Saudi Arabia is perhaps most famously known for the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, two of the holiest places in the Muslim world.
Having said this, Saudi Arabia is also home to some of the most stunning rock formations and natural attractions in the world such as the Edge of the World, the Wahba Crater, as well as prehistoric rock art.
Saudi Arabia is also home to beautiful wadis (valleys) such as Sha’ib Luha wadi where you’ll find beautiful flora and pools of water.
If you’re wondering what to expect, Saudi Arabia is in deed a country of contrasts both geographically and culturally.
There is truly more to Saudi Arabia than meets the eye, and if you’re looking for a destination that offers a cultural challenge to expand your horizons, Saudi Arabia fits the bill perfectly.
First on my list of interesting places to visit in Saudi Arabia is the vibrant city of Riyadh, as it’s an excellent place to start your vacation in Saudi Arabia.
Riyadh resembles in many parts Dubai because of the tall skyscrapers, beautiful landmarks, luxury hotels and stunning shopping malls.
Riyadh is one of the most modern cities in the Middle-East and boats many interesting attractions and things to do such as visiting the Saudi Air Force Museum.
If you’re into planes, or are simply curious about what a jet fighter looks like, the Saudi Air museum boasts many different types of fighter planes and passenger-type aircraft that you can marvel at.
One of the best things to do in Riyadh is to actually take a walking tour of Riyadh’s Old Town to marvel at beautiful period architecture such as Al Masmak Fort (pictured), which is a lovely castle built of mud brick.
Other interesting landmarks and places that you can add to your itinerary of things to do in Rydah include visiting the:
- Riyadh Museum of History and Archeology
- Murabba’ Palace which used to be the residence of the first Saudi King
- Grand Mosque
- Al-Mu'eiqilia market
- Kingdom Center - the tallest skyscraper in Riyadh
- Al Faisaliyah Center – the first skyscraper ever constructed in the city
- Riyadh TV and Observational Tower – to get amazing views of the city.
Mecca is one of the most spiritual cities in the Middle East and one of the most popular places to visit in Saudi Arabia for faithful Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan.
The pilgrimage to Mecca is the most important and largest of all Muslim Pilgrimages and one that every Muslim must do in their life time.
In Mecca, you’ll find the Grand Mosque which is one of the most visually stunning buildings in the world, boasting impressive and beautifully decorated gates and minarets.
Next on my list of interesting places to visit in Saudi Arabia is the city of Jiddah because of the King Fahd's Fountain, which is the highest water jet in the world.
Jiddah is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Saudi Arabia and another great spot to base your vacation because of the many tourist attractions and fun things to do such as taking camel rides along the beach.
One of the most interesting places to visit in the city it’s Jiddah’s Old Town to marvel at the architecture and enjoying some shopping at the traditional markets.
If you’re interested in cultural attractions, there many museums you can visit to learn more about Saudi culture such as:
- The Jedda Museum of Archaeology
- The Jeddah Municipal Museum
- The Arts Heritage Museum
- The Abdul Rauf Hasan Khalil Museum.
Al Dammam is located east of Riyadh, overlooking the beautiful Persian Gulf, and it is on my list of interesting places to visit in Saudi Arabia because of the corniche which is a lovely paved road along the coastline where you can take a pleasant stroll while marveling at the sea.
If you’re planning to enjoy water activities, Al Dammam is also one of the best vacation spots in Saudi Arabia for this because of places such as Half Moon Bay.
Half Moon Bay boasts lovely beaches, a diving center, picnic areas and amusement parks.
Apart from fun activities, if you’re interested in local crafts, you can visit the Al Dammam Heritage Center which has an interesting collection of Bedouin crafts as well as pottery items and traditional costumes.
See. Must see sights in Dubai