Things to Do in Riyadh

What to do in Riyadh

Visit the Heet Cave, Visit the historical Masmak Fort, 3D light show at King Abdullah Park, Visit the Edge of the World, Wadi Namar Waterfall, Ringing Bird Lake, Money Museum Riyadh, National Museum of Saudi Arabia, and many more.

Immerse yourself in the capital city of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, an epitome of Saudi’s past and future- where one can give oneself up to both the best of medieval and millennial things to do in Riyadh. The city assures you a great time and an unforgettable city tour, sweeping you away with its fascinating centuries-old history as well as its organized chaos of modern metropolis with glittering skyscrapers. Find a possibility to plan a journey to Riyadh and explore the whole new region with endless adventure and hustle-bustle of modern life.

There’s a wide range of different activities to do in Riyadh, ultimately which results in becoming a more attractive tourist destination for people all across the globe. You’re never far from Riyadh attractions as the city roars with the top-rated sights, plethora of glories of the yesteryears, elite shopping paradise, exciting restaurants, and a maze of streets that leads to a unique city tour which is worth an exploration!

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Masmak Fortress

It holds a historical significance in Saudi Arabia and is considered to be a symbol of unification of Saudi Arabia. The building is an integral part of Saudi heritage which has been converted into a museum which holds displays of antique guns, costumes and agricultural equipment. It is essentially also showcasing landmarks of Saudi heritage and has six distinct parts including the gate, the mosque, the courtyard, the majlis, the towers and the well.

Edge of the World

The Edge of the world in Riyadh Is located on Al-Khobar road with a cliff that overlooks an open valley. It's one of those things to do in Riyadh that is difficult to duplicate elsewhere in Saudi Arabia. The Edge of the World is a location for meditation, breathing in calm, and clearing your mind of any thoughts you don't want to bring on your journey. This location provides a stunning perspective of Riyadh.

Murabba Palace

Settled just outside the walls of the old city, the Murabba Palace stands testament to Riyadh’s regal past. The striking building reflects the best of Riyadhi architecture. Doubling up as a Museum, it also pays tribute to the late ruler King Abdul Aziz through a permanent exhibition of his personal artefacts, photographs and memorabilia. The Palace also holds some of the country’s biggest archival collections, which are kept on public display.

Riyadh Zoo

The largest zoo in Saudi Arabia, Riyadh Zoo is a popular attraction among locals and tourists alike. Initially established in 1957, the Zoo started off as a small-scale affair, housing only the few animals that were gifted to the first three Kings of the Kingdom. Today, the Riyadh Zoo has expanded into an explosive affair. It is home to more than 40 species of animals, each one housed in exhibits that reflect their natural habitats.

King Abdulaziz Historical Center

Also called the Saudi National Museum, the King Abdulaziz Historical Centre preserves the biggest collection of personal artefacts previously owned by the eponymous emperor. The Historical Centre sits on the former grounds of the Murabba Palace, and is one of the most prominent historical attractions in the city. There are several units to explore at the Abdulaziz Historical Centre.

Al Faisaliah Center

One of the tallest buildings in the city, Al Faisaliah Center reflects the rapid modernity that has taken over Saudi Arabia for the past few decades. The ground floor of the 44-storey tall skyscraper features a shopping centre, home to some of the biggest brands in the world. The Centre is known for its superspeed elevator, which takes one to the very top in less than 25 seconds.

World Sights Park

At the World Sights Park, the best wonders across the world come alive within the comfort of Riyadh city. The unique park is scattered with miniature replicas of some of the biggest monuments across the world, such as the Eiffel Tower or the Taj Mahal. The Park showcases several Arabian wonders as well, including two Mosques.

King Abdullah Park

It is the largest park in the city and used to be a former racecourse for horses where several horse racing events used to take place. It also holds public events such as the Saudi National Day celebration when fireworks are held before midnight. The park boasts of a giant dancing water fountain, an artificial lake and gets flooded by pedestrians during the festivals of eid. It also includes a wide pedestrian aisle and there are a lot of paths encircling the fountain.

Alkhaimah Theme Park

Ras Al Khaimah’s biggest theme park, the Iceland Water Park, whisks one away to the land of the penguins. The biggest waterpark in the United Arab Emirates, Iceland features striking snow-based landscapes with over 30 different water based rides and attractions. It’s massive wave pool is its most popular feature, although the park’s Olympic length lap pool is striking as well. Amidst its snowy wonder, the water theme park features a beach as well.

Olaya Park

 An oasis in the desert city, Olaya Park is one of the most charming green spaces in Riyadh. Lined with thick forested areas, the park can be quite the joy to explore. Well paved walkways make their way across the floors, inviting morning and evening walkers to Olaya throughout the year. There is no shortage of picnic lawns, and if the weather is right, a picnic here could never be a bad idea.

Royal Saudi Air Force Museum

A prominent historical attraction in the city, Royal Saudi Air Force Museum preserves the country’s aeronautical history within its walls. One of the largest museums in Riyadh, it presents the history of the Air Force from its inception in the 1920s to the present day. The Museum features an outdoor park as well as an indoor exhibition centre. Exhibits on display include airline fighters, helicopters, military insignia and several different models of fighter planes.

Wadi Hanifa Riyadh

Running right through the middle of the Najd Plateau, the Wadi Hanifa is one of the most important natural landmarks in Riyadh. The valley cuts across 120 meters of desert rock, and its flourishing greenery makes it stand out against the otherwise dry landscape of the region. Once a sewage disposal repository, the green valley has now transformed into one of the biggest natural reserves in the kingdom.


Now a UNESCO Heritage Site, Diriyah occupies a seminal position in the history of Saudi Arabia. Once serving as the capital city, this marvelous region nestles along the Wadi valley on the outskirts of Riyadh. Although Diriyah fell to ruins during the World Wars, efforts have been made to restore many of its wonders. The Al Bujairy district in Diriyah has opened its doors to visitors.

King Khalid Grand Mosque

Standing as a sign of the country’s strength, King Khalid Grand Mosque rises against the cityscape of Riyadh City. Once the seat of one of Saudi’s biggest and most terrifying terror attacks, the Mosque is now best regarded for its architecture. Its shining white facade shines brilliantly against the midday sun, and forms half the charm and allure of the Mosque. Its ornate stained glass windows reflect the brilliance of traditional Islamic architecture.

At-Turaif District

Nestled in the northwestern edge of Riyadh, Al Turaif is the first seat of the Arabian capital. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the district offers some of the most culturally valuable landmarks in Saudi Arabia. Dominating the skyline of the district is the Salwa Palace, the former residence of the Saudi ruler. Visitors are advised to spend their time exploring the winding alleyways on foot, as they are sure to be stunned by the marvelous mud brick houses.

Heet Cave

Located in the vicinity of Mount Al Jubayl, Heet Cave is a natural formation with a small lake inside it. The lake within this cake is famed for its dark green colour which is due to several natural minerals inside it like limestone or anhydrite. The cave has become one of the famous attractions due to its photogenic structure and the beautiful backdrop of Wadi Al Sulay valley.

Al Rawda Park

Sitting at the very heart of Riyadh City, Al Rawda Park is a popular destination among casual strollers and families. The airy park offers well paved pedestrian walkways that meander across lush green lawns. The open green spaces here are perfect for picnics, although the ornate benches can be great for a casual lounge as well. There are several children’s playgrounds and ballparks scattered across the park.

Al Thumama Desert

Al Thumama is a desert area on the northern edge of Riyadh. It is nothing like a traditional desert, but the villages and wind-altered dunes does give it an ethereal and unique charm. There’s a great many ways to enjoy the desert’s beauty. One can always take a jeep and go off-roading across the dunes. If you’re an adventurer, you can also go dune bashing on bikes, although doing this would require a fair bit of expertise.

Museum of Illusions Riyadh

If you feel like adding a little magic to your life, head over to the Museum of Illusions, where even the impossible is made possible. Offering a host of exciting optical tricks and multi-sensory exhibits, the Museum promises to boggle the minds of children and adults alike. From holograms that bring pixels to life to Vortex tunnels that make you feel like a hamster on a wheel, these illusions are designed to tickle and confuse.

Money Museum Riyadh

A treat to those interested in the science of numismatics, the Money Museum at Riyadh details the history of the country in currency. Spread over five separate exhibition halls, the museum displays banknotes and coins dating back to the pre-Islamic eras. Detailed writings and pamphlets offer more information on the period of origin of these currencies.

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Riyadh Things To Do FAQs

What are the best things to do in Riyadh?

1. Visit the Heet Cave: It’s truly a magical and miraculous experience, to swim, snorkel, or even scuba dive in the middle of the desert. Saudi Arabia’s Heet Cave it is! Well, it’s super fun and exciting to spend time exploring one of Saudi Arabia’s most accessible wild caves.

The caves consist of numerous sinkholes to explore and waterways to survey. The enchanting Heet Cave is supremely famous for many activities to do in Riyadh along running water. Arrange a quick visit to the hidden Gem of Riyadh in order to discover the waterholes and dive into the spring depths. Tour prices for a single person start with 470$, for 2-3 people it's 240 $ and for 4-6 people it's 235$.

Location- Alkharj Road, Riyadh Saudi Arabia.
Timing- Opens every Sunday to Saturday from 12 AM to 11:59 PM.

2. National Museum of Saudi Arabia: Visiting a major national museum, The National Museum of Saudi Arabia is one of the best activities to do in Riyadh. The most entertaining museum houses too many striking modernist architects, gardens, antiques from Neolithic rock art, replicas of the buildings of old Jeddah, and eight museum halls to delve into an interactive tour of the ages.

What’s even more interesting than wandering around the centuries of Arabian prehistory, history, galleries arranged chronologically of various eras, cultures, and art at the famous Historical center. Don’t miss to acknowledge the Hall of Hajj and the Two Holy Mosques that define the history of Mecca and Medina.

Location- King Faisal Road, Riyadh 12631, Saudi Arabia.
Timings- Open on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday at 08:00 AM-9:00 PM. Remains closed every Friday.

3. Visit the historical Masmak Fort: Founded in 1865, the historical Masmak Fort is a profound attraction that serves as a showcase of Saudi Arabia’s storied history. Indulge in the restored building which is now a museum that displays many maps and photographs of Saudi Arabia dating from 1912 to 1937 through many fascinating exhibitions and audiovisual presentations.

Plan a day to visit the spacious Al Masmak Fortress, one of the most popular landmarks of Saudi heritage. You can emerge to the busy streets near the fort confined with bustling markets or shops selling everything from clothes, jewelry, gold, souvenirs, and delicious treats called Corn in a cup.

Location-  Qasr al-Masmak, Al Imam Turki ibn Abdullah ibn Muhammad, Dirah, Riyadh 12652.
Timings- Open from 8 AM to noon and 4 to 9 PM, every day except Fridays but Mondays and Wednesdays are exclusively meant only for families.

4. 3D light show at King Abdullah Park: Embark to the landmark exhibition of light arts from the 1960s till today and get blown away by the historical presentation of the laser light show in all its perceptual and sensory phenomenon. Attending the groundbreaking cultural event in Saudi Arabia is certainly one of the best things to do in Riyadh.

Get enlightened at the gigantic park inculcating dancing water fountains, sprawling green lawns, and vibrant gardens, and many walking tracks for a daily evening walk. You need an entrance ticket which costs SR10/- for adults and SR5/- for kids aged above 10. The park has a wide availability of activities like skateboarding, roller skating, bike riding, flying kites, gaming, and a lot more to enjoy.

Location- 6628 Al Amen Abdullah al Ali Naeem Street, al Malaz, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Timings- Open every Monday to Saturday from 1 PM to 11 PM, except Sundays.

5. Visit the Edge of the World: A trip to the Edge of the World along with the range of routes with rugged terrain, steep climbs, and sharp rocks lead you to the massive cliff. Adventure enthusiasts with enough potential can choose to get to the Edge of the World and walk the thrilling path.

Watching the mesmerizing sunset from the top of the massive cliff towering above an enlarged desert would be one of your favorite things to do in Riyadh. The place is also perfect for a day trip or even an overnight camping trip and to relive in a world full of serenity and peace.

Location-  Dammam Branch Road, Sahaba Road, Riyadh 13246, Saudi Arabia.
Timings- Open 24 hours the whole week.

6. Royal Saudi Air Force Museum: Visit the Royal Saudi Air Force Museum, a museum that preserves the history of the Royal Saudi Air Force from its establishment to the present day. Venture around its outdoor static park and large modern indoor museum containing display halls which exhibits the history of the RSAF, aircraft engines, weaponry, uniforms, insignia, and special displays on Prince Sultan in space during his mission on STS-51-G.

Airplane enthusiasts or children fond of aerospace stuff can head to the amazing museum to come across the history of aviation and enjoy grabbing new knowledge about them through the models, and pieces displayed with information in the museum.

Location- Eastern Ring Riyadh 12451, Saudi Arabia
Timings- Open every Wednesday to Monday from 9 AM-12 PM, 4-9 PM and remains closed on Tuesday.

7. Al Rawda Park: Add an amazing place naled Al Rawda Park on your itinerary to Riyadh and have a great time exploring the monumental park with your family and kids.
Location- Hafsah Bint Umar, Rawdah, Riyadh 13211, Saudi Arabia
Timings- Open 2 hours every day

8. Wadi Namar Waterfall: Enjoy one of the few natural lakes, Wadi Namar Waterfall in Riyadh, also a perfect place for a picnic, sports, and play. This place is one of the finest recreational areas in Riyadh and the best part about it is, you can see its view from the Wadi Namar Promenade at night, and probably this is one of the best things to do in Riyadh.

You would love every single second spent here, as the place is meant only for relaxing and activities like picnic shelters with grills and fireworks. The desert oasis attracts many picnickers for its cool scenery of dam, lake, and modern park that include a beautiful waterfall where one can sit and enjoy the view of the lake and pathways across the cornice and the lake.

Location- HMCJ+52V, Riyadh 14962, Saudi Arabia
Timings- Open 24 hours every day

9. Ringing Bird Lake: The Ringing Bird Lake is a definite place to be visited when you think of Saudi Arabia’s capital city. It's one of the city’s hidden gems and an oasis to hop on if you want to enjoy a wonderful time with friends and family.

The Ringing Bird Lake has an abundance of fish and is characterized by the diversity of nature to provide a great experience for visitors. You can enjoy the stunning views strolling around the paved walkways or even choose to indulge in a picnic, hiking, ride bicycles, or sit quietly in the seating areas. So, don’t hesitate to experience a tranquil atmosphere far from the bustling city.

Location- 9VMR+H84, Riyadh 14584, Saudi Arabia
Timings- Open 24 hours every day

10. Alkhaimah Theme Park: Have a great time setting a day trip to the Alkhaimah Theme Park which offers an innumerable amount of fun and games. For rides, you need to obtain 35 SR bands and take part in all the rides except the jumping castle which separately costs 15SR extra to be accessed.

The mesmerizing park includes many rides like disco jets, roller coasters, water slides, and a lot more. The amusement park is considered as one of the most important Saudi tourist attractions as it has a plethora of activities to do in Riyadh including electronic games, physical activities for all age groups, a number of restaurants and cafes, street vendors that sell toys, gifts and souvenirs.

Location- Al Wurud, Riyadh 11564, Saudi Arabia
Timings- Opens on Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 4-11 PM and remains closed on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday

11. Riyadh Zoo: Located in the heart of Malaz, The Riyadh Zoo is a popular astounding place for many locals and visitors to spend a fun-filled time. The entrance fees of the zoo are 10.50 SR for 12 years and above group of people, 5.25SR for below 12 years aged and 2SR for train tickets.

The Riyadh Zoo is one of the largest zoos in Saudi Arabia set wonderfully on 22 hectares, housing 196 plus species of animals, 1600 animals including crocodiles, gazelles, and many reptiles. Nothing can be more fascinating and attractive than taking a little train ride that is used for touring the whole of the Zoo in a single go!

Location- 139, Musaab Bin Umayr Street Al Malaz Riyadh 12832 Saudi Arabia
Timings- Opens on Friday and Saturday after 12:30 pm only for families and from Monday to Thursday at 8:30 am-12 pm and 1 pm-4:20 pm. Remains closed on Sundays.

12. Wadi Hanifa Riyadh: Head to one of the global destinations, Wadi Hanifa Riyadh, a famous bike ride at the quiet and peaceful place stretched from the historical village of Diriyah in the north to the neighborhood of Badr in the south.

The flawless and sandy region of Wadi Hanifah offers a perfect site to pitch a tent and stay overnight. Thus, camping out under the stars, with illuminated stone banks and a cool breeze here is one of the best things to do in Riyadh. The alluring valley is truly a major attraction for both Riyadh residents and visitors to visit and have an opportunity to enjoy nature and a clean environment away from built-up places.

Location- 4619 Haneef1 Valley, Dhahran Al Badi’ah, Riyadh 12781, Saudi Arabia
Timings- Open daily from 6 AM-9 PM.

13. Money Museum Riyadh: Visit one of the unique museums named the Money Museum Riyadh which displays pre-Islamic currency. History buffs hop on here to witness the largest collection of 30000 currencies including notes and coins in stone, silver, and gold dating back to the Pre-Islamic era.

Wander around the museum consisting of three halls, the first one containing Islamic currencies from the 14th century, the second hall containing pottery, pieces made from animal skin, arms, and some ancient devices and appliances, and the third one has a great collection of more than 60000 stamps, documents, magazines, and rare photos. Entry fees for adults are SAR 10 and for children it's free.

Location- 3896 Saudi Arabia, 6868 12712
Timings- Open on Sundays: 8:00AM-2:00PM, Monday-Saturday: 8:00AM-8:00PM

14. Al Rajhi Grand Mosque: Visit Al Rajhi Grand Mosque, one of the most desirable places in Riyadh and take part in several other activities, visit historical sites and scenic locales nearby including the King Abdulaziz Historic center and Al Watan Park.

Explore the huge Masjid, very well maintained and well carpeted as it serves as a worship place for Muslims and a meeting place for the community for social events like Eids and other large community gatherings. Consider the mosques to gear up while in Riyadh and appreciate its grandness by personally seeing and believing it. It’s definitely a must-visit place to attend solitude, contemplation and to go after prayers.
Location- 7084 Al Akheyar, Al Jazirah, Riyadh, 2229, Saudi Arabia
Timings- Open every Sunday-Saturday at 12:00 AM-11:59 PM

What is the best time to visit Riyadh?

The best time to visit Riyadh is during the month of November- March. The winter month is somewhat cold and develops a moderate temperature around 26.6 to 18.3 degrees celsius. As Riyadh has an arid desert climate and the daily average temperature is high, it’s next to impossible to set a holiday during summers. Thus, it's best to go when the climate cooperates you to travel i.e when the weather is cool, mild and the temperature remains average.

How many days are enough to explore Riyadh?

To marvel around the fancy, oil-rich, capital city of Sadi Arabia, you may think of at least 3-4 days. These days are sufficient enough to get an optimum experience of the complex Arabic culture and history and to cover many other major attractions with a well-planned itinerary to Riyadh. Make sure you utilize the best of these days exploring its coastal landscapes, archeological sites, and modern cities.

What is Riyadh famous for?

Known for its numerous cultural centers, Riyadh is the capital city of Saudi Arabia, nurtures incredible adventure, hospitality, historic buildings, Islamic architecture, and natural history along with plenty of enjoyable things to see and visit. Thus, Riyadh is a wholesome place famous for its rich Arabian heritage, famous attractions like the edge of the World, and dynamic food and shopping centers.

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