- by travelpulse
- 24 Mar 2023
When the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia officially opened its doors to travelers from 49 countries in 2019, early visitors uncovered a virtually unexplored world of exciting contrasts.
Residents of Riyadh live among towering skyscrapers next to state-of-the-art fashion malls adjacent to ancient ruins, yet the call to prayer still rings out loudly five times a day. Children and youth also make up a solid two-thirds of the Saudi population, which means the historically conservative Kingdom is left grappling with its evolving identity.
But, one detail about the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has not and will not change. The country is brimming with wonders and historical finds that should be on every traveler's bucket list if they're not already.
If you're an adventure traveler, you'll want to know about all the thrilling and unusual things to see and explore in this mysterious kingdom. If you're considering a visit to Saudi Arabia in order to see and explore, read on to learn more.
Located in the northwestern edge of Saudi Arabia sits Al-Ula Old Town - an ancient settlement and "ghost town" that was inhabited from the 12th to 20th centuries. The old town is absolutely vast and excitingly well preserved, with 900 houses, 400 shops and five ancient town squares still held together enough to walk through and explore.
You can take a virtual tour of Al-Ula before you go, but you'll definitely want to see the abandoned village with its narrow, winding streets and stone buildings for yourself. You can even take part in other adventure activities in the area, from the Al-Ula zipline experience to rock climbing, buggy tours, and cycling.
An archaeological site known as Hegra, which is located in the greater region of Al-Ula, is home to rooms ornately decorated and carefully carved into desert boulders similar to Jordan's Petra. Hegra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and rightfully so considering you can head here to see 111 monumental tombs, some of which date back as far as the 1st century BC.
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