Saudi Arabia has a great deal of oil and is the epicenter of Islam. Those are facts that most people know about this nation in the Middle East.

What many do not realize is that Saudi Arabia has a unique culture and charm that you cannot find elsewhere. If you have the time to explore countries you have never been to before, then the Kingdom should be one of your first trips.

There are so many unique activities you can enjoy in the country, such as visiting religious sites, exploring oceanfronts, and shopping at high-end stores in major cities.

Below are five fun things to do in Saudi Arabia.

1. Visit Mecca

One of the first places to visit in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is Mecca. The birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad, millions of people come from around the world to Mecca each year as a pilgrimage.

The only issue with visiting Mecca is that non-Muslims are not permitted entry into the city, and they cannot visit the area around the Kaaba stone either. If you are a Muslim, you are free to visit Mecca and the Kaaba when you get a chance.


2. Kingdom Centre Tower

If you are more of a modernist who prefers to enjoy the best that life has to offer, Kingdom Centre Tower in Riyadh may be more to your taste. The tower is such a prominent aspect of tourism in the region that when you type up the phrase, Traveling to Riyadh on Facebook, an emoji of the tower pops up within your message or status post.

When you first visit Kingdom Centre Tower, you may be struck by the architectural marvel that you are witnessing. You can explore the residential area of the tower, while there is also a huge shopping mall that has nearly every high-end store where you may want to spend money.

One of the interesting aspects of Kingdom Centre Tower is that despite its worldwide fame, there are two other buildings in Saudi Arabia that are taller. However, the Centre Tower is still a great place to begin your trip to Riyadh.

Not only can you shop to your heart’s content, but you can go nearly to the top floor of the tower to get a bird’s eye view of an entire city of more than five million people.


3. Empty Quarter

While there are many modern elements to Saudi Arabia that tourists will find charming and enjoyable, the natural beauty of the country is another reason to visit. If you are a fan of exploring nature, even the barrenest of areas, then you may want to explore the Empty Quarter.

The region is almost entirely sand, with no borders between the areas that belong to Saudi, Oman, UAE, and Yemen. You can easily walk for hours and see nothing but sand dunes and the sun. However, the Empty Quarter is far from a dull place for tourists to visit.

The Saudi Arabian parts of Empty Quarter are home to many fun activities, such as going on a camel safari, driving a 4×4 truck through the sand dunes, or exploring small villages where local tribes live.

One way to enhance your trip through the Empty Quarter is to go with a tourist group or hire a tour guide. While you can try to explore some parts of this vast land alone, you may get lost and not have the ability to communicate with the locals for assistance. Having a guide ensures you can have a safe and enjoyable experience.

4. Explore Mada’in Saleh

Most people have heard about the Lost City of Petra in Jordan, which is a significant tourist attraction. Interestingly, there is another lost city, this time in Saudi Arabia. Mada’in Saleh also dates back to the 1st century in the Nabatean Kingdom.

If you want to experience the way that people lived during those times, you can visit Mada’in Saleh throughout the year. Unlike Petra, Mada’in Saleh has a much lower profile in history, which is why there are hardly any tourists visiting on a given day.

For those who prefer to visit global attractions and historical sites in relative peace, Mada’in Saleh is a must-visit. You can explore the area quietly, allowing you to truly experience this ancient city.


5. Scuba Diving

If you were to tell someone you were going to Saudi Arabia to scuba dive, they would think you are joking. Most people do not associate the Middle Eastern nation with a thriving beach or ocean scene.

Despite being a country full of deserts and dry areas, Saudi Arabia has very long coasts along the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. There are some beautiful beaches where you can travel alone or with your family while enjoying all that the nation has to offer.

Saudi Arabia is home to some of the best sites for scuba diving on the planet. While there are similarly great diving sites in Egypt, the difference is that a lot more tourists go there every year.

If you enjoy scuba diving and want to experience the thrill of going deep into the ocean but would prefer to avoid being at a mass tourist site, visiting the oceanfront of Saudi Arabia is a great choice.

For most of the year, these diving sites are not very busy. True enthusiasts have a chance to experience the waters without feeling trapped among the crowds.

Plan Your Trip to Saudi Arabia

People have a tendency to visit the same areas each time they have the time and money to book a vacation.

Rather than going back to Europe or another part of the world you regularly frequent, you may want to broaden your horizons and visit a country where you have never been.

Saudi Arabia is not always associated with a thriving tourism scene, but the nation does have a lot to offer. Between tall towers, vast deserts, long coastlines, and hospitable people, Saudi is a great place to explore.

You can stay at five-star hotels, travel throughout the country, ride camels in the desert, scuba dive into the ocean, and eat delicious food. Plan your trip to Saudi as soon as possible.