Riyadh, known as the “ Queen of the Desert” is the capital city of Saudi Arabia. It is a modern metropolis that strides into the future as the main financial hub. Riyadh captivates travellers with its desert landscapes, remarkably ancient monuments, lush green oasis and more. Embrace Arabian hospitality as it welcomes you to the renowned capital. We tell you when is the best time to visit Riyadh to immerse in the beauty of the top 10 wonderful winter attractions and activities.
Best Time to Visit Riyadh (Month-Wise & Season-Wise)
November to March
November to March is the best time to visit Riyadh and is considered the winter months. December to February sees high temperatures of 26.6°C and is the best time to avoid the scorching summer heat. December and January are pleasant winter months with the last winter month being February in Riyadh. February sees a slight rise in temperatures as the city enters the spring season.
March to May
March is the first month of spring in Riyadh with a maximum day temperature of 27.7°C. April is a tropical spring month with an average high temperature of a tropical 33.4°C. May is the last month of the spring season and the temperatures soar to a torrid 39.4°C.
June to August
June is the first month of the summer season with an average high temperature of 42.5°C. July is another scorching summer month with very high temperatures of heat at 43.5°C. August is yet another summer month where travel is best avoided with an average relative humidity of 12%.
September to October
These months are also scorching hot and make up the autumn season in Riyadh. The average high of 40.4°C makes it impossible to tour the capital city. In September the average-high temperature slightly decreases to bring in the winter months that present desirable temperatures for tourists.
Top 10 Wonderful Winter Attractions & Activities:
1. Noor Walk & Stargazing
Head towards Noor Walk to gaze up at the sky over Riyadh and discover it’s beauty. Take a Stargazing Tour to see the constellations across the sky dancing the night away. The desert by night in the winter season is a top attraction as you lie back and watch the stars befriend you. Spend a night in the desert to explore its natural beauty, landscapes and take a Sunset Walk at Wadi Namar. This is a desert oasis in Riyadh, a popular destination for indispensable nature and cool winter breeze. Wadi Namar is a perfect weekend activity for sightseeing pleasures and perfect sunset views.
2. Riyadh Season
Riyadh Season is a much-awaited five-month festival by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage. It celebrates the art, theatre, food and traditions of Riyadh with events that are bigger than ever before. Riyadh Season 2021 commenced from 20 October 2021 in an area that can accommodate 5 million, in 14 zones with an astounding 75,000 events. Boulevard Riyadh City presents a food and family hub, Winter Wonderland and Via Riyadh are other noteworthy districts. Enjoy the extravagance in the winter months and experience Riyadh Oasis, the cultural hub of Khalouha, The Avalanche and more. One of the biggest music festivals will return in December under the new name Soundstorm. Don’t miss the winter action!
3. King Abdullah Park
This is a top attraction especially in the winter season and is the largest park in Riyadh. It is located in Al Malaz and is famous for its dancing fountains, lush sprawling gardens and brick pedestrian 12 m pathways. The dancing fountain is a delight to watch at night where starting daily at 6.15 pm the show begins. The entertainment of colorful lights is a fantastic display and outdoorsy experience for the whole family. Enjoy the breadth of fresh air as you sit on the benches and take advantage of the wonderful winter weather. Hang out with mates in the evenings or afternoons as the cold wind blends with the sunlight to give you perfectly enjoyable weather.
4. Riyadh Kingdom Centre
The Kingdom Tower is the tallest building in the city with modern architectural style, a 99-story, 302.3 m (992 ft) skyscraper in Riyadh. This iconic landmark attraction is a must-see from the Sky Bridge on the 99th floor for eclectic city views, especially at night. The bridge is suspended 300 meters above the city and offers spectacular Riyadh skyline views. A high-speed lift at 180 km/hour takes you on a thrilling ride to the Sky Bridge for amazing views. The Kingdom Centre is the tallest tower in Saudi Arabia completed in 2002 with 13 floors of offices, 10 stories of hotel, 5 stories of luxury apartments and more.
5. Al-Masmak Castle
The Masmak Fortress is a beautiful attraction in Riyadh made of clay and mud-brick. Explore the castle located in the heart of the capital city. The castle is founded on stone blocks with thick walls, a spacious courtyard and four watchtowers. It was built by Prince Abdurrahman ibn Sulaiman AlDabaan around 1865 and has played a significant role in the history of Saudi Arabia. This fortress is open to visitors in the mornings and evenings except for Friday mornings. The best time to visit the fortress is in the winter months with pleasant climes. The restored building beckons tourists as a favourite to explore Saudi Arabia`s roots. Watch a short documentary that re-enacts the capture of the fortress by King Abdulaziz and witness the spearhead used embedded in the wooden gate.
The Ruins of At-Turaif form a UNESCO Heritage Site since 2010. The area has been painstakingly restored to bring to life a historical legacy. At-Turaif district is located in Al-Diriyah that is northwest of Riyadh and is an important political site. It was the original home of the Saudi royal family and the capital of Saudi Arabia from 1744 to 1818. It stands today as a symbol of Saudi`s unified history and is a sanctuary for natural heritage and rich legacy. The mud-brick city features courtyards, alleyways and towers with Najdi architectural style.
7. Thumama Desert
As the cooler months of the year beckons, the desert is a welcome place for some fun in the sands. Riyadhs favourite desert district is a beautiful attraction during the winter and is a Riyadhi favourite. As summers are not a pleasing season for desert adventures, head to the beautiful sandy scapes in winter. Book a tour of the desert and go quad biking, horse riding, camel riding and more. Hike the desert sands, chill with your family or friends in Thumama and tick off a bucket list attraction.
8. National Museum
Catch up with the past and history of the region at the National Museum. It is one of the finest and most refined attractions in Riyadh. The galleries showcase the past of the entire Middle East and rich Arabic culture. The city of Riyadh is proud of its heritage. See the manuscripts, displays and antiques in the museum. The attraction is located in Al-Murabba at the King Abdul Aziz Historical Center. Look around to see prehistoric artifacts from 8 major eras of Saudi Arabia, skeletons of ancient animals of the Arabian Peninsula, interactive displays and more.
9. Al Faisaliyah Center
The commercial skyscraper is located in the business district of Riyadh and is a top attraction. This 276-metre high tower is the first skyscraper in Saudi Arabia that is the pride of the Riyadhis. The lobby is made up of a monumental stained glass wall designed by Norman Foster in collaboration with Brian Clarke, the architectural artist. There are a central office tower, a five-star hotel, three-story retail mall, banqueting and conference halls and 30 floors of office space.It is also called the Star Dome and is home to Saudi Arabia`s finest restaurant ‘The Globe”. It is located in the sphere above the observation deck that offers 360 degrees views of Riyadh.
10. Al Bujairi Heritage Park
The winter season is a lovely time for a family picnic adventure in the park in Diriyah. Here is where you discover nature and history in a tranquil park. The park is full of traditional restaurants and cafes where you can relax and have a family day out. It is close to the ancient ruins of Diriyah and is a popular winter activity. There are gardens with water channels that makes the place astonishing especially during sunrise or sundown periods of the day.The weather will seem a bit cold and breezy yet enjoyable.The park lights up at night with events and entertainment for kids.