Your agenda in Somalia’s coastal capital: indulging in delicious cuisine, exploring a complex past and relaxing on the city’s gleaming white sand beaches.
WHERE TO STAY.
With journalists and development staff among regular guests, Peace Hotel has made a name for itself as a safe, comfortable accommodation option for those travelling to Mogadishu. Conveniently located near the airport, Peace Hotel was established at the height of the violence in Mogadishu. With towering compound walls lined with barbed wire and blast defences, security remains the top priority at Peace Hotel. The hotel provides its guests with body armour and also offers security packages providing specialist, armed bodyguards that accompany you wherever you go beyond the hotel’s walls. Peace Hotel enforces a 5 pm curfew on its guests, so there’s no chance of going out for dinner while staying here. However, a buffet is included in the room price, allowing guests to dine in each evening with a blend of local cuisine and international basics being served.
For an alternative option, the Aven Premier International is a short walk from the airport. Security is also kept in mind at the Aven Premier, with manned guards at all hours and free transportation around the city for guests. A true home away from home, complementary snacks and beverages are on offer throughout the day, along with free use of the hotel gym, swimming pool and laundry services.
WHAT TO SEE.
As the country with the longest coastline in Africa, paying a visit to Somalia’s beaches is a must. With white sand and mild, blue waters – Jazeera beach is picture perfect and an ideal place for a relaxing afternoon by the Indian Ocean. Bear in mind that this beach is more crowded during weekends.
Designed by Italian architect Antonio Vandone in the 1920s, this was Africa’s largest cathedral. Once a cultural landmark, this Gothic-style cathedral has suffered considerable damage since the 1990s as the violence in Mogadishu intensified. Today, it is in ruins, but regular tours are available for tourists to visit this historic site and see first-hand the impact war has had on this city.
For a glimpse of a former Mogadishu, go to the Italian Lighthouse. This disused lighthouse is over a century old, perched on the edge of the harbour in Old Mogadishu. Battle damaged and slowly crumbling, the lighthouse is a poignant reminder of what the city once was.
Black Hawk Down Tour
For the more adventurous tourists, gain a first-hand understanding of the city’s battles. Remnants of The Battle of Mogadishu, better known as the ‘Black Hawk Down’ incident can be found across Mogadishu, with evidence of the doomed American operation dotted around the city.
WHERE TO EAT.
With new eateries gradually popping up across the city, Mogadishu has some great places to eat. Security is tight since the attack at a popular restaurant last year, so there are limitations to exploring the all food options Mogadishu has to offer you as a tourist – but that doesn’t mean you cannot discover some great cuisine.
Perched on an elevated terrace, Villa Sultan has views of the highly protected airport nearby and the Indian Ocean just beyond it – along with a lush garden in the back to relax in when temperatures rise. Owned by a Somali-Canadian this cafe offers quality snacks, including tasty samosas and malawah (Somali pancake).
Head to The Village for wholesome, Somali cuisine. With highly regarded branches across Mogadishu and Hammersmith where the owner spent much of his life, The Village is a down-to-earth eatery where you can enjoy simple yet excellent Somali food.
For a meal with a view, Liido is a top destination. Known for serving top-notch fresh seafood, Liido is located in its own private section of Lido beach, offering a secure place for you to enjoy fresh fish and lobster by the ocean.
To arrange your trip to Mogadishu get in touch with Visit Mogadishu.