Saudi Arabia is one of the most interesting Islamic countries in the world. It is sometimes called “The Land of the Two Holy Mosques” because two of the holiest places in Islam are here, Al-Masjid al-Haram (Mecca) and Al-Masjid al-Nabawi.
Islamic culture intrigues tourists because of the unique places and rituals not found in any other part of the world. A number of the mosques located in Saudi Arabia are of great historic, religious and artistic value. Additionally, the deserts and Red Sea along with beautiful beaches attract a lot of tourists.
Here is the list of some places you cannot afford to miss on your trip to Saudi Arabia:
This stone is at the edge of the
, the ancient stone building towards which Muslims pray. Many Muslims believe that the stone fell from heaven during the time of Adam and Eve and it was originally white but turned black from absorbing sins of human beings. It is considered very lucky to kiss this holy stone. It is almost impossible to reach the stone during the Hajj.
has extraordinary religious importance, touching this stone is an awesome feeling. Once you have touched the stone, your hands will catch its scent, which is pleasant. You should not miss the chance to come here and see the crowds touch this religious stone. You shouldn’t bring kids with you because it is very crowded place. The security system is impressive; you will be amazed to see their control over the large crowd with little effort. It is considered a great place for a peaceful vacation.
This is considered the most peaceful place in the whole world. It is known as “a piece of paradise”. It is located in
and is regarded as the world’s second holiest mosque. It was built by the Prophet himself and hence it is of great religious value. It is especially beautiful during Ramadan, but it is always crowded with people.
You will get a unique spiritual feeling which is impossible to find in any other corner of the world. If you are a Muslim, you will feel blessed after visiting this holy place. For all non-Muslims, this is still an incredible place to visit. You will be amazed by the architecture, and it will take hours to take in all the beauty of this Masjid. Leaving this Masjid can be a heart-wrenching experience. You’ll not want to leave this incredible spiritual experience that imparts a soothing feeling of calmness.
This place is the best to visit if you want to take a break from the modern and artificial world. The mosque is enormous and clean, thanks to its hard-working staff. You will not miss the chance to talk to the kind people of the city and listen to the stories about Prophets. Some people consider it the most beautiful place on the earth.
King Fahd donated this fountain to the city of Jeddah. The 853 foot fountain uses saltwater from Red Sea instead of the usual fresh water. The design is excellent, and it presents an exceptional view from any corner of the city at night. The view at sunset is breathtaking and romantic. It is very well maintained and the Red Sea makes an excellent scuba diving and fishing spot too. You will love the fireworks and laser lights at night, which only add to its beauty.
Walking, taking pictures and having dinner while taking in the beauty of the fountain are the primary activities to do here. It is included in lists of the most beautiful sights in the world and almost 500 spotlights illuminate the fountain at night. Even without any music you will feel like spending hours here. The best place to see it is from the Tree Square.
All the history of Islamic culture can be seen in the
. It is spread over an area of 17,000 meters and is located in the beautiful city of
.This informative museum consists of ten galleries, courtyards and a separate section which includes the collection of various things belonging to the King, who founded Saudi Arabia. If you have an interest in history, then this place will offer you excellent historical artwork and material. The building is itself impressive along with the advanced technology used. The museum is spacious and clean and you cannot afford to miss the park outside. Due to the unique lights it seems extra spectacular at night.
There are many types of antiques, manuscripts and display boards as well as a lot of local shopping areas. The models of Mecca and Medina Mosques are worth admiring. Importantly, all the videos are presented in English along with Arabic, just like the carvings. A lot of money is being spent in order to modernize the museum. Non-Arabic visitors will find instant translation, making it easy to understand what is being presented. Don’t forget to take your camera with you because there are a lot of scenic views. There are 8 exhibition theme halls which include The Hajj, The Arabian kingdom, The Islam and Arab Peninsula, The Pre-Islamic Era and others.
SILVER SANDS BEACH
Most of the tourists to this part of the world are beach lovers and Saudi Arabia will not disappoint you in this aspect because it has a gem in the city of
Silver Sands Beach
is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world because of its soft sand and clear blue water. It gives the feeling of a tropical island with a cool breeze. The turquoise water looks inviting and the site overall is really welcoming. Chairs and umbrellas are available on the beach under the palm trees.
The beach is the perfect place to chill out with family and friends on a hot day along with swimming and tanning. February is the ideal month to visit the beach as the breeze adds to its beauty. It is a real sandy beach and has a long shoreline for walking. The atmosphere is very calm and the palm trees create a lovely relaxing view. You will also see a lot of sea animals.
KINGDOM CENTRE TOWER
If you love heights, this will be an amazing experience for you. It is one of the primary landmarks and the tallest building in Saudi Arabia. This 65-story, 992-foot skyscraper occupies a vast area on the premises of King Abdul Aziz Hospital Centre.
This tower is the world’s third tallest building. The view of Riyadh city from the tower bridge is incredible. The tower is home to a number of facilities, such as a shopping mall, food courts, restaurants, hotels and function halls. Tourists can get all the brands they want under one roof and shopping can be a fun activity to enjoy with family and friends. The parking space is huge as well as the building, as it has space for around 3000 vehicles. A variety of restaurants and food courts will provide you with mouth-watering dishes.
is the main center of attraction and it is recommended to visit the tower just before sunset to witness the beautiful view of the city as the moving vehicles look like a river of lights. You will have to ride two elevators and it will be like riding an airplane because of the super-fast speed.
This floating mosque is not actually floating as per its name. It is known as
because this beautiful white mosque seems to emerge from the sea. It is surrounded by water on three sides.
This presents a beautiful view of the sea from the shore. The mosque was built in late 1980’s and hence the architecture is modern. You will be amazed to see this beautiful view surrounded by water and the rare thing about this mosque is that it is fully air-conditioned. The way light reflects off the water provides amazing colors to this mosque at different intervals throughout the day.
Most people visit this place at sunset to capture the rare combinations of colors. You will love relaxing here because the atmosphere is incredibly calm. There are also a few food stalls in the area.
This is also known as the
‘Mountain of Light’
because Muslims believe that the Prophet Muhammad received his first revelation from God on this mountain. It is around 5000 feet above the sea level. This is one of the places that is visited during Hajj and is a very sacred place for all Islamic people. The best time to climb it is in the early morning. You will need time and strength along with water and snacks while climbing the mountain.
The view of sunrise is simply beautiful. Guides will be there to tell you some surprising facts about the Islamic religion. If you love hiking, a visit to this place will give you some unforgettable memories. After reaching the top, you will experience a soul cleansing experience due to the religious atmosphere of the surroundings. You should be physically fit before climbing this mountain.
This zoo is the largest zoo in Saudi Arabia. It is located in the capital city, Riyadh. It houses around 40 species of animals. This zoo is an ideal place to visit for nature and animal lovers. It should be at the top of your list if you are planning to visit Saudi Arabia with your family. Entry to the zoo is very inexpensive, and you can easily spend many hours visiting this place. It can be a good distraction from the artificial world of the rest of the city. The zoo grounds are beautiful, clean and well maintained. The animals are properly looked after by the staff.
This is an ideal picnic spot, so make sure to bring a blanket and some snacks along with you. Lions, tigers, rhinoceros and countless other animals and birds can be seen here while you enjoy a casual outing. Perhaps the most unique thing about this zoo is the presence of the seal in a bid pond. However, the most surprising part of the zoo is that every animal is provided air-conditioned shelter. This place has a huge parking space to accommodate the large number of visitors. This zoo also has a train which is fun to ride. The layout of the zoo is practical and the pathways are easy to travel on. Overall this place is a great place to have fun with kids. It is recommended not to visit after rainfall.
EDGE OF THE WORLD
edge of the world
is a rock-framed ‘window’ facing out from the cliffs where you will see a dramatic and an incredible view of the valley below. It is located straight up the Alicia Valley and the very thick line of green trees along the valley make it a very popular picnic spot. It offers one of the most spectacular views in all of Saudi Arabia and, especially after the rain; you will see a variety of flowers, birds, and dragonflies of rare kind.
When you look at the horizon from the edge of the cliff, it will appear as if the plane continues endlessly. It is best to go to this place a couple of hours before dusk on a calm day. As the sun goes down, the desert provides a beautiful sunset and no one would want to miss the chance to capture this kind of natural beauty. Climbing up the cliff and enjoying the fresh atmosphere will be a fun, relaxing day with memories you can enjoy for years to come.