Saudi Arabia is a stunning country that is home to ancient kingdoms, spectacular mountain ranges, and deserts. It also features canyons and historic tombs.
With a tourist visa now available, you can visit the enigmatic kingdom and see all it has to offer. We have compiled a list of the best places to visit in Saudi Arabia.
1. Al Ula
There are few places on the Arabian Peninsula with a more compelling mix of culture, history and natural beauty. And Al Ula is one of them.
It is home to Hegra, Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site and the region’s most famous attraction. It is a captivating place to explore, where more than 110 tombs have been preserved and the desert landscapes surrounding them are as stunning as they are ancient.
Embark on an adventure into the past when you discover the rich cultural heritage of this 200,000-year-old landscape. You’ll see a living museum of sandstone outcrops, historic dwellings and preserved tombs that span the entire span of human civilisation.
A walk through the ancient town of Al-Ula, which is being revived, will give you a unique glimpse into how people lived here in the past. Here you can visit 900 mudbrick houses and five town squares that are interconnected by a network of “rahbas.” This unique housing system was a defense against attacks by enemies.
2. Mada’In Saleh
UNESCO proclaimed Mada’In Saleh (also known as Al-Hijr or Hegra) as the first Saudi site to be categorized as a World Heritage Site in 2008. Its 111 rock-cut Nabatean tombs are reminiscent of Jordan’s Petra, but without the crowds.
As the second city of the Nabateans, Mada’in Saleh was a rich and important trading hub for spices and frankincense. It also had a unique system of water management that made it a vital stop for caravans travelling through the desert.
Today, visitors can enter a large natural alcove called the Jebel Ithlib sanctuary, where a canal channels water into a cistern. The huge cliff faces of this sanctuary are littered with small sacred niches and altars that were carved into the rocks themselves.
Mada’in Saleh is a hidden gem that reflects the Nabateans’ awe-inspiring civilization and their architectural genius. It’s a must-see for anyone interested in the ancient world. It’s located about 300 kilometers north-west of Medina and 20 kilometers north of Al Ula.
3. Qasr al-Farid
One of the most famous ruins in the archaeological playground of Mada’in Saleh, Qasr al-Farid (meaning “The Lonely Castle”) is a majestic structure that rivals any carved architecture in the world. This massive tomb, carved into a huge boulder, is isolated from the rest of the ruins and is known for its unique details.
Its high facade features 4 pilasters, a cornice, and a frieze. The interior is adorned with architectural elements that showcase the Nabataeans’ rich culture and artistic prowess.
This UNESCO heritage site is considered to be a great place to learn about the ancient civilizations that once inhabited the Arabian Peninsula. It also contains informative rock art.
The site includes over 100 monumental tombs that were carved from granite and sandstone, displaying Greco-Roman, Assyrian, Egyptian, and Roman influences. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008.
4. World Sights Park
The Best Places to Visit in Saudi Arabia
World Sights Park is an incredible tourist attraction in Riyadh that showcases miniature monuments of various iconic sites. The models here display contemporary engineering genius alongside traditional architecture.
- The park also has a number of activities and attractions for tourists to enjoy. There is horseback riding, hiking, and photography.
- This park is a great way to see some of the most beautiful sites in the world. It is a must-see for anyone who visits Saudi Arabia.
- Located along the Eatern Ring Road, the park is a great way to spend a day. You can take a picnic and admire the replicas of iconic landmarks from around the world.
- This is a perfect place for families to spend a day and relax. There is a movie theater and a lot of restaurants to choose from. There are also water fountains to refresh your mood.