Medina, also known as Madinah, is the second holiest city in Islam and a major pilgrimage destination for Muslims from around the world. For those considering things to do in Medina, visiting the Prophet’s Mosque, Al-Masjid an-Nabawi, which houses the tomb of Prophet Muhammad, and exploring Quba Mosque, the first mosque built by the Prophet, are top activities.
The city’s Qiblatain Mosque, known for its historical significance in the Islamic faith, offers a unique spiritual experience. Nearby, the Uhud Mountain, site of the famous Battle of Uhud, provides a historical and scenic excursion.
Beyond its religious and historical sites, Medina is also known for its dates, with the Dates Market offering a wide variety of this local delicacy. For those seeking the best places to visit in Saudi Arabia, Medina’s profound spiritual significance, rich history, and warm hospitality make it a captivating destination.
Table of Contents
Attractions & Things to Do in Medina, Saudi Arabia
1. Al-Masjid an-Nabawi (The Prophet’s Mosque)
Al-Masjid an-Nabawi is the second holiest site in Islam and stands as a profound piece of Islamic history, being the final resting place of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The mosque’s striking Green Dome is iconic, and the complex expands to accommodate the millions of pilgrims who visit each year.
Travel Tip: Non-Muslim visitors are not allowed inside the mosque, but anyone can appreciate the architecture from the outside. For Muslim travelers, visiting during non-peak times can offer a more reflective experience.
2. Quba Mosque
The Quba Mosque holds the distinction of being the first mosque built in Islamic history, a place where the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) laid the foundation stones. Today, it is a modern structure that can accommodate thousands of worshippers.
Travel Tip: As per Islamic tradition, performing two rak’ahs of nafl (voluntary prayer) in the Quba Mosque is equivalent to performing one Umrah.
3. Al-Baqi Cemetery
The Al-Baqi Cemetery is a significant historical cemetery where many relatives of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and prominent Islamic figures are buried. It is a place of reflection and respect for the history of Islam.
Travel Tip: Visiting times can be restricted, so check the schedule beforehand, and always approach with the decorum appropriate for a sacred site.
4. Uhud Mountain
The site of the famous Battle of Uhud, Uhud Mountain is a historical landmark where visitors can learn about the early history of Islam and the significance of this battle.
Travel Tip: Wear comfortable shoes as you may want to walk around and climb parts of the mountain for better views.
5. Qiblatain Mosque
Travel Tip: Learn about the mosque’s history before visiting to fully appreciate its significance.
6. Hejaz Railway Museum
The Hejaz Railway Museum is located in the restored Ottoman railway station in Medina and showcases the history of the Hejaz Railway that connected Damascus with Medina.
Travel Tip: It’s a small museum, so it makes for a good short visit, especially for those interested in the history of transportation in the Middle East.
7. Mount Uhud Park
Surrounding the Uhud Mountain, this park offers a green space for families to relax and enjoy picnics, with Uhud Mountain providing a dramatic backdrop.
Travel Tip: Bring water and snacks if you plan to hike or spend the day exploring the area.
8. Dar Al Madinah Museum
Dar Al Madinah Museum offers insights into the Islamic history of Medina, including the life of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the city’s development through the ages.
Travel Tip: A visit to the museum is highly recommended before touring the city’s historical sites for context.
9. Seven Mosques (Sab’ah Masajid)
The Seven Mosques is a complex that commemorates the Battle of the Trench and includes six smaller mosques and the larger Mosque of the Two Qiblahs.
Travel Tip: The site is more about the historical significance than the architecture, so consider hiring a guide to learn more about the history of each mosque.
FAQ About Things to Do in Medina, Saudi Arabia
What are the must-visit historical sites in Medina?
The must-visit historical sites in Medina include the Prophet’s Mosque (Al-Masjid an-Nabawi), Quba Mosque, the Uhud Battlefield, and Jannat al-Baqi cemetery.
Can non-Muslims visit the sacred areas in Medina?
Non-Muslims are not permitted to enter the central sacred area of Medina, which includes the Prophet’s Mosque. However, there are many other historical and cultural sites around the city that non-Muslim visitors can explore.
Are there any museums in Medina?
Yes, Medina has several museums, including the Dar Al Madinah Museum and the Al-Madinah Museum, which offer insights into the Islamic history of the city and the life of the Prophet Muhammad.
What is the significance of Mount Uhud in Medina?
Mount Uhud is a site of great historical and religious significance because it was the location of the Battle of Uhud, a key battle in Islamic history. Visitors can explore the area and see the Uhud Martyrs Cemetery.
Is there a place for family and recreational activities in Medina?
Yes, families can enjoy the King Fahd Central Park, which is a large public park offering green spaces, fountains, and a place for relaxation and family picnics.
Can visitors explore the date markets in Medina?
Certainly, Medina is famous for its date market, the Dates Market in Central Medina offers a variety of dates and is a perfect place to experience local culture and buy some of the best dates in the region.
What shopping experiences are available in Medina?
Medina offers a range of shopping experiences from modern malls like Al Noor Mall to traditional bazaars where you can find perfumes, jewelry, and traditional crafts.
Are there any nature spots near Medina?
Yes, for those who enjoy nature, visiting the Al-Aqiq valley offers a scenic drive and the chance to see the beautiful natural landscape surrounding Medina.