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What Are the Best Experiences in Saudi Arabia?

What Are the Best Experiences in Saudi Arabia?

If you're reading this post right now, it means you fall into one of these categories of person. It's either you're planning a vacation to Saudi Arabia for the first time. 

Or, you're most likely here already but just looking for some great inspirations on the best experiences here in Saudi Arabia to make the most out of your time here.

Well, whichever you fall into, it's a good thing you're reading this right now because this article points you to some of the best experiences you definitely should indulge in. 

I'm sure you're excited about this already, so let's get to it, shall we?

 Diriyah - a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Marvel at Architectural Wonders in Diriyah, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Diriyah was the original capital of the first Saudi state in the 18th century. It overlooks the modern capital of Riyadh today. 

But back then, Diriyah's iconic mudbrick towers overlooking the Wadi Hanifah valley housed the ruling Al Saud family and their government.

In recognition of its cultural significance as the birthplace of the Saudi kingdom, UNESCO has designated Diriyah as a World Heritage site. 

The beautifully restored ruins feature stunning examples of iconic Najdi architecture constructed from mud bricks, clay, and palm fronds.

Must-see highlights you really have to see here include the towering observatory shaped like a clay jar, symbolizing Diriyah's name, which roughly translates as "water jug."  

You can also get those Instagram-worthy panoramas from the Bujairi Terrace overlooking the valley. 

Or you could check out traditional souks, shops, and art galleries clustered along the banks of the Wadi Hanifah.

 Experience Driving in the Deserts Near Riyadh

Experience Driving in the Deserts Near Riyadh

If what you're looking for is an adrenaline rush during your Saudi trip, you'll find it riding quad bikes, buggies, and 4x4 Jeeps over towering red and white sand dunes surrounding Riyadh. 

Tell me, how does watching the desert landscapes transform with vibrant colors at sunset and sunrise as you rev through some of the world's largest dunes sound?

Amazing was the word you were looking for. 

And hey, I'm also talking about the famous Empty Quarter and Thuwal seas of sand.

And like you'd agree, overnight desert camping lets you barbecue dinner under the stars at a Bedouin-style camp before sleeping in luxury tents. 

With an expert at arm's length and strict safety precautions, this extreme dune bashing through the sands should be on your bucket list. 

 Go Diving and Snorkeling in the Pristine Red Sea

Go Diving and Snorkeling in the Pristine Red Sea

Over 1,000 miles of coastline cradles Saudi Arabia along the Red Sea. 

The crystal clear azure waters boast incredible visibility and some of the world's most vibrant and pristine coral reefs brimming with aquatic life. 

From coral gardens with electric blue surgeonfish to shipwrecks encrusted in corals, scuba diving and snorkeling here never disappoints.

Do your gear to swim alongside majestic green turtles and puffer fish. Spot hawksbill turtles, manta rays, and mighty whale shark species swimming through these rich waters. 

Now, if you're an avid diver, you won't want to miss famous sites like Al Wajh Bank, The Canyon, Dragon Cay, or Shams Alam, teeming with the Red Sea's iconic Big Five marine megastars.

Are you enjoying the article so far? 

Then, you might also find two of our recent posts, "How to Spend Your Christmas in the UAE?" and "Best Weekend Getaways In UAE?" quite inspiring.  

You can thank me later. Alright, let's continue.

 Marvel at the Futuristic Architecture of Riyadh's Modern Wonders

Marvel at the Futuristic Architecture of Riyadh's Modern Wonders

Saudi Arabia is racing towards a high-tech future. 

And it's doing this while preserving its cultural heritage, as exemplified perfectly in Riyadh's stunning modern architecture juxtaposed against ancient citadels.

Cutting-edge buildings like the swooping white curves of the King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture designed by Snøhetta or the state-of-the-art Riyadh Metro Stations combine innovative form and function. 

You also get the chance to check out the honeycomb-inspired sustainability science campus KAPSARC or Skyscrapers puncturing the skyline like the 1km-high Kingdom Tower.

Between, let's not forget the iconic Al Faisaliyah Center with its "glass egg" tower and the Capital Market Authority Tower, which resembles a giant glowing pillar in the King Abdullah Financial District.

Yet old and new blend seamlessly at restored mudbrick fortresses like Masmak and historic palaces like Al-Murabba nestled beside the sleek ultramodern façades across Riyadh.

 Go Hiking and Camping in the Hills of Taif

Go Hiking and Camping in the Hills of Taif

Nestled amid the peaks of the Hejazi Mountains, is the famous Taif.

This is Saudi Arabia's agricultural heartland, flourishing with roses and fragrant flowering plantations that perfume its moderate climate. 

Beyond the gardens, outdoor lovers can trek along hiking trails in the highlands and set up camping sites to sleep under the starry night skies.

Top spots include the peaks surrounding Wadi Lannah and Raghadan Forest Park, with its lakes and gazebos perched atop the plateau. 

Or visit traditional villages like Al Shafa dotted across the highlands to experience Saudi hospitality while trying Saudi food, coffee, dates, and local honey. 

Did you know Taif even offers beekeeping experiences along with farming activities like rose-picking during harvest seasons? Well, now you know.  

 Go on a Historical Tour of the Kingdom's Ancient Ruins in Saudi Arabia

Go on a Historical Tour of the Kingdom's Ancient Ruins

Follow the incense trade route studded with stations, temples, and inscriptions carved by spice traders to locate your next exploratory destination. 

The UNESCO World Heritage site of Madain Saleh contains over 100 elaborately constructed tombs from the 2nd century. 

These were carved into sandstone cliffs in the abandoned city, showcasing ancient Jordanian and Nabatean masonry influences.

Al-Ula Old Town hosts the ruins of the ancient Dadan and Lihyanite civilizations from 2000 to 4000 years ago, with its mysterious carved tombs and memorials tunneled underneath the hilltop city. 

While recent excavations at Tool Al Gassim means, visitors can dig for artifacts and hear archaeologists lecture on findings in real time.

 Attend a Cultural Festival & Experience Saudi Traditions

Attend a Cultural Festival & Experience Saudi Traditions

It's said that the best way to learn about a new place is to get acquainted with its culture and traditions. 

Look out for local festivals like the iconic Jenadriyah National Culture and Heritage Festival or Taif Rose Festival to experience the heart of Saudi traditions and hospitality. 

These celebrations allow visitors to savor traditional dances and music performances live on stage while sampling famous Saudi dishes like kabsa or mandi lamb cooked in aromatic spices served atop steaming saffron rice.

Shop for handicrafts and authentic souvenirs like embroidered thobes, coffee pots, or fragrant oud oils distilled from wood resins tapped by local artisans. Or catch exhilarating traditional sports like camel races and auctions. 

With its rapid development in recent years, these festivals offer rare glimpses into Saudi's enduring cultural identity.

 Attend a Cultural Festival & Experience Saudi Traditions

As one of tourism's rising new destinations, Saudi Arabia offers visitors diverse natural landscapes and preserved cultural traditions.

You get a chance to witness history in the making through visionary modernization projects. 

These are the experiences you really want to tick off during your vacation or perhaps staycation here in Saudi Arabia.

So, start planning your trip!

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