Cover Image Credit: Wikipedia
The Middle East is beautiful, surreal and attracts all kinds of avid wanderers. With an array of spectacular mainstream and offbeat travel destinations, the Middle East has started to gain popularity. The natural charm, paradise-like cities, and colourful community and culture are considered to be catalysts in making the region a preferred holiday destination for many. If you are overwhelmed with its beauty and aura and thinking of planning your holiday here, go through our recommendations on places to visit in the Middle East before finalizing the itinerary. Read about these places and see which one attracts you the most.
15 Places To Visit In Middle East
Take a quick glance at the places to visit in Middle East that have been shortlisted for you and will come in handy while you’ll be preparing your itinerary.
1. Petra (Jordan)
2. Amadiya (Iraq)
3. Dubai (UAE)
4. Tel Aviv (Israel)
5. Istanbul (Turkey)
6. Doha (Qatar)
7. Isfahan (Iran)
8. Baalbek (Lebanon)
9. Cairo (Egypt)
10. Manama (Bahrain)
11. Abu Dhabi (UAE)
12. Damascus (Syria)
13. Beirut (Lebanon)
14. Erbil (Iraq)
15. Al Balad (Saudi Arabia)
Petra- the stunning archaeological city of Jordan allures travellers from all over the world and tops the list of best places to visit in Middle East. The former capital of Nabatean Kingdom has remnants of ancient mosques, tombs, palaces and temples, made of pink sandstone. The local people are cordial and welcomes every guest travelling to the ‘Rose City’.
Accessed by a spectacular canyon called Al Siq, Petra looks surreal and stunning and has been aptly listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Ideal Duration: 1 Day
Best Time To Visit: March to May and September to November
Key attractions: Al-Deir Monastery, Al Khazneh temple with Greek-style façade and ornate, Colonnaded Street, Qasr Al-Bint and Royal Tombs.
Places to stay: Petra Moon Hotel, Petra Marriott Hotel, and The Old Village Hotel and Resort
Located 10 km from the Turkish border, Amadiya is a picturesque Kurdish village. Nestled on the flat-topped mountain, Amadiya has a rich history as many ancient civilizations and communities and has invaded this place.
Mythologically, Amadiya is believed to be the home of three wise men, who walked to Bethlehem to see Jesus Christ right after his birth. A scenic and serene place to visit in Middle East, Amadiya attracts travellers of all kinds.
Key attractions: Ruins from the Assyrian, ruins of a synagogue and a tomb of Ezekiel and a beautiful church.
Places to stay: Motel Kani and Amedi Motel
Suggested Read: 20 Romantic Places To Visit In Singapore For Honeymoon In 2020
Stunning monuments, happening beaches, swanky hotels and skyscrapers, and ultra-modern malls and souks make the skyline of Dubai look spectacular and attractive. Flocked by millions of tourists round the year; Dubai has every reason to be at the top of the list of places to visit in Middle east.
Be it entertainment and recreation, luxury stay and shopping and best of world cuisine; Dubai is the hot favourite among travellers of all kinds.
Ideal Duration: 2 Nights/3 Days
Best Time To Visit: November to March
Key attractions: Burj Khalifa, Jumeirah Beach, Mall of Emirates, Dubai Mall, Wild Wadi, Desert Safari, Dubai Creek, Dubai Aquarium, Global Village and Dubai Marina,
Places to stay: Atlantis The Palm, Roda Al Murooj, Hyatt Regency By Dubai Creeks and Sofitel Dubai Downtown.
4. Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv is scenic, enthralling and full of life. From natural charm, leisure activities to soul-stirring adventure and thrill; Tel Aviv has everything that makes the vacation wonderful and memorable.
Sun-kissed beaches, museums, local markets, cafes, and nightlife will leave you amused and make you visit this place in Israel again and again. Don’t you think; Tel Aviv should be included in the list of best places to visit in Middle east? Plan a holiday out there to be doubly sure.
Ideal Duration: 2 Nights/3 Days
Best Time To Visit: March to April and September to November
Key attractions: Hilton Beach, Rothschild Boulevard, Tel Aviv Museum Of Art, Yarkon Park,
Port of Jaffa and Carmel Market.
Places to stay: Hotel Gilgal, Abraham Hostel and Little Tel Aviv Hostel
Another popular choice while shortlisting the places to see in Middle East is none other than Istanbul. This bright and vibrant Turkish city has a romantic charm and mystic vibe that spreads happiness and allures every kind of wanderer. From honeymoon couples, history buffs to solo travellers; Istanbul is everyone’s dream.
The traditional monuments, stunning canal view with Asia and Europe on both sides, local food, handicrafts, grand hammams, and lovely local people make the vacation truly unforgettable.
Ideal Duration: 5 Nights/6 Days
Best Time To Visit: March to May and September To November
Key attractions: Hagia Sophia Museum, The Blue Mosque, Bosphorus Canal, Grad Bazaar and Topkapi Palace Museum.
Places to stay: Radisson Blu Hotel, Romance Istanbul Hotel, Istanbul Royal Hotel, and Swissotel The Bosphorus Istanbul.
Located by the Persian Gulf, the capital city of Qatar is famous for its spectacular buildings, monuments, beautiful museums, heritage markets, and amusement centres. Developing both economically and socio-culturally, Doha is aptly labeled as one of the 7 new Wonder Cities of the World and one among the must-see places to visit in Middle East.
Ideal Duration: 1 Night/2 Days
Best Time To Visit: December to February
Key attractions: Museum Of Islamic Art, Katara Cultural Village, The Pearl Qatar, National Museum and Souq Waqif
Places to stay: Warwick Doha Hotel, Grand Regal Hotel, and Chairmen Hotel Doha.
Reputed as the spectacular capital of ancient Persia, Isfahan displays the amazing style of Persian art and architecture. Mosques, palaces, giant dome, and even public squares are beautifully designed with Persian art, sculptures, and calligraphy.
Even the interior of these monuments and the ceilings showcase spectacular designs and geometrical forms that enhance the charm quotient of this Iranian city. This is surely one of the most stunning places to visit in Middle East, that no one should miss out on.
Key attractions: Naqsh-e Jahan Square, Imam (Shah) Mosque, Ali Qapu Palace and Sheikh
Places to stay: Abbasi Hotel, Setareh Hotel, and Isfahan- The Traditional Hotel
Nestled by the Litani River in the Beqaa Valley of Lebanon, Baalbek is a holy site since the ancient age. According to historical facts, the Phoenicians built gigantic temples and shrines, dedicated to Sky God in Baalbek way back in 9000 BC.
Known for worshipping myriad of Gods and Goddesses, the city presently showcases fabulous ruins of temples, mosques and other structures that belong to the Greek and Roman age and proudly holds its place in the league of offbeat places to visit in Middle East.
Key attractions: Stone Of The Pregnant Woman, Baalbek Roman Ruins, Temple of Bacchus and Temple of Jupiter.
Places to stay: Palmyra Hotel, Kanaan Group Hotel, and Hotel Shouman
Showcasing myriads of mosques, palaces, pyramids, and minarets; Cairo the capital of Egypt is rightly honoured as The City Of The Thousand Minarets. Welcoming thousands of tourists every year for its grand and gorgeous architecture, buzzing markets, cafes, and restaurants and nightlife; Cairo, nestled on the banks of River Nile is surely one of the most sought-after destinations to see in Middle East.
Ideal Duration: 2Nights/3Days
Best Time To Visit: October to April
Key attractions: Giza Necropolis, Khan-el-Khalili, Pyramid of Djoser and Egyptian Museum
Places to stay: Grand Royal Hotel, Valencia Hotel, and Cairo Paradise Hotel
Located by the Persian Gulf, Manama is the capital of Bahrain and boasts of beautiful monuments and rich culture and heritage. Historically, the city has been the capital of the Arabian Gulf and the hub of many major trade routes. The mosques, museums, public squares, and local markets make the city sparkle, attracting volumes of tourists who like to explore heritage destinations.
Ideal Duration: 1 Night/2 Days
Best Time To Visit: November to February
Key attractions: Bahrain National Museum, Al Fateh Grand Mosque, Bab Al Bahrain and The Lost Paradise of Dilmun Water Park
Places to stay: Taj Plaza Hotel, Downtown Rotana and Gulf Hotel Bahrain
11. Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi needs no introduction. Situated on the island of the Persian Gulf, Abu Dhabi is all about buzzing beaches, nightlife, monuments, and adventure. Offering perfect amalgamation of old-world charm and most modern urbanisation; Abu Dhabi offers a bounty of recreation, amusements, adventure, and thrill to people of all age groups.
Be it safaris, heritage village tours, beach fun, desert camps or mall hopping; the place has everything and that is why it is one of the popular choices among the places to visit in Middle East.
Ideal Duration: 2 Nights/3 Days
Best Time To Visit: Late October to April
Key attractions: Saadiyat Public Beach, Marina Mall, Dalma Mall, Mushrif Central Park, Heritage Village, Ferrari World, Emirates Palace, Louvre Museum and Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre.
Places to stay: City Seasons Al Hamra Hotel, Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana and Jumeirah at Etihaad Towers.
We all know ‘old is gold’ and this is once again proved by the beauty and charm of the vintage city of Damascus in Syria. Damascus is one of the ancient cities to visit in Middle East as well as the World. But its vintage nature has not faded its charm a bit. Famed for pretty, mosques, souks and public squares Damascus should be your favourite holiday destination if you love history and heritage.
Key attractions: Umayyad mosque, Azm Palace, Al Hamra Street, The National Museum, Damascus Opera House and Souq al-Hamidiyyeh
Places to stay: Belt Al Wali Hotel, Hotel Art House, Sheraton Hotel and Four Seasons Hotel
The capital city of Lebanon; Beirut is a hub of ancient culture and heritage. Boasting of gorgeous architecture, food, handicrafts, and outstanding monuments, Beirut proudly stands as one of the most fashionable cities to visit in Middle East, located by the Mediterranean Sea.
Ideal Duration: 4 Nights/5 Days
Best Time To Visit: April to November
Key attractions: Beirut souks, Martyrs’ Square, Njjmeh Square, Hamra Street, and Zaitunay Bay
Places to stay: Saifi Urban Gardens, Le Commodore Hotels, The Grand Meshmosh Hotel, and Radisson Blu Martinez.
Middle-East has many ancient cities of the world which have retained their glory for ages. Among the ancient places to see in Middle East, Erbil is a popular choice. Erbil is the most populous city of Iraq and the commercial capital of Kurdistani Region of Iraq. With relics of ancient palaces, museums and public squares, Erbil look attractive and gorgeous.
Ideal Duration: 2 Nights/3 Days
Best Time To Visit: March to April
Key attractions: Erbil Citadel, Kurdish Textile Museum, Family Mall, Sami Abdulrahman Park, and Shanadar Park.
Places to stay: Madera Hotel, Divan Erbil Hotel, and Erbil Rotana
15. Al Balad
The list of best places to visit in Middle East is never complete without Al Balad. The picturesque old city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia is 1300 years old was the doorway for the Muslims to Mecca. Presently, it is a colourful and buzzing city and its heritage and display of old-world charm made UNESCO list Al Balad as one of the World Heritage Sites.
Country: Saudi Arabia
Key attractions: Naseef House, Makkah Gate, and Old Jeddah
Places to stay: Burj Al Balad Hotel and Red Sea Palace Hotel
If the surreal beauty and aura of these places to visit in Middle East have allured you, plan a trip and create holiday memories of your lifetime. Your Middle East vacay will simply be worthwhile if you’ll add most of the above-listed tourist places in your itinerary!
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Frequently Asked Questions About Places To Visit In Middle East
A. One can buy blue potteries, boutique dresses, pieces of jewelry, antiques, Turkish tea, The Blue Evil Eye of Turkey, Nargil Pipes and Turkish mosaic lamps.
A. The popular things to do in Cairo are a visit to the Egyptian Museum, shopping at Khan el Khalili Bazaar, exploring Pyramids of Giza, party at Cairo Jazz Club and leisure strolls at Al Azhar Park.
A. 2 days are sufficient for a whole-hearted Doha vacation.
A. The best time to plan a Dubai holiday is during the winter months. November to March is the best time with comfortable weather, ideal for sightseeing and outdoor activities.
A. Lebanon is famous for its delicious cuisine, stunning monuments and rich culture. It is known as the Paris of the Middle East.
A. One can enjoy hiking, try authentic Iranian food, visit specialty museums, try couch surfing and stay in a traditional hotel.
A. The famous restaurants in Beirut are Em Sherif Restaurant, Babel Bay, Tawlet, Mayrig, and Liza.