Owing to the numerous tribes that lived in Saudi Arabia, the kingdom has a long, illustrious past. The history and heritage of the kingdom are beautifully documented in the museums of Saudi Arabia. These museums preserve the antiques and relics from Islamic and pre-Islamic times. Further adhering to the government’s plan to increase non-religious tourism, the museums of Saudi Arabia have evolved greatly over the years. With the help of the latest technology, the museums now provide an all-engrossing experience to tourists.
7 popular museums of Saudi Arabia
1. Dar Al Madinah Museum, Madinah
Privately owned by Abdul-Aziz bin Abdul-Rahman bin Ibrahim Kaki, the Dar Al Madinah museum admirably showcases the historical past of the holy city. The museum provides working and still models of the old machines, locations, and more. The museum has exhibits displaying the history of the Prophet’s mosque, Masjid An Nabawi, a model of Haram al-Sharif, with Al Aqsa and Dome of Rock models as well. Additionally, there are around 2000 exhibits in the museum preserving many ancient and historical items, photographs, and relics. One of which is the bow of Saad Ibn Abi-Waqas, a companion of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Location: Safwan Ibn Malik Al Tamimi, Al Mabuth, Madinah
Timings: Sunday to Thursday, 11 am – 7 pm. Closed on Friday
Entry fee: SR 25
2. National Museum of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh
The National Museum of Saudi Arabia houses one of the most extensive collections on the evolution of life in the Arabian peninsula. The museum boasts four main sections among many, including the Man and Universe Hall, Pre Islamic Era Hall, Prophet’s Mission Hall, and Hall on Saudi Arabia foundation. These halls display amazing exhibits with fossils of animals, antiques of old tribes, relics from the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) era, and weapons and maps of the region.
Location: King Faisal Road, King Abdul Aziz Historical Centre, Riyadh
Timings: Saturday to Thursday, 8 am – 8 pm, Friday 4 pm – 8 pm
Entry fee: SR 10 for adults
Suggested Read: 7 Museums in Riyadh That Every Tourist Should Visit
3. Museum of Happiness, Riyadh
Inviting people of all ages, the Museum of Happiness creates a destressing environment with vibrant colors. Unlike other museums, visitors are meant to interact with the exhibits. The museum maintains a fun theme around its 1300 square meters of area. The 10 display halls have a teddy room, gumball machine, retro games, rubber duck, etc. The museum also has an on-site restaurant named the Happiness cafe. Visitors can also purchase souvenirs relating to the museum from the gift shop.
Location: Front, Riyadh
Timings: 4 pm – 12 am, every day
Entry fee: SR 160 for adults and SR 60 for children below 12 years of age.
4. Tayebat Museum, Jeddah
Tayebat Museum is an outstanding display of Hijazi architecture. The museum houses old manuscripts, items on Arabian heritage, and Arab historical recreations. It is elegantly furnished and spans 10,000 sq m, with 12 structures and approximately 300 chambers. It is also a Saudi Arabia art museum with numerous artworks from renowned artists adorning the walls of the museum. Further, it has items entailing the noteworthy history of Saudi Arabia.
Location: Rayhanat Al Jazirah, Al Faisaliyah District, Jeddah
Timings: Saturday to Thursday, 8 am – 12 pm & 5 pm – 9 pm, closed on Friday
5. Scitech Technology Center, Al Khobar
Sultan bin Abdulaziz Scientific & Technology Center (SciTech), one of Saudi Arabia’s most well-known science museums, is the best to enjoy a day exploring interactive scientific and technological displays. Visitors can experience the best of the ocean life in the depths of the sea, along with the astronomical observatory that rises high up in the sky. Further, one can understand about natural occurrences like the moon’s waning and waxing phases, as well as many other fascinating scientific processes. Tourists can attend technology exhibitions for a more insightful visit.
Location: Corniche, Alkurnaish, Al Khobar
Timings: Sunday to Thursday, 8 am – 3 pm, 4 pm to 10 pm, Friday and Saturday – From 4 pm to 10 pm
6. King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, Dhahran
The King Abdulaziz Center for world culture, or Ithra, is well-known for its extensive collection of Arabic art. The museum is an 18-story masterpiece of a progressive design that includes exhibition halls and a reading room with a massive collection of literature. Further, the unique architecture of the museum and cultural center has made it a landmark in the region. Tourists can attend scientific workshops and discussion programs to learn more about Saudi Arabian culture. The place is ideal for youngsters since it allows them to learn while having fun.
Location: Ring Rd, Gharb Al Dhahran, Dhahran
Timings: Saturday to Thursday, 9 am – 9 pm, on Friday, 4 pm – 10 pm
7. Tabuk Castle And Museum, Tabuk
Tabuk Castle, which dates back to 35 BC, is another tourist attraction in Saudi Arabia. It is an iconic landmark that depicts the life and the times when it was built. The castle’s name is taken directly from the Holy Quran. In the category of finest museums in Saudi Arabia, the castle was named the best for its amazing design and architecture. The complex comprises two mosques, an open square, watchtowers, and a freshwater cistern. The fortress has been transformed into a museum housing a vast collection of historic papers dating back to the days of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Location: Uthman Ibn Affan Road, Tabuk
Timings: Saturday to Thursday, 7 am – 1: 45 pm, & 4 pm – 8 pm, closed on Friday
Saudi Arabia has a diverse culture, influenced by its Islamic background, historical significance as an old trading hub, and Bedouin customs. Over the last several centuries, Saudi society has advanced dramatically, still preserving the heritage in its extensive museums. The museums of Saudi Arabia are a must-visit to learn about the historic past of the Arabian Peninsula and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Museums of Saudi Arabia FAQs
Why is Dar Al Madinah Museum popular?
The museum has extensive picture galleries and city models portraying the history of the Prophet Mosque highlighting Madinah interesting legacy.
What is the cost of a ticket to the National Museum of Saudi Arabia?
The National Museum of Saudi Arabia ticket is SR 10 for adults.
What is the other name for King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture?
King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture is also known as Ithra.
Are there working models in the Scitech Technology Center?
Yes, the museum has interactive displays for visitors.
Why is Museum of Happiness famous?
Museum of Happiness offers some of the best interactive displays with game centers for kids.