12 Fascinating Mecca Attractions You Must Visit

12 Fascinating Mecca Attractions You Must Visit

There’s a surprisingly large number of things to see in Mecca, and it’s not limited to religious sites either. Discover some of the city’s highlights you shouldn’t miss.

The holy city of Mecca is best-known as the site of pilgrimage for Muslims all over the world. And if you’re interested in other things to see in Mecca, there are plenty of attractions worth considering. 

In this article, we’ll tell you the 12 most interesting sights you should consider adding to your itinerary. 

1. The Kaaba and the Sacred Mosque

The Kaaba is an ancient Muslim sanctuary and the great mosque was built around it. Around four million people can fit into the world’s largest mosque. With its intricate structure and delicate decorations, it’s a fascinating sight to see. 

Visits to the holy site are quite challenging during the day, as the place is constantly overcrowded. That’s why coming there in the evening will prove much more pleasant.

2. Mount Arafat

Located east of the city, the Arafat hill is purportedly the spot where Muhammad delivered his final sermon. And according to Muslim belief, this location is where the faithful will resurrect.

With steep sections and piles of rock, the hill might be somewhat demanding to climb. But it’s entirely manageable if you stay hydrated and rest regularly as you go on that trek. 

3. Al Aziziyah District

This renowned shopping district is well-known for the markets, with the central market being the most popular spot. Conveniently close to the Sacred Mosque, Al Aziziyah is the best spot for those looking for clothes, accessories, shoes, cosmetics, and more. 

Both Al Aziziyah central market and the neighboring Al Majaz market house various local and international brands that deal in textiles and jewelry. 

4. Jabal Thawr

Jabal Thawr is a mountain over 4,500 feet high, and its significance lies in the cave where Muhammad hid while escaping the Meccans who wanted to kill him. There’s a wide path leading to the top and the mountain is perfect for viewing the surrounding landscape.

5. Muhammad’s Birthplace

The place where Muhammad was born now houses a library and museum. It’s an excellent spot for learning about the history of the religion. For devoted Muslims, being at the same spot where the prophet was born might be the most sentimental experience during their visit to Mecca.

6. Hira

Muhammad had the first revelations in this cave near the city of Mecca. The journey to the cave involves taking a three-hour hike up the mountain in the desert weather, making it quite challenging for most visitors. 

It’s recommended to bring plenty of water and some snacks to remain energized during the trip. Hikers should keep a reasonable pace so they don’t become exhausted before reaching the destination. Once on top, you’ll appreciate the excellent view of the city below.

7. Al Diyafa Mall

Contrasting the historical sites nearby, the Al Diyafa Mall is a modern-looking structure that houses lavish fashion stores and represents the trendy side of Mecca. Its name translates to ‘hospitality’ and the mall is located in the Al Zahir neighborhood 

With plenty of fashion stores, restaurants, and an area for children, Al Diyafa Mall is an ideal place where you can spend several hours browsing and shopping.

8. Abraj Al Bait

The giant building towering above the Kaaba, Abraj Al Bait is a complex owned by the government and represents one of the most famous attractions in Mecca. Located in it are a shopping mall, a high-end hotel, and a praying space. 

The outstanding feature of the massive building is the clock tower that can be seen shining like a beacon from miles away. There’s also an observatory at the top that offers a great view of the surrounding area, making the visit to the building a must.

9. Masjid E Taneem

Very close to Mecca, Masjid E Taneem is a mosque and one of the crucial points in pilgrimages. It’s outfitted with bath and changing facilities. Faithful Muslims use it as Miqat or a station where they can change into appropriate garments for the pilgrimage. 

10. Mina

Mina is a neighborhood designed for pilgrims to have a sleep-over during the Hajj. There are tens of thousands of tents that have air conditioning and Teflon coating for everyone to remain comfortable in the high desert heat. 

11. Makkah Mall

Away from the desert climate, Makkah Mall is a high-end shopping center with a vibrant atmosphere and plenty of amenities for all kinds of customers. This mall is the essential shopping hub for visitors and it houses many different brands, from local to international. 

There are various shops, boutiques, supermarkets, and restaurants, with over 140 brands represented there. You’ll also find various entertainment areas, making the mall very convenient for families with kids.

12. Al Wahba Crater

This volcanic crater can be found to the northeast of Mecca, an otherworldly area in the middle of the desert. Measuring almost a mile in diameter and featuring cliffs that reach the height of around 850 feet, the Al Wahba crater is truly massive. 

Among the most interesting things to see in Mecca is this crater when it becomes filled with water during the wet season. And once evaporation happens, a layer of salt is left covering the bottom. 

Created during the period when the area had plenty of volcanic activity, Al Wahba is surrounded by plains that contain large amounts of volcanic ash. You’ll find some refuge from the sun under the shade of palm trees when hiking through and around the crater. These trees cover the cliffs to the north and you can even choose to camp on the site.

Experience Mecca

From the unavoidable religious sites to excellent shopping venues and wonders of nature, there’s much to see in and near Mecca. It doesn’t matter what one’s level of devotion as a Muslim is. Every visitor will find something to enjoy in the holy city.

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12 Fascinating Mecca Attractions You Must Visit