Riyadh is not only Saudi Arabia’s capital city, but also one of the wealthiest cities of the world. It is a perfect blend of modern and traditional. Trying to squeeze in all that this beautiful city has to offer? Make sure you visit all the best attractions for a memorable holiday.
- Wadi Hanifa
Wadi Hanifa is a 120 kilometers wadi (valley), cutting through Riyadh. It is the longest and most important valley of the city. The valley is named Wadi Hanifa after the Bani Hanifa tribe that populated the area. It was once a waste disposal site, now it’s a beautiful desert oasis. The natural water drainage in a wide area of 4,000 square kilometers is a unique scene in Riyadh’s dry region. Families come here to bask in the astonishing landscape or picnic under the palm trees.
- Al-Turaif District in ad-Dir’iyah
The UNESCO World Heritage Site represented the first capital of the country and was the original home of the Saudi royal family. This is the place to experience the authentic old city of Riyadh, where you can witness the Najdi architectural style and stroll around thousands of years of Arabian history. The area is home to Salwa palace and is the largest mud-brick city in the world.
- Riyadh Zoo
As Saudia Arabia’s largest zoo, this zoological park has more than 1500 animals from 40 species. It’s a good place to enjoy both for adults and kids. The zoo also has a park and playgrounds to complete the experience. Flamingos will welcome you at the gates, walk further inside and you will witness the beautiful Bengal Tiger. If walking is too tiring for you, take a 20-minute train journey that covers a good portion of the zoo so you can see all the fascinating animals. Do not worry as the landscape is set to suit the animals’ natural habitat.
- Kingdom Center Tower
Rising 990 feet in height, the Kingdom Center Tower is one of the tallest skyscrapers in Saudi Arabia. The design includes a hole in the middle, created by an inverted arch with a Sky Bridge on the top. The building houses luxury apartments, a large shopping mall, and the Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh. Yes, the building itself is worth of a full-day exploration, but if you do not have all day, you can visit the Sky Bridge as it offers a spectacular birds-eye view of the city, especially in the evening.
- The National Museum
The National Museum is the country’s biggest museum. It is also one of the most visited places in Riyadh. The museum has eight main galleries that showcase the history of human civilization, Saudi Arabia, and Islam. The items displayed include sculptures, artworks, documents, antique tools, weapons, mineral and rock samples, as well as audiovisual installments.
- Al Masmak Fortress
Constructed of mud and clay bricks, the walls of Al Masmak Fortress are exceptionally thick. King Abdul Aziz and his men stormed the fortress in their re-conquest of Riyadh. Up until 1938, the fort remained as the palace of King Abdul Aziz and was renovated in the 1980s. Today, it is a museum where people can learn more about the story of the raid. The museum also showcases marvelous photos of old Riyadh.
When you are done sightseeing and learning about Saudi Arabia’s magnificent history, it is time to shop in Riyadh’s most luxurious mall. The mall has almost all of the world designers under one roof and is an exclusive shopping experience. It is the country’s fashion destination. Other than the fashion, this wondrous mall offers gourmet dining experience with cuisines ranging from Asian to French dishes that will satisfy all taste buds.
- Al Faisaliyah Center
The Al Faisaliyah Center is Saudi Arabia’s first skyscraper. It is now the fourth-tallest skyscraper in the Kingdom consisting of office spaces, apartments, and a three-story shopping mall. The building is known for its unique design featuring an enormous glass ball on top. The glass ball, called ‘The Globe,’ is actually a restaurant with 360-degree-views of the city. It offers a fine-dining experience with the best view. Come here around sunset and be amazed by the incredible view as it is truly the perfect way to end your holiday in Riyadh!