What to wear in Dubai as a female


Are you heading to this exciting city and are wondering about what to wear in Dubai? Then this post is for you – I share my experiences and knowledge about the dress code in Dubai for women and men.

Whether you are male or female, here is what you should know about what to wear in Dubai – a relatively modern yet still conservative and Islamic city (Emirate).How to Dress as Women in Dubai Clothes to wear in Dubai

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, meaning I might earn a small commission when you buy a product via my link (no extra cost to you). More about it here.

Women Dress Code in Dubai 

So, we start with what to wear in Dubai as a woman, which is a bit more tricky than answering the question of what to wear as a man.

In general, the Dubai dress code is not as strict as in some other cities/countries,e.g., Saudi Arabia. It isn’t even as strict as in Sharjah – a city/emirate next to Dubai. However, it is still not as westernized as some people might think after looking at pictures of “Influencers” in Dubai.

There are some things visitors should know.

  • In Dubai, most people are foreigners, so there are only a few Emiratis. These foreigners are tourists and people who work there, and they have had a great impact on the Dubai dress code.

I always read that you are not supposed to wear too revealing clothes, but actually, I have seen all of them.

  • Read this post for more information on What to pack for Dubai and buy, if necessary, some clothes/items before your trip.

Can Women Wear What They Want in Dubai?

Yes and no. Keep reading to find out.

P.S. The red Arabian dress I am wearing in the picture at the top was not compulsory. I just thought it was so pretty, and so I wore it.

Do I Have to Wear a Scarf in Dubai?

Though the United Arab Emirates are clearly Islamic, (foreign) women do not have to cover up and can wear more or less those clothes they feel comfortable in – to a certain extent.

So, no need to wear a scarf/cover your hair (exception for a few places I mention later):

What to Wear in Dubai at the Beach/Pool Area

What can women wear in Dubai at the beach? Dubai is a lot about beaches and pools, and thus, make sure to plan some time for your Dubai itinerary and pack the right clothes.

  • At the beach/hotel pool, women can wear bikinis or bathing suits. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are still quite liberal. Some other Emiratis aren’t.
  • However, being topless, of course, is not allowed.

Why is Dubai better

And here are some clothes to wear in Dubai. These items are great for your day at the beach and pool in Dubai:

  • I am in love with kaftans – a perfect item for the beach, and it is great if you go back to the hotel/restaurant, etc., as bikinis are not liked to be seen in the hotel itself.
  • A bikini, burkini, or any swimsuit should not be missing on your Dubai packing list for some lazy days at the beach (probably do not take the smallest bikini you have).
  • You can also take some shorts and tops you can wear if you leave the beach/pool area.

Itinerary Day Tour from Dubai to Abu Dhabi

What to Wear on Dubai´s Streets

Can I wear hot pants in Dubai? That is a question I have been asked many times.

When I left the hotel, I saw many people in the metro, cafes, and restaurants wearing hot pants, belly tops, skirts, and other such outfits – it is not forbidden. I assume that many won’t even care or look at you.

I felt uncomfortable showing too much skin when foreign workers, especially from countries like Afghanistan or Pakistan, were around. 

This was mostly the case in the metro (even though I normally am in the “women only compartment” or in Deira (the old part of Dubai). So, I recommend thinking about how to dress.

These items are definitely a great choice for strolls in the beautiful Marina, the Palm, or many other parts of Dubai but also in conservative areas like Dubai Deira.

  • Maxi Dresses and dresses that cover your knees – with or without sleeves.
  • Skirts – are good to wear, here you can go with long skirts or shorter ones, but I would not go for a mini skirt.
  • If the weather is not too hot, jeans are a great choice.
  • T-shirts and tank tops are fine for most places.
  • Shorts are okay. Hot pants not so much (even if you see many Instagrammers with hot pants, this is actually not always appropriate)

Dubai Dress Code for Dubai Malls/Restaurants etc.

There is a dress code if you go to Dubai Mall, saying that wearing too revealing outfits should be avoided. Ignoring it can lead to being asked to leave or change clothes. After speaking to some locals, they confirmed that security has gotten a bit stricter and have heard about troubles. However, many Europeans/foreigners don’t care. 

Arzo Travels dress code in Dubai

Of course, you don’t have to wear a headscarf or long pants. Most malls have a (well, not so strict) policy, and naked shoulders are not allowed, and skirts/shorts have to be knee-length.

Many people, even expats living in Dubai, claim that there is no dress code and they have never heard of it. I saw signs throughout the mall – also check out the official website of Dubai Mall and scroll down. There you will find some info on how to dress.

What to Wear in a Mosque in Dubai

The Dubai Dress Code in a mosque – actually in any mosque in the world – is strict. 

Picture taken at the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi – dress code is the same for mosques in Dubai.

What do I have to wear in the mosque? Most mosques are not open to non-Muslims in Dubai. The Jumeirah Mosque can be visited and you might consider visiting the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, which is, by the way, the most beautiful building I have ever seen.

  • At the Grand Mosque (also known as the Sheikh Zayed Mosque), they offer free dresses/scarfs for the duration of your visit.
  • You are exactly told what you can and what you cannot wear.
  • You need to be aware that, in case you actually visit any mosque, you have to wear long sleeves, cover your legs and have a scarf with you because you have to cover your head.

In this case, there is not much difference to churches, etc. – just a bit stricter. They take it very seriously, so there is no room for interpretation.

What to Wear in the Desert in Dubai

Dubai´s desert is an amazing destination, and though there is no strict dress code, I would like to mention a couple of things for visiting this part of Dubai.

The desert can get extremely hot in summer. And by extremely hot, I seriously mean extreme heat.

Once, I felt like ice in the sunshine – my feet were burning when I had the crazy idea to take off my sandals. It can get chillier in the evening, so take something to cover your shoulders (at least in fall, winter, and spring).

Abu Dhabi relax

So, if visiting the desert take

  • solid footwear
  • a (floppy) hat
  • a scarf and a cardigan (it can get chilly in the evening)
  • wear bright colors
  • wear loose clothing

Extra tip, for great pictures, choose clothes that really pop. A yellow or red maxi dress or any other bright color will make you look even more stunning in pictures.

Men Dubai Dress Code

Good news for men visiting Dubai: rules are not as strict for men as women. Bad news: You still can’t wear whatever you want – especially not wherever you want.

So, if you are wondering about the dress code for Dubai for men, this is what to know:

  • Men can wear western clothes, like jeans, sweatpants, and shorts. They can also wear singlets, flip-flops and summer clothes. However, if you want to be respectful and not attract negative attention (or worse), then avoid shorts that are very short (and end way higher than the knees), tops that hang too low, or any see-through shirts or pants.
  • At the mall, there might be strict rules, but signs will tell you. Wearing short sleeve shirts and shorts that cover your knees (or at least, almost) is surely fine.
  • In the mosque, you normally have to wear long pants. 
  • If you are at the beach, you can go top-less but leave your “top-less time” only for the beaches and no matter how hot it is, always wear two pieces (not sure about jumpers).
  • One exception would be to wear traditional Arab clothes. In Dubai, this means wearing an ankle-length, loose-fitting garment made of white cotton, known as a kandora or dishdasha. Actually, the white color and loose fighting are perfect for hot days.

Conclusion: What to Wear in Dubai

Although Dubai is Islamic, it’s still quite liberal.

However, keep in mind the heritage and do not “overdo” it if you do not want to cause any problems and put a bad light on the foreigners.

When you visit the country during the holy month of Ramadan you must be extremely careful – during that time, the dress code is strict, and you should re-think your visit if you do not want to stick to it.

Other than that, it is acceptable to wear skirts, shorts and show some skin. Remember to respect the tradition of every country. But with this post, you have a good understanding of what to wear and the dress code for Dubai.

If you want to find out more about traveling to Dubai as a solo female traveler, check out my Dubai Solo Travel Guide.

Important Travel Information for Dubai

So, there is a dress code for female and male visitors, and if you do not want to be a total jerk, try to adjust to it and respect the rules (which aren’t too strict, so it should not be too hard).

Enjoy!Safe Travels, Arzo



Places to see in Dubai


Dubai has so much to offer, and most people just do not realize that you can easily fill an itinerary for 7 days in Dubai, or even 14 days and more, with fun activities and places to see.

If you plan a trip to this exciting city, you might be wondering about a great 7-day Dubai itinerary so you can see the best it has to offer.

Some people might be surprised to hear that you can easily spend so much time in Dubai. After all, there are only skyscrapers and malls, right? Well, you will find out there is much more than that to see.

So, this 7-day itinerary for Dubai will take you to the main attractions of the city, and you will also get to see some less busy places, too. If you stay longer than one week in Dubai, this post will also give you recommendations for the best day trips to take in 7 days.

At the end of the itinerary, you´ll also find many travel tips that most likely will be useful for your trip – including information on how to get around, where to stay, and many more Dubai travel tips for 7 days in Dubai.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means, I might earn a small commission when you buy a product (at no extra cost to you) after clicking on my link. More about it here.


Okay, enough talking. Here are my ideas for 7 days in Dubai.


Before getting to the busiest place in the city, start with some beach time. You will have enough hustle and bustle in 7 days in Dubai – so why not start slowly? After arriving and settling in, it is time to visit La Mer.

Dubai La Mer

Spend your whole day and evening at La Mer.

If you stay 7 days in Dubai, this is a must-see place, and actually, I suggest starting your Dubai trip here. Whether you arrive in the morning, evening, or afternoon, my recommendation is to head to La Mer first. Restaurants at La Mer DubaiLa Mer has become one of the hotspots amongst locals and visitors and is located in the Jumeirah area. It is on the beach with many retail stores, stylish restaurants and cafes, the coolest bathhouses, and friendly and fun street art – and, of course, the beach!

It is a great way to get adjusted to Dubai. While you enjoy the nice views of Burj Khalifa, you can take it easy on the first day and hold off on getting into the crazy parts of Dubai. After all, you might still have a jetlag or just be tired from your flight.


  • With 7 days in Dubai, you can stay at La Mer for more than just 2-3 hours. 
  • There are free and very stylish showers, clean toilets, and you can either bring your own towels or book some sunbeds and umbrellas.
  • There are sooooo many restaurants that you will definitely find something for your tastes. 
  • A water park has opened – perfect for those who like to switch from a beach to a water park with pools.
  • Watching the sunset from here is a beautiful way to enjoy your first day in Dubai.  

La Mer is fun in the daytime, but it gets even better in the evening! So before leaving too early, make sure to end your day at La Mer and spend time even after sunset.

La Mer Beach Dubai

HOW TO GET TO LA MER: I admit, I am not the biggest fan of public transportation in Dubai. The bus connection is not great yet, but you can get there via RTA Buses 9 and 88. Taking a taxi/uber is another way to get here. If you arrive there by car, you have free underground parking. If you have a City Sightseeing hop-on and hop-off ticket, you can get off at Jumeirah Mosque and only have to walk two minutes to arrive at La Mer.

OPENING HOURS/PRICES: La Mer is open every day, all day, and there is no entrance fee. The shops are normally open between 10 am to 10, 11 or 12 pm.

Click here to read more about this fun part of Dubai.


After your first slow day in Dubai, it is time to dive into the craziest part of Dubai – Downtown Dubai. This will probably be one of the busiest places during the one week in Dubai. There are several main attractions in Downtown – so, plan a full day for this area.


Where to go in Dubai in 7 days

Dubai Mall

You can start your day in Dubai Mall, the biggest mall in the world with more than 1,200 fashion, food & entertainment options. Dubai Mall has its own aquarium, ice skating rink, and much more!  

Fashion Avenue at Dubai Mal

  • For the fanciest public restrooms and great photo opportunities, head to the Fashion Avenue area #IHaveaThingWithToilets. This posh place will probably overwhelm you and give you a good glimpse of the luxury in Dubai.
  • You´ll find cheaper lunch options in the food court, but you also have great restaurants that offer fine dining outside of the mall.
  • Even though Dubai Mall is big, it gets crowded. Especially on a Friday. Friday is the Sunday in the Islamic world, but shops are still open and if your second day in Dubai is a Friday, change the itinerary a bit.

HOW TO GET TO DUBAI MALL: You cannot miss Dubai Mall as it is located next to Burj Khalifa. And you cannot miss Burj Khalifa…Just because it is sooooo tall. You can get there by metro/bus. If you get off at “Dubai Mall Metro Station,” you can either take another bus that drops you off at the mall or you have to walk about one more kilometer from Dubai Mall Metro Station to get into Dubai Mall.

Dubai Mall is also a popular drop-off point for sightseeing buses.

The most convenient way to arrive at the mall is probably via taxi, though. 

OPENING HOURS DUBAI MALL / PRICES: Dubai Mall is open from 10 am to 1 am, restaurants and the food court are open to 2 am (!). There is no entrance fee for the mall itself, but you have to pay for the ice-skating rink and other activities.

Burj Khalifa

Afterward, it is time to head to Burj Khalifa. If you are not scared of heights, you can get to the “top of Burj Khalifa” and either visit level 124+125 or level 148Dubai seven days to see

  • Get your tickets in advance. If you buy tickets online, you still have to queue but it will save you some time.  The lines get crazy there, and you need to plan for the time spent waiting in line. If you do not buy tickets in advance, you might still be lucky and buy some at the ticket center.
  • If you want to get tickets for level 148 (which come with access to levels 124 and 125, too), you can skip the lines. 
  • The ticket prices depend on the time of your visit and the level of access you buy.
  • For a more romantic time, you can also book a ticket to see the sunset, or just head there around 4 pm and then stay a little longer.
  • Visiting Burj Khalifa might take several hours (2-4 hours). 
  • Before you get to the top of Burj Khalifa, take pictures of Burj Khalifa during daylight. Explore the area around the skyscraper – it looks nice especially from outside Dubai Mall, next to Dubai Fountain.

Click here to find out about the ticket prices for Burj Khalifa:

HOW TO GET TO BURJ KHALIFA: While you while seeing Burj Khalifa from everywhere, getting at the top is a bit more tricky. At least, that is how I felt. You have to go to Dubai Mall, and then you will see signs that leave you to “At the top of Burj Khalifa.” The ticket center/entrance is located in the Lower Ground Level of Dubai Mall. You cannot enter it from outside the mall as a regular guest.

OPENING HOURS/  TICKETS: “At the Top of Burj Khalifa” – opens around 10 am, and the last admission is at 9 or 10 pm (depending on the day).

Dubai Fountain

After your time at “The Top” and a lot of time indoors, it is time to get out of Dubai Mall/Burj Khalifa and spend time in the fresh air. By the way, the Dubai Fountain spot is also the perfect place to end your day.

Water Fountain Show in front of Dubai Mall @shutterstock
  • From 6 pm, the famous dancing water show goes on. Each show takes a few minutes, and it happens every half hour.
  • It gets crazy there. Unless you visit in the summer, this place will be one of the busiest in Dubai.
  • If your second day is on a Friday, I recommend avoiding this place! Dubai Mall is nuts on a Friday, and it gets so crowded that it can be hard to walk – even after 9 pm.
  • The water dance is fun to watch and is free.
  • You can also book an abra ride and enjoy the water show without all the crowds.
  • There are some nice restaurants with a view of the fountain, like the Mediterraneo of Armani Hotel, but make sure you reserve a table beforehand.

WATER FOUNTAIN SHOW SCHEDULE / PRICES: Evening shows 6:00 PM – 11:00 PM every 30 minutes

HOW TO GET TO DUBAI FOUNTAIN: There is a metro station (Dubai Mall station), and many buses go there. You could reach the fountain even without entering Dubai Mall (e.g., coming from Dubai Opera), but if you are at Dubai Mall, you will see signs that lead you to the fountain as well.


The third day is all about “traditional” Dubai and some more amazing views. Today it is about:

  • Dubai Frame
  • Zabeel Park
  • Gold and Spice Souk
  • Al Seef

Dubai Frame

You could start your day with a visit to one of the newer attractions: Dubai Frame. It is located in Zabeel Park, one of the biggest and lushest parks in Dubai. The Frame Dubai and more places to visit
Views from Dubai Frame  

  • There are some cool views of Burj Khalifa, and you can walk on see-through glass 100 meters from the ground. 
  • You can buy your ticket right at the ticket counter there or book a guided tour in advance.
  • If you get up there and take a walk, you will probably need one hour.
  • I recommend starting here around 9:30 or 10 am when the crowds are not there yet.

HOW TO GET TO THE FRAME: By metro: get out at the Al Jafiliya metro stop and then take a bus or walk for the last 2-3 km.

OPENING HOURS / PRICES: Open every day from 9:00 am to 09:00 pm. Tickets are around 12€ for adults.

Zabeel Park

If you need to rest, you could chill at Zabeel Park. The park is very neat, clean, and lush, and if you are visiting with kids, they will love this break, as there are some playgrounds. It is also not crowded and thus a perfect place after the craziness of Dubai Downtown.

HOW TO GET TO ZABEEL PARK: There are several entrances. If you come from Dubai Frame, you will see an entrance close by and can just walk.

OPENING HOURS/TICKETS: From Sunday to Wednesday from 8 am to 10 pm, from Thursdays to Saturdays and public holidays from 8 am to 11 pm, during Ramadan from noon to 11 pm. Ticket prices are about 1,20€ (payment via RTA-issued Nol Card), kids under the age of 2 do not have to pay.

Dubai Gold and Spice Souks

Afterward, jump into a taxi/bus and get to the Gold Souk of Dubai. What to do in Dubai in 1 dayThe Gold and Spice Souks are fun places to visit. If you are looking for places with a more authentic touch, you will especially love it here (though the shop owners are mostly from other Asian countries). 

Where to buy cheap things in Dubai

  • Souvenirs and Arabian clothes (and gold and spices) are much cheaper than in any other part of Dubai, so if you are hunting for souvenirs, make sure you do not buy them in one of the expensive malls. 
  • From there, you can take a ride on a dhow, which is a traditional wooden boat. For less than 15€, you can go on a 1-hour cruise.
  • You can also hop on abraswater taxis that cost only about 0,25€ for a short cruise.
  • The Gold and Spice Souks are quite intense places – especially for female solo travelers. Staring and cat-calling are common. I suggest dressing moderately.
  • However, even after all, I always felt safe and did not worry. It is just loud and hectic at times but not a place I would love strolling after sunset on my own.

HOW TO GET TO THE GOLD/SPICE SOUK: From Zabeel Park – ADCB Metro Station 1-  you have to catch a metro and get to Burjuman, then change metro lines and get to Al Ras, and then you just have to walk for a few minutes.

You can also take a taxi/Uber or use the hop-on and hop-off sightseeing buses, which drop you off at the souks.

OPENING HOURS / TICKETS: It is free to visit the souks and you could visit at any time. However, most shops are open every day from around 9:30-10 am to 9:30 pm. On Fridays, the shops open after 4 pm and are open until around 9:30 pm.

EXTRA TIP: DUBAI MUSEUM If you want to learn more about Dubai and its history, I recommend visiting Dubai Museum.

  • It is an interesting but often crowded museum in Deira that illustrates Dubai’s history in an engaging way.
  • Entrance fees are just about 1€, and it is probably the best museum in Dubai.
  • From the souks, it is just an abra ride away.

Dubai Al Seef

To end the day, I recommend visiting Al Seef. Al Seef is a lovely new area with many restaurants. Some are in a new modern style and others in the traditional Arabic style (though the buildings are all new). 

Al Seef What to do and see in Dubai in 10 days

  • You will have plenty of options for dining, with nice views of Dubai Creek.
  • Also, there are all kinds of restaurants – from Arabic cuisine to Mediterranean or Asian food. Also, there are some quite fancy restaurants as well as more budget-friendly places to eat.
  • Also, there is a Museum of Illusions, some street art, you can do some boat cruises and more.

HOW TO GET TO AL SEEF: From the Gold/Spice Souk, take the abra (water taxi) to get to the other side of Dubai Creek. Then you can walk for 10-15 minutes, and you are in Al Seef.

OPENING HOURS / TICKETS: There is no entrance fee for Al Seef itself. It is open from Sunday to Wednesday from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm, and Thursday to Saturday from 10:00 am to 12:00 midnight.


Day 3 was all about traditional Dubai, so day 4 will focus on Dubai’s new, modern side.

Spend Your Day and Evening in the Jumeirah Area.

  • Wild Wadi Waterpark
  • Jumeirah Beach / Kite Beach
  • Madinat Jumeirah

Wild Wadi Water Park

If you are into waterparks, you can/should head to Wild Wadi Waterpark, where you will find some cool slides and fun water activities. Wild Wali park with kids in Dubai

  • The water park belongs to the Jumeirah Group. As a guest of any Jumeirah hotel in Dubai, you will have free access (which actually was a reason for me to book a night at a Jumeirah hotel once).
  • Ticket prices start from around 25€ for adults. 
  • It would be easy to spend a full day there.
  • You will have great views of the Burj al-Arab from the waterpark, one of the most iconic buildings in Dubai. 
  • The food there is overpriced and not that great – so bring your own snacks.
  •  You can read my full review here.

HOW TO GET TO WILD WADI WATERPARK: It is just right next to Burj al-Arab’s entrance (which is not open to the public, though). There is no metro station close by. The closest metro station is the “Mall of Emirates” – from there, take a taxi or bus to get there. Some buses stop close by (e.g., bus line 81).

OPENING HOURS: Open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 6 pm, closed on Mondays. 

Kite Beach

If you are looking for a cheaper option to spend time in the water, go to Kite Beach – a beach with nice views of Burj al Arab, where you can cool off there.  Why is Dubai better

  • The beaches in Dubai are, in general, not very crowded (not to our European standard).
  • The beaches are clean and safe.
  • Always keep an eye on your valuables, but in general, I did not feel I have to watch my belongings like a paranoid (that I am sometimes).
  • I am not a person who spends endless hours at the beach, but water rats can have a fun day here without breaking the bank.
  • You can do all kinds of watersports – and rent equipment at the beach. 
  • Bring your own food and towels with you.

OPENING HOURS / TICKETS: The beach is open from Sunday to Wednesday, from 10 am to 12 midnight, and on Thursday to Saturday: 10 am to 1 am. Shops and entertainment are normally open from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm (restaurants might be open longer).  There is no entrance fee for the beach.

Dubai Madinat Jumeirah

In the afternoon/evening, I recommend visiting Madinat Jumeirah. What to do in Dubai on a layover

Madinat Jumeirah is so pretty and picturesque – you should plan for a few hours (if you dine there) to check out the area. 

  • It has its own souk and many restaurants and cafes with a view of Burj al Arab.
  • You could also do an abra ride here (though they are way more expensive than in Dubai Deira, the Gold and Spice Souk area) and just get lost for a few hours.
  • It is not far from the public part of Jumeirah Beach (and just a stone’s throw from Wild Wadi), and though the area is not huge, it is the perfect place to end your day.
  • It is free to visit the Souk Madinat Jumeirah.

HOW TO GET TO MADINAT JUMEIRAH: From Kite Beach to Madinat Jumeirah, you can take a bus. From Wild Wadi, it is shorter, and you could walk (about 2km) or take a bus. Sightseeing buses also stop here.

OPENING HOURS/TICKETS: Shops are open from 10:00 am to 11:00 pm, and restaurants are open from 08:00 am to 02:00 am. There is no entrance fee to visit Madinat Jumeirah.


Now, it is time to leave Dubai for a day and plan a day trip to Abu Dhabi (you can also stay overnight in Abu Dhabi).

  • Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi

The capital of the United Arab Emirates is definitely a beautiful place and worth more than a one-day trip. Still, since Dubai also has a lot to offer, one day should be enough to see the most important places in Abu Dhabi.Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi Emirates

  • It takes about 1-2 hours to get to Abu Dhabi from Dubai.
  • You can do guided tours, rent a car and drive yourself, get there by taxi, or – quite complicated – by public transportation.
  • The beautiful Grand Zayed Mosque is reason enough to visit Abu Dhabi, but there is more to see.
  • You can read more about a day trip from Dubai to Abu Dhabi here and which sights you should visit. 
  • While Dubai is fun and all that, Abu Dhabi is special. I enjoy Dubai more, but my sister, whom I recently took on a Dubai trip with me, liked Abu Dhabi better.
  • If you are in the UAE for 14 days, I would stay in Abu Dhabi for three days.
  • If you want to do a guided tour, book one of the best-rated day trip tours from Dubai. Click here to find out about prices for a day trip.


If you stay one week in Dubai, you have to do a desert tour. 

  • Dubai Desert

Dubai Desert Safari

A desert safari is a must! Spending half a day in the desert, going on an adventurous 4×4 wheel drive, dining under the stars, and stargazing is like a dream coming true in the desert. What to do in 7 days in Dubai Every time I did a desert adventure (and I did a few), it became a highlight of my Dubai trip. These memories will last a lifetime.

  • There are several tours available – all fun and a bit different.
  • I recommend doing one with a BBQ (btw: as a vegetarian, I was pleased to find out that there were enough vegetarian options).
  • Normally, the tours – whether you do them in the morning or afternoon – take about 6-10 hours.
  • Most of the tours will include pick-up service from your hotel.
  • Click here to find the best prices for a desert safari tour


If you have one week in Dubai, this will be one great option to spend your day.

  • JBR Walk (The Beach)
  • Dubai Marina

JBR Walk – The Beach 

If you would like to have a beach day, head to JBR Walk and “The Beach.” But there is more than just a beach – it is an experience! Places to see in Dubai in 7 days This area is popular during the day (and in the evenings, too), with many activities you can do. It is a fun place for kids and adults alike, so it’s probably a nice way to soak in some Vitamin D before heading back home. 

  • There is no entrance fee for JBR – The Walk.
  • You have free beach access here.
  • Ride the “Flying Cup,” where you have a great bird’s-eye view of the beach and JBR Walk. With your Citysightseeing bus tour ticket, you also have a ticket included for Flying Cups – to enjoy great views of the beach and skyline. If you buy tickets separately, they cost about 15 € (adults).
  • You can rent equipment for all kinds of water sports.
  • It is also great to have good food – there are so many restaurants and cafes that you will be happy to have a wonderful lunch in a lovely place.

HOW TO GET TO JBR: Take the metro – JLT Metro Station or Dubai Marina Metro Station are the closest metro stations. From there, either walk or take the tram to get to JBR.

OPENING HOURS / PRICES: It is open 24/7, but shops and restaurants normally open around 10 am and are open until 10 pm. Restaurants usually close later. 

Dubai Marina

I actually recommend heading to Dubai Marina for the afternoon/evening. It is one of the best places to visit in Dubai and should be on any Dubai itinerary.

This area is full of skyscrapers and one of the best places to take in the awe-inspiring progress Dubai has made in the last few decades. Dubai accommodation in Dubai Marina IC Dubai MarinaMost of the crazy skyscrapers are along the few kilometers stretch of Dubai Marina, and this is one of the best places to end your Dubai trip.

  • There is no entrance fee for Dubai Marina.
  • Stroll along Dubai Marina and keep looking up to enjoy the grandiose views.
  • Let your kids rent go-kart bicycles.
  • You can eat in one of the numerous restaurants there.  Pier 7 has a handful of good restaurants that offer some of the best views of Dubai Marina.
  • For cheaper options, look for restaurants on the side streets or buy something from one of the supermarkets and sit on the bench, enjoying the illuminated buildings.
  • For a special dinner location, you can book a dhow dinner. You can do a few boat tours that you can check out:
  • Find out about prices for a speedboat tour in Marina
  • Find the best prices for a Marina sunset cruise, including dinner
  • The truth is, I love this area and think it is a great place to end a Dubai trip!

HOW TO GET TO DUBAI MARINA: Take the metro – Dubai Marina Metro Station is the closest metro station. 

OPENING HOURS / PRICES: It is open 24/7, but shops and restaurants normally open around 10 am and are open until 10 pm. Restaurants normally close later. 


If you have more than one week in Dubai, I suggest visiting above mentioned places, and then here are a few more suggestions for the next few days.

Dubai Miracle Garden

Miracle Garden is quite Instafamous – the flower park located a bit further from the other popular tourist attractions. Arzo Travels Miracle Garden Dubai

You will see flowers – a lot of flowers, designed and decorated in a lot of interesting shapes and designs. It is Dubai, so of course, it is the biggest flower park in the world.

  • The tickets are about 12€.
  • Seeing all pieces should take about two hours.
  • However, it is only open in the winter months.
  • Check out their website for more info.

Global Village

Afterward, you could head to Global Village. You have a theme park with roller coasters and displays from many different countries in the world.

  • The tickets are about 5€.
  • Riding the roller coasters cost extra, but depending on how many rides you take, it is still a cheaper option than a theme park.

It is a fun place to visit for a day – especially in combination with Miracle Garden, as they are close to each other.

Dubai City Walk 

Though I have not specifically mentioned it on your 7-day Dubai itinerary, I also strongly suggest visiting City Walk. This newly created area is perfect for strolls and shopping, but you will also find some murals and interesting details here. City Walk in Dubai with Arzo Travels-4

  • City Walk is also a great place for families because of many child-friendly activities.
  • It is also good for adults to visit the shops, restaurants, and murals.
  • I enjoy it in the evening more (but that goes for almost all places in Dubai).
  • In general, City Walks is a bit less crowded than other places.


Sharjah is the smallest emirate and located right next to Dubai. And while Sharjah is so close to Dubai, it is totally different. Sharjah Places to visit - Palm OasisYes, you have a few skyscrapers, but Sharjah is much quieter, more relaxed, and very green.

  • It takes about 15 minutes by taxi to Sharjah from the eastern part of Dubai.
  • Sharjah is way more conservative than Dubai in terms of dress codes.
  • You are not allowed to drink alcohol.
  • I still loved it and recommend it as a day trip from Dubai.
  • Check out my more detailed guide about Sharjah


So far, I have only made it to Oman for one day – visiting the Musandam Peninsula as a day trip from Dubai. And to be very honest, I have mixed feelings about it. Dubai in 7 days -14 days

  • Somehow I totally enjoyed it – getting my very first glimpse of Oman was great. 
  • However, the water was not really clean. It was full of oil. Maybe there was an accident, or maybe the water is just dirty.
  • It can take quite some time to arrive in Oman (it will still take about 2 or 3 hours – one way)
  • So, if you are in Dubai for one week or a bit longer, you should book a day trip to Musandam. However, keep in mind that everything can get delayed, and you might arrive at the hotel quite late. So plan some relaxing activities for the day after, and do NOT book this activity on the day of your departure.
  • Check out my detailed post with more information.
  • Check out the guided tour that I took for a day trip to Dubai.

Theme Parks

Dubai is home to some fun theme parks, however, I haven’t visited any theme parks in Dubai. Since I know how popular they are, I have added them as suggestions:

Dubai Helicopter Ride

If you are into something more adventurous, why not take a helicopter ride? It is a perfect activity for those who would like to see Dubai – once again – from above, so add this to your itinerary. Arzo Travels Buy online tickets for helicopter tour

  • This is definitely an amazing way to get great views of Dubai. Seeing Burj Khalifa, the Palm, Burj al Arab, etc., is something you will probably always cherish.
  • I admit I did the shortest ride because prices aren’t low, but it was worth it, and I wish I had done a longer helicopter flight.
  • If you would like to read my review of my helicopter tour, click here.
  • Click here to find out about the prices for a helicopter ride in Dubai.

Dubai Dinner in the Sky

For a unique dinner, you can book a “Dinner in the Sky” experience – a very unique and fun way to enjoy dinner 50 meters up in the air. Dinner in the Sky Dubai with Arzo Travels

  • Dinner in the Sky – Dubai is located at the end of Dubai Marina (or the beginning?), so it would be best to schedule it when you are at the Marina if you plan to do it. 
  • It is not for the faint-hearted but after a few minutes in the sky, your feet hanging around, you will get used to it and can have a quiet relaxing lunch/afternoon tea/dinner.
  • Read my full review here or check out prices for the Dinner in the Sky experience.

So, what do you think? Does this sound like a boring week in Dubai?


I think this Dubai one-week itinerary is very diverse, and you´ll get to see so many different sides of Dubai that you will not have time to get bored. On the other hand, you also get some rest and have some time to chill and enjoy Dubai more slowly. 

So, here are some tips for your 7 days in Dubai itinerary.

One Week in Dubai – How to Get to Dubai 

  • Dubai has two airports: Al Makhtoum International and Dubai International Airport. Most likely, you will fly into Dubai International Airport (DXB International). From there, it takes about 10-15 minutes (taxi) to get to the old town of Dubai and about 20 minutes to get to Burj Khalifa. Don’t be surprised to be stuck in traffic even at night – Dubai is always busy.
  • Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) is the second biggest airport in the United Arab Emirates. It is about an hour’s drive to Dubai (about 50-60€ taxi fare).

How to Get Around in 7 Days in Dubai

  • Rent a CarIf you are in Dubai for one week, you could actually rent a car. But you should know that driving there, from my perspective, is a bit crazy. You should have nerves of steel if you decide to drive, particularly around Downtown Dubai. 
  • Public Transportation: I recommend getting a NOL card for public transportation. There is a one-time fee for it, but you can then recharge it; public transpiration fees are cheaper this way than if you buy single tickets each time. Plus, it is valid for several years so that you can use it for your next Dubai trip. A ticket costs a bit more than 1€ with the NOL card (about 1.6€ without).
  • However, when it comes to public transportation, I am a bit skeptical because a) the metro stations do not have enough stops, so each stop is rather far from the last, and b) the buses are not always well connected for us travelers, so it is not easy to get from one popular station to another.
  • I mostly take the metro for long distances (especially downtown, where there is a lot of traffic and getting around by cab can mean that you are stuck in a taxi forever) and then jump into a taxi for the shorter rides, if there is no direct connection.
  • Sightseeing Buses: Hop-on and hop-off buses are a great way to get from one popular tourist attraction to another – at least for some places (the ones I tested). They will not stop at each stop, but at most attractions, and so I only used them as a means of transportation once in a while, as I had a 7-day pass.  The pass also includes a few cool attractions, so it saves money in addition to getting you from Point A to Point B – e.g., the Flying Cup, which I will talk about later (and I even did two boat cruises that were included).
  • During one of my other stays, I bought a five-day ticket from the other tour company – both have similar services and stops.
  • Uber is available in Dubai. Prices are similar (it is not cheaper), and since we can trust taxi drivers in Dubai, I do not see a real reason to use Uber.
  • Using a taxi in Dubai is great. There is no haggling. The taximeter shows the price, driven kilometers, and more. It is absolutely safe. There are also a few pinkish taxis – for female passengers, but the regular ones are just fine. Drivers know famous attractions and main streets, but not necessarily smaller hotels or streets – so, if you stay at a place less known, have an app to show him the address/way or take screenshots of Google maps, etc. There are the regular taxis (which a yellowish color and taxi is written on them), but there are also the black Lexus taxis, which are more expensive.

Money and Credit Cards

  • The local currency is the United Arab Emirates dirham. Though I always mentioned € in my post, you actually pay in dirham. You can also pay in $ – but normally, it gets more expensive. I recommend exchanging some money and have dirhams with you.
  • Most places also accept credit cards – I would not rely on it though. Smaller shops might refuse credit card payments. If you pay with your credit card, you might get asked, whether you want to pay in dirham or your currency. I always choose the local currency (dirham in this case), because I get the better exchange rates if “my bank at home” does it.  


The official language is Arabic but people speak English throughout Dubai and the UAE. Most people, living in Dubai, are actually expats from all around the world and do not even speak Arabic themselves.

In restaurants and shops, you can definitely get around with speaking English only. With taxi drivers, I had some really long converstaions in English while some only spoke a few words.

If you speak English, you will be fine. Two of the most important words in Arabic are probably:

  • Salam OR marḥaba – hallo
  • Shukran – thank you

Accommodations for 7 Days in Dubai

Accommodations in Dubai are not cheap, but the standard is quite high. Many 5-star hotels are mind-blowing, but 4- or 3-star hotels in Dubai are fine.

If you are looking for my personal recommendations for all budgets and areas, click here. There you will also find my tips for the best neighborhoods to stay in Dubai.


I have visited Dubai numerous times. I have spent many weeks in Dubai – I have not gotten bored yet. One week in Dubai will pass quickly. I wish you a wonderful time in the city, and I hope that your 7 days in Dubai will be amazing! 

Read more:

Safe Travels, Arzo



what to see and do in Dubai in 2 days, the best itinerary for Dubai


Are you planning to visit Dubai but are unsure what to do in Dubai in 2 days or how much to fit into your 2-day Dubai itinerary?

If you stay longer than 2 days in Dubai, check out my 7-day Dubai itinerary. Otherwise, stay here to find out about creating a perfect 2-day itinerary for first-time visitors.

In this 2-day Dubai itinerary, you will find out where to go and what to see, plus many travel tips for a smooth 2-day trip.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means I will earn a small commission when you buy a product/service via my links (no extra cost to you). More about it here.


2 days in Dubai is a good amount to get an idea of the city. You can visit some of the main sights and attractions, but 2 days is not enough to see some hidden gems or really see all of the main sights. It is the minimum amount of days to explore Dubai.


Here are places I suggest visiting in Dubai in 2 days. I also give a time frame, but of course, it really is up to each person how much you can actually do and see.






So, let´s start your 2-day trip by visiting the souks (markets).

Stop 1: Gold and Spice Souk in Deira

The Gold and Spice Souk is located in Deira, the old part of Dubai. Deira is located in the north of the city and quite close to the airport. Discover the hectic and crazy part of Dubai. Retailers can be pretty persistent, which can be quite stressful. However, I truly enjoy strolling along this part, and it is one of the places you have to visit in Dubai in 2 days.

Many people say it is a very intense place, and some did not like it at all. I understand the criticism, but for first-time Dubai visitors, the souks are a must. 

  • Most stores are open from around 9 am to 10 pm, and it gets busy quickly. On Fridays, the shops open later.
  • So I recommend starting early in the morning before all the other tourists come and it gets even more hectic.

  • You can buy souvenirs, clothes (including Arabian clothes), gold, spices, rugs and all kind of things.
  • The prices are much better than in the malls (especially for souvenirs) and if you are about to buy something, then do it here.
  • If you buy something, you must haggle. It is part of shopping in this area, and actually, it can be fun if you do it in a nice way.

TIP FOR SOLO FEMALE TRAVELERS: I love this area, but as a solo traveler, it is not easy. There are stares. There will be shop owners who approach you, and so on. It is safe, no need to worry, but it can be tiring. I recommend wearing less revealing clothes if you want to avoid them.

Stop 2: Abra Ride / Bur Dubai 

A must-do to include on your Dubai itinerary is a short abra ride. Abras are traditional water taxis that are popular and super cheap. Bra Ride in Dubai things to do in Dubai in 2 days

  • The most authentic abra ride is near the gold and spice souk.
  • You can walk towards the abra station of Deira Gold Souk and get to the other side (Bur Dubai) by taking an abra (water taxi).
  • It just costs a few cents and is a nice and cheap way to get to the other side of the creek where you can continue your travel.
  • You can also have the whole abra to yourself for 5€. This allows great photo opportunities with no one else in the picture. However, if you make it to the front of the abra, you can take good pictures even with other people on the boat.
  • The abra ride just takes a few minutes.
  • In Bur Dubai are some museums and another souk where you find more spices, gold, and other things.
  • Of course, you can spend a whole day exploring this part of Dubai, but if you only have 2 days in Dubai, I recommend planning in 2-5 hours for seeing these two areas of Dubai. If you want to budget your time more wisely, you can plan in one hour. 

Stop 3: La Mer

La Mer is a new beachfront area with tons of cool and hip restaurants/cafes, street art and cool graffiti, and fun details. It is a great place to chill though it can be quite busy (for Dubai standards when it comes to beaches). However, it is a place you should not miss out on.  La Mer Beach Dubai

  • La Mer is a must-see in 2 days in Dubai.  
  • The beach at La Mer comes with a Burj Khalifa view.
  • Take a dip in the ocean, or do some water sports.
  • Have some lunch, enjoy the graffiti (there is quite a lot) and then head to the next place.
  • Check out my guide on La Mer.

Stop 3: OR Jumeirah Beach

Okay, honestly, you won’t probably be able to visit both, Jumeirah Beach and La Mer. This would be too busy. So you have to decide on one of the beaches.

La Mer comes with Burj Khalifa’s view, while Jumeirah Beach comes with Burj al-Arab’s view.Where to go in Dubai in 2 days

  • Jumeirah Beach is not too far from Dubai Deira and the souks. You can get there by bus or taxi.
  • The open Jumeirah Beach also offers nice views of the only 7* hotel in the world, Burj Al-Arab. Luckily, the Burj Al-Arab is huge, so the pictures do not really show Burj Al-Arab’s distance to Jumeirah Beach because it is quite far from here.
  • Here you can rest or take a dip and cool off.
  • Many beaches in Dubai are private and reserved for relevant hotel guests – Jumeirah Beach is open to the public and free of charge.
  • It can get busy, but it does not get as busy as we know from European beaches.
  • From there, get a bus or taxi to Downtown Dubai.

PERSONAL OPINION: If I had time for one beach, I would choose La Mer.

Dubai Downtown

After some time at the beach, slowly head to Dubai Downtown. Dubai Downtown is stuffed with many interesting attractions. You will find, among others, Dubai Mall, Dubai Fountain, and Burj Khalifa in this area.

  • There is no train connection (neither from Jumeirah Beach nor from La Mer), but you can get there by bus or taxi.

what to see in dubai in 2 days

Stop 4: Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa is the highest building in the world – standing at 828 meters. You can enjoy some amazing views “At the Top of Burj Khalifa.” The best of Dubai in 2 days

  • You should plan at least 2-4 hours for visiting the Top of Burj Khalifa (depending on how busy it is).
  • To get to the top, you have to use the entrance inside Dubai Mall.
  • The waiting lines to get on top can be very long.
  • You can either get tickets for levels 124 & 125 or get a ticket for levels 124 & 125 & 148. Of course, level 148 is much more expensive. With a ticket to level 148, you can skip the lines – vital if you have little time. I have been on levels 124 & 125 three or four times already but never bought a ticket for level 148. After reading reviews, I found out that the views are not much better – it is mostly about the service and skipping lines.
  • Check out Burj Khalifa ticket prices for levels 124 & 125
  • Check out Burj Khalifa ticket prices for level 124 & 125 &148 (including skip-the-line)
  • Check out my Burj Khalifa travel guide for more info

Stop 5: Dubai Mall

Dubai Mall is definitely worth a visit, even if you are not a big shopper. It is not only about shopping. You’ll also find the Dubai Aquarium and more attractions here. You could spend several days at the Dubai Mall, so it really depends on how much you are into malls and shopping.

What attractions in Dubai Mall

  • Dubai Mall is located right next to Burj Khalifa, so there is no travel time. You can start your window shopping straight away.
  • You can spend anything between 30 minutes to many, many hours here.
  • Considering you only have 2 days in Dubai, try to limit your time to 2 hours max. 
  • Dubai Mall also has a food court that offers affordable food from all around the world. Of course, there are also all kinds of restaurants in and near Dubai Mall, including many luxury hotels.

Stop 6: Dubai Fountain

Next to Dubai Mall is the Dubai Fountain. Here you can watch nice water fountain shows in the evening. 

Dubai 2 day itinerary - what to do in dubai for 2 days
Dancing Fountain Show @shutterstock

I suggest ending your first day in Dubai here.

  • Evening shows take place from 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM – every 30 minutes.
  • It just takes a few minutes, so if be on time.
  • It is free to watch.
  • It gets busy, so secure yourself a good spot to watch it, get there way before a show takes place.
  • Dubai is safe, and this area is safe at night. 
  • You can also sit there by yourself in the evening.
  • Sitting there and watching tourists while Burj Khalifa is beautifully illuminated at night is a fun day to end your day.

Read more: Best places to visit in Dubai at night

Where to Eat in Dubai – Day 1

Deira is great for cheaper food – you´ll find many different cuisines at the Gold and Spice Souks. I suggest having lunch there or at La Mer.

For dinner, I recommend having it in Downtown. Restaurants with a fountain view tend to be more expensive, but there are also good restaurants in the medium-price segment. For the cheapest dinner in Downtown, check out the Food Court of Dubai Mall. 


Day 2 in Dubai starts in Dubai Marina.

Stop 1: Marina

Start with a nice stroll through Dubai Marina, which is probably one of my favorite parts in Dubai.

This man-made marina is one of the largest in the world.

  • I really liked the Marina with the canal and all the yachts. I could spend hours walking aimlessly around and having a drink once in a while. 
  • Besides skyscrapers, you will also find many bars and restaurants.
  • To see Marina from a different perspective, I recommend a Marina Cruise. There are several options, so look at which one is the perfect choice for you by clicking here.
  • Dubai Marina is a beautiful place to visit at any time of the day. It might be even more fun to visit in the evening when it gets busier, livelier, and prettier with all the lights.
  • However, for the evening, I recommend another place (more on that later).
  • I suggest spending a few hours here (and have lunch) and then have one or two more stops for the day.

Stop 2: JBR Walk

You can, alternatively or additionally, add JBR – The Walk to your 2-day Dubai itinerary.
Places to see in Dubai in 7 days

Since it is within walking distance (20-30 minutes) to Dubai Marina, you could also combine it with a trip to Dubai Marina.

  • If you prefer some beach time rather than strolling in Marina, I suggest visiting JBR-The Walk only.
  • There is no entrance fee for JBR – The Walk.
  • It is the perfect place to swim – there are many options to rent water sports equipment.
  • You can find some street art, so also get away from the beach and walk around.
  • Hop on the “Flying Cup”, which is a ride that takes you up 40 meters, to get a great bird’s-eye view of the beach and JBR Walk. You can buy tickets just at the Flying Cup.
  • It is also great to have good food – there are so many restaurants and cafes that you will be happy to have a wonderful lunch in a lovely place.

Stop 3: Desert Safari

A desert safari tour incl. BBQ normally starts around 3 or 4 pm, so reserve half a day for a trip to the desert. 

what to do in dubai for 2 days

You can do the desert tours either in the morning or afternoon.

  • A morning desert safari is great as it often includes activities like sandboarding or dune bashing.
  • A morning desert tour is surely a great experience if you do not have so much time to do shorter tours. The Morning Dune Drive takes about 4 hours instead of 7-8 hours. Find out more about a morning desert safari here.
  • But if you have two full days in Dubai, I suggest the Sundowner tour. Ending the day in the desert is a great experience. Click here for a desert safari tour in the afternoon/evening.
  • If you have a meal included and are vegetarian/vegan, you can request this in advance. I was so pleased to see the many vegetarian options.
  • Often, you will be picked up at your hotel.
  • If your tour starts around 3 pm, make sure to be back at the hotel in time. Plan in possible traffic on your way back from Dubai Marina or JBR – The Walk. It would be a pity if you missed out on the safari because of being late at the pick-up location.

Alternative: Miracle Garden 

If you visit in the winter months, you could also add Dubai Miracle Garden to your 2-day itinerary. Miracle Garden is a very Instafamous flower park, located a bit further from the other popular tourist attractions. 

Miracle Garden @shutterstock

You will see flowers. You will see a lot of flowers. They are designed and decorated in a lot of interesting shapes. It is Dubai, so of course, it is the biggest flower park in the world.

  • The tickets are about 12€.
  • Seeing all pieces should take about two hours.
  • However, it is only open in the winter months (normally, it is open from November to May)
  • Check out their website for more info

Where to Eat in Dubai – Day 2

For lunch, I suggest having it at Dubai Marina or JBR – The Walk.

For dinner, lay back and do not worry. If you book a desert safari with a BBQ, you have already found a perfect dinner spot. 


Here you´ll find essential travel tips for your trip to Dubai.

Safety Tips for (Solo Female) Travelers

Dubai is a super safe city to travel to, and I think it is even great to visit as a solo female traveler.

However, Deira – the area where you have the souks – is not the best place to spend the late evenings alone. I would not say, I felt scared but it is uncomfortable as a – female – traveler. So, I avoid this neighborhood in the evening.

Here are some tips on the dress code for females – it helps you to avoid stares and show your respect to the local culture.

How to Get Around in 2 Days in Dubai

Dubai has good public transportation.

  • However, some stations are spread out, which means that some walking may be required.
  • The metro trains and trams are super clean, safe, reliable, and fast.

Using taxis is an easy and safe way to get around.

  • Make sure to use the official ones – they have a sign on the taxi. I normally just hail a taxi on the street or take one waiting at taxi stops at tourist attractions.
  • The black Lexus cabs are more expensive than the normal ones, which are super fine to use.
  • There is a meter which has to be on when you get onto the taxi. You normally do not have to worry about scams in Dubai. You pay what you see on the meter (and feel free to tip).

Sightseeing Buses

One of my favorite ways to get around in Dubai is by getting a hop-on and hop-off ticket.

Where to Stay in Dubai in 2 Days

Accommodation in Dubai is top – even a 3* hotel is often better than other 3* hotels worldwide. I stayed at all of the ones I mention below.

I recommend staying in a central area, so you don’t waste too much time driving around. With a weekend in Dubai only, you don’t want to be stuck in traffic from your hotel to the attraction.

  • Dubai Marina is the best place to stay if you prefer to be in a lively part of Dubai. With the Marina close by, restaurants and cafes are numerous, but the hotels do not have direct beach access. However, you are quite close to several attractions. Check out this 5* Hotel: Grosvenor House in Dubai.
  • JBR Walk is a lovely area with many restaurants and shops. Most hotels have beach access. It is also close to Dubai Marina and Madinat Jumeirah. Check out this 4* Resort: JA Ocean View Hotel Dubai.
  • Extra tip: 3* A decent budget hotel is Ibis Al Barsha. It is not perfectly located, but it offers good value for money and is still quite close to Dubai Marina.
  • My full Dubai accommodation guide is here – all the best areas and all the best hotels for all budgets.

You can also find budget hotels but you cannot expect super bargains. The best prices are often in Deira, and though I recommend visiting this fun area, it is not an area I recommend staying at – especially not as a female traveler. So make sure to book a room on the main street when choosing Deira.

Best Time to Visit Dubai

  • One of the most important travel tips I can give you for your 2-day Dubai is: choose the time of your visit wisely.
  • I do not recommend visiting during the summer (May – September). The average temperature ranges from 32.4 °C (90.2 °F) in May, 36.5 °C (98 °F) in August and 34 °C (93°F) in September.
  • Even October and April were too hot for me already. But it depends on what kind of weather you prefer.
  • Some activities are not possible in the summer months because of the heat – Miracle Garden, e.g., is closed in the summer months.
  • The winter months from November to early March are the best times to visit in my opinion. 
  • The average temperature ranges from 19.5 °C (67.5 °F) in January. 
  • Hotel prices, however, go up during the winter months and it gets busier. Regardless, my tip is to visit in these months.
  • Check also for the fasting time (Ramadan) because life is different during that time. You cannot do many activities during that few weeks (also, alcohol is less available).
  • In 2022, Ramadan is from 3rd April to 2nd May.
  • In 2023, it is from 23rd March to 23rd April. 

More Things to Know About Dubai

Here are a few more posts for your Dubai trip.


Was this Dubai itinerary helpful? Then save it on Pinterest.

2 day itinerary Dubai, Arzo Travels

I hope you have found some inspiration. Honestly, this is a good itinerary for Dubai in 2 days – in my eyes, at least. You will see the main sights, which do not include any hidden gems but rather great places for a first-time visitor to Dubai.

There are many more things to do in Dubai, but this 2-day Dubai itinerary will allow you to see the most important attractions in Dubai if you have minimal time.

If you have decided to extend your stay – a good idea, by the way – check out my other itineraries.

Safe Travels, Arzo



How to spend 7 days in Jordan. An Itinerary


Are you planning your Jordan itinerary and wondering how to spend one week in Jordan? Then read on – I happily share my tips on what places to visit in 7 days in Jordan along with many more travel tips for an epic Jordan itinerary.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product (at no extra cost to you) after clicking on my link. More about it here.

Jordan is surely an amazing and stunning country! However, you might need to do some preparation before visiting, so your Jordan trip does not turn out disappointing. Here are tips on how to spend 7 days in Jordan (and up to 10 days) and many travel tips for your Jordan itinerary – including tips on where to stay, how to get around, and more.


Before talking about the best places to visit in Jordan in one week, here are some essential travel tips, so you know what to expect.

One Week in Jordan – Best Time to Visit

Weather-wise, spring or fall are the best times to visit Jordan.

  • March until May is the busiest time in Jordan. Visitors from all around the world flock to Jordan to experience an amazing time. The weather is quite moderate and warm (it can get quite hot in the summer months and chilly in the winter). Prices for accommodation normally increase during this time, though.
  • I visited in mid-October, which is also a good time. The weather was pleasant most of the time (despite a heatwave at the Dead Sea), and there was little rain. All activities I planned were still available. Also, prices for accommodation were not at a peak.
  • However, if you prefer a less busy month, then November (or even December) could be a good time to visit, too or February.

How to Arrive in Jordan

Most likely, you will arrive in Amman. From Amman Airport, you have several options.

  • You can take an airport taxi. Prices are fixed (about $30 to downtown Amman), and you get a receipt/voucher outside the terminal to take to the taxi.
  • There is also a bus running once or twice an hour that costs about $4 (buy tickets at the ticket office outside the terminal). You can get off the North Station and then either take a cab or an Uber (I had free wifi at the station and got my Uber, but many taxis are waiting). From there, it is about $2-3 to get to your hotel in/near downtown.
  • Uber works in Amman, but apparently, they are not allowed to pick you up from the airport. You have free wifi in the airport and can try ordering an Uber, but rides will normally be canceled.
  • You can also pick up your rental car from the airport. There are several companies, and getting from the airport to the other parts of Jordan is quite easy.

Getting Around Jordan For One Week

  • In Amman and Jerash, you can easily get around by buses, shared or regular taxis, Uber, or guided tours/personal drivers.
  • Rental cars could be another option – but maybe only outside of Amman.
  • Personally, I am happy I did not get a rental car for my time in Amman as it can be busy. Driving in an Arabic capital can often feel crazy – and so it does in Amman. 
  • However, outside of Amman, driving was quite easy. Even if not all the streets are in top condition, it was fun to drive because there were not many cars. Window views were often great as the scenery is frequently stunning. 

Just be aware of the speed bumps, and you’ll be fine. I have a more detailed post about road tripping in Jordan, which you can check out here.

What to Pack For One Week in Jordan

  • Jordan is a great country to visit if you are an active traveler/tourist. So, pack your trainers and sweatpants. But also take your swimsuits, because there are times you might be in the water.
  • One of the things you will probably end up buying is a typical scarf that you can use as a head cover – to protect yourself from the heat, but also from sand, or if you want to visit a mosque.
  • Jordan is an Islamic country, after all – so dress moderately. There is no need for scarves or long sleeves, but you might not want to pack the shortest shorts you own or the smallest crop-top.

7 Day in Jordan as a Solo Female Traveler

I visited Jordan by myself and felt totally fine. I tend to be careful in general, and I never felt that I needed to be extra cautious or more careful.

Jordanians are friendly, and compared to other Arabs, it felt like they were more humble and quieter. However, you will not see many women outside of Amman. Actually, I hardly saw any local women outside the town centers or big hotel chains. Petra, Treasury_Regardless, I still felt safe and never worried about my safety. Just ignore the taxi drivers that can be pushy at times. For more general solo travel tips, click here but make sure to check out my solo travel guide for Jordan, too.

Jordan Pass for Your 7 Days

You most likely will have to pay for your visa. As a visitor from the EU (Germany), the visa cost is about $56. If you stay for at least 3 nights in Jordan, you can buy the Jordan Pass (online or on arrival). The price for a Jordan Pass is around $100-113.

With the Jordan Pass, you will get entry to over 40 attractions in Jordan – including Petra, Jerash, and more. However, you must decide whether you want a 1, 2, or 3-day Pass for Petra and can’t change that later.

I only had to pay extra entry fees at Wadi Mujib and Petra by Night- everything else was covered with the Jordan Pass. Since Petra is quite expensive, a Jordan Pass almost always makes sense. Check out prices here.

Here are more Jordan travel tips.


Let´s get started with places to visit in one week in Jordan.

Amman (1 Day)

You most likely will fly into Jordan, and I suggest spending at least one full day in Amman – whether as the first or last stop of your trip. Jordan´s capital is a fun and busy place and should not be missed on your Jordan itinerary. Half of Jordan’s population lives in the Amman area, making it a busy and hectic place. Amman citadel is one of the best places to see in JordanIt is also one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Downtown Amman, in particular, has quite a few ancient attractions. But you’ll also find modern buildings, and it is an interesting city full of contrasts. Amman is busy and crazy as so many busy Arabian cities are – chaotic, but still lovely with many sights along the way.


  • Check out the shops that sell all kinds of products and all kinds of restaurants.
  • Amman is also known for its good nightlife, though I have not experienced it firsthand.
  • A few must-see places in Amman include the Roman Amphitheatre and the souks in downtown Amman.
  • Situated in a hilly area, the Citadel offers great views and makes walking a bit of a workout. Watch the sunset from Citadel Hill.
  • End your day in one of the numerous cafes and restaurants on Rainbow Street
  • Amman also boasts museums, and you do not have to pay an entry fee if you have a Jordan Pass.


Amman offers accommodation for all kinds of travelers – you will find everything from luxury hotels to hostels and Airbnb.

  • I stayed in Nomads Hostel Hotel. It was very conveniently located near Rainbow Street and made it easy for me to connect with other female travelers. The hostel is fun, modern, and clean, with a great location. Check it out here.
  • For a mid-range hotel option, I suggest Albasem Hotel, which is well-rated and centrally located. Check out rates and availabilities here.
  • For a luxury hotel, try The House Boutique Suites, which is also near Rainbow Street and offers lots of amenities.  Find out more about the hotel here.

From Amman to Jerash, your next destination, it takes about 1 hour (30miles/50km).

Jerash (0,5 Day)

Jerash, located north of Amman, is an ancient city – dating back more than 6,500 years – and it had its golden age during Roman rule. And Jerash is impressive. After all, it is one of the best-preserved Roman provincial towns and also one of the biggest. It was only rediscovered “recently” and has been restored over the last 70 years. It has become the main Roman site in the country with attractions like the Hadrian´s Arch (Triumphal Arch), the hippodrome, the South Gate, the forum, and the Temple of Zeus, just to name a few.

I did not visit Jerash with a guide, and in hindsight, I regret it. Some more background information – given during a tour – would have been nice in retrospect – to learn more about the places and also understand ancient life better and appreciate Jerash even more.


I went to Jerash and then back to Amman and then picked up my rental car the next day. However, if you leave Amman and do not plan to get back, I suggest picking up your rental car and drive to Jerash yourself. In case you have other plans, you can also get there without your own car.

  • I took a minibus to get to Jerash (direct connection from the North Station) – a ticket is less around $1.50 one-way.
  • You can also easily get there by taxi (look out for a shared taxi to save money) and it is a lovely and scenic drive. 

For the whole trip, ideally plan in half a day or a full day.

From Jerash to the Dead Sea, your next destination, it takes about 90 minutes (60miles/95km).

Dead Sea (1 Day)

With 7 days in Jordan, you should visit the Dead Sea, where you’ll be at the lowest point on Earth – more than 400 meters below sea level.

You cannot really swim in the Dead Sea. It would be like floating in extremely salty water that makes every pore of your body itch. Mud at the Dead Sea, JordanApparently, even Cleopatra came here to enjoy her beauty sessions. So, we should do as Cleopatra did (at least in this case) and enjoy the “largest natural spa in the world.“

Yes, the water contains a lot of salt, magnesium, sodium, and oozier chlorides, which you might not enjoy much at first. And yes, it is true: putting mud – with all the minerals – from the Dead Sea all over your body will give you extremely soft skin.

So, the results are worth it.Dead Sea, Mövenpick pool with a view


  • Do not shave shortly before your trip to the Dead Sea. The minerals in the water will cause some pain – if you have or have open wounds, it will be even worse.
  • Even with only 7 days, you should stop by at the Dead Sea for at least a short time. Most beach sections belong to luxury resorts. There is a beach section open to the public.
  • Since accommodations here are quite pricey, spending a few hours at the Dead Sea is fine, too.


The region is home to several luxury hotels.

  • I stayed a the 5* Mövenpick hotel with its own beach area and a pool with a view. Though it was not as luxurious as some other 5-star hotels, I enjoyed my stay and would book it again. Check out rates here.

From the Dead Sea to Wadi Mujib, your next destination, it takes about 30 minutes (18miles/25km). While Wadi Mujib is at the Dead Sea, this estimation is based on the premise you are staying at/near Mövenpick Hotel.

Wadi Mujib (0,5 Day)

Leave the Dead Sea after your breakfast and head to Wadi Mujib. This place is often overlooked though it is so much fun. Wadi Mujib was actually one of the highlights of my 7-day Jordan trip. I am not overly sporty or adventurous, but that 3-hour trip was so much fun. Wadi Mujib in Jordan is one of the fun places to go in JordanThe Mujib Biosphere Reserve is the lowest nature reserve in the world. The Wadi Mujib Gorge, which enters the Dead Sea at 410 meters below sea level, is a stunning place that took my breath away. With the help of my guide, I waddled like a penguin through the gorge, climbed stairs under waterfalls, floated in between the gorge, and just had an amazing time overall.


  • The starting point of all the adventures and activities (except the Al Hidan trail) is at Mujib Adventure Center. There are parking slots for free and toilets.
  • You need to pay for tickets, which are around $27 (only cash accepted), and I was not sure whether I could get through the gorge without any guidance, so I booked a guide for a total of $50 (including entry fees), and it was worth it.
  • There are several trails you can choose from. I chose the shortest (but as my guide emphasized, it does not translate to be the easiest). It took several hours in total (with getting changed, organizing my tour, etc., it probably took a bit more than 3 hours).
  • Wear shorts (or a swimsuit), a life vest is a must, and you can rent special “water shoes” there for a few dollars. Don’t wear sunglasses (you are in the shade the whole time), and if you take a GoPro, etc., be careful, as my guide found 2 sunglasses and 1 GoPro in the water in the 2,5 hours we were together. You can also rent a waterproof bag if needed.
  • Unfortunately, Wadi Mujib is closed in the winter. The exact date is not fixed, but normally, the winter season is from mid/end of October, so double-check their opening hours and email them if you visit in the winter months.

If you are under the big waterfall, take your time and sit down. There are many little fish that are also used in the fish spa. I am terribly scared of fish but overcame my fear and let them eat my dead skin, and I must say- my feet still feel great (weeks after that “pedicure”).FIsh spa at Wadi Mujib

From Wadi Mujib to Dana Natur Reserve, your next destination, it takes about 2 hours (72miles/116km).

Dana Nature Reserve (1 Day)

Dana is a lesser-known destination in Jordan but a stunning place that you should add to your Jordan itinerary. 

Dana is a top tourist spot, especially for hikers (and sunset lovers) and people looking for off-the-beaten-path places in Jordan – a very tranquil place. Dana Nature Reserve at sunsetDana is the largest nature reserve and located between the Dead Sea and Petra, making it a perfect stop when going from one main site to the other.

It covers more than 300 square km in and around Dana village and Wadi Dana. The native inhabitants, the Al Atata tribe, has been living there for more than 6000 years. Nowadays, there are also a few guesthouses that host visitors from all around the world.

I spontaneously booked my accommodations and planned to go on a short hike the next day. I am not going to lie – I did not do well with the hike. It was hot, and I was exhausted from my Wadi Mujib trip the day before. However, it is a beautiful place to hike.


  • I recommend staying here overnight and enjoying one of the many hiking trails.
  • Normally, the guesthouses offer guided hiking tours (guided tours surely make sense here), and you can book them on the spot once you arrive.


As far as I can judge, the accommodations here are very basic. Dana is not about luxury but more about authentic Jordanian life.

  • I stayed at Al Nawatef Camp and enjoyed my stay at the camp. However, I wished I had brought a sleeping bag, as in Bedouin camps, sheets are not used (you get a wool blanket without any sheet). The dinner was great and the view amazing. I recommend getting to the camp before the sun sets, as, on a clear day, sunsets here are amazing! Check out prices here.

From the Dana to Petra, your next destination, it takes about 60 minutes (34miles/55km).

Petra (1-2 Days)

Petra, also known as the rose-red city, is THE main tourist attraction in Jordan.Treasury view from above

Though it is not known when exactly the city was built, it began to prosper as the capital of the Nabataean Empire after the 1st century BC. It was later annexed by the Roman Empire and flourished until it was destroyed largely by an earthquake in the 4th century AD.  

Bedouins inhabited it after that, but in the 19th century, it was “rediscovered“ by a Swiss explorer and has since become a more famous ancient city. With the Indiana Jones movie, Petra has gained popularity, so now it is often crowded – but believe me, it is still worth it.

When you get a Jordan Pass, you need to decide how many days you want to spend in Petra and buy the exact Jordan Pass you need (if you do not want to pay extra if you want to stay longer). I bought a 3-day pass for Petra, but with only 7 days in Jordan, 2 days in Petra is probably a good amount to spend there. There are several hiking trails, and I could not do the main one in one day. If you are super fit, you can probably do three or so, but I suggest doing two hikes a day.


  • Some of the top things to see in Petra: The Siq, the Theater, the Treasury (Al Khazna), the Monastery (Ad Deir), the Colonnaded Street, and the Royal Tombs.
  • PLEASE, do NOT USE any donkeys when you get around in Petra. The Bedouins were very friendly, but animals used for visitors are maltreated. Please use your feet to get around – even though Petra is big and you are tempted to be carried around. I saw some electric carriages – if you are not fit, rather use them.


I stayed in Petra for three nights in total and stayed in 2 different properties.

  • First, I stayed two nights in Wadi Musa – about 15 minutes walk from Petra and it was a basic place to stay (with a curfew at midnight which I was not aware of when I booked the hotel). However, it is a decent place to stay if you are on a budget. Check out Hotel Cleopatra.
  • Then I stayed at a luxury property a bit further from Petra (15 minutes drive). The place is registered as a 3star hotel at Booking but it is definitely a much, much better place and actually, I liked it better than the 5-star Mövenpick hotel. It is a perfect place to stay if you do not want to stay in Petra directly and escape the tourist crowds. Check out this unique and pretty place near Petra.

Petra By Night (3 Hours)

Three times a week, Petra By Night takes place (Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays). The Siq gets illuminated by candles, and in front of the Treasury, you’ll hear the sound of a Bedouin shepherd´s flute.

I read mixed reviews, but as a blogger, I felt I needed to see it with my own eyes to make a real judgment and tell you about it. I planned my whole Jordan trip around Petra by Night – but it was a disappointment. 

  • I wasted around $24 (this ticket is not included in the Jordan Pass).
  • It was crowded.
  • People were loud in the Siq (which totally killed the mood – seriously guys, sometimes you need to shut up!)
  • And it ended by 9:15 pm already, and people yelled, “Finish, finish.“ 

This was the biggest and only disappointment in Jordan. But of course, it is up to you if you want to experience it yourself. 

You can book your tickets at the Petra Visitor Centre, and it starts at 8:30 pm.

Little Petra (Few Hours)

Little Petra – known as Siq al Barid – is another place to add to your one-week in Jordan itinerary. It is located close to Petra and is also a Nabataean site, with sites built around the same time Petra was built.

Apparently, it is less busy, and hikes are less demanding, but it is worth visiting. I did not visit in the daytime – and I regret it. I visited by night, and it was magical. I did not visit the town center, but some bedouin campsites are so lovely to visit once it gets dark.

You can have tea at one of the places or even book accommodation – the caves were illuminated, and it looked stunning. It is a great place to visit at night – definitely more magical than Petra by night. To check out the Seven Bedouin Camp by night, click here (and my tip: stay there a night, too).

From Petra to Wadi Rum, your next destination, it takes about 90 minutes (65miles/105km).

Wadi Rum (1-2 Days)

Wadi Rum is another fantastic highlight in Jordan. Wadi Rum is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site – in the natural and cultural significance categories.

As with Petra, Wadi Rum was inhabited by the Nabataeans in prehistoric times – and now it is one of the best places to visit in Jordan in one week. Lawrence of Arabia was filmed here, and some other famous movies – and the scenery is unique. Do a desert safari, enjoy the sunset, and admire the interesting landscape you have here.


  • You need to sign up at the Visitor´s Center – if you have a Jordan Pass, you will not need to pay the entry fee. 
  • I recommend arriving there around 4 or 5 pm, so you can still watch the sunset, enjoy dinner at the camp, and book your tour for the next day. I seriously recommend doing a full-day trip, not just a trip for 4-5 hours.  Then you have the chance to see more of the vast desert before enjoying another sunset and having your dinner.
  • Leave early the next day after breakfast and head back towards Amman.


I recommend staying directly in Wadi Rum and not outside of it. If your accommodation is in Wadi Rum directly (and not in Wadi Rum Village), you most likely will be picked up from the village and then driven to your camp. Your car will most likely stay in the Wadi Rum village, but safety is normally not a big issue. 

  • I recommend booking a tent at Bedouin night & tours, but apparently, it closed after my visit (I had a great time, though!). However, most bedouin camps have great reviews. Check out different camps here.

From the Dana to Petra, your next destination, it takes about 4 hours (200miles/310km).

What if you have more than one week in Jordan? If that is the case, I have an extra tip for you.

Aqaba (1-2 Days)

In the south of Jordan, you will find the only coastal city – Aqaba. If you are into diving and snorkeling, then Aqaba might be a good place to spend a day or two. I am not a fan of being underwater, so it was easy for me to skip it. However, with only 7 days in Jordan, you would need to skip one of the other places mentioned above or do everything faster so you can enjoy some diving in Aqaba, too.


Jordan has become one of my most favorite travel destinations of all time. It is such a magical place, and even though places like Petra or the Dead Sea have become quite popular, it did not feel like Jordan is overrun by visitors.

Driving in Jordan felt amazing – with all the empty streets – and the sights and people made the trip perfect. So, whenever you plan your one week in Jordan, I hope you will have as much fun as I had, and this itinerary helps you plan your trip!

Stay safe.


best places to visit in 7 days in Jordan, itinerary_

Safe Travels, Arzo


best things to do in Istanbul in 2 days, itinerary


To find out about the best things to do in 2 days in Istanbul, read on because I am happy to share my travel tips. 

Istanbul is one of the most unique cities globally – what other city is spread over two continents? But that is not the only reason to visit this fun city.

Istanbul is a city that offers many historical and religious sites – but is also rich in modern sights and has the cutest cafes and restaurants, which also translates into a fun nightlife.

It offers all that to its visitors. Of course, I do not want to forget to mention the extremely delicious food (that also caters to vegetarians and vegans) – no, you cannot go wrong with booking a trip to Istanbul for a weekend.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means, I might earn a small commission when you buy a product (at no extra cost to you) after clicking on my link. More about it here.


Check out the quick travel tips for your Istanbul itinerary.

PIN ME FOR LATER – Istanbul in 2 Days Itinerary

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Istanbul itinerary for 2 days

How to get to the City Center From the Airport

If you arrive at the Istanbul Airport – the main one, the Atatürk Airport, closed and the new main airport just opened in 2019 – you can easily take the Airport Shuttle to get to the city center.

  • Whichever of the two main tourist areas – Sultanahmet or Taksim – you choose, the shuttle bus gets you there for around 3€ one way. The buses are modern, clean, and the ride is quite comfortable. Once you arrive at the bus station, you might have to walk to your accommodations, or you can then take a taxi.
  • Some taxis are waiting just outside, or you can book a private pick-up service in advance.
  • You could rent a car at the airport and drive yourself. However, for this 2-day Istanbul itinerary, driving will not be the best option for getting around.

Getting Around Istanbul in Two Days

Getting to/from the airport is easy via the shuttle bus. However, what is the best way to get around in Istanbul itself if you stay for 2 days?

  • Well, most of the time, walking is the best option. I walked a lot – but I am also very used to walking long distances. Wearing comfortable shoes is just the most important thing when I walk a lot. 
  • The tram and metro is affordable and reliable and are good options if you get tired or do not want to walk that much. For this itinerary, you will not need them often but only if you get from one neighborhood to the other.
  • I normally avoid taxis but I just took a taxi for 2km because this itinerary is quite busy and walking can get exhausting. If you use a taxi, here are some tips to avoid scams: Only take official taxis, they are painted yellow and are named “Taksi ” and make sure that the counter is on once you are in the taxi. I showed the taxi driver my location on Google maps on my phone and also could see if he uses the shortest way possible. However, you can avoid taxis, and will be fine to get around on foot, and public transportation.
  • Renting a car is – in my opinion – a bad idea. There is traffic, the city center is crazy and most places can easily be reached on foot so you avoid headaches if you do not drive yourself.
  • Boat cruises in Istanbul are also a good mode of transportation to see the city – and it is part of this itinerary so you will find out more about it later on.

Where to Stay in Istanbul for 2 Days

I recommend staying in Sultanahmet, which is the old part of Istanbul. I booked two different hotels, and both of them were close to Sultan Ahmad Square.

  • My tip: Hotel Poem is a small but lovely boutique hotel with friendly staff and a great breakfast! Check out rates here and book before it is fully booked (it is quite small).
  • Hotel Spectra Sultanahmad is another option. I booked it just for the views from the breakfast room, and those views did not disappoint. Find out more about this hotel here.
  • However, I liked Hotel Poem a bit more, and if prices are similar, I suggest staying at Hotel Poem (despite the smaller rooms).
  • If you are looking for something more luxurious, check out Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet.
  • If you are a hostel person and are looking for a good hostel in Istanbul, this place might be a perfect fit for you.

Blue Musque view

Best Time to Visit Istanbul For 2 Days

Istanbul is a popular travel destination all year round. Expect a lot of crowds in the summer months. If you can, pick spring or fall for your trip to Istanbul though winter in Istanbul might also be a fun time to visit.

Solo Female Travel Tips For Istanbul

  • I traveled to Istanbul by myself. My Turkish Airlines flight – without any explanation – arrived more than 2 hours late in Istanbul, so I arrived in the middle of the night. I took the airport shuttle and just had to walk a few hundred meters to my hotel – at that moment, it felt uncomfortable. It was raining, it was cold, and it was dark, and there were not many people around.
  • BUT that was the only short moment I felt uncomfortable. I think Istanbul is a safe place to visit as a solo female traveler. So many people visit Istanbul that you don’t stand out from the crowds when traveling alone. If you exercise common sense, there is no reason not to travel alone in Istanbul.
  • Be aware of your political statements, democracy is going downhill in the country. But there are no particular precautions to take as a solo female traveler. People are friendly and nice, and it is easy to do small talking to locals (if they speak English).
  • There is so much to do – even solo – that I did not have time to feel bored.


Without further ado, here is how to spend 2 days in Istanbul.

TIP: You might want to check out the Museum Card if you plan to visit many attractions as it could save some money. However, you normally will not be able to skip the lines, and with two days, you might not want to stand in lines forever.


I recommend exploring Sultanahmet – the old town – only and visit the main attractions here for the first day. 

Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya)

One of the top places to visit in Istanbul is the Hagia Sophia. Hagia Sophia was a Christian Cathedral commissioned by Emperor Justinian in the 6th century and converted to a mosque by the Ottomans. But it did not stay a mosque for long.

After 1935 it was converted to a museum (on Atatrürk´s order). But guess what? It has become a mosque again in late 2020. So, even loud protests by many could not stop the religious and conservative Turkish government from converting it. Especially, because Hagia Sophia been a Unesco World Heritage site since 1985 and UNESCO must be given prior notice of any modifications. So, the status of the World Heritage Site is now evaluated and we´ll have to wait for the result.

So, as a museum, it was one of the busiest places in the city – long queues were the result. I haven’t seen what the situation is like since it was converted. So, I recommend visiting as it is a beautiful example of Byzantine architecture.

Hagia Sophia, view from the upper gallery is one of the best things to do in 48 hours in Istanbul


  • Entry is free now
  • Open every day – 24 hours a day
  • Open to Muslims and Non-Muslims
  • Remove your shoes before entering the mosque
  • Dress moderately (scarves for women, cover your arms and legs for men and women)
  • If possible avoid weekends & Friday prayer at noon because as it will be more crowded with the locals
  • Tours available (for a fee)
  • You will probably need around 60-90 minutes for Hagia Sophia

Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Mosque)

Another must-see is the Blue Mosque – which is free to enter and is still used as a mosque (to avoid the busiest times, don’t visit during prayers).

Blue Mosque, (Sultanahmet Camii), Istanbul one of the most beautiful places

The Blue Mosque was completed in 1616 and is beautiful inside and out. While it actually is not really blue from the outside, it has 20,000 handmade mosaic blue tiles surrounding the walls of the interior, which is where it derives its name.

Interior of the Blue Mosque, Istanbul is a must-see in 2 days

The Blue Mosque was built to rival Hagia Sophia, and I must say, from the outside, it is surely more impressive and stunning than the neighboring building.

Visit the Blue Mosque website and check the prayer times.


  • Entry is free now
  • Open every day – 24 hours a day
  • Open to Muslims and Non-Muslims (it’s closed to non worshippers for a half hour or so during the five daily prayers)
  • Remove your shoes before entering the mosque
  • Dress moderately (scarves for women, cover your arms and legs for men and women)
  • If possible avoid weekends & Friday prayer at noon because as it will be more crowded with the locals
  • You will probably need around 20-60 minutes for the Blue Mosque

Sultan Ahmet Square

2 days in Istanbul will most likely be quite stressful, so plan in enough breaks. After visiting the Blue Mosque, it is time for such a break.Snacks in Istanbul

Hagia Sophia and Sultanahmed Square in Istanbul is a must for a 2-day itinerary

The two main attractions mentioned earlier are located on Sultanahmet Square – one of the major public areas in Istanbul. I loved Sultanahmet Square! As busy as it is, it is also pretty and a great place to sit down and watch people.

Also, the little snack stalls that offer delicious snacks, like corncobs and chestnuts, are amazing.

I could have snacked all day (and did), so after the sightseeing, it is time to buy those snacks that are also quite affordable.

Topkapi Palace

Topkapı Palace is the next major attraction to visit.

Topkapi-Palasce is one of the best things to see in 2 days in Istanbul

It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985 and was built in the 15th century of the Ottoman period. It was used for the longest time as a royal palace and was the residence of Ottoman sultans and the center of state management and education.

The palace covers around 700,000 square meters, most of which are actually the Royal Gardens (Hasbahçe). 

It is now a museum and one of the best places to learn about its history as you’ll find many weapons, porcelain, Islamic manuscripts, Ottoman treasures and jewelry, and more that date back to those times. There is also an extra section with the Harem – it is where the wives and concubines of the sultans lived.

Given its size and importance, it can take several hours to go through the palace.


  • Open every day except Tuesdays
  • The museum pass is accepted
  • An admission ticket without a Museum Pass is 100 TL – but you can buy skip-the-line tickets for this one as well. Check them out here
  • To see the Harem you have to pay an extra fee of about 70 TL.
  • Plan in between 2-4 hours for visiting Topkapi Palace

Basilica Cistern

This attraction is not just a great way to escape the heat in the summer months: visiting the Basilica Cistern is a popular activity in Istanbul and close to the main attractions mentioned above.

The Basilica Cistern, (Yerebatan), Istanbul, Turkey is one of the best places to see in 2 days

Cisterns were built all around the city to meet the population’s water requirement – in the case of a siege, and the Basilica Cistern was the largest in Istanbul, providing water to the Tokpaki Palace and other buildings in the area. Check out skip-the-line tickets here.


  • The entrance fee is 20 TL
  • Open 7 days a week between 09.00 – 5.30 pm
  • You will need about 30-90 minutes to see the Basilica Cistern

If you visit all places mentioned above, you will have a busy first day in Istanbul and you might want to have dinner and end your day. There are more attractions are located on Ahmed Sultan Square. It is easy to see them on the first day, and it does not take much time, so you will probably more or less pass them.

The Fountain of Ahmed III

One of the other things to see in Istanbul – without much effort – is the Fountain of Ahmed III located on the Ahmed Sultan Square.Fountain in Istanbul in 2 days

It was built in the 18th century and is known as one of the most beautiful samples of Turkish rococo styles.

Mausoleum of Sultan Ahmed

You can also visit the Mausoleum of Sultan Ahmed – the construction of the Mausoleum started shortly after his death in the 17th century. It is free to visit (but dress accordingly and be respectful when visiting).

Bosphorus Cruise

Depending on how fast you have been, you could then end your day at the Bosphorus on day one or start your second day here. Bospherus in Istanbul itineraryI loved this area in particular – it is busy, and it was here that I first got a feel for how big Istanbul actually is. Sultanahmet is beautiful, but it felt like a smaller city on its own.

I am all about boat tours and ferry rides. If you are like me, hop on a boat/ferry and see Istanbul from a different perspective. Those Bosporus boat cruises take a couple of hours and so it is nothing to squeeze in quickly.

  • You can buy tickets on the spot if you like or check out prices here and book in advance.
  • If you want to book a Bosphorus boat cruise with dinner and entertainment, click here.

Extra: Sulemaniye Mosque 

Other than the Blue Mosque, the Süleymaniye Mosque is another well-known mosque in Istanbul and is actually the largest mosque in the city.

It is located on the Third Hill of the city, near Istanbul University, and if you have some free time on your hands, then check out this mosque, too.


After a busy day 1 in Istanbul, it is time to continue your 2-day Istanbul trip.

Grand Bazaar

Of course, you have to visit the Grand Bazaar. But a word of warning: if you visit at the wrong time, it is crazy and hectic and crowded. After checking out the Grand Bazaar, I needed to sit down and take a looooong break.

Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the best places to visit in 2 daysBut given its size, it is one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world, with around 30,700 square meters with 61 covered streets, and over 4,000 shops and restaurants. It is great for buying souvenirs and little presents – and gold and other jewelry. You can basically shop till you drop.


  • Open every day from 9 am to 7 pm, except Sundays
  • Depending on which streets you visit, you might have to pass a security check
  • Definitely haggle and do not accept prices immediately (you might get “discounts” of 30-50%)
  • Plan in between 1-4 hours for the Grand Bazar

Galata Bridge

After the Grand Bazar, it is time to visit another area of Istanbul. It is time to cross the Galata Bridge – and on your way to Beyoglu, look back because the views are gorgeous!Istanbul from Galata Bridge view_However, I suggest spending some time at the Bosporus River as well. I already suggested a Bosporus cruise for day 1 and now, it is about relaxing and watching people before crossing the bridge. 

You could take the tram (or do a boat ride), but I recommend walking towards Beyoglu from the Old Town. You will arrive in a hipster area of Istanbul – Beyoglu.

Galata Tower

The Galata Tower is one of the main landmarks in Istanbul and Beyoglu, and it is a great place for great views (I did not get up there myself).Gelata Tower, Istanbul in 2 days, ARZO TRAVELS The lines are probably always long (that was the case when I visited in October), so I skipped it. The 66-meter-high medieval stone tower – sitting on a hill about 38 meters above sea level – offers panoramic views over Istanbul. 

The tower was built in the 14th century as an addition to the Galata Wall for defense purposes and was the Galata Walls’ main tower. It also served as a dungeon for slaves before converted to a depot for the boatyard. There was such a fun and relaxed vibe here that you should not miss out on this area – Even if you don’t climb the stairs to enjoy the views.


  • Entrance Fee: 30 TL
  • Opening hours: 1 April – 1 November from 8:30 am until midnight and from 1 November – 1 April from 10:00 am to 8 pm
  • Two elevators take you to the top – or you climb the 146 stairs
  • There is also a cafe and restaurant at the top


This is the place to sit down and have lunch or just a coffee – food and drinks are reasonably priced, and the cafes are the cutest I have seen in Istanbul (indoor and outdoor cafes).Cute cafe in Istanbul is one of the top things to see in 2 days It has a bit of a hipster feel, but it still felt authentic, and I would make sure to plan in enough time to spend some here. Plus, you might get lucky and have some great live music playing somewhere nearby.Fruits in Istanbul


There is an old red tram – similar to the ones in San Francisco – that you can use for a small amount (less than 1€), which will take you all the way up to Taksim Square and back (you need a separate ticket for each ride). Iconic red tram in Istanbul

I hopped on it, but it was so busy that I did not find a seat and was squeezed in with many others. So, my tip is to make sure to wait for the tram and be on time, so you can be one of the first to get in, grabbing a seat and better views.

It will be almost impossible on a busy day to take a picture of the tram without tons of people standing in front of it! They all want a souvenir picture.

Istiklal Street

As I was visiting Istiklal Street on a Saturday, I experienced the busiest shopping street I have ever seen – probably. This long shopping street, pedestrian and tram only, is a hectic and bustling place with many international shops. 

Personally, it was not my favorite place in Istanbul – if you are into shopping, then this is the place to see. If you aren’t, you could skip it.

Taksim Square

Taksim is the heart of modern Istanbul and probably best known at the moment for the place where the demonstrations against the current president, Erdogan, started. Still, it is generally known as a place for political protests.

However, it is also where all the fancier restaurants, shops, and hotels are, but apart from that, there are not that many interesting sights or attractions. It is not really a must-see place with only 48 hours (or a bit less) in the city in terms of attractions, but due to the place’s importance, I have still added it to this 2 days in Istanbul itinerary.

From there, you can either take the tram back to Beyoglu and end your day there, or you can take the underground and go back to Gelata Bridge, and then either walk back to Sultanahmad or end your day at the Bosporus.

I loved the numerous cafes and restaurants in Sultanahmet. So, if you had lunch in Beyuglou already, then I suggest having dinner in one of the many cafes or restaurants in the old town of the city.


Extra: If you have time and want to relax, I definitely suggest visiting a Turkish Hamman.

While I have not visited any in Istanbul, I did so on other Turkey trips and highly recommended them. Because 2 days in Istanbul can be crazy and hectic, what better way is there to relax and enjoy than in a Turkish bath where you can end your day with a relaxing massage? 


I think 48 hours in Istanbul is a good amount (and the minimum) to spend. Whether you are a solo traveler, travel with your partner, friends, or family, Istanbul will not be boring.

2 days in Istanbul will be fun and exciting – the city is so vibrant and interesting. You will not be able to see all of the highlights, but you will get a good idea and cover the main attractions.Safe Travels, Arzo

Epic Things to do in Jordan

best things to do in Jordan


You might have heard about Jordan´s beauty and what an amazing country it is to visit?! Rightfully, Jordan has become more and popular these days, and I am pretty sure Jordan will not disappoint you. However, you might be wondering about the best things to do in Jordan and its main attractions. If so, read on and find out what to do and see.

Yes, Jordan is a quite small country, but there are still many things to do. To be honest, I would need to visit Jordan, again and again, to find out about all the good things to do. And while I do not even claim to have experienced all the fun things, I compiled a list of my favorite Jordan activities as well as more great things to see and do in Jordan.

Visit Petra

Petra is probably the most famous place in Jordan, and you cannot visit Jordan without visiting Petra. Whether you see the monastery or the treasury, or any of the other ancient buildings and sights that were created more than 2,000 years ago, you have to explore this city. It was actually very prosperous back at that time, but it eventually died out.

However, it was rediscovered “recently“ and has become the main tourist attraction. It was also used as a filming location for Indiana Jones if you needed more reasons to visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Make sure to plan in enough time to see the “Rose City“ as it is home to many sights and people underestimate its size. 

Petra is rather big, and it involves a lot of hiking, so plan in at least one and a half days so that you can do a few different kinds of hikes and see sights like the Treasury, the Monastery or the Tombs (just to name a few).

Price for Petra: The entrance fee for Petra is quite high. You can check the prices out here. If you have a Jordan Pass (highly recommended), you have the fees included.

READ MORE: Solo female travel tips for Jordan

Enjoy Petra by Night

Petra by Night is a big event that takes place three times a week. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, the Siq gets illuminated by candles, and in front of the Treasury, you’ll hear the sound of a Bedouin shepherd´s flute. For some, it is a must-do in Jordan and a highlight – for me, it was a disappointment. I expected something magical, and people were just loud. Along the Siq, people talked loudly, ran around, and ruined the moment for those looking for something magical. It probably would have been amazing if people could have shut up for some minutes so.

However, I have an alternative that you can do and see Petra by night – without extra costs and with the crowds.

Go to Little Petra, just a few kilometers near Petra, and have tea at one of the Bedouin camps. It is extremely beautiful and romantic and a better experience than the official Petra by Night. Many candles light the caves (they are electric, but you can’t tell from afar), and this is what a romantic and “authentic“ place looks like.

Explore Jerash

Jerash dates back several thousand years and is the best-preserved and largest Roman site outside of Italy and without a doubt, visiting Jerash is one of the best things to do in Jordan. It actually impressed me more than any of the Italian Roman sites. The place is so huge and one of the main attractions in Jordan. It has become the main Roman site in Jordan with attractions like the Hadrian´s Arch (Triumphal Arch), the hippodrome, the South Gate, and more.

From Amman, it is a half-day trip – you can drive there yourself or get there by taxi/Uber or even a public bus (leaving from North Station for around 1,10€). There is no entrance fee if you have a Jordan Pass.

Cycle Through Jordan

This is for you guys (not so for me) – cycling in Jordan seems like an amazing idea for the really active ones amongst you.

Of course, you could bike anywhere, but Jordan does have a specific Bike Trail. It is a 730-kilometer trail from the south to the north – passing the main attractions like Petra, the Dead Sea, and Aqaba. Surely, this is not for everyone, and you have to be a fit and experienced cyclist, but even for someone like me – who just cycles a few kilometers – this sounds absolutely amazing and intriguing.

So, surely exploring Jordan by bike surely is something to consider if you are into being active.

Float in the Dead Sea

Floating in the Dead Sea is a bucket list experience, and in Jordan, you can treat yourself to some time at the Dead Sea (which also makes the lowest point of Earth).Mud at the Dead Sea, Jordan This body of water is partly located in Jordan. Don’t expect to swim or float here for hours, though. Normally, most people are only in it for a few minutes. 

It is known for its healing effects and is good for your skin because the water is so rich in salt and other minerals that it is said that even Cleopatra used to have her beauty spa sessions here. But be aware that you will feel every hole and pore in your skin while in the water.

Also, make sure to wrap yourself from head to toe with the mud here and try to find some salt to mix with it. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes before you wash it away – it will have an amazing effect on your skin, and while it will not last days, my skin has hardly felt better.

So, taking a mud bath and floating in the Dead Sea is another must-do in Jordan. 

Wadi Rum Desert Safari

Wadi Rum is a desert valley in the south of Jordan, and visiting should be on any Jordan itinerary. It is also well-known because Lawrence of Arabia was filmed here, and this is where he actually began his journey through the desert. 

But there is more to it than being a “pretty“ filling location – this UNESCO World Heritage Site was also inhabited by the Nabataeans in prehistoric times (like Petra), and now, it is a place where Bedouins live, and tourists visit for half a day, a full day or even longer. 

You will see beautiful rock formations in this part of Jordan. You can do some really fun desert tours, and they are well worth both the money and the time.

Spend a Few Hours at Wadi Mujib

My favorite sporty, adventurous activity in Jordan was canoeing in Wadi Mujib. The Mujib Biosphere Reserve is the lowest nature reserve in the world. This is a gorge with water in the base which makes a fun activity to walk through (or biplane through, float, etc.).Wadi Mujib in Jordan is one of the fun places to go in JordanYou will have to pay an entrance fee to get in here, and I booked a personal guide who helped me with the canoeing, sliding, climbing, and paddling but you can also do unguided tours. I did the shortest route, which took about 2 hours (3 hours in total with getting changed etc, and I paid around 30€ – cash only), but it was fun, and you can do even longer hikes if you want to.

Unfortunately, you cannot do these activities year-round as it closed in the winter, so make sure you check the opening times.

Stay in a Bedouin camp

I stayed at several Bedouin camps during my time in Jordan, and staying there was unique and amazing.Dana Nature Reserve at sunset Friendly hosts, stunning scenery (depending on where you stay), good food – these are some of the perks when staying in a bedouin camp in Jordan.

Also, most bedouin camps are affordable, but they are also very basic and not the most luxurious. However, it proves once more that there is no need for a luxury hotel to experience happiness. It’s an amazing experience, so don’t miss out on it during your Jordan visit.

Hike at Dana Nature Reserve

Hiking is another great thing to do in Jordan. Probably not in the summer months but when the weather allows it. The Dana Nature Reserve is one of Jordan’s most popular hiking spots. There are several different trails that you can do – from a couple of hours to several days.

To be honest, I had a love-hate relationship with my hiking in Jordan (and I just did a 3-hour hike) – but in the end, it was a fun activity, and others I met along the way LOVED hiking there.

Enjoy Views From Mount Nebo

Mount Nebo is another very interesting thing to do and is especially interesting from a religious point of view. Apparently, Moses climbed up to the top of the mountain and saw the Promised Land before he died. You have great views from here. It is close to Amman and the Dead Sea, so you could easily visit it while staying in Amman.

Visit Amman

Some people skip Amman, but you seriously cannot miss out on Amman. Half of Jordan’s population lives in the Amman area, so it is quite busy and chaotic. But still charming and fun. Amman citadel is one of the best places to see in JordanYou have to visit the capital of Jordan and stay for at least a day so that you can check out the downtown area with the ancient sights like the Amphitheater.  You can hike up to the Citadel – another ancient sight – and enjoy the best city views from there.  Check out my Amman itinerary for more tips.

Watch the Sunset

Jordan has some amazing spots to see the sunset. One of the places to enjoy beautiful sunsets is sown in the Dana Nature Reserve, the Dead Sea, or in Wadi Rum.Dead Sea, Mövenpick pool with a view You can also see great ones from the Citadel in Amman. Either way, make sure not to spend your time indoors when the sun sets but to enjoy this free activity in Jordan.

Dive in Aqaba

Jordan has only one coastal city – Aqaba, and this is a popular diving and snorkeling location off the Red Sea.  Personally, I don’t dive or snorkel as I’m not very interested in these things, but for many, diving in Aqaba is one of the fun stuff to do.

For all those who love to be underwater, Aqaba is the place to be. Or for those who want to relax at the beach after so much traveling in Jordan (as fun as it is, it can be really exhausting).

Road-Trip Jordan

The best way to get around Jordan is road-tripping. I am trying to be as environmentally friendly as possible, but I do make exceptions with flying and driving (sometimes), but Jordan is a country where road-tripping makes the most sense as getting around with – solely- public transportation is not the easiest thing. But driving in Jordan is an experience in itself. I tend to be chicken about driving in some (especially Arabic) countries, but it was actually quite easy and doable in Jordan.

The streets are okay (some are actually pretty good), and there are not many cars on the street, which makes driving in Jordan quite stress-free. I have a detailed post about a Jordan road trip – but in a sentence: Road tripping in Jordan was just amazing!

Enjoy the Food

Last but not least, eat a lot in Jordan because the food is great there. I am aware that I do not often recommend “eating” as an activity, but one of the very best things to do in Jordan is to eat. Eat a lot.Falafel sandwich in Amman Especially the falafel (chickpea balls fried in oil), which are really amazing most everywhere in Jordan, should be part of your diet here.  They also have some meat dishes, but you will not find many places where the vegetarian food is as delicious as it is in Jordan. 

Eat your weight in falafel with delicious bread, veggies, and hummus. And the best: You don’t have to stay in expensive hotels to have that great food – actually, smaller B&B or restaurants often have better and more authentic food so you can have all that great food for little money!

For more Jordan travel tips, click here.

Jordan is such a diverse and interesting place to visit, and these are some of the best things to do in Jordan. Make sure you plan some (or all) of these into your own Jordan itinerary to have the best trip possible. Since prices are lower than in many western European cities (or the US), most activities mentioned here are actually quite affordable – or even free – and they do not cost a fortune, making it even more fun!


Save this pin on Pinterest for your Jordan trip!

Epic things to do in Jordan, Middle East travel, Arzo TravelsSafe Travels, Arzo


Best places to visit and things to do in Lebanon in 5 days, itinerary


Are you planning your Lebanon itinerary and wondering about the best places to visit in Lebanon in a few days? Then this post will help you find out about the top Lebanon attractions to visit + more travel tips.

An often overlooked but definitely great travel destination in the Middle East is the small country of Lebanon. It is a beautiful, small country with friendly people, ancient sights, modern cities, cute villages, pretty landscapes, and wild nightlife – that is what you can expect in Lebanon.

Since I am from Germany, I have always been around Lebanese people, but the country was never really high on my bucket list. Eventually, though, I added it to the list and went for about a week, and before, I then went to Jordan.

And what can I say? Lebanon was a fun place to visit and exceeded my expectations. I did not know what to expect as a solo female traveler. But it turned out to be fine, and there is no reason to worry. Lebanon is, in general, a safe travel destination – even for solo female travelers. But of course, for other kinds of travelers, too.

Was everything perfect? No, for sure not. Was it still fun? Yes, definitely. 

A bit crazy, hectic, and chaotic – here is what to expect when visiting Lebanon. Find out where to go and what to see in only 5 days in Lebanon. While I wished that I had two more days in Lebanon (I think that 7 days in Lebanon would be awesome), I got a good glimpse of the country and got to see some wonderful places – and so can you with less than one week.

Lebanon’s political situation is tense at the moment, but it is also a quite liberal and modern country. Especially Beirut reminded me of Southern France. Different religions coexist and, thus, has a different feeling from many other Arab countries.


So, before talking about the very best places to visit in Lebanon, here are some travel tips for your itinerary.Lebanon with Arzo Travels


Before talking about the best places to visit in Lebanon in 5 days (or so), here are some travel tips.

How to Get to Lebanon

I suggest flying into Beirut. There are many flights from Istanbul and other countries in the Middle East, and it allows you to combine your trip easily with a trip to Jordan, Istanbul, or other nearby destinations.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product (at no extra cost to you) after clicking on my link. More about it here.

How to Get Around in Lebanon


  • If you are brave, you can rent a car and explore Lebanon on your own.
  • However, driving in Lebanon seems very crazy because I experienced it as crazy, hectic, and wild, where drivers make their own rules.
  • This did not only apply to Beirut but also to many other places. Streets are always crowded, and an extra car would only add to the pollution (which is a big problem in the country).

However, the alternatives are not perfect, but there are some fun other ways to get around.


I mostly used the minibusses to get around.

  • There are some newer ones (as you can see in the picture) and some which were really old.
  • In general, they are for sure not fancy, and the drives were insane in some parts, but they were fun.
  • Yes, there were times, I was, legitimately, scared for my life – even though I was just a passenger – but in the end, it all went well.
  • And in the end, I did not have to worry about driving myself.
  •  Whether I went to Baalbeck, Byblos, or Tyre, it was possible to go in the small buses to many destinations in Lebanon and get around for very little money.


  • There are also Uber and taxis available, but I suggest only using Ubers in Lebanon if needed.  My first time using Uber was in Lebanon, actually. I did not use them often, but I liked Uber. There are plenty of Ubers available, and you do not have to worry about being ripped off.
  • Taxis can be tricky – I used them twice. Once from the airport to the city center (not a pleasant experience) and once I got on a very old Mercedes with an older taxi driver. We discussed the fare in advance and that was a good deal (you should be aware of the distances).

Where to Stay in Lebanon

For this itinerary, I suggest staying in Beirut most of the time. Lebanon is small but stretched, and Beirut is quite centrally located.

I did only day trips (using minibusses for most of the day tours). Getting around in Lebanon is time-consuming, and even an 80-km drive can take up to 3 hours. Still, you will also get to see different landscapes and do not have to worry about checking in and checking out all the time.

However, if you stay for more than 5 days in Lebanon, it might make sense to book one or two nights near Byblos and do a few trips from there, so you avoid too much driving.

  • I stayed in a hostel/hotel in Hamra – a popular district in Beirut. There are dorms, but you can also book private rooms. The great thing about this hostel is that it has a pool on the rooftop and that you, especially if you travel as a solo traveler, easily meet other people. Check out rates at Hamra Urban Gardens.
  • If you are looking for luxury accommodation, you might want to check out Four Seasons Hotel Beirut. It comes with a great location, and the views from the rooftop are great!

What to Eat in Lebanon

The good news: Lebanon is foodie heaven!

Whether you are a meat-lover or a vegan, this country has amazing cuisine. So, as someone who eats veganish (and strictly vegetarian), I was in heaven. All the delicious food was to dream off. Of course, there are falafel & hummus and the fresh Fattoush salad, but there was so much more to eat and enjoy.

It is more diverse than in many other countries in the Middle East. Though I love Arabic food in general, Lebanon has probably one of the best cuisines in the world, so plan in enough time for good food and fresh juices.

Safety in Lebanon

I am generally cautious but did not feel the need to take extra precautions. Despite its very complicated history (and present), it is a safe destination to visit (INFO: SITUATION MIGHT HAVE CHANGED IN 2021)

However, if you visit these days, there might be some demonstrations and problems. 

  • Also, not all public services function properly, like the waste collection. I must say that Lebanon is – unfortunately – very dirty in many parts, and you will see tons of trash everywhere. However, I doubt that this is the result of the irregular waste collection, but more from people just littering wherever they go.
  • If you stay in a hotel/hostel, you will not be strongly affected by regular blackouts (even though there are many).


Let´s start with the capital of the country: Beirut.

Beirut – 2 Days

My tip is to spend 1.5 or two days in Beirut and explore the gems of the city. While Beirut is the capital, it is still quite small, and with 2 days, you will have time to see the main attractions and places. I love Beirut sign in LebanonAlso, while Beirut is small, it is not so small that you could see everything in less than one day – especially if you plan on only  (or mostly) walking.

My tip for the first day (especially if you do not have a full day) is to visit the American University first and explore this area for an hour or so before heading to the Rauche Rocks (for the sunset), and then having dinner/drinks there before strolling the promenade. Start this day slowly and prepare for a busy day 2.

If you have more time on your hands, visit Hamra – a popular busy area with many cafes and shops. This is also a good place to visit in the evening.  

Beirut attractions
Sursock Museum

Day 2 in Beirut will be busier. Start at the Sursock Museum and then walk down and visit the St. Nicolas Stairs, the St. Elian & Gregory Cathedral, and Beirut Souks, and stroll the Gemayzeh area – this is also a lovely area to have lunch or dinner.

Then, make sure to visit Zaitunay Bay and stroll Beirut´s Marina, where you will find – besides yachts – a lot of restaurants, too.

The most stunning building in Beirut is the Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque.

  • Make sure to not only admire the architecture from outside but also pay a visit inside.
  • The entrance is free,
  • and you do get something to cover yourself up with if you are not dressed appropriately. 

Mohammad Am Amin Mosque in Beirut

Lebanon mosque in BeirutThere are also a few churches in the area that you can visit. Next to the mosque, you will also find the Roman Baths Gardens that you can visit (it does not take much time, though).

Beirut is one of the very best places to go out – even I went to a club. Okay, it was during the week, and there was not that much going on, but if you want to experience the infamous nightlife in Beirut, visit during the weekends. There are many rooftop bars and clubs where you can dance the night away.

Balbeeck – 1 Day

Plan one day for visiting Baalbeck – and a must-see place in Lebanon.  

Getting there is time-consuming but worth it. Baalbeck is Lebanon‘s greatest Roman treasure. Actually, it is the largest Roman temple ever built and still very well-preserved, even though it has suffered from theft, war, and earthquakes.

Thanks to the efforts of archaeologists, it is still in great condition. So it does not surprise that it is actually quite busy as many people come here to visit this exquisite place. 

There are quite a few sights, including Jupiter Temple, Bacchus Temple, and Venus Temple, so make sure to plan some time to explore them. Yes, we all know the Acropolis in Athens. Still, Balbeeck is actually way more impressive.

  • Either take a minibus (we had to change buses once, and it took me than 2.5 hours in total, but it was an interesting ride), join an organized group, or hire a car and get there yourself. 
  • In early July through August, there is an international festival held in Balbeeck.

Jeita Grotto – Harissa – Byblos – 1 Day

My favorite day was when I visited these three spots in one day because they are some of the best places to visit in Lebanon.

Many tour operators offer tours to these places in one day, and it is definitely doable. 

One of the girls I met at the hostel where I stayed and mostly used minibusses to get around (but also Uber and a taxi). It saved us tons of money this way, and we saw all three beautiful places – and it was fun!

Jeita Grotto

The first stop is probably Jeita Grotto, which is less than 20 km north of Beirut. I am surely no expert on visiting caves, but I have seen a few over the years – and these were my favorites.

The best EVER. Unfortunately, it is not allowed to take pictures. I am repeating myself – it one of the best places to visit in Lebanon.Cable Cars in Jeita Grotto in Lebanon

This limestone cave is imposing, and it exceeded my expectations. The grotto was discovered in 1836 by an American and opened in 1958 (Lower Grotto) and 1969 (Upper Grotto).

After a scenic drive (Uber) from Beirut, you can get out at the funicular station and buy your ticket (cash only) for a bit more than 11€, and then you can use the funicular to go up.

It is a very short ride up, and once there, you can explore the Upper Grotto. 

Over a distance of 700 meters (the total length of the cave is more than 2 km), you’ll find many lime formations, which come in all kinds of sizes and shapes. 

If you look closely, you’ll find many different “animals,“ “vegetables,“ and more.

You cannot take pictures inside, but I can assure you that it is well worth it. It did not take us too long to go through, and after probably less than 30 minutes, we were walking out and walking down to the Lower Grotto.

At the Lower Grotto, you can do a short boat ride over a distance of 400 meters. Don´t worry – you don’t have to row yourself. Just sit down and enjoy the short electro ride. 

It is quite chilly inside, so bring a pullover with you (around 16 degrees Celsius).

All those activities are included in the ticket price (funicular, Lower and Upper Grotto, and a ride on the mini train, which I did not use).

A documentary is also shown in different languages. We missed the English version and would have had to wait for a few hours for the next one. So, if you want to watch it, ask for the times beforehand.

The whole tour took less than one hour, and on the way to the car park, we also spent time in the pretty gardens on the property.

Jounieh / Harissa – Téléférique 

At the car park, we took a taxi. We were approached by many people and ended up with an older driver in a very ancient but cool taxi that brought us to Harissa – Téléférique. Old Taxi in LebanonWe paid around 12€, but you could probably haggle and get a better price (but I did not feel the need to haggle with this older man).

One of the best tourist attractions in Lebanon is going up via the Téléférique.

The Téléférique leaves a few kilometers north of the old center of Jounieh, and you have beautiful views already on the cable car ride up. The views get even better once you have arrived in Harissa. I have never seen cable cars riding so close to house buildings (and I am an expert in cable car riding). View from Harissa TeleferiqueYou could hike up or drive up, but why not take the cable car and enjoy the ride? Especially given the affordable prices for the cable car (less than 7€ for a 2-way ticket) and the views along the way, I do recommend hopping on a capsule. 

I am all about the views, and here you can probably experience some of the country’s best views.

Also, you’ll find the Our Lady of Lebanon here – a bronze, white-painted, 13-ton statue of the Virgin Lady that has become a popular place for religious people to visit. Our Lady in Lebanon StatuOnce you get out of the cable car, you need to walk a few minutes and then climb a few steps to enjoy the views.Harissa from above

There are several cafes/restaurants with good views and also playgrounds if you visit Lebanon.


From Harissa, we took a minibus and headed to Byblos, which is surely one of the best places to visit in Lebanon. Byblos old town in Lebanon is a must-see in 5 daysThe minibusses leave from the highway, so you need to get there to take them. Unfortunately, I did not save the exact location, but if you ask for the minibus to Byblos, locals might help you.

Byblos was another of my favorite places to visit in Lebanon. It is a charming little village with a long history.

Located about 40 kilometers north of Beirut, it is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world – with over 7,000 years of history. It received UNESCO World Heritage Status in the 1980s. Vegan food in Lebanon

  • I am all about cute cafes, narrow streets, and pretty views, and I found all of that in Byblos.
  • The village is small, and we strolled Byblos for around 2 or 3 hours before having an early dinner. 

Byblos old town is one of the most beautiful places to seeHowever, I would not have minded staying longer. Not because I felt that I missed out on something, but because I liked the relaxed vibe… and because Byblos is so over-the-top cute!

Check out the ancient fishing harbor, the small but pretty historical center with its narrow streets and small shops. Make sure to stroll the side streets for the cute cafes.

Visit the archaeological sites, like Crusader Castle, where you can find out more about its history and have lovely views, or St. John the Baptist Church (Eglise St. Jean-Marc).Byblos views

If you‘re in Lebanon for just 5 days – or something like that – 1 day is definitely enough to see the before-mentioned 3 places in one day.

Yes, it might be a busy day (whether you join guided tours or organize it yourself), but it is worth the hassle. This day was my favorite day in Lebanon.

You should add at least one day in the south of the country to your Lebanon itinerary in less than a week.

Tyre – 1 Day

I opted for Tyre (Sour) and wanted to experience a lesser-known place on my itinerary in the south of Lebanon. 

Colorful Tyre in Southern Lebanon is one of the best places to visitAgain, one of the girls from the hostel joined me, and again, the minibus was our best friend that brought us to our destination.

The drive was interesting because it was my only time going to the south, and I loved to see the numerous banana plantations along the way. Again, we visited one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. 

It is a small town (but busier than Byblos) with several Roman and Byzantine archaeological sites, colorful buildings, and a busy town center.Shopping in Tyre, South Lebanon

Colorful town in Tyre, Sour in LebanonThere is also a beach area. If you are into beaches, check out the public beach in the Tyre Coastal Nature Reserve.

The watercolor looks lovely, but unfortunately, there is a lot of trash everywhere, which was sad to see. Beach in Tyre, Sour LebanonTyre suffered a lot during the war, and there are still UN soldiers and jeeps deployed in Tyre, but I also remember the overly friendly people here, so it was another must-see in Lebanon.


With five days in Lebanon, I got a good idea of the country. I wish I had two more days to hike in the mountains because Lebanon is known for some pretty mountain areas, like Qadisha Valley. 

Qadisha Valley

It is great for hiking in the summer and good for winter sports in the winter. If I had 7 days in Lebanon, I would have stayed a night in Byblos, and on my way back to Beirut, I would have stopped at some villages and towns along the way.

Looking back now, I am pretty happy with how I created my 5-day Lebanon itinerary and didn’t regret the way I planned my trip at all.

So, this is why I hope this Lebanon itinerary helps you to plan your trip as well (and if Lebanon isn’t on your bucket list yet, then make sure to add it now) – it is a beautiful country that has deserved much more recognition.

Hopefully, these tips on the best places to visit in Lebanon will help you plan your Lebanon trip!


Save this pin on Pinterest for your Lebanon trip!

Where to go Lebanon itinerary, Arzo TravelsSafe Travels, Arzo

Best Places to See Dubai from Above

Dubai best view points -


Given the many skyscrapers (and rooftop bars) in Dubai, it is not difficult to see Dubai from above. Actually, seeing this super city from above is an amazing way to fall in love with the city. And while those rooftop bars offer scenic views indeed, here are some other ways to see Dubai from above.Dubai best view points

See Dubai From Burj Khalifa “At the Top”

The classic! Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, is not only a popular site to photograph but is also a popular place to take pictures from and offers perfect views from above.7 days in Dubai - best vintage pointsThe view from level 124+125 (456 meters high) or level 148 (555 meters high) is the most iconic in Dubai, and you´ll get wonderful views of the city. 

You will see how much construction work is still going on, you´ll get to see the desert (which is very close to the city center), but you´ll also have some stunning views of Dubai Fountain.

Overlooking Dubai this way is indeed a unique experience. Unfortunately, you won’t be the only one who thinks that visiting the Top of Burj Khalifa is a good idea – it is quite busy most of the day, so booking tickets in advance can be quite helpful.

Ticket prices depend on the time of the visit – it’s just a few € difference in ticket prices, but if you don’t want to stand in line and have access to level 148, you have to pay a few more extra €.

The building will not be the highest building for long – a new tower will break the record, but for now, book yourself tickets for Burj Khalifa if you want to experience the taller building in the world.

See Dubai from Dubai Frame

One of Dubai´s newest attractions is the golden Frame, located close to Zabeel Park.Views from Dubai FrameThe Frame opened in January of 2018, and this frame allows you to overlook the city and have great views of Burj Khalifa.

But you also have a unique view if you walk the glass floor – looking 100 meters down while casually strolling along. What to do in Dubai in 7 daysThis place is as nice to visit at night as during the day, and the entrance fee of about 12€ is worth it.

Actually, the views from here are almost better than from Burj Khalifa – because you can see the tallest building. Also, it is a great alternative if you are on a budget or want to have some adrenaline rush when walking on the glass and look down.

Enjoy Amazing Dubai Views From a Helicopter Flight

While 15 minutes seem extremely short, it is enough to get some of the best views of Dubai.Best view posts in Dubai Flying over the beaches, the Palm, Burj al Arab, and Burj Khalifa, a helicopter ride gives you the chance to see all the iconic places of Dubai. You can book longer helicopter flights and even get to Abu Dhabi by helicopter – probably the fanciest way to get around in Dubai.

Flying over Dubai was probably one of the best things to do – a unique experience I will never forget. Click here to read my review of a helicopter flight in Dubai.Arzo Travels Heli Dubai Fligh

See Dubai From Flying Cup

The newest attraction in March of 2018 opened at JBR Walk. This fun Flying Cup definitely offers great views of JBR – The Walk and the Beach.Places to see in Dubai in 7 daysYou do not even need a drone to get amazing shots of the pristine waters of the Persian Gulf. Whether you do it by yourself or in a group, it is something different and, by Dubai standards, quite affordable (for about 20€, you can buy your ticket at the counter just in front of it). 

You get 40 meters above the ground, and the capsule rotates, so you have a panoramic view.  Bring your camera to take these shots, and if you are feeling brave, get a drink and enjoy it up there while your feet are dangling in the air.

You do not have to be scared, though – a belt secures you. The experience lasts about 10 minutes, and you can even book the whole capsule and have your birthday celebration up in the sky.  If you travel to Dubai with kids, you can either take them with you or enjoy JBR, one of the best places to visit in Dubai.

See Dubai’s Desert on Hot Air Balloon Ride

One of the most beautiful rides you can take is a hot air balloon ride.Sunrise perfect timing for hot air ballon rides

A balloon ride above Dubai´s desert is gorgeous and unique – seeing the sunrise in the desert (yes, it means waking up very early). At the same time, passing dunes is an exceptional way to experience Dubai.High in the air-how to do a hot air balloon tour in Dubai

While there is no guarantee how high you will soar above the ground (as it depends on the weather conditions), it is a fun thing to do and one of the best views you will have from above. Duration: about 40 minutes, but the whole trip takes a few hours, including hotel pick-up, etc. So if you have a few days in Dubai, add it to your itinerary.

Have Thrilling Views at Dinner in the Sky

The concept of having dinner in the sky (and we are not talking about plane flights) has arrived in Dubai as well. 7 days in Dubai itineraryHead to Dubai Marina and have a fun dinner (or lunch or afternoon tea) experience. There are some similarities to the Flying Cup, but in this case, you get up even higher (about 50 meters) and have a different view. 

You´ll overlook Dubai Marina, Zero Gravity – the hip beach club in Marina, and have views of the beach! Hold your cutlery and especially your camera tight, so you do not see it falling 50 meters down, as there is no ground under your feet.Dinner in the Sky Dubai with Arzo Travels (8 von 24)Oh, I should, of course, mention that food and drink are included (prices depend on the dining option, but the activities start from about 120€ for the afternoon tea, which includes sandwiches and snacks and some non-alcoholic drinks). Click here to read my review “Dinner in the Sky.”

Hop On a Seaplane flight

Something for the bucket list (even mine) is to see Dubai´s attractions from a seaplane.

Dubai - The Palm @shutterstock

The trip starts from the water, and you´ll get to see Burj Khalifa and Palm Jumeirah before landing back in the Persian Gulf.

Each of the passengers has a window to look out from, which gives you perfect views of the Dubai skyline. Though the views from a seaplane are supposed to be amazing, I, myself, still have to experience it, but as I have heard positive reviews, I have added it here for you.

Enjoy Thrilling Views and do Sky Dive

A unique way to overlook Dubai is from a jump from the plane for the fearless ones. 

Best areas to stay in Dubai

At 120 miles per hour, you fall freely, and while you probably will not be able to enjoy the view at the beginning, you might do so once you are more relaxed and soaring rather than falling.

I am not that brave – are you? Apparently, the “crown prince” of Dubai is a fan of skydiving, so you might even meet him up in the sky. Though chances are low, you can still enjoy incredible views that not many others do experience.Dubai from above - best views in Dubai

Whether you decide to go on a tandem skydive or do it solo, skydiving allows you to see Dubai in a way only a few have – so do it (easy said as I would not, but maybe you are braver than me :).

Great Views From Rooftop Bars

So, if you want to enjoy a drink while having great views, here are some rooftop bars with some of the best views in Dubai (though I have not been to all myself, these are known to be the best bars that come with a view).

Level 43 Sky Lounge at Four Points by Sheraton

For 360-degree views of the city, head to this rooftop bar located 155 meters above the ground.

Tomo at Raffles Hotel

This rooftop bar and Japanese restaurant is located on the 17th floor of Raffles Hotel in the older part of Dubai, so you can enjoy the views of the “new” skyline (which includes Burj Khalifa).

Shades at Address Dubai Marina

For beautiful views of Dubai Marina, head to this rooftop bar. It is open in the daytime, too, and was a perfect choice for my lunch. But the views were even better than the food. I did not use the infinity pool there – but you can buy a day pass and enjoy these views while relaxing in the water.

Dubai accommodation in Dubai Marina IC Dubai MarinaThere are some more amazing viewpoints in Dubai – many of the skyscrapers offer stunning views of the city and Burj Khalifa. However, the above-mentioned places are pretty great if you are looking for the ultimate, the best views in Dubai because each offers quite a unique experience.

Dubai is a fun city but to really understand the city, you have to see it from above – and if you pick a few of the places/activities mentioned in my post, you will get to see Dubai from its best side.Safe Travels, Arzo

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