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  • A Guide to Halal-Friendly European Cities

    Getting the chance to travel to Europe would be like a dream come true for many. But while you might be excited about travelling to this amazing part of the world, as a Muslim traveler you will have some concerns as well. Apart from exploring the medieval wonders, magnificent European architecture and breathtakingly beautiful natural landscapes you will also need to think about ‘how easy will it be to find mosques near me in Europe’ and if there are enough Halal food options in the destination you travel to. As an answer to this, we have put together a list of some of the most Muslim-friendly European destinations so that you can enjoy the most enjoyable Halal holidays in Europe. Credit -   Berlin Most European cities boast of a diverse mix of cultures and ethnicities, and one such amazing city that tops the list of Muslim-friendly cities in Europe you’ll have to visit is Berlin. Nearly 9% of the population of the city is made up of Muslims so this is one of the best options available to enjoy halal holidays. As you visit the many attractions scattered all over the city you might not want to miss out on the largest department store in Europe, KaDeWe, the beautiful Grunewald forest, the world famous Berlin wall and main mosques like the Berlin Central Mosque, Wilmersdorfer Moschee and Omar Ibn Al-Khattab Moschee. In terms of Halal food options, you have plenty of choices because there are nearly a 100 Halal restaurants in Berlin. Among these, Turkish food at Rayahn Chicken or the Lebanese cuisine at Maroush is affordable options for cheap Islamic holidays.   London London is by far one of the most popular tourist attractions and also a great holiday stop to look for in any halal Europe tour package as well. The world-class attractions on display like the Tower Bridge, British Museum, Buckingham Palace and the Big Ben need absolutely no introduction so you might just want to know if this city is a good place to enjoy your halal holidays. The answer is, yes! London too has a fairly large Muslim community and therefore there are enough of Halal food eateries and prayer facilities available. There are quite a number of mosques in London you can visit including the London Central Mosque, East London Mosque and Finsbury Park Mosque among many others, and close to these Muslim friendly neighbourhoods you can find several Muslim owned restaurants and even food carts so you can grab a bite where ever you go.   Manchester Planning a trip to Europe? You cannot miss out on this amazing city in England. Amidst the spectacular display of arts and culture, media, sports and world-class education, Manchester also boasts of several Muslim friendly attractions. Of course, we are talking about amazing Halal friendly restaurants where you can enjoy a delicious European style meal. Some of the best stops we recommend are Masala Twist for Pakistani food, Beirut for mouth-watering Mediterranean cuisine and Relish’d for some yummy steak and burgers.   Malta Malta is one of the most charmingly beautiful Muslim-friendly cities in Europe you’ll have to visit. The city is known for its picturesque beaches, romantic resorts, rich history and also best Halal restaurants. Although a small island located in the midst of the Mediterranean sea, there are plenty of elements that make this one of the best halal travel destinations. Keep a lookout for popular Halal eateries like Millenium Kebab in Sliema and Ali Baba in Gzira to enjoy some great-tasting food.   Amsterdam If you are a lover of fine arts, then Amsterdam will sure be on your top holiday destinations. Also, you have no need to worry about Halal food options, because this is one of the best European cities with easy to find Halal food for great Muslim holidays. As you wander through the classic paved streets visiting attractions like The Rijksmuseum, Dam Square or National Maritime Museum you can enjoy a lovely meal at restaurants like Bazar Amsterdam, Restaurant Riaz and MOZO....

  • How Muslim-friendly are popular European destinations?

    Tapping into the Muslim tourism industry is not the easiest thing to do, but it just might be the right thing to do. With the increase in Muslim travelers in recent years, popular destinations around the world are keen on taking into account the needs of a Muslim traveler. The following is a guide to four top destinations in the world, taking into account how Muslim-friendly they are or aren’t.   Vienna, Austria Vienna might just be under ‘Places to see’ in every single person’s bucket list. It is the capital and largest city in Austria that is home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site, beautiful baroque architecture, museums, street markets, parks and gardens, the Schönbrunn Palace, the Wiener Riesenrad; which is a giant Ferris wheel, Hofburg Palace and the United Nations headquarters. Visitors to the city are sure to fall in love with it, the more they see. Vienna is surprisingly quite Muslim-friendly. Although there aren’t a whole load of Halal restaurants and mosques and prayer facilities, the city has just enough to keep Muslim-tourists comfortable. It also has restaurants that serve food that originated mainly from Asia and the Middle-East. Some of these restaurants are owned by Muslims, others are Halal certified, where as others claim to be Halal but do serve alcohol. Türkis Palast, Apadana, Asia Halal and Diwan Abanoz KEG are a few prominent restaurants in the city. Muslim tourists will also be able to use the facilities provided at the following mosques; Islamic Centre Vienna, Kuba Mosque, Schura Mosque, Ahmet Yesevi Mosque, Fatih Mosque. In addition to those, there are several other mosques scattered around the city. If required, tourists can always ask the locals for locations.   London, United Kingdom London is another popular tourist destination known for being home to Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Tower Bridge, Hyde Park, the British Museum and Madame Tussauds. With so much to do and see, tourists can never decide on what to do first. It is a large, multicultural city that is home to quite a sizeable Muslim population, most of which live in Tower Hamlets and Newham. Muslim tourists tend to fit right in when they realize that Halal food and prayer facilities are widely available. There are quite a few Muslim owned take-away restaurants, as well as Halal food carts and even fast food restaurants that are easily accessible and conveniently located. Mosques are a plenty in the city, with the London Central Mosque, Finsbury Park Mosque, The East London Mosque, the London Mosque and Baitul Futuh being some of the more prominent ones.   Munich, Germany Munich is one of the world’s most-visited destinations and the third largest city in Germany. Some must-see attractions in Munich include; Nymphenburg Palace, The Englischer Garten, BMW Welt, Munich Zoo, The New Town Hall and Riemer Park. The city is definitely Halal-friendly, with over four million Muslims making it their home. This ensures that Muslim tourists will be able to find a mosque or Halal restaurant with ease. Turkish, Pakistani, Afghani and Indian food can be found easily all over the city. Most of these restaurants are Muslim owned or Halal certified. One popular mosque that serves the Muslim population in Munich and has existed since 1989 is located in Sendling, which is a borough of Munich. Other mosques include; Al Tadahamun Masjid, Freimann Mosque, Ahmed Camii Xani and Al Furkan Masjid   Paris, France Paris is one destination that is crowded all year round. One main reason that millions of tourists flock to Paris is the iconic Eiffel Tower. This world-renowned monument, located on Champ de Mars, has received over 250 million people and is said to be the most-visited paid monument in the world. Despite some of its policies; that have been affecting Muslim citizens and tourists alike, Paris actually receives visitors from all over the world, including a large amount from Muslim countries. A main reason for this influx is due to Paris’s sizeable population of Muslims, who are mainly from Turkey, Morocco and Tunisia. Locating a Halal restaurant in the city is quite easy; however visitors do need to make sure that these restaurants are either Muslim owned or Halal certified; since some of them tend to serve alcohol. The Grande Mosquée de Paris; a popular mosque in the city, located in the 5th arrondissement, is said to be one of the largest mosques in France. Other less prominent ones include Mosque de Gennevilliers, Al Ihsan and Mosquée El Fatih....

  • The Great Mosques of London

    London is home to the second largest community of Muslims in the European continent. Muslims comprise over 12% of the entire population of London and Islam is the second most-practiced religion in the city, behind Christianity. The history of Islam in London can be traced back to the early 19th century when Bengali and Yemeni sailors settled in the city. At present, the Muslim population in London is a diverse community comprising residents of various backgrounds including Turkish, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Somali, Iraqi, Nigerian, Indian, Afghan and Ghanaian origins. Needless to say, a large number of mosques are available in London, to cater to the town's huge Muslim community. The city is home to over 400 mosques, with the most prominent mosques being the Abbey Mills Mosque, Aziziye Mosque, Fazl Mosque, Baitul Futuh, Brick Lane Mosque, East London Mosque, London Central Mosque, North London Central Mosque and the Suleymaniye Mosque. The Abbey Mills Mosque was established in 1910 and is located in Stratford, east London. It is capable of accommodating up to 2,500 people and plans are being made to further expand the mosque and to make it one of the most prominent mosques in the United Kingdom. The Aziziye Mosque is located in Stoke Newington of London and serves a large British Turkish community. The mosque features Ottoman style architecture and is capable of accommodating around 2,000 people during prayer times. It also features a Halal butcher, education centre, wedding hall as well as a restaurant. Also known as the London Mosque, the Fazl Mosque was established in 1926 and was Britain's first Ahmadiyya mosque. It used to be the main venue that would be visited for Friday Sermons, until the Baitul Futuh mosque was completed later in 2003. The Fazl Mosque is well-known for its historic significance and unique role in Britain's Muslim community. The Baitul Futuh Mosque is the largest mosque complex in Western Europe and covers an area of 5.2 acres. The mosque is located in the suburb of Morden - a short distance away from the Morden Underground station and is capable of taking in up to 10,000 worshippers. It features one dome and two minarets and its facilities include prayer halls for bothmen and women, a library, exhibition halls, MTA Television Studios, kitchens, a gymnasium, guest rooms and wash-room facilities. The building of the Brick Lane Mosque was first established in 1743 but was later converted into a mosque in 1976. It presently one of the oldest buildings in East London and is located in the area of Spitalfields. Featuring Georgian architecture, the mosque can hold up to 3000 people during prayer times and serves a large community of Bangladeshi Muslims in London. The East London Mosque serves the largest Muslim community in the United Kingdom, with weekly attendance for prayers exceeding 35,000 worshippers. It is located at the edge of London city, a short distance away from London Docklands. London Central Mosque is also known as the Islamic Cultural Centre, ICC or Regent's Park Mosque and is well noted for its massive golden dome. The mosque can hold over 5,000 people during prayer times, with women praying on a separate balcony area above the hall. Located in Finsbury Park of London, the North London Central Mosque was opened in 1994, with Prince Charles attending the opening ceremony. It currently offers courses to the public and accommodates public visits. The Suleymaniye Mosque on Kingsland Road in London, mainly serves the British Turkish community living in the city. The mosque stretches across an area of over 8,000 square metres and is capable of accommodating up to 3,000 people during prayer times. The mosque features Ottoman-style architecture and offers a wedding hall, funeral service facilities as well as a canteen which is popular around the area. London is home to over 400 other mosques, located throughout the city. Muslim travellers to London will discover that finding access to prayer facilities will pose no problem at all....

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