25 Places to Visit in Riyadh, Tourist Places & Top Attractions

Tourist Places to Visit in Riyadh

Masmak Fortress, Edge of the World, Murabba Palace, Riyadh Zoo, King Abdulaziz Historical Center, King Abdullah Park, Royal Saudi Air Force Museum, Wadi Hanifa Riyadh, King Khalid Grand Mosque, and many more.

The exhilarating places to visit in Riyadh give you a once-in-a-lifetime experience of witnessing brilliant pieces of architectural marvels, quaint natural beauty, and fascinating views of the widespread desert. While the Masmak Fortress is known for its distinctive and mystical Heet caves, the Al Thumama Desert is famous for offering wonderful views of nature as well as adventure activities like quad biking. Riyadh’s magnificence can be best seen whilst admiring the wildlife at Riyadh Zoo and the opulent creations at World Sights Park.

Explore the enthralling tourist places in Riyadh, by heading to the massive Olaya Park which is quite popular for its lush and verdant wilderness. You can also head out to the Al Murabba Palace which is located at a massive height of 980 meters and gives tourists an engaging tour of Islamic art as well as an exquisite dining experience. During your visit to Riyadh, you can capture the enthralling views of the Riyadh Skyline from the Kingdom Centre Tower. You can also head out to the Wadi Hanifa where you will be able to relish the amusing natural ambiance that is studded with lakes, waterfalls, and sand dunes, making for a scenic backdrop.

Here is the list of best places to visit in Riyadh:

Experiences in Riyadh Explore All (9)
Explore All (9)

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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 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.

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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.

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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.

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13

Diriyah

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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The Kingdom Centre in Riyadh is the fifth largest skyscraper in Saudi Arabia. It was developed as a combined project between a US based architecture firm and a Riyadh based architecture firm. The centre was developed by Prince Al Waleed bin Talal and houses some important financial buildings as well as shopping centres. The centre has an all women area and consists of fashion and furnishing stores especially appealing to the youth.

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One of Riyadh’s newest additions, the Al Rajhi Grand Mosque is a contemporary Mosque built from the donations of the Al Rajhi family. The largest Mosque in the city, Al Rajhi is known for its architectural beauty. Although entry to the Mosque is limited to those of Islamic faith only, its designs beg a visit by all. At night, when the Mosque is lit up in a series of LED displays, it appears absolutely magical.

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Nestled on the southern edge of Riyadh, Wadi Namar is a scenic green oasis featuring one of the city’s most popular walkways. Nestled just above the Wadi Lake is the Wadi Namar waterfall, a lovely little fall that keeps visitors coming back to it. The falls are perennial, and with the cascade rumbling down at a steady pace throughout the year. Although the rocks here are not hikable, the falls form a picturesque backdrop to picnics.

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Riyadh’s Ringing Bird Lake is just as lovely as it sounds. A short drive outside the main city, this oasis is one of the country’s most valued hidden gems. Also known as Lake Park, this green area is frequented by locals and tourists alike. The star attraction of the area, however, is the lake that sits right at the heart of the park. The spotless, clear lake features a series of little cascades, which many refer to as a waterfall.

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Jaffali Mosque is an architectural marvel built in 1987 near the Al-Balad area. This stunning white mosque sits next to a calm lake and is one of the most beautiful in old Jeddah. The mosque's architectural elegance and grandeur exemplify the 20 domes that adorn its roof. The mosque also features a well-organized layout.

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People Also Ask About Riyadh

  1. What are the best places to visit in Riyadh?

    1. Ad-Diriyah - Once the capital of Saudi Arabia, Ad-Diriyah was a happening town with great architecture that can still be admired. The odd capital is peppered with attractive mud-brick homes. Turaif, Bujairy Quarter, and the excellent Wadi Hanifa with magnificent waterfalls are the three captivating quarters of the site.
    2. Kingdom Centre Tower - Uncover the whimsical ambiance of this enthralling tourist attraction which is Saudi’s best and one of the tallest towers. This skyscraper has a soaring height of 900ft with 41 ecstatic floors. The skyscraper overlooks the entire Riyadh cityscape. With luxuriant apartments, grandiose restaurants and hotels, and humongous shopping complexes, an evening at this tower is a must-do activity.
    3. Masmak Citadel - This enthralling museum and fortress have a humongous gate upon entrance that guards this panoramic heritage site. With exquisite Qurans and other Islamic artifacts on display and intricate architecture, this citadel stands as one of the most beautiful structures worth exploring. This historic center also was the former residence of the Saudis' royal family.
    4. Heet Cave - Discover the vast mystifying caverns with a plethora of subterranean water bodies and stalagmite formations. The caves provide a beautiful natural background worthy of admiration and are a must-see tourist attraction in Riyadh.
  2. Which are the best things to do in Riyadh?

    1. Go hiking in Heet Caves - With a plethora of stalagmite and stalactite formations, the Heet caves is a fascinating cave system for a hiking excursion. Tourists can take a guided tour visit or hike through these natural caves on their own. The underground water bodies also feature boating trips as well.
    2. Quad biking at Al Thumama Desert - Go quad biking at Saudi Arabia's largest and most enthralling desert which stretches up till eternity. With a plethora of activities like picnicking, quad biking, horse and camel riding, skateboarding, tourists will stay entertained for eternity.
    3. Dine at Kingdom Centre Tower – Relish on sumptuous Arabian delicacies whilst sipping on tasteful drinks admiring the glorious cityscape of Riyadh from the top of the world. Tourists can also rent a room at the four-season hotel and enjoy a pleasant evening in gracious hospitality.
    4. Evening prayer at King Khalid Grand Mosque - Reaffirm your faith by delving into a serene evening prayer at this grand mosque and admire the lavish art and architecture of this grandiose structure.
  3. Which are the best places to stay in Riyadh?

    1. The Ritz Carlton - Experience the best of Riyadh’s grandiose architecture at this lodging which has opulent apartments with unparalleled room views, amusing room services, multi-cuisine restaurants, and a myriad of recreational activities.
    2. Four seasons Hotel - The four-season franchise has disappointed no travel freak ever. Offering the best-reviewed services and luxuriant apartments, spacious accommodations, and room services, a stay at this resort is a must.
    3. Radisson Blu hotel - Book for a suite at this hotel and enjoy a myriad of recreational activities like a massive pool, sports avenue, multi-cuisine restaurants, fitness centers, and spacious accommodations featuring the finest furnishings and interiors.
    4. Riyadh Marriott Hotel - Topping the list of luxuriant resorts to spend your vacation in Saudi Arabia, the impressive Riyadh Marriott Hotel is a top-notch choice. With opulent restaurants and spacious accommodation offering impeccable room views, the Riyadh Marriott is an impressive choice.
  4. What is the best time to visit Riyadh?

    The best time to visit Riyadh is during the Winters which is experienced from the month of November to the month of March. The climate is comparatively cooler with very occasional rainfall making it a top-notch climate to visit all tourist attractions.
  5. How far is the Edge of the World Riyadh from the nearest airport?

    The edge of the world is situated at an hour's drive of about 31 km from the nearest airport. It is an enthralling tourist attraction worth exploring.
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