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Medina Travel Guide

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Known as the second largest city of the Islamic religion, Medina is in the Hejaz region of Saudi Arabia. Medina, which opened its doors to the Prophet Muhammad and Companions, has been one of the most important cities of the Islamic civilization for centuries. The beautiful structures that remain until today show the power and sophistication of the great civilization. Millions of people visit holy lands every year for hajj and umrah.

General Information

Country: Saudi Arabia
Region: Western Asia
Area: 589 km²
Language: Arabic 
Average temperature: 27 °C
Climate: Hot desert climate 
Vegetation: Xerophytic plants 
The difference between GMT: GMT+3
Telephone Code: +966 14
Currency: Saudi Riyal (SR)
Socket Type: Type A, B, C, G 220 V/60 Hz


Located in the west of Saudi Arabia, Medina is about 200 km from the Red Sea. Its neighbors are Riyadh, Mecca and Jeddah.

Best Time to Visit Medina

You can visit Medina, which has a hot and dry climate throughout the year, at any time other than summer months. In the summer, the temperatures can reach up to 45°C. Tourism activities become very difficult due to muggy temperatures. On the other hand, air temperatures changing between 17-28°C in winter have a positive effect on tourism activities together with near-zero rainfall rates.

Travel to Medina

The airline is the most comfortable and fast transportation option for traveling from Istanbul to Medina. The distance between Istanbul and Medina is 2767 km by road and 2080 km by air. You can travel from Istanbul to Medina with direct flights lasting 3 hours and 15 minutes. There are regular flights from Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport to Prince Mohammad Bin Abdulaziz International Airport. You may follow campaigns for Medina flights and travel between two cities at attractive prices.


Transportation in Medina

In daily life, public transportation is not used in Medina. Therefore, the only vehicle you can use is a taxi. In addition to taxis, car rental services can also be preferred. When you take a taxi, be sure to agree with the taxi driver about the fare. The second piece of advice is to show a note with the Arabic language of your destination.

Transportation to Medina Airports

Urban transportation varies between 10-30 Riyals by taxi. When you are going to the city center from the airport, you need to pay around 75 Riyals.


Places to Visit in Medina

The city, located about 450 km north of Mecca, is known as the "City of the Prophet" where The Prophet Mohammad migrated in 622 and Islam spread to the world. You can visit holy places in Medina while performing your hajj and umrah duties.

Al-Masjid an-Nabawi (Prophet's Mosque)

Prophet's Mosque, built after the migration from Mecca to Madinah, is one of the largest mosques worshipped by Muslims. The tomb of the Prophet Muhammed, Omer and Abu-bakr is located here. As stated in the hadiths, it is more important to perform prayers in Masjid Nebevi than in all mosques around the world.

Mount Uhud and Site of Battle

Uhud Mountain, located in the north of Madinah, is 5 km away from Masjid Nabawi. The Battle of Uhud, where 70 Companions were martyred, did not result in a definitive victory for either side. The most important result of the war is the killing of Hamza. This mountain, where the Battle of Uhud took place in history, is one of the best location of those who visit the city for hajj and umrah.

Quba Mosque

There are two mosques that immediately come to mind in Medina. The Quba Mosque and the Prophet Mosque are great places of worship. Quba is the first mosque built with the participation of the Islamic community. Quba Masjid, which is also known as the first masjid of the Islamic religion, is located at the place where the Prophet Mohammed was greeted by the Madinah folks while entering the city. Just praying here is considered as sacred as visiting Umrah.

Mada's Saleh

Mada’s Saleh, a pre-Islamic archaeological site, is the first-place of Saudi Arabia that included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The mausoleums in Mada’s Saleh are very interesting. It is believed that the Camel Incident, described in the story of the Prophet of Salih or Saleh, took place here. There are 131 monumental tombs decorated with carvings belonging to the Nabatean Kingdom in the region, which contains buildings from the late antiquity.

Cennet-ul Baki

Cennet-ul Bakî, the first cemetery of the Islamic state, is located very close to the Al-Masjid an-Nabawi. This cemetery, which was rebuilt as a tomb by the Prophet Mohammed, is among the holy places visited by visitors who come to the city.

Hejaz Railway Museum

The Hicaz Railway Museum, which came into service in 2006, consists of four sections. The wagons, engines, accessories and various parts of the trains used on the Hejaz Railway are exhibited in the museum. The building, which you can visit in your Medina trip, is the most important railway museum of Saudi Arabia.

The Seven Mosques

The Seven Mosques is the name given to the region where the Battle of the Trench with Mecca polytheists. Mosques were built in spots where the tents of the Prophet Muhammad and his comrades were. Mosques, built in the name of Fatima, Selman, Abu Bakr, Omar, Osman, Ali and Sa'd b. Muaz, are located at these points.

Ravza-i Mutahhara (The Garden of Eden)

Ravza-i Mutahhara, located in the Prophet's Mosque, It was the place where the Prophet Muhammad gave Friday sermons. The green carpet inside the mosque is only here. This area, which is 22 meters long and 15 meters wide, is called the Garden of Eden in hadiths.

The Madinah Museum

The Madinah Museum, where important works of Islamic geography are exhibited, is one of the addresses that must be seen in the city. In the Museum, there is all historical information since the time of the Prophet. In addition, works, models and paintings under the rule of Abbasids, Umayyads, Ottomans and Saudi Arabia are exhibited in the museum.

Where to Stay in Medina?

There are many accommodation options around Medina. The vast majority of the five-star hotels in Medina are around the Prophet's Mosque. Prices of accommodation in Medina may also differ depending on the location. Take a close look at 7 city hotels where you can stay in Medina;

  • Dar Al Hijra InterContinental Madinah
  • Pullman Zamzam Madina
  • Shaza Al Madina
  • Madinah Hilton
  • Rove Hotel
  • Bosphorus Waqf Al Safi Hotel
  • Millennium Al Aqeeq Hotel Madinah


What to Eat in Medina?

Rice, chicken or camel meat are among the main local tastes of Medina cuisine. You can eat Kabsa made with onions, grapes and various spices and Mandi made with noodles, chicken or lamb. Spices dating back to previous ages are also frequently used in modern Medina cuisine. In addition, the meal called Hurma farci is a different taste consisting of a mixture of sweet and cheese. There are many tea houses in the city. It is possible to drink tea and eat cookies here. Alcohol is illegal in Saudi Arabia, which is governed by sharia laws. Pork is also strictly prohibited.

Medina Cuisine

Do not return without tasting these flavors in Medina;

  • Kabsa
  • Mandi
  • Margoog
  • Jereesh
  • Gursan
  • Ferek
  • Hainini

Medina Restaurants

  • Arabesque Restaurant
  • Al Habibi Shinwari
  • The Ocean Restaurant
  • Al Baik Restaurant
  • Route 66

Shopping in Medina: Best Souvenirs to Buy

The Medina is home to the best shopping malls that are popular with both locals and tourists. Modern shopping malls offer an ideal combination of shopping, dining and entertainment. You may find most of the luxury and budget brands in the malls. You can spend time in Al-Hassan Mall, Al Noor Mall and Al Rashid Mega Mall. There are many things you can buy as a souvenir in Medina. Rosaries, skullcap, prayer rug, zam-zam water, essences, watches, silver rings, miswaks, prayer recitation watches, Koran, prayer books, beaded bags, pearl jewelry and electronic items are among the main gifts you can buy from Medina.

Nightlife in Medina

As in all Saudi Arabian cities, alcohol consumption is prohibited in Medina. Medina has a distinctive nightlife. Abu Tarboush is among the most important entertainment centers of the city. In this region, it is possible to participate in divine concerts and special events. Madinah is a city where spirituality and worship are important. All prayer halls and restaurants are open until late at night.

Things to Know Before Visiting Medina

  • Medina is closed to visitors during the hajj period.
  • The month of Ramadan is the most crowded period in terms of tourism.
  • Almost the entire population of the country is Muslim and sharia laws are enforced in the country.
  • It is imperative that women wear long tunic or abaya, which hides their everyday clothes.
  • Women are required to travel with a family member.
  • All restaurants and cafes are closed during prayer times.
  • Three-pin Type G sockets are used in Medina. You may need a converter to use your electronic devices.

Emergency Numbers in Medina

Emergency: 112

Ambulance: 997

Police: 999

Traffic Police: 993

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