8 best places to visit in Saudi Arabia for an exciting vacation

Located in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia may not be the first country that comes to mind when planning a vacation. However, this oil-rich kingdom has plenty to offer tourists, from ancient archaeological sites to luxury resorts.

Here are some of the best locations worth your attention while in Saudi Arabia:

mecca places to visit in saudi arabia
Mecca is one of the most important places to visit in Saudi Arabia

1. The religious city of Mecca

Of course, the list of places to visit in Saudi Arabia would be incomplete without mentioning Mecca – the holiest city in Islam. Every year, millions of Muslims worldwide make the pilgrimage (or Hajj) to Mecca, and many more come to visit the city throughout the year.

Even if you’re not Muslim, there’s plenty to see and do in Mecca, from visiting the Grand Mosque (Masjid al-Haram) to exploring the Old City (Al-Balad). Just be sure to dress modestly and respect local customs.

I have a friend who is into religion and enjoys visiting places like Mecca a lot. The fact that he could have professional class takers online meant that not even his classwork would block him from exploring new places. He boldly states that it’s through such experiences that he scored good grades in the subject.

places to visit in saudi arabia jeddah
Jeddah is one of the best places to visit in Saudi Arabia

2. The Red Sea resort town of Jeddah

Second on our list is the Red Sea resort town of Jeddah, located on the west coast of Saudi Arabia. It is the Kingdom’s busiest seaport, a leading commercial center, and a popular destination for both Saudis and foreign tourists. Jeddah is known for its beautiful beaches, luxury hotels, and vibrant nightlife.

The city also has a rich history and culture to explore, from its ancient souks (marketplaces) to its iconic Al-Balad district. And if you’re eager to find adrenaline-pumping activities, you can always go scuba diving or windsurfing in the Red Sea.

Jeddah is an intoxicating mix of old and new, East and West, and a gateway to Mecca and Medina, the two holiest cities in Islam.

With its cosmopolitan atmosphere, Jeddah is one of the top places in Saudi Arabia to go shopping, enjoy local hospitality, and soak up some sun. Visitors can explore the fascinating Al-Balad district with its traditional Mudéjar architecture, try their hand at bargaining in the bustling marketplace or enjoy a meal of fresh seafood overlooking the Corniche. There are also plenty of enticing parks and public beaches where families can relax and have fun.

For those looking for an exciting vacation experience, Jeddah is definitely one of the best places to visit in Saudi Arabia.

places to visit in saudi arabia Madain Saleh
Best places to visit in Saudi Arabia: ancient Mada’in Saleh

4. Mada’in Saleh

Mada’in Saleh, located in northwestern Saudi Arabia, is home to some of the most well-preserved ruins of the ancient world. A visit to Mada’in Saleh is like taking a step back in time, as the ruins provide a glimpse into the early life of the Nabatean people.

The Nabateans were a caravan people, and their capital city, Petra, was an essential stop on the trade routes that crisscrossed the desert. Mada’in Saleh was a vital satellite city of Petra and shares many of the same architectural features.

The most impressive ruins at Mada’in Saleh are the tombs carved into the sandstone cliffs. These tombs were intended for the wealthy and powerful, and they were decorated with elaborate reliefs depicting scenes from everyday life and Nabatean mythology. A visit to Mada’in Saleh is a truly unforgettable experience.

Riyadh places to visit in Saudi Arabia
Riyadh is one of the most unique places to visit in Saudi Arabia

5. Riyadh

If you want a unique and exotic tour destination, you should consider Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. This fascinating city has a lot to offer tourists, from its stunning architecture and historical landmarks to its delicious cuisine and hospitable people.

The city’s attractions include the world’s tallest twin towers, the Kingdom Centre and the Al Faisaliah Centre; the National Museum, which chronicles the history of Saudi Arabia; and the Masmak Fortress, which the Saudis used to overthrow the Ottoman Empire in 1902. Riyadh is also home to numerous shopping malls, restaurants, and cafes. In addition, the city’s proximity to the Red Sea makes it a popular destination for scuba diving and other water sports.

Riyadh is also a great place to shop for traditional handicrafts and souvenirs. And, of course, no visit to Riyadh would be complete without experiencing a traditional Arabic coffee ceremony. So if you want an unforgettable travel experience, add Riyadh to your list of must-see destinations.

5. Asir National Park

Another great place to visit in Saudi Arabia is the Asir National Park. The park covers an area of over 800 square kilometers and is home to various animals, including the endangered Arabian leopard. There are as well plenty of hiking trails to explore, making it the perfect spot for nature lovers.

But that’s not all one can do in the Asir National Park; visitors can also go bird watching, horseback riding, or camping. And with its stunning views of mountains and valleys, it’s no wonder why this national park is one of the must-go destinations in Saudi Arabia.

So whether you’re looking for an exciting vacation or a relaxing getaway, add the Asir National Park to your bucket list of places to visit in Saudi Arabia.

Taif places to visit in Saudi Arabia
Taif is one of the most picturesque places to visit in Saudi Arabia

6. Ta’if

Situated in the mountains of western Saudi Arabia, Ta’if is a picturesque town known for its mild climate and flowers. The town is also home to the Al-Hijr Archaeological Site, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Taif is one of the best places to visit in Saudi Arabia for those who want to escape the heat of the desert. The town’s cooler temperatures make it a perfect destination for hiking and enjoying the outdoors.

7. Dhahran

The city of Dhahran is home to several oil refineries and has been nicknamed the City of Black Gold. Dhahran is also home to the world’s tallest flagpole, which stands at an impressive 170 meters tall!

The city has much for tourists to see, including several museums, art galleries, and historical sites. There are also plenty of shopping experiences available, as well as a variety of restaurants and cafes.

Besides, the city is one of the best places to visit in Saudi Arabia to enjoy the outdoors, with several parks and gardens to explore.

Recommended tours in Saudi Arabia

Parting shot on the best places to visit in Saudi Arabia

So, there you have it! These are just some of the few places to visit in Saudi Arabia for an exciting vacation. Be sure to include them on your list! Remember, the list is in no particular order, so start planning your trip today! When planning your trip, remember the time of year you’ll be visiting, as some places may not be accessible during certain times.

About the author

Mirela Letailleur The Travel Bunny

Mirela Letailleur is a Romanian travel blogger living in the South of France. She writes on The Travel Bunny travel blog about affordable travel in Europe. Creator of unique free travel guides and local travel expert. Problem solver. Wannabe coffee guru.

Read more about Mirela Letailleur

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