Saudi Arabia, officially called the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, represents the place of Islam’s origin. It is the largest country in the Middle East and the 12th largest on the world map. Consequently, there are many famous landmarks in Saudi Arabia that are well worth a visit.
The nation is well known for hosting the world’s largest camel market and its vast desert landscape. Among the diverse offerings, here are some of the most captivating Saudi Arabia landmarks to explore on your trip to this remarkable country.
Most Famous Landmark In Saudi Arabia
Masjid-al-Haram, The Grand Mosque
Located in the holy city of Mecca, Masjid-al-Haram is undoubtedly among the most famous landmarks in Saudi Arabia. It is the world’s most sacred and biggest mosque. Masjid-al-Haram’s grand courtyard can host a million worshippers and covers an area of 356,800 sq meters.
Several expansions have been made in the mosque since its original construction to accommodate increasing numbers of pilgrims during the Hajj Pilgrimage.
This Saudi Landmark is a neighbor to an awe-spiring complex of seven skyscrapers, The Abraj Al Bait Towers. These towers include the world’s third tallest building, the Makkah Clock Royal Tower. You can enjoy breathtaking views of the mosque and Mecca city from them.
Non-Muslims are not allowed to visit the mosque, so plan your trip accordingly.
Mecca, Saudi Arabia Landmarks
Known as the Mountain of Light, Jabal-al-Noor is one of Saudi Arabia’s famous places. The mountain lies near the Grand Mosque in Mecca. This historical landmark also houses the grotto or Cave of Hira, which has tremendous importance in the Islamic religion.
Jabal-al-Noor holds spiritual and historical significance both in Islam and Christianity. You can reach the top of this 2100-foot-tall mountain after an arduous hike of one or two hours.
While hiking to the top, bring plenty of water and food as the temperatures may reach up to 45 °C. The Mountain of Light offers scenic views of Mecca and undoubtedly is one of the important historical places in Saudi Arabia.
The Clock Towers
The Clock Towers, previously famous as Abraj-al-Bait, is a complex of seven skyscraper hotels near the Grand Mosque in Mecca. Located in the center of the complex, Makkah Clock Royal Tower has 120 floors and is the fourth tallest building in the world.
In this complex, you can find luxurious hotels t, a shopping mall featuring local and international outlets, and the Clock Tower Museum.
The museum occupies the top four floors of the building, with each floor showing a unique theme. The topmost floor represents the design and production stages of the Clock Towers, and the second floor shows the methods of time measurements used in ancient times. The third and fourth floors depict the details of the space and planets.
With the mesmerizing view of the Grand Mosque and Mecca city, this place is one of the most famous monuments and landmarks in Saudi Arabia to Visit.
When it comes to famous Saudi Arabia monuments, Masjid-al-Jinn is one to visit. This mosque is also known as the Mosque of Allegiance or the Mosque of the Guards because the city’s guards patrol up to this point. The landmark is one of the oldest mosques in Mecca and stands near Jannat-ul-Muallah.
Constructed in 1700 as an underground mosque, Masjid-al-Jinn marks the historical event and place where the spiritual beings or jinns embraced Islam upon hearing the Prophet Muhammad’s Holy Quran recitation.
The mosque features traditional Islamic architecture and style with all the modern facilities such as air-conditioning, water stations for making wudu, prayer carpets, and fans. While this is one of the oldest Saudi landmarks, you can explore the beauty of Islamic architecture with modern comforts here.
Medina, Saudi Arabia Landmarks
Masjid-al-Nabawi, also called the “Mosque of the Prophet (PBUH),” is the second-largest mosque in the history of Islam. This is the second mosque built by the Islamic Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Masjid-al-Nabawi settles at the heart of the Medina.
The mosque of the Prophet is two stories tall and has a sliding roof and retractable umbrella-like shades to protect visitors from heat and sunlight during the afternoon. The famous and notable structure of this mosque is the green-colored dome, which covers the graves of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Umar (R.A), and Abu Bakr (R.A).
You can visit the mosque any time, 24 hours a day. However, the best time to visit is from Sunday to Wednesday, as on other days, the mosque is more crowded because of the locals. For women, the best time to visit is from sunrise until 10 a.m.
Hegra, Mada’in Saleh
This Saudi monument is present in the Hejaz Region within the province of Medina and is known to Muslims as Al-Hijr. Because of its historical and cultural importance, UNESCO has included this archaeological site in its list of World Heritage Sites.
This ruined city once served as the second capital of the Nebatean kingdom. You can witness a comprehensive picture of the Nebatean style. The two most iconic parts of the site include Qasr Al-Bint, the palace of the daughter, and Qasr Al-Fareed, the massive tomb carved into the sandstone cliff.
The site is still challenging to visit, but with special arrangements, you can explore these exceptional ruins. With its sandstone structure, decorated tombs, and cave inscriptions and drawings, this heritage site is deservedly one of the famous monuments in Saudi Arabia.
Quba mosque is one of the most beautiful and holiest places on earth. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) laid its foundation in the 17th century, and it is the first mosque in the history of Islam.
The mosque was broken down and reconstructed in the 20th century. The new construction now has 7 main entrances, 4 parallel minarets, and 56 mini domes surrounding the mosque. The magnificent courtyard of the mosque is made of red, white, and black marble and serves as a treat to the eyes.
You can explore this architectural wonder and indulge in a spiritual experience on your visit to this remarkable Saudi monument.
Wadi Al-Baida, known to locals as “The White Valley or Wadi Al-Jinn,” is an anti-gravity hill situated in the Al Baida Park. The valley is famous for its mysterious illusion of cars moving against gravity when left ungeared. People believe this phenomenon confirms the presence of jinns or supernatural beings residing in the valley.
Wadi Al-Jinn lies about 24 km northwest of Medina and is the most visited and enchanting valley in Saudi Arabia. Mountains surround this valley from three sides. The beauty of this valley, with no vegetation and clear blue sky, leaves you awestruck. It’s no wonder why this is one of the famous landmarks in Saudi Arabia.
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Landmarks
Al Masmak Fortress
Al Masmak Fortress, also known by the name of Masmak Palace, is a clay and mudbrick structure in the locality of Al-Dirah, Riyadh. The fort is historically significant because of its essential role in the Battle of Riyadh. This majestic fort has now been converted into a museum displaying Saudi Arabia’s rich history, ancient antiques, and traditional weaponry.
Masmak Palace consists of six distinct parts: the gate, the mosque, the majlis, the well, the towers, and the courtyard. The most famed part of this structure is the palm-tree wooden gate that was broken through by King Abdul Aziz during the battle of Riyadh.
If you want to avoid crowds, visit the palace early in the morning, and wear proper attire to respect the local customs.
The Edge Of The World
If you are looking for a geological wonder to explore in Saudi Arabia, this is definitely one to consider. The edge of the world, or Jebel Fihrayn, lying northwest of Riyadh, is a striking natural wonder. These cliffs look like a tough and tall natural wall that is reaching the sky.
You can hike up the cliffs via two different routes. One is through the Acacia Valley, which opens only on Fridays and Saturdays, and the other is through Sadus Dam, which opens every day. The landmark is an hour and a half to two hours’ drive away from Riyadh.
You will not believe your eyes when you see the sky and the barren desert merging from the top of this remarkable Saudi Landmark. Make sure you are well equipped and prepared as there is no cellular connection on these cliffs.
The Emirate Of Diriyah
The Emirate of Diriyah is also known as the First Saudi State and dates to 1727. Located in the outer north-western parts of Riyadh, this town was the original home of the Saudi Royal Family. Diriyah also boasts one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, called the Turaif District.
You can explore several historical places when visiting Diriyah, such as Salwa Palace, Diriyah Gate Museum, and Ghasiba. This historically enriched city is ideal for exploring Saudi Arabia’s history and is one of the most famous landmarks in Saudi Arabia.
Plan your visit to Diriyah during cooler months and immerse yourself in the history of the Saudi Kingdom with a guided tour.
National Museum Of Saudi Arabia
The National Museum of Saudi Arabia is in the neighborhood of Al-Murabba, Riyadh. This is the largest museum on the land of Saudi Arabia and exhibits ancient Arabic culture, traditions, and customs.
There are eight exhibition halls or galleries in this museum. Each hall or gallery has a different name and depicts a unique subject, including the past and present state of Saudi Arabia.
Book your tickets to this one of the famous landmarks in Saudi Arabia in advance, as the ticket queues are usually crowded. Entrance to the national museum costs SAR 10. It’s incredibly value for money as you will uncover so many fun facts about Saudi Arabia just by exploring the collections.
King Abdullah Park
Formerly known as Al-Malazz Square, King Abdullah Park is situated in the Al-Malazz Locality of Riyadh. It served as the racecourse until 2002 when it was turned into the largest park in Saudi Arabia.
The park features a 12-meter-wide pedestrian corridor, 110-meter giant laser fountains, and an artificial lake. During festive seasons, like Eid-ul-Fitr, this park is more crowded with people. Additionally, certain public events are also celebrated here, like Saudi National Day, when the park also displays splendid fireworks.
King Abdullah Park also offers a children’s private area that comes with a variety of fun activities and games for kids of all ages to enjoy their visit to the park. This beautiful landmark is open Monday to Saturday from 1 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia Landmarks
Founded in the 7th century, Al-Balada is the historic center of Jeddah and one of the remarkable landmarks in Saudi Arabia. Al-Balad has several districts and a non-Muslim cemetery containing more than 400 graves. You can see many traditionally designed old buildings that have been preserved and promote cultural tourism in Saudi Arabia.
This historical town is one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites and consists of beautiful houses made of corals from the Red Sea, strengthened with limestone.
Misk Historic Jeddah is an event that takes place within Al-Balad and represents the historical and cultural importance of the town. You can walk through the town’s streets and become part of different traditional activities organized for kids and adults or hunt for particular places or objects by participating in Kanz-al-Balad, a scavenger hunting game.
Makkah Gate (Bab Makkah)
Makkah Gate, built in 1979 AD, is the only gate that connects Makkah and Jeddah. Therefore, this is the gate that the pilgrims use when they begin their journey to Makkah for Hajj or Umrah.
Bab Makkah is the representation of the old style of Saudi construction. This historical gate also serves as the parking space for the pilgrims traveling from Jeddah to Makkah. You can buy honey, dates, and dried fruits from the well-known shops at this spot.
Admire the beauty of Makkah Gate, one of the famous landmarks in Saudi Arabia, at night when the lights make this gate an illuminating monument.
King Fahd’s Fountain
Also affectionately known as the Jeddah Fountain, this historical landmark d lies in the Red Sea, near the Jeddah Corniche. Guinness World Records has recognized this as the highest water fountain in the world, with a water height of 202 meters.
The Jeddah Fountain turns on in the evening, and people can witness this wonder throughout the locality of Jeddah. There are many famous restaurants and places to visit near this impressive Saudi landmark.
You can also enjoy the mesmerizing view of sunrise and sunset from this point. At night, this fountain glares with the 500 LED lights and adds to the beauty of Jeddah City.
Located in the city of Jeddah, Khuzam Palace is a major palace and museum. The museum dates to the 20th century and offers a worthwhile experience.
The palace is different from other museums because of its construction from cement and iron. There are several unique pieces of furniture, cultural relics, and antiques from the pre-Islamic era showcased in the gallery of the museum.
You can stroll through its pathway or simply sit back in a sitting area and absorb the beauty of this architectural wonder. Best of all, visit to the palace is free, and guided tours are also available.
Jeddah Corniche, or Jeddah Waterfront, is one of the famous landmarks in Saudi Arabia and is arguably the most visited tourist attraction. Opened in 2017, the waterfront comprises a 30 km coastal resort area.
The waterfront features many artistic sculptures, including the work of famous artists “Henry Moore” and “Jean Miro.” You can also find luxurious hotels, national and international outlets, aquariums, water dancing fountains, and blossoming gardens along the corniche. Don’t miss out on the restaurants where you can try some delicious Saudi Arabian food.
The scenic waterfront is also near the Jeddah fountain, one of the tallest fountains in the world. Visit this Saudi wonder and create unforgettable memories.
Natural Landmarks In Saudi Arabia
Al-Ahsa is the world’s largest self-contained oasis and unsurprisingly one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. This Saudi landmark has over 6000 years of history. Surrounded by nearly 2.5 million date palm trees, it is a special place to visit.
The oasis consists of four major cities and comprises many gardens, canals, drainage lakes, wells, and famous historical buildings. You can explore archaeological sites and shop for handicrafts such as pottery and textiles.
Present in the middle of a barren desert, Al-Wahbah Crater, is one of the natural landmarks in Saudi Arabia. This giant crater formed as the result of volcanic activity. The bowl of the crater holds white salt flats at its base.
With white phosphorus plain and green vegetation forming a rim around the crater, this natural wonder is much more attractive than the other craters. Camp around its rim, or hike down and up the crater, Al-Wahbah offers an unforgettable adventure for outdoor enthusiasts.
More Famous Landmarks In Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is famous for its architectural marvels and magnificent landmarks. From the sky-touching Makkah Clock Royal Tower to the mesmerizing Jeddah Fountain, there is so much to explore in this Middle Eastern nation.
The above are just a fraction of the countless interesting landmarks in Saudi Arabia. The country houses many other historical treasures to be explored and there is no better way than to discover them firsthand yourself.