Things to see and to do in Saudi Arabia

desert and mountains in SA
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Updated 2022-02-23 11:18

Saudi Arabia is the biggest country in the Middle East. Its growing population and the exponential expat community have grown to cultivate Saudi Arabia's leisure landscape. No matter what your interests are, you are sure to find something that you can enjoy, whether alone or with your mates and your family.

Nature and landscapes in Saudi Arabia

The good thing about Saudi Arabia's geographical size is that it can offer a spectrum of different natural landscapes throughout the year. It is easy to assume that all you will get in Saudi Arabia are sand dunes, which are very beautiful. However, there is so much more to see. If you like hiking and mountainous adventures, head to Taif and Abha. If you are more into beaches and the coast, they have plenty of coastal regions offering pristine beaches and clear waters. Natural wonders such as Madinah Salah, Al Ula - the Petra of Saudi Arabia, can be found here.

Sea activities in Saudi Arabia

You may be lucky enough to settle down in a coastal region, but if not, a short trip to the many seaside cities in the region is a quick little getaway. With full potential and untapped attractions, the Red Sea Coast of Saudi Arabia is a diver's dream. With diving becoming more popular amongst younger locals, diving services have advanced rapidly. Diving companies offering sea trips, training, and lessons are becoming more and more common. With diving options in Jeddah, Obhur, Khobar, Dammam, and Yanbu, there is so much to discover under the sea. If lying on the beach and soaking up the sun is more your thing, you'll be happy to know that private beach clubs are available for day trips to the beach. Here you are free to enjoy the beach any way you wish (women allowed, and so are bikinis).

The capital and the maritime capital

Riyadh and Jeddah are the must-visit cities. The capital is a vibrant megapolis, with uncountable restaurants and shops, museums, urban and architecture sites, along with a number of parks, the valley Wadi Hanifa, numerous farms and more facilities. After visiting the old parts of the town, you won't be surprised to find out that in Arabic 'Ar Riyadh' means gardens.

A month-long festival named Riyadh Season brings together concerts, musicals, a winter bazaar, pop-up restaurants, dancing fountains, etc.

The second-largest city, Jeddah, on the Red Sea coast, serves as a summer residence for the royals. Besides all the benefits the sea can offer, the maritime capital is known for its more relaxed and fun atmosphere. Historically rich, the city is home to an ancient town - Al Balad - a UNESCO heritage site.

Shopping in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has made its mark as one of the world's best shopping havens. The shopping districts, malls, traditional and local markets, and boutiques are limitless. There are thousands of international brands opening stores across the Kingdom. Regardless of your fashion sense or your budget, there is something for everyone when it comes to shopping in Saudi Arabia.

Culture in Saudi Arabia

Historical landmarks, museums, and traditional markets can be found across the country. Smaller towns and villages on the outskirts of the bigger cities are great places to explore the Saudi heritage and witness beautiful landscapes. An annual festival celebrating the Saudi culture (Janadriya) takes place on the outskirts of Riyadh and welcomes thousands of visitors every year.

Sports in Saudi Arabia

Spectator sports are very popular in Saudi Arabia. Locals are avid soccer watchers. The national soccer teams in Saudi Arabia are widely supported in the country. Weekly soccer games at the National Soccer Arenas are a common pastime amongst Saudi locals as well as foreigners.

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