HomeTravelTraveling To Saudi Arabia For The First Time: Best Places To Visit

Traveling To Saudi Arabia For The First Time: Best Places To Visit

Introduction

Saudi Arabia has a rich and diverse geography, history, and culture that will surprise even the most experienced tourists. 

The ideal months to visit are November through February when the weather is cold enough to explore the intriguing UNESCO World Heritage sites.

This blog will explore the sacred country and list all the important cities and locations you must visit.

Visa Applications & Formalities

Obtaining a Saudi visa for US citizens or any other nationality around the world is incredibly easy now, so it’s essential to select the appropriate visa type, as the country offers various visa options tailored to different travel purposes.

Saudi Arabia has created Tourist eVisas for foreigners to encourage tourism and diversify the country’s economy away from oil. 

You can obtain these visas online or on arrival. However, if you fall under the list of non-eligible candidates, you must apply at an embassy or consulate. 

Moreover, you can obtain Saudi Arabia Business Visas via an embassy or consulate, while eVisas are available for business visitors. 

All you need to do is produce the supporting papers. 

Also note that visiting visa options are given for family trips to authorized countries, whereas eVisas are exclusively valid for family visits.

Best Places To Visit

Below are the different cities in Saudi Arabia and their attractions. Keep reading to make the perfect plan for a wholesome visit to KSA!

Visiting Riyadh

Riyadh has transformed from a once barren desert capital to a bustling modern metropolis in Saudi Arabia.

Now home to nine million people, the city has seen substantial improvements, creating new events, attractions, and immersive experiences for residents and visitors alike.

Historical Diriyah Area

Diriyah, a historical oasis northwest of Riyadh, was founded in 1446 AD by Mani’ bin Rabi’a Al-Muraydi. 

The city flourished as security in the first Saudi kingdom spread, urbanization rose, and architecture became more prominent. 

Moreover, it became a center of stability, security, and wealth. 

Diriyah’s most prominent districts include old district ruins, palace gates that depict an immortalized age, and year-round activities and events hosted in the city’s facilities.

King Abdulaziz Historical Center

The King Abdulaziz Historical Center in Riyadh opened in 1999 and became one of the city’s top attractions. This is the best place to visit in Saudi Arabia which represents the culture and heritage of the Arabian Peninsula.

Also, it features modern facilities such as a public park, a national museum, Al-Murabba’s Palace, and traditional mud structures.

Riyadh Gallery Mall

If you’re into shopping, the Riyadh Gallery is your destination! This place seamlessly blends modern architecture with unique design elements. 

This modern structure has 170 stores and a 4-star hotel with 160 rooms. Therefore, you can always find something exciting when visiting the Gallery Mall.

Whether you’re into sports, fashion, or home decor, this mall has something for everyone.

Visiting Jeddah

Jeddah is another great city and port in the middle Hejaz area of western Saudi Arabia. It is also popular as the landing point for most Muslim pilgrims.

Corniche

This is another great destination in Jeddah, a 30km (about 18.64 mi) stretch along the Red Sea shoreline in Jeddah. 

It is one of the most popular leisure and entertainment areas with a beachfront road and recreation spaces. 

Moreover, this location allows you to explore the new Jeddah Yacht Club & Marina, which offers five-star hotels, restaurants, cafés, and play areas.

King Fahd Fountain

The King Fahd Fountain in Jeddah is a famous location for pictures and filming. Visitors may eat at Alhamra Cornish, with Seven being the most popular kiosk. 

The Jeddah Corniche has observation points, food booths, cafés, and restaurants, including the popular Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

Visiting Mecca

Mecca was the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad. It is one of the holiest and best places to visit in Saudi Arabia for all Muslims worldwide.

Masjid al-Haram

This is the world’s largest mosque. Masjid Al Haram is home to a million worshippers and houses the holiest Islamic symbol, the Kaaba.

Its foundations date back to the 7th century. The second caliph, Omar Bin Al Khattab, built the structure to accommodate the growing number of pilgrims. 

Moreover, it is believed to have been built by Prophet Ibrahim and his son Ishmael.

Abraj Al Bait Towers

Abraj Al-Bait is a premium hotel that hosts more than 4 million pilgrims annually. It has 76 stories of buildings, including seven premium five-star hotels that provide a unique hospitality experience with spiritual vistas. 

Furthermore, the Towers have restaurants that provide both local and foreign cuisine and a major retail area to meet all of your requirements.

Zamzam Well

The Zamzam well, a sacred gift from Allah, holds water rich in minerals and essential metal ions. 

Its taste, odor, and smell remain stable over time, making it a source of disease cure and numerous health benefits. 

Moreover, its miraculous origins and long-standing use as a holy resource make it revered.

Visiting Medina

Medina, the second holiest city for Islam, is frequently visited by pilgrims after the Hajj. Moreover, many address this city as the “cradle of Islamic culture and civilization.”

Prophet’s Mosque

Al Masjid Al Nabawi, commonly known as the Prophet’s Mosque, is the city’s most sacred shrine, built by Prophet Muhammad following his departure from Makkah. 

The Minbar, a mosque with ten minarets, holds vital Islamic teachings and procedures and can accommodate one million people. 

Moreover, it includes the Prophet’s Tomb, Noble Garden, and Minbar, where sermons were delivered.

Quba Mosque

Masjid Quba is Islam’s second-largest mosque. As Prophet Muhammad stated, millions of Muslims adore this place as it provides benefits comparable to an Umrah. 

It was also the first mosque in Islamic history to host the first congregational Friday prayer (Salah), giving it an important role.

Mount Uhud

Mount Uhud is one of Madinah’s most important locations due to its historical significance since the dawn of Islam. 

It is the same ground where the legendary Battle of Uhud was witnessed. Moreover, this is the burial ground for several of the Prophet’s (PBUH) companions.

Follow The Cultural Etiquette While Visiting The Holy Country

Saudi Arabia offers various housing alternatives, including luxurious 5-star hotels and budget-friendly hostels. However, long-term tourists can find furnished flats in big cities, while hostels provide basic facilities in city centers. 

Transportation in Saudi Arabia is simple because of the well-developed infrastructure, including taxis, Uber/Careem, and public transportation. 

Popular delicacies include Kabsa, Shawarma, and Falafel. 

Also, note that in Saudi Arabia, safety and etiquette include adhering to local laws and traditions. Therefore, you must refrain from public displays of affection, wear modestly, and drive carefully. 

Overall, tourists visiting Saudi Arabia should expect a distinct and diversified experience.

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