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A burgeoning tourist destination, Saudi Arabia is a country full of wonder and a wide range of attractions, activities and experiences that travelers won't find anywhere else in the world, from fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Sites and otherworldly landscapes to tourist staples unique to itself like delectable cuisine and bustling shops.
Take an Authentic Arabian Food Tour. Foodies will fall in love with Saudi Arabia as there's something to look forward to for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The country boasts a diverse culinary scene including mouthwatering gourmet meals and fragrant Arabic dishes. Start the day with a sweet Saudi banana masoub before enjoying the national dish (kabsa) for lunch, the main meal. Finish up with one of the oldest dishes in Saudi Arabia, jareesh.Credit: George Mathew/iStock/Getty Images Plus
Shop Like a Local. The place to shop like a local in Saudi’s capital city of Riyadh is the Deira Souq, where visitors will find Egyptian cotton pajamas, Cambodian incense, Korean speakers, Yemeni honey and Persian carpets, among other items. Pro tip: Visitors should always ask for half the price of what’s offered in the souq to work out a price that suits them and the salesperson.Credit: Saudi Tourism Authority
Hike to the Edge of the World. The Edge of the World, or Jebel Fihrayn, is located about 90-minutes outside of Riyadh. The spectacular views here are what earned the site its nickname and have made it one of Riyadh’s most popular tourist destinations.Credit: Saudi Tourism Authority
Explore the Rose Gardens of Taif. Visitors should be sure to visit the historic city of Taif, which is renowned for its perfume production. The flowers produced here have led to a unique perfume scent known as "Taifi." The byproduct of these flowers is also used to make things such as rosewater and rose oil.Credit: da_cipher/iStock/Getty Images
Stargaze at Moon Mountain. For an unforgettable adventure including activities like camping, mountain climbing, four-wheeling and spectacular stargazing, travelers can venture to the outskirts of Jeddah to Moon Mountain. The unique terrain here can only be described as otherworldly and should be experienced firsthand.Credit: ChristinaFelsing/iStock/Getty Images Plus
Dive and Snorkel the Red Sea. Visitors to Saudi Arabia won't want to head home before experiencing what lies below the surface of the Red Sea, considered by many to be the final frontier of diving. This pristine underwater locale is home to more than 1,200 different species of fish, one-fifth of which can only be found here.Credit: Luca Ladi Bucciolini/iStock/Getty Images Plus
Experience Umluj and its Islands. Saudi Arabia's coastal destinations are both underrated and underexplored, which is surprising given the allure of these golden sand beaches and turquoise blue waters. Umluj is one such example, drawing comparisons to the Maldives. North of this coastal town, visitors will discover more than 100 small islands celebrated for their egg-white sands and ancient palm trees.Credit: Saudi Tourism Authority
Venture Back in Time in AlUla. Located deep in the desert in Saudi Arabia's northwestern region, AlUla is home to the country's very first UNESCO World Heritage Site in Hegra. Here, visitors can experience ancient tombs that remain from a remarkable 7,000 years of human civilization in addition to impressive natural rock formations and canyons. Plus, visitors can look forward to partaking in adventure sports and experiencing eye-popping art installations.Credit: Saudi Tourism Authority
Explore Diriyah. Diriyah's historical center is a very significant site. The UNESCO-listed site of At-Turaif was founded in the 15th century and is the original seat of power of Saudi Arabia's Al Saud family. While the site has been closed to the public since its UNESCO designation 12 years ago, a redevelopment of the area will enable visitors to walk through the ruins as well as the museums and other attractions found inside.
Tour Al Balad in Historical Jeddah. Visitors can also travel back in time with a tour of Jeddah’s Al Balad, which is famous for its unique architecture showcasing what the medieval city's ancient walls once looked like. Al Balad, otherwise known as Historical Old Jeddah, is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as its existence may date back to the era before Islam with some of the buildings estimated to be 400 years old.