With the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia welcoming more and more tourists to explore all the unique sites. it’s a great place to spend a week or two in (or even more).
Bursting with beautiful spots of natural beauty, cultural heritage sites, man-made monuments, and rich urban centers bustling with life, Saudi Arabia offers you the tourist experience of a lifetime.
However, with so many places to visit, and sights for you to see, planning a trip and figuring out which sites to explore is challenging and often overwhelming.
That is why we bring you our list of the Top Eight Places to Visit in Saudi Arabia. Be it the looming Al Qarah Mountains, the relaxing beauty of Asir, or the aquatic adventures in Amla; we have it all. Let’s get right into it.
In the north-western part of Saudi Arabia, you will find one of the world’s most stunning cities: Al-’Ula. Containing the Kingdoms’ first UNESCO heritage site, Hegra (or Madain Saleh), the city offers tons of brilliant exploration and sight-seeing opportunities.
You can explore the ancient ruins, the breath-taking canyons at the Ragsat (or Dancing) Mountains, visit more than 130 ancient tombs that have been there for thousands of years, or you can have a relaxing day at the date and citrus farms.
There is a reason Al-’Ula is so popular; there’s something here for everyone.
Al Masmak Fort
Located in the cultural hub of the Kingdom, Riyadh, the Fort is one of the most historically impactful and remarkable sites there is.
Built-in 1865 with only clay and mud bricks, the fortress stands tall and proud in the city, housing some of the most significant artifacts related to the Arabian aristocracy and how they lived.
It features a mosque inside the Fort to represent the culture and the very heart of Arabian culture. Not only that, but also a luxurious Diwan complete with a throne and interiors fit for royalty to showcase the cultural, religious, and social aspects of the Kingdom and its rulers.
For anyone visiting Saudi Arabia, a trip to Al Masmak is essential for the best experience. You are guaranteed a breath-taking and enriching experience.
Amla – The Arabian ‘Maldives’
The Saudi Province of Amlaj (previously referred to as ‘Al-Hawra’ by the locality) has a lot to offer when it comes to scenic marine adventures. From beaches with varying sand colors to pristine mountainous and sandy islands, Amlaj has it all.
You can take a dive in the picturesque turquoise waters, explore the coral reefs, or even hire one of the local boatmen for fishing. Suppose you’re on the less adventurous side. In that case, you can simply book a tour of the area, which includes visiting all the available sites and go snorkeling in the waters too.
The generous hospitality of Amlaj is also a sight to behold. The simplicity and welcoming nature of the area increase its charms tenfold.
However, it is worth noting that all the sites will not be available for exploration. This is due to the areas being included in an ongoing tourist development project.
The southern region of Saudi Arabia is filled with luscious greenery, cloud-shrouded mountain tops, and a chance to reconnect with nature. Asir is a plateau in this region that receives a lot more rainfall than the rest of the country and region.
Named after the tribes occupying the area, it is an excellent retreat from the daily bustle of life. The fresh air, the hospitality of the locals, and the scenic beauty make it one of the most relaxing and lovely spots in the Kingdom.
Additionally, If you’re someone looking for a hike or mountaineering spot, this is also the region for you. Asir houses a lot of forest regions and mountains to hike and is famous for its hiking trails.
Whether you’re in for a relaxing day or an adventure, Asir is also on of the places to visit.
The Edge of The World
West of the capital Riyadh lies one of the most aptly named sites in Saudi Arabia. The Edge of the World, also known as Jebel Fihrayn, is a towering plateau of sandstone surrounded by reddish plains- all that remains of an ocean bed now dried up.
You can reach the Edge by driving a four-wheeled vehicle along the dirt roads two hours from Riyadh.
Once up there, you can enjoy an endless view of the landscape. You can even stay until the sun sets. With the orange of the sun illuminating all the other red hues in the area, it looks like you’re standing surrounded by fire.
If you look downwards, you can see the desert stretching out for miles, camels trotting along, and even the occasional caravan. It makes for the experience of a lifetime.
The Jeddah Corniche is a 30km long coastal resort area in the city of Jeddah. Located by the Red Sea, the Corniche boasts beaches, recreation facilities, and stunning civil sculptures.
It features Al-Rahmah Mosque, a floating mosque that attracts devotees and architecture enthusiasts alike. The mosque is built on pillars submerged underground to make it seem like it is floating on the water. The view is especially beautiful on days with a high tide.
The white stone looks magnificent when hit by the rising tide. It is breathtaking and gives it an authentic feel of something literally floating on water.
Another top attraction in the Corniche is King Fahad’s Fountain. This is an attraction that can have you staring awe-struck for hours. Named as the tallest fountain in the world, King Fahad’s Fountain boasts a maximum water height of approximately 260 meters.
Using salt water from the Red Sea rather than freshwater, the fountain jets are visible throughout the city of Jeddah. The fountain is also illuminated using over 500 spotlights after sunset.
Half Moon Bay
The Half Moon Bay in Dammam gets its name from its white sandy beaches. The white sand is interrupted by the crashing waves, giving it a crescent-shaped look. It offers an immensely scenic and peaceful view and is one of the best places to visit and just unwind.
It even has an artificial reef for all diving enthusiasts to explore. The water is clear and cool all year round and is perfect to beat the summer heat. With tons of resorts to spend days in near the water and even an amusement park for an added thrill, Half Moon Bay is one of the best places to visit and spend time in Saudi Arabia.
Al Qarah Mountain Caves
Situated in Al Hofuf, the Al Qarah Mountain is one of the best sites to explore. These cavernous areas remain cool even on the hottest days making it the perfect spot all year round. The natural beauty of the mountains is astounding.
Tall pillars of stone, giant hollow caverns, small nooks, and crannies, it’s a place you can lose yourself in.
If you’re someone who is a born explorer, you can go around the whole area for hours on end. However, if you’re someone who likes more direction and wants to admire the structure, you can sign up for a two-hour tour of the place.
The best part is, you can spend a whole day in the area. Al Qarah is surrounded by restaurants teaming with the best, most exotic dishes you could imagine. They have everything imaginable from traditional dishes to more western staples.
You mouth-watering desserts, and refreshing drinks after a long day. It’s a great idea to just cool off or spend lunchtime here.
Near the mountains, you have other cultural sites too. Jawatha Mosque and Al Ahsa Qasis are both immensely popular tourist spots.
They are also located in the same vicinity as Al Qarah which makes it a great tour opportunity. For the best experience, you can plan a whole day out in the area exploring all three places one by one.