It's already August (where did the time go?!) and that can only mean one thing - it's time to get cracking on planning your year-end holidays!Credit:giphyAnd to help you plan your holiday, we're rounded up some of the best destinations to head for this 2019. That way, it'll be easy to pick your place and start booking your flight and accommodations ASAP!
1. Tokyo, Japan
Starting off our list is an easy one: Tokyo! There's a reason (well, many reasons) why this destination is so beloved by many, even prompting repeat visits. If you've never been to Tokyo and haven't felt moved to visit, it's still worth considering - our writer Faruq never understood why everyone loves Japan until he solo-travelled to Tokyo, which drastically changed his mind
- maybe yours could too!
This city offers sights and sounds like no other. Marvelling at the sheer business of Shibuya, see the iconic Sens0-ji Temple at Asakusa
, and explore the trendy streets of Harajuku. For the theme park lovers, a visit to Tokyo Disneyland
and Tokyo Disneysea
is a must (check out our Muslim-friendly guides to conquer bothparks
!). Visiting the city doesn't have to be jaw-droppingly expensive either - check out our 7D7N Muslim-Friendly Tokyo itinerary for less than RM3,000
Don't forget to try out the amazing local food! With halal options and Muslim-friendly options becoming more widely available, you can savour authentic ramen
, wagyu beef and other Japanese delicacies during your stay
. It's a foodie's dream ? Prayer spots are accessible too, which makes Tokyo an amazingly Muslim-friendly city to visit. Check out our ultimate guide to Tokyo for Muslim travellers
for everything you'd need to know for your trip!
P.S. We've written extensively on Tokyo and have a wealth of information that can be helpful from your trip, so do check it out
2. Perth, AustraliaMost travellers buy a flight ticket to Perth for their sun, sand, and sea. That’s a promise for anyone who steps foot on the capital of Western Australia. Besides that, there’s also the chance to explore the hidden gems of Western Australia and chill away in Perth. With so many things to do, we certainly can’t blame them ?Follow the locals' footsteps to discover it yourself. Check out the blooming tulips and magnolias at Araluen Botanic Park or feed a kangaroo at Caversham Wildlife Park. Prefer hiking? Take your inner explorer for a walk along the forested Bibbulmun Track!Credit: @juniorbanhos on Instagram#HHWT Tip: Need a guide? We show you how it’s done with this 5D4N Muslim-Friendly Itinerary to Perth!
is probably on everyone's travel bucket list, and who could blame them? With a beautiful blend of European and Asian influences, marvellous historical buildings, and fascinating local culture, it's a wanderlust dream. Plus the fact it's a predominantly Muslim country means halal food and prayer spaces are a cinch to find!
Credit: Pedro Szekely on Flickr
Istanbul's must-visit attractions
are wonders to behold, including Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque, the Hippodrome of Constantinople and many more. Walk through the Grand Bazaar and soak in the exotic sights while stocking up on goods like lamps, home decor, soaps and jewellery. Or go for a river cruise along the beautiful Bosphorus and see the city from a different perspective.
Please note that both the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia are currently under restorations, but you can still visit some parts of both compounds ?
Credit: metingunvar on Instagram
Turkey's street food is plentiful and you'll have many halal and cheap options
to indulge in during your trip. Don't forget to sip loads of Turkish tea too! To also make the most out of your stay, try checking out these accommodations near Istanbul's major attractions
#HHWT Tip: Want to explore Istanbul on a budget? We have all the essential tips you’ll ever need. Your wallet will thank you?
4. Dublin, IrelandFrom Instagrammable landscapes to lively culture, Dublin is definitely on our travel bucket list. If your idea of a perfect vacation has the words "relaxing" and "picturesque", don’t stop yourself from booking a flight ticket to this part of the world!Credit: @annesbjerre on InstagramLandscaped with breathtaking sceneries, it’s a shame not to practice your photography skills in Dublin. Work your camera when you catch the wild Fallow deer at Phoenix Park, admire the architecture of St. Patrick’s Cathedral (the largest cathedral in Ireland), or go back in time to the eight-century-old Dublin Castle. Credit: @kaz.mar on InstagramIf fall is your favourite season of the year, prancing on the crunchy autumn leaves at St. Stephen’s Green is a must ?Credit: @raejmartens on Instagram
5. Jeju, South KoreaWe’re often told that Jeju is a place where enchanting seaside and laid-back culture thrive. We adore it so much that we called it the Muslim-friendly Hawaii of Korea. When travellers make their way to this South Korean gem, their cameras and smartphones are always ready to take pictures ?Credit: @sunmi0111 on InstagramWhen in Jeju, we encourage everyone to take a stroll at Swiss Village, sip fresh milk tea from St. Isidore Dairy Farm, and relive your childhood at the Teddy Bear Museum. Besides that, did you know that Jeju has amazing Muslim-friendly eateries too? Yes, you can savour the best seafood steamboat in town if you follow our 5D4N Muslim-friendly itinerary to Jeju.Credit: @jejumuslimtravel on Instagram
Given the sheer size of Jeju (it's twice the size of Singapore!), picking where you want to stay may require a little more planning - check out our recommended accommodations plus tips for choosing where to stay
! We've also rounded up handy tips to help save costs during your Jeju trip
6. Barcelona, SpainApart from their famous football team, Barcelona’s enchantment lies in its historic attractions. Best explored on foot, Barcelona will win you over with their beautiful Basilica La Sagrada Familia church, magical water show at Font Magica and the stunning Palau de la Música Catalana concert hall. Aside from that, you can’t leave Barcelona without doing these eight things too.Credit: @lance_in_the_pants on InstagramOnce you’re blown away by the attractions, rest assured that a delicious meal is never too far away. Whether it’s for lunch or dinner, you can savour some lip-smacking Tajine dishes, meaty kebabs, and seafood paella. Credit: @restaurantascent on Instagram
Spent all of your research time on sightseeing? It’s alright, we’ve bookmarked 6 Muslim-friendly eateries for your next Barcelona trip
7. New Zealand
If you're looking for somewhere that won't be freezing cold at the end of the year, somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere is your answer, and what better destination than New Zealand? Summer in New Zealand is the perfect time to plan that epic road trip through this breathtakingly beautiful country
. From the stunning lakes to the magical glowworm caves and glorious mountains, you'll see the most incredible sights in New Zealand
Our team visited New Zealand earlier this year and were simply blown away by its beauty and the wonderful communities we encountered. The grace and resilience shows by the people following the Christchurch tragedy further cemented the love and respect we have for the country and its people.
Following our trip there, we came up with itineraries to hopefully inspire you to explore the amazing treasures both in North Island
and South Island
. Muslim-friendly eateries
are also easy to find, so you'll be sure to have a great trip. Make sure to stop by local supermarkets to stock up on Muslim-friendly local snacks
to bring home!
8. Rome, ItalyWhen in Rome, wear your most comfortable footwear and explore the city as the locals do. The year-end promises full-blown autumn and early glimpses of winter, so be prepared to be whisked away!Credit: @giovlna on InstagramTreat yourself to a relaxing walk and visit a medley of historic attractions at your own pace. We recommend exploring the St. Peter’s Basilica, Colosseum, Pantheon, and Trevi Fountain on a sunny afternoon. After burning all those calories, let’s not forget to indulge in some Muslim-friendly cheap eats and creamy gelatos in Rome. They’re one of many reasons why we fell in love with Rome.
9. New York City, USThanks to its influential pop culture, New York City is one of the world’s most exciting cities. Just the thought of NYC is enough to conjure imaginative snapshots of Times Square, Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, and Central Park.Credit: @richtena on Instagram
If you’re planning your first trip here, catching Broadway shows and visiting the American Museum of Natural History are some of the NYC experiences you need to have. Apart from that, you have to make your way to the Halal Guys for hot rice platters, Cairo Steakhouse for kebabs and other Muslim-friendly eateries in NYC for savoury delights.Credit: @thehalalguyshouston on Instagram
10. Hokkaido, JapanAsk anyone and they would say that Hokkaido is one of Japan’s scenic treasures. To be exact, breathtaking is how we would describe it. Don’t believe us? Spend the afternoon along the Otaru canal, catch the twinkling city lights in Hakodate, and space out amid the fluffy clouds on the Hills of Biei. Trust us, those aren’t the only places in Hokkaido that can take your breath away ?Plus, when you visit Hokkaido during the winter season, it's a chilly wonderland that's the perfect spot to for winter getaway!For first-timers in Hokkaido, read our Muslim-friendly guide to Hokkaido for everything from must-go attractions to accommodations. Plus, we unveiled some money-saving hacks like purse-friendly shopping and cheap eats in our budget-friendly Hokkaido guide. Prefer a halal food guide instead? Check out these Muslim-friendly Japanese eateries in Hokkaido to satiate your craving for miso-based ramen and shabu-shabu ?Credit: @aaadho1 on InstagramIt's the perfect time to plan that epic 2019 year-end trip! And if you book it now, you'll have an awesome wanderlust goal to keep you motivated throughout the rest of the year. So pick your spot and get ready to have an awesome vacation! ?