Mecca, or Makkah, is the holiest city in Islam and is located in the Red sea region of western Saudi Arabia about 45 miles east of Jeddah. It only allows muslims to visit as tourists or pilgrims. The city is known to be the birthplace of the founder of Islam, Prophet Mohammed. Mecca is also believed to be the place where first verses of the Quran were revealed to the Prophet by angel Zibrael. Masjid al-Haram, the great mosque of Mecca surrounding Kaaba (centre of the mosque) is considered to be the most sacred in Islam.
Mecca is the third largest city, population-wise, in Saudi Arabia and visited by millions of muslims all year round for the hajj pilgrimage (obligatory for all physically and financially capable muslims) and the Umrah (a minor pilgrimage not mandatory but encouraged). Al Haram, Mina and Arafat have religious significance and hence staying in these areas can be expensive. Al Aziziya and Jeddah offer budget accommodation but are a bit far from Makkah.
At the centre of Mecca city is Haram Mosque or the great mosque. The Kaaba and holy well of Zamzam is located inside the mosque. Every muslim, wherever they are, perform their daily prayer called namaz, facing the Kaaba. And according to muslims Zamzam is the holiest water on the earth. The building of the mosque consists of the old old city. The great mosque extends to north and south west but is restricted in east and west due to the presence of mountains. There are several skyscraper hotels that are built around the mosque, making the city more hospitable.
Compare quotes from upto 3 travel agents for free