Places to Visit in Saudi Arabia One Week Itinerary

Saudi Arabia is a prime country in the Middle East, which is surrounded by Iraq, Kuwait, Jordan, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates. It is also a popular tourist destination due to the desert, mountains, and ancient cities with magnificent architectural specimens. Moreover, it is visited by millions of Muslim pilgrims every year, due to the twin holy cities of Mecca and Medina. So, tourism is a notable industry in this country and one of the major sources of income for common people.

How to get to Saudi Arabia?

Usually, most foreigners prefer to visit Saudi Arabian cities by flight, as that is the easiest and fastest way. Several airlines run regular flights between the airports of Saudi Arabia and cities in other countries. Saudia is the official flag carrier of this country that operated from its hubs in Jeddah, Riyadh, and Dammam. Moreover, Flynas, Flyadeal, SaudiGulf, and Nesma Airlines are other low-cost flight operators in Saudi Arabia. However, Emirates Airlines is one of the most popular airlines preferred by foreign tourists, which is also one of the two flag carriers of the neighboring country the United Arab Emirates.

Places you can visit

Riyadh – This is the capital city of Saudi Arabia, which is also the largest city in the Middle East. Apart from being the administrative and political seat of this country, Riyadh is also a cultural hub of this region. Several ancient sites of this city attract the interest of archeologists, as well as common tourists. Masmak Palace or Al Masmak Fortress built by Prince Muhammad bin Abdullah ibn Rasheed is a prime historic site for tourists, which is now turned into a museum and close to Clock Tower Square or Deera Square.

They also visit Al Shamsiah Palace, Murabba Palace, and Atiqah Palace, which have similar historical importance. Turaif or Diriyah is the town declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site, which was established in the 15th century and houses historic Salwa Palace, Imam Mohammad bin Saud Mosque, Saad bin Saud Palace, At-Turaif Bath House, and other monuments. Tourists are also interested in visiting some modern buildings in Riyadh, among which Kingdom Centre with Sky Bridge, Burj Al Faisaliah, Riyadh TV Tower, and Burj Rafal Hotel Kempinski are the most notable ones. King Abdul Aziz Historical Center, the Royal Saudi Air Force Museum, and the National Museum of Saudi Arabia are also included in the tour itinerary. Tourists love shopping in Deerah Souq, Al Nakheel Mall, Riyadh Gallery Mall, Sahara Mall, Granada Mall, Panorama Mall, and above all Kingdom Center Mall.

Jeddah – This is the second-largest city of Saudi Arabia and the gateway to Mecca, which is the holiest city for Muslims. Therefore, plenty of pious Muslims from other countries arrive here for visit Mecca and Medina as a part of a pilgrimage tour. It is also an important port city on the bank of the Red Sea, housing the second largest port of this country. Al Rahma Mosque is a primary tourist attraction, as this huge white marble structure with a turquoise dome is floating over the water, supported by sturdy pillars.

The neighborhood of Al-Balad is declared a UNESCO Heritage Site, having some 500-years old buildings, cafes, hotels, and Nassif House Museum. Al-Shallal Theme Park in the Corniche contains many thrilling rides, an ice rink, and restaurants for entertaining tourists. Athr Gallery is an art museum where exhibitions from various art schools are held and it is a must-to-go place for art-lovers. 

Tourists also love spending time on Al-Saif Beach, South Obhur Beach, and the Jeddah Waterfront, due to the serene atmosphere and beautiful scenery of these places. Tourists can enjoy shopping in the Mall of Arabia, Red Sea Mall, Bab Makkah, Souq Al Alawi, and Souq Shatee, where all types of traditional local items and branded products are available. King Fahd’s Fountain, Khuzam Palace, Durrat Al Aroos, and Khalil Museum are other notable tourist attractions of this city.

Abha – This is the capital city of Asir province to the southwest of Saudi Arabia. It is located in the Asir Mountains region, close to Asir National Park. The mildly cool, semi-arid climate of this hill station attracts many tourists, as the weather is more comfortable here than in the rest of the country. Shadda Palace is the foremost tourist attraction of this city, which was built in the 1820s and now serves as a museum of traditional handicrafts and local household materials. Shamsan Fort built by Ottoman rulers in the 16th century has great historical value. Jabal Thera or Green Mountain to the southern part of Abha looks mesmerizing in green neon lights, casting a green glow over the city. Tourists also make sure to visit Abu Kheyal Park, Habala Hanging Village, and Al Muftah Village, for enjoying the breathtaking scenic beauty of these places. They can enjoy camping, hiking, picnics, and watching birds in Aseer National Park. The Art Street housing several art galleries is a popular destination for all art-lovers. Tourists visit Tuesday Market or Souq Al Thullatha for buying local souvenirs or traditional items.

Dubai – This is the most populated city in the United Arab Emirates, which is situated on the coast of the Persian Gulf and shares borders with Oman on three sides. As it is located in the Arabian Desert, this city experiences a hot and arid climate with extremely hot summers and mild winters.  However, it is a favorite tourist destination of many travelers from all over the world.

It is famous for housing Burj Khalifa, which is the tallest building in the world, with a height of 829.8 meters. Dubai Fountain is the world’s tallest fountain, which is built on the beautiful garden surrounding Burj Khalifa. Al-Fahidi Fort on the bank of Dubai Creek is a historic site built in 1787, which once served as the seat of administration and now turned into a huge museum. Al Fahidi Quarter is the older part of Dubai, containing many residential buildings made of coral and limestone, each provided with a wind tower for cooling interiors. Dubai is famous for holding several shopping sites, among which Dubai Mall, Wafi Mall, Deira Gold Souq, Mall of the Emirates, and Burjuman Center are the notable ones.

Therefore, tourists can enjoy a memorable vacation in and around Saudi Arabia, spending quality time with their companions in these above-mentioned cities.

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Steve has been living in Saudi Arabia since 2013 and writing about Saudi rules, regulations, guides, and procedures since then.