These best things to do in Saudi Arabia show you all the best attractions & places to visit in Saudi Arabia, so you can have an awesome adventure!
Saudi Arabia, a land of ancient history and modern ambition, beckons adventurers with its diverse landscapes, rich culture, and extraordinary experiences.
From the windswept dunes of the Rub al Khali desert to the futuristic skyline of Riyadh, this Kingdom offers an array of treasures waiting to be uncovered.
Embark on a journey through its storied historical sites, ranging from the intricate rock-cut tombs of Madain Saleh to the ancient Nabatean marvel of Al-Ula.
Allow yourself to bask in the genuine warmth of Saudi hospitality, relish the exquisite flavors of Saudi cuisine, and immerse yourself in the vivid tapestry of the nation’s customs and cultural festivities.
Best things to do in Saudi Arabia for all travelers
Start your journey in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, where increasing modernity coexists peacefully with the country’s longstanding heritage of hospitality.
With its graceful architecture and glittering lights, the awe-inspiring Kingdom Center Tower symbolizes the Kingdom’s forward-thinking spirit. At the same time, the historic Al-Masmak Fortress, a sandstone bastion, stands as a tangible reminder of the city’s humble beginnings.
Riyadh is not just a city but a testament to the country’s progress and dynamic transformation over the years. The vibrant streets reflect Saudi Arabia’s unique identity, where ancient traditions and contemporary innovation coexist harmoniously.
As you plan your trip to unlock the treasures of Saudi Arabia, don’t forget to apply for a Saudi Arabia Umrah visa, which ensures a seamless and enriching journey.
Al Ula – Mada’in Saleh
Venturing northwest to Al Ula, you’ll find the Nabatean Kingdom’s masterpiece, Mada’in Saleh. Often referred to as “Little Petra,” this archaeological wonder features intricately carved rock tombs and a mesmerizing desert landscape.
Wander through the ancient paths and uncover the secrets of a civilization that thrived here more than 2,000 years ago.
Carved into rose-red sandstone, these tombs were final resting places for the Nabatean elite.
The site’s splendor isn’t limited to its rock-cut marvels; it’s also surrounded by vast desert vistas, creating an otherworldly atmosphere.
You can stand in awe of the Qasr Al-Farid, a lone tomb with a monumental facade, and marvel at the inscriptions that provide insights into the ancient inhabitants’ daily lives.
Jeddah, the Kingdom’s coastal jewel, uniquely blends history and modernity.
Stroll along the Corniche, where the Red Sea’s waves gently lap against the shore, offering a serene escape from the bustling city.
Explore Al-Balad, the city’s historic district, where coral stone buildings evoke a sense of old-world charm and narrow alleyways lead to hidden gems of Arabian heritage.
Take advantage of the opportunity to witness the King Fahd Fountain, one of the world’s tallest, gracefully casting its plume of water against the backdrop of the city’s skyline, especially enchanting during the evening hours.
Jeddah’s vibrant culture, thriving art scene, and culinary delights enrich the experience, making it a captivating destination that seamlessly marries tradition and progress along the Kingdom’s western coast.
Rub’ al Khali for Desert Adventures
If you loved dune bashing in Dubai, then you will love Rub’ al Hali.
For the ultimate desert experience, venture into the Rub’ al Khali, the Empty Quarter.
This vast sea of dunes is the largest continuous sand desert in the world, stretching across Saudi Arabia’s southern regions.
As you traverse this surreal landscape, discover the thrill of dune bashing, where skilled drivers navigate the towering dunes, providing an exhilarating ride—camp beneath a blanket of stars, immersing yourself in the silence and grandeur of the desert night.
The Empty Quarter offers a mesmerizing escape into the heart of Arabia, where nature’s vastness and beauty inspire awe and wonder, making it an unforgettable adventure for those seeking the soul of the desert.
Taif: The City of Roses
The city of Taif, perched atop the mountains of the Sarawat range, is a refreshing escape from the desert heat.
Explore the fragrant rose gardens that have earned Taif its reputation as the “City of Roses” and witness the traditional rosewater distillation process. This centuries-old practice infuses the air with a sweet, floral aroma. Don’t forget to go to Shubra Palace.
This historic royal house provides insight into the history of the Kingdom and a window into the way of life of Saudi Arabia’s rulers.
Taif is an indispensable locale for those seeking a unique perspective of Saudi Arabia, where the captivating fusion of natural splendor and historical allure paints a distinct and enticing portrait.
Abha: The Highlands of Asir
In the southwestern region of Asir, Abha offers a unique highland experience.
The Asir Mountains, with their lovely villages and terraced farms, are proof of the adaptability and creativity of the indigenous population.
Hike the trails that snake through verdant landscapes while taking in the cold mountain air and this less-traveled region of Saudi Arabia’s colorful culture.
Abha is a cultural treasure trove and a popular resort for environment lovers. The area is well-known for its customary celebrations, arts, and crafts, offering a chance to interact with the kind and inviting local population.
Abha is a hidden gem just waiting to be found by intrepid tourists, thanks to its distinctive combination of natural beauty and rich cultural legacy.
Mecca: A Spiritual Pilgrimage
Mecca revered as the most sacred city in Islam, holds an undeniable allure for any traveler exploring Saudi Arabia.
While non-Muslims can appreciate the grandeur of the Grand Mosque from afar, it’s important to note that entry into the mosque itself is reserved exclusively for Muslims embarking on the Hajj pilgrimage. Witness the devotion of millions who gather here annually, circumambulating the Kaaba in a powerful display of faith.
This sacred site is the focal point of the Islamic world and holds immense spiritual significance. Mecca’s historical and religious importance reverberates through its streets and landmarks.
Visitors can learn more about Mecca’s cultural and spiritual importance for the Muslim community by seeing the city’s rich history, including the Abraj Al-Bait Towers, which house a retail center and opulent hotels.
It is a location where religion and past collide, making it a significant destination for tourists looking to delve deeply into Islamic spirituality and history.
Medina is another sacred city in Islam. Explore the Prophet’s Mosque, a place of profound significance and stunning architecture.
Its vast courtyard and towering minarets create an awe-inspiring atmosphere where millions come to pray and pay their respects to the Prophet Muhammad.
The revered Green Dome is inside the mosque, marking the Prophet’s final resting place.
Stroll through the city’s ancient streets, where the past mingles seamlessly with the present. Visit historical sites like the Quba Mosque and the Qiblatain Mosque, each holding a unique place in Islamic history.
Partake in the prevailing sense of unity and spiritual resonance that permeates this exquisite city, rendering it a destination for spiritual awakening and a hallowed pilgrimage site for Muslims of all backgrounds.
Adventurous travelers are cordially invited to embark on a captivating voyage through Saudi Arabia’s diverse tapestry of history, culture, and natural wonders.
Within this Kingdom, many experiences await, poised to etch indelible memories into the hearts of all who visit.
From the contemporary charm of Riyadh to the ancient marvels of Madain Saleh, the coastal allure of Jeddah to the desert’s majestic vastness in the Empty Quarter, and the profound spiritual significance of Mecca and Medina, Saudi Arabia unfolds as a multifaceted gem awaiting exploration.
- We LOVE this camera for our travel photography.
- For a cheap, easy, and compact camera, we use this to vlog and take photographs.
- We use this microphone for all our Youtube voiceovers.
- We use this travel drone (but make sure to check drone laws in your chosen destination first).
- This is our favorite travel insurance because it covers so many activities and travel situations that could arise on longer trips but also offer year coverage.
What to pack
- No matter where we travel, I always take these trusty hand sanitizers and a mini first aid kit.
- We love these toiletry bags (especially great for smaller bathrooms) and choose a laptop bag like this as our hand luggage.
- We keep our devices charged on long travel days with these lightweight battery packs and bring these worldwide travel adaptors on all our trips.
- I still struggle not to overpack so stick to using an expandable suitcase like these and always take my trusty luggage scales to avoid being charged at the airport.