Four historic places to visit in Saudi Arabia

Tourism in Saudi Arabia may not have been a thing in the past, but things are rapidly changing as the country aims to welcome a flood of tourists over the next few years. With entire archaeological cities, numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites and an unparalleled culture, Saudi Arabia is well equipped to provide its visitors with an enchanting and memorable experience.

As the holy cities of Mecca and Medina are frequently visited by those performing Umrah or Hajj, we have listed five places other than these two cities.

Al Ula

Unexplored and untouched by the presence of tourists, being in Al Ula will surely make you feel like an intrepid traveler! Located four hours from the holy city of Medina, Al Ula is home to mudbrick and stone houses dating back 2000 years! Those visiting Al Ula should make it a point to visit the legendary Al Ula Heritage Village, where you can get up close and personal with some of the oldest structures in the world!

Al Ula, Image Credit, MK, Unsplash

Madain Saleh

We have a feeling this one will start to get more attention over the years! If you like the famous archaeological site of Petra in Jordan, you will fall in love with this one! Just as Petra is a Nabataean city, so is Madain Saleh! With its impressive and imposing architectural structures, Madain Saleh quickly became the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in Saudi Arabia!

brown rock formation under blue sky during daytime
Madain saleh, Image credit, Abdan Syakuro, Unsplash

Masmak Fort

Historical sites might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Riyadh. But beyond the bustle of the city is a fortress built in 1865 by King Abdullah III bin Faisal al-Saud. Masmak Fortress was originally built to protect the city from attacks, but today it is a museum. Those heading to the capital of Saudi Arabia should definitely not miss this one!

Jubbah Ha’il

Located in the Nafud Desert near the small town of Jubbah, the archaeological site of the Paleolithic Kingdom of Jubbah is considered the most historic site in the country. Moreover, due to its magnificent and impressive rock inscriptions, the Paleolithic Kingdom of Jubbah has become the largest archaeological site in the country. With inscriptions dating back to the Mesolithic period, millions of tourists flock to the middle of the desert to marvel at the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

sand dune and mountain landscape
Jubbah Ha’il, Image Credit, Rabah Al Shammary, Unsplash


Juber Ahmed


Juber Ahmed is our digital editor and travel enthusiast with a keen interest in Islamic history and heritage. He travels with his wife to various places around the world and writes about his experiences.

Juber’s favorite quote…

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page” [Saint Augustine]


Tags: Al Ula, arabia, Archaeological, hajj, Heritage Village, Jordan, Jubbah, Jubbah Ha’il, King Abdullah lll Bin Faisal Al-Saud, Madain Saleh, madinah, makkah, Masmak Fort, museum, Nabatean City, Nafud Desert, Petra, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, tourists, unesco, world


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Patrick F. Williams