiful Wadi Dhahr. This is a valley where vegetables and fruits are abundant. Once here you can also witness the most impressive palace of Imam Yahya’s, which was erected during the 1930s on top of a high rock. This high rock is called the Rock Palace or the Dar Al Hajar. It is an ideal place to visit and enjoy with your entire family.

5. Shibam

Shibam is undoubtedly among the most visited tourist attractions of Yemen. It is very well said that anybody who visit this majestic group of clay and stone and also wood buildings is sure to be struck with awe. Shibam is also famously known as the Dessert Manhattan and is called as the first city of skyscraper buildings in the whole world with some buildings having a height of eight stories.

6. The Shihara Suspended Bridge

The country of Yemen is full with unique attractions that are definitely worth visiting. The Shihara Suspended Bridge is an absolute must tourist attraction of Yemen. Truly a sight to behold, it was constructed during the seventeenth century. But now, it is still a vital part of the two villages that it serves to connect – the Shihara Al-Qaish as well as the Shihara Al-Amir. There is also a Sunday Market here which is a famous tourist destination.

7. Souk of Beit Al-Faqih

Souk of Beit Al-Faqih is considered to be an ideal destination for shopping and is a most popular tourist attraction of Yemen. This is a very lively and vibrant market that will give anyone a sensory overload. You can choose from a wide variety of goods ranging from pottery to animals to clothes to vegetables, you can buy almost anything here.

8. Old City of Sana’a

One of the most renowned tourist destinations of Yemen is the impressive city of Sana. This unique place is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Once here you can find incredible Islamic mosques and also traditional houses. This is a very famous ancient city of Yemen that offers plenty of historical sights. You can also see here beautiful tower houses made from rammed earth, and this adds more to the beauty and significance of the Old City of Sana’a.

9. Aden City

Aden City of Yemen is considered to be one of the most lively and vibrant cities of Yemen. It is also home to the spectacular Aden Museum. Aden City is indeed a popular tourist destination and an ideal holiday spot. You can also indulge yourself in the water park or the lagoons, which are perfect places to go bird watching. Situated by the Arabian Sea, it is filled with numerous fortresses and tunnels.

10. Kawbakan City

Kawbakan City is considered to be an ideal destination for those who are interested in souvenir hunting. Kawabakan city is also renowned for numerous of beautiful semiprecious stones that are set in pretty gold or silver jewelries.

11. Crater

Crater is one of the most popular tourist destinations of Yemen and famous ancient city. Once here you can find plenty of things to do and see. This ancient city is renowned for its most popular prehistoric mosques, most notably the Mosque of Abban. The Lighthouse in Crater is another major sightseeing spot. It is also popular for its markets, including the Al-Taweel, Za’afaran and the Buhara Market.

12. Taiz City

The impressive city of Taiz is one of the most popular tourist destinations of Yemen, to be found around 256 km from the ancient city of Sana. The most distinguishable landmarks are the Al Ma’tabiyyah dome and the Al Muzaffar mosque. There is also a museum housing artifacts and relics.

13. Tomb of Sheikh Ahmad

The Tomb of Sheikh Ahmad is among the most famous tombs of Yemen, a Sufist who lived during the year 1300 AD. His tomb is situated towards the southwest side of the city of Taiz. The tomb is under a mosque and considered to be a major attraction among tourist.

14. Al Mocha

Al Mocha is another most amazing tourist attraction of Yemen. You will find it located towards the western side of the city of Taiz (approximately 94 km). The major landmark of this area remains the Shazli mosque which is as old as 500 years. It is well considered to be the most impressive tourist spots in Yemen. Other sightseeing spots include the Malik Beach, Yakhtal Beach and the many palm trees in the area.

15. Al Janad

Al Janad is considered to be one of the most remarkable regions of Yemen, and supposedly the very first mosque of Yemen was constructed here during the year 630 AD. Notable tourist spots remains the ancient mosque set at the mountains. There are also water canals by the mountain. Also part of the attraction is the Weekly Souks or markets.

16. Hudedah

The city of Hudedah is one of the famous places, equally liked by both tourist as well as locals. Hudedah is renowned for its spectacular beaches along the western end, just perfect for swimming and fishing. You will also find numerous valleys here including the Wadi Surdud and the Wadi Zabid valleys. Bura Mountain is the tallest in the vicinity at 2,400 m. Rass Mountain reaches a height of 2,000 m above sea level. It is an ideal holiday destination.

17. Mukalla City

The fabulous city of Mukalla is popularly known as the fishing center of Yemen. It is one of the most beautiful tourist spots of the country because of the sultan palace. This magnificent palace was constructed by Omar bin Awad Al-Qu’aity. The Al-Ghuweizy Castle, the public markets and museum are other attractions.

18. Al Shehir City

The wonderful city of Al Shehir is one of the famous ancient regions of Yemen. Once here you can witness abundance of excellent ancient monuments such as old walls and gates. The newer section is renowned for the white stones used on the buildings. The city is also known for its jewelry shops, boats and markets.

19. The Hadramout Valley

The Hadramout Valley is one of the most famous tourist attractions of Yemen. This valley is 160 km long and indeed is the longest in the entire Arabian Peninsula. It goes all the way to Thamoud up to the Masila Valley. You will also find palm trees and plants in and around this beautiful valley.

20. Beaches

One of the major sources of attraction of Yemen is its magnificent beaches. Situated at the crossroads of numerous major biogeography provinces connected by major seasonal currents and upwelling’s, Socotra’s marine biodiversity is rich and is distinguished by a unique combination of species from theses places – the western Indian Ocean, the Red Sea, Arabia, East Africa and the wider Indo-Pacific.

21. Kamaran Island

You will find this extremely beautiful island right towards the southern end of the Red Sea. It is a famous long, flat, spit of desert with a rare view of the moon. It is an ideal holiday destination for peace travelers. Its famous attraction remains when the full moon takes to the sky will see its reflection in the water on either side of them.

22. Al-Hodeidah City

The popular city of Hodeidah city is renowned for the export of coffee beans during 7th 18th and 19th centuries. This city offers some of the finest tourist attractions, worth a stop. This beautiful city is also famous because of its exceptional architectural design that characterizes the coastal towns of the Red Sea like Al-Luhayya, Jeddah and Aqaba.

23. Desert

The Desert that you will find in Yemen is a huge area of gravel plain partially covered in sand dunes. The major sand desert located towards the eastern part of the peninsula, the Rub al-Khali, also known as the Empty Quarter, has a much smaller southern arm known as the Ramlat as-Sabatayn. This desert is as wide as 100km at its western end, tapering to about 15km as it enters Wadi Hadramout.

24. Al-Hajjarah

Al Hajjarah is considered to be one of the most stunning tourist destinations of Yemen, to be found located towards the southwest end of Sana. It is a beautiful and easily accessible mountain village of the country. It is situated west of Manakhah, regional centre of the Jebel Haraz.

25. Jabal Bura

Jabal Bura is also considered to be among the famous tourist attractions of Yemen. Inland to the east of Hodeidah lies an extraordinary historical object which is believed to be one of the last remnants of extensive subtropical forest in the Arabian Peninsula.

26. Kawkaban

Kawkaban is another impressive site to visit in Yemen, you will find it right on top of a 300-metre pile of sandstone deposited by an enormous river system some seventy million years ago and then uplifted and eroded to leave the famous plateau that is found even today. This rock supplied the raw material for the construction of Kawkaban with its remarkable gateway and wall.

27. Zabid

The historic town of Zabid is one of the most famous tourist destinations of Yemen. It is considered to be one of the remarkable archaeological and historical sites, mainly because of its domestic and military architecture. Besides being the capital of Yemen from the 13th to the 15th century, the city played a significant role in the Arab and Muslim world for many centuries because of its Islamic university.

28. Ibb

Ibb is another most impressive tourist destination of Yemen, which is constructed on the mountain of Jabal Ba’adan, overlooking the lush green countryside of the rain-blessed governorate of the same name. It is believed to have been discovered in the reign of the Himyarite Kingdom, when it was known as Thogha. The first historical document referring to the city of Ibb dates from the 10th century AD. This historic city of Yemen is also a famous trade centre.

29. National Museum

The National Museum of Yemen looks quite similar to the petrified palace of Imam Ahmed, inside this museum you can witness some of the finest artifacts related to the life and times of its previous and slightly peculiar owner. This incredible collection includes gifts and purchases from Europe, including an Etch-a-Sketch, hundreds of bottles of eau de cologne, a personal cinema and an electronic rocking bed that must be the envy of Hugh Hefner.

30. Horse and Camel Racing

Horse and Camel Racing is considered to be one of the famous activities of tourist visiting Yemen. It is among the old and popular sports for Arabs, as Yemen the origin of Arabs. The traditional horse racing is one of the Qarnaw festival events and this event considered the first in the Yemeni desert.

31. Diving

Another favorites and old activities of tourist in Yemen remain Diving. The Red Sea is an old waterway where Egyptian Stelae and Turkish shipwrecks reveal the rise and fall of empires. Well it is among the best diving regions of the world and the striking coral reefs in the southern extremes of the Red Sea.

32. Ghumdan Palace

Ghumdan Palace is one of the most visited tourist attractions of Yemen and also an attractive destination. This magnificent palace is an ancient palace and fortress to be found in Sana. It was positioned just west of where the Great Mosque of Sana’a was later constructed. This palace is included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Old City of Sana’a. Ghumdan Palace tower, a 20-storey high-rise building, is believed by some to have been the world’s earliest skyscraper.

33. Cisterns of Tawila

The Cisterns of Tawila is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Yemen to be found in Aden. It is well considered to be the major landmark of the city and also the best-known historic site. Once here you can witness that this site includes a series of tanks of varying shape and capacity. They are connected to one another and situated in Wadi Tawila to the southwest of Aden’s oldest district, Crater.

34. Yemen Military Museum

Yemen Military Museum is also popularly known as the Military Museum is among the most famous museums of Yemen. This interesting museum is found located right in the center of the country’s capital. You will find it towards the southwestern corner of the Al-Tahrir Square, next to the National Library of Yemen. It has a wide range of artifacts from ancient artifacts to items during the British occupation and subsequent revolution.

35. House of Folklore

House of Folklore is another interesting place to visit in Yemen. It is a famous museum to be found located right in the center of the country’s capital, Sana. It is situated towards the southwest of the Al-Tahrir Square. This popular museum was established during the year 2004 under the permission of the Ministry of Culture, it is “a cultural, research, non-profit and non-governmental organization works on collecting and documenting the Yemeni Folklore”.

36. Maṣna’at Māriy

Masna’at Mariya is considered to be one of the best pre-Islamic Himyarite archaeological sites of Yemen, an absolute must for all history buffers. It is listed in the largest historical sites of Yemen. It is located around 11 km west of the town of Dhamar. Inside one of the four city gates a text written Sabaic describes the roads in the area.

37. Trekking and Hiking

Trekking and Hiking are considered to be some of the most renowned activities of tourist in Yemen as the country offers some of the best opportunities in the world for trekking, especially in the mountains north-west of Sana’a. There, the distances between villages are short, a few hours on foot at most, abundance of scenic and amazing views, attractive landscape, open-minded and helpful people.

38. Souq al-Milh

One of the major landmarks of the city of Sana remains its extremely popular markets and the Souq al-Milh is among them. This market is famous among locals as well as tourist as you will find everything from mobile phones to sacks of sultanas. It is one of the busiest markets of Yemen.

39. Great Mosque

One of the most Architecture’s wonders of Sana remains its most popular mosque known as the Great Mosque of Sana. It is open only to Muslims, but the majestic minarets of this mosque are simply worth noticing. Out of the 50 mosques still standing, the Great Mosque is the most significant. It is considered as a significant Islamic school and centre of learning, and attached to it is a library containing the largest and most famous collection of manuscripts in Yemen.

40. Sultan’s Palace

The Sultan’s Palace is one of the most impressive tourist attractions of Yemen that was originally constructed as a nineteenth century defensive fort. Later during the year 1920, it was transformed into a residential palace by the Sultan Al-Katheri. The Sultan wasn’t a subtle man and his house, containing a mere 90 rooms, towers over Sayun like an exaggerated wedding cake. Today it is listed among the best museums of Yemen.

41. Bath Houses

The Hamams of Yemen is also considered to be famous tourist attractions. The country offers at least 20 hammams. Not all hammams are keen to take foreigners, so ask your hotel to recommend one locally. Men and women always bathe separately. It is the best place for meeting and gossiping.

42. Shaharah

Shaharah is one of the most popular tourist destinations of Yemen. It is mostly renowned for its incredible for its 17th-century stone bridge (which is smaller than it appears on brochures and posters) – both the limestone brick construction and its mountainous position over a deep gorge are superb. Shaharah offers other interesting sights also.

43. Aden Minaret

The city of Aden offers some of the most attractive tourist attractions and among its mosques that are worth a glance are the Al-Aidrus Mosque , constructed during the 19th century right on top of 600-year-old remains, and the strange little Aden Minaret, which is all that remains of a beautiful mosque constructed during the eighth century.

44. National Handicrafts Training Center

Another attractive tourist attraction to visit in the country’s capital, Sana, is the National Handicrafts Training Center. You will also find a beautiful gallery on the 2nd floor of the National Handicrafts Training Center. This former storage house of merchants also houses a series of other shops selling silverware, woodwork, and semi-precious stones etc.

45. Mukalla Museum

Mukalla Museum is one of the interesting places to visit in Al Mukalla. This museum occupies a part of the graceful former Sultan’s Palace. Inside the museum you will find some of the finest artifacts on display such as items related to the sultan and the town’s history. This museum surely attracts that tourist who is interested in learning about the country’s history.

46. Mosques

The country of Yemen offers plenty of beautiful mosques, there are so many mosques worth visiting. Among the most renowned are the 17th-century Qubbat Talha Mosque, with its unusual minaret; the decrepit mid-16th-century Al-’Aqil Mosque to the north of Souq al-Milh; and the Salah ad-Din Mosque, due east of Al-’Aqil Mosque, constructed during the 17th century, the list doesn’t end here you will find more mosques worth appreciating here.

47. National Art Centre

The national art center of Yemen that is to be found in Sana is housed in a conventional tower house; is one of the most famous tourist attractions of Sana. It is a great place for checking out the local art scene and also an ideal place for shopping. In addition to pieces by local artists there are lots of interesting photos of San’a taken during 1920s.

48. Dar al Hayas a Sanania

The vibrant and lively city of Sana is full with plenty of attractive museums and historical sights and Dar al Hayas a Sanania is also worth visiting. This old tower house was removed many times and considered to be the newest museum of the city. It has been spruced up to disclose something of the life and times of a traditional San’a home.

49. Andad Souq

Shopping is considered to be one of the favorite activities of tourist in Yemen and the country is full with numerous of Souq. The Andad Souq is just the right place where you can shop for almost everything. The Andad Souq is located towards the west of the dry wadi (now a road) that runs through the western fringe of the old city.

50. National Museum for Antiquities

The beautiful city of Aden offers an interesting museum known as the National Museum for Antiquates. This magnificent museum has exhibits dating from prehistoric times to the early Islamic period. The highlights are the wonderful range of Sabaean remnants. An absolute must for all history lovers.

Categories Yemen

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