The Arabian Peninsula is slowly being recognized as a growing hotspot for tourists, and many world travellers are making sure to put this small corner of the world on their list of places to travel to in 2018. From the ancient city of Muscat to the trading hub of Jeddah, here are the top 10 cities you have to see when visiting the Arabian Peninsula. Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.
One of the most famous cities, not only in the region but in the entire world, for its futuristic skyline and the biggest mall and amusement park in the world, Dubai is one of those places you just have to see. While in Dubai, make sure you get a chance to explore the surrounding desert for a full experience of life in Dubai.
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1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Abu Dhabi, UAE
As the capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi has both the traditional and the modern. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is one of the most beautiful architectural buildings in the country, and while out in the city, you can explore the stunning Corniche, Central Market or the famous Yas Island.
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Most likely one of the most conservative cities in the Arabian Gulf you’ll come across, Riyadh is still worth travelling to in order to experience the full experience of life in the Arabian Peninsula. In Riyadh, you’ll be able to indulge in delicious Saudi food, explore the magnificent King Abdullah Park or get into some Saudi history at the Masmak Fort or Murabba Palace.
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
A coastal city on the western side of Saudi Arabia that has a colourful and long trading history with East Africa, Jeddah is the place to go if you want to experience the Arabian Peninsula from its Red Sea side. In Jeddah, you can walk along the sparkling oceanfront or simply bask in the vibrant and unique culture and cuisine of the Hejaz province.
The capital of Oman is a growing hotspot for travellers and now is the time to go if you want to experience the authenticity and beauty of Muscat before it gets overrun by tourists! With whitewashed historical buildings, colourful markets and a beautiful view of the glittering ocean, Muscat will convince you to stay in the Arabian Peninsula just a little bit longer.
A lush and green oasis in the far corner of the country, Salalah has long been a refreshing escape into nature for both Omanis and other locals from the surrounding Gulf countries. Cooler temperatures, deep forests and fresh springs of water make this place worth the drive, if anything, here is where you can imagine what the Arabian Peninsula must have looked like thousands of years ago.
Although much of what is shown about Yemen today is on the horrendous war, in the hopes that the country will one day return to peace, the historical and coastal city of Aden is worth mentioning. Looking out over the Red Sea, this colourfully vibrant city has been around since before the 7th century BCE.
The capital of the island of Bahrain is often overlooked by its more glitzy neighbours, Dubai or Doha, but Manama is worth going to for its deeply rooted culture and history. The Bahraini people, with their warm hospitality renowned humbleness, will capture anyone’s heart and make it even harder to leave.
In the middle of a political crisis between the other Gulf States, Doha is the place to go to experience the thrill of a thriving city and to hear the political gossip on the streets themselves (don’t worry, it is perfectly safe to travel to Qatar). The only problem is, only the Gulf States of Oman and Kuwait fly to Qatar because of the political sanctions from the other states, so be sure to travel to Qatar last to avoid any unpleasant surprises with the borders of those states currently imposing the blockade on Qatar.
Kuwait City, Kuwait
Although the seat of many conflicts and wars, this small country in the very northern corner of the Arabian Peninsula is the perfect place to travel to for those who want to expand their knowledge on the history and politics of this region. Here, you can better understand the heritage of the Kuwaiti people, understand the war with Iraq and the role the Americans played, while also exploring modern-day life in one of the Gulf’s most up-and-coming cities.
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