The region known as the Middle East is a fabulously diverse and colourful part of the world, with so many different cultures, people and languages. Once you delve into the region of the Middle East, you’ll find yourself returning over and over again. But in case you’re having a hard time deciding on the location that best fits your personality and travel needs, look no further. Here are the best cities to visit in the Middle East based on your travel personality.
For culture enthusiasts: Marrakesh, Morocco
Although numerous cities and regions across the Middle East are bursting with colourful cultures, the one place that travellers keep going back to for authentic, proud and stunning culture is Marrakesh, Morocco. Here, you can see first-hand the beautiful interactions of traditional Berber, Arab and even French-influenced cultures that so effortlessly make up Morocco.
For nature lovers: Muscat, Oman
Using the capital of Muscat as a base, the country of Oman, located on the corner of the Arabian Peninsula overlooking the Indian Ocean, is the perfect place to live out all of your nature adventure goals. And for even more adventure, you can also hike up to and swim among Oman’s famous natural wadis in the north, trek along the green oasis of Salalah or go camping in the rugged Al Hajar mountains for an unforgettable experience.
For fun seekers: Beirut, Lebanon
For those who just want a fun vacation out in the city, there is no better place than Beirut, Lebanon. Famous for its bouncing nightclubs, all-night shisha cafes, lively streets and shopping bazaars, the Lebanese zeal for life and having a good time will leave you in love with the sparkling city of Beirut.
For beach lovers: Dubai, UAE
Although Dubai may be famous for having the tallest building and the largest mall in the world, it’s also famous for having absolutely stunning beaches. Here, you’ll be able to bask in the warm sun and stunning white-sand beaches, all while enjoying the futuristic skyline of the city of Dubai teasingly laying parallel to its emerald-blue waters.
For romantics: Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul has charmed travellers for as long as travel itself was enjoyed, especially with its location in the heart of both Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Here, you’ll be able to enjoy Turkish ice cream, delicious street food, picture-perfect bazaars and beautiful mosques while strolling along the many lovers’ bridges that crisscross over the gentle Bosporus Strait.
For history buffs: Cairo, Egypt
The city of Cairo is teeming with ancient and modern history, and for those who love history, it’ll be nearly impossible to try and decide where to head to first! From national museums with ancient mummies and artifacts from the time of the Pharos to the politically-charged Tahrir Square and from the pre-historic Nile River to the numerous layers of different conquerors leaving their mark on the city, Cairo will forever be one of the most interesting cities in the Middle East (and the world, for that matter!).
For the politically curious: Tehran, Iran
For travellers with a bit of a political curiousness, there is no better place than Tehran, Iran. Despite its negative press in much of Western media, Tehran is a modern capital with hordes of friendly Iranians who love interacting in English — you’ll enlighten yourself and your friends back home by exploring this deeply political but deeply beautiful capital.
For foodies: Ramallah, Palestine
Food in general across the Middle East is definitely some of the most delicious — however, the city of Ramallah in the West Bank of Palestine is consistently praised by all who travel there as having some of the best authentic food in the region. From mouth-watering shawarma and falafel wraps to perfected kunafa sweets and from fresh local olive oil poured generously over hummus to table-crushing dishes from friendly Palestinian hosts; the food in Ramallah will leave any food lover absolutely obsessed.