“If there is a final frontier of tourism left, it’s Saudi Arabia,” Lonely Planet recently hailed. If you’re going to be spending time in the country soon, you’ll want to make sure you know the best places to check out. Don’t worry, we’ve got your back!
1. Kingdom Center Tower
Perhaps the most iconic symbol of Saudi Arabia, the city’s signature skyscraper soars a staggering 992 feet over Riyadh.
Take the high-speed lift up 99 floors to Kingdom Center’s world-famous Sky Bridge observation deck. Here, you’ll gain an astonishing perspective of the glistening capital city below thanks to floor-to-ceiling glass panels and panoramic urban views.
One tip to avoid lines and crowds at the popular tourist attraction? Go on a weekday. While you’re there, leave time to enjoy Kingdom Center’s other offerings, including luxury shopping, dining, entertainment, a five-star hotel, and more.
2. King Abdulaziz Historical Center (National Museum)
Also known as the National Museum of Saudi Arabia, this grand complex in Riyadh was erected around the compound of the architecturally stunning Murabba Palace.
This educational landmark plays host to more than eight exhibition halls, a mosque, library, conference hall, park, green fields, and fountain.
3. Mecca and Medina
While two separate destinations, we’re combining these high holy places due to their shared significance to Islamic history as the birthplace and teaching place of the Prophet Muhammad.
These sacred cities also share something else in common—especially if you’re hoping to experience them up close and personal: they’re both open only to Muslims.
4. Elephant Rock
Located in Al-‘Ula area of Mada’in Salih, Jabal AlFil, AKA “the elephant rock,” is one of the world’s most spellbinding geological marvels.
Rising majestically over the golden sands surrounding it, this magnificent monolithic structure more than earns its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
5. Fakieh Aquarium
Traveling with kids? Fakieh Aquarium, the country’s only public aquarium, offers fun for the whole family.
Featuring more than 200 aquatic species sourced from the Red Sea as well as the world’s oceans and seas, this Jeddah destination is a truly wondrous setting for exploring underwater wonders.
In addition to exhibits, Fakieh Aquarium also offers interactive fun in the form of daily dolphin and sea lion shows.
One last thing to keep in mind about this list? While we’ve narrowed it down to five, these attractions shared here are just an infinitesimal sampling of what Saudi Arabia has to offer.
Other spellbinding things to see and do on your visit to Saudi Arabia include Abraj Al-Bait Towers, Al Balad, Al Baqi, Al Rahma Mosque, Masmak Fortress, Jebel Fihrayn, Diriyah, World Sights Park, Rijal Almaa, Makkah Museum, King Fahd’s Fountain, the Riyadh Zoo, Jeddah Lighthouse, Red Sea Mall, Tabuk Castle, Wahbah Crater, and many other amazing and unforgettable attractions.