In the heart of the Arabian peninsula lies a city that over the years has become a place of many mind-boggling discoveries. From hidden archaeological treasures to architectural marvels that have become a symbol of grandeur and opulence. The destination in discussion is the growing metropolis and the capital city of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh. The city has become popular for several ancient structures and natural wonders that lie on the outskirts of the city. But also for the many spots within the city that display a harmonious blend of traditional and cultural values with growing technological trends. Below is an interesting read on a list of Riyadh tourist attractions. Or tourist places to visit in Riyadh that form the pillars of Riyadh tourism.
List of Riyadh Tourist Attractions
1. Al Masmak Fort
Our tour to find the best Riyadh tourist attractions brings us to our first destination known as the Al Masmak Fort. The ancient fort is probably the most influential and one of the most important locations in all of Saudi Arabia. It was this very fortress that King Abdulaziz ibn Al Saud recaptured on his conquest to defeat the Rashid’s. The fort is also the place where King Abdulaziz made the announcement of his plans for the Unification of Saudi Arabia under the house of the Saud’s. Furthermore, in 1992 the fortress became a museum and spoke of the tales of the ‘Battle of Riyadh’. And about the numerous endeavours made by the family of Al Saud to unify the different sheikdoms, tribes, city-states into one nation. Which later on in September 1932 became the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
2. Riyadh zoo
The nest destination on our exploration trip of looking for the tourist places to visit in Riyadh brings us to the Riyadh Zoo. The zoo was set up under the orders of King Saud bin Abdulaziz in 1957. The zoo was to become the king’s private collection of exotic wild animals that he had received in the form of gifts to the Saudi royal family.
The majority of these animals were eventually kept on the grounds of Royal Nasiriyah Palace. But the palace found it difficult to manage the massive crowd that gathered at the palace to watch the animals. Thus in 1987, a new establishment was made to allow these exotic animals to be put on display for the general public that came to be known as the Riyadh zoo.
3. Deera Square
The next location on the list of Riyadh tourist attractions is one of the most controversial locations in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Deera Square is a public space that shares the location with the headquarters of ‘Mutawwa’. ‘Mutawwa’ is an Islamic religious police group that follows Islamic laws. Yes, your suspicions are correct. The Deera Square is actually the infamous ‘Chop-chop square’, where executions are carried out in public. The mode of punishment can either be beheading or cutting of a body part or death by stoning. The punishment depends on the crime committed. However, public executions has become a rare sight with the country opening up their borders to international travellers.
4. Murabba Palace
The next destination on the list of tourist places to visit in Riyadh brings us to the Murabba Palace. The Palace is one of the most important archaeological wonders of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Murabba palace is an authentic Najdean styled structure. That is ground zero for many important historical events that took place during the 1870s to 1930s in Saudi Arabia. The palace is the humble abode of the former King Abdul Aziz Al Saud. And post the king’s demise has served several generations of the Saudi royal family. The palace over the years has also welcomed several kings and presidents from foreign nations.
5. Sky Bridge at Kingdom Center
The search for the best Riyadh tourist attractions brings us to the Sky bridge at the Kingdom Center. The current jewel of the Riyadh Skyline is a marvel that is waiting to be discovered. The Kingdom Center in itself is a massive shopping mall that houses some of the most popular fashion and lifestyle brands in the world. That makes the 98 floors of the building. But, the Sky Bridge on the 99th floor of the Kingdom Center is a floor that defies all imaginations. The bridge suspends almost 300 meters above the bustling city of Riyadh. The Sky Bridge at the Kingdom Center offers a beautiful view of the Riyadh city skyline. And is one of the most prominent contemporary structures of modern times.
6. The National Museum of Riyadh
The next tourist place in Riyadh that made to our list of Riyadh tourist attractions is the National Museum of Riyadh. The National Museum is one of the best places to explore the rich history of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The museum is the perfect canvas of contemporary Arabic architecture that houses lawns with gorgeous flower beds. The National Museum offers its visitors a virtual and interactive tour of some of the major historical events that resulted in the formation of the country of Saudi Arabia. The museum also houses several artefacts and miniature replicas of some popular ancient structures that are not accessible to the public.
7. Al Faisaliah Tower
The next location on our list of Riyadh attractions brings us to the tallest skyscraper that adorns the Riyadh skyline. The tower is one of the first modern architectural marvels to adorn the Saudi skyline. However, that is not even the most intriguing part. The most unique thing about the Al Faisaliah tower is the massive glass globe that sits at the top of the tower. That just so happens to be a revolving restaurant offering its patrons a 360° panoramic view of the entire city of Riyadh. Visitors would often click pictures of the tower from the Sky bridge at Kingdon Center and vice versa. As part of a trend that began after the Sky bridge made its debut.
8. King Abdulaziz Historical Center
Our journey to find the best Riyadh tourist attractions brings us to the popular King Abdulaziz Historical Center. The centre is home to several different styles of museums each representing a different era of Saudi history. The historical centre aims at promoting historical awareness of the largest peninsula in the world, the Arabian peninsula. And showcase the impact the region of Saudi Arabia had in the formation and foundation of Islam.
9. Edge of the World
The next location on our journey to explore the best tourist places in Riyadh brings us to a geographical marvel called the ‘Edge of the world’. The destination lies a few km to the northwestern outskirts of Riyadh. The location lies on the Jebel Fihrayn mountain ranges and has recently become popular after the Saudi Government announced visas for non-Muslims. The location is popular as the ‘Edge of the world’, due to its location atop an escarpment. That provides a panoramic and beautiful view of the horizon of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
10. Deerah Souq
The final destination on our journey of exploring the top tourist places in Riyadh brings us to the most popular destination called the Deerah Souq. The term ‘Souq’ translates to a market and it is one of the most unique and mesmerizing markets in all of Riyadh. The souq is popular for the numerous antiques and gold items, of which some may even date back a decade. And still cost you equal to a sofa set from Ikea. The market is often bustling with archaeologists and historians from different countries. In search of an ancient relic that may be in hiding in some corner of the market.