The ultimate Makkah and Madinah travel guide
دليلك الشامل لأشهر الأماكن في مكة والمدينة
08 FEB 2020
Source: Nadeen Al-Wazani
If you are visiting Makkah and Madinah, for Umrah or Hajj, the Holy Ka’aba and the Prophet’s Mosque are undoubtedly your first and most important destinations given their religious importance for billions of Muslims around the world. But before you leave, don’t miss the opportunity to visit some of the most important historical and Islamic landmarks found in and around the holy cities. To plan your best Umrah trip get your visa online from Visit Saudi. You may also book your train ticket in advance from Makkah to Madinah from here, also use Wafy's comprehensive guide to visiting the two holy cities:
Makkah Al-Mukaramah Guide:
You can stay in one of these residential skyscrapers near the Grand Mosque that also houses several markets to meet all pilgrims’ needs. The tallest of these towers is the Clock Tower, which features the highest clock in the world.
A modern and innovative museum spanning four floors, visitors can learn about how Islam and astronomy are so closely linked as well as how time was measured in the past.
If you want to learn how the gigantic piece of kiswa cloth covering the Ka’aba is manufactured, this is the museum for you. Visitors can witness the weaving techniques used to piece the pure silk kiswa together as well as the gold and silver threading used to embroider the cloth.
Located next to the Ka’aba kiswa factory, this exhibition displays manuscripts and models of the two mosques’ historical architecture, some dating back to the first century AH.
These two caves are the locations of key events in Islam and are therefore a must-visit. Hira Cave, located at the top of the eponymous mountain, is where the Holy Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). The Messenger (pbuh) also had to find shelter with his friend Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq in Thowr Cave, located at the top of the nearby eponymous mountain.
The sacred Hajj sites
One of the oldest and largest historical palaces in Makkah, Al-Saggaf is also known as Royal Palace or Al-Bayada Palace. It is distinguished by the unique Islamic calligraphy and designs that adorn its walls and ceilings.
This is one of the largest malls in the Kingdom and features some of the most famous international brands, restaurants and a dedicated family fun space for an integrated shopping experience.
This is Makkah’s second largest mosque also known as Aisha Mosque. It can accommodate thousands of worshipers and spans six floors designed in an Ottoman style.
Madinah Al-Munawarah Guide:
Arguably the city's most iconic landmark after the Prophet’s (Pbuh) Mosque, this holy mountain witnessed the Battle of Uhud. At the foot you can find the tomb of the Uhud martyrs; there are more than 70 graves belonging to the Prophet’s (Pbuh) 70 companions. There are also popular souks in the area that attract many visitors.
This is the main cemetery of the people of Madinah that dates back to the time of the Prophet (pbuh). It is located southeast of the Prophet's (Pbuh) Mosque and covers an area of about 180,000 square meters. Most of the Prophet’s (pbuh) companions and wives are buried there.
The first mosque built in Islam in 622, Muslims are keen to pray there following the Prophet’s (pbuh) example, or Sunnah. The reward for praying in it is equivalent to that for performing Umrah.
With its distinctive façade, this is one of the most established museums dedicated to the history of this important railway station. The museum halls cover in depth the history of the Hejaz railway and feature other historical exhibits, while its spacious grounds can be used to hold cultural festivals. You will also find a craftsmen market, shop, popular cafe, and a family-friendly train-themed restaurant.
try to go to one of the oldest commercial centers in the city which is Al Madinah International Mall do not also miss the opportunity to take your family to Al Rashid Mega Mall or Al Noor Mall. The two are the busiest contemporary malls in the city, there are plenty of restaurants and shops that sell high-quality products from the most famous international brands as well as a food court and kids playing area.
Try to make time to discover other landmarks and recreational attractions such as traditional markets, historical mosques, public parks and theme parks amid the greenery and landscapes, either on board a double-decker tourist bus or by booking a taxi using the various apps available.
Don't forget to take pictures, buy authentic souvenirs, try the famous local Al-Baik fried chicken, and taste traditional food from local restaurant for an authentic unforgettable experience.