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Muslim Solo Travel Guide to Spain (+ Safety Tips!)

Disclaimer: Some of the links here are affiliate links. Muslim Solo Travel receives a small commission AT NO EXTRA cost to you if you use the links. Hope you find this guide helpful!

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For many, a solo trip to Spain is the dream after seeing the Alhambra on reels or shorts.

But did you know that there is more to Spain than just Alhambra? With that said, here is our Muslim-friendly Solo Travel guide to Spain. From Halal food, Safety for Muslimah Solo Travelers , Places to visit and all, read on!

Madrid Central Mosque (Abu-Bakr mosque)

Muslim holiday spain, staying connected, about spain.

Before you go Solo in Spain, here are some things to know about Spain:

  • The Kingdom of Spain has about 47.1 million people, and Muslims living in Spain account for  approximately 2.25 million .
  • The country is a European Union member and the fourth-largest country in Europe.
  • The capital and largest city of Spain is Madrid, followed by Barcelona
  • This sovereign country is located on the Iberian Peninsula in Southwestern Europe

Is Spain Muslim-friendly?

It is natural to ask, “Is Spain Muslim-friendly?” if it’s your first time traveling alone to the country.

With a long history of  religious diversity , The Catholic-majority country is also home to a significant Muslim population for many centuries.

Is Spain Muslim-friendly?

Since  Al-Andalus’ reign , Muslims (primarily Spaniards and Moroccans) have been calling Spain, in particular Southern Spain, home. You’ll find them in Muslim neighborhoods, and nearby Islamic Heritage Sites like Alhambra.

However, there have been past and occasional instances of  prejudice against Muslims in Spain . But this does not represent the attitude of the country’s majority population.

Union of Islamic Communities in Spain :  This portal has everything you need to know about the different Muslim communities in Spain. Do note that it is written in Spanish.

Traveling Alone as a Muslimah in Spain — Is it Easy & Safe?

Visiting Spain as a Muslim Solo Traveler

You wouldn’t find traveling solo in Spain as a Muslim woman extremely difficult.

Halal food and Masjid are available these days, especially in major Andalusian cities and large cities like Barcelona and Madrid.

On top of that, the country has an excellent public transport system making it easy for you to explore independently within significant destinations.

More about them below in the article.

😅 Want to go solo but don’t want to do the planning? If you’re not comfortable yet traveling by yourself entirely in Spain, how about joining ? this Summer 2023 Muslim Solo Travel-friendly tour in Seville ?? with Muslima Explorers?

Spanish Language

Muslim Solo Travel Guide to Spain

However, one  challenge you might encounter is the language if you do not speak Spanish.

The people are generally friendly to those who try to speak the local Spanish language. Phrases like Ola can help you go a long way. More helpful local phrases is listed below in this guide

“The only trouble for me was when I did not understand what the bus driver said upon hopping on the wrong bus to Alhambra in Granada.” Farihah

While Spain is very much safe, there have been past cases of  pickpockets in touristy areas , especially in major cities like Madrid and Barcelona.

MST Take:  We feel that Spain is EASIER for Beginner Muslimah Solo Travelers who can speak and understand the Spanish language and customs. Because everything is in Spanish, regardless, it is always good to research firsthand. A handy tip is to seek support and advice from our  Community Group  before you go!

📽️ Watch/Listen to our Journeys with Nafeesa and Shaimaa to hear more about their first solo trip to Spain

Places to visit in Spain as a Muslim Solo Traveler

There’s so much to do on your Solo Spain adventure!

You’ll find that the culture and history in Spain is endless upon touring them.

In essence, these are a couple of activities that each region is known for and the highlights of each major destination in Spain:

Muslim Solo Travel Guide to Spain

Home to many art museums ( Prado houses the world’s richest collection  of Spanish paintings and other European masterpieces) plus the Royal Palace, Madrid is where modern vibes are at.

Your solo travel in Madrid is incomplete without sampling the Churros!

The capital of Catalonia and the second largest city in Spain is known for its football team, unique architecture, and quirky experiences.

It is also situated by the coastline, making it a popular beach destination.

MST Safety Tip :  Barcelona is known for its nightlife, so Muslimah Solo Travelers would want to be careful when exploring at night. Be sure to return to your Barcelona stay before the day gets too dark!

Muslim Solo Travel in Andalusia, Spain

Southern Spanish cities like Seville, Granada and Cordoba are home to many Islamic heritage sites.

In towns like Ronda and Zahara de la Sierra, you’ll find whitewashed traditional Andalusian villages located on high slopes and valleys. El Gastor is famous for Mediterranean sunny holidays.

More Muslim-Friendly Things To Experience in Andalusia Spain is here

Authentic Village Experiences will deepen your appreciation when in Spain. Go on a tour of the La Alpujarras 🏔️ for the whole experience!

Costa del Sol

Muslim Solo Travel in Malaga, Spain

Literal meaning “Sun Coast”, this long coastal strip along Malaga province is known for its diverse nature escapes.

Think of pristine beaches, beautiful cliffs, spectacular dunes, and a relaxed attitude.

MST tip:  Go on guided day tours to learn about untold stories and histories of a place in Costa del Sol Spain!

The Balearic Islands

Besides Ibiza Solo Travel, this group of islands on the Mediterranean sea is famous for island hopping within other sister main islands of Mallorca, Formentera, and Menorca.

If you have gone to any Balearic Islands destinations with the Burkini solo, share your tales with us in the Community Group !

😍 Ever thought of exploring Mallorca in a Formula One car? Experience it here ➡️

Are you a die-hard Game of Thrones fan?

If you are, then you would want to include Osuna on your #MuslimSoloTravel bucketlist as it is home to the bullring used for Daenerys to escape Mereen in Season 5 .

Finding Halal Food in Spain

Finding Halal Food in Spain

Looking for Halal food while traveling in Spain Solo?

Read this article where we distinguish what are Muslim-friendly Spanish cuisines, Halal certifications, and whatnot.

Mosques Prayer spaces in Spain

These days it has been easier than ever to Solo Travel in Spain and accommodate your prayers.

You can find them easily in Andalusia region and major cities like Madrid.

Some notable mosques in Spain include:

Marbella Grand Mosque

Also known as King Abdul Aziz Mosque, this white-colored mosque in Marbella is one of the first Spanish mosques built in modern times.

  • Address:  s 29602, Urb. Lomas Marbella-S, 18, 29602 Marbella, Málaga, Spain ( directions )

Mezquita Mayor de Granada

The Grand Mosque of Granada has a beautiful garden that overlooks the Alhambra.

When intending to pray here, make sure you come during the prayer window time. Otherwise, the mosque is closed.

  • Address:  Pl. de San Nicolás, s/n, 18010 Granada, Spain ( directions )

Also known as Mezquita Central de Madrid, this brownish-marble-fronted mosque is Spain’s biggest mosque.

Its four floors house a library, school, nursery, shop, and auditorium.

The closest metro is Estrecho (a 5-min walk to the station)

  • Address:  C. de Anastasio Herrero, 5, y 7, 28020 Madrid, Spain ( directions )

Best Areas to Stay in Spain as a Muslimah Solo Traveler

To have the best Muslim-friendly solo female travel in Spain, we recommend staying in central locations near the public transport or the major attractions you want to visit.

Central is usually called Centro.

In Andalusian cities like Granada, Malaga, and Cordoba, it is wise to stay near the Islamic Heritage attractions of your choice.

Where to stay in Spain

In the hills of Andalusia like Zahara de la Sierra, you can opt for a quiet typical-looking Mediterannean home.

Getting To and Around Spain

It is easy for Muslimah Solo Traveler to move around Spain because of its accessibility to convenient public transport like:

How to get around in Spain

Spain has several international airports (aeropuerto), and these are just some of them:

If you want to go directly to Andalusia, Malaga is your entry point. If you want to discover the islands of Mallorca, then PMI. Airports in major cities like BCN and MAD can be entry or exit points for your Spain Solo Trip.

High-Speed Train

Renfe is the national train network that efficiently crosses the country.

High speed train in Spain

If you’re planning to travel a long distance, book the high-speed train AVE (Alta Velocidad) that passes by major cities in Spain.

MST Tip:  It is important to buy your tickets in advance as seat reservation is necessary. If you have the Eurail pass, you’ll most likely required reserve seats in Spain as well, or else the train’s fully booked.

Bus & Mini Bus

Bus in Madrid

Depending on where you go in Spain, there will always be a bus.

It’s cheap and comfortable, and you’ll enjoy the rural areas where trains don’t pass by.

Most larger towns and cities have bus stations ( estación de autobuses) , so you don’t have to worry.

Minibus are mostly found in cities where there are narrow slopes like Granada

Taxis in Spain

It is much easier to go from point A to point B in Spain with a taxi because they operate via meter, they’re readily available, and their rates are more affordable than Uber!

Trams & Metro

Depending on where you’re going, especially if it’s a tourist destination, you’re bound to have access to public transport like a tram.

You’ll easily find Metro and tram stations in major cities like  Madrid ,  Barcelona , or  Granada .

Want to make your Spain Solo Travel easier?

Then rent an e-scooter!

E-scooters, e-bikes, e-skateboards… These are popular options in major Spanish cities like  Madrid , Barcelona and Valencia.

This e-scooter rental in Valencia comes with a flexible hour or all-day bookings. They’ll even give you a quick crash course on operating the e-scooter and tips on what to see around the city! ? Book e-scooters in Valencia ➡️

Familiarize yourself with the rules on the no-go zone, where to park, etc., before you embark on your e-mobile venture in Spain!

Best Time To Visit Spain (& Events Not to Miss Out!)

The best time to visit Spain depends on what’s your motivation.

If you’re going for events, some events in Spain are:

  • Bullfighting (April in Seville and May in Cordoba)
  • Cordoba Patios Festival (where the courtyards in Cordoba are full of blooming flowers): Early – Mid May. Check  here

Muslim Holiday Spain

Ever thought of celebrating Ramadhan or Eid in Spain?

If you haven’t, it’s time to consider so! It would be a nice touch to your solo travels when you visit during any Muslim Holiday Celebrations in Spain.

Andalusian cities like Granada and Cordoba usually organize their own Ramadhan programs like Noche de Ramadhan, so meeting Muslim communities in these destinations would not be difficult.

MST Tip:  Make sure you wear the Andalusian print hijab for the entire local Eid experience!

And if you’re wondering where the Muslim area in Spain is? They’re primarily in the Andalusia region.

Either way, you can check out this post, where we list out the Islamic Heritage in Andalusia for you to visit.

Recommended Itinerary for Muslimah Solo Traveler in Spain — Moving From Madrid or Andalusia?

Muslim Solo Travel in Spain

There are many ways to explore Spain as a Hijabi and a Muslimah Solo Traveler.

If your primary motive is to explore Andalusia , start at any Andalusia cities like Granada, Cordoba, Seville, or Malaga, and you can continue onwards to neighboring ones.

You can begin from Madrid and then continue to explore Andalusia.

However, the train ride is almost two hours, so if Madrid’s not your motive, you can skip this altogether.

Traveling Solo as a Muslim Woman in Spain

In Andalusia, you can find many Halal shops and Muslim women because of its proximity to Morocco. ? More about Halal shops is in this article .

Day Trips or Organized Tours for Solo Muslimah Travelers

You can absolutely join organized and guided tours if you do not want to think about the logistics, planning your itinerary, etc.

These days, there are many organized Muslim Solo Travel-friendly tours and retreats in Spain and Andalusia.

muslim travel spain

⏰ Special for Muslimah Solo Travelers, our Trusted Partner Muslima Explorers is hosting a Women-only Seville Tour in June 2023! Book your spot now and have your Summer travels sorted out in this ? intimate Andalusian tour.

Either way, you can also go on day trips and book upon arrival. Sometimes we have no idea what we are drawn towards until we arrive at the destination.

So if you’re the type of go with the flow, then take the first action to reach the Spanish destination of your choice first. Once you’ve explored solo on your own, then you can figure out what day trips to take.

Organized tours, on the other hand, usually require you to book further in advance, but both activities and tours on GetYourGuide and Viator allow you to cancel at least before 24 hours.

Practical Things To Know When Traveling Alone in Spain

Useful Spanish phrases:

  • Planta Primera: First floor
  • Planta Baja: Ground floor
  • Salidas: Departures / Exit
  • Entrada: Entrance
  • Vale (pronounced “bale”): Okay
  • Bueno: Good
  • Buenos Dias: Good Morning
  • Buenos Noches: Good Night
  • Gracias: Thank you
  • No (pronounced noh): No

Travel Restrictions & Security

There are few travel restrictions and security that Hijabi or Muslimah solo travelers would face when in Spain.

Get your latest information on visa and documentation needed on iVisa .

Get your eSim when traveling in Spain

FAQs when Traveling Alone in Spain

Generally, the tap water is safe to drink in Spain as they meet strict government regulations. However, if you have concerns or don’t like the taste of water due to local pipes, then buy a drinking water from the supermarkets, or get a water filter.

Free water refills in Madrid, Spain

Muslim Solo Travel to Spain

We hope this Muslim-friendly travel guide has helped you plan your solo trip to Spain!

For more detailed guides on specific cities, check out these Granada or Cordoba solo trip articles.

Beyond that, you can also continue your journey to nearby destinations like Turkiye, or the Middle East.

If you’re thinking of doing extensions after Spain, some countries nearby to consider are Switzerland, Turkiye, the Middle East, and more!

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It is an opportunity that the Real Madrid Foundation offers to both boys and girls aged between 7 and 17 years of age, with the aim of allowing them to experience an alternative and positive form of sport and training, a values-based education, by means of combining sports and learning.

In addition, Campus also has a diverse programme of recreational and educational activities that are always aligned to the values of Real Madrid, with the objective of educating children based upon the five ethical pillars of the club: team work, leadership, respect for others, autonomy and hard work.

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Dar El Salam

In less than a hundred years since the Prophetic Hijrah, during the ‘Golden Age of Islam’ the vastness of the Islamic Empire expanded all the way to Europe. Muslims from North Africa, under the leadership of Tariq bin Ziyad, conquered Spain and brought along with them their system of governance and law as well as beautiful architecture and vibrant culture.

 Journey with us and visit the Iberian Peninsula, Al-Andalusia, and explore the abundant Islamic history of Seville, Cordoba, Ronda, Granada and more. An 8-day tour bringing the history and heritage of Muslim Spain to life. See for yourself how over 700 years of Muslim rule left a legacy of Islamic Spain that remains today in the beautifully ornate mosques and palaces, as well as the rich local culture.

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Seville houses one of the most famous and iconic remnants of Islamic Spain – the Real Alcazar, or Royal Alcazar – a remarkable palace built by the Muslim ruling class in the 8 th century. It is a fine and unique example of Mudéjar art – a style, deeply rooted in cultural diversity and originating from practising Muslims living in Christian territories in historical Spain.

Marvel at the Seville Cathedral, originally AlJama Mosque constructed by the order of the Almohad caliph Abu Yaqub Yusuf. Admire the Giralda, now a bell tower for the cathedral, but originally the minaret of the mosque, and in its time the tallest tower in the world, designed to resemble the minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakesh.

One of the world’s greatest Islamic buildings and a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Mezquita, or Grand Mosque of Cordoba, is a symbol of the worldly, sophisticated culture that flourished here more than a millennium ago, in the 8 th century, when Córdoba was capital of Islamic Spain and western Europe’s biggest, most cultured city.

The design evolved for around 200 years to its final form as the Grand Mosque, until it was repurposed as a cathedral and altered accordingly. One of the most famous features of the building is its 856 double arches that are modelled on the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. Mezquita-Catedral de Córdoba remains a truly mesmerizing building that exudes history, culture and opulence.

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Granada, the last stronghold of Muslims in Spain, is filled with exquisite architecture and serene surroundings telling of a historic time in which Muslims ruled over this region. Every turn speaks of remnants of this age and the prosperity enjoyed by the people living there.

You’ll be taken back to this time as you walk through the picturesque arches, stroll through the Arab quarter or drink tea at one of teterías of Albayacin.

The iconic and astonishing AlHambra, standing at the foot of the Sierra Nevada, Spain’s highest mountain range, is a jewel in the crown of Islamic Spain. Developed in the 13 th century, Alhambra, a series of palaces, citadel, gardens and orchards, was the residence for the Nasarid sultans and elites, the last remaining Muslim dynasty in Al-Andalus. The profound beauty in its architectural design, intricate detail and engineering leaves visitors in awe of its allure.

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Known as the ‘city of three cultures’ due to the peaceful coexistence of  Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities for centuries. Toldeo’s magnificence comes from the numerous mosques, synagogues and churches alongside its palaces and fortresses. Amongst the most famous are the Catedral Primada de Toledo, a gothic cathedral, the Mezquita del

Cristo de La Cruz, the Mosque of Christ of the Light, a 10 th century mosque and the Santa María la Blanca, a former synagogue built in the Muslims style of construction.

Gaze in wonder at the rich and diverse history of Toldeo that exudes out of its buildings, landscapes and culture. A UNESCO World Heritage site, still preserving its original layout and accessible through its narrow, winding streets, Toldeo will leave you deeply fascinated with Islamic Spain.

May 25 –  June 1, 2024

Group arrival and departure dates.

Arrival Date: May 25

Departure Date: June 1

Child rate no bed: $1,150  per child ages 2-9 years old, above 9 years old Adult rate. Under 2 years old is FREE

Trip at a Glance

Day 1 Arrival Seville Arrival at Seville airport. Welcoming and panoramic tour of Seville, check in, freshen up and spend the afternoon exploring Seville. Overnight in Seville

Day 2 Seville  Breakfast. Morning visit of Seville former Muslim quarters, Giralda tower neighborhood, Plaza de España, Torre del Oro and Royal Alcazar guided tour. Lunch time. Visit the Mosque of Seville for prayers. Afternoon free and easy at the city center Dinner.

Day 3 Seville – Cordoba  Breakfast. Morning transfer to Cordoba 1:30hours aprox Morning tour of the Old Mosque of Cordoba and old quarters. Lunch time.. Afternoon of Madinat Az Zahra. Rest of the afternoon free and easy for self exploring the old quarters. Overnight in Cordoba.

Day 4 Cordoba – Granada  Breakfast. Morning transfer to Granada, after check -in we ill spend the afternoon tour of the Albaycin quarters and the central Mosque of Granada, with a special presentation and welcoming by the Director of the Mosque. Overnight in Granada

Day 5 Granada  After breakfast we will make our way to the Alhambra. Usually the Highlight of the tour for many. Nominated a wonder of the world the visit to the Palaces, gardens and fort will leave you breathless. The visit to the Alhambra can take up to 4-5 hours. Overnight in Granada

Day 6 Granada – Toledo – Madrid Breakfast. Morning transfer to Toledo. L Afternoon visit of famous Mirador del Valle, Plaza del Zocodover & Damasquinado workshop. Overnight in Madrid

Day 7 Madrid  Breakfast. Tour of Madrid’s city center, Plaza del Sol, Plaza Mayor, Mercado de San Miguel, Barrio de los Austrias and Royal Palace. Lunch time. Afternoon visit of Madrid’s central Mosque.

Day 8 Madrid- Home Early morning you will be transferred to Madrid airport to take your flight back home. Our Andalusian experience comes to an end with final farewells.

Inclusions/Exclusions

PRICE INCLUDES:

Accommodation on Bed and Breakfast basis 4* in Seville, Córdoba, Toledo and Madrid: Accommodation on Bed and Breakfast basis 5* in Granada: 2 nights Hotel in Seville 1 nights Hotel in Cordoba 2 nights Hotel in Granada 1 night Hotel in Toledo 1 night Hotel in Madrid Transfers by Bus Group Transfer Seville Airport-Hotel in Seville (designated group pickup time) Seville Hotel-Córdoba Hotel Córdoba Hotel-Granada Hotel Granada Hotel-Madrid Hotel (designated group dropoff time) Group Transfer Toledo Hotel-Madrid Airport Tours (Guide, entrance fees and transport)

EXCLUSIONS:

International Airfare Lunch and dinners Tips Drinks Any other item not mentioned in the trip details

*In case of any quarantine due to COVID all expenses are not included for any days

Seville : Becquer Hotel | Cordoba : Hesperia Hotel | Granada: Melia Granda | Madrid: Novotel Madrid Center

Roundtrip International Flight Not Included

Please contact our offices for International ticket options from your local gateway

June 29 –  July 6, 2024

Arrival Date: June 29

Departure Date: July 6

Child rate no bed:  $1,150 per child ages 2-9 years old, above 9 years old Adult rate. Under 2 years old is FREE

Day 6 Granada – Toledo Breakfast. Morning transfer to Toledo. Lunch on the way. Afternoon visit of famous Mirador del Valle, Plaza del Zocodover & Damasquinado workshop. Overnight in Toledo.

Day 7 Toledo – Madrid  Breakfast. Morning transfer to Madrid. Tour of Madrid’s city center, Plaza del Sol, Plaza Mayor, Mercado de San Miguel, Barrio de los Austrias and Royal Palace. Lunch time. Afternoon visit of Madrid’s central Mosque.

International Airfare Lunch and dinners except Tips Drinks Any other item not mentioned in the trip details

Seville : Becquer Hotel | Cordoba : Hesperia Hotel | Granada: Barcelo Carmen Toledo: Alfonso VI | Madrid: Novotel Madrid Center

August 31 –  September 7, 2024

Arrival Date: August 31

Departure Date: September 7

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Journey Through Spain’s Islamic History: The 5 Best Islamic Tours in 2024

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In 711 CE, Muslims from North Africa invaded the Iberian Peninsula. They stayed in Spain until 1492 when the Catholic Monarchs overthrew the King of the “Emirato de Granada.”

As a result, Spain has a rich, overflowing Islamic culture and an enormous artistic and architectural heritage, including palaces, mosques, and much more.

With that in mind, we have put together a list of the Best Islamic Tours of Spain while citing the most Famous Islamic Architecture and Art in Spain.

Best Islamic Tours in Spain

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The Alcazar Royal Palace Tour

Madinat al-zahra tour.

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Aljafería Palace Tour

Alhambra. Photo by Walkerssk at Pixabay.

The Alhambra and Generalife Tour

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The Mosque of Cordoba Tour

What are the best islamic tours in spain.

  • The Mosque of Cordoba

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The Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba was built in the 8th century  under Emir Abd ar-Rahman I on the remains of a Visigothic Christian church (the Basilica of St. Vincent Martyr). 

The Emir wanted Cordoba to eclipse Byzantium and Baghdad in science, culture, and the arts. The sultan had recently fled there after his family’s overthrow in Damascus.

Why should you go on an Islamic Tour of the Mosque of Córdoba?

There are many reasons why you should visit The Mosque of Cordoba. For instance, the Mosque of Cordoba was the second largest mosque in the world, behind Mecca for a long time. 

In addition, the Mosque of Cordoba is a unique construction because of the number of architectural styles it preserves: Mudejar, Umayyad, Baroque, Gothic, and Renaissance. 

How long does the Mosque of Cordoba tour last?

The duration of the visit is approximately one hour, but if you do the visit during the daytime, you can stay for as long as you need. 

How much does the Mosque of Cordoba tour cost?

The prices vary depending on the time of the visit and the type of ticket: 

Visit the Mosque-Cathedral during the daytime.

General admission: 11€.

Discount: 9€ for over 65s, 15 to 26 years old students, and Youth Card holders.

Discount: 6€ for children from 10 to 14 years old, and up to 64% for the disabled and (adult) members of large families

Discount: 4€ for large families with children from 10 to 14 years old

Night visit

General admission: 18€.

Discount: 12€ for seniors (65+), the disabled, students up to 26 years old, and children from 7 years old and older. Must show official accreditation.

Free: Children under 7 years old (without an audio guide and accompanied by an adult with a valid ticket).

Dress code of the Mosque of Cordoba

Uncover your head when entering the Mosque-Cathedral. Remember that you are visiting a sacred place; access it with appropriate clothing.

Do I need to bring my passport?

It is not necessary to bring your original passport. A copy or a photo should be fine.

Other information of interest

The use of tripods or stands is prohibited, as well as the filming and photographing of liturgical celebrations. 

The Alhambra and Generalife, Granada

The Alhambra was a palace, citadel, and fortress, the residence of the Nasrid sultans, high officials, court servants, and elite soldiers. It reached its splendor in the second half of the 14th century, coinciding with the sultanates of Yusuf I (1333-1354) and the second reign of Muhammad V (1362-1391).

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Why should you visit the Alhambra and Generalife?

The Alhambra is a must-see monument. It bears witness to the Moorish rule in the territory and its architectural style, which is why it was recently declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

You should also make a visit to enjoy its gardens and surroundings. Its majestic towers are a must-see once-in-a-lifetime experience.

How long does the Alhambra and Generalife tour last?

The general visit to the monumental complex lasts approximately three hours.

How much does the Alhambra and Generalife tour cost?

Different prices depending on the inclusions:

Alhambra General

  • Price: 14 €
  • Nasrid Palaces: Mexuar, Comares Palace, Palace of the Lions and Corredor-Lindaraja.
  • Partal: portico of the palace, gardens, and walks.
  • Alcazaba: The Candle Tower and Garden of the Adarves.
  • Generalife: gardens and palace (The court of the Main Canal, The Soultana’s Court, and the water Stairway).

Dobla de Oro General

  • Price: 22.74 €
  • Alhambra general day visit: Nasrid Palaces, Alcazaba, Generalife palace and gardens.
  • General visit Alhambra: Nasrid Palaces, Alcazaba, Gardens and Generalife Palace.
  • Corral del Carbón: la alhóndiga de los mercaderes.
  • Bañuelo: one of the best-preserved public Arab baths on the peninsula.
  • Palacio de Dar al-Horra: official residence of Aixa la-Horra, mother of the last emir of Granada, Boabdil.
  • Casas Moriscas: Horno de oro, Chapiz y Zafra.
  • Qubba del Cuarto Real de Santo Domingo.

Dress code of the Alhambra and Generalife

The Alhambra has no specific dress code. Depending on the time of year, we recommend either something cool to deal with the hot Summer temperatures or, in Winter taking a jumper due to the breeze.

It is mandatory to present your original ID or passport to access the monumental complex.

It’s essential to be on time for the Nasrid Palaces. Don’t forget to bring the ticket with its QR code in physical or digital format (including for children under 12 years).

Aljafería Palace, Zaragoza

The Aljafería Palace is an 11th-century Moorish castle-palace. It was built as a recreational residence for the Taifa kings in the 11th century under King al-Muqtadir. Remains of its fortified enclosure are still preserved. It was built as a place of recreation and also served as a defensive building.

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Why should you visit the Aljafería Palace?

You can not miss the Aljaferia Palace because it is considered one of the peaks of Hispano-Muslim art, along with the Alhambra in Granada and the Mosque of Cordoba. 

Also, it is the northernmost Islamic palace in Europe and the most luxurious and best-preserved of the Taifa period.

How long does the Aljafería Palace tour last?

The duration depends on if the visit is guided or not. Free tours are about 45 minutes long, and guided tours are 60 minutes.

How much does the Aljafería Palace tour cost?

The prices are as follows:

  • General admission: 5€.
  • Discount: 1€ for students and the retired.
  • Free: Children under 12 years old.

Dress code of the Aljafería Palace

There is no specific dress code, so we recommend dressing according to the season. The Summer will be tremendously hot, so dress light and apply plenty of sun cream. Alternatively, a jumper is a great idea against the wind in the Winter.

Guided visits will be available during July and August. The English tour begins at 11 am, while the French tour starts at 5 pm.

Please be punctual when arriving at the ticket office. If a visitor is ten minutes late, they risk not being able to enter the palace (or at the very least a lengthy wait) if all other groups are full.

Use the QR codes located at various points of the monument and the brochures available.

Follow the route marked inside the palace and the indications on display.

Madinat al-Zahra: Archaeological Ensemble, Córdoba

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The history of Medina Azahara begins with Abderraman, III. He decided to build a city on the outskirts of Cordoba between 936 and 976. Abderraman, III built the city to bring together the caliphate’s administrative and residential work.

The materials used in its construction tell us of the great interest of the monarch to show his great power and supremacy. 

Why should you visit Medina Azahara?

Medina Azhara is a must-see because it’s one of Andalusia’s most important works of Muslim art. In its time, it was the highest expression of the rise and power of the Caliphate of Cordoba.

How long does the Medina Azahara tour last?

The approximate time of the visit to Medina Azahara, including the museum tour, is between 2.5 and 3 hours.

How much does the Medina Azahara tour cost?

The entrance to Medina Azahara is free for citizens of the European Union. For all other visitors, the entrance fee is 1.50 €.

There is no specific dress code to enter the Medina Azahara. Therefore, dress according to the season; in the Summer months, something light and fresh, while in Winter, a jumper (or if very cold, a coat) to stay warm.

It is not necessary to bring your original passport. A copy should be fine to authenticate your nationality.

There is a bus that drives you from Cordoba to Medina Azahara. Its price is 2,50€. Children between 5-12 years are 1,50€.

The Alcazar Royal Palace of Seville

In the year 913, the Umayyad caliph Abderramán III ordered the construction of a new center of government in Seville on the site of an ancient Visigothic settlement that had previously been Roman. 

This “multicultural” curiosity about its foundation seems a foretaste of the many historical ups and downs that would shape its present appearance. 

After the disintegration of the Caliphate of Cordoba, the Royal Alcazar would pass into the hands of the abbots (Taifa of Seville), the Almoravid emirs, and, in the last Islamic Period, the Almohads. 

The successive reforms of that time had already turned the Real Alcázares into an excellent palace complex surrounded by walls in the middle of the 13th century.

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Why should you visit The Alcazar Royal Palace of Seville?

The Alcázar of Seville was built as a fortress to protect the Muslim authorities and is currently the oldest royal palace in Europe. Its extensive history is reflected in the variety of its architecture, which mixes Baroque with Renaissance, Romanesque, Gothic and Mudejar.

How long does the Alcazar Royal Palace of Seville tour last?

The recommended duration of the visit is two hours, although you can make a quick visit in one hour and fifteen minutes. But if you want to do a detailed visit, it requires about three hours.

How much does the Alcazar Royal Palace of Seville tour cost?

The entry fees are as follows:

  • General admission: 14,50€.
  • Pensioners and students from 17 to 25 years old: 7€ (you must show proof at reception).
  • For children under 13 years old: 1€.
  • Audioguide: 6€.

There is no specific dress code. Seville can be unbearably hot during the Summer, so dress light. During the Winter, you will likely only need a jumper at most.

The use of tripods or stands is prohibited.

Famous Islamic Architecture in Spain

Muslim art, also known as Islamic art, is the set of artistic manifestations that occurred in the different religious areas of Islam.

Islamic art and, in particular, Islamic architecture in Spain can be classified into 5 stages depending on the different reigns:

1. Cordovan or Caliphal Period (8th-11th century)

Characteristics.

Cordovan art has many influences from Visigothic art, especially in the use of horseshoe arches. 

It’s also very characteristic to see voussoirs in color and texture (alternating striped colors). This alfiz is a molding explicitly used to frame the arches or the openings of windows and doors.

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The famous art of this period

During this period, the most well-known pieces of architecture are:

  • Central vault of Macsura
  • The Mosque of Bad el-Mardum in Toledo
  • Madinat as-Zahra Palace in Cordoba

2. Taifa Period (11th-12th century)

The art of the Taifa kingdoms was characterized by emulating the splendor of the previous era, with almost excessive overloading of ornamental constructions. 

Despite the everyday use of low-cost plasterwork materials, it served its ornamental function well. Unfortunately, very few buildings have been preserved due to poor quality materials.

image7

Famous art of this period

One of the few buildings we still have from this Period is La Aljafería Palace in Zaragoza.

3. Almorávide Period (12th century)

The use of the muqarnas characterized its artistic manifestations. This decorative element is a stalactite hanging from the arches and domes and is made of plaster, often polychrome.

It is an art that is heavily linked to the Taifa kingdoms. However, there are hardly any remains and significant samples of this period, the best preserved being those found in North Africa.

4. Almohade Period (12th century)

This civilization arrived in the Peninsula and brought with it

image8

one of the most original and new elements that had not been used before, known as sebka. Sebka is a type of geometric decoration in the form of a network of superimposed rhombuses that masks the construction systems.

The most important building of this period was the Mosque of Seville nowadays. Only a few parts have been preserved:

  • Patio de los naranjos
  • The “minaret” today is known as the Giralda

5.Nazarí period (13th-15th century)

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The materials were poor but covered with plasterwork, marble, sebka, and tiles. As for constructive elements, the most common are the round arches and the white marble columns with thin shafts and Corinthian capitals.

Since Granada was the capital of Al-Andalus during this time, all the representations of this period are in La Alhambra. 

Some parts worth mentioning are:

  • Patio del Cuadro Dorado.
  • Patio de Comares.
  • Patio de los Leones.

Famous Islamic Art in Spain

Unfortunately, there remain very few Islamic art sculptures and paintings in Spain. However, we know that Muslim decorative arts varied, ranging from ceramics to carpets, fabrics, and goldsmiths.

Among the few sculptural works that have been preserved, it is worth mentioning the bronze fawn from the Madinat as-Zahra Palace in Cordoba. 

In painting, it is of particular interest the fresco on tesso painted on the vault of the Sala de los Reyes of the Alhambra with courtly themes and hunting.

Which city in Spain has a famous old mosque?

The oldest mosque in Spain is the Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba. It used to be a mosque, although nowadays it is a catholic cathedral.

What was the Islamic capital of Spain?

The capital of Islamic Spain has varied throughout the years. 

Firstly, the capital changed between Seville and Cordoba during “Valiato de Al-Ándalus” between 711 and 756 CE. 

Later on, in 756 CE Abd al-Rahman III declared religious independence and proclaimed “El Califato de Córdoba” in Cordoba as its capital.

Lastly and due to the reconquest, in 1238, the “Emirato de Granada” was established. Granada became its capital until 1492 when the Catholic Monarchs overthrew King Muhammad XII.

More Tours in Spain

  • The Best of Seville: Culture, art, and history
  • Nature, art, and history in Catalonia
  • Multicultural Spain: Madrid & Barcelona
  • Mediterranean Spain
  • Madrid in-depth surroundings
  • From Quixote to Columbus
  • Beyond Art & Architecture: Madrid, Bilbao, and Barcelona
  • The Ancient Roman Route: The Silver Route
  • Pilgrimage from Fatima to Lourdes
  • Hidden Jewels of Andalusia

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Andalusia guide: what to see, eat and do and where to stay in southern spain.

by Heena C in Culture on 11th November, 2022

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Spain is our favourite holiday haunt as a young family. Before COVID lockdown we would go yearly as my eldest was under 3. This year we finally got away and as it was the first time with my youngest (being 6) and my eldest now 9 the Spanish experience was totally different. Our favourite spot to holiday is in Al-Andalus, an area in the south of Spain that was ruled by the Umayyads from 711CE till the early 11th Century. They left behind their architectural mark, flora and fauna, as well as their agricultural advances and techniques. The Andalusian part of Spain encompasses so much antiquity and culture that captures your imagination on how things once were and I’ve put together a guide that will hopefully entice you to visit and make your experience an unforgettable one!

Accommodation

Al-Andalus is a hot spot for holiday makers, so along the coast you can find an array of hotels, resorts and Airbnbs. We stayed in Torremolinos and rented a 2-bed, ground floor apartment through Airbnb that had a communal swimming pool and private courtyard with views of the mountains. 

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Getting Around Andalusia

Travelling between areas as well as within the same town is very accessible. There are taxi ranks at certain points that are not expensive and are happy to do 5 – 10-minute drops as well as trains that are easy to use and are air-conditioned, perfect for when travelling in the hotter months. They can take you from town to city within no time. However, be aware that not all stations are user-friendly and need updating though this is something that we noticed is being actively worked on from our visits. For longer journeys like our trip to Cordoba – you can become adventurous and hire a car for the day and take a drive up the mountains to cities further afield. Boats/small ferries are also a great form of transport. You can catch one from the port of Benalmadena that will take you to Fuengirola in an hour along the coast – a great additional experience. 

Where to Eat in Andalusia

When it comes to food, each area has its own traditional style and cuisine.

Torremolinos being a traditional fishing port has an abundance of seafood with restaurants along the beach that have their catch of the day and the largest prawns you will come across. Over the last few years there has been a rise in restaurants serving Halal dishes on the promenade giving more variety if you end up getting fed up with fish. 

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Malaga being a city has your finesse restaurants along the port however you also get those hidden café gems for churros and chocolate as well as your fast-food chains. Al-Turq is one of those fast-food chains you will find dotted around Al-Andalus – even though it may not look amazing from the outside they do one of the best shawarmas you will find. 

In Cordoba you will find a mix of restaurants within the tiny city streets. These picturesque restaurants are hidden in the courtyards and converted Andalusian homes. You can find a variety of Moroccan and Lebanese restaurants; two we would recommend would be Pasilli Oriental and Resturante Damasco. 

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Not forgetting the amazing gelato, you can get at every street corner wherever you go – Spain has a wonderful selection of gelato flavours you will not find elsewhere.

Shopping in Andalusia

If you want traditional handmade goods, then Spain is a lovely place to do it. You will of course find the typical tourist shops selling you nick-nacks, however there are some places off the beaten path that are well worth your time.

Torremolinos has a very old ceramics shop on the cliff top along the stairway leading from San Miguel and at the bottom hidden in the cliffside is a leather store that has everything from bags to wallets. 

When you head to Malaga you will again find your tourist shops for postcards and magnets but also magical bookshops like Mapas Y Compania. Malaga has high street fashion shops such as Mango or Stradivarius along the Alameda Principal. There are also confectionary shops like Vicens – Artisan Turron and Chocolate est. 1775, as well as a beautiful Berber store called Artista where the items come straight from Morocco and at a fantastic price. 

muslim travel spain

Cordoba as you can imagine has dainty streets filled with shops. A few shops we entered felt like an Aladdin’s cave, filled floor-to-ceiling with beautiful handmade intricate items. Shop around as we found some beautiful pieces here.

If you are more of a designer shopper then there’s something here for you too – Plaza Mayor is a 10-minute drive from Torremolinos where you can shop at all the outlets whilst keeping the kids busy with the in-house entertainment and eating into the night with a variety of restaurants is a win for all. 

Places to Visit in Andalusia – Torremolinos, Malaga and Córdoba

With the stretch of the Al-Andalus being steeped in history you will find an abundance of places to visit wherever you go. 

Torremolinos

Even though Torremolinos is a tourist town it does have some lovely places to visit once you have done the Aquaparks and Crocodile sanctuary. 

  • Casa Los Navajas is a clifftop building from 1872. It was renovated a few years back where it was restored to its once beautiful self after years of disuse and negligence. It is now a museum and a place you can get married. 
  • Another place to spend an afternoon is in the Botanical Gardens – Molino de Inca. This used to be one of the oldest mills used to make flour and the grounds and garden now co-exist as an oasis and bird rescue shelter. 

muslim travel spain

As Malaga is a city along the Andalus there are many different things to do there. Over the years we have visited a few and there is still so much to explore. 

  • The Catedral de la Encarnacion de Malaga which is a landmark in the centre of Malaga and can be seen from as far as the end of the Port. 

muslim travel spain

  • Teatro Romano de Malaga otherwise known as the Roman Amphitheatre is situated behind the Cathedral at the foot of the Alcazaba hill. This theatre was formed as the basis of creating a social space for the Romans and was only rediscovered in 1951.
  • Gibrafaro is a castle situated on the other side of the Alcazaba. This was used as part of the defence during the reign of the Muslim empire and housed a Mosque, quarters and supply storage.  
  • Malaga Park is a nice surprise as you wonder through the city. An urban botanical garden that houses a variety of vegetation. This area has over time been improved with the addition of a play park for children as well as a small amphitheatre.
  • The Alcazaba is a fortress built during the Muslim-ruled era and is one of the best preserved Alcazabas in Spain. Sitting atop a tall mountainside capturing the most scenic of views across the horizon. 

muslim travel spain

  • Interactive Music Museum is hidden away in the backstreets of Malaga, walking distance from the Plaza de la Constitucion. A full family experience, this museum takes you through the history of music and musical instruments with information zones and interactive ones.
  • Hammam Al Andalus is one of the best spas I have come across. Split over two floors and hidden in the streets behind the main plaza the moment you enter this building you are transported into the past – a riad of sorts with dedications of a palace. For approximately €50 for 45minutes you get a massage, mint tea and use of the various pools and heat rooms – a perfect break in your day. 
  • The Port of Malaga stretch takes you along the harbour all the way to the lighthouse. You can visit the many installations such as the Centre Pompidou Malaga as well as the stretch of shops – high street, designer and handmade stalls.

Cordoba is an important site for the Romans as well as a major Islamic city during the Middle Ages. This walled city encompasses many historical places you can visit. 

  • The Great Mosque – Cathedral of Cordoba is an architectural success. From the moment you walk into the vast courtyard you know you are stepping into an important part of the past. First built in 785CE, this building is a preserved part of Islamic history with the addition of the now Cathedral you get the mix of both religions and a sense of peace on how they have been merged into one structure. 

muslim travel spain

  • The Roman Bridge is in the centre of Cordoba and stretches across the Guadalquivir River. It was first built in the early 1 st Century BC and later reconstructed by the Arabs in the 8 th Century. As you step across it you feel the sense of importance this bridge gives to the city.
  • Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs is the former primary residence of Isabella I and Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon. Built in 1328 on the site of previous fortresses this alcazar features magnificent gardens and courtyards taken from the inspiration of the Arabs. 

Al-Andalus is a wonderful stretch of land that was a primal piece in history and today’s civilizations. It’s a gem of the Mediterranean and its past proves exactly that. Today we can go and enjoy it as a family or as individuals whilst we relax on the beach or explore its hidden treasures from the past.

Heena C

If she isn't working on her online crafting business, then Heena is busy reading and reviewing or working on her writing; now drafting out her first book and poetry based on life. Heena is an advocate for women’s rights, and the rights of the oppressed. She helps to create awareness online and through teaching the next generation about what they can do to change the world and future. Her love is to travel the globe and immerse herself in different cultures, history and learn more about herself and Islam through architecture and lives lived before her. She has a keen interest in finding out about the past as well as her family history especially tracing back where her origins come from. IG: @heena.ck

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Spain Halal-friendly holidays

SPAIN Halal-friendly holidays

Halalbooking’s guide to halal holidays in spain.

Spain is one of the top three destinations for international tourist arrivals worldwide, receiving over 75 million visitors. It certainly has an alluring mix of beach holidays, city break destinations and a rich cultural heritage, enhanced by its sunny Mediterranean climate.

For Muslims, Spain may not be an obvious holiday choice, so you will perhaps be surprised to learn that its government is actually making an effort to attract Muslims to enjoy halal holidays. Spain’s official website has a whole section dedicated to this topic, which is a useful resource when you are planning your visit.

Spain is easily accessible with regular, cost-effective flights especially from major European centres, and particularly during the summer months.

What to expect as a Muslim on holiday in Spain

Spain has a long Islamic history, with parts of it under the Moorish rule for over 700 years, notably the region of Andalusia. In more modern times, its Muslim population has mostly been due to its large Moroccan minority, which is one of Spain’s oldest immigrant communities. In fact, Moroccans didn’t require a visa to enter Spain until 1985. These days, around 4% of Spain’s population is Muslim.

As mentioned previously, the Spanish government is keen to attract visitors for halal holidays in Spain. As part of this initiative, Spain has set up a consortium, which is run as part of the General Administration of the Spanish state, which is known as Casa Arabe. It has its headquarters in Cordoba and Madrid and part of its remit is to organise films, exhibitions and events throughout the year to showcase Islamic Culture. Its motto is ‘where Spain and the Arab world meet’ and it’s certainly well worth looking at their website to see what’s on during your visit, if you’re planning to stay in Andalusia, Madrid or Cordoba. If you’re thinking of visiting Spain during Ramadan, then you will find that the Casa Arabe organises a programme of special events in Cordoba known as the Noches de Ramadan.

Popular destinations and properties for Muslims in Spain

Perhaps our most popular destination in Spain is the region of Andalusia , with its atmospheric cities of Granada and Cordoba and its beautiful Costa del Sol. It has a rich Islamic heritage from its time under the Moorish rule and it is here where Spain’s halal hotels are situated, in the popular tourist resorts of Torremolinos and Marbella on the Costa del Sol. The Alanda Hotel in Marbella and the Costa del Sol Hotel in Torremolinos, both serve halal food and are ‘dry’ hotels serving no alcohol at all. They are a great base for exploring the region and its many historic and cultural attractions. Those who prefer to stay more centrally in Granada itself or in Cordoba have a choice of well located, high quality hotels which will guarantee an alcohol-free room if you book on HalalBooking.com.

We also have a wide choice of halal villas in Spain , perfect for Muslim families. These are mostly on the Balearic island of Majorca (Mallorca). They are big enough to accommodate a large family in comfort and all have pools, which provide complete privacy and are not overlooked in any way. Alternatively, you can choose a villa on the Canary island of Tenerife if you prefer the warmer winter climate.

Many of our halal-conscious holidaymakers choose to stay in or near the popular city break destination of Barcelona . You can choose from apartments located in Barcelona itself or stay in a villa on the surrounding Catalonia coast. The choice is yours!

Spain’s Islamic Heritage

Hispania was the Latin name by which the whole of the Iberian Peninsula, which takes in modern-day Spain and Portugal, was known in ancient times. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 it was ruled by the Visigoths until April 30th 711, when the renowned Muslim General Tariq ibn-Ziyad landed at Gibraltar and went on to conquer most of the area, bringing it under the rule of the Islamic Umayyad Caliphate.

An interesting fact is that the name ‘Gibraltar’ actually comes from the Arabic ‘Jabal At-Tariq’, which means ‘rock of Tariq’ ie the place where he landed. Although Islamic or Moorish rule only lasted for less than 30 years in the northwest region of Galicia, in Granada in the southeast it lasted for some 781 years. The Islamic rulers referred to the Iberian peninsula as Al-Andalus, giving rise to today’s name of Andalusia, Spain’s southernmost region. The peak of Muslim civilisation in Spain came with the Umayyad Caliphate of Cordoba in the 10th century. Under Moorish rule libraries and colleges were established and the arts flourished. Many of Andalusia’s most famous monuments were built during this time.

Islamic rule ended when Granada was conquered in 1492 by the armies of a recently united Catholic Spain, following the marriage of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella 1 of Castille.

Top Places to Visit for Muslims on Holiday in Spain

Here are our highlights for places to visit in Spain. Don’t forget to check online before you travel, as in most cases it’s possible – and even obligatory – to purchase tickets for tourist attractions online. It definitely saves you waiting around in queues and it is often cheaper too.

Granada This beautiful city was home to the rulers of the Ummayad Caliphate. A highlight will be a visit to the Alhambra, the magnificent hilltop fortress and palace which surveys the city. In the 13th century, the first Nasrid King, Mohammed I established it as his royal residence and his successors, Yusuf I and Mohammed V transformed it into a splendid palace. One of the best views of the Alhambra is from the beautiful gardens of the Mezquite Mayor de Granada, or the Great Mosque of Granada. Make sure you visit the old Arab quarter of Albayzin too!

Cordoba The Great Mosque of Cordoba or the Mezquita-Catedral de Cordoba, as it is known locally, is one of the greatest and oldest architectural works of the Al-Andalus period of Spain. Its site mirrors the complex history of the area – it was first home to a temple to the Roman God, Janus; then a Visigoth church; later a mosque which was rebuilt to the current design; and then finally changed to serve as a Catholic church. Its architecture is stunning with a prayer hall filled with elaborate columns, a dazzling dome covered in gold mosaics, a courtyard surrounding a fountain, an orange grove and a minaret which is now encased in a bell tower. Please note that it is not permitted for Muslims to pray here.

Barcelona Barcelona was only under Muslim rule for around 85 years – a short period in its long history, with very little left to see today. Barcelona more than makes up for this with its stunning modern architecture, however, and it is well worth a visit to marvel at the modernist works of Antoni Gaudi alone, including the stunning Sagrada Familia Church, and the futuristic Casa Mila. Other than that, it’s a great place to relax and soak up the atmosphere.

Majorca The beautiful capital of the Balearics may be best known for its beaches, but it also still retains intriguing traces of its Muslim heritage. Visit the narrow streets of the old Arab Quarter of Al Mudaina in the capital of Palma de Mallorca, admire the Moorish Gardens of the former Muslim Wali or Viceroy’s house, the Jardines de Alfabia and pay a visit to the Banys Arabs, the Moorish bath house, sadly no longer in operation. An interesting fact is that the stunning Gothic cathedral, unusually, faces Mecca, since it was built on the site of a former mosque.

Restaurants and halal food in Spain

Spanish food is delicious, but, unfortunately, it does tend to be heavily centred around pork, which is clearly a big problem for Muslim visitors. It’s best to be cautious and check exactly what is in sauces, minced meat or other dishes to be absolutely sure of eating only halal food. There is a system of halal certification in Spain, so you can look out for halal certificates – although their use is not yet widespread. Also, it’s wise to note that even if a hotel does have halal certification, alcohol may still be served.

The Spanish tourist office website has a handy list of halal restaurants, including some serving traditional Spanish dishes. These include Noor in Cordoba, whose Michelin-starred chef Paco Morales is focused on creating halal haute cuisine, based on ingredients which were available during the period of Al Andalus.

There is also a good choice of vegetarian and seafood options in Spain. Other cuisines which are widely available and most likely to be halal include Lebanese, Moroccan, Syrian, Indian, Pakistani and Turkish restaurants.

Family-friendly holidays in Spain

Staying in one of our halal villas is probably the best way to holiday in Spain for families with younger children. You will have your own swimming pool to enjoy together in complete privacy, and it may be easier to cater for any fussy eaters. The Spanish people are generally very welcoming and love children. There is plenty to do, from beaches to sightseeing. Highlights for children will include:

  • L’Aquarium de Barcelona
  • The Mount Teide volcano or a whale or dolphin-spotting trip from Tenerife
  • Special guided tours for kids at the Alhambra in Granada and the Science Park.

Altogether, Spain is a great family holiday destination!

Islamic Prayer Facilities and Mosques in Spain

There are now more than 250 mosques and Islamic centres in Spain. The Spanish Ministry of Justice’s website provides the document with a city by city listing and there are mosques in all main tourist destinations including Granada, Madrid, Marbella, Malaga and Valencia. There are also mosques in Palma de Mallorca, capital of Majorca.

With some foresight and planning, it should, therefore, be possible for Muslims to find places to pray in most places in Spain. Although most Spanish airports (except for Madrid) do not have dedicated mosques, they do have multi-faith prayer rooms where Muslims are welcome.

If you’re spending your holiday near Madrid then be sure to visit the M30 Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre (Centro Cultural Islamico) which is the largest masjid in Europe, with Qurans from all over the world.

So now that you have been inspired as to what to see and do, it only remains for you to browse our selection of villas and halal hotels in Spain and find the one which best suits your requirements and budget…

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Discovering Muslim Spain

Bringing to life the history of al-andalus  fully accompanied by a professional local guide, 6 days - 5 nights from £550.

muslim travel spain

Journey to Southern Spain to discover the secrets of the magnificent land of Al-Andalus. 

muslim travel spain

A land that was ruled by the Muslims for almost 800 years. During their reign they transformed a backward society to the most sophisticated and advanced in Europe. Whilst the rest of Europe was enveloped in the gloom of the ‘dark ages’ Muslim Spain was perhaps the epicentre of knowledge and education for the whole of Europe and beyond. Street lights, paved roads, advanced irrigation systems, universities, and great men of learning were common place in Al-Andalus in stark contrast to the rest of Europe.

We invite you on this eye-opening journey that will truly bring to life the history of Al-Andalus. A journey that will take you on an emotional rollercoaster – there will be times of happiness as well as times of sadness. 

To really discover the secrets of this amazing land, we think it is essential to have local expert guides who can help us uncover the many secrets that are waiting to be discovered. 

We promise that this will be an experience that you will not forget for a very long time!

Available Tour Dates (6 Days - 5 Nights): ​​ ​ ​ ​​ ​ ​​​​

22nd - 27th January 2024

12th - 17th February 2024

15th - 20th April 2024

13th - 18th May 2024

17th - 22nd June 2024

15th - 20th July 2024

19th - 24th August 2024

16th - 21st September 2024

14th - 19th October 2024

18th - 23rd November 2024

23rd - 28th December 2024

PICK UP & DROP OFF TIMES – Pick up  from Malaga (AGP) Airport, flight should arrive before 12.00pm – Drop off  to Malaga (AGP) Airport, flight should depart after 12.30pm

Day 1 - Malaga Airport to Cordoba 

After meeting at Malaga Airport we will proceed to Cordoba. We will arrive at lunch time, you can have free time for lunch, After lunch we will visit the Great Mosque of Cordoba, the Bridge of Musa ibn Nusayr, Calahorra Tower, which are the main visits of the day. After the guided tour, there will be free time in the old quarters. Overnight in Cordoba. 

Day 2 -  Cordoba to M.Azahra to Seville

After Breakfast we will visit Madinah Al-Zahra archeological site and an interactive Museum. It was the City of the Umayyad Khalifa during the 10th Century, it represents the pinnacle of Muslim rule in Spain. Afterwards we will proceed to Seville. Here we will visit the Royal Alcazar, a Christian Palace built by Muslim craftsmen with unique mudejar decoration; the Giralda Tower; the former Minaret of the Mosque of Seville from the year 1182. Plaza España is our last stop in Seville, we will try to view the sunset here. After the guided tour, there will be free time in the Muslim quarters to explore and for shopping. Dinner and overnight in Seville.

Day 3 -  Seville to Granada

After Breakfast, we will continue our journey to Granada (2hrs). On arrival in Granada we will check-in at the hotel to freshen up. In the evening we will visit the Albayzin, former Muslim quarters, enjoy panoramic views of Alhambra. Dinner and overnight in Granada.

Day 4 -  Alpujarra Mountains

After Breakfast we will make our trip to the Alpujarra mountains, where the last Muslims of Al-Andalus were living and practicing Islam for more than 150 years after the fall of Granada. New Muslims are living here now, some with their own olive plantations, possibly the very same olives trees that were once planted by the Muslims who fled to these mountains hundreds of years ago. We will visit the traditional village of Pampaneira, where you can see the local carpets, the chocolate factory, traditional houses, and the beautiful architecture of the place. We will have lunch in a local restaurant, and after this we will go to the countryside, where you can walk around the orange orchards and olive trees. We will return to Granada where you will have free time for shopping and exploring the area. Overnight in Granada.

Day 5 -  Alhambra, Granada

After breakfast we will visit the Alhambra, the most visited monument in Spain, and the best preserved medieval Muslim royal palace in the world. During our visit we will walk in the royal houses of the Muslim sultans from the Nasrid dynasty, founded by Muhammad al-Ahmar, and we will “Read the Alhambra”, by following the Arabic inscriptions on the walls, full of du’a, Qur’an, poetry and more. We will then visit the main Masjid of Granada, where we will offer prayers. For the rest of the day you will have free time to relax, explore and shopping. Overnight in Granada

Day 6 - Granada to Malaga Airport

After breakfast, we will head to Malaga Airport according to the drop off time. If you want to stay longer in Granada or Malaga, we can help you to arrange a public bus to Malaga Airport on your departure day.

* There may be minor changes to the itinerary & including switching days

This package includes: ​

Accommodation in good quality hotels

Services of an experienced local guide

Guided visit of every city focused on the Islamic Heritage tour itinerary 

Entrance tickets to various sites

Ground transportation in Spain

HALAL RESTAURANT GUIDE  (Cost of meals not Included)  Our guide will accompany you to the restaurants where you can order and pay for the meals

Not Included: ​

Extras in the hotels

Lunch and dinner

Tips for the guide (tips 5€/person/day are expected)

Price (per person) Sharing Twin/Triple Room

Adult Rate : £550*

Children Rate (Age 3-9): £350*

Infant Rate (0-2): £100

Additional single room supplement fee: £150

Full payment required with booking.

Price does not include tips for driver and guide.

SEVILLE: EXE Sevilla Macarena 4 Star (or similar)

CORDOBA: Ayre  EXE Las Adelfas 4 Star (or similar)

GRANADA: EXE Triunfo 4 Star (or similar)

All hotels will be confirmed prior to departure.

How to Book : 1. Please call us to ensure we still have availability on your chosen departure dates

2. Book your flights (taking into account drop-off and pick-up times) - Please call us if you need help with arranging flights

3. Complete  booking form

4. Make payment by bank transfer:

Account Name: AL-HIDAAYAH TRAVEL LTD

Sort Code: 20-08-98

Account Number: 90918997

Reference: Please insert your postcode

Passports must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of travel. If you do not hold a British passport, please ensure you acquire the necessary visas prior to departure. 

Important notes; Flights are not included, please ensure to book your flights according to the airport transfer times outlined above.

Entrance to the Alhambra Palaces is subject to securing the entrance tickets.

Call Now To Enquire: 0121 753 7890 

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Madrid is the capital and the largest city of Spain. It spans across an area of over 600 square kilometres and is home to a population of over 3 million residents, with about 15% of the population comprising immigrants from other countries. The city is... more

Madrid, Spain

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Can you recommend a hotel nearby mosques in Madrid?

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Souleymane Diallo

I've been praying there for some times during my stops in Madrid. The 1 thing I really appreciate from Spain (Madrid's airport) is that it's 1 of the few or perhaps the only 1 airport in Western Europe to have prayers facilities for muslims & christians (in front of each other even)

Halal Turkish, Arabic and Spanish food in Madrid city center.

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www.araratgmbh.com

Mashawy Mix

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Madrid is the capital and the largest city of Spain. It spans across an area of over 600 square kilometres and is home to a population of over 3 million residents, with about 15% of the population comprising immigrants from other countries. The city is separated into 21 different districts that are further divided into a number of sub-wards, and each district is handled by a Junta Municipal de Distrito.

A typical Mediterranean climate is found in Madrid, with summers that are pleasantly warm and winters that are quite cold. Madrid also offers the most number of trees and greenery per inhabitant in Europe and is home to several parks, gardens and places of natural wonder. Museums and art centres are amongst the other popular tourist attractions in the city.

The city is located towards the North East of the Iberian Peninsula, over the Manzanares River. Most of the tourist-attractions are located within the city centre, with must-visit spots including the Puerta del Sol, Plaza Mayor, Palacio Real and Plaza de Colón.

Nearby Airports

The Madrid Barajas International Airport is amongst the largest airports in Europe and is located around 10 kilometres from the Madrid city centre. Established in 1928, it is one of the most prominent aviation centres in the continent and serves millions of passengers every year. Two other airports in Madrid are the Torrejón de Ardoz Airport - which mainly handles private aviation - and the Cuatro Vientos Airport which deals with flying schools and state services.

Halal Restaurants

Several Halal restaurants in Madrid are available for Muslim travellers, serving cuisine ranging from Middle Eastern to South Asian fare. Popular spots in the city include Cappadocia Kebap, Al Zahra and Bombay Palace. Another must-try spot is the Restaurante Farah Bagdad - one of the few certified Halal restaurants in Madrid - which is hidden on a small street near the El Carmen metro, serving delectable Middle Eastern food.

Madrid offers a few mosques for Muslim travellers. Amongst the most prominent is the Madrid Central Mosque - also known as the Abu-Bakr Mosque - which is located in the vicinity of the Cuatro Caminos neighbourhood, as well as the Islamic Cultural Center of Madrid which is one of the largest mosques in Europe and offers various facilities to visitors.

Things to Do and See in Madrid

  • Palacio Real  
  • Plaza Mayor   
  • Prado Museum  
  • Retiro Park  
  • Gran Via   
  • Puerta del Sol  
  • Plaza de Cibeles   
  • Temple of Debod   
  • Museo Reina Sofia
  • Restaurants
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Capadocia Kebap

Capadocia Kebap

Calle de las Carretas, 14, Madrid, Comunidad de Madrid

Calle de las Carretas, 14, Madrid, Comunidad de Madrid 28012

Alquds Restaurante

Alquds Restaurante

Calle de Chinchilla, 7, 28013 Madrid, Spain

El Califa

Calle de Trujillos, 3, Madrid, Comunidad de Madrid 28013

Calle de Trujillos, 3, Madrid, Comunidad de Madrid

Madrid Barajas International Airport

Madrid Barajas International Airport

Aeropuerto de Barajas, Avenida de la Hispanidad, s/n, 28042 Madrid, Spain

Mercado de San Miguel

Mercado de San Miguel

Plaza de San Miguel, 28013 Madrid, Spain

Gran Via

Gran Via, Madrid, Spain

Royal Palace

Royal Palace

Calle Bailén, s/n, 28071 Madrid, Spain

Prado Museum

Prado Museum

Paseo del Prado, s/n, 28014 Madrid, Spain

The Buen Retiro Park

The Buen Retiro Park

Plaza de la Independencia, 7, 28001 Madrid, Spain

mushroom soup

mushroom soup

Calle de Salvador de Madariaga, 4, Madrid, Comunidad de Madrid 28027

Navaty

Calle de la Virgen de Lourdes, 42, Madrid, Comunidad de Madrid

Tarek Ibn Ziad Masjid, Madrid

Tarek Ibn Ziad Masjid, Madrid

Tarek Ibn Ziad Masjid C/ Nalderasa Madrid 28001 Madrid Spain

Central Mosque

Central Mosque

Anastasio Herrero, 7

Madrid Central Mosque

Madrid Central Mosque

Calle Anastasio Herrero, 5, 28020 Madrid, Spain

mezquita terminal 4 departure madrid airport

mezquita terminal 4 departure madrid airport

Iberia - Terminal 4, 28042 Madrid, Spain

Al Islam Mosque and Muslim Center

Al Islam Mosque and Muslim Center

Calle De Alonso Cano, 3

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The Halal Times

The Halal Times

Global Halal, Islamic Finance News At Your Fingertips

Spain Launches New Travel Guide For Muslim Tourists

muslim travel spain

In a strategic move to cater to the burgeoning needs of Muslim globetrotters, Spain is unveiling an exhaustive travel guide tailored for those eager to delve into the charms of its southern jewel, Andalusia. Titled “ Andalusia for Muslim Travelers “, this Halal travel guide offers an in-depth look into the region’s must-see sights, intriguing locales, comfortable accommodations, and a curated list of eateries that adhere to halal requirements in the region.

Monica Sanchez, Spain’s lead tourism envoy in Singapore, ardently remarked, “This guide fills a pivotal gap in our promotional arsenal. It’s a tribute to Andalusia’s profound Islamic roots and the rich tapestry of its heritage.” The region, with its cobblestoned streets, echoing tales of ancient Moorish rulers and iconic architectural marvels like the Alhambra Palace, has long been a magnet for Muslim wanderers. However, the depth of its halal offerings has remained something of a secret, particularly in corners of Southeast Asia.

This meticulously crafted guide not only shines a spotlight on halal gastronomy and mosques but also places a keen emphasis on the broader cultural nuances, traditions, and values inherent to Muslim travelers. “It’s not merely about halal dining or prayer spaces. It’s about a holistic understanding and appreciation of the diverse facets that shape Muslim travel preferences,” elaborated Sanchez.

The Halal-friendly guide provides detailed info about Halal tourism for the following regions in the country.

  • Costa del Sol

This amazing Halal travel guide in Spain covers the following topics for the regions mentioned above.

  • A brief introduction of the region
  • Nearby attractions
  • Halal food availability
  • Muslim-friendly hotels in the region

Interested individuals may download the Halal travel guide by clicking on the following link

Muslim-Friendly Travel Guide for Spain

To amplify the guide’s launch, a dynamic promotional blitz is in motion. This includes features on prominent Southeast Asian platforms in both English and Bahasa Indonesia, a series of engaging posts across social media landscapes, and a collection of six captivating videos that are slated for a staggered release on the official YouTube channel of the Spain Tourism Board.

This ambitious project, the brainchild of Let’s Go Halal – a Spanish enterprise with expertise in halal tourism, paints a vivid picture of Andalusia. The region, celebrated for its vibrant fiestas, awe-inspiring natural vistas, and a treasure trove of landmarks that echo its Islamic golden age, is poised to welcome a new wave of Muslim explorers, thanks to this invaluable resource. The invitation is clear: Andalusia is ready to share its stories, and the world is eagerly listening.

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Spain unveils new tourism travel guide for Muslim travellers

muslim travel spain

To expand services that attends to the needs of Muslim travellers in the country, Spain has launched a new one-stop travel guide for Muslim travellers planning to explore its southern region Andalusia.

Andalusia for Muslim Travelers  is a guide that provides reference on what to see, what to visit, where to stay, as well as recommendations for Muslim-friendly restaurants.

Spain’s tourism counsellor in Singapore, Monica Sanchez, said: “We believe it is a promotional tool that we have been missing, especially given Andalusia’s rich Islamic history and heritage.”

Andalusia is a popular destination for Muslim travellers, but its halal offer is still largely unknown in South-east Asia. The guide provides a valuable resource to raise awareness of all the practical elements that make a destination like Andalusia, more appealing to visitors who seek halal travel experiences.

“Our strategy goes beyond simply offering Muslim travellers halal food and places of worship. We recognise and have taken into account their cultural practices, traditions and sensitivities,” shared Sanchez.

The guide is accompanied by a promotional campaign that includes publications on South-east Asian platforms in English and Bahasa Indonesia, social media postings and six videos that will be gradually released in Spain Tourism Board’s official YouTube channel.

Produced by Let’s Go Halal, a Spanish Muslim company specialising in halal tourism,  Andalusia for Muslim Travelers  features an extensive list of places with halal options in Andalucía, which besides for its food, is also known for its mosques as well as rich Islamic heritage – it is a land of culture, history, fiestas, natural landscapes and outstanding monuments, such as the preserved Moorish architecture, the Alhambra Palace.

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Professor Gary McCarron joined the Graduate Liberal Studies program over a decade ago, and this year he assumed the role of Acting Director for GLS. Gary, who has served as the Graduate Chair within GLS and as an Associate Professor in the School of Communication, is eager to enhance the recruitment and public outreach efforts of GLS.

Read more from our interview with Gary as he shares his thoughts on GLS and discusses the upcoming Summer 2024 travel study course.

What motivated you to take on this new role as the Acting Director of GLS and what are your goals/vision for this year? I have tremendous respect for the GLS Director, Sasha Colby, so when she asked if I would consider taking on the role of acting director during her leave, I was inspired by her confidence in me to say yes. My principal goals are mainly to ensure that the program continues to develop in terms of recruitment and public outreach. Sasha initiated a series of important changes to the program in terms of hybrid teaching which we continue to do, and regular Open House meetings to attract potential grads. I have also managed to persuade one of my colleagues from the School of Communication, Martin Laba, to offer a graduate course in GLS in the fall of this year on “Currencies and Histories of Popular Music.” It should be a fantastic offering for our students. We will also be hosting well-known author, Adam Gopnik, in March, this year’s Babcock Lecture speaker. Finally, I am organizing a travel study course to Spain in the early Summer of this year on the history, culture, and philosophy of Andalusia, so we are quite busy.

Having been a part of SFU School of Communication for several years, what motivated you to join the GLS team as an instructor? In what ways does GLS differ from other programs within SFU?

I started splitting my time between Communication and GLS over a decade ago, mainly because GLS provided me with opportunities to teach in areas that would not have fit as easily in my teaching rotation in Communication. For instance, I was always interested in certain philosophical issues relating to the interface between society and religion, and the first course I taught in GLS, Mercy and Regret: An Inquiry into the Nature of Forgiveness and Apologies , spoke to that connection in ways that allowed me to exploit more fully my background in moral philosophy.  

Graduate Liberal Studies differs from other university programs in a number of ways, not the least of which is that we are the only part-time graduate program at SFU. But there are other factors, too. GLS was formed over 40 years ago to provide academic opportunities for an underserviced population, people who had completed a BA with the intent of returning to graduate school, but who found that life, work, and the demands of family made it difficult to return to the academy right away. This means that we enrol many people who are well along in their careers and sometimes even retired. In other words, it is an ‘older’ population of students who may have been out of the university system for many years. Graduate Liberal Studies allows them to reacquaint themselves with some of the classical texts in the Western intellectual tradition, and their enthusiasm is one of the things I most cherish about the program. I often tell my colleagues that if I recommend a particular book to one of my GLS students, the chances are very good that they are actually going to go out and read it!

What specific themes or topics will be the focus of the Summer 2024 Field Study?

This summer’s travel study course will be to Granada, Córdoba, and Seville – Andalusian Spain, in other words. Our principal goals will be to explore the blending of Muslim/Christian/Jewish art, literature, poetry, and architecture that characterizes Andalusia; to examine the transmission of Greek learning from Baghdad to Córdoba and on to Western Europe via Muslim philosophers such as Avicenna (Ibn Sina) and Averroes (Ibn Rushd) and Jewish philosophers such as Maimonides (Musa ibn Maymun); and to assess the degree to which Muslim rule in Andalusia was successful in creating a society and culture based on toleration of disparate religious and cultural communities and to see if this experiment in attempting to live with difference speaks to our current global conflicts. We read several books that deal with this period of Spanish history including the award-winning book by historian, Maria Rosa Menocal, The Ornament of the World , as well as histories that offer different accounts of that period, including Richard Fletcher’s Moorish Spain . In short, the course on Andalusia gives us a great opportunity to do what GLS does best: Provide a range of perspectives on an important topic from a variety of historical, political, cultural – and in this case, theological – points of view. We also get to spend two weeks in Southern Spain, and that’s not an incidental consideration!

Interested in applying for the Graduate Liberal Studies Program? 

We are currently accepting applications for the Fall 2024 Cohort. The deadline is April 29, 2024. Please contact us for more information.

[email protected]

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How UNRWA Donor Countries Have Responded to Israel’s Accusations

Some countries have re-evaluated their support for the main U.N. agency in Gaza after Israel accused a dozen agency employees of participating in the Oct. 7 attacks.

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People, including children, in an open area near a sign that says UNRWA Khawla Elem. Coed School.

By Matthew Mpoke Bigg

  • Published Jan. 28, 2024 Updated Jan. 30, 2024

Israel’s accusations that a dozen United Nations workers in Gaza had participated in the Hamas-led Oct. 7 attacks have prompted some donor nations to re-evaluate their commitments to the agency that provides food, water and other essential services to Palestinian civilians.

The United Nations said on Friday that it had fired the accused workers from the agency, known as UNRWA , and opened an investigation . Some countries have responded by suspending funding to UNRWA, while others have said they will maintain their support.

Here is a look the steps announced by some leading donors, ranked according to the amount they have pledged:

United States: Suspending funding . The United States is the agency’s largest donor, having pledged $344 million in 2022. The State Department said in a statement that it was withholding less than $1 million that had been approved but not yet disbursed, and that it was pausing additional funding “while we review these allegations and the steps the United Nations is taking to address them.”

Germany: Temporarily suspending all new funding pending the outcome of an investigation into the allegations against the UNRWA workers. Germany pledged $202 million to the agency in 2022.

European Union : No plans to suspend funding. The European Union, which contributed 82 million euros to UNRWA in 2023 , reiterated its support of the agency’s role in addressing the humanitarian crisis, and said it would make “upcoming funding decisions in light of the outcome of the investigation.”

Norway: Continuing its funding, which was $34 million in 2022. Though it expressed deep concerned over the allegations, Norway urged other donors to reflect on the consequences of cutting funding, saying: “We should not collectively punish millions of people.”

Japan: Suspending funding “for the time being.”

Turkey: Expressed concern that some countries had cut off funding and said the decisions, in response to “allegations against a few UNRWA staff, will primarily harm the Palestinian people.”

Canada: Pausing additional funding pending an investigation into the allegations against the UNRWA workers.

The Netherlands: Suspending all funding “until the investigation is concluded.”

Britain: Suspending funding. The British government said it was “appalled” by the allegations.

Spain: Continuing funding. Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares said Monday that “only a dozen of the 30,000” UNRWA employees had been accused of crimes.

Australia: Said it would “temporarily pause disbursement of recently announced funding.”

Ireland: No plans to suspend funding . Ireland welcomed UNRWA’s decision to investigate and said the agency’s 13,000 employees in Gaza provide lifesaving assistance at “incredible personal cost” — noting that more than 100 UNRWA workers had been killed in the fighting.

Austria: Temporarily suspending “all further payments” to UNRWA until the accusations are clarified.

Finland: Suspending funding , saying that “we must make sure that not a single euro of Finland’s money goes to Hamas.”

Edward Wong contributed reporting.

Matthew Mpoke Bigg is a correspondent covering international news. He previously worked as a reporter, editor and bureau chief for Reuters and did postings in Nairobi, Abidjan, Atlanta, Jakarta and Accra. More about Matthew Mpoke Bigg

Our Coverage of the Israel-Hamas War

News and Analysis

Israel’s defense minister signaled that ground forces would advance toward the city of Rafah , in the southern Gaza Strip, which has become a refuge for hundreds of thousands of Palestinians pushed from their homes by nearly 13 weeks of war.

More than 800 officials in the United States, the United Kingdom and the E.U. released a public letter of dissent  against their governments’ support of Israel in the war in Gaza.

President Biden imposed financial sanctions against four Israelis accused of escalating violence against civilians, intimidating civilians or destroying property in the West Bank. Here’s what we know about the four men .

A New Reality: For many Palestinians in the West Bank, life was already hard under years of Israeli occupation. Since the Oct. 7 attack, they have become subject to even more onerous restrictions and an increased military presence .

What the World Can’t See: From outside Gaza, the scale of death and destruction is impossible to grasp , shrouded by communications blackouts, restrictions barring international reporters and extreme challenges facing local journalists.

Repurposed Weapons: Israeli military and intelligence officials have concluded that a significant number of weapons used by Hamas in the war in Gaza came from an unlikely source: the Israeli military itself .

In Search of the Truth: The Israel-Hamas conflict has produced a prodigious amount of disinformation, putting people who fact-check claims — especially those who live in the Middle East — back on their heels .

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