Saudi Arabia has a lot of history and many of its residents, locals and expats alike not know much about it. In fact, many aren’t even aware of amazing historic sites that lie in their backyards or so to say.
So in case you are missing out on Saudi history, one of the best places to start is in the country’s museums. And Saudi Arabia has no shortage of them. Don’t only expect things of the ancient past in them some places have their hallowed galleries filled with memorabilia from the recent past of a time when Arabia met the West after the oil boom.
Here are our picks on the best museums in the country.
1. National Museum of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh
This is a tourist hotspot in Riyadh and is by far the best in terms of both the artifacts that it houses and the information that it provides on the country’s history. Being a national museum it has priceless artifacts from all different parts of the country. No wonder it is one of the most popular museums in the Gulf.
2. Tayma Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography, Tayma
Tayma is historically very rich and a lot of historic sites in the city are fenced off for tourists as excavations work is still to be carried out in a number of places. A lot of artifacts that were unearthed in Tayma have been put in other museums, the Tayma Stele, for example, is in the Louvre in Paris. Nonetheless, this small sized museum does house some amazing relics that were found in the oasis city.
3. Dar Al Madinah, Madinah
The city holds a special place in the heart of all Muslims and this museum sheds light on the city’s glorious past in an informative and entertaining way. Though it is located a bit far from the Haram pilgrims to the city are taking time off their schedules to visit this place.
4. Tayyibat City, Jeddah
Jeddah has Al Balad, which is like one of the biggest historical attractions in the region, but in terms of museums, it lacks glaringly. Luckily, there was a man in Jeddah, Abdul Raoof Khalil, who wanted to present the city’s rich history to the world so he built this – a mini city built on the lines of the historic architecture found in Al Balad. This mini-city of his also houses a museum that covers so many different eras of Jeddah that every visitor to the city should have this on their bucket list.
5. Najran Museum
The museum sits right next to the historical city of Ukhdood within Najran city limits. This museum is special because Najran is a hotbed of ancient Arabian artifacts and a lot of the ones that were found in the city have been put in this museum for the world to see. The museum is well made and one can see that a lot of time and effort have been put in here.