One of the most popular questions I receive here is about the best Muslim-friendly destinations that Muslims can visit in non-Muslim countries. Millions of Muslims travel every year and they sometimes want to visit places closer to home for a weekend away for example.
So many Muslims visit Europe every year and they want to find places where they can feel comfortable and of course with as many facilities such as halal food and prayer facilities as possible.
Below I have created a list of the most popular Muslim-friendly destinations according to Muslim travelers who have visited, my own travel experiences as well as the recent report of the Global Muslim Travel Index.
What is a Muslim-Friendly Destination?
I have a full article with my opinion of the differences between Muslim Friendly and Halal Holiday travel destinations. I refer to non-Muslim countries that welcome Muslim travellers where they can dress modestly, find halal food, have a Muslim community, mosques to pray and activities that are acceptable to Muslims. For example, exploring museums, family-friendly activities, cultural experiences and attractions.
A halal holiday destinations are predominately destinations in Muslim countries where they are closer removed from anything haram (non-permissible for Muslim travelers) such as alcohol-free options, segregated beaches, halal food, prayer facilities, removal of nudity etc. I do have a full blog post with the top Muslim countries for a halal holiday that you can read as well.
In many cases, both terms are interchangeably used for marketing purposes but I do like to separate them as for me they offer different meanings and also different experiences.
Not everyone wants to take their annual holiday in a Muslim-friendly country where they have to worry about things they find haram and the same goes for people who want to explore natural beauty for example that can be found only in specific countries.
Why You should visit non-Muslim countries
I strongly believe that Allah SWT created this world and the beauty in it for us to explore. As a Muslim convert, I have seen first-hand how important it is for cultures to interchange. Building bridges, and breaking stereotypes happens when we experience a different culture and see a different way of life, whether we agree with it or not.
Visiting non-Muslim countries for many is not an issue. Millions of Muslims live in them. It also opens our minds to other people’s thinking and ideas. Seeing hijabis in Greece always makes me smile because I know for a fact that 13 years ago it was so scary for me to wear my scarf there. Now it is normal. But this would not have happened if more and more Muslim tourists didn’t visit my country.
I always remember this verse “O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another.” (49:13)
Muslim-Friendly Destinations in Non Muslim Countries
London is one of the most popular Muslim-friendly destinations in Europe which is also home to close to one million Muslims living there. With ample prayer facilities and a vast selection of halal food from all over the globe. The city’s diverse cultural attractions are sure to pique the interest of any traveller.
Stroll through Hyde Park or marvel at the architecture of Tower Bridge. Explore historical sites such as Buckingham Palace and immerse yourself in arts at the British Museum. From shopping on Oxford Street to watching a show in the West End, London has something for everyone.
It offers an abundance of natural beauty too; enjoy serene views along the River Thames or relax amidst tranquil green spaces like Richmond Park. There are several places you can explore just a short train ride from London.
Singapore wins the yearly top spot in non-Muslim countries you can visit according to GMTI. This small country stands out as an exceptional Muslim-friendly destination. Known for its cultural diversity, it offers a myriad of halal food options ranging from local cuisine to international gourmet dishes.
The city-state has numerous mosques and praying facilities across the island to accommodate Muslim travellers. Sightseeing also becomes a treat with attractions such as Gardens by the Bay and Sentosa Island that emphasize natural beauty alongside family-friendly activities.
With modest clothing widely accepted, exploring this bustling metropolis won’t require compromise on personal beliefs either.
It is also considered one of the safest countries in the world.
France has one of the largest Muslim communities in Europe and although there are so many issues with Islamophobia it still stands as one of the most popular places. Millions visit Paris every year and there are so many options when it comes to halal food and prayer facilities. From the iconic Eiffel Tower to the mesmerising Louvre Museum, there’s something for everyone in Paris.
Wearing a hijab as a tourist in France is not a problem and I have never encountered issues with Islamophobia in the several French cities I have been to. There is so much beauty and places to explore in the country plus Muslim small businesses you can support.
Munich, holding a significant position in Germany with its vast cultural attractions and historical sites, offers numerous family-friendly activities. Its natural beauty is breathtakingly unique; you won’t want to miss the mesmerising English Garden or the grandeur of Nymphenburg Palace.
There are thousands of Muslims living in the city and there is no problem in finding halal food restaurants or mosques to pray in Munich, Islamic Centre Munich is one such notable mosque amongst many
I have been to Munich as a solo Muslim woman and I felt safe in the city.
Toronto is a vibrant and diverse city that offers plenty of attractions for Muslim travellers, making it a great Muslim-friendly destination. With its multicultural atmosphere, it’s easy to find halal food options and prayer facilities throughout the city.
Canada is home to one million Muslims with thousands living in Toronto, making it a welcoming destination with mosques and Islamic centers for visitors to explore. Don’t miss exploring the iconic CN Tower, and Royal Ontario Museum for a cultural experience or taking a stroll through the bustling streets of Kensington Market. You can even hire a car and drive to Niagra Falls for the day.
Whether you’re looking for cultural experiences, family-friendly activities, or delicious halal food, Toronto has something for everyone.
6 New York
One of the most tourist and popular travel destinations in the world, New York is home of over half a million Muslims. There is no shortage of halal food, mosques to pray or Muslim-friendly activities in the city that never sleeps. Although I feel Makkah is that deserves that name more.
Explore historical sites like the Statue of Liberty and Times Square, indulge in delicious halal food at various restaurants throughout the city, and enjoy family-friendly activities such as visiting Central Park or exploring the museums.
Another popular Muslim-friendly city in the US is Chicago which I visited this year on a solo trip. There are thousands of Muslims living in the city with great halal food cuisines from around the world as well as mosques to pray.
Chicago is a vibrant and diverse city that offers a range of attractions for Muslim travelers. With its bustling neighbourhoods, world-class museums, and stunning architecture, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Whether exploring Millennium Park, taking in breathtaking views from Willis Tower Skydeck, shopping on Michigan Avenue or taking an architectural cruise on the river there is something for every Muslim traveller to enjoy.
This small island in my opinion deserves to be among the halal-friendly travel destinations because 95% of the population is Muslim. It also offers stunning beaches and natural beauty.
The island is known for its rich history, with Stone Town being recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visitors can immerse themselves in the local culture by exploring historical sites such as the Palace Museum and Old Fort.
Zanzibar also boasts picturesque spice plantations where you can learn about the island’s famous spices like cloves and cinnamon. For those seeking adventure, snorkeling or diving in the vibrant coral reefs surrounding Zanzibar is an absolute must-do activity.
Seoul, the vibrant capital of South Korea, is a Muslim-friendly destination that offers a unique blend of traditional and modern attractions. Over the past years, the country has made strides to attract Muslim tourists and they even have a website where you can find halal food options serving delicious Korean cuisine and mosques to pray.
Visitors can explore historical sites such as Gyeongbokgung Palace and Bukchon Hanok Village or immerse themselves in the lively atmosphere of the Myeongdong shopping district.
Mauritius is a stunning island destination that is often overlooked but offers Muslim travellers a range of experiences to enjoy. With its pristine beaches, clear turquoise waters, and lush landscapes, Mauritius boasts natural beauty that is sure to captivate visitors. Around 17 % of the population is Muslims.
In terms of Muslim-friendly facilities, the island has several mosques where travelers can pray and find community. Additionally, halal food options are available at many restaurants and hotels on the island. It also makes for an excellent halal honeymoon destination.
11 Washington DC
Without a doubt, the capital of the United States holds a special place in my heart. I don’t think I can even explain the DC vibe unless you visit and experience it yourself. There is a significant population and a vibrant Muslim community in the DC and Virginia area with many professionals living there. I have friends in the area and they love living there.
You will not have a shortage of halal food in DC or mosques to pray like the Islamic Center of Washington and Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center.
Explore iconic landmarks such as the White House, Lincoln Memorial, and Smithsonian museums while enjoying a family-friendly atmosphere. Washington DC truly offers a blend of historical sites and modern attractions that make it an excellent choice for Muslim travelers seeking an enriching holiday experience.
Switzerland with its stunning natural beauty attracts millions of visitors all year round. Although only around 5% of the population is Muslim they are very tolerant and it is very safe to visit the country, albeit expensive.
Zurich is a vibrant city in Switzerland that offers a lot of choices for Muslim travellers. The city provides prayer facilities for Muslims, and there are halal food options available throughout the city.
With its blend of modernity and tradition, Zurich is a fantastic destination for those seeking to explore a Muslim-friendly place with historical sites, family-friendly activities, and an array of halal travel options.
13 Hong Kong
Hong Kong is continuing to improve its welcoming message to Muslim travellers. They usually attract a large percentage of tourists from South Asian countries but in recent years many European and American visitors started exploring as well.
With its bustling markets, delicious food plus all the halal dim sum you can eat, and stunning views, there is something for everyone to enjoy. You can explore the vibrant street markets and sample local delicacies or take in the panoramic views from Victoria Peak.
Hong Kong also offers prayer facilities for Muslim visitors, with several mosques located across the city
Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world, with over 200 million Muslims. Bali without a doubt, it is a Muslim-friendly travel destination.
It offers a lot to Muslim visitors from halal food options to private villas and places to pray. It is a great spot for those wanting luxury on a budget for a halal honeymoon and a full hijab-free experience.
Visitors can explore ancient Hindu temples like Tanah Lot and Uluwatu, or relax on the pristine sandy beaches of Nusa Dua and Seminyak, enjoy halal food in trendy cafes and visit the tropical forests.
If you want to explore an even more halal holiday destination check out the island of Lombok which is Muslim and offers a much more halal travel option with stunning beaches and fewer tourists.
I get a lot of raised eyebrows when I suggest Phuket as a top Muslim-friendly destination because most people think of Patong Beach which I don’t.
I think of Kamala which is home to the Muslims of the island where you can find a variety of halal food, friendly local Muslims and plenty of activities to do. There are several hotels offering private villas and halal food options like the Paresa Resort where I stayed or the Amatara Wellness Resort.
With stunning beaches, vibrant markets, and a rich cultural heritage, Phuket offers a variety of activities and attractions suitable for everyone not just partygoers.
You can engage in family-friendly activities like snorkeling or visit natural beauty spots like Phi Phi Island. Whether you’re looking for relaxation or adventure, Phuket has something for everyone while providing a welcoming environment for Muslim visitors.
Malta is a stunning Muslim holiday destination that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. With its beautiful beaches, charming architecture, and warm hospitality. Malta has become increasingly popular among Muslim travellers for short breaks away thanks to low-cost airlines.
There is a mosque and several halal restaurants in Malta you can enjoy while there.
From visiting historical sites included in Unesco’s world heritage like the ancient city of Mdina to enjoying the picturesque coastal towns of Valletta and St. Julian’s, there is no shortage of cultural attractions to discover in Malta.
Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, is a vibrant and culturally rich destination with over 70,000 Muslims residing in the country. With its historic sites, stunning architecture, and natural beauty, Edinburgh is a must-visit Muslim-friendly destination.
Take a stroll along the Royal Mile and visit the magnificent Edinburgh Castle, where you can immerse yourself in Scottish history. Don’t miss out on exploring the charming neighbourhoods of Dean Village and Stockbridge with their picturesque streets lined with boutiques and cafes.
And for those seeking prayer facilities, there are several mosques conveniently located throughout the city.
Reykjavik the capital of Iceland is quickly becoming one of the top tourist destinations. The country has a tiny Muslim population and finding restaurants that serve halal food can require a little bit of exploring but nonetheless, it is worth the effort.
With its stunning natural beauty, including geothermal spas and captivating landscapes, Reykjavik is a rare country to explore.
Explore the iconic landmarks such as Hallgrimskirkja church take a dip in one of the many hot springs like the famous Blue Lagoon or see the Northern Lights.
Iceland has one of the highest safety marks for tourists and if you are a solo Muslimah looking to explore there are plenty of budget airlines for a long weekend away.
Oslo, the capital of Norway, is a thriving and diverse city with a growing Muslim population. It is one of the safest cities to visit according to the Safety Index and a great destination for Muslim travellers looking for a short European break.
With its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant cultural scene, Oslo has something for everyone to enjoy. Explore historical sites like the Royal Palace and Akershus Fortress, or immerse themselves in the city’s natural beauty by visiting Vigeland Sculpture Park or taking a boat tour around the Oslo Fjord.
Amsterdam and the Netherlands in general are great destinations with a diverse and multi-cultural population, of which around 5% are Muslims.
The capital city of the Netherlands is a vibrant and diverse destination that offers plenty of attractions for Muslim travellers with its picturesque canals, historic architecture, and iconic museums.
You visit the stunning Royal Palace in Dam Square or take a leisurely stroll through the famous Vondelpark. The Rijksmuseum is another highlight, housing masterpieces by renowned Dutch artists such as Rembrandt and Vermeer.
There are a variety of halal food cuisines available in Amsterdam as well as mosques to pray around the city like the Islamic Centre of Amsterdam. I have never had any issues as a Muslim hijabi in the city and I find it safe to explore.
Italy is one of the most visited countries in the world and there are so many places you can explore. It is extremely popular with Muslim tourists especially those looking for short breaks in some of the Italian cities. With low-cost airlines like Wizz Air also offering flights to Saudi Arabia, many Muslims are taking advantage of exploring the country.
Milan is a very Muslim-friendly city and it represents the highest number of Muslim residents in the country. With a multicultural environment, historical buildings, surrounding nature like Lake Como and also the amazing shopping district you cannot go wrong when visiting.
The city is home to several mosques where visitors can pray, including the Islamic Cultural Center of Milan. When it comes to halal food options, you will find numerous restaurants serving delicious international cuisine.
Athens is becoming a very Muslim-friendly destination and there are so many more Muslims living in the city. I am biased since it is my city but there is so much you can explore there. All the needs of Muslim travellers are met since now there is also an official mosque as well as plenty of halal food restaurants in Omonia and the surrounding areas.
Explore Monastiraki, Plaka, the Acropolis and the Museum plus the beautiful suburbs for a true Greek feel.
Greece also has some of the most stunning beaches in the world and the islands are a definitely favourite with many Muslims. I always swim with my burkini without a problem and although you might get curious looks they are mostly out of curiosity rather than islamophobia.
Melbourne is a great Muslim-friendly destination due to its diverse and inclusive environment. Over 100,000 thousand live in the city which offers a wide range of food restaurants and mosques to pray. There are so many things you can enjoy in Melbourne as a Muslim tourist from the Melbourne Museum to the Royal Botanic Gardens or the Queen Victoria market. There is something for everyone.
The relaxed vibe of Melbourne is always welcomed by travellers and it makes for a great first impression of Australia.
Every Place in the World is Muslim-friendly
Although I spent hours writing this piece on the best Muslim-friendly destinations in non-Muslim countries I am also here to tell you that every single place with a tiny exception is Muslim-friendly in my opinion. I have found Muslims in places I would never consider possible like in Peru or a tiny city in Italy but there are.
Even if there are no Muslims there it goes back to the fact we can survive without halal food or mosques in different countries if we are there for a short period but also how do we expect those facilities if there is no demand for them?
In addition, more and more countries are recognizing the importance of providing a welcoming atmosphere for Muslim visitors. With increased awareness and understanding, it is easier than ever for Muslims to explore new cultures and enjoy their travel experiences without compromising their faith.
Accumulating memories with our family or solo and visiting the places on our bucket list is more important in some cases than halal food availability. We can experience so many vegetarian options in the local cuisine that otherwise we wouldn’t.
Islam is an easy religion and Allah SWT did make travel easy for us.
In conclusion, there are amazing places around the world that make great Muslim-friendly destinations however this list is not the end all. It is mostly one of the most popular vacation spots however depending on your reasons to travel and what you enjoy most you can tailor it based on your bucket list.