10/31/2022     by Guest Contributor

Savoring Saudi Arabia’s Many Vacay Possibilities

Saudi Arabia has recently opened its borders to tourism, and with that comes a whole new world of vacation possibilities. There’s no shortage of things to see, do, try or discover within this storied nation — so much so that it’s easy to get lost down a Google rabbit hole, never mind trying to figure it out while you’re there. Fear not: We’ve compiled a could-be itinerary of three major hot spots to check out for yourself. Read on to see how you could enjoy a trip to Saudi Arabia.


Hegra, AlUla

Days 1 – 2: AlUla

Hidden in the immense stretch of desert, AlUla is an oasis of experience that defies expectations. It’s here that ancient ruins dot the landscape like dewdrops on a date palm leaf. The Old Town of AlUla is a still-standing testament to the city’s importance in the 12th-century pilgrimage route between Damascus and Makkah; a walk through these mudbrick and stone alleyways is both a trip through time and an excellent start of your exploration. The magnificent stone façades of Hegra are a proverbial stone’s throw away, providing the chance to don your archeologist’s hat and admire the handiwork of the ancient Nabataean kingdom. Likewise, the ruins of Jabal Ikmah right across the AlUla Valley make for an engaging sight — the vast quantities of inscriptions and rock art have earned the site the moniker “Saudi Arabia’s Open Library.”

Of course, AlUla isn’t just a city of the past; life continues to evolve here, and modern culture permeates the ancient history. You might glimpse a contemporary art installation intermingling with the desert landscape or spend your second day here pausing your stroll through ancient ruins to instead opt for a mountain bike trail. Maraya, the world’s largest mirrored building, beckons for your attention, even without visiting inside for one of its periodic exhibitions or events.


Floating Mosque in Jeddah

Days 3 – 4: Jeddah

South of AlUla is the port town of Jeddah. Situated on the banks of the Red Sea, outside influences swim among storied history, blending to create a vibrant city center that seems to have it all. Start your days here with a coffee and a morning stroll through a historic souk … or one of its two dozen world-class shopping malls. Any of Jeddah’s many mosques is worthy of admiration, but the Al Rahma mosque — also known as the Floating Mosque, one of the most distinctive symbols of Jeddah — makes for a serene sight. People of all faiths are welcome to visit, though it is considered disrespectful to do so while prayers are in session. Equally welcoming is Jeddah’s art scene, with dozens of galleries looking to showcase and provide a platform for emerging Arab artists. Thrill seekers may wish to head out for a dune-bashing adventure in the desert in an off-road 4x4 … or alternatively, head to the Red Sea for some exceptional scuba diving.

After a long day of discovery, treating yourself with an indulgent dinner is a must — and thanks to Jeddah’s diverse population, you’re not at a loss for options. After dinner, enjoy a stroll along the corniche and potentially a show: either the sunset dancing along the water’s surface or one of the concerts or festivals that are often staged here. No matter how you choose to spend your days visiting here, it’ll quickly become clear that this city offers more than you could hope to discover in one visit — giving you something to look forward to on your next visit.



Riyadh Skyline

Days 5 – 7: Riyadh

Inland from Jeddah is Riyadh, the country’s capital, financial and cultural hub. Here, you’ll find modern skyscrapers next to ancient fortresses and impressive souks intermingling with more modern outings. Like grains of sand in the desert, the options for how to spend your time here are endless. You could (and should!) spend your first day delving into the country’s history, with visits to the ever-informative National Museum of Saudi Arabia, Al Masmak Fortress, Murabba Historical Palace or King Abdulaziz Historical Center. On the next day, you could treat yourself to a shopping spree, with any of the souks and malls likely to have the perfect souvenirs just waiting to be bought. Or you could set out for a scenic stroll. Riyadh’s Royal Zoo is 55 acres of tame safari — the preserve for local endangered birds is a must-see — or the World Sights Park allows you to stroll among (miniaturized) replicas of the world’s most famous landmarks. When it comes time to cap off the day with dinner, the city is full of delicious choices … but none promises a view quite like The Globe. Within a glass-paneled sphere atop the Al Faisaliah Tower, contemporary European cuisine is served as you watch the sunset on this sprawling enigma of a city.



Looking to check off all the above in a potential trip to this fabled land? Crafting the perfect itinerary doesn’t take wishing on a star; just give one of our travel agents a call. Their professional expertise is priceless in planning a trip to this country — especially considering how tourism is still an emerging venture for Saudi Arabia. With their help, you can rest easy knowing your travel plans are safe, meticulously thorough and just the right amount of thrilling.


Connect with a travel agent today to get started crafting your dream itinerary to Saudi Arabia.


Plan your next trip with
Ryan Munseok
Herndon, VA
Let's Plan Your Next Trip

We are here to help you turn your travel dreams into reality. contact us today!

Ryan Munseok Choi
Ryan Munseok Choi
Herndon, VA
Professional Travel Specialist
Roneka Samalenge
Roneka Samalenge
Sterling, VA
Experience Luxury with Bellavue Travel
Ann Nordeen
Ann Nordeen
Leesburg, VA
Cruise & Vacation Specialist
How does this work?
Why use a travel agent?
Why use Travel Leaders?

Travel Leaders Network is the largest network of professional travel agents in North America. Wherever you want to go, however you want to get there — we have a travel agent for you.

Magnifying Loupe
Our database of travel experts & specialists
With an agent via text, email or phone
A stress-free vacation with a professional by your side