Religious Tourism in Saudi Arabia: Top 6 Attractions

Religious Tourism in Saudi Arabia Top 6 Attractions

Saudi Arabia is ranked as the number one destination for religious tourism for Muslims around the world. It is home to the two holiest cities in Islam, Mecca and Medina. In the former, the seeds of the first call to the Islamic faith were sown, while in the latter, the spread and expansion of Islam reached beyond the borders of the Arabian Peninsula.

Both cities boast numerous significant religious landmarks, and we will mention the top 6, most of which are located in these two cities.

However, this doesn’t mean that religious landmarks in Saudi Arabia are limited to Mecca and Medina, as there are also some religious destinations in other cities such as Jeddah, Riyadh, and the Eastern Province.


6 of the most important religious monuments in Saudi Arabia

  1. The Holy Mosque in Mecca
  2. The Prophet’s mosque in the city
  3. Mount Arafa
  4. Al-Qiblatain Mosque in Medina
  5. Makkah Museum
  6. The floating mosque in Jeddah


1- The Holy Mosque in Mecca

It includes the most important destination for Muslims, the Kaaba. The Kaaba is considered the holiest place, and the Qibla is where Muslims turn in their prayers. The Kaaba has a rich and ancient history in the Islamic religious heritage, and its foundation dates back to before the emergence of Islam in the Arabian Peninsula. But it became of great importance after the advent of Islam, and it carries a holiness that cannot be matched anywhere else. This is why praying there is a great reward that a Muslim does not get the same as if he prayed anywhere else. 

Muslims perform the hajj once to Mecca every year, and they perform the Umrah rituals many times throughout the months of the year. This is what makes religious tourism to this place continue, as pilgrims and Umrah pilgrims come to it by tens of millions every year.


2- The Prophet’s mosque in the city

The Prophet’s mosque in Medina houses the mausoleum of the most important and greatest figure in Islamic history, the personality of the Prophet Muhammad. The Prophet’s mosque is considered the greatest building in the region, and it has been expanded in several stages to accommodate more than two million worshipers at one time. The Prophet’s mosque witnesses busy and flocking seasons of visitors during the year, especially during the Hajj season and the holy month of Ramadan. 

Those who witness and see the Prophet’s mosque from afar can only be amazed by the beauty and grandeur of the Omran by what Saudi Arabia has provided over decades to become what it is now. 

The Prophet’s mosque is the first destination for any visitor to Medina, and other religious monuments come after it in terms of importance and in terms of Muslim delegations to it. 


3- Mount Arafa

There is no Muslim who does not know Mount Arafah, and most Muslims either came to this mountain and stood on it or at least witnessed the pilgrims standing on it through the media during the Hajj season. Saudi state television broadcasts live scenes every year of pilgrims standing on the mountain, absorbing its entire area. It is known that standing in this place is essential until the hajj takes place, and that the hajj is not considered complete without witnesses of this great position in this place. 

Mount Arafa is located on the road between Mecca and Taif and is about 22 km away from Mecca. It reaches a height of about 300 meters, with a range of mountains in its vicinity that can be seen from the same place. 


4- Al-Qiblatain Mosque in Medina

Al-Qiblatain Mosque was so named because it witnessed the transformation of Muslims in their prayers from heading towards the Al-Aqsa Mosque to heading towards the Kaaba. This incident was one of the milestones in Islamic history, as Muslims distinguished themselves from others in their orientation during prayer, with this matter remaining until the day of judgment. 

Al-Qiblatain Mosque is considered one of the most important landmarks in Medina, and it appears to the visitor from afar in a wonderful white suit with two domes and two minarets. It occupies an area of more than 3900 square kilometers, and it is about 4 kilometers away from the Prophet’s mosque.


5- Makkah Museum

The importance of the Makkah museum is highlighted by the fact that it houses exhibits of the masterpieces of Islamic civilization in its halls. It also includes a floor that reviews the biography of the prophet of Islam. There is a hall related to Hajj and its affairs, and another hall related to the architecture of the Grand Mosque. The heritage of Mecca also has an independent place. 

The museum occupies an area of 3425 square meters and is located in Makkah, Al-Zaher district, Medina Road, next to King Abdulaziz Hospital.


6- The Floating Mosque in Jeddah

Built in 1985, the floating mosque has since become one of Jeddah’s landmarks and one of its most beautiful religious landmarks. It was called the floating mosque because it was built over a water area with bases embedded under the sea surface. The mosque has amazing architectural beauty; it is topped with one large dome in the middle and one minaret. The interior design of the mosque is modern, with the latest lighting and sound technologies.

It is nice for the visitors of the mosque to hear the sound of the waves of the Jeddah Sea while they are in this place. They can see the sea horizon in some parts of the place.