Old City of Sanaa
Old City of Sanaa
4.5
Historic Sites • Ancient Ruins • Neighborhoods
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The old, walled city has been inhabited for more than 2,500 years and contains a wealth of intact architectural gems.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

4.5
171 reviews
Excellent
137
Very good
25
Average
5
Poor
3
Terrible
1

A-nasser M
Sanaa, San, Yemen10 contributions
Aug 2017 • Friends
The old city of Sana'a is a uniquely located in the center of The capital of YEMEN . It is a walled city , had around 7 doors , including many old houses dated to more the 800 years with restoration from UN as a world heritage. There are many old markets inside, cloth market , goldsmith , silversmith ... Etc.
Also many traditional hotels and restaurants. It is a open museum . People are so friendly .
Written September 3, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Prasad Rasal
Pune, India65 contributions
Apr 2013 • Friends
Sana'a is the one of the oldest populated places in the world. The old city of Sana’a has a distinctive visual character due its unique architectural characteristics, most notably expressed in its multi-storey buildings decorated with geometric patterns. Many-storeyed tower-houses built of rammed earth (pisé) add to the beauty of the site. The Bab al-Yaman (Yemen Gate) is an iconized entry point through the city walls and is more than 1,000 years old. The city's religious and political heritage can be seen in the 103 mosques, 14 hammams and over 6,000 houses, all built before the 11th century.
Today, old Sana'a is tourist attraction. It has many shops selling many things - this one is selling dry fruits - dates, etc.One of the items, that is bought by tourists is "Jambia" - dagger. It comes with a belt. Jambia is part of traditional dress, and Yemeni man is incomplete without it. Many shops in old city sell them. Some also prefer Yemeni jewelry, which is also available here.
Written October 11, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sputnikboy
Tokyo, Japan369 contributions
Mar 2014 • Solo
The old city of Sana'a is one of the more fascinating places I've seen in all my travels. The architecture, the colors, the narrow streets and the busy souq are of an unreal beauty.

The views from the top of the Heritage House (entrance fee 200 rials) are magnificient, looking at these "skyscrapers" hundreds years old is something special.
Alternatively you can go to the ex Dawood Hotel (now they have another name I think) and for a (steep) fee you can go to the top floor and have a drink or a meal for more sublime views of the Old City.

Exploring the rich souq is nice, the people is very welcoming and an invite to chew qat or drink tea while looking for some presents to buy is extremely common. Prices in Yemen are generally very cheap, but haggling is mandatory and it is quite fun.

My favourite spot in the Old City was the hammam right in front of Heritage House: it has days for men and days for women. For 1500 rials you can have the complete package of sauna, scrub and massage. It's suggested to those who want really get deeper into the yemeni experience because it's not a touristic thing, you will be there with other yemeni who wants to unload the stress of a day at work. While not in the same category of beauty of other hammams in the Middle East, the services I received were definitely the best.

There are hundreds of sights and things to do and see in the Old City, but since it will indeed be the main attraction of any tourist in Yemen, just go there and get lost in those ancient streets, you will enjoy for sure.
Written March 31, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CCC
Sydney30 contributions
Nov 2013 • Solo
I just concluded a 12-day solo trip to mainland Yemen and Socotra island organised by Tina at Eternal Yemen. First off let me highly recommend her company. Professional service; quick responses to my emailed questions; efficient visa processing; personal presence at the hotel in Sana'a to address any issues and to offer advice; highly knowledgeable guides and careful drivers; no issues or negative points whatsoever.

Mainland: Sana'a, Wadi Dhar, Shibam, Kawkaban, Wadi Ghazuan, Hojjarah, Manakah, Shogruf. The old Sana'a souk, and the trek to Shogruf was the highlight.

On Socotra: Hadiboo, Dixam, Dihamri, Delishah, Homhil, Erhur, Akam, Qualansiah. Homhil, and the visit to Schuab from Qualansiah, were the highlights here.

- If anyone wishes to know the cost of this trip, inclusions, exclusions etc, please message me.

- I spent about three hundred US dollars over and above the trip cost. Approximately half of this was to purchase gifts and souvenirs in the souk, and about half was for tips. Ten dollars or 2000 rial would be a good tip for a guide or driver (for a full day's guiding, or a full 24 hours with the jeep at your disposal). 1000 rial for a half-day's guiding.

- On the issue of security, I haven't felt as safe or as welcome anywhere except Iran. "Welcome to Yemen!" was called to me dozens of times a day. And the children are wonderfully friendly and innocent and plead to be photographed, for which they don't ask anything in return.

- The country - scenery, architecture and people - is incredibly photogenic. I took 3000+ photos in twelve days.

- There was always lots of wholesome food provided of a good standard and I did not experience any digestive issues. Good destination for vegetarians. My only issue was that there wasn't much fresh fruit. But you can buy this yourself at the markets.

- Tips and advice: Bring an extra camera battery and memory card; invest in good quality sandals or flipflops and break them in before coming; use sunscreen constantly; wear light loose-fitting clothing; bring your own towel; in Socotra, encase all electronics in waterproof bags, as sand/water gets everywhere; also you may wish to bring some fruit with you to Socotra from the mainland. Finally, bring a charger with a car cigarette lighter attachment, and charge your devices whenever possible, because electricity is sporadic, and practically non-existent on Socotra.

- Yemen airways/Felix are not fussy about the weight of your bag or the number of carry-on bags you bring. I bought a lot of stuff at the souk in Sana'a - very cheap prices for wonderful craftsmanship and/or antiquity - and posted them home from Dubai. It is no longer possible to post parcels from Yemen (for obvious reasons).

- If going to Socotra I would insist on an English-speaking driver. My driver did not speak English well, and this was frustrating at times. I met other drivers/guides who were much, much more communicative and who told me fascinating things about the island's history.

Finally I would encourage you not to give sweets or money to the delightful children, which I agree is hard to resist. Instead perhaps give some light educational materials. Suggestions would be a set of postcards from your home country, or small maps, or inflatable globes, or puzzle books, or similar.

Any questions please go ahead!
Written November 25, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Qubati
Sanaa, Yemen52 contributions
Mar 2014 • Friends
The Old City of Sana'a is a world heritage site. It is house to hundreds of old houses made of rammed earth. All houses hear have a distinguished traditional style that were built before the 11th century. Some of these buildings have been converted into cozy hotels to accommodate those interested in living in the far past. The city is also full of markets where traditional handicrafts, jewelry and spices can be purchased. You can also find some of the oldest mosques and Turkish paths here.
Written February 18, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sumaalyemen
Poznan, Poland48 contributions
Aug 2018
A lot of history,beautiful architecture and very welcoming people.Lived in Sana for 10 years and half.Visiting Yemen and its beautiful and old heritage sights is not avaible at the moment because of the political problems.Recommend everyone to visit Yemen after 5,8,10 years.Top attractions-1.Old city of Sana 2.Walled city of Shibam(First skyscraper city in the world 2500 years old)3.Island of Socotra4.Remaining of Kingdom of queen of Saba.5.Beautiful beaches of Aden and Hudeida,and many other places.
Written August 7, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mohammed Shaya
Sanaa, Yemen256 contributions
Aug 2016 • Friends
Well, the security situation wouldn't allow foreigners to visit Yemen at the moment, and consequently the Old City of Sanaa. However, it's worth writing a review. The old city has a plenty of charm to it. Walking around in its narrow alleyways is a splendid experience. It's like going back in time. It's a nice place for walking, taking photos, buying souvenirs, and having some local food. Even though it's located 15 minutes drive from my house, but I still get amazed by its beauty every time I go. Having said that, the old city needs a lot of attention by the authorities. It keeps on getting polluted, run down, and more dull with time. It's a shame that the authorities are not protecting it like they should.
Written August 5, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cate287
Portsmouth, UK16 contributions
Mar 2013 • Family
I spent a few days here with my father. We were taken on a guided tour by a lovely little boy in a white jacket. He showed us all the interesting sites, took us to the best stalls and we even got a trip up to the highest building in old sanaa to appreciate the views. It was magical.. made even more special by the fact that Yemen is definitely not a road most traveled. We had armed guards for our entire visit and covering up means covering up! No ankles on show..
Written February 16, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jonathan D
27 contributions
Oct 2016 • Business
Lets hope that war and hunger will stop tormenting Yemen and allow them to enjoy life in this marvelous and beautiful country. Nobody should have to live in fear and worry about where their next meal is coming from.
Written December 28, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

tommy3457
Berlin, Germany9 contributions
Oct 2014 • Solo
The old city is just a fairytale right out of the arabian nights ! I travel there since many years and every time it amazes me again and again. The souq with it´s traditional handicraft, the simple food places, the burj hotel where you can have the best fiew over the city, the bab al yemen, which have a nice tea place next to it, the heritage house. But the best is the atmosphere, the noise, the smell and of course: the most welcoming people on earth ! People still wearing their traditional clothes. It is a city so uniqe and special. Yemen is worth a visit any time, but be careful. The security season is getting worse and you should only go with a guide who will take care of you and don´t take you to risky areas outside the old town !
Written November 24, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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