The vibrant city of Riyadh city is the capital of Saudi Arabia and sits in the centre of the country. Here, urban life and cultural heritage combine in the city, offering the experience of modern life with traditional authenticity. Riyadh is the centre for business, shopping, culture and entertainment and events and festivals take place around the year. You’ll always find something to do in this lively city.
Museums in Riyadh
You’ll find a number of museums in the city, so make the most of your chance to explore and learn all about the history and culture of Saudi Arabia. Below are some of the best museums. They’re not to be missed!
The National Museum in Riyadh
The most famous museum in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) gives you a fascinating insight into the history and culture of Saudi Arabia. This two-storey building is located in the middle of King Abdul-Aziz Historical Centre and contains 8 different galleries, each with a different theme to provide you with a better understanding of the country’s past and the present of Saudi Arabia.
Musmak Fort of Riyadh
Al Musmak castle, located in the old quarter of Riyadh, city centre, holds a large collection of artefacts signifying the early days in the development of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The castle is also renowned for the mosque and the grand palace gate. Additionally, it is recognized for its mosque and grand palace gate.
Riyadh Malls and Markets
Of course, Riyadh is great for shopping and you’ll be able to browse a variety of malls and markets while you’re in this city. Here are some of the best below, where you can buy a range of goods, from antiques and clothes to Arabian fragrances and more.
Al Zall Market
Al Zall market is the oldest market in Riyadh and you’ll find all kinds of goods such as “mashaleh”, carpets, antiques and artefacts, silverware, copperplate, clothes, ancient armour, Arabian fragrances and many other traditional items. If you want to experience the old city of Riyadh away from skyscrapers and busy shopping malls, Souqk al Zall is your destination.
Riyadh’s Mega Malls
In the districts of Riyadh, you’re sure to find at least one mega mall, which makes the citya prime destination for shoppers. In Al Olaya District, Kingdom Tower Mall and Al Faisaliah Mall, two of Riyadh’s landmarks, are commercial skyscrapers with the finest brands.
Luxury product seekers can find what they’re looking for in the one of the most luxurious malls within Riyadh, Centria mall. Here, you can enjoy some fine dining at the international restaurants in the mall.
Panorama mall is popular with many families within the city, especially on weekends. The shopping mall offers a panoramic view of the city, hence the name, and overlooks the intersection of Takhasosi and Tahlia Street.
As well as visit the city’s many shopping outlets, shoppers can attend the Riyadh Festival for Shopping and Entertainment. The Riyadh Festival for Shopping and Entertainment, is organized by the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry organises the festival and during this time shoppers can enjoy a range of special offers and discounts. It’s a good time to bag a bargain.
Things to do in Riyadh
Riyadh’s beautiful sand dunes and green valleys create the perfect blend for lovers of picturesque scenery. The valleys and mountain slopes of Thumamah Dessert create scope for outdoor activities such as horse and buggy riding, picnicking, camping, skydiving, paragliding and much more.
Only 30 mins away from city centre, Dirab Dessert can offer a variety of activities. Horse riding is one popular activity. You can also keep your golf skills honed at the Dirab Golf and Country Club, which is a little under 28 miles south-west of Riyadh.
If you’re looking to soak up the natural beauty of the region, you’ll find a a combination of running water and rocks at Wadi Hanifa. This valley in the Nejd region is a a perfect getaway from the busy life in the city of Riyadh.
You can see animals from across the world at Riyadh Zoo, which is one of the largest zoos in KSA and is located in the Malaz district of Riyadh.As well animals, there are eating facilities, shops and a children’s playground.
Festivals & Major Events
Naturally, being the capital of Saudi Arabia, major annual festivals take place in the city. Al Janadriyah Festival - The National Festival for Heritage and Culture - is one of the major events in Riyadh that aims to create a connection between KSA’s past and present.
At the event, each province of the kingdom will have its own pavilion. There they will showcase local dishes, handicrafts and traditions specific to that province. Competitions, forums, poetry and storytelling, plays, and book exhibitions are an important part of the festival.
Business in Riyadh
King Khalid International Airport is the city’s main airport and lies around 27 miles from Riyadh city centre. A car journey to or from the airport is relatively quick at between 30 and 40 minutes.
As a major city, naturally, Riyadh is a place for doing business. There are opportunities to be had as Saudi Arabia looks to diversify its economy, rather than relying on the oil industry, and starts to create free trade zones in Riyadh and other parts of the country.