Riyadh is the beating heart of Saudi Arabia, home to soaring skyscrapers, gleaming malls and luxury hotels. It's set high on a desert plateau, where you'll discover ancient forts, bustling souqs and a rich local culture.
Things to do in Riyadh
You can't miss the iconic Kingdom Centre, which towers more than 300 metres above the city. It anchors Riyadh's CBD and is especially striking at night when it's illuminated in rainbow-coloured lights. Take the elevator to the 99th floor, where the lofty Sky Bridge commands panoramic views over Riyadh.
Get a taste of traditional Saudi Arabian culture in the historic Deira district. Wander around mighty Masmak Fortress, the stronghold where the Al Sauds seized control of the city in the 1900s. It's surrounded by golden sand and is dotted with maps, photographs and weaponry.
Riyadh cradles some of the country's top cultural attractions. The state-of-the-art National Museum is housed in a sleek modern building and is filled with Arabian treasures, including ancient rock carvings, Middle Eastern art and a superb reconstruction of a Nabataean tomb. The nearby Souq Al Jamal camel market is one of the biggest in the Arabian Peninsula.
From traditional Arabian cuisine to contemporary fare, Riyadh boasts some of the best restaurants in the Middle East. For special occasions, reserve a table at Globe, an elegant restaurant housed in Al Faisaliah Tower with a creative menu, stylish decor and stunning city views.
Getting around Riyadh
Riyadh is best explored by taxi or ridesharing services, as the streets can be difficult to navigate on foot. Regular buses run from Al Aziziyah Bus Station to King Khalid International Airport, 35 kilometres from the city centre.