Must see attractions in Khartoum

  • Top ChoiceSights in Khartoum

    National Museum

    This museum, the best in Sudan, has some breathtaking exhibits. The ground floor covers the rise and fall of the kingdoms of Kerma, Kush and Meroe. There's some stunning royal statues and perfectly preserved 3500-year-old artefacts from Kerma. Upstairs are numerous medieval Christian frescos removed from the ruined churches of Old Dongola and elsewhere. Outside are some temples rescued, Abu Simbel–style, from the rising waters of Lake Nasser. Allow at least 1½ to two hours for a visit.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Khartoum

    Hamed el-Nil Tomb

    Every Friday afternoon you can see an incredible Sufi ritual, where a colourful local troupe of whirling dervishes belonging to the Sufi community stirs up the dust in worship of Allah, at this imposing mausoleum located in a large Islamic cemetery. Things start around 4.30pm (5pm in winter), but it doesn't really get going until about 5.30pm and they don't dance during Ramadan. If you're used to the dour colours of Arabian Islam, you'll find the circus-like atmosphere here refreshingly colourful and laid-back – don't miss it!

  • Sights in Khartoum

    White Nile Bridge

    The confluence of the Blue and White Niles, best seen from this bridge, is a languid high point of the world's longest river. You can actually see the different colours of each Nile flowing side by side before blending further downstream – although neither are blue or white! Don't attempt to take a photograph of the Nile from this bridge; numerous foreigners have been arrested for doing so.

  • Sights in Khartoum

    Ethnographical Museum

    This museum contains a small but fascinating collection of tribal artefacts from across Sudan. Displays are ordered by geographic region and illustrate how people adapt to each climatic area. It begins with the tropics of (what is now) South Sudan followed by the savannah regions south of Khartoum, finishing up with the deserts of the north.

  • Sights in Khartoum

    Commonwealth War Cemetery

    This WWII cemetery contains numerous headstones (but no actual bodies). The Allies used Khartoum as a base to invade present-day Ethiopia to expel the Italians, and this graveyard commemorates this conflict. It's also a charmingly quiet spot in the city centre.

  • Sights in Khartoum

    Nuba Wrestlers

    In this Khartoum wrestling area, you’ll find traditional wrestlers going through their paces at roughly 4pm on Fridays. The tournament attracts hundreds of spectators. Get there by taxi from the centre (about S£15, 15 minutes). Photography is permitted.

  • Sights in Khartoum

    Camel Market

    On the far western edge of Khartoum, this market is spectacular, especially on Saturday, but there is no public transport (a taxi will cost at least S£150). The majority of camels come from Darfur.

  • Sights in Khartoum

    Omdurman Souq

    This famous souq – the largest in Sudan – is abuzz with noise, activity and colour, and a couple of hours' exploration is bound to turn up all manner of surprises.

  • Sights in Khartoum

    St Matthew's Cathedral

    With its various turrets, slender spires and a large rose window, this building resembles a fairy-tale castle. There are services on Sunday.

  • Sights in Khartoum

    Coptic Church

    Khartoum's Coptic minority uses this church off the main drag along the Nile. It's an elegant building, with two imposing bell towers.

  • Sights in Khartoum

    Khalifa's House Museum

    The Mahdi's successor lived across the street, and this 1887 museum showcases the history of the Mahdi era.

  • Sights in Khartoum

    Al-Kabir Mosque

    This architecturally impressive mosque is a major landmark in the centre.

  • Sights in Khartoum

    Mahdi's Tomb

    This rocket-topped tomb is worth making the effort to see. Respectfully dressed foreigners are generally allowed inside. The original was destroyed on Kitchener's orders by General Gordon's nephew 'Monkey', who, somewhat unsportingly, threw the Mahdi's ashes into the Nile.

  • Sights in Khartoum

    Republican Palace Museum

    Housed in a converted Anglican church, this is a hall of heroes, of sorts, with mementos such as presidential limos and General Gordon's piano. It's worth a peek more for its architecture than its collections. Opening hours are rather flexible!