There are few places in the world considered as holy as Mecca. The city is a provincial capital of Saudi Arabia, but is more notably the religious capital of Islam. As the birthplace of the prophet Muhammad, Mecca has been the center of Islamic religion and culture for centuries. Pilgrims fly to Mecca using King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED) in Jeddah, and within its storied walls, Mecca contains some of the holiest sites in Islam. The Grand Mosque is quite literally the center of Islamic faith, as Muslims around bow in the direction of the Grand Mosque during daily prayer. The newly constructed Abraj Al-Bait Towers, a government project to provide more facilities for pilgrims, include the third-tallest building and the largest clock face in the world.
There are no direct flights to Mecca, but the city is easily accessible from Jeddah's King Abdulaziz International Airport. There are two terminals at JED: one for standard commercial airfare and another specifically for pilgrims. Once landed, your best bet for transportation from Mecca flights is to find a private taxi. The queues of taxis waiting at the airport mean you never have to wait for a ride. You'll have to negotiate your price, but if you share a ride with several people the fare is more than reasonable! Mecca is about a 45-minute taxi trip from the airport, and there are sometimes buses or larger shuttles making the trip as well. They don't necessarily follow a schedule, so don't count on always finding a bus. It is also worth noting that Mecca is open only to practitioners of the Muslim faith.
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Mecca has just one airport, which makes booking your flight to the city a simple process. Jeddah Airport (JED-King Abdulaziz Intl.) is about 47 miles (75 kilometers) from the action downtown.Where to stay in Mecca
There's no more fitting time to spoil yourself than when you're taking a vacation. Lock in a room at the Mobark Plaza Hotel Makkah and enjoy a taste of the high life during your stay. Watching your budget? Not to worry, you won't be left out in the cold. The Al Shahba Hotel Makkah will keep both you and your bank account happy.Places to visit in Mecca
Whether you want to walk around the holy prayer rooms or gaze at the outer design, you should plan to go to Kaaba. Need some more options? Pay a visit to Abraj Al-Bait Towers and gaze into the sky. You'll be thrilled by just how huge this skyscraper is. But there's more. Take some time to go to Great Mosque of Mecca and you will notice that no architectural element was neglected in the design of this holy place.How to get through airport security fast when traveling to Mecca
These handy tips and hints about airport security procedures will save you plenty of time on your way to Mecca: