Traveling during Ramadan is possible, but you should remain conscious of local customs and traditions – for instance, non-Muslims should not receive food or drinks in public.
Be sure to contact your tour guide or hotel beforehand and discuss and confirm your travel plans, keeping in mind that restaurants and markets may have limited hours and loud music and dancing are considered inappropriate during these times.
Indonesian Muslims celebrate Ramadan with great reverence. Idul Fitri holiday week at the end of every month (known locally as Lebaran) marks this significant celebration, when family and friends can come together and feast on traditional Indonesian dishes like ketupat, as well as visit loved ones.
As Muslims flock back home for Eid celebrations, mosques across the nation ring out with prayer calls several times each day and Muslim families slaughter animals to share with friends, neighbours, the poor and orphans – leading to traffic delays as millions leave cities for villages for Eid celebrations.
Travellers might find the experience exciting, yet it’s important to remember that 30 days of sleep deprivation and hunger isn’t easy for anyone.
Some visitors choose Indonesia during Ramadan for its iconic and breathtaking mosques, including Istiqlal Grand Mosque in Jakarta, Tuban’s stunning Grand Mosque and West Sumatra Grand Mosque – each is worth visiting and worth witnessing during your stay in Indonesia.
The United Arab Emirates
Traveling through the UAE during Ramadan can be done easily if you know what to expect. Shops and restaurants may close earlier during daylight hours as Muslims prepare to fast, while public transport could experience disruptions as Muslims consume before starting their fast. But don’t be put off! Visiting during this special cultural experience offers unparalleled cultural encounters: people are generous and kind, the atmosphere is relaxed and you will gain unique insight into Muslim lifestyle.
Although non-Muslim travellers don’t need to fast during Ramadan, it is always good manners for visitors visiting Muslim countries to respect its tradition and show some form of reverence by not eating in public during daytime hours and not drinking alcohol in public spaces; to show respect for those fasting. Furthermore, wearing modest clothing would also help. Specifically women may wish to consider donning hijab or an abaya as these will show respect.
Before traveling to any Muslim-majority country during daylight hours, it’s advisable to research their laws and customs as it could impede your travel plans. Ramadan trips should research local laws and customs thoroughly prior to leaving home; also keep in mind that Muslims tend to be very welcoming hosts – perhaps it would be worthwhile tipping extra as an act of appreciation?
Morocco remains open and welcoming during Ramadan, with their signature Moroccan hospitality still in full effect. You may notice things slowing down on the surface; however, life tends to pick back up at night when people gather together with family and friends to break their fast together. It can be fascinating witnessing Muslim culture come alive during this special period.
When traveling or planning rural getaways, finding food may prove challenging in smaller towns as restaurants and markets close during the day. Therefore, it is a wise move to bring along either a portable stove or pre-prepared meals so you can cook meals on occasion yourself.
Large cities and tourist areas don’t pose much of a worry when it comes to finding food or beverages during daytime hours, with numerous hotels providing dining options and many activity and tour providers including meals in their packages.
Eid al-Fitr marks the conclusion of Ramadan with three days of celebration: prayers, festive feasting, charity and spending time with family and friends. Eid is also an occasion for giving gifts and making new memories.
Cairo is one of the finest cities to experience Ramadan during Eid al-Fitr, particularly during its final weeks. After sunset and when the call to prayer sounds across Cairo’s busy streets, busy areas become virtually deserted as locals come together with family and friends for prayer services and breaking their fast together with family and friends. Visitors will find this experience peaceful and tranquil – take this chance to explore Cairo on foot as tents set up around city provide colourful entertainment throughout the evening along with opportunities to try bubbling water-pipe or sheesha filled with aromatic sweet tobacco flavour.
Once evening prayers conclude and iftar commences, locals come out in full force to celebrate with family and friends. You might get invited by an Egyptian family for dinner of delicious falafel or kushari; otherwise try visiting one of many cafes open during Ramadan – including Fishawy Cafe in Azhar area where waiters balance trays of minty tea while glasses clank away – for truly authentic Egyptian hospitality!