Medina is a city in western Saudi Arabia and home to the Prophet’s Mosque, an Islamic holy site. Transportation in, out, and around the city is a challenge, but feasible if you prepare ahead of time.
The least expensive way to get from the airport to the city center is by bus. Bus stations are scattered throughout the city and can easily be found on a map. While in Medina, purchase a city map and highlight the stations nearest to you. The buses are clean and some drivers handout free water, especially in the extreme heat of the summer months.
For a little more money, you can hail a taxi. There are plenty of taxis outside the airport and they’re also easy to find in the city center. Most of the taxi drivers are safe, but a few tourists have complained about some who have demanded higher fares, or who have pulled over to the side of the road to take a smoke break.
Travelers and locals may offer you a ride while in Medina. Tourists have done this in the past, and many benefited from the experience. However, in any large city, this is a gamble. Most people in Medina are peaceful, but some aren’t huge fans of foreigners, so think twice before you hop in a stranger’s vehicle.
A third option is to rent a car. Talk to your travel agent or the airport before you head to Medina to make sure they have a car available for you during your stay. When on the roads, be cautious and patient. The streets are almost always crowded and the traffic is slow. Before you hop in your rental, take a look at the map and make sure you know where you’re going. Many tourists get lost in the city, especially if they wait until they’re on the busy streets to figure out where they’re going.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about transportation in Medina.