In terms of serving the world as a tourist destination, Saudi Arabia remains unfamiliar to most of us due to its strict regulations regards the issuing of visas for foreigners. Saudi Arabia is a fascinating modern country rich with oil but also with fascinating desert landscapes, holy cities and mountainous terrain. Saudi Arabia is the place where millions of Muslims flock to in order to visit Mecca and Medina.

Riyadh is Saudi Arabia’s capital city and has risen to prominence as the country’s largest and most vibrant city now home to several luxury hotels, one of the planet’s largest airports and numerous sky scrapers. Popular attractions in Riyadh include Al-Bathaa in the centre and Masmak Fortress, which was built around 1865 and has been recently restored by local authorities.

Nabawi Mosque, Madina, Saudi Arabia

Nabawi Mosque, Madina, Saudi Arabia

If you want to see what the old capital looked like, you must head 30kms north to Dir’aiyah which has now become the country’s leading and most visited archaeological site. Known as the ‘Paris of Arabia’, Jeddah is home to the Municipality Museum and the Jeddah Museum which is the area’s primary archaeology and ethnography museum.

Mecca is the a sacred site for Muslims and millions of Muslims from around the world flock here every year to make the religious pilgrimage with each follower of Islam destined to make the hajj at least once in their life time. Things can get hectic here due to the area’s undeniable religious importance but it is worth a visit.

Riyadh and Jeddah provide tourists with the best luxury hotels you could ever aspire to stay in and many of the five-star suites offered in both cities firmly represent the lavish hospitality this part of the world is famous for. If you want a hotel, expect to pay the same as you would in a top European capital per night for luxury comfort.

Although visa matters sometimes become an issue when visiting Saudi Arabia, getting a flight there is not. Saudi Arabia has three major airports in Riyadh (King Khaled Airport), Jeddah and Damman and all are flown to by Saudi Arabian Airlines from major European cities with Gulf Airlines also offering services.