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Madinah, also known as Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah or Medina (The Radiant City), is situated in the Hejaz Region in the west of Saudi Arabia. Being the first capital of Islam in history, and the second holiest place for Muslims after Makkah al-Mukarramah, it stands as a symbol of Islamic heritage. 


With millions of Muslims around the world visiting every year, Madinah is known for its peaceful atmosphere, religious sites, and warm hospitality. From the iconic landmarks to the bustling markets, it presents a unique blend of spirituality and modernity. 


History and Significance of Madinah, Saudi Arabia


Madinah, historically known as Yathrib, holds a special place in Islamic culture. The region has been controlled by Jewish-Arabian tribes (up until the fifth century CE), the ʽAws and Khazraj (up until Muhammad's arrival), Muhammad and the Rashidun, the Umayyads, the Abbasids, the Mamluks of Egypt, the Ottomans, the First Saudi State, Muhammad Ali of Egypt, the Ottomans for a second time, the Sharifate of Mecca under the Hashemites and finally currently is in the hands of the present-day Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


It was 622 CE when Prophet Muhammad migrated from Makkah in an event known as the Hijrah, marking the beginning of the Islamic calendar. Madinah served as the capital of the Islamic state under the Prophet's leadership and is home to the Masjid al-Nabawi (Prophet's Mosque), where the tomb of Prophet Muhammad is located.

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Madinah Province Division 


Madinah Province, often referred to as the "Madinah Region” has an area of 151,990 km2 (58,680 sq mi) and a population of 2,132,679 which is subdivided into seven Governorates (Muḥafaẓat): Madinah City (population 995,619), Al Hunakiyah (population 52,549), Mahd Al Thahab (population 53,687), Al-'Ula (population 57,495), Badr (population 58,088), Yanbu Al Bahar (population 249,797), and Khaybar (population 45,489).


Getting to Madinah, Saudi Arabia


By Air: Visitors can conveniently fly to Madinah from all around the world. With both domestic and international flights available, the Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz International Airport (MED) serves as the gateway to this place. From the airport, the city’s center is easily accessible via taxis or rental cars.


By Road: Visitors also get an option to reach Madinah through its well-connected network of roads. Moreover, when in neighboring cities like Jeddah and Riyadh, many pilgrims prefer to travel by bus or car to enjoy their journey with the Saudi Arabian landscape.


Currency & Language


Currency: The currency used in Madinah is the Saudi Riyal (SAR). Visitors can choose to make smaller payments with cash and even credit cards are widely accepted in most of the areas. 


Language: Arabic is the official language of Madinah. But in tourist places, English is very common. Even the locals and guides are often seen communicating in English. 


Where to Stay in Madinah?


Visitors can find an abundance of options to stay and have a comfortable vacation when in Madinah. With a range of accommodations available, from extravagant & luxe hotels near the Prophet's Mosque to affordable yet comfortable stay houses in the city’s heart, there's always something to suit every budget.


When to Visit Madinah? 


When in Madinah, travelers can face hot summers. But on the other hand, winters are quite mild. Thus, the best time to visit is often considered during the cooler months from October to March (temperatures ranging from 12 to 30 °C). 

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Places to Visit in Madinah, Saudi Arabia


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


Al-Masjid an-Nabawi is located in the heart of Madinah and currently houses the tomb of Prophet Muhammad, Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, and Umar ibn al-Khattab. It is one of the largest mosques in the world, developed over time incorporating contemporary standards with stunning Islamic motifs. Here, visitors can explore its architecture with intricate designs and take part in prayers with the calm ambiance of this sacred place.


Al-Baqi' Cemetery


Al-Baqi' is the final resting place of several family members of Muhammad, caliphs, and scholars. And that is why it holds a huge role in spiritual significance for Muslims. People often visit Al-Baqi' Cemetery to offer prayers for the departed souls with all their respect. The cemetery’s history and atmosphere often attract travelers who are in constant search of some solemn yet peaceful destination.


Dar Al Madinah Museum


Dar Al Madinah Museum features the rich history of this city. From archaeological collections, visual galleries, and manuscripts, this Museum holds a lot while reflecting the era of the early Islamic community. Visitors can also experience details of the life of Prophet Muhammad through interactive displays and take back a surreal experience. 

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Quba Mosque


This is the second largest Mosque, built by Prophet Muhammad himself upon his arrival in the old city of Madinah. It is believed that Quba Mosque is a place of blessings and one who prays will get a reward like a Umrah pilgrimage. Visitors and pilgrims from all over the globe are often seen praising its simple yet elegant architecture and serene views. 


Mount Uhud


Mount Uhud holds a remarkable role when it comes to the early Muslim community's struggles. The main reason being, this was the site where the Battle of Uhud was held. It was when the Muslims defended Madinah against their adversaries. Moreover, Mount Uhud is often regarded as a favorite place of history lovers. It allows travelers to hike up and explore the historic battlefield with breathtaking views of the city from the top. 


Date Farms


Madinah is well-known for quality and delicious dates. Visitors can find many such farms where a bunch of dates are grown in abundance. Moreover, many guided tours offer a chance to learn date cultivation techniques while sampling or buying dates like Ajwa, Kholas, Khidri, Madjool, and many more varieties. The Ajwa dates of Madinah are known to be the best ones for their nutritional benefits. 

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Exploring the Culture of Madinah, Saudi Arabia


Traditional Markets (Souqs)


The traditional markets of Madinah have a lot to offer. It's the liveliness and friendly vibe of local vendors that adds some extra charm when it comes to these shopping markets. Some of the famous names include Old Bazaar, Al Hokair Time, Souq Al Gharbiah, Taybah Shopping Centre, Quba Walkway Souq, and many others. Visitors can explore traditional handicrafts, textiles, exotic spices, and unique perfumes to take them back as their forever souvenirs. The traditional Saudi attire, i.e., a thobe (robe) for men and an abaya for women is also popular when it comes to these local markets. 


Arabian Cuisine


When it comes to Arabian cuisine at Madinah's restaurants, visitors can often find indulging dishes followed by decadent desserts. For example, "Al-Madhboos" is a quite famous dish. It is a combination of flavorful rice and meat seasoned with traditional spices and topped with toasted nuts. Madinah never falls short of exotic and distinct flavors, there's something to satisfy every palate.


Things to Remember For Visitors


  • Dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites. 


  • Always respect the service prayer times and plan the itinerary accordingly. 


  • Make sure to stay hydrated and carry things to cool off the temperature in the summer. 


  • Although Madinah is safe to roam around, it's always a good idea to stay aware of the surroundings.


  • During the peak pilgrimage seasons, book the hotels, flights, or cabs in advance.


Madinah is a spiritual city that still holds its heritage from centuries. It is the cradle of Islamic culture and values that can leave travelers exhilarated for a lifetime. With its extensive history and enriching experience, Madinah is etched into the hearts of many!

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