Culture and Experience Travel 8 MINS READ

The Best Things To Do In Riyadh For First-Timers

The Best Things To Do In Riyadh For First-Timers

Culture and Experience Travel 8 MINS READ
riyadh night skyline

Embark on an unforgettable journey as we go through the best places to visit in Riyadh, a city in Saudi Arabia brimming with captivating experiences. Get ready to uncover the secrets of this vibrant metropolis and discover its hidden gems.

Riyadh is the capital of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and is the largest city in not only the country but also the Arabian Peninsula. Riyadh also has one of the largest populations in the Middle East, standing at being the third most populous city right now.

There are so many things to do in Riyadh and while it is difficult to narrow it down to our top nine, this would make for a perfect itinerary for a short trip to the city. After all, this city is one of the best places to visit in the Middle East. From the Masmak Fort to Wadi Hanifah, there’s so much to see here.

Temperature In Riyadh

Riyadh has an extremely hot summer temperature, so we do advise that you check the temperature before traveling. The high temperature can go up to 120+ degrees Fahrenheit or 50 degrees Celsius during the summer and the average temperature during the winter is 70 degrees Fahrenheit or 21 degrees Celsius.

Travel Tips For Riyadh

Riyadh is a conservative city in comparison to other, more modern Middle Eastern cities. It’s of high importance to dress appropriately while here. Most malls, restaurants, cafes, and other public buildings have separate entrances for men and women so please be mindful of that.

There are five prayers a day and many places tend to be closed during prayer time, however, some would still be open and functional. When it comes to clothing, both men and women have to be dressed conservatively at all times.

While women don’t have to wear an abaya anymore, they still have to dress conservatively in loose-fitting skirts or trousers and full-sleeved shirts and blouses. Cover as much as you can.

Men should wear long pants and sleeved (short or long sleeves) T-shirts or shirts. Another important thing to note is even as you’re flying into Saudi, it’s best to dress just as conservatively, as you won’t be allowed to board airlines like Saudia if you are casually dressed in shorts and a t-shirt.

Best Hotels in Riyadh City Best Hotels in Riyadh City

9 Best Things to Do in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

The National Museum of Saudi Arabia

riyadh national museum saudi
Image Credit: Afzal Khan Maheen /


📍 AddressKing Saud Rd، 2722 حي 8745, Riyadh 12631. Get Directions
🏪 Opening HoursSaturday to Wednesday from 9 am until 8 pm; Thursdays and Fridays from 2 pm to 10 pm. It is not open on Sundays.
🤑 Ticket PriceSAR 10 per person
⏰ Suggested Duration1-2 hours

Situated in the heart of Riyadh near the King Abdulaziz Palace in the Al-Muraba neighborhood, and has been standing tall since 1999. It’s a major part of the King Abdulaziz Historical Centre and spans a vast area of 17,000 sq meters and is home to over 3,700 historic artifacts which include sculptures, manuscripts, and statues.

It’s especially known for the personal artifacts of the emperor. It’s located on the former grounds of the Murtaba Palace.

We also highly recommend exploring the King Abdulaziz Historical Centre, as it has so much to offer. Take your time to wander through its sprawling grounds and appreciate the intricate architectural details.

Must-See Artifacts at the National Museum of Saudi Arabia Must-See Artifacts at the National Museum of Saudi Arabia

Skybridge in Kingdom Tower

riyadh skybridge


📍 AddressKingdom Centre, Al Olaya, Riyadh 12214. Get Directions
🏪 Opening HoursSaturday to Thursday from 12 pm to 10:30 pm; Friday from 4 pm to 10:30 pm
🤑 Ticket PriceSAR 69 for adults and SAR 23 for kids under ten years
⏰ Suggested Duration30 minutes

For an unparalleled view of the city, head to the Skybridge in Kingdom Tower. As the tallest skyscraper in Riyadh, this architectural masterpiece is an absolute must-visit for panoramic views of the Saudi capital.

Take in the views of the entire city as you ascend to the dizzying heights of the Skybridge, where you’ll be treated to inspiring views of the sprawling cityscape. Witness the fusion of modern marvels and historical landmarks, creating a captivating tapestry that truly captures the essence of Riyadh.

Whether you visit during the day or night, the Skybridge offers a mesmerizing backdrop for memorable photographs. Capture the golden hues of a radiant sunset or the sparkling city lights under a starry sky – the possibilities are endless.

Wadi Hanifa Waterfall

wadi hanifash waterfalls


📍 Address4848, Al-Masani’, Riyadh 14715. Get Directions
🏪 Opening HoursOpen all day
⏰ Suggested Duration1 – 2 hours

Escape the bustling city and immerse yourself in the serenity of Wadi Hanifa Waterfall, a hidden gem nestled in the outskirts of Riyadh. This natural oasis is the perfect retreat for those seeking tranquility and a connection with the great outdoors.

Follow the gentle flow of Wadi Hanifa as you meander through lush greenery and listen to the soothing sound of cascading waters. The mesmerizing beauty of the waterfall is perfect for a leisurely stroll or a serene picnic surrounded by nature’s embrace.

Old Diriyah

riyadh old diriyah


📍 AddressPHMG+C84, Al Traif, Diriyah 13711. Get Directions
🤑 Ticket PriceSAR 50 per person
⏰ Suggested Duration3-4 hours

Experience the rich past of Saudi as you wander through the enchanting streets of Old Diriyah. Located just a stone’s throw away from Riyadh, this historic district invites you to uncover the secrets of Saudi Arabia’s past and explore its rich cultural heritage.

With its narrow alleyways and time-honored structures, Old Diriyah exudes a sense of old-world charm that is sure to captivate visitors. Discover the echoes of history as you navigate the labyrinthine paths, catching glimpses of ancient architecture and absorbing the ambiance of this living testament to Saudi Arabia’s heritage.

From majestic palaces to traditional mud-brick houses, Old Diriyah offers a unique blend of architectural wonders and cultural treasures.

Edge Of The World Riyadh

edge of the world riyadh
Afzal Khan Maheen /


📍 AddressWXWR+W7، العويند 15423. Get Directions
🏪 Opening HoursOpen all day
🤑 Group tourChild (3 – 11 years): from SAR 1301.66; Adult (12 years and Above): from SAR 1865.59
⏰ Tour Duration9-10 hours

The Edge of the World is a mesmerizing natural wonder where you can take in the best of Riyadh’s vast desert landscape.

Revel in the beauty of the desert as you stand on the precipice of this majestic cliff formation, marveling at the endless horizon stretching before you.

To make the most of your visit, consider planning a sunset excursion. Watching the sun dip below the horizon, casting a warm golden glow across the landscape, is an experience that you will never forget.

Riyadh National Park

riyadh national park
Image Credit: Volodymyr Dvornyk /


📍 AddressRiyadh National Park. Get Directions
⏰ Best Time to VisitMorning

Riyadh National Park is a must-visit destination where you can explore the winding trails that meander through lush landscapes, and discover hidden lakes shimmering under the sun.

Whether you’re picnicking by the water or exploring the scenic trails, the park provides the perfect respite.

Riyadh National Park is a testament to the city’s commitment to preserving and celebrating its natural heritage. You can also engage in outdoor activities such as cycling, jogging, and birdwatching here.

The 303

riyadh the 303


📍 AddressDist, 3212 Unit No 17, Al Aqiq, 6469 Northern Ring Rd, Riyadh. Get Directions
🏪 Opening HoursMonday – Thursday and Sunday from 8 am 12 am. Friday and Saturday from 8 am to 2 am

If you’re looking for a vibrant hub where art, culture, and creativity come together, look no further than The 303 in Riyadh. This dynamic space has become a prominent destination for both local and international artists, showcasing their diverse talents.

Step into The 303 which is a world of artistic wonders. From thought-provoking installations to captivating exhibitions, this contemporary art center never fails to inspire. Be prepared to be captivated by the vibrant colors, bold designs, and thought-provoking concepts that grace its walls.

Embrace the opportunity to engage with artists, attend workshops, and witness live performances. The 303 is more than just an art gallery; it’s a vibrant community that fosters creativity and encourages dialogue.

Riyadh Zoo

riyadh zoo
Image Credit: Hinar Attia /


📍 AddressMosab Ibn Umair St، الإحساء, Riyadh. Get Directions
🏪 Opening HoursMonday to Saturday from 9 am until 4:45 pm. It is not open on Sundays.
🤑 Ticket PriceSAR 11.50 for adults; SAR 5.75 for children
⏰ Suggested Duration2-3 hours

Get ready to embark on a wild journey at Riyadh Zoo, a beloved attraction that brings nature’s wonders to the heart of the city. Home to a diverse range of animal species, this family-friendly destination promises an unforgettable wildlife adventure.

Roam through the beautifully landscaped grounds and encounter exotic creatures from around the world. Marvel at the grace of the gazelles, spot playful monkeys swinging through the trees and be captivated by the majestic big cats. The zoo’s commitment to animal welfare and conservation shines through in its spacious enclosures and educational initiatives. The zoo conducts regular educational events and also feeding sessions that you can participate in.

The Boulevard Riyadh

riyadh boulevard
Image Credit: Alsanqer Abdullah H


📍 AddressHittin, Riyadh 13516. Get Directions
🏪 Opening Hours4 pm to 2 am
🤑 Ticket PriceSAR 100 on weekdays and SAR 150 on weekends
⏰ Suggested Duration1.5-2.5 hours

Experience a world of luxury, fashion, and entertainment at The Boulevard Riyadh, the city’s premier destination for shopping and leisure. As you step into this bustling cosmopolitan hub, you’ll be greeted by a vibrant atmosphere and an array of attractions.

Indulge in retail therapy at the high-end boutiques and international brands that line the boulevard. From fashion and accessories to home decor and electronics, you’ll find an exquisite selection of products to satisfy every taste.

Catch the latest blockbuster at the state-of-the-art cinemas or delight in live performances that showcase the city’s vibrant arts scene.

When it comes to dining, The Boulevard offers a diverse culinary landscape that caters to every palate. From fine dining establishments to trendy cafes and international cuisines, you’ll find a wealth of options to satisfy your cravings.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top attractions in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia?

The top attractions in Riyadh include the Skybridge in Kingdom Tower, National Museum of Saudi Arabia, Masmak Fort, Deera Square, Old Diriyah, Najd Village, Edge of the World, and Riyadh Season.

What are some fun things to do in Riyadh?

Fun places to visit in Saudi Arabia Riyadh include bowling at Strike10, visiting the Hotel of Terror at Boulevard World, exploring the CR7 Signature Museum, and playing Monopoly Lifesized at Boulevard World.

Can you suggest some hidden gems or lesser-known things to see in Riyadh?

Hidden gems or lesser-known places to see in Riyadh include: Heet Cave, Mount Uraidh Hidden Spring, Hidden Treasures – Moonlight Comet, Poll Of Red Tadpoles, Al-Hyt Gulley and Jax District.

What are some budget-friendly Saudi Arabia things to do for travelers looking to explore without spending a lot?

Some budget-friendly things to do in Saudi Arabia for travelers looking to explore without spending a lot include: Walk to the Edge of the World, Capture the Charm of Al-Balad, Experience the Majestic King Fahd Fountain, Explore Jeddah’s Coastal Serenity, Elephant Rock Sunset Spectacle and Mall Hopping for Fitness.

What are the best photo spots in Riyadh places to see for capturing memorable moments?

Best photo spots in Riyadh include the observation deck of the Kingdom Centre Tower, the historic Al-Masmak Fortress, and the picturesque Al-Bujairi Quarter with its traditional architecture and charming atmosphere.

Ritesh Raj

COO at CuddlyNest

Editorial Policy

Last update: 13 May 2024

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