A First-Timers Guide To Makkah

First time to Makkah? We’ve got it covered.

Masjid Al Haram

  • Understand Islamic rites and supplications beforehand.

  • For Islamic queries, head to dedicated booths in the Haram. You will find scholars who speak different languages, a phone service that offers answers, in addition to a library on the upper floor of the mosque.

  • To complete your umrah manasek (rituals), you will find barbers located close to the mosque’s vicinity, for cutting your hair or shaving your head. Most of them are located in the basement of the Royal Clock Tower building.

  • To repeat umrah performance, you must go to Ayesha Mosque. Most taxi drivers are well aware of the place.

  • If you don’t understand Arabic, the Friday sermon is translated simultaneously and broadcasted live via radio frequency in a number of different languages including Hausa, Urdu, English amongst many others.

  • There is limited Wi-Fi access at Masjid Al Haram, catering to most of pilgrims’ basic needs including airlines booking, hotel reservations etc.


  • There is a plethora of options to choose from, ranging from good old Arabian street food; falafel and shakshouka, to international franchises serving burgers and pizzas.

  • The best places to eat out are at the 3 commercial centers at the southwestern part of the mosque. The Royal Clock Tower, Jabl Omar and the ground and first floors of the Hilton Hotel building.


  • Makkah has no shortage of hotels; the entire city is dotted with them.

  • The closer to the Haram, the pricier the hotel is. If you don’t mind a distance of 3-10 minutes walking, you will find cheaper 3* hotels.

  • Rooms that offer ‘Kaaba View’ demand premium rates.

  • All major online booking websites have a wide presence in Makkah and cover most hotels.

  • Room rates fluctuate seasonally. In Ramadan, room rates spike to more than double the normal.


  • Get to know pre oil-boom Saudi at the Saggaf Palace.

    Saggaf Palace.

    Saggaf Palace.

  • Pay your respects at the Al Malaa Cemetery where many of the Prophet’s (PBUH) companions are buried.

    Al Malaa Cemetery.

    Al Malaa Cemetery.

  • Learn of the expansions carried out over the centuries at the Holy Mosques at the Exhibition of the Holy Mosques.

    Exhibition of the Holy Mosques.

    Exhibition of the Holy Mosques.

  • Get to know Saudi history at Makkah Museum of Antiquities and Heritage.Makkah-Museum-2

Tips To Remember:

  • Zamzam can be bought at Jeddah’s KAIA airport; you don’t have to take them from Makkah.

  • Foreign exchanges are plenty.

  • Bargain with taxis; they rarely follow the meter rate.

  • Public SAPTCO buses are a cheap way to commute in the city.

  • There are plenty of souks all in walking distance from the Haram complex.

  • Free wheel chairs are available at Masjid Al Haram.

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