In this post talking about my experience walking from Mina to Makkah during Hajj to do Tawaf, which is part of the experience after Arafat. This is a continuation of my series on my Hajj experience and what you should expect while performing Hajj.
The other Days of Hajj start here, and I would recommend you start from the beginning if you want.
There are different ways you can get from Mina to Makkah for your tawaf, as the distance is around 10km. So, it’s not a short one!
Ways to Get from Mina to Makkah during Hajj
This will really depend on where your Mina tent is and the distance from various options. Mina tern city is actually several kilometres, and it might not be convenient to some of the options available. Our tents were on top of the hill, and if you read my day 1 Hajj experience, you will know it was around a 40-minute walk from Jamarat.
There is the famous train which takes you a distance but not all the way, and for us, the train alone from our Mina camp was around a 40-minute walk. So, it’s not really a feasible option.
We had the option to do this Tawaf at the end of our Hajj, but we decided that we would brave it and just go and walk the distance.
Another option for you to get from Mina to Makkah is to take a taxi or a bus from just after the Jamarat area near Aziziya. However, due to roadblocks, it was so congested that not only were prices for taxis crazy but some friends got dropped 5km away from our camp, paid a lot of money for it and still had to walk.
This is one of the most intense days, and we did around 50,000 steps all in! So make sure you read my advice on preparing for Hajj.
The other option, which I had the most fun with and was one of the most surreal experiences in my life, is the new scooters they have launched for Hajj.
I actually got an impromptu interview with the Saudi minister of transportation since they just launched it while I was in the queue!!
I have to say, though, the electric scooters were the best option in my opinion. Although they don’t go all the way to Makkah, they do cover a decent distance.
Plus it is fun!
Walking from Mina to Makkah during Hajj
We set off just after Magrib so we could pray and then make our way to Jamarat for stoning. Since we already had the stones, it was a quick and easy process.
Stoning doesn’t take more than 5 minutes if you also make dua, which takes the longest.
You should know that during Hajj, you will always have people around since there are so many millions doing the same thing; hence, don’t get annoyed.
I find that the guards and the whole operation is set up very efficiently, but considering the different cultures and manners, it can be frustrating.
Our walk took 40 minutes to Jamarat, where we stoned the Shaytan and then made our way towards Makkah.
As I have mentioned before, there are restaurants like KFC, AlBaik and Pharmacy on the way. The whole street is paved, so there are no cars, just thousands of people walking.
Once you pass the Jamarat area, you have the option to take a Taxi or a bus or to turn left under the bridge towards Makkah. Everything is signposted, so there is no way you can get lost.
We considered taking a taxi for about 3 minutes, but then we saw the scooters, and I decided to check them out.
I will cover this initiative in more detail below.
But after waiting for 40 minutes, interviewing the Minister (wow!), we were some of the first people actually to try them on the journey down towards Makkah.
This shortened the distance by about 20 minutes, but it was only one way- since once we returned, they were there.
This takes you down to the main bridge that connects the “back of the Haram”, kind of opposite the Clock Tower and where Sai is. If you have been to Umrah before, you will know what I mean.
In Aziziya, there are hotels as well as supermarkets and shops where you can buy food and drinks. So, it is not an empty street unless you are in the tunnel.
Guards were also giving out ice packs, a fantastic way to cool down.
I did have my handheld fan as well with me because it was very hot.
Once we arrived in the Haram, we didn’t even try to go to the main Kabah area. It was simply impossible, so we stuck to the first floor.
This added even more time and walking since the distance in the first-floor mataf is almost double. However, there were slightly fewer people (I mean, it is Hajj). It took us around 1.5 hours to do Tawaf there.
It was extremely hot, and we were sweating.
If you are a woman, I recommend a cotton abaya to keep you cool and breathing.
Clock Tower Mall During Hajj
As a reward for our hard work and walk, we decided to enjoy a nice coffee and relax before doing the trek back to Mina.
The mall was busy with people, but you can have a lot of restaurants and coffee shops if you want to spend time there.
We ended up in Cafe Moment, which is just behind Costa on the first floor of the Mall. It had a nice view and food, and when we went, it was empty, so it was definitely a bonus to be away from the crowds.
One thing, if you decide to do the trek and then relax in the mall, is to get yourself another pair of clothes! I honestly regret not thinking of this because due to the sweat sticking on you, since malls are freezing in the Middle East, I caught a cold!
I wish I had changed my dress and abaya in the toilet somewhere instead of freezing.
Although the toilets were so busy, I gave up on trying to use them. It is one of those things that you have to contend with during Hajj.
After spending a couple of hours there, we decided to make our way back to Mina. We did think of taking a taxi since we were already at 30,000 steps by this point, but I am glad we didn’t. The hassle of finding a taxi and being stuck in a car for hours on end didn’t appeal to me. I am glad we didn’t because on the way back towards Aziziya, the traffic was at a standstill.
My advice is to walk it!
Overall, we left just after Magrib around 7 pm and came back at 7 am for Fajr.
It took us over 12 hours to do this, but we had a lot of fun and didn’t rush to complete it or walk fast.
The scooter initiative from the Ministry of Transport
While I was standing in the queue to get my scooter the Media representative figured I was a social media person and just asked me if I wanted to interview the minister.
Talk about being put on the spot!
I guess it’s a good thing I can handle pressure, and it is not my first rodeo because in that second, the lights came on, and I had a minister in front of me to interview – Scary!
My interview and the scooter initiative are part of the ministry trialling various options to make Hajj easier.
They have driverless buses and use drones for blood and supplies in Mina, which is amazing since they are shorter and faster than ambulances, etc. It is fascinating, and I do have the full 3 minutes, which I need to upload as well on Youtube.
If you don’t follow my Youtube channel I also have videos on Hajj and Umrah with more details there.
The scooters run for about 3 km, and you have various options, even for the elderly, since they have those with a seat.
I am sure they will also have the available for Hajj 2024, and I hope they manage to make it all the distance to the Haram, which will cut the time by half. I highly recommend you using those if they are available.
They are free as well.
I am honestly impressed with the effort Saudis put into organising Hajj, as I know the difficulty of the whole operation. The fact they try to make it easier for pilgrims and just as safe as possible.
Hajj is one of the few things in the world where 2 million concentrate in such a small space. Yes, it is not perfect, but it is safe.
Frequent Questions about walking from Mina to Makkah
Q: What is the process of walking from Mina to Makkah on day 4 of Hajj?
A: There is no specific time you have to go. We had friends from our camp who went in the morning straight after coming back from Arafat and Muzfalidah. Personally, we decided to it is during the night. You can check out my post on how to prepare for Hajj here.
Q: How do I prepare for the walk from Mina to Makkah?
A: Walking is the only way to prepare. Take to the gym and do a minimum of 10,000 steps per day before Hajj. Also, if you check my Amazon store, I have listed the things that helped me, like my hydration bladder and my electrolytes. They saved me and made the journey less painful. Wearing comfortable footwear and the extra clothes I mentioned above helps.
Q: Where do we stay during our day in Mina, and what facilities are there?
A: Depending on where your Mina camp is in Mina city, you will have your bed and your air-conditioned tent insha’Allah. A lot of people actually stayed around the Jamarat area if their tent was far away. I personally wouldn’t do that, but again, it is a personal choice.
There are food places; you also have food and snacks in your tent, as well as toilets around Mina. So you will have the chance to buy things and use the restrooms. Definitely get yourself a tissue and a water bottle and have patience, as they are dirty and crowded. Sadly those things cannot be avoided.
Q: What can be done in Makkah after the walk from Mina?
A: You can spend time in the Mosque if you want to rest. There are plenty of spots to do this. You can also get food or, like us, choose to go to a cafe to rest and eat before going back. I really did wish I had a hotel room to sleep but alas, Hajj is only a few days we can manage.
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