Explore Saudi Arabia's Captivating Museums
The Kingdom is home to several top museums offering visitors a glimpse into their nation's rich past, heritage, and culture. There are just so many to visit, so we'll start off with four worth checking out.
National Museum of Saudi Arabia
The National Museum of Saudi Arabia is the most popular in the Kingdom, but also has among the largest collection of exhibits. Situated in Riyadh, this museum consists of eight halls, all of which take visitors on a journey through various eras including prehistoric, pre-Islamic, the life and times of Prophet Muhammad, and recent eras. Indeed, the museum is a great way to reconnect with the past, and it's also an ideal destination for school trips.
King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra)
Although only having opened its doors in 2016, King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) has become a symbol of Saudi Aramco's commitment to sustainability. With modern architecture reflecting the fracking process, this landmark also serves as a place of world culture, exchange of ideas, and theater. The Great Hall is used for short-term exhibitions, which has also featured famous works such as The Scream. In fact, Ithra is also a great place to observe both ancient and contemporary arts.
The Antiquities Museum is another important landmark when it comes to archeological artifacts from across the Kingdom. In fact, it has been instrumental in spearheading archeological excavations and findings since the 1970s up till 2004.
Situated 200 kilometers southeast of Medina, the museum is home to pre-Islamic artifacts, which includes findings from a crucial Arabic site of Qaryat Al Faw, as well as Nabataean sites in AlUla. Of course, this also includes relics from non-Semitic civilizations such as the Romans, Sassanian, and Babylonians, but also from various Islamic eras.
Al Masmak Palace Museum
Formerly a fortress, Al Masmak played a key role in witnessing the birth of a nation. Today, it now serves as a glimpse to the Kingdom's past. Since 1995, Al Masmak Palace Museum has served as a reminder of Emir Abdulaziz Ibn Saud Al Saud's efforts in laying the foundation for modern Saudi Arabia. In fact, visitors of this Najdi structure will be able to look through old relics including costumes and weapons. More importantly, however, Al Masmak Palace Museum is also a living testament of Najdi architecture as was implemented in the region in the 19th century.