Things to do in Riyadh: A Guide to Saudi Capital’s Attraction

Would you want to explore Arab culture? Or did you want to try the world’s best cuisines? Riyadh is an ideal destination to answer all these queries. It doesn’t matter what your travel preferences are because Riyadh has everything for history explorers, culture lovers, and adventure seekers. It is an ideal destination to spend a lovely weekend. Riyadh is the capital city of Saudi Arabia, and as a consequence of its fast progress, it has become a central hub for business. The city is a blend of modern architectural beauty with Arabia’s traditions. The plural Arabic word “rawdah” originates from the name “Riyadh,” which means meadows or gardens. The name Riyadh was rewarded for its oasis location in the desert. In this article, we are going to explore the best things to do in Riyadh to make your trip unforgettable.

What is Riyadh famous for?

Riyadh is famous for its architectural beauty, delicious cuisine, and cultural settings. Owning the largest city in Saudi Arabia and one of the wealthiest cities in the world, Riyadh offers attractive museums to know the Kingdom’s history, outstanding shopping malls,  and the best sand desserts for experiencing desert safaris. 

The city has a lot of tourist attractions to make the trip memorable and entertaining, such as Edge of the World, beach, Kingdom Centre Tower, National Museum, and Al Masmak Fortress, which are some top-picking examples.

Vibrant and Diverse Things To Do In Riyadh

Riyadh has a plethora of things to do for visitors. Everything has magnificent importance for visitors, from its scenic parks to camel rides in open deserts, and from exploring the culture in architectural marvels to shopping in its developed malls.

Fun things to do in Riyadh

  1. King Abdul Aziz Equestrian Square: A great location to visit and enjoy the horse race. This venue is significant in the Kingdom for hosting a prestigious event, “The Saudi Cup.” This place’s overall atmosphere and breathtaking beauty make it popular among tourists. Enjoy the close view of jockeys and horses on the huge screen of the racecourse.
  2. Camel Ride: The most alluring thing to do in Riyadh is the ride on Arabian camels. The golden dunes are perfect for extrusive desert safaris of all kinds. Camel rides give you a chance to explore the secluded places in the desert. The transformation of the air-conditioned environment into the heat of dessert is a fun thing to do.
  3. Shopping: Shopping in Riyadh is the ideal method to collect traditional Saudi items, and the various Souks of the city make this task convenient. Saudi dates and Saudi perfumes are famous worldwide.  Spend your time in malls and explore the unique items of the Middle East.

Things to do in Riyadh at Night

  1. Naila Art Gallery: A perfect place to experience the art of the Saudi region. By visiting this art gallery, you can observe the collection of more than 400 artists under one roof. The gallery also hosts exhibitions related to art and creativity. The paintings in the gallery are not related to Arab artists but are collected nationwide.
  2. Bowling Parade: A setting for a night out with friends; enjoy different games in this club while having snacks and beverages.  Spend quality time with friends in a decent environment. Beat the time by scheduling a bowling competition with buddies and targeting more pins in one throw to make fun.
  3. King Abdullah Park: A spot to unwind and reconnect with nature. King Abdullah Park is located in the middle of Riyadh, and its highest water fountain is a great attraction at night. Take a walking tour at night and experience the soothing environment of the place, which is decorated with lush green grass and trees.

Things to do in Riyadh with family

  1. Gravity Trampoline Park: This park is a hub of entertainment and offers a lot of activities to beat the time with family. People of all ages can enjoy the trampoline fun, and children can engage in zipline activities by visiting this park. The games and the atmosphere of this park are perfect for family enjoyment.
  2. Riyadh Zoo: To interact with animals and to enjoy quality time in the natural environment, Riyadh Zoo is an ideal point. It gives a chance to see all possible wild creatures. You can enjoy a ride on a toy train with your family, an effective way to explore the whole zoo.
  3. Masmak Fortress: Visit this historical place with your family to learn about the old architectural style of Saudi Arabia, which is made of mud and brick stones. This historical sand castle has a fine collection of handicrafts and costumes of Arab kings. The grand towers of the fort and massive walls express the defensive measures of Saudi people against enemy attacks.

How often does it rain in Riyadh?

Riyadh has dry and humid weather in most of the time. April to July is considered the scorching month in town when the temperature exceeds 50°C. The city has only 22.24 rainy days in the whole year, which are expected from November to April. 

December to February are the winter months of Riyadh and the best time to plan a tour of this magnificent city. In these cold months, the humidity level decreases, making the climate quite pleasant. Chances of dehydration in outdoor activities become rare in the winter months of Riyadh.

How do you spend most of your time in Riyadh?

Riyadh has a variety of activities to beat the visitor’s time. Fine culinary restaurants, art galleries, theme parks, and architectural structures are worth visiting. 

The newly introduced “Riyadh Season” has become a hub of enjoyment for tourists. The festival’s electronic games, fashion, and technology zones have a diverse range of recreational activities. Due to its popularity among tourists, this entertaining portion has also been mentioned in the Guinness Book of World Records. 

How do I spend three days in Riyadh?

Plan your 3-day itinerary by adding the city’s most famous and attractive tourist spots according to your interests and budget, because Riyadh has unlimited options to pass the leisure time of tourists.

Day #1: Start your day one by exploring Riyadh Gallery Mall and visiting its amusement park, cinema, and restaurants. Panorama Mall and Grandia Mall are also good options for exploring a world of fashion and technology.

Day #2: Choose the east side of Riyadh for your day two trip. Visit Al Rajhi mosque to witness the Islamic style of architecture. This mosque is the largest in the town. Then, move towards Salam Park, a lush green setting with long walking trails and a grand lake. Take a calming tour of Wadi Namar waterfall to enjoy the tranquil atmosphere and experience biking in Riyadh.

Day #3: Start your 3rd day by visiting Wadi Hanifah and enjoying the natural beauty of this 120km extensive space. Set up a barbecue party in a peaceful valley with your friends and family. Take a tour of Edge of the World and participate in the hiking activities there.

How do I spend a day in Riyadh?

Start your day with a traditional breakfast and hire a local taxi to explore the beauty of Riyadh. Start your itinerary by visiting the Sky Bridge of the Kingdom Tower. This is a primary location to take a 360° view of Riyadh from a certain height. 

After getting free from it, you can plan your visit to the National Museum. It is a place to visit in only 10 SAR, and this tour will provide you with ample knowledge about the history of Riyadh. The nearby attraction, Masmak Fortress, is also worth visiting. 

Stroll around Najd Village to explore the local interior and taste the local dishes. By exploring all the possible attractions, end your day by watching a show at the Riyadh cinema. 

Can you drink alcohol in Riyadh?

Saudi Arabia is an Islamic country that strictly follows Islamic teachings and principles. The discouragement of bad and encouragement of good applies to all the inhabitants of the Saudi Kingdom. 

Therefore, the consumption of alcohol or any kind of drug is strictly prohibited in Riyadh and the whole kingdom. In the event of violating the rules, visitors have to face serious consequences in the form of hefty fines, imprisonment, or deportation from the country.

Is Riyadh good for shopping?

Certainly, Riyadh is the wealthiest and most well-developed country, with top-class malls and modern boutiques. You will get everything, from traditional to international, and from groceries to electronic gadgets, in the malls of Riyadh.  

The most famous place for shopping in Riyadh is Olaya, which is equally popular with tourists and locals. People of all budgets and tastes can shop for their necessities at Riyadh. The city has original spices and dry fruits of top quality. The shopping experience in Riyadh is also budget-friendly as compared to Dubai.

Does Riyadh have a beach?

Yes, tourists can travel toward Umluj Beach from Riyadh. It is a beauty gem of Saudi Arabia, or you can also compliment it by saying Maldives of Saudi Arabia. This beach is ideal for those who want to indulge in water sports, as scuba diving is a great activity for exploring the world of the sea. 

You can also take a boat tour to experience the beauty of the nearby islands. The white sand gives an amazing view with the blend of blue water from sea waves. Otherwise, you can also opt for a bus from Madinah.

What should I wear in Riyadh?

Dressing as a woman: Wearing an Abaya and hijab is a top option for all local ladies of Riyadh. However, tourists can also wear loose trousers and a top with full sleeves. Or they can wear full skirts with loose fittings and baggy style tops. Short-dressing is not allowed for women in Riyadh. Whatever they wear, their legs and arms must be covered. 

However, to participate in sports, they can wear jeans with sleeve shirts. Swimsuits are also allowed to be worn at beach destinations. They can wear tops or shorts in their private rooms, but publicly, they have to follow Arab culture.

Dressing as a man: Men can wear shorts in Riyadh publicly, but the most common dress for men is also full jeans with a t-shirt. The local men of Riyadh wear a long, full-sleeved shirt with loose fittings. Male tourists are not restricted from wearing it. They can choose their dress according to their comfort, but wearing appropriate clothes shows respect for Saudi Arabia’s culture.

Also Read: Al-Ula Saudi Arabia Islamic History: Exploring Cultural Heritage

Is Jeddah better than Riyadh?

Both countries have their own significance in the Saudi Kingdom. If we talk about Riyadh, this city is a central point for the business and political affairs of Saudi Arabia. The buildings and architectural style of Riyadh are more appealing and modern. Meanwhile, Jeddah has some traditional touches in its architectural style. 

As tourist destinations, both cities have diverse activities and attractions for their tourists. Riyadh has some extra outdoor activities as compared to Jeddah. Jeddah is best for enjoying a relaxed and calming getaway, but on the other hand, Riyadh is a great option for enjoying adventure sports like quad biking, hiking, sand bashing, and desert safaris.

Final Analysis

We explored the best things to do in Riyadh on different occasions and timings in detail. Riyadh is a great attraction to choose as a tourist spot. Its vibrant culture and recreational activities make the trip full of excitement and joy. To see the fusion of modernity with the culture and traditions of Arabia, we have a great destination in the form of Riyadh city.

Learning some Arabic greetings will be quite helpful on your tour, as it will help you talk with locals and understand their instructions. Therefore, try to learn the basic sentences of the Arabic language before going to Riyadh. Before taking a picture of any tourist spot, confirm its permission because some places in Riyadh are restricted for photography.

Get ready to explore a world full of fun and adventure, and share your experience with us after exploring Riyadh.

Stay tuned for more adventure guides from Salam Travellers.

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