IA I will be going for Umrah this weekend. I have been informed that I have to go downtown to get a bus to Makkah. How much is the taxi fare from the airport to downtown? Can I get a bus directly from Jeddah Airport and how much will I need to have with me for the travel costs and will it take me direct to the Harem in Makkah? Also for the return journey that same evening - would I be able to take the bus directly back to the airport or to downtown and have to take a taxi to the terminal? Do the buses stop at a certain time in the evening?
Saudi Public Transport Company (SAPTCO) is the official public bus operator in Saudi Arabia: http://www.saptco.com.sa/default.asp
I travelled with them for Makkah-Madina-Makkah and found them economical and comfortable. Note that there is a discount on return fares. My travel agent arranged a private taxi for me from Jeddah Airport to Makkah, if I rememver correctly, it cost to him about 100 Riyals. But it was much comfortable than the Bus as one wants to perform Umrah as soon as they reach Makkah without much hassle. Nonetheless, the bus station in Makkah is just outside the Haram and if you dont want to stay in a hotel only then this option is feasible. Otherwise the cost and time of 'taxi from Jeddah Airport to Bus Station' + "Jeddah to Makkah Bus" + "Makkah Bus Station to your hotel" will be more than the cost and time of a direct taxi from Jeddah Airport to Makkah, specially if you are accompanying one or more people. But if you are alone, will not stay in Makkah, and have the required energy, only then the Bus option makes sense. If I remember correctly the bus costs around 10 riyals one way, and the taxi to the Bus Station will not cost you around 10-20 Riyals. I would suugest you to go by the taxi and return by the bus, only if you are alone, otherwise take the taxi for both trips.
Hope it helps
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