Mysteries attract everyone and thus we all want to solve them consciously. Similarly, historical sites are also a kind of a mystery in today’s world. They have remnants of previous beings and their living style that we all are curious about. After all, understanding the lifestyle and survival ways of extinct civilizations opens new doors of knowledge to us. 

The same goes with pilgrims as well. Saudi Arabia is a land of mystery in terms of Islamic, cultural, and traditional history. In addition to the holy sites, pilgrims want to undertake once in a lifetime experience with historic sites as well. 

On the whole, the sacred land of Saudi Arabia is also home to previous civilizations even before the onset of Islam. The best part is that all these places are preserved to date so that visitors can get back into the past. 

And with Umrah packages it’s no more a challenge to arrange group tours to explore history. So, if you are planning to visit historical landmarks of Saudi Arabia as a pilgrim, below are the most famous sites to consider. So, let’s explore them ahead.

Famous Historical Landmarks in Saudi Arabia 

If you are going to perform Umrah for the first time, understand that it takes a few hours to complete Umrah rituals. Pilgrims can also perform Umrah rituals at any time of the day or night to please Allah. However, Umrah packages like the 10 Nights 4 star Umrah package allow you to stay in Makkah and Madinah for 10 days. So, what to do these days? 

Well, it’s pretty simple. Plan various short trips to nearby historical landmarks during any time of the day. Also, prefer spirituality and meeting religious goals to complete at first. Exploring historical sites in Saudi Arabia is a win-win situation. 

This way, you will be able to connect with the history of Islam. You can learn a lot about historical events and about their consequences. It all helps you get the most out of your single Umrah trip within budget. 

With that said, the Umrah pilgrimage is a chance to strengthen faith, and clear understanding and seek forgiveness. It’s important if you want to experience a truly transformative journey.

Pre-Islamic Heritage Sites 

Landmarks that are still preserved in Saudi Arabia since long even before Islam are known as pre-Islamic sites. Heritage sites are those with some special features in terms of historical or cultural significance. 

The purpose of visiting these pre-Islamic sites is to understand the difference in how people used to live before Islam. Visitors also prefer exploring heritage sites because they have everything to display about the past and provide everyone with relevant knowledge. 

For pilgrims, it’s the best time to find the difference between the era of Islam and the era before Islam. No doubt, it all fills the hearts of pilgrims with the praise of Allah. After all, he made us to be a part of the Islamic community. 

Well, the following are some famous historical landmarks of Saudi Arabia that were alive long before. 

1. Al Ula 

Being an ancient landmark, Al Ula brings the history of the 6th century BCE. For pilgrims, it’s easier to step into Al Ula because of its proximity to holy sites. Facing towards the northwest part of Saudi Arabia, Al Ula is almost 1200 km away from Makkah and Madinah. The best way to get there is by train or by public bus early in the morning. 

The early hours of the morning are perfect for exploring the history of Al Ula. This is because you will find fewer visitors at that time and have enough time to discover each part of the region. 

Nabataean civilization was a dominant tribe in the past that also made the whole city popular for local fun. Residents of the Nabataean civilization practiced architecture to build thoughtful structures. All these structures are still relevant nowadays and attract visitors the most. 

Khazneh is another prominent mark of the craving skills of Nabataeans. It consists of beautiful carved rocks and statues. In short, it’s hard to explain the beauty of Al Ula in words. Visit Al Ula and find what it looks like today and how you can relate pre-Islamic culture with present culture.

2. Al Okhdood 

Al Okhdood is another historical landmark closer to pilgrimage sites. At almost 1400 km southeast of Makkah and Madinah, you will find Al Okhdood. Similar to Al Ula, Al Okhdood is also a heritage site that dates back to the 3rd century BCE. Before Islamic traditions, several tribes were lived in Al Okhdood and famous for their handicraft and architectural sense. 

Nowadays, the place also displays the precise skills of its locals in the form of rock art and old buildings. As a pilgrim, include Al Okhdood as a go-to spot in Saudi Arabia. It’s accessible through a bus or private car. The whole journey exposes you to diverse landscapes and deserts that further add up the experience. 

Key sites including tombs and forts are worth seeing there. After all, they all represent the way of living, defense system, and survival techniques of locals back in the past. 

With the help of a guide, you can also understand the arts and get to know their beliefs. It will help you connect history with spirituality all the way.

3. Madain Saleh 

In terms of proximity to holy sites, Madain Saleh is the closest historic landmark to visit. Similar to Al Ula, Madain Saleh also represents the values of the Nabataean civilization. 

Pilgrims also recognize Madain Saleh as Hegra or Al Hijr. The landmark makes its place in the visiting list of pilgrims for a couple of reasons. 

Firstly, Madain Saleh is a pre-Islamic heritage site that brings the history of the 1st century AD. Visitors who are interested in exploring history starting from AD prefer to get there always. 

Secondly, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site which means that it contributes to preserving the history starting from AD. What makes Madain Saleh popular is its rock-cut tombs and monuments you can see everywhere. 

Facing the North of Madinah, Hegra is just at a distance of 400 to 500 km. It’s easier to get there by public bus or a private car. 

Instead, some Umrah packages also facilitate short trips to nearby historical sites like Madain Saleh as part of the package. 

The best part is that Madain Saleh has remains of civilizations before Islam and some of them are also quoted in the holy Quran. So, it’s a great place for pilgrims to visit the place that connects them with the past.

Castles and Forts 

When we are talking about history, it’s understood that there was no technology in the modern age. For instance, there was not a perfect defense system, well-developed techniques, and modern equipment. So, the locals were practiced building Castles and Forts. 

Castles and Forts are huge structures with thick walls and towers. Back in history, these structures were their defensive system. So, exploring these buildings means understanding their skill mindset about daily life. 

During the pilgrimage, you can visit the following castles and Resorts to make the most of your pilgrimage. 

4. Masmak Fortress 

Time management matters for pilgrims. So, we suggest you the best historical landmarks in Saudi Arabia you can locate closer to pilgrimage sites. It’s also possible that your cheap travel plan like the 10 Nights 4 star Umrah package also facilitates these tours. The same goes with Masmak Fortress. 

Masmak Fortress is a part of the historical background of Riyadh. Instead of Makkah, Riyadh is closer to Madinah at just 500 km in the southeast. One can easily travel to Riyadh by a bus or a private car. 

Back in the 19th century, Masmak Fortress was home to rulers. People also recognize this fort as Qasr Al Masmak. Masmak Fortress has everything preserved about rulers and their lifestyle.

With this cultural heritage, Qasr Al Masmak is now serving visitors as a museum. It’s a home to the artifacts, designs, and art displays of previous civilizations. 

So, if you want to revise the history of Saudi Arabia in a short time, plan a trip to Masmak Fortress. It will provide you with a comprehensive experience through the building and interior design as well.

5. Ajyad Fortress 

Being in Makkah to perform Umrah rituals, why look for historic landmarks outside the holy land? Ajyad Fortress is a complete history in itself. Interestingly, the fort overlooks masjid Al-Haram and just accessible at a distance of a few minutes. It revives visitors about the Ottoman Empire and the great historical events associated with the Ottoman era. 

However, Ajyad Fort is located on a hill. Thus, you have to put effort into climbing the height to get back into history. Well, once you are in the fort, you will find the influence of Ottoman rule and the remains of the past. The purpose of Ajyad Fort was to protect the holy Kabbah from invaders. Therefore, it is worth your once-in-a-lifetime visit. 

In terms of culture and history, Ajyad Fortress is still attractive and worth seeing. Being closer to Masjid Al Haram attracts the crowds of pilgrims who understand the importance of the Kaaba for residents.