Quick Tips for the Smart Muslim Traveler
You’ll find Madinah, also known as Medina, approximately 100 miles from the Red Sea and less than 300 miles from Makkah.
This is one of the holiest cities for anyone with sincere Islamic faith because this is where the Prophet Mohammad (Peach Be Upon Him) was laid to rest. Masjid-al-Nabawi incudes Prophet Mohammad’s tomb and is marked by an elaborate green dome that stands above the tomb. Millions of visitors visit to the city every year, and many visitors traveling to Makkah for Hajj and Umrah also visit Madina city.
What to Expect at Hajj and Umrah
You aren’t required to visit Madina for any of the rituals involved with Hajj or Umrah, but most pilgrims add this city into the trip because it has such significance for the Islamic faith. You can change out of your Ihram and wear comfortable clothing, and many visitors find that the open markets and malls are more affordable than those in Makkah. This gives you the opportunity to relax while shopping, dining, and visiting the mosque of Prophet Mohammad PBUH.
As you travel from Makkah to Madinah, you should clear your mind and focus on the significance of the trip. You are following the footsteps of your Prophet as he migrated from Makkah to Madinah many years ago in the past. The trip includes many scenic mountains and landscapes, so it’s a great time to marvel at the work of Allah.
What to Expect for Business or Leisure Trips
Most leisure trips to Madina are connected to Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages, but there are many businessmen who find their way into the city each year as well. When you aren’t enjoying the open markets and simply walking through the streets to discover the hidden restaurants and street vendors, there are many cultural and historical attractions that you may want to visit, including:
Quba Mosque – one of the oldest mosques in the world that date back to the life of Prophet MuhammadHejaz Railway Museum – displays antique train cars and a variety of relics from the region’s historyDar Al Madinah Museum – educational exhibits about the history of Saudi Arabia, Islam, and the Prophet MuhammadMount Uhud – marks the spot of an important battle that helped shape the Islamic culture
How to Travel to Madinah
While rental cars are available, it is illegal for most visitors to drive because they don’t possess valid Saudi driver’s licenses. If you’re planning ahead for your transportation, these are your best options:
- Walk – It’s common for visitors to walk through here as well as Makkah. In general, walking is more common in Middle Eastern communities than it is in many other areas of the world. This doesn’t mean that you won’t need transportation to reach some destinations within and surrounding the city.
- Bus – The buses are quite affordable, but they are also much slower than traveling by car. Many visitors prefer to take the bus because the driving habits of most people in Saudi are quite erratic. Consider this option if you aren’t going very far or if you have the time to enjoy a leisurely ride.
- Coach/Mini Bus Tours – If you plan on visiting several holy sites at one time, you may join a tour. You will typically pay upfront and then ride through the town in the company of other visitors and locals touring the same sites. This is much faster than riding the everyday buses to reach the same destinations.
- Taxi – It’s not difficult to find taxis, and they are much faster than most buses. You can often bargain with your driver for a reasonable rate, or you may use your hotel’s concierge services to negotiate a fair rate when the taxi is ordered for you.
Are you getting excited to plan your trip to Madinah? Explore our website to pick up more tips and tricks to planning a successful trip, staying safe, and getting the most out of each day in this holy Islamic city. This will likely be a once-in-a-lifetime adventure that you will always remember, so it’s worth taking the time to learn the best places to shop, the best places to stay, and the best places to dine. Your opportunity to discover Madinah starts now.