Makkah

A city in The Makkah Province

Places to Visit in Makkah

A city in The Makkah Province

Birthplace of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him)

The holy city of Makkah needs no introduction. It is the holiest city for Muslims and believers from all over the world regularly visit the city to perform pilgrimage and visit the holy sites. The most prominent landmark on earth - The Holy Ka’bah is located in Makkah. It serves as the religious centre for Muslims and they pray five times a day by facing the direction of the Ka’bah.

 

There is no shortage of holy places to visit in Makkah city. Some of the most visited sites include the Makkah MuseumMasjid Al JinnAl Masjid Al HaramJannat al-Mu'alla CemetryMount ArafatMina Tented CityJamarat Bridge, and Jabal Al Nour. Makkah is also home to some extraordinary architecture like the Abraj Al Bait Towers. This complex of seven skyscrapers also includes the Makkah Royal Clock Tower. It is the world’s largest clock face and the tower is the fifth-tallest freestanding structure in the world.

 

History

The history of Makkah can be traced back to the time of Prophet Ibrahim. The Prophet Ibrahim along with his son Prophet Ismail, build the Holy Ka’bah as the house of Allah. Even in pre-Islamic times, it used to be the main pilgrimage site and a location of high significance. Makkah is also recorded as being an important trading hub in ancient times.

 

The Year of the Elephant (570 CE) is another noteworthy chapter in the history of the city. According to the Holy Quran, Abraha descended upon Makkah with an army of elephants but Allah sent small birds carrying stones in their beaks to defend the Holy Ka’bah. These small birds destroyed the elephant army and caused Abraha’s defeat. According to Islamic tradition, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) was born in the same year.

 

Geography

Makkah lies in a relatively low-lying area. It is surrounded by the Sirat Mountains. The Jabal Al Nour is in the northeast of the city. This peak contains the cave of Hira where the first verses of the Holy Quran were revealed to Prophet Muhammad (Peace & Blessings of God Be Upon Him). In the south of the city is Mount Thawr where The Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) concealed himself in a cave during the Hijrah (migration) to Medina.

 

The harsh desert conditions are evident in Makkah. The temperatures remain high throughout the year. The vast desert landscape surrounds the city of Makkah and you truly get to appreciate the vastness of the desert as you travel out of the city centre.

 

Cultural Life

Being a holy city, only Muslims are allowed within the city of Makkah. Muslims from all over the world frequent the city for Umrah pilgrimage and the Hajj pilgrimage which is mandatory for every able Muslim once in a lifetime.

 

The city of Makkah is a perfect blend of rich, centuries-old culture and traditions along with modern architecture and a lively way of life. You can find old souks as well as skyscrapers that are reaching for the clouds. You can also visit museums like the Makkah Museum and the Clock Tower Museum which occupies the top four floors of the Abraj Al Bait Towers.

 

The city has seen massive modernization and expansion throughout recent years. However, amidst the modern architecture and sky-high buildings, you can also find some portions of the old city to go with Makkah’s historical places.

 

Popular Attractions

The focal point of the city is the Masjid Al Haram. Most of the Holy sites like Safa and Marwa are in close proximity to the Grand Mosque. Sites like Mount ArafatMina Tented CityJamarat Bridge, and Jabal Al Nour are a short ride away from the Masjid Al Haram complex. 

 

Once you have visited the holy sites of the city, you can also venture out to the huge shopping malls in the city. Staying in the ultra-luxury Abraj Al Bait Towers is also an experience worth having. For people interested in learning more about the culture and history, the ‘Exhibition of the Two Holy Mosques’ offers a great educational journey through the various stages of the development of the Masjid Al Haram as well as the Masjid An Nabawi in Medina.


If you are in the mood for adventure, the nearby city of Ta’if also offers a great retreat from the intense desert heat and crowds of the city. The road to Ta’if itself is a sight worth seeing when you’re visiting places in Makkah.