Khartoum is one of Central Africa’s most modern cities. Built where the Blue and White Niles join, the city boasts high-rise buildings, paved roads and all the amenities you may need or want. While some travelers consider it a mere stopover, those who spend more than an afternoon there will uncover its culture and find much to appreciate. The people are hospitable, crime is low and the riverside setting is spectacular.

The prettiest street in the capital is likely Nile Street, bordered by the Blue Nile on one side and lovely colonial buildings on the other. Most house ministries, hotels and schools, but the Presidential Palace also stands on the stretch. Passing in front of the building is forbidden, and the guards will instruct you to proceed across the road, but it is still worth trying to catch a glimpse of the palace. You can, however, visit the Sudan Presidential Palace Museum on the grounds. Inside is an impressive collection of artifacts related to the country’s history and culture, including extravagant presidential cars and paintings by Sir Gordon Pasha.

Nile Street is also the more modern face of Khartoum. The tree-lined road is home to many architecturally interesting sights, including the Chinese-built Friendship Hall and the Al-Fateh Tower, an egg-shaped eye-catcher owned by Libya.

The Blue and White branches of the Nile converge about four kilometers from Nile Street at Al Mogran. The sight is best taken in from the metal bridge that links Khartoum with its neighbor, Omdurman. If you look closely, you can actually see the two different shades of water come together as they mix downriver.

If you want to throw yourself right into the middle of Khartoum’s culture and action, head to the Souq Arabi, or the Arabian Market. Located in the town’s commercial heart, the market can provide everything you may need and more.

The Sudan National Museum is undoubtedly impressive. The recently revamped collection includes three temples imported from Aswan, Egypt, and you will have most of the museum to yourself if you arrive in the early morning.

The small but fascinating Sudan Ethnographic Museum is also worth a visit. The detailed exhibits explore the many cultures and traditions of the country’s diverse ethnic groups through models of traditional homes, intricate handicrafts and other artifacts.