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  • The Top 7 Reasons to Visit Canada

    Canada is often a place that tourists tend to skip over when picking vacation spots, but those people are missing out on a trip of a lifetime! Canada is a massive country with everything you could want to see and do on vacation, be it adventure or thrill-seeking opportunities, or relaxing in charming countrysides or on even on magnificent beaches. There are also many reasons why Muslims love to travel to Canada, namely, the availability of Muslim-friendly facilities and the feeling of being welcomed. Islam is the second largest religion in Canada, standing at 3.2% of the population, after Christianity. This means that there's no shortage of anything you could need to fulfil your requirements without compromising your faith Here are the top reasons to visit Canada in 2018:   1. It Has Incredible Nature & Wildlife Canada is one of the best places to witness the elegance and beauty of nature – and revel in the magnificence of Allah's creations. With brooding snow-capped mountains, incredible road trails, and craggy beaches around the country, it is any nature lover's dream come true and there is no shortage of things to do and see in Canada. Enjoy the magnificent views of the mountains that serve as a backdrop for the city of Banff, or kick back and relax on the stunning beaches of British Columbia. And let's not forget the renowned Niagara Falls in Ontario, something you definitely cannot miss on your Halal travel to Canada. And you can even see the famous natural phenomenon of the Northern Lights straight from the backyard of a home in Albert! Canada is also home to some of the world's most incredible wildlife. The vast, sprawling environments of these animals that remain unaffected by humans gives these animals a chance to thrive in their natural habitats. You can spot grizzly bears in the Great Bear Nature Tours in British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest, snorkel with beluga whales in Churchill, see Walruses in the Community of Hall Beach in the Arctic, and so much more!   2. There Are Festivals Galore Picture Credit - Not only are there amazing natural landscapes, wildlife tours, and incredible shopping in Canada, there are also plenty of fascinating festivals that take place around the country throughout the year. Taking part in these festivities gives you a chance to mingle with the locals and learn a little bit more about the culture and traditions of this fascinating country. Picture Credit: Carnaval De Quebec From comedy and art to food, children's festivals, and county fairs, there's something happening somewhere to suit your personal interests. Some of the most famous events to take place in Canada include the Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto, Winterlude Festival in Ottawa, the Celebration of Light festival in Vancouver, the Quebec Winter Carnival in Quebec, and so much more. Check out the local listings in the particular cities you plan to visit to see what festivals are taking place during your time of visit.   3. It Is Full of Heritage and Culture History or culture isn't exactly what a tourist think of when they think Canada, but the country has a deep a rich heritage that you can explore on your travels. The amazing part about each city in Canada is that they are all distinct and offer entirely different opportunities to explore, activities, adventure, and more. In today's world of artificially created attractions that can take away the authenticity of experiences to be had, this is truly a breath of fresh air. Explore the charm of French-speaking Quebec, which seems like a quaint town in rural France, or head to Toronto to live it up amongst the city folk. You can also experience the history of Canada by visiting these ancient Canadian attractions that have been gazetted as National Historic Sites such as Fort York and Dundurn Castle in Hamilton, Ontario, the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in Vimy, Canada, Pier 21 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and more. There are also many places where you can take yourself back to the olden days and participate in activities like being a soldier for a day at the Halifax Citadel National Historical Site in Nova Scotia, or experience the culture and heritage of the Anishinaabe people at the Pukashwa National Park in Northern Ontario.   4. The Locals are Friendly The friendliness and hospitality of Canadians is often a popular theme in pop culture and TV shows, but the best part is that this theory is actually rooted in reality! Canadians are some of the most welcoming people in the world, and who better to represent this than their prime minister Justin Trudeau, who not only allowed refugees into the country but welcomed them at the airport by saying “You are home”. Not only does Canada have an incredible infrastructure, it is also one of the safest countries to travel with a relatively low crime rate. As Muslim travelers, you would not have to feel out of place because of the significant Islamic population who live here as well. You can allow yourself to be completely yourself on your Halal holiday in Canada!   5. There's Amazing Halal Food With a large population of Muslims scattered all over the country, there is no doubt that you will be able to find amazing Halal food all across the country. Obviously, there will be more options in cities with a dense population of Muslims like Ontario, but you should have a few choices no matter where you go. You can find a range of cuisines from local food to Middle Eastern, Asian, and more at food trucks to fine dining in Canada. Make sure to try the unique dish “Poutine”, which has even been touted to be the National dish of Canada, although not officially. Here are some of the top Halal restaurants in Canada:   Affy's Premium GrillTry their premium grills and steaks, and also their non-alcoholic daiquiris and coladas.(Address: 2200 Brock Rd C2, Pickering, ON L1X 2R2, Canada. Phone: +1 905-239-5415, Website: BachirA Lebanese restaurant raving reviews for their delicious shawarmas, falafel, and Middle Eastern desserts.(Address: 54 Boulevard René-Lévesque O, Ville de Québec, QC G1R 2A4, Canada. Phone: +1 418-523-8383) Chinese Halal Restaurant This charming Chinese restaurant is known for its delicious Halal Chinese food in Canada. Make sure to try their lamb dishes!(Address: 101 Ravel Rd, North York, ON M2H 1T1, Canada. Phone: +1 416-498-9800) Al-Watan Tandoori Halal Restaurant This simple restaurant in Vancouver might seem unassuming, but is one of the best Halal eateries in Canada serving amazing Indian and Pakistani cuisines.(Address: 6084 Fraser St, Vancouver, BC V5X 3T3, Canada. Phone: +1 604-324-6378) 7 Peppers GrillThis is a Syrian Halal restaurant in Nova Scotia has incredibly friendly service and even better food!(Address: 6290 Quinpool Rd, Halifax, NS B3L 1A5, Canada. Phone: +1 902-431-2727) Get more information on Halal food in Canada through the website:   6. You'll Have Plenty of Places to Pray Picture Credit - As we've already mentioned, Islam is the largest minority in the country, which means there are plenty of prayer places in Canada. Not only are there many mosques scattered all over the country, many places also accommodate Muslims by having prayer rooms and even specially designed restrooms to suit the needs of Muslims. Here are some of the most famous mosques in Canada: Baitun Nur Mosque Address: 4353 54 Ave NE, Calgary, AB T3J 4L3, Canada. Contact: +1 403-243-1600 Jami Omar Mosque(Address: 3990 Old Richmond Rd, Nepean, ON K2H 8R5, Canada. Phone: +1 613-828-2222) Outaouais Islamic Centre (Address: 4 Rue Lois, Gatineau, QC J8Y 3R1, Canada. Phone: +1 819-776-1831) Ahmadiyya Muslim Mosque (Address: 3810 Eastgate Dr, Regina, SK S4Z 1A5, Canada. Phone: +1 306-359-1713)   7. Maple Syrup! Ask a random person anywhere in the world what Canada is most famous for and chances are, they'll tell you its maple syrup! This popular sweet condiment is made from the xylem sap of various types of maple trees. Canada is the largest manufacturer and exporter of maple syrup in the world (most of it concentrated in Quebec), which shouldn't come as a shock to anyone. There's no doubt that Canadians love maple syrup, I mean, the maple leaf is even on their national flag! Anywhere you go, you should be able to find maple syrup-themed goodies and treats, from cookies and cakes to maple-treated meats, and so much more. Make sure to try them all, and maybe even stock up on a few of them to bring back as souvenirs! For more destination ideas on where to travel in 2018, check out our travel blog or download the Halaltrip Islamic Travel App to find locations of halal restaurants and mosques near you....

  • 5 Best Destinations For A Winter Experience

    For the next few months, we are going to experience a lovely cold weather. Yes, you feel tempted to retreat to your into your home with a cozy blanket and hot drink, but whether you like or dislike winter, you cannot deny the beauty it brings out around the world, during December. And since the cold weather is something everyone is going to experience, why not do it in style and more excitement? The winter holiday experience in some countries are so beautiful, it takes your breath away. These are seasonal holiday destinations. So make sure that you don't miss out on the chance to explore your horizons. There are many places around the world you can visit for the best winter holidays and guarantees a good time with many activities and for sightseeing. These are the top 5 destinations you can have a wonderful winter experience in.   Credit -   Plitvice National Park, Croatia Picture credit - The Plitvice National Park is Croatia's single most popular attraction, with justification. Let your imagination run wild and conjure up an image of 16 beautiful turquoise lakes, with water cascading down in a series of waterfalls, hemmed in by densely forested hills. And now, imagine it all beautifully frozen and snowcapped. Paints a pretty picture, doesn't it? You could experience this crystallised beauty only once a year and other people seems to have the same idea. Its one of the best European destinations visited by tourists. Nowadays these lakes are bursting at the seems with fish and water snakes, while herons frequent the shores of the quieter, northern part of the system, and deer, bears, wolves and wild boar throng the forests above. The visit to the park is highly organized with well-laid out paths, regular shuttle buses and ferry rides to main points of interest. When travelling through the mountainous parts of Croatia, the deeper you go in, the more you encounter snow, making it your perfect winter wonderland! The main route during winter is to take the path along the canyon and to hike. You can make snow angels and even have snowball fights! You are never too old for them ;) One of the best restaurants in Plitvice is the "Licka Kuca" restaurant. It has many wonderful reviews about its food and services. Although, before you dine, check if it ticks all your boxes. You can never be too careful about meals far away from home. If you are visiting- If the weather conditions are “normal” you have the boats running on the upper lakes and the tour guides are also available. The admission fees are reduced. Opening hours are shorter Bring warm clothes and proper footwear, especially if there is snow. Skiing at Plitvice is a possibility in the village 'Mukinje'. There is one slope with a T-lift and a few smaller hills, which are mainly used for kids on slides. Ski equipment and slides can be rented at the skiing centre where you can also find a restaurant called "Skijaliste Bistro Vucnica". During winter season most of the hotels run by National park Plitvice are closed, the only one, which is open whole year around, is hotel Jezero. But there are of course other options one of which is cottages. There is one cottage recommended in Smoljanac, which is about 5 km from entrance 1. If you visit without a car, your first priority for accommodation should be Rastovaca. Other options are Grabovac and Rakovica where you have quite a few lovely bungalows.   Banff National Park, Canada Picture credit - The Banff National Park is most famous Canadian Rockies Park and Canada's leading tourist attraction. The main attraction of Banff National Park is undoubtedly Lake Moraine, located 15 km from Lake Louise. The lake's crystal clear water reflects the snowcapped valley of the Ten Peaks. It also has a 1500 km trail, which you can use to hike and go camping as well. Since the actual town of Banff which, transforms into a Christmas village with colourful lights, decorations and horse-drawn carriages for visitors is close by, you can spend a couple of days browsing the stores along Banff Avenue and throughout downtown Banff to find gifts for your loved ones and also stock up on supplies. It is December after all! Two popular roads within the park offer magnificent panoramas: from Banff to Lake Louise is a far preferable route to the parallel Trans-Canada Highway, and the much longer Icefields Parkway leads from Lake Louise to Jasper. Both are lined with trails long and short, waterfalls, lakes, canyons, viewpoints, pull-offs and a seemingly unending procession of majestic mountain, river, glacier and forest scenery. The towering mountains, snow-covered trees, frozen lakes and outdoor skating rinks make spending the winter holidays in the rocky mountains quite special. Lake Louise gives such a magical feel during winter, with a blanket of glistening snow and complete solitude. "The Banff Springs" and "The Rimrock" are known for their fabulous buffets and Christmas dinners. Also be sure to check out "The Maple Leaf Grill", "The Juniper Hotel & Bistro" and "Chinook Restaurant" at the Banff Park Lodge if you find yourself in need of a good, filling meal. To look out for - There’s world-class skiing with choices of three mountains. All three resorts, Lake Louise Ski Resort, Sunshine Village and Mount Norquay are open. Lake Louise is a cross-country skiing paradise. Ski rentals are available through Chateau Mountain Sports within the hotel; lessons or guided skiing tours can be arranged through the concierge. If you’re not into skiing, but want to experience some fun and thrill in the snow you can try tubing at the Lake Louise Ski Resort or the Mount Norquay Ski Resort in Banff. Snowshoeing is also available at Lake Louise. If you haven't done it before, don't fret. It’s very easy to learn. One of the easiest trails to try is the Lake Louise Lakeshore with virtually no elevation gain. Another popular trail is to the Fairview Lookout. There’s a hill perfect for tobogganing right next to the Chateau Lake Louise on to the left. Toboggans can be rented from Chateau Mountain Sports within the hotel. Ice-skating on Lake Louise is one of the most beautiful outdoor rinks in the world. The skating rink is usually cleared in early December and an ice castle is built. Skates are available through Chateau Mountain Sports in the Fairmont Chateau Hotel. There are traditional horse-drawn sleigh rides along the lakeside trail to the back of Lake Louise. You can make reservations at the Brewster desk inside the Fairmont Chateau lobby. It is available from early December to mid-April depending on conditions. A leisurely stroll along the snow-covered trail to the back of Lake Louise would be an enchanting experience. It’s a peaceful way to experience the winter surroundings and majestic mountains. Or you can simply read a book in front of a crackling fire at your hotel or soak your stress away in the Banff hot springs. If you're looking for accommodations during your winter ski vacations and Christmas holidays, the condo-style properties are very popular. Some popular are the Banff Rocky Mountain Resort, Hidden Ridge Resort, Douglas Fir Resort and Tunnel Mountain Resort. Due to their high demand, these properties may need to be booked several months in advance, especially if you want to reserve specifically for Christmas or New Years. Ultimate Holiday Experiences can be had at the high-end resort properties such as the Banff Springs, Chateau Lake Louise and Rimrock Hotel.   Richmond Park, UK Picture credit - Richmond Park is the biggest park in London is more breathtaking during winter. It's three times the size of New York's Central Park and is teeming with deer’s galloping around; giving it an English countryside feel to it. On the few days the snow falls in London, this is THE place to be. Richmond Park is accessible by public transport and car parking facilities are also available should you rent a car to visit. The park is a top UK site for ancient trees and supports a range of rare species including fungi, birds, beetles, bats, grasses and wildflowers. It is a protected status as a National Nature Reserve. Richmond Park is a site of both national and international importance for wildlife conservation. The best places to visit for meals and snacks are the "Pembroke Lodge", located at the highest point of Richmond Park and "The Roehampton Cafe", which is located at Roehampton gate car park. If you find yourselves in need of quick refreshments, there are refreshment points located near Broomfield Hill and Pen Pond car parks. They serve a wide a range of hot and cold snacks and beverages. The Friends of Richmond Park provides frequent guided walks, which are free of charge. These do not need to be booked ahead unless mentioned otherwise. Imagine the mystical and otherworldly feel you will experience while walking through snow covered trees and paths and with deer’s running wild. I'm sure just listening about it makes you feel heart content. The current itinerary for the walks of 2017 is as follows: 02nd of Sep - Roehampton Gate Car Park 07th of Oct - Sheen Gate Car Park (Deer + Walk the Wall) 04th of Nov - Pembroke Lodge Car Park (Fungi) 02nd of Dec - Pen Ponds Car Park 26th of Dec - Pembroke Lodge Car Park To look out for - The Isabella Plantation is a 40-acre woodland garden set within a Victorian woodland plantation. Located in the gardens are the National Collection of Wilson 50 Kurume Azaleas (introduced to the west from Japan), large collections of Rhododendrons and Camellias, plus many other rare and unusual trees and shrubs. Native plants commonly grow alongside exotics throughout the Plantation. Park cycling is available with bikes for hire. Although, riding in the cold weather would prove to be a tad bit difficult, but it is also good to challenge yourself once in awhile. While cycling you can come across many wildlife at close range. It also has a number of stables where you can get horses to go horse riding. That would truly be an enchanting experience. Who needs a prince charming when you can ride all by yourself in a beautiful environment? There are two playgrounds that are created specifically for children under five and the other for children of all ages. It’s called the Kingston Gate Playground and Petersham Gate Playground, respectively. Nothing can cool your jets like the sport of winter rugby. A section of the grassland to the north of the Roehampton Gate is maintained and laid out with 3 adult pitches. This is available only during winter season. Power kiting is also available. It is a sport where you are pulled along by a kite while sitting in a kite buggy or standing on a land board. Qualified instructors teach this fast growing sport all year round, in the grassy spaces of Richmond Park. Enjoy a Christmas experience to remember in Richmond Park during December, with a classic winter carriage ride, drawn by elegant grey horses. You can enjoy warm refreshments while travelling along with a unique behind-the-scenes visit to the stables.   Atlas Mountains, Morocco Picture credit - The majestic Atlas Mountains of Northern Africa see a total of above 3000m-snow covers from November to April. The 'Mount Toubkal' a.k.a the 'Toubkal Massif' is the most stunning during the winter, when fearless mountaineers don grappling hooks and climb the 4167m summits. This highest Atlas peak is where everyone sets their trekking destination towards. It is also possible to camp out on your trek, as the Atlas Mountains are a series of mountains and plateaus. You can reach trailhead villages in just two hours from Marrakesh, which is the best way to find out the real natural landscapes in Morocco, and the main walking routes are easily followed. Walking just a short distance from the most common starting point – Imlil – you are transported to a very different world. Mountain villages offer a stark contrast to the previous roadside towns with Berber houses stacked one on top of another, appearing to sprout from the rocks, situated on the green scenic deep valleys of the high atlas. The Atlas Mountains makes a wonderful place for trekking holidays where you particularly find a lot of mountains to climb like Mount Toubkal, M’goun Mountains, Jbel Ayachi and Lalla Khedidja. Accommodations if you're staying - Ever since the legendary Kasbah Du Toubkal was introduced, the Atlas Mountains have built a reputation for indulgent and stylish hotels. Whilst it is more expensive, the excellent terraces, lounges and views pull together to create a superb stay. Kasbah Bab Ourika stands out for pure indulgence and majestic situation. Douar Samra wins the charm award hands down with a wonderfully earthy rambling village property. There are hotels are clustered around three broad areas, the Ourika Valley, Ouirgane and Imlil. Ourika Valley is an incredibly picturesque valley but is much more densely populated and heavily frequented by tourist coaches with less good walking options. If you are keen on walking then the Imlil area is recommended by most. The scenery has a dramatic effect, along with cooler temperatures and the village is at the heart of a wonderful network of walking trails.   Harbin, China Harbin is world famous for its largest ice and snow sculpture festival during January. There are participants from every nook and cranny of the world to exhibit their enormous sculptures of snow and ice. Songhua River and nearly all the parks in Harbin are the venues of the festival. This part of China is known for its temperatures dropping below -20 °C, which makes the ideal weather for this festival. As the coldest city in the most northern China, Harbin’s winter is dry, cold and coupled with a longer period of snow covering. You can also spend some nights in beautiful China's Snow Town, skiing in Yabuli, fishing or ice sailing on Songhua River, ice lantern watching, ice and snow sculptures-seeing or experiencing an adventure among the Siberian tigers and more. In its dining field, there is the mixture of Russian style and Chinese style. In Harbin, the "Zhongyang Street" and the "Huanghe Road" are the two centralized dining places. To look out for - Skating is a characteristic sport in Harbin. One important difference of skating from other cities of China is - the playing field is moved to the ice surface. Snow falls early in Harbin and around many ski resorts in Harbin. Yabuli Ski Resort (the best and most convenient place to try downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding and other winter activities), Yabuli Sunshine Holiday Village Ski Resort, Longzhu Erlongshang Ski Resort, Harbin Institute Of Physical Education Skifield, Jihua Changshou Mountain Ski Resort, Pingshan Shenlu Ski Resort are some of Harbin's most popular ski areas. There are many snow bikes and ice-sailings available for rent in the park or on the Songhua River. Winter in Harbin provides you with many opportunities to experience and witness new things such as winter swimming by the local elderly. It is a sport that requires precaution, specialized training and adequate warm-up Even though many might profoundly deny it and no matter how old you are, building a snowman is what everyone absolutely loves to do. With the extremely low temperature and the blanket of snow, you can enjoy building a snowman with your friends or family. Along with making snow angels and snowball fighting. These are activities that never get old! The best place to enjoy hiking is China's Snow Town, where you can hike through the beautiful forests, villages and valleys. Fishing is quite famous around Harbin. You can catch Catfish, Pseudorasbora parva, Lumpfish, Dace almost everywhere the Songhua River. A must have experience when visiting Harbin, is the Siberian Tiger Park. It is a one-time experience where you can get up close and personal with Tigers! During the visit, you will be caged in a specially protected bus or jeep to linger through the fierce tigers to appreciate the exhilarating and breathtaking panorama. Snowmobiling in Harbin is as famous as any other winter sport. There are marked trails for independent trips on snowmobiles around the city. You can contact travel agents or your hotel manager to arrange such trip. The people of Harbin don't hibernate over winter. They create reasons to get out and enjoy the outdoors. One way is with Spring Festival and Lantern Festival, which occur across the country. The two festivals are celebrated in the first month of the traditional Chinese calendar (usually in Feb.). During the festivals, you can see the locals perform Yangko dance or dragon dance in the streets or villages.   Just because its winter and you don't like the cold weather, it doesn't mean you have to miss out on such an adventure! Explore all these destinations and create a mystical and enchanting time for yourself. It will be a memory to last a lifetime. Get out in the cold, drink hot cocoa, and enjoy the snow as if it’s the last thing you would do and I can guarantee that you will have a great time! Live your life and feel alive. Experience everything it has to offer. So pack a bag, don your scarves and gloves and prepare for the best experience, 'cause winter is coming ;)  ...

  • Be a part of the Rugby World Cup 2015 in England!

    The 8th Rugby World Cup will be hosted by England from the 18th of September to the 31st of October 2015. While you follow your team on its way up the ladder, hopefully to the finals, there’s lots to see and do in between matches at all 13 venues!   Birmingham – With such a large population of Muslims in Birmingham, having a Halal trip is much easier! With the matches being played in Birmingham City Stadium and Villa Park, choose from the wide range of restaurants around, like Caspian Pizza, Big John’s, or even the closest KFC or Subway. The Birmingham Central Mosque is your stop to pray. Be amazed with Cadbury World, the National Sea Life Centre, or Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum that gets the wheels in your brain turning, or go back in time when you visit Warwick Castle, where the ancient myths and tales will keep you mesmerized. If you’re looking for something to do, Broadway Plaza will keep you occupied, jam-packed with fun for the whole family, when you’re taking a break from rugby.   Brighton – Brighton is a seaside town, so spend your days on the beach – making sure to stay away from the designated nudist beach, or the Palace Pier for shopping and entertainment. The Lanes host mostly jewellery shops, with a splattering of cafés, and a bunch of Italian restaurants, but the setting reflects the history of the original fishing village. In between the two matches played at the Brighton Community Stadium, if you’re looking for unique places to shop at, drop by North Laine; but if you wish to see your familiar stores in one place, Churchill Square Shopping Centre is a must-visit. Explore underwater life at the Sea Life Centre, or climb the Foredown Tower for exotic views of the place. Despite the diverse population in Brighton, there is a Muslim community that meets at the Al-Quds Brighton Mosque, and they offer a selection of Halal food places like Green Coombe Deli, Makara (a Turkish restaurant), Infinity Foods Kitchen which is a slightly pricey but delicious vegetarian restaurant, or Pizza Di Roma or Efes Kebab for fast food and takeaway.   Cardiff – Even though Cardiff is not technically England (it is the capital of Wales), the people’s passion for the sport means that it will also play host to six matches, in addition to two quarter-finals. While you’re there, make sure to soak up the history at Cardiff Castle, a fortress that is around 2000 years old and the ‘Jewel in Cardiff’s Crown’. Be sure to drop by the Farmer’s Market, visit the museums, or take part in water sports for a bit of adventure. Madina Mosque is just one of the many to be found in Cardiff, as well as Al Manar Centre. Eat at Grill N Shake – which boasts the best halal steak in the UK, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Blue Ginger, or 1Malaysian Cuisine Restaurant which is the closest to Millenium Stadium.   Exeter – With a growing capacity at the Sandy Park stadium that is set to host three matches this World Cup, Exeter balances their passion for the sport with the rich history within it. Take the time to explore the gorgeous countryside, or tour The Underground Passages – old underground pipelines – to add a bit of spook and adventure, in this historic Roman city. If you’ve ever wanted to be in one of those scenic images you see online, Dartmoor National Park is the place to go. If you want to take it easy and do a bit of shopping, try Princesshay, Fore Street, Gandy Street or Harlequins Shopping Centre for an eclectic mix of stores and architecture. Be sure to eat at Blue Eyed BBQ, or Herbies, a vegetarian restaurant, both of which are slightly away from Sandy Park. If you happen to find Halal restaurants closer, add them to HalalTrip app to benefit others! The Mosque and Islamic Centre for the South West is the major masjid in the area.   Gloucester – Known for its medieval cathedral, also the birthplace of royalty, Gloucester is set to host four games. When you’re not at Kingsholm Stadium supporting your team, take a stroll through the Historic Docks that hosts Victorian warehouses, museums, shopping and more; the Waterways, where you might catch a Severn Bore – a natural wave surge that is a spectacular phenomenon; or the Ski Centre if you’re looking for a little activity. Cathedral Quarter has quirky shops that are good for souvenirs and keepsakes. Mermaid Fish & Chips is the closest Halal food to the stadium, or you can take the time to make it to Mumtaz or Chutney’s Indian Takeaway. Masjid-E-Noor is the local mosque in the heart of Gloucester.   Leeds – Starkly different from the rich historic countryside’s of the previous cities, Leeds takes you back to the modern world. Take advantage of that with ample shopping all within walking distance at the compact city centre, or viewing modern art at the Leeds Art Gallery. If the rugby fanatic in you doesn’t want to take a break even when your team is not playing, take the Headingley Heritage Tour that showcases some of the best historic moments in sports in Leeds, in addition to a behind-the-scenes tour to one of the most unique stadiums in the world. Connect with nature by relaxing at Roundhay Park or Harewood House. Graveleys Fish & Chips is the closest Halal eating place to Elland Road Stadium, but you can also eat at the Leeds chain of Mumtaz, or hit Safran (a Persian restaurant), or Café Moor for Middle Eastern food. Masjid Ibraheem Leeds and Jamia Masjid Abu Huraira are the closest ones to the stadium, or you can stop at Leeds Makkah Masjid or Leeds Grand Mosque if you happen to take the Headingley tour.   Leicester – Leicester City Stadium is hosting three matches in October, so in the days in between them, visit the King Richard III Visitor Centre to learn more about his life and death, the New Walk Museum to discover dinosaurs, ancient Egypt, Picasso and local culture, the National Space Centre to take you out of this world, the Twycross Zoo – one of the top ten zoos in Britain, or the Jewry Wall, one of the tallest surviving pieces of Roman masonry. Shop at Highcross & John Lewis, The Lanes and Leicester Market, the latter of which is 800 years old, and The Golden Mile, which is like a mini-Asia in the spice and jewellery department. Eat at the familiar Subway or KFC, or look up Vanilla Pod or Lahore Kebab if you want Pakistani food. Big John’s if you want to stay British, Nana’s Asian Cuisine for Sri Lankan, or ADMA Shawarma for Lebanese. Visit Leicester Central Mosque or Masjid Umar in the vicinity of Leicester City Stadium.   London – London has marked three different venues to host over 15 matches, including the quarter finals, semi finals and finals. Spanning from The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Stadium in Brent, to Wembley Stadium in Newham, to Twickenham Stadium in Richmond, take advantage of your stay in London to explore the city. Take a behind-the-scenes Wembley Stadium Tour, or connect with nature at Queen’s Park or Gladstone Park if you’re at Brent. Stroll along the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park or visit the London Aquatics Centre if you’re in Newham. Visit Hampton Court Palace, Ham House and Gardens for history, or Richmond Park or the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew for rustic charm. Take a boat ride on the Thames, or spend the day as a family at the Strawberry Hill House, Orleans House Gallery, or WWT London Wetland Centre if you want something to do. Shopping stops across the three areas include Golden Court and Paved Court in Richmond, Westfield Stratford City, Stratford City and Indoor Market, and Queen’s Market at Upton Park in Newham, and Brent Cross Shopping Centre and Queens Parade in Brent. Take your pick of cuisines and restaurants from Pod, Chicken Cottage, Wrap it up!, Cinnamon Kitchen, Labeneats, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Ned’s Noodle Bar and more. There are over 420 mosques in London, London Muslim Mosque and London Central Mosque included.   Manchester – Manchester City Stadium is hosting just one match, but don’t miss out on taking advantage of the city while you’re there! Soak in the culture at The Whitworth and HOME – for art, culture, and theatre; head to the Manchester Museum, Chester Zoo, and LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Manchester with the kids; explore the countryside at Tatton Park, The Peak District, or on a steam railway journey with East Lancashire Railway; or go shopping on Market Street, Manchester Arndale, or Manchester’s Northern Quarter. Eat at Archie’s, Steak ‘n’ Shakes, Tampopo, Paan House, The Grill, Taste Masters, and more. Manchester Mosque and Makki Masjid Manchester are the central mosques and learning centres.   Milton Keynes – If you’re in Milton Keynes for the games at Stadium MK, set aside time to have an adventure with the many attractions on offer. Spend time with the wildlife at Woburn Safari Park, entertain yourself with extreme sports, leisure and food at Xscape, bounce off the walls at Bounce, or keep the kids occupied at Gulliver’s Land or Snozone. Shop at intu MK, eat at Nando’s, Sizzling Grillz, or Subway, and pray at Masjid Al-Rawdha or Jamee Masjid.   Newcastle – Home of the world’s only tilting bridge, the Gateshead Millenium Bridge is a must see. Check out the art in The Angel of the North, or take a selfie with the Tyne Bridge, emblazoned with the Rugby World Cup 2015 brand. Explore Newcastle Castle – where it gets its name from, Hadrian’s Wall, and Alnwick Castle and Gardens that feature in the Harry Potter movies. Stimulate your brain at the Life Science Centre, and Seven Stories, National Centre for Children’s Books. Shop at intu Metrocentre, Grainger Town and Fenwick; eat at Subway, Nando’s, and KFC, or the now-familiar Chicken Cottage and more. Newcastle Central Mosque is one of the few mosques in the city.   Rugby – This town in Warwickshire is not hosting any games, but while you’re in the country, it’s worth a visit to find out more about the sport at its birthplace. Make sure you put Rugby School, Webb Ellis Rugby Football Museum, and Rugby Art Gallery and Museum on your list of educational stops. Visit Warwick Castle, home to spellbinding history, battles, myths and knights; and Drayton Manor for a day of fun at the theme park. King of Tandoor, Gyro Café, Bahar Masala and India Place are amongst other restaurants that serve Halal food. Stop by Rugby Mosque for your prayers.   With all the information available here, make your trip easier by downloading the HalalTrip App to locate various Halal eating places, and masjids around you, as well as attractions close to you. Be sure to add new locations on the app so that others can benefit from it too!    ...

  • Guide to Finding Delicious Halal Food in Toronto

    Located on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario is Canada’s largest and most populous city – Toronto. This finance, business, culture and arts hub is also the provincial capital of Ontario. It is said to be one of the most multicultural cities in the world and is home to a diverse cosmopolitan and international population. Toronto is also home to popular attractions which draw in visitors from all over the world. This leading tourism destination in Canada is said to attract millions of international visitors annually.   The Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, the CN Tower, Casa Loma, Fort York, Rogers Centre, the Toronto Zoo and Legoland Discovery Centre Toronto are just a few of the many must-visit attractions when in Toronto. There are also numerous other heritage sites, art museums, cultural centres and family-friendly attractions in the city. This huge city consists of several districts and truly does have something for everyone. As always, one of the main concerns for Muslims traveling to any country is the availability of Halal food. Read on to find out if Muslim visitors will be able to locate Muslim-friendly facilities like Halal restaurants in Toronto.   Said to be one of North America’s top food cities, Toronto is the ideal place for foodies to get a little adventurous when it comes to trying out new dishes. With cuisine ranging from Italian to Indian, Pakistani, Chinese, Turkish, Middle Eastern, American, Somali, Persian, Mediterranean, North African, Thai, and Moroccan, Muslims visiting Toronto have quite a lot to choose from.   Some of the most popular restaurants located in downtown Toronto include Kama Classical Indian Cuisine, Aroma Fine Indian Cuisine and Ali Baba’s. Some well-known international chains, like Nando’s are also known to serve Halal chicken dishes.   Kara Mia, located on Rutherford Road in the city of Vaughan has numerous positive reviews. The food served here is mostly Italian, but customers will be able to find popular dishes like steak and burgers on the menu as well. Another well-known Halal restaurant in Toronto is Bamiyan Kabob. This Afghan restaurant located in Markham uses a fragrant mix of spices in most of their dishes, which will keep you going back for more. If you’re craving something flavorful, Restoran Malaysia is a must-visit. Located in Richmond Hill, this restaurant serves incredibly authentic roti canai and delicious teh tarik.   In the mood for traditional Lebanese and Middle Eastern food? Paramount Fine Foods in Richmond Hill is the ideal place for just that! Crave Grill House, is the go-to for those looking for consistently great Halal grilled meats and pasta dishes. Toronto also has quite a few Chinese restaurants which happen to have partially Halal menus. If you’re seeking one that’s entirely Halal, Hakka Garden is a must-visit to get your craving for crispy beef under control! Those visiting the restaurant will also be able to find a variety of yummy Indian dishes to choose from.   Who doesn’t like well-made tandoori chicken and biryani? Pak Centre is comfortable and clean and offers some of the best South Asian food in the area. For tourists looking to try something different, dining at Hamdi is a must. This Somali restaurant is incredibly popular and frequented by locals and tourists alike.   Other must-visit Halal eateries in Toronto include; Pizza Land, Affy’s Premium Grill, Spice Shack, Student Biryani, Anatolian’s Turkish and Flavors Café & Eatery.   Muslims visiting Toronto therefore don’t have to worry about finding something suitable to eat when in the city. If unable to find a Halal restaurant, Muslim tourists could visit one of the many mosques in Toronto and make inquires there. The city has numerous prayer areas; therefore making Toronto a fantastic destination for Muslims looking to getaway without having to compromise on their religious beliefs....

  • Halal Food in Toronto

    Travellers to Toronto will discover a wealth of Halal food options to choose from. Aside from the usual kebabs and shawarmas, Toronto offers a wide variety of Halal cuisine ranging from Indian to Italian to Thai to Portuguese Halal fare. Read on more details on Halal food options in Toronto.   Halal diner food options abound in Toronto and travellers who love their steaks, burgers and fries will have numerous spots to choose from. Popular places for Halal diner food include Burger Factory, Big Moe’s Burgers, The Burgernator and Toppings. None of them serve any alcohol and guests will be offered a wide range of mouthwatering Halal fare.   For fantastic Halal Indian food, travellers could try the Cinamon Indian Bistro located at 1966 Queen St. E., Toronto. The restaurant sticks to a cinnamon theme and offers the perfect ambience for a private dinner or an intimate gathering.   Several options are available for travellers who wish to opt for Pakistani food. Popular spots include Lahore Tikka House at 1365 Gerrard St. E., Toronto, Pak Centre at 2683 Lawrence Ave. E, Toronto and Karachi Kitchen with branches at multiple location. A visit to the restaurants is well-worth a visit for an authentic Pakistani dining experience.   Naan Kabob is an excellent Afghani restaurant serving some of the best kabobs and wraps in town. It has branches in multiple locations and is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to around 10:30 p.m. Mushkaki is a popular place for East African-Western cuisine while Paramount Fine Foods serves excellent Middle Eastern fare.     For exquisite Italian dining options, travellers could try Affy’s Premium Grill, Kara Mia or the Slice of New York which all serve a wide range of Halal Italian dishes - pizzas, pasta platters, sandwiches as well as a few vegetarian options. Crave Grill House located at 25 Woodbine Downs Blvd #5 can be visited for enticing North American food. Alcohol is not served at the restaurant and diners will be offered a range of scrumptious burgers, sandwiches, flatbreads and salad.   Other popular Halal restaurants in Toronto include Mesh Peri Peri which serves a variety of authentic Halal Portuguese food. The Portuguese grilled Chicken is a must-try! Faley’s Restaurant and Eddies Wok N Roll are two great spots for Halal Hakka Chinese food and travellers will be offered an array of sizzlers, noodle options and other specialties to choose from.   Restoran Malaysia located at 815 Major Mackenzie Dr. E., Richmond Hill serves mouthwatering Malaysian cuisine while SukhoThai - which has multiple locations scattered across Toronto - serves authentic Thai dishes.   Numerous other Halal food spots are available in Toronto in addition to those listed above. Muslim travellers will find dining in Toronto to be a delightful culinary experience!...

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