Places to Visit in Riyadh: A Combination of History and Dazzling Present


Riyadh is the capital city and seat of government of the Riyadh Province and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It’s the largest city on the Arabian Peninsula and one of the wealthiest cities in the world. There are several Riyadh tourist places to visit and enjoy to the fullest.

Riyadh had a population of 7.6 million people in 2019, making it the most populous city in Saudi Arabia, and the second-most populous city in the Arab world after Cairo in Egypt. Riyadh is home to the best things to do in Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia’s best museum, a World Heritage Site that relates the Kingdom’s genesis story, and some of the finest hotels and restaurants in the country.

Riyadh is situated in the central portions of both the country and the larger Arabian Peninsula. Few of the world’s cities have transformed as rapidly as Riyadh, which grew from a small, fortified desert village in the 17th century into a modern metropolis of several million inhabitants in the 20th century.

Nowadays, Riyadh has become more open, unlike the nature that it and all the cities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia were known for before, as it has transformed from being a conservative city with unbreakable rules to a city with great openness. It started performing live concerts with famous singers. In recent years, it has also become interested in presenting the Riyadh season, which has become a sign for everyone that cannot be forgotten. It provides activities that vary between entertainment, singing & fun. Riyadh has proven to the world that it is capable of turning the desert into a paradise.

In this article, we will walk you through the best places to visit in Riyadh, exciting things to do in Riyadh, and much more!

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Riyadh tourism places

Riyadh tourist places - Places to visit in Riyadh

Saudi Arabia continues to work towards becoming more attractive to the world. Many entertainment projects have been opened in the capital of the Kingdom, Riyadh, which will attract tourists from other parts of the country and abroad. Here are some of the best places to visit in Riyadh:

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Edge of the world Riyadh

Edge of the world Riyadh

The Edge of the World (Jebel Fihrayn) is an unexpected and dramatic geological wonder in the rocky desert northwest of Riyadh. Located only 90 kilometers outside of Riyadh, the place is perfect for a day trip or an overnight camping trip from the city. Definitely one of the best places to visit in Riyadh, and the top place for Hiking in Riyadh.

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Masmak Fort

Masmak Fort

Masmak Fort is the best place to visit in Riyadh, it is a vast clay and mud-brick citadel that witnessed the birth of a kingdom, Al Masmak — the word means a high, strong, and thick building — serves as a proud reminder of Saudi Arabia’s storied history. Built in 1865, the fortress has served many purposes. Although originally used to house the garrisons who protected the city, it later was an ammunition warehouse after the raid by King Abdulaziz and, later still, a prison.

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King Abdulaziz Historical Centre

King Abdulaziz Historical Centre

King Abdulaziz is one of Riyadh places to visit, located near the National Museum, King Abdulaziz Historical Centre is considered one of the most distinctive tourist places in Riyadh. It extends over a large area and includes many exhibitions that cover different topics, such as the history of Saudi Arabia, the ancient and modern Arabian Peninsula, the relationship of man with the universe, and the history of Islam and other Arab civilizations.

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Kingdom Center

Kingdom Center

Kingdom Centre clinches a vision of the future with the sky bridge which commands a remarkable view of Riyadh city unrivaled by any other. Kingdom Centre SkyBridge is a steel structure extending 65 meters in length and weighing about 300 tons sits on top of the 300-meter height tower and overlooks the whole of Riyadh. Its unique position gave it the advantage of being one of the most important attraction points for tourism in Riyadh. And one of the most amazing places to visit in Riyadh at night to chill and relax. 

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Diriyah was once the home of the Saudi Royal family and the first Saudi capital. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was one of the largest cities on the Arabian Peninsula until it was destroyed in the early 19th-century. The city is now a tourist destination where visitors can enjoy up-close the ancient mud architecture, numerous parks, and its interesting spaces – including the Saad bin Saud Palace, which is famous for its courtyard.

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Al Faisaliyah Tower

Al Faisaliyah Tower | Places to visit in Riyadh

If you are asking what to do in Riyadh? Al Faisaliah Tower is another iconic tower in the Riyadh skyline. With 44 floors, this is the fourth tallest tower in the city and it towers over Riyadh at 267 meters high. Just like with Kingdom Tower, you can go up to its viewpoint at the top and find a mall at its base (Al Faisaliyah Center).

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Rafal Tower

Burj Rafal is a unique Riyadh tourist spot the first integrated vertical suburb and the most prestigious in Riyadh. It extends over 70 floors on a land area of ​​20,000 square meters. It is equipped with the latest facilities and integrated systems, and the most important characteristic of it is its strange engineering design, where the tower can benefit from natural light with a northerly deviation degree throughout the year.

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The National Museum of Saudi Arabia

The National Museum is located in the heart of Riyadh, in the Al-Murabba neighbourhood, next to King Abdulaziz Palace. It was opened in 1419 AH, on an area of ​​17 thousand square meters. The museum includes 8 sections filled with stories of history spread over 3,700 heritage pieces of unparalleled statues, manuscripts, and sculptures. It is located in the hall of man and the universe, which will introduce you more to nature and the movement of the universe, and the hall of ancient Arab kingdoms, which will make you immersed in civilizations that extended for years, and in the hall of the pre-Islamic era, you will learn more about the religious and social patterns of life before Islam. And in the Hall of the Prophetic Mission, you will learn about the biography of the Prophet Muhammad – may God bless him and grant him peace – from the revelation of the revelation until his migration to Medina. And other landmarks that will show you the history of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Archeology Museum in Riyadh

The Antiquities Museum is one of the most important places to visit in Riyadh. It’s located at King Saud University, and it includes ancient artifacts that tell about the history of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. These pieces were discovered through excavations carried out by the university in the seventies. These pieces reveal the civilizations of the Arabian Peninsula in pre-Islamic and early Islamic eras. The pieces on display include tools that give the visitor an idea of ​​daily life at the time, such as bronze keys, door handles and bells, and wooden containers. The museum also includes wooden tombs dating back to the period between the third and third centuries BC.

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Outdoor activities in Riyadh

Things to do in Riyadh

Riyadh, like any city, is full of activities that make you feel a lot of fun because it includes parks, shopping centres, and safari trips. You can have a lot of things to do in Riyadh which you can enjoy either alone or with a group of friends or family. Here are some places to visit in Riyadh that offer you this type of activity:

World sights park Riyadh

World sights park Riyadh

This small and strange spectacle offers you a magical tour of the world. It holds miniature replicas of world landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, the Great Wall of China, and the Taj Mahal. There are also Saudi landmarks, including the two Holy Mosques, Al-Masjid al-Haram in Mecca and the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina. A tour in Riyadh can include a world tour if you visit this place!

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Riyadh Water Park

Riyadh Water Park - Places to visit in Riyadh

There are some Riyadh visiting places with family such as water parks and theme parks that will make you and your children enjoy the time such as:

  • Water Splash Riyadh: This place is great for kids. It has a big Pool with a few slides of different styles and a few other splash things for kids’ entertainment. There is an ice cream shop, a small tea shop, and lots of open areas for parents to keep an eye on their kids and relax. It also has a small garden, a toy store and small bits that you can rent.
  • Al Yamama Pools and Resorts: Enjoy a fun-filled day by taking part in amazing water activities and fascinating water rides at Al Yamamah Resorts which boasts of having the largest wave pool in Riyadh.
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Paintball Riyadh

Paintball Riyadh | Places to visit in Riyadh

Paintball is one of the most interesting Riyadh attractions that you can visit to try something new with your friends. Paintball games are stress busters while you thoroughly enjoy the combats against your opponents. One of the best places to go for paintball is ( 1st Paintball Riyadh ). The place is one of its kind and is the largest facility in the Middle East which make it one of the most entertainment places in Riyadh . It has huge outdoor as well as indoor arenas to let you enjoy paintball to the fullest. They provide all the necessary equipment required to play the game.

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Riyadh National Zoo

Riyadh National Zoo - Places to visit in Riyadh

Riyadh National Zoo it should be one of the places to visit in Riyadh. It is stretched across a beautiful landscape of 55 acres, this park contains over 150 exotic animals and includes 40 species such as reptiles, birds, amphibians, and endangered animals as well. Animal lovers will definitely find this visit worthwhile!

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Olaya Park in Riyadh

Olaya park is one of the most important parks in Riyadh, as it contains palm trees and various shrubs, and its total area is about 37 thousand square meters. It also contains an artificial lake that extends in a zigzag manner, and the lake is decorated with natural stones paved on its sides, and the water descends from the top of a concrete structure and the waterfalls to give the view of natural waterfalls. The park is a suitable place for those who like to read, calm down, exercise, or eat with friends or family.

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Riyadh National Park 

It is one of the places to visit in Riyadh. The park includes the Riyadh Water Tower, which is a historical landmark with a distinctive and unique view. It also includes a children’s play area, a sandy area, a lake in which you can walk by boat, a theatre built in the Roman style, a cinema, a celebration area, and chalets that you can rent and spend time with your family in.

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Wadi Hanifah

Wadi Hanifah is the largest valley in Saudi Arabia & it is one of the best places to visit in Riyadh. It is 80 km long and contains stunning landscapes because it includes many trees, shrubs, natural desert herbs and running water. It was named Wadi Hanifah in relation to the Banu Hanifah tribe that used to live in the area. Wadi Hanifah also includes 6 open parks, namely the Al-Alb Dam Park, the Wadi Hanifah Dam Park, the Biotreatment Area Park, the Stone Dam Park, the Factories Lake Park, and the Al-Jazaa Lake Park. These parks differ in their area and the recreational facilities that are located within them.

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Places to visit in Saudi Arabia: Discover the beauty of Saudi Arabia