"Most Unique City on Earth . . Period" Top 5 Page for this destination Sanaa by JohnniOmani

Sanaa Travel Guide: 183 reviews and 976 photos

A Magical City

Sana'a is unlike any other city I have ever visited on this planet. Sana'as architecture is so unique and wonderful that UNESCO has declared its entire old city as protected as this city should be and with good reason. Walking around Sana'a though the ginger bread style homes is simply unforgettable and there is something buzzing around every corner. Men sit on the corners and chew their qat while trying to sell their products that range from selling spices to buckets but Sana'as souqs are by far the best souqs in the Middle East because the locals trade and sell as they did hundreds of years ago. One of the true highlights other than walking and getting lost in Sana' a is having a tea on top of one of the old traditional house towers (most hostels) and listening to the call to prayer as the muezzins battlie it out in true Arabian style. Amazing.

Friendly Folks

Sana'a is a very conservative city by Arabian standards in that women and men are completely segregated unlike other Arabian nations but that doesnt stop the majority of the population from saying hello and inviting you in their shop for some tea. The locals are not used to seeing backpackers (they usually see students studying Arabic or Oil workers) so they are very curious to learn why you are in Yemen. The thing that struck me about the locals in the souqs was their pride in selling their products. Young boys are allowed to test the waters and master the art of selling and haggling without their fathers supervision making the souqs the finest in the region for their general authenticity. Sana'as residents left me with an absolute marvelous impression of the city and Sana'a has been one of my true favorites in the world.

True Arabian souvenirs

Sana'a has to be one of the most amazing places on earth for traditional souvenirs. The vendors work the streets like absolute professionals and they offer everything from khanjars (daggers) to murr to perfume. Guns, candy, qat among hundreds of other items are on display for sale in the old city and the souq in the old city is the most fascinating souq Ive seen in the Middle East. The experience is out of the world and it feels as though not much has changed in hundreds of years. People watching, haggling and simply getting lost is what makes Sana'as old city unique. The entire experience was fantastic. Sana'a is my favorite city in the world.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Too many to mention
  • Cons:none that I can think of . .
  • In a nutshell:My favorite city in the world :)
  • Last visit to Sanaa: Jul 2006
  • Intro Updated Feb 18, 2011
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Reviews (13)

Comments (6)

  • Durfun's Profile Photo
    Dec 11, 2009 at 1:49 PM

    Lovely shot. Cheers D

  • peaceness98's Profile Photo
    Apr 1, 2009 at 6:43 AM

    thanks for the great sanaa pages :)

  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo
    Feb 16, 2008 at 2:54 PM

    Yemen is absolutely top of my wishlist of places to see. One day .... (sigh). leyle

  • janiebaxter's Profile Photo
    Oct 21, 2007 at 9:54 AM

    Hi, Thanks for really useful Yemen info. I hope to go there next month. jb

  • JLBG's Profile Photo
    Mar 30, 2007 at 2:35 PM

    Thanks for reminding me of Sanaa, my favorite town in Yemen! I feel that Quat is a social activity and an economic social problem, more than a health issue. I remember of our driver speaking of these "magdun" Chinese, building roads!

  • Ekahau's Profile Photo
    Dec 28, 2006 at 3:52 PM

    agree Sana'a is unlike any other city I have ever visited on this planet.


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