Culture and Experience Travel 4 MINS READ

Souq Al-Thumairi, Riyadh: Here’s What You Need To Know

Souq Al-Thumairi, Riyadh: Here’s What You Need To Know

Culture and Experience Travel 4 MINS READ
Souq Al-Thumairi

Souq Al-Thumairi, also known as Al-Deerah Souq or Al-zel Souq, is a traditional marketplace and antique souq located in the heart of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It’s known for its wide array of handicrafts, antiques, jewelry, clothing, and souvenirs. Let’s dive into what you can expect to see here, places to stay nearby, the many things to buy, and more!

History & Legacy

Souq Al-Thumairi

Steeped in the rich tradition of Riyadh, Souq Al-Thumairi is a bustling marketplace where history whispers through its ancient shops. It’s a testament to generations passing down their trades, keeping legacies alive. This century-old commercial hub isn’t just a place to shop; it’s a social center where every day feels straight out of a storybook.

Located in the heart of Al-Deerah, Al-Thumairi Street is a cornerstone Souq of Old Riyadh. Its convenient location, near other major markets like Al-Taameer and Al-Maigliah, has cemented its importance for over a hundred years. But its true significance lies deeper. The historic Al-Thumairi Gate, once the entry point to the old city walls, saw tribal delegations arrive not just for trade but also to meet with leaders at the Qasr Al-Hukm Palace. This gateway has served as a vibrant commercial and social hub for generations.

What To Expect

Souq Al-Thumairi

Once a go-to spot for everyday goods, Souq Al-Thumairi is now the destination for visitors seeking a taste of Saudi heritage. While the stalls have modernized, you’ll still find traditional stores selling everything from thobes and ghutras to prayer beads and antiques.

Skilled craftsmen showcase their talents, making you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. The street remains a hub for locals, especially during Ramadan, where the sights and sounds –from the rhythmic creation of Agals to the boasts of the Mashlah sellers– create an unforgettable atmosphere. Here’s what you can expect:

Products: You’ll find a wide variety of goods at Souq Al Thumairi, including handicrafts, antiques, jewelry, traditional clothes, spices, perfumes, and souvenirs. The souq is particularly famous for its antique selection, which includes coffee pots, silver daggers, vases, lamps, and other collectibles.

Experience: Souq Al Thumairi is a vibrant and bustling marketplace where you can experience authentic Saudi shopping culture. Be sure to bargain for the best prices!

Food and drinks: Several restaurants near Souq Al-Thumairi specialize in traditional Saudi food. You can also find vendors selling hot Arabic coffee, tea, and dates.

Stay Near Souq Al-Thumairi

Stay Near Souq Al-Thumairi

Gloria Inn Riyadh

Gloria Inn Riyadh is a 3-star hotel in Riyadh City featuring an informal and exciting atmosphere. It offers a variety of world-class amenities including a restaurant with a coffee shop, a shared lounge, a spa, a gym, an indoor pool, complimentary breakfast, free wifi, and free private parking. The rooms are spacious, the staff is helpful, and the services are top-notch!

Asemah Hotel

Asemah Hotel is located in the heart of Riyadh. Booking accommodation here will ensure a great base for exploring the city’s vibrant landmarks and attractions. It has a restaurant on-site, so you won’t have to go far for a meal. The hotel is a good option for budget-conscious guests. Rooms include air conditioning, a refrigerator, a minibar, and free WiFi.

Tulip Inn Hotel

The Tulip Inn Riyadh is a budget-friendly, 3-star hotel ideal for business travelers. It offers an amazing value for the price, with spacious rooms and amenities. Rooms are clean and comfortable, with daily housekeeping facilities. The property boasts an indoor pool, a Moroccan Hammam, a gym, and multiple dining options. The hotel is, however, far from King Khalid International Airport.

Tips For Visiting Souq Al-Thumairi

Souq Al-Thumairi

▸ Haggling is expected: Don’t be afraid to bargain for the best price on souvenirs and other goods.
▸ Dress modestly: When visiting Souq Al Thumairi, it’s best to dress modestly, especially if you are a woman.
▸ Bring cash: While some shops may accept credit cards, it’s always a good idea to bring cash with you.
▸ Fewer crowds: Visit early in the morning or evening to avoid the midday heat and throngs of tourists.

Plan Your Visit To Souq Al-Thumairi

Souq Al-Thumairi
📌 LocationSouq Al-Thumairi is located in the old part of Riyadh, near the Al Masmak Fort.
⏰ Opening HoursSat-Thu: 9 AM – 12 noon & 8 PM – 12 midnight; Fri: 8 PM – 12 midnight.
🚗 Getting ThereYou can get there by taxi, rideshare app, or bus.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I buy at Souq Al-Thumairi?

You can buy handicrafts, clothes and fabrics, spices and herbs, perfumes and oud, dates and other food items, souvenirs and handicrafts, jewelry and accessories, and antiques and carpets – there are many items of interest here.

Is Souq Al-Thumairi good for bargaining?

Yes, bargaining is expected and encouraged at Souq Al-Thumairi. Be polite and respectful while negotiating a good price.

Are there any restrooms or cafes available at Souq Al-Thumairi?

Public restrooms might be limited within the Souq itself. There are cafes and restaurants located close to Souq Al-Thumairi where you can find restrooms and refreshments.

Is Souq Al-Thumairi accessible for people with disabilities?

The narrow alleys and uneven walkways of Souq Al-Thumairi might pose challenges for people with disabilities.

What is the best way to experience Souq Al-Thumairi?

Souq Al-Thumairi is a great place to wander around, soak up the atmosphere, and browse the many shops at your own pace.

What are some top attractions to visit in Riyadh apart from Souq Al-Thumairi?

Al Masmak Fort, King Abdulaziz Historical Center, National Museum of Saudi Arabia, Murabba Palace, Wadi Hanifa, King Abdullah Park, and Al Faisaliah Tower are among the best places to visit when in Riyadh.

Ritesh Raj

COO at CuddlyNest

Editorial Policy

Last update: 21 June 2024

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