The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia welcomes more and more tourists to explore all the unique sites. It’s a great place to visit and spend a week or two in (or even more).
Bursting with natural beauty, cultural heritage sites, artificial monuments, and rich, bustling urban centers, Saudi Arabia offers the tourist experience of a lifetime.
However, with so many places to visit and sights to see in Saudi Arabia, planning a trip and deciding which sites to explore can be challenging and often overwhelming.
That is why we present our list of the top eight places to visit in Saudi Arabia. From the looming Al Qarah Mountains to the relaxing beauty of Asir and the aquatic adventures in Amla, we have it all. Let’s get right into it.
In the northwestern part of Saudi Arabia, you will find one of the world’s most stunning cities: Al-’Ula. The city contains the Kingdom’s first UNESCO heritage site, Hegra (or Madain Saleh), and offers many brilliant exploration and sightseeing opportunities.
You can explore the ancient ruins and the breathtaking canyons at the Ragsat (or Dancing) Mountains, visit more than 130 ancient tombs that have been there for thousands of years, or 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 Riyadh, the cultural hub of the Kingdom, the Fort is one of the most historically impactful and remarkable sites in the country.
Built in 1865 with only clay and mud bricks, the fortress stands tall and proud in the city. It houses some of the most significant artifacts related to the Arabian aristocracy and their way of life.
It features a mosque inside the Fort to represent the culture and the very heart of Arabian culture. Not only that, but 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 breathtaking and enriching experience.
Amla – The Arabian’ Maldives’
The Saudi Province of Amlaj (previously referred to as ‘Al-Hawra’ by the locality) has much to offer regarding scenic marine adventures. From beaches with varying sand colors to pristine mountainous and sandy islands, Amlaj has it.
You can 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 book a tour of the area, including visiting all the available sites and snorkeling in the waters.
The generous hospitality of Amlaj is also a sight to behold. The area’s simplicity and welcoming nature increase its charms tenfold.
However, it is worth noting that all the sites will not be available for exploration. This is because some are in areas under an ongoing tourist development project.
The southern region of Saudi Arabia offers luscious greenery, cloud-shrouded mountain tops, and a chance to reconnect with nature. Asir is a plateau in this region that receives much 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.
Recommended: Asir Mountains-Gods gift to a dessert
Additionally, If you’re 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 a place to consider visiting.
The Edge of The World
One of the most aptly named sites in Saudi Arabia lies west of the capital, Riyadh. 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 is 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 sun’s orange illuminating all the other red hues in the area, it looks like you’re standing surrounded by fire.
Looking downwards, you can see the desert stretching out for miles, camels trotting along, and even the occasional caravan. It’s an experience of a lifetime.
The Jeddah Corniche is a 30 km-long coastal resort in the city of Jeddah. The Red Sea is on the Corniche, which 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 underground pillars that make it seem like it is floating on water, and the view is especially beautiful on days with a high tide.
When hit by the rising tide, the white stone looks magnificent. It is breathtaking and gives an authentic feel of something floating on water.
Another top attraction in the Corniche is King Fahad’s Fountain, which can have you staring awe-struck for hours. Named the tallest fountain in the world, it 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 is named for its white sandy beaches. The crashing waves interrupt the white sand, giving it a crescent-shaped look.
It offers an immensely scenic and peaceful view and is one of the best places to visit and 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.
Youyou’reo around the whole area for hours if you’re a born explorer. However, if you like more direction and want 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.
After a long day, you can enjoy mouth-watering desserts and refreshing drinks. It’s a great idea to cool off and 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 in the same vicinity as Al Qarah, making it a great tour opportunity. For the best experience, you can plan a day out in the area, exploring all three places individually.