Sana’a is the capital of Yemen, located in the Yemeni Mountains.
One of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in the world (others being Jericho, Damascus, and Aleppo), Sana’a is believed to have been founded by Shem, the son of Noah.
As a result, the city has the unlikely nickname of “Sam City.”
For travelers there are a lot of fascinating landmarks in Sanaa, for example:
- The Old City of Sana’a is a World Heritage-listed. It makes a great place to see the unique Yemeni style of architecture – multiple-story tower houses with distinctive qamariya windows.
- Old City is the Souk al-Milh, arguably the best souk (marketplace) in the Arabian Peninsula.
- Great Mosque of Sana’a. One of the oldest mosques in the world.
Warnings & Dangers in Sana’a
OVERALL RISK : HIGH
A trip to Sanaa is not recommended. In a city and a country, there is a high risk of falling into a terrorist attack and being killed. There are no safe places in the city, and the risk of crime is high both day and night.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM
It is not recommended to use any transport other than personal. Taxis may also be insecure; do not get in a cab alone. If possible, use armed guards for your movement around the city.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM
Sanaa has a high crime rate, so it’s justifiable to expect small thefts of bags and wallets. Do not leave your things unattended, hold backpacks and bags tight, especially at intersections. Avoid being in the crowd.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : HIGH
The disasters frequently occurred in the Sanaa region are floods, earthquakes, landslides, epidemics, and droughts. Also, there are other causes of human disasters like famine and social conflict.
MUGGING RISK : HIGH
Armed robberies and kidnapping for ransom are the main crimes in the city. Tourists especially often become the target of attackers. Try not to travel around the city alone and take care of your safety.
TERRORISM RISK : HIGH
US Department of State does not recommend to travel in Sanaa due to the high concentration of terrorists. Terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda control the region. Civil wars and local protests also increase the risk of danger.
SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM
Petty fraud on the streets, a scam in ATM with your cards, and overpriced things for tourists happen in the city. However, against the general background of a high criminal level of incidents, you will not care about petty fraud too much.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : HIGH
Women are strongly discouraged from traveling to Sanaa alone. The risk of being abducted, killed, or raped is very high. Do not go to the streets of the city unaccompanied.
So... How Safe Is Sana’a Really?
Sanaa is not a safe place.
The level of crime is high, and it’s increasing in the last years.
Most crimes are connected to armed robberies, violent crimes, vandalism, and corruption.
But Sana’a is relatively safe in contrast to some other parts of Yemen.
The overall security threat level in Yemen is extremely high due to terrorist organizations, including al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), to continue to be active in Yemen and Sanaa.
Note that gun carrying is very reasonable in Yemen, as many men hold or have a gun for traditional reasons.
One should not be alarmed at the sight of a gun, even military-style assault weapons.
Travelers should take care of the exact maps of the city as the streets of the town are not always marked and marked.
Better yet, take a local guide or escort.
It is also useful for increasing your safety when arriving in Sanaa.
Locals are kind enough.
But due to terrorist conflicts, the risk of being kidnapped or subjected to torture and armed robbery is very high.
In general, tourists are not recommended visiting Sanaa without good reason – the city is currently not a favorable environment for travel.
Most likely, it will be tough for you to take care of your safety and quickly get into trouble – both in the middle of the day and at night.
- Visas - Visitors to Yemen must obtain a visa from one of the Yemeni diplomatic missions unless they come from one of the visa countries whose citizens may obtain a visa on arrival. Visa on arrival policy is available for some 50 nations. A valid passport is a must.
- Currency - The rial or riyal is the official currency of Yemen. It is technically divided into 100 fils, although coins denominated in fils have not been issued since Yemeni unification. In 2018, the Central Bank of Yemen reintroduced the 200 rials banknote and has issued a new 100 rials banknote.
- Weather - The best times of year to visit Sana'a for warm-weather activities are from mid-February to mid-May and from mid-August to late October. Sanaa does not experience a significant seasonal variation of wet days.
- Airports - Sanaa International Airport is the primary international airport in Yemen, located in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen. The runway is shared with a large military base with several fighter jets and transport aircraft of the Yemeni Air Force. The airport is located 14,5 km from the city center.
- Travel Insurance - The travel insurance policy is a must when visiting a foreign country. Make sure you got it before starting your journey, the customs officer may ask for it.
Sana’a Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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