Medina Travel Guide: 20 Top Things to Do in Medina, Saudi Arabia

Ready to step into a city that’s not just a destination but a journey through centuries of history and spiritual significance? Welcome to Medina! The radiant city, and the second holiest site in Islam. Nestled in the heart of Saudi Arabia, Medina is a city where the past and present coexist, offering visitors a unique glimpse into Islamic history, culture, and deep devotion. From the tranquil beauty of the Prophet’s Mosque to the bustling markets echoing with centuries of tradition, Medina invites you on an unforgettable journey of discovery, faith, and unparalleled peace. Let’s embark on this journey together, exploring the rich tapestry that makes Medina a city like no other.

Al Masjid An Nabawa in Medina, Saudi Arabia

Spiritual Heartbeat

The Prophet’s Mosque: Standing as a beacon of Islamic faith, the Prophet’s Mosque, with its iconic green dome, is not just a site of religious significance but a place of breathtaking beauty and serenity. It’s a sanctuary where millions find peace, solace, and a sense of belonging.

Historical Gems

Jannat al-Baqi: Venture into the oldest and most significant Islamic cemetery, where companions of the Prophet Muhammad and Islamic luminaries rest. Each tomb tells a story of faith, sacrifice, and the early days of Islam.

Cultural Riches

Hejaz Railway Museum: Delve into the historical significance of the Hejaz Railway, once a vital link between Medina and Damascus. The museum offers a fascinating glimpse into early 20th-century innovation and the pilgrimage journey in days gone by.

Markets and More

Old Bazaar: Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Medina’s traditional markets. From exquisite handicrafts and jewelry to aromatic spices and dates, the bazaar is a treasure trove of local culture and craftsmanship.

Oasis of Tranquility

Al-Qiblatain Mosque: Discover the mosque famous for having two qiblas, a unique feature marking a significant moment in Islamic history. It’s a place that beautifully encapsulates Medina’s spiritual journey and architectural elegance.

So, pack your bags, bring an open mind, and let Medina reveal its stories, its beauty, and its enduring legacy.

Medina calligraphy in Saudi Arabia

Medina City Guide: A Brief History Of Medina, Saudi Arabia

Medina, known as the “City of the Prophet,” is steeped in profound historical and spiritual significance. Making it a cornerstone of Islamic history. From its humble beginnings to becoming the second holiest city in Islam, Medina’s story is a captivating journey through time. Let’s dive into the rich tapestry of events and narratives that have shaped this city, offering a glimpse into its soul.

An Oasis of Faith

Before the Prophet: Medina, originally known as Yathrib, was a peaceful oasis city thriving on agriculture and trade. Its strategic location made it a melting pot of cultures, tribes, and religions, setting the stage for a pivotal chapter in Islamic history.

The Hijra: The turning point came when the Prophet Muhammad migrated from Mecca to Medina in 622 CE, an event known as the Hijra, marking the beginning of the Islamic calendar. This momentous journey transformed Medina into the spiritual heartland of Islam, where the Prophet established the first Muslim community based on brotherhood, faith, and social justice.

The Constitution of Medina

A Social Contract: In Medina, the Prophet Muhammad crafted the Constitution of Medina, a groundbreaking document that established a harmonious coexistence among the city’s diverse inhabitants, including Muslims, Jews, and other tribes. This constitution is considered one of the earliest examples of a pluralistic society, underscoring Medina’s role as a beacon of social unity and inclusivity.

Landmarks of Devotion

The Prophet’s Mosque: What started as a humble structure adjacent to the Prophet Muhammad’s house has evolved into the magnificent Prophet’s Mosque we see today. With its expansive courtyards, minarets, and the iconic Green Dome over the Prophet’s tomb, the mosque is a testament to Medina’s enduring spiritual significance.

Battles and Bravery

Turning Tides: Medina was the backdrop for several key battles in early Islamic history, including the Battle of Uhud and the Battle of the Trench. These conflicts not only shaped the destiny of the Muslim community but also highlighted the strategic acumen and unwavering faith of the Prophet and his companions.

A Pilgrimage of Peace

Hajj and Umrah: While Medina is not a mandatory stop on the Hajj pilgrimage, millions of pilgrims visit the city each year to pay their respects at the Prophet’s Mosque, seek blessings, and connect with the roots of their faith in a deeply personal way.

Legacy of Learning

A Center of Islamic Scholarship: Over the centuries, Medina has been a hub of Islamic learning and scholarship, home to many of Islam’s most revered scholars and theologians. The city’s madrasas and libraries have preserved and propagated the teachings of the Quran and Hadith, contributing to the rich tapestry of Islamic intellectual tradition.

Medina’s history is a fascinating amalgamation of faith, politics, and community. Medina offers a journey back in time and a deeper understanding of the Islamic faith. So, as you walk in the footsteps of prophets and pioneers, let the history of Medina inspire you.

Medina distinct architecture in Saudi Arabia

Medina Top Attractions and Best Places to Visit in Saudi Arabia


Of all the cities in Saudi Arabia, Medina places only second to Mecca in terms of cultural importance. Unfortunately for Non-Muslims, Medina is a closed city. Except for the outskirts by the airports, authorities bar non-believers from entering.

Do NOT try to infiltrate this city – offenders earn a jail sentence, followed by deportation.

If you are Muslim, though, this city is a must-visit in your lifetime. From timeless mosques to sacred grave sites, it contains sights central to your faith.

Come check out our Medina travel guide as we cover the best things to do in Medina, Saudi Arabia.

Top Attractions

Start your sightseeing in Medina by taking in Al-Masjid an Nabawi. Prophet Muhammad himself built this mosque back in the 7th century AD. Today, it is the second largest masjid on Earth and the second holiest site in Islam.

With space for up to two million worshippers, it is capable of handling huge Hajj crowds. Whether you visit then or in the “off-season,” the grave of Prophet Muhammad will be the biggest attraction. You’ll find it in the Green Dome. In addition to The Prophet’s grave, it also contains the tomb of his father-in-laws.

The Quba Mosque is another must-visit masjid that should be on every visitor’s list. According to historians, it was the first mosque ever to be built. Upon Muhammad’s arrival, he placed the first stones for the masjid, leaving the rest to construction crews.

Sadly, though, the mosque that stands today is not the same structure from more than a millennia ago. When the time came for refurbishments in the mid-20th-century, the lead architect wanted to incorporate parts of the ancient mosque into the new structure. However, it proved impossible, so the old Quba Mosque was torn down and replaced with a new building.

More Attractions

Despite this, this place still has historical value. The Quran mentions it as a place where Muhammad prayed while waiting for the arrival of his cousin.

If you have extra time in Medina, make a day trip out to The Seven Mosques. In actuality, this complex contains only six masjids, not seven as it initially did. Start with Al-Fath Mosque – it is said the Prophet Muhammad prayed here during the Battle of the Trench. It ended in victory for Muhammad’s side, thereby granting this site notoriety.

Other masjids of note include Salman Al-Farsi Mosque, Abu Bakr As-Siddiq Mosque, and Ali bin Abi Talib Mosque. The Prophet Muhammad’s lieutenants who took part in the Battle of the Trench gave their names to this masjids.

Pay a visit to Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site by dropping by Mada’in Saleh. This archaeological site predates the Islamic era, dating back to the 1st century AD. According to archaeologists, this site was once the southernmost outpost of the Nabatean kingdom.

Little remains of the residential portion of the settlement. However, more than 130 rock-cut tombs survived the eons relatively well. Within, visitors will find rock art in addition to the tomb formations themselves.

Other Attractions

Mount Uhud offers more than just sweeping vistas of the Medina area. It played host to a significant battle between the Prophet Muhammad’s forces and those from Mecca. Both sides fought Battle of Uhud here in the year 625 AD.

It is notable that Muhammad’s Muslims almost won the battle. However, his archers, convinced that victory was theirs, abandoned their posts to pillage the Meccan camp. This move allowed the Meccan cavalry to attack Muhammad’s troops, inflicting heavy losses.

This sudden shift in fortune forced the Muslims to retreat. As a result, victory over Mecca would have to wait two more years in the Battle of the Trench. To get a fuller appreciation for this site’s history, we recommend hiring a guide.

Further Considerations

Get a solid grounding in the history of Medina by spending time at the Al-Madinah Museum. This institution has a unique atmosphere, as its creators located it inside the old Al-Hejaz Railway Station. Within, 14 galleries relay information on everything from the rise of Islam to the natural history of Medina.

Honour prominent long-dead Muslims by visiting Jannatul Baqi, the oldest Islamic cemetery in Medina. Within, the remains of many of Muhammad’s relatives and friends lie in peace. Lore has it that Muhammad said a prayer every time he walked past this hallowed grounds.

Sadly, it is a shadow of its former self. In the 19th century, Wahhabists razed the cemetery, as their doctrines forbid monuments – this includes gravestones.

Are you tired of sightseeing? Need a place to hide from the withering sun? Spend some time within the air-conditioned confines of Al Noor Mall. You’ll find international brands like Zara here, along with a large food court.

Medina green dome in Saudi Arabia

Top 20 Things To Do in Medina, Saudi Arabia For Visitors

Here are the top 20 things to do in Medina:

1. Visit Al-Masjid an-Nabawi

Al-Masjid an-Nabawi, or the Prophet’s Mosque, is one of the largest mosques in the world and the second holiest site in Islam. It is the final resting place of the Prophet Muhammad. Visitors can admire its stunning architecture, including the Green Dome over the Prophet’s tomb, and experience the tranquil atmosphere of the mosque. Non-Muslim visitors are not allowed inside, but they can appreciate the mosque’s exterior beauty.

2. Explore Quba Mosque

Quba Mosque is the first mosque built in the history of Islam and is located on the outskirts of Medina. According to Islamic tradition, performing two Rak’ahs of nafl prayers in the Quba Mosque is equal to performing one Umrah. It’s a significant site for Muslims and offers insights into the early days of Islam. The mosque has a modern design with beautiful interior decorations.

3. Visit Al-Baqi Cemetery

Al-Baqi is an ancient Islamic cemetery where many of the Prophet Muhammad’s relatives and companions are buried. It’s a place of deep historical and religious significance, reflecting the early Islamic community’s history. Visitors are reminded to approach the site with respect due to its religious importance. Although viewing is limited, it offers a moment of reflection on Islamic history.

4. Discover the Uhud Mountain and Battle Site

The Battle of Uhud, a key event in early Islamic history, took place at the foot of Uhud Mountain. Visitors can explore the site and learn about the battle’s historical context and significance. The area serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made by the Prophet Muhammad and his companions. The mountain also offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

5. Explore the Qiblatain Mosque

The Qiblatain Mosque is historically significant for Muslims as the place where the Prophet Muhammad received a revelation to change the direction of prayer (Qibla) from Jerusalem to Mecca. The mosque features two Mihrabs (prayer niches) reflecting the change. It’s a fascinating site for those interested in Islamic history and the evolution of Muslim worship practices. Visitors can appreciate the mosque’s architecture and serene atmosphere.

6. Visit the Hejaz Railway Museum

The Hejaz Railway Museum is located in the beautifully restored Ottoman railway station and showcases the history of the Hejaz Railway, built to connect Damascus with Medina. The museum displays old locomotives, maps, photographs, and other memorabilia. It offers insights into the engineering marvels of the early 20th century and the railway’s impact on the region. The museum is a must-visit for history enthusiasts.

7. Walk Through the Dates Market

Medina is famous for its dates, and the Dates Market is the best place to explore the variety and richness of this fruit. Visitors can sample and purchase a wide range of dates, from Ajwa, considered the prophet’s favorite, to the large Sukkari dates. The market also offers other local products such as honey, herbs, and nuts. It’s a vibrant place to experience local flavors and culture.

8. Enjoy the Al Noor Mall

Al Noor Mall is one of Medina’s largest shopping centers, offering a wide range of international and local brands. The mall features a variety of dining options, entertainment facilities, and a family-friendly atmosphere. It’s a great place to escape the heat, enjoy shopping, or relax in one of the cafes. The mall’s modern architecture contrasts with the historical essence of Medina, showcasing the city’s blend of tradition and modernity.

9. Visit the Islamic University of Medina

The Islamic University of Medina is renowned for its Islamic studies programs, attracting students from around the world. While access may be restricted, the university’s presence contributes significantly to Medina’s status as a center of Islamic learning. The campus reflects modern Islamic architecture. It’s a symbol of Medina’s ongoing commitment to Islamic scholarship and education.

10. Experience the King Fahd Glorious Quran Printing Complex

This complex is responsible for printing millions of copies of the Quran in various languages and distributing them worldwide. Visitors can learn about the printing process, the meticulous attention to detail required for Quran production, and the complex’s role in spreading Islamic teachings. The complex also houses a museum dedicated to the Quran, displaying rare manuscripts and Islamic art. It’s an enlightening experience for those interested in the Quran’s history and production.

11. Relax in King Fahd Park

King Fahd Park is a spacious and beautifully landscaped park in Medina, offering a peaceful retreat from the city’s hustle and bustle. The park features walking paths, play areas for children, and serene water features. It’s an ideal spot for family picnics, leisurely walks, or simply enjoying nature. The park’s greenery and tranquil environment make it a popular spot for relaxation and recreation.

12. Explore the Seven Mosques (Sab’u Masajid)

The Seven Mosques are a group of small mosques located near the Battle of the Trench site. These mosques commemorate the positions of Muslim commanders during the battle. Although not all original structures remain, the site holds historical significance and offers a glimpse into the strategic aspects of the battle. The area provides a quiet space for reflection and prayer.

13. Take a Day Trip to the Al-Hijr Archaeological Site (Madain Saleh)

While technically outside Medina, the Al-Hijr Archaeological Site, also known as Madain Saleh, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring well-preserved Nabatean tombs. It’s often compared to Petra but is less crowded, offering a more intimate experience with ancient history. The site includes 131 monumental tombs, many with detailed inscriptions and facades. It’s a fascinating day trip for those interested in archaeology and ancient civilizations.

14. Discover the Dar Al Madinah Museum

The Dar Al Madinah Museum is dedicated to the history, culture, and development of Medina. It features a wide range of exhibits, including artifacts, models, and multimedia presentations. The museum offers a comprehensive overview of the city’s significance in Islamic history. It’s an educational visit that enriches the understanding of Medina’s role in the Islamic world.

15. Admire the Architecture of Masjid Al-Qiblatayn

Masjid Al-Qiblatayn is unique for having two Qiblas, reflecting the historical change in the direction of Muslim prayer. The mosque has been renovated, but the significance of its history attracts many visitors. It offers a peaceful environment for prayer and reflection. The site is a testament to a pivotal moment in Islamic practice.

16. Visit the Medina Media Museum

The Medina Media Museum offers insights into the history of media in Islam, from the earliest forms of communication to the advent of modern technologies. The museum’s interactive exhibits engage visitors in the evolution of Islamic media. It highlights the role of Medina in the spread of Islamic teachings. The museum is an interesting visit for those curious about media, communication, and their impacts on society.

17. Enjoy Panoramic Views from Mount Uhud

Mount Uhud offers breathtaking views of Medina and its surroundings. It’s a site of historical significance due to the Battle of Uhud, and visitors can explore the area to learn about its history. The mountain provides opportunities for hiking and enjoying the natural beauty of the region. It’s a reflective spot for contemplating the sacrifices made by the Prophet Muhammad and his companions.

18. Stroll Through the Al-Madinah Museum

The Al-Madinah Museum covers the broader history of the Medina region, from pre-Islamic times through the Islamic era to modern-day developments. Its artifacts, photographs, and displays offer a deep dive into the cultural, social, and economic aspects of the region. The museum is housed in a beautifully designed building, adding to the visitor experience. It’s an educational stop that complements the religious and historical sites of Medina.

19. Shop at Taibah Market

Taibah Market is a bustling marketplace near Al-Masjid an-Nabawi, offering a wide array of goods, from traditional crafts and perfumes to modern clothing and electronics. It’s an excellent place for souvenir shopping, with many items reflecting Islamic art and culture. The market is also a great spot to taste local snacks and sweets. The lively atmosphere and variety of shops make it a must-visit for those looking to experience local commerce.

20. Reflect at the Martyrs of Uhud

The Martyrs of Uhud site is a cemetery and memorial for the Muslims who lost their lives in the Battle of Uhud. It’s a place of profound historical and emotional significance, offering a space for reflection on the early struggles of the Muslim community. Visitors are reminded to approach the site with the respect and solemnity it deserves. It provides a deeper understanding of the sacrifices made for the Islamic faith.

Kabsa is a must try Medina food in Saudi Arabia

What To Eat and Drink in Medina, Saudi Arabia

Here’s a guide to what to eat and drink while visiting this spiritually significant city:

Traditional Delicacies

1. Dates: Medina is famed for its dates, particularly the Ajwa variety, known for its dark color and rich, complex flavor. Enjoyed on their own or used in various dishes, dates are a staple in Medina, often served to guests and pilgrims as a symbol of hospitality.

2. Kabsa: This quintessential Saudi dish is a fragrant mix of rice, meat (chicken, lamb, or camel), and a blend of spices, topped with raisins and almonds. Kabsa captures the essence of Arabian cuisine and is a must-try in Medina.

3. Mandi: Similar to Kabsa but with a distinct preparation method, Mandi is made with rice, meat, and a unique mix of spices, all cooked together in a pit to infuse the dish with a smoky flavor. It’s traditionally enjoyed communally, reflecting the spirit of togetherness.

Street Food and Snacks

4. Shawarma: A popular Middle Eastern fast food, shawarma in Medina is made by stacking slices of marinated meat on a vertical spit, which is then roasted slowly. Served in a pita or laffa bread with vegetables and tahini or garlic sauce, it’s perfect for a quick, delicious meal.

5. Falafel: These deep-fried balls or patties made from ground chickpeas or fava beans are seasoned with herbs and spices. Falafel is often served in a pita with salads, pickled vegetables, and tahini sauce, offering a flavorful vegetarian option.

Sweets and Desserts

6. Kunafa: A heavenly dessert made with thin noodle-like pastry or semolina dough, soaked in sweet syrup, and typically layered with cheese or other fillings. It’s a festive treat that’s especially popular during Ramadan and Eid celebrations.

7. Baklava: A sweet pastry made of layers of filo filled with chopped nuts and sweetened with honey or syrup. Baklava is a decadent treat enjoyed across the Middle East, and Medina is no exception.


8. Arabic Coffee (Qahwa): A symbol of hospitality, Arabic coffee is a lightly roasted coffee prepared with cardamom and sometimes saffron or rosewater. It’s traditionally served in small cups, often with dates.

9. Mint Tea: While tea is a staple across the Middle East, mint tea is particularly refreshing and a favorite in Medina. It’s a soothing blend of green tea and fresh mint leaves, sometimes sweetened with sugar.

10. Fresh Juices: With the warm climate of Medina, fresh juices are widely available and incredibly refreshing. Popular options include orange, pomegranate, and mango juices, all freshly squeezed.

Medina tower is framed beautifully in Saudi Arabia

Tours For Visitors To Medina, Saudi Arabia

Here’s a list of thoughtfully curated tours designed for visitors to Medina, each providing a unique perspective on this sacred city and its surroundings.

1. The Prophet’s Mosque and Islamic Landmarks Tour

Dive into the heart of Medina’s spiritual life with a guided tour of the Prophet’s Mosque, one of Islam’s holiest sites. This tour often includes visits to significant spots such as the Rawdah, Al-Baqi Cemetery, and the Quba Mosque, offering insights into the city’s Islamic heritage.

2. Historical Medina Exploration

Embark on a journey through time with a tour focused on Medina’s rich history beyond its Islamic significance. Explore ancient sites like the Al-Hejaz Railway Museum and the Battle of Uhud site, gaining a deeper understanding of the city’s historical context and significance.

3. Date Farms and Markets Tour

Medina is renowned for its dates, and this tour offers a unique opportunity to visit local date farms, learn about the cultivation process, and sample different varieties of this cherished fruit. The tour typically concludes with a visit to a traditional market, where you can experience the vibrant local commerce.

4. Mount Uhud and Surrounding Areas

Discover the natural beauty and historical importance of Mount Uhud with a guided tour that takes you to the site of the famous battle. Learn about the significance of this event in Islamic history and enjoy panoramic views of Medina from the mountaintop.

5. Quba Mosque and Qiblatain Mosque Visit

Dedicated to exploring two of Medina’s most important mosques, this tour delves into the history and architecture of the Quba Mosque, the first mosque in Islam, and the Masjid al-Qiblatain, known for its unique feature of two mihrabs.

6. Cultural and Culinary Experience

Experience the flavors of Medina with a tour that combines cultural insights and culinary delights. Visit traditional bakeries, savor local dishes, and learn about the city’s culinary traditions. This tour often includes interactive experiences like cooking classes.

7. Night Tour of Medina

Experience the serene beauty of Medina after dark with a night tour. See the Prophet’s Mosque illuminated against the night sky, explore the city’s lit pathways, and experience the nocturnal ambiance of this sacred city, offering a different perspective from the daytime hustle.

8. Islamic Art and Calligraphy Tour

For art enthusiasts, this tour focuses on Islamic art and calligraphy, showcasing Medina’s contributions to Islamic artistic traditions. Visit galleries, workshops, and exhibitions that highlight the beauty and intricacy of Islamic art.

9. Madinah Knowledge Economic City

Get a glimpse into Medina’s future with a tour of the Knowledge Economic City, a hub for innovation and development in the Islamic world. Learn about the city’s vision for combining economic growth with cultural and spiritual values.

10. Volunteer and Community Service Tours

For those looking to give back, some organizations offer tours combined with volunteer opportunities, allowing visitors to engage with the local community through educational, environmental, or charitable activities. It’s a way to connect with Medina on a deeper level.

Uhud mountain in Medina in Saudi Arabia

Medina Accommodations Guide: Hotels, Guesthouses and Hostels

Here’s a comprehensive travel guide to some of the top places to stay in Medina, ensuring comfort and convenience during your visit.

Luxury Hotels

1. Anwar Al Madinah Mövenpick Hotel: Offering direct access to the Prophet’s Mosque, this luxury hotel combines elegance with convenience. Guests can enjoy spacious rooms with views of the mosque, multiple dining options, and excellent service.

2. Madinah Hilton: Located just a short walk from the Prophet’s Mosque, Madinah Hilton provides luxurious rooms and suites, exquisite dining experiences, and a level of service that ensures a memorable stay in the heart of Medina.

3. Rove Al Madinah Hotel: This hotel offers a mix of contemporary comfort and traditional hospitality, with easy access to the city’s religious and historical sites. It’s ideal for those seeking luxury accommodation close to the Prophet’s Mosque.

Mid-Range Hotels

4. Pullman Zamzam Madina: Offering modern and comfortable rooms with a touch of luxury, Pullman Zamzam is a great choice for travelers looking for quality accommodation at reasonable prices. Its location provides easy access to the city’s main attractions.

5. Millennium Taiba Hotel: Just a few minutes from the Prophet’s Mosque, Millennium Taiba offers comfortable rooms, dining options, and a range of services, making it an excellent choice for families and business travelers alike.

Budget-Friendly Options

6. Dallah Taibah Hotel: Offering good value for money, Dallah Taibah is located close to the Prophet’s Mosque and features comfortable rooms, friendly service, and basic amenities for a convenient stay.

7. Al Eiman Al Qibla Hotel: For those on a tighter budget, Al Eiman Al Qibla provides simple, clean accommodation with easy access to the Prophet’s Mosque and local markets. It’s an ideal choice for travelers prioritizing location and affordability.

Guesthouses and Hostels

8. Jewar Al Saqefah Hotel: This guesthouse offers a homely atmosphere with basic, clean rooms and is situated within walking distance of the Prophet’s Mosque. It’s perfect for travelers seeking an intimate and budget-friendly stay.

9. Dar Al-Naeem Hostel: While Medina has fewer traditional hostels, Dar Al-Naeem offers hostel-like accommodations with shared facilities, catering to budget and solo travelers looking for a simple place to rest.

Boutique and Unique Stays

10. Shaza Al Madina: For a unique stay, Shaza Al Madina combines luxury with distinctive design, inspired by the rich heritage of the region. The hotel offers a tranquil retreat with artistic touches, personalized service, and a serene atmosphere.

11. Zowar International Hotel: This boutique hotel stands out for its design that reflects Medina’s culture and history, providing guests with a comfortable and enriching stay experience close to the city’s holy sites.

Beach in Yanbu in Saudi Arabia as a day trip from Medina

Day Trips From Medina, Saudi Arabia

Here’s an exhaustive list of day trips from Medina, each offering a unique glimpse into the diverse landscape and rich history of the area.

1. Al-Ula

Discover the ancient city of Al-Ula, home to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Madain Saleh, often referred to as the sister city to Petra. Explore well-preserved Nabatean tombs, stunning rock formations, and the old town of Al-Ula. The area’s natural beauty and archaeological significance make it a must-visit. It’s a longer journey but well worth the effort for its breathtaking historical and natural landscapes.

2. Yanbu

Yanbu is known for its beautiful Red Sea beaches, making it a perfect getaway for snorkeling, diving, and relaxing by the water. Visit the Yanbu Al-Bahr Beach for a day of sun and sea, or explore the Yanbu Flower Festival during the spring. The city also has a historic area, Yanbu Al-Nakhal, with markets and old buildings. It’s a complete change of scenery from Medina’s desert landscape.

3. Mount Uhud

A site of immense historical and religious significance, Mount Uhud was the location of the second battle between Muslim and Meccan forces. Visitors can explore the area, learn about its history, and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. The site provides a moment for reflection and offers insights into early Islamic history. It’s just a short drive from Medina, making it an easy and enriching excursion.

4. Badar

Visit the site of the Battle of Badar, the first major battle in Islam, located near the town of Badar (present-day Al Bad). Explore the battlefield, visit the graves of martyrs, and reflect on the pivotal moments of Islamic history that took place here. The area is enveloped in tranquility and offers a solemn reminder of the past. It’s an important trip for those interested in the deep historical roots of Islam.

5. Wadi-e-Jinn

Also known as the “Valley of Jinn,” this mysterious valley near Medina is known for its natural phenomenon where vehicles seemingly move uphill without power. It’s a curious place for those interested in natural wonders and local legends. Besides the phenomenon, the area around Wadi-e-Jinn is scenic and offers a peaceful escape into nature. It provides a fun and intriguing day out for families and curious travelers alike.

6. Hejaz Railway Museum

Though located in Medina, the Hejaz Railway Museum is an excursion within the city that feels like a step into another era. Explore the historic railway station, learn about the Hejaz Railway’s significance, and see artifacts from the early 20th century. It’s perfect for history buffs and those interested in the development of the region. The museum offers a glimpse into the ambitious railway project intended to connect Damascus and Medina.

7. King Fahd Park

For a day of relaxation and leisure, visit King Fahd Park, the largest park in Medina. It features green spaces, family picnic spots, and amusement rides for children. The park is an oasis in the desert, offering a break from the urban environment of Medina. It’s a perfect spot for families looking for a peaceful day out.

8. Taibah University

Not a typical tourist destination, but a visit to Taibah University offers a look at modern Saudi Arabia’s investment in education and architecture. The campus is notable for its impressive design and facilities. It represents the future of Saudi Arabia, focusing on education and development. Visitors can explore the public areas and enjoy the contemporary Saudi architectural style.

9. Al Madinah Museum

Located in Medina, the Al Madinah Museum offers comprehensive insights into the city’s history, from pre-Islamic times through the Islamic era to modern-day Saudi Arabia. It’s an enriching experience that complements any visit to Medina, providing context and depth to the historical sites around the city. The museum is housed in a beautifully designed building, making it a visual treat as well.

10. Rashed Mall

For those looking to experience the modern side of Saudi Arabia, a trip to Rashed Mall offers shopping, dining, and entertainment options. It’s one of the largest shopping centers in Medina, featuring a wide range of local and international brands. The mall is a glimpse into the contemporary lifestyle of Saudi Arabia’s residents. It’s a perfect place to pick up souvenirs, enjoy a meal, or simply escape the heat.

Medina mosque pattern in Saudi Arabia

Medina Transportation Guide

Understanding the transportation options can significantly enhance your visit, allowing for easy exploration of Medina’s spiritual, historical, and cultural sites. Here’s a detailed guide to getting around Medina.

1. Prince Mohammad Bin Abdulaziz International Airport (MED)

Located about 15 kilometers from the city center, the airport serves as the main gateway for visitors to Medina. It offers domestic and international flights, including seasonal routes for Hajj and Umrah pilgrims. Taxis and private car services are readily available at the airport to take you to your accommodation or directly to the city’s holy sites.

2. SAPTCO Bus Services

The Saudi Public Transport Company (SAPTCO) operates bus services in and around Medina, offering an affordable way to explore the city. Buses connect major landmarks, residential areas, and shopping centers. For longer journeys, SAPTCO’s intercity buses provide comfortable travel to other major cities in Saudi Arabia, including Mecca, Jeddah, and Riyadh.

3. Taxi Services

Taxis are a convenient and accessible mode of transportation within Medina. They can be hailed on the street, booked through hotels, or ordered via phone. While taxis are metered, it’s advisable to agree on the fare before starting your journey, especially when traveling from the airport or to destinations outside the city center.

4. Car Rental

Renting a car offers flexibility to explore Medina and its surroundings at your own pace. Several car rental agencies operate in the city, including at the airport. Keep in mind that driving in Medina requires familiarity with local traffic rules and conditions. International visitors will need a valid international driving permit alongside their national driver’s license.

5. Private Car Services and Ride-Hailing Apps

For a more comfortable and personalized transportation option, private car services are available, often arranged through hotels or travel agencies. Additionally, ride-hailing apps like Uber and Careem operate in Medina, offering convenient and safe rides with just a few taps on your smartphone. These services provide clear pricing and the option to choose different vehicle types based on your needs.

6. Walking

Given the spiritual and historical significance of Medina, especially the area surrounding the Prophet’s Mosque, walking is not only a practical mode of transportation but also a profoundly enriching experience. Many of the city’s religious sites and attractions are located within walking distance of each other, making it easy to explore the city’s heart on foot.

7. Bicycle Rental

For short distances within the city, renting a bicycle can be a pleasant and eco-friendly way to get around. Some hotels and shops offer bicycles for rent, providing a unique perspective of Medina at a leisurely pace.

8. Specialized Transportation for Pilgrims

During the Hajj and Umrah seasons, specialized transportation services are available for pilgrims, including shuttle services between religious sites and accommodations. These services are often organized by pilgrimage groups and may include private buses and minibusses to cater to the needs of pilgrims.

Jeddah is a place to vsiit after Medina, Saudi Arabia

Where To Visit After Your Trip To Medina?’

Here’s a diverse list of destinations to consider visiting after your stay in Medina, each promising unique adventures and insights.

1. Mecca

The holiest city in Islam, Mecca is an essential visit for Muslims around the world. Just a few hours’ drive from Medina, it offers the opportunity to perform Umrah or visit the Grand Mosque outside the Hajj season. The Kaaba, the Zamzam Well, and the Clock Tower Museum are among its spiritual and historical highlights. Mecca’s profound religious significance and vibrant atmosphere make it a compelling next stop.

2. Al-Ula

Discover the ancient city of Al-Ula, a masterpiece of nature and human heritage in the Saudi desert. Famous for the archaeological site of Madain Saleh, with its monumental Nabatean tombs, Al-Ula also offers stunning landscapes like Elephant Rock. The area is rapidly developing as a cultural and eco-tourism destination. Its open-air museum and natural wonders offer a deep dive into the region’s history and natural beauty.

3. Jeddah

Situated on the Red Sea, Jeddah is the gateway to Mecca but stands as a captivating destination in its own right. Its historic Al-Balad district, with centuries-old buildings and bustling souqs, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Jeddah Corniche offers beautiful seaside promenades and art installations. The city is also known for its modern shopping centers and the King Fahd Fountain, the tallest of its kind in the world.

4. Riyadh

The capital and largest city of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh is a blend of modernity and tradition. Visit the Al Masmak Fortress, the National Museum, and the bustling King Fahd Road. The city’s skyline, dominated by the Kingdom Centre Tower, offers breathtaking views. Riyadh’s markets, parks, and the edge of the world tour provide a comprehensive insight into Saudi life and culture.

5. Tabuk

For those interested in natural landscapes and historical sites, Tabuk offers both in abundance. The region is home to Tabuk Castle, ancient Hejazi architecture, and the stunning Wadi Al-Disah. It serves as a base for exploring the diverse landscapes of northwest Saudi Arabia, including the Red Sea’s diving spots. The area’s natural beauty, from mountains to valleys, is unmatched.

6. Taif

Known as the “City of Roses,” Taif is famous for its rose gardens, mild climate, and beautiful landscapes. The Al Shafa Mountains and the Al-Hada Mountain offer spectacular views and outdoor activities. Visitors can also explore the Shubra Palace and the Taif Public Garden. Its cultural and natural sites make it a refreshing retreat from the desert heat.

7. Abha

Situated in the Asir Province, Abha is known for its cool climate, mountainous terrain, and rich cultural heritage. The Asir National Park and the Al-Soudah Park offer outdoor adventures among dense forests and misty mountains. The cable car rides provide stunning views of the region. Abha’s traditional markets and art galleries showcase the unique culture of the Asir region.

8. Dumat Al-Jundal

A historic city in the Al-Jawf Province, Dumat Al-Jundal is home to ancient ruins and the Marid Castle. The area is rich in history dating back to pre-Islamic times. The Al-Jawf region is also known for its olive groves and beautiful lakes. It offers a glimpse into the desert’s past civilizations and natural beauty.

9. Yanbu

Famed for its beautiful Red Sea beaches, Yanbu is ideal for diving, snorkeling, and relaxing by the crystal-clear waters. The city’s historical district offers insights into its role as an ancient port. Yanbu is also a starting point for exploring the Red Sea’s coral reefs and marine life. Its coastal charm provides a tranquil escape from the inland desert.

10. Petra, Jordan

While outside Saudi Arabia, the ancient city of Petra is accessible for those willing to extend their journey. This archaeological wonder, carved into red sandstone, reveals the ingenuity of the Nabateans. Visitors can explore the Siq, the Treasury, and countless tombs and temples. Petra’s dramatic landscapes and historical depth offer an unforgettable adventure into the past.

Saudi Arabia pinned on a map

Medina Travel Guide: Final Thoughts

As our journey through Medina comes to a close, it’s time to reflect. Whether you’ve walked the tranquil courtyards of the Prophet’s Mosque, wandered through the bustling markets, or soaked in the rich tapestry of Islamic history, Medina leaves an indelible mark on every visitor.

A Spiritual Haven

In the Heart of Faith: Medina, as the city where Islam’s heart beats strongest, provides an unparalleled spiritual journey. The tranquility of praying in the Prophet’s Mosque, the historical depth of visiting sites like Uhud and Quba, and the simple act of breaking bread with fellow pilgrims create a mosaic of memorable moments that define the Medina experience.

A Journey Through Time

Echoes of History: Beyond its spiritual significance, Medina is a living museum, where every corner tells a story of faith, resilience, and community. From the ancient streets of the old city to the modern developments that cater to the ummah, Medina stands as a testament to Islamic history’s vibrancy and the enduring legacy of the Prophet Muhammad.

The Warmth of Hospitality

Embracing Every Visitor: What truly makes Medina resonate with those who visit isn’t just its holy sites but the warmth and hospitality of its people. The city’s culture, characterized by kindness and generosity, reflects the very principles upon which Medina was founded, making every traveler feel at home.

Medina’s Modern Pulse

A City that Grows: While steeped in history, Medina is not stuck in time. The city’s infrastructure, from its transportation systems to accommodations, caters to the needs of modern pilgrims and tourists, making the journey to this sacred city as comfortable as it is spiritually fulfilling.

Final Thoughts

As we bid farewell to Medina, we carry with us not just memories of the places we’ve visited but the feelings they’ve evoked—peace, reflection, and a deep connection to something greater than ourselves. Medina is more than just a destination on a map; it’s a journey of the heart, a pilgrimage of the spirit, and a reminder of the enduring power of faith and community. Whether you came seeking spiritual solace, historical insight, or cultural richness, Medina offers a journey that transcends the ordinary, inviting every soul to discover its depths.

So, until we return, let the lessons and beauty of Medina inspire us in our daily lives.

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