Saudi Arabia is a vast country with expansive deserts, a stunning coastline, and vibrant cities. Many travelers want to know what to do in Saudi Arabia, since there’s so much to see and experience in this unique and gorgeous country.
From exploring the ancient ruins of Hegra to experiencing the rich culture of Jeddah’s old city, Saudi Arabia offers tourists an array of exciting experiences in lesser-known locations throughout the Kingdom.
Here are 6 hidden gems to explore when visiting Saudi Arabia; be prepared to be amazed and captivated by these incredible sites.
1) Look Over The Edge Of The World
Where exactly is the edge of the world? Well, in Saudi Arabia, The Edge of the World is located in Al-Ula, a scenic desert oasis, right in the heart of the country. The area is home to layers of limestone, fascinating fossils, as well as the ancient ruins of Hegra – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can explore these wonders either by camelback or by foot.
There’s more to discover near the Edge of the World, like Hegra. This site features more than 100 tombs carved into rock formations and showcases archaeological remains from civilizations dating back thousands of years. While exploring these ruins, visitors will have an opportunity to observe Saudi Arabia’s unique wildlife, like ibexes, gazelles, sand cats, and lizards.
2) Wander Through Jeddah’s Old Town
Jeddah is the second largest city in Saudi Arabia and Old Town is a must-see for tourists. This historic district is home to many traditional buildings, narrow alleyways, and small shops. It also houses the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, an interactive cultural center with a library, museum, and planetarium.
If you’re not sure what to do in Jeddah, visitors can get lost in the winding streets while shopping at local markets or sampling street food. The area also features several mosques including the Al-Rahma Mosque which was built on stilts over the Red Sea.
There are many unique ways to tour Jeddah, such as a private tour, a boat tour of the Red Sea, or even taking part in a cooking class. Browse through our list of Jeddah hotels to find accommodations that comfortably cater to you.
3) Tropical Getaway to the Farasan Islands
The Farasan Islands are a group of islands located off the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia. The area is known for its beautiful coral reefs and abundant marine life including dolphins, turtles, and dugongs. Visitors can go diving or snorkeling to explore these colorful underwater worlds or take a fishing trip with local guides. For those who want to just relax, there are plenty of beaches where you can soak up some sun or enjoy a picnic on the beach.
The Farasan Islands are also home to several fish eateries; sample some local seafood and take in the marvelous views. This is also the perfect opportunity to capture memorable photos with the glistening blue waters in the background.
4) Explore Modern Riyadh
Riyadh is the capital of Saudi Arabia and its modern skyline starkly contrasts Jeddah’s historic old city. Here visitors can explore the Al Masmak Fortress, a medieval fortress that was once home to King Abdulaziz and now serves as a museum of traditional artifacts.
The Kingdom Center is at the top of every list of what to do in Riyadh. Enjoy the beautiful cityscape view from the tower’s observation deck and head to a nearby park afterward for a leisurely picnic and stroll. Visitors can also sample traditional dishes like Kabsa or Mandi at local restaurants.
You can get an insider look into the city with a private tour, or take advantage of the many Riyadh tours offered in this exciting location. If you can’t do it all in just one day, there are plenty of hotels that offer comfortable lodgings so you can easily resume your sightseeing the following day.
5) Traverse The Desert Dunes Of Al Ula
Al Ula is home to some of the most spectacular desert scenery in Saudi Arabia. The area features rolling sand dunes, canyons, and oases that make for a perfect day trip from Jeddah or Riyadh. This Al Ula Old Town day tour will amaze you with its fascinating history and old-world charm.
Visitors can take off-the-beaten-path tours through the desert on four-wheel drives, camels, or even horses. Al Ula also has some of the world’s oldest rock art and an array of unique wildlife like Arabian gazelles, foxes, and ibexes.
Camping in the desert is a must for those looking for a truly unforgettable experience in Saudi Arabia. However, if you’d like to opt for more comfortable accommodations, consider staying at one of these beautiful hotels.
6) Marvel At Taif’s Stunning Landscapes
Taif is a picturesque city in the mountains of western Saudi Arabia. It is known for its mild climate, lush vegetation, and majestic views of the surrounding valleys. Outdoor enthusiasts will be happy to learn that there are several hiking trails in the area which lead to panoramic views of Taif and its gorgeous surroundings. Visitors can also explore Al Hada National Park which has a variety of wildlife, flora, and enjoyable picnic spots.
Similarly to Jeddah, Taif is home to historical sites such as Souk Okaz Market, an ancient marketplace that dates back to pre-Islamic times. If you plan on seeing Taif and Jeddah together, this private tour starts in Jeddah and takes you inside Taif to get the most out of your experience.
Uncover the Hidden Gems of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is a country that has something for everyone. From exploring the Edge of the World to discovering Taif’s majestic landscapes, travelers can find unique experiences in lesser-known locations throughout the Kingdom.
What better way is there to uncover these hidden gems than with a Tourist Saudi Arabia tailor-made experience? We offer nationwide Saudi tours, international tours of Saudi Arabia & Jordan, and even private tours for those wanting a personalized journey across the glittering country.