Situated in a mountain valley at an altitude of 2,200 m, Sana’a has been inhabited for more than 2,500 years. In the 7th and 8th centuries the city became a major centre for the propagation of Islam. This religious and political heritage can be seen in the mosques, hammams and over 6,000 houses, all built before the 11th century. Sana’a’s many-storeyed tower-houses built of rammed earth (pisé) add to the beauty of the site.
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Without any doubt, the old city is Sana'a's principal attraction. It is like a trip to the past, where still it is possible to see the traditional Yemeni life in the streets. Until 1962, it was the whole perimeter of the city, of which still some walled sections remain. Nowadays, around it, the new city continues growing. Bad Al Yemen is the main door to the old city, with a lot activity there. Easy to visit walking and ideally to get lost in the labyrinth of narrow streets.
Find the Souk Al Milh. It is the main and older market of the city. The main entrance, for not to get lost, is through the door of Bab al-Yemen, the market extends northward and divide in many small markets. Originally, Souk al-Milh was one of these little markets, but today it the name is applie to the whole market. The spice market, raisin market or henna market, are some of the more ancient and representative.
There’s no way you’ll go to the old city of Sana’a without having some Yemeni tea. Try Chai Ahmar (tea) or Chai Haleb (tea with milk). If you love milk then ask for Haleb Mofawer and if you prefer tea without milk then you should try Chai na’naa (tea with mint).