Makkah and Madinah are popular as the most holy cities in Saudi Arabia and in the world. They are also a great destination for Muslim families to merge a religious visit with a family getaway. There are plenty of places to visit with family in Makkah and Madinah, and in this blog, we bring you the top 10 out of many.
Popular places to visit with family in Makkah
Makkah is the holy city in which the holy Kabbah is situated. It is reputed as the birthplace of Prophet Muhammed(PBUH). Hence it is considered the Holiest city in Islam. This city is situated 70 km (43 mi) inland from Jeddah on the Red Sea, in a narrow valley 277 m (909 ft) above sea level. Statistically, it is the third most populated city in Saudi Arabia, and visited by a huge number of pilgrims who come here to perform the pilgrimages of Hajj and Umrah. Family attractions in Makkah are as follows:
1. Al Haram Masjid – The Great Mosque of Makkah
Among the best places to visit in Makkah, Al-Haram comes on the top. Millions of disciples gather here every year to offer their prayers and perform Tawaf. It is a ritual circling of the Kaaba. They come to the masjid wearing special Ihram clothing at all hours of the day. This is why it is known as the world’s largest mosque that never sleeps.
2. Fakieh Aquarium – A fun place to visit for children
If you want to spend some quality time with your kids, go to visit the marine-life exhibition in Fakieh Aquarium. It is an aquarium that introduces you to diverse aquatic dwellers who are mainly the natives of the Red sea. Children love to see the show of seals and dolphins and discover more than 200 species of fish in the spacious tanks. In addition, you also get to see sea turtles, seahorses, stingrays, and seadragons. There are also restaurants and café set up within the campus for refreshment purposes.
3. Makkah Royal Clock Tower – Witness spectacular architecture
Admired by travelers for over several years, it is another attraction of Makkah. It is the icon of Saudi Arabia and one of the recognizable buildings of the world. You will find this clock tower just next to the Grand Mosque. The building houses a mega shopping complex, restaurants, Kingdom’s highest observation deck and large prayer rooms. It is the tallest clock tower and the third tallest building in the world.
4. Makkah Mall – An array of local and global brands
When planning to visit Makkah, make sure you take your family shopping in the famous Makkah Mall. It is the most visited mall in Makkah and a go-to place for all shopping lovers. The mall is located near Masjid Al Haram and contains a wide array of local and international brands to shop for. In addition, it contains retail outlets for luxury brands, kid’s entertainment facilities, supermarkets, dining outlets and others. Thus, it makes it the perfect place to shop, dine and play with your family.
Suggested Read: Best Places To Shop In Makkah And Madinah
Best places to visit with family in Madinah
Madinah or Medina is the second most-holiest city in Islam. It is the fourth most populous city in Saudi Arabia. It is the city to which Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) migrated from Makkah. At first, it was called Yathrib; then it was renamed as Medina, which also means ‘The city of the Prophet(PBUH).’ From then onwards, a Muslim is not allowed to call Medina Yathrib.
5. Masjid-Al-Nabawi – The second holiest mosque
Masjid-Al-Nabawi, or ‘The Prophet’s Mosque,’ is a mosque built by the Holy Prophet Muhammed(PBUH) in the holy city of Madinah. It is considered the second holiest site after Kabbah. It is one of the most revered and largest mosques in the world. Generally, it is open all the time, but due to pandemics, some restrictions regarding time and number of visitors are put on the mosque. The importance of this mosque increased tremendously after Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) was buried in it; his tomb still resides in the mosque. The history of Masjid-e Nabawi is also full of dramatic incidents and reconstructions.
6. Medina Media Museum – A peek into the history
Medina Media Museum is a great place to take your children to. The small museum is located close to Masjid-al Nawabi and tells a lot about the history of Islam. It contains some interesting displays, models, theatre and illustrations seeing which your children will be intrigued. Visitors are also offered schematic clips of the famous battles and layouts. However, make sure to get a guide to truly understand the importance of the museum.
7. Al Noor Mall – Shopping, food, and entertainment
Another magnificent place to explore in Madinah is Al Noor Mall. A large number of tourists flock here to witness the outstanding structure of the mall with a unique blend of modern architecture and Islamic culture. It has tons of furnished outlets for your family to explore. The mall is so remarkable because the best designers have internally designed it, and the walls are decorated with finely crafted furnishings. Plus, it also offers its visitors different places to hang out. So, make sure to visit this mall with your family when you visit Madinah.
8. Quba Mosque – An important ziyarat site
Among the best places to visit with family in Makkah and Madinah, there are more religious sites in Madinah. The Quba Mosque is situated on the outskirts of the city of Madinah. It is important owing to the fact that it was probably the first mosque build during the period of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Also, its first brick was laid by the Prophet(PBUH) himself after he immigrated from Makkah. The Prophet(PBUH) spent 14 days performing Nafil namaz waiting for Imam Ali(PBUH) as he stayed and put his life in danger to save the Prophet(PBUH) ‘s life.
9. Masjid-Al-Qiblatayan – The mosque of two Qiblas
Masjid-Al-Qiblatayan is important because the order from Allah to change the Qibla was bestowed on the Prophet(PBUH) here. At first, the Qibla was Kabbah, but when the people of Makkah became haughty and proud of this fact, Allah ordered Muslims to change of Qibla temporary to Masjid-al-Aqsa this order was bestowed when Prophet(PBUH) was offering namaz in this Masjid; hence he changed the direction he was facing.
10. Al Hokair Luna Park – Most fun of family places
This is a famous theme park in Madinah located on Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Road. It is the perfect place to spend time with your partner and kids. The Park contains tons of recreational and electric games that are open for all ages but especially kids. In addition, there is also an open ice-skating ring along with restaurants, cafés and drinks. So, while your child enjoys the ride, you can spend quality time in the café.
These are some really fun places to visit with family in Makkah and Madinah. Clearly, the twin cities are a great place to visit with family and children. If you are planning to visit these religious cities anytime soon, do take out some time to explore these places with your loved ones.
FAQs Places to visit with family in Makkah and Madinah
Can Makkah be visited as a tourist?
Makkah has strict rules against the entrance of Non-Muslims. Since it is the most holy place for the religion, one must show proof that they are Muslims before entering.
What are the main attractions of Makkah?
The Great mosque of Makkah is one the most important attractions in the whole city. Moreover, you can visit the Abraj Al-bait Towers, the Jabal al-Nour and the Safa to Marwa hills.
What are the best things to do in Makkah with family?
Makkah has enough spots where families can have a good time. There are a numbers of malls for adults and parks for children to play. There are restaurants that serve the best of Saudi and Arabian food.
What can kids do in Makkah?
Al Hokair Funland is a popular amusement park in Makkah that kids absolutely love. Other places to visit with children are Atallah Happy Land Park, Al-Shallal Theme Park, and Fakieh Aquarium.
What are the best places for family dining in Makkah?
The best family dining places in Makkah are Al Deyafa Restaurant, Gurkan Sef Steakhouse, Al Rehab Restaurant, and Simit Sarayi.