The lesser known pillars of Saudi history stand tall all across the kingdom.
Before it became internationally renowned for its developments in real estate and technology, Saudi Arabia has long fostered a rich environment for cultural heritage, stunning natural sites and centuries of history. While our trips to the country will certainly include extensive trips to its many shopping malls and the countless eccentric dining spots, it would be simply reductionist to miss out on the budding cultural hub that the kingdom has to offer. We’ve put together this comprehensive list of historic landmarks across the country to add to your itinerary.
AlUla Old Town
If your trip to Saudi includes a stay at the opulent Habitas AlUla, a visit to the village’s old town - one of the best preserved showcases of mud-brick and stone houses in the world - is not to be missed.
The site of the Quran-mentioned earthquake that fell on ‘Ahl Thamud’, Madain Saleh - also known as al-Hijr - is a well-preserved archaeological site showcasing the ancient history of the Nabatean tribe.
Al Muftaha Art Village
A wholly cheerful site combining the ancient with the contemporary, Al Muftaha Art Village dates back to the 1700s and has been brought to life by the artistic murals of local students.
Sitting majestically as the highest peak across the mountainous Saudi Arabian terrain, Jabal Sawda has become quite popular as an internationally-sought hiking destination thanks to its stunning views of the historic Abha province.
Murabba Historical Palace
Fancy living like a king? The Murabba Historical Palace is the former home of the King of Saudi Arabia. Here you can have an exclusive look at the royal memorabilia, personal items and photographs of the Kingdom’s leader.
Ushaiger Heritage Village
A fully-functioning village (despite having no residents), Ushaiger features about 400 mud houses and 25 mosques, as well as a local market, tour guides, and lodging for overnight guests.
Standing tall as Saudi Arabia’s oldest market, Qaisariya Souq is a 400-shop unconventional shopping destination where smitten tourists can do their souvenir shopping and take in aeons of heritage at the same time.
Al Habala Hanging Village
Located in a valley that is only accessible by cable cars, Al Habala is a unique and universally mysterious village in Saudi Arabia that, in the past, was only accessible by rope. It was so highly protected to keep the Khatani tribe.
Rijal Almaa Village
Stone-built castles echo the age-old tales of Rijal Almaa. The village is populated with multiple-storey houses where families lived together, and so it represents not just architectural beauty, but societal values as well.