Riyadh Travel Essentials


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Ideal duration: 2 days

Best Time: November to March Read More

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Riyadh Tourism

Riyadh is the capital and the largest city in Saudi Arabia. It is situated in the middle of the an-Nafud desert and was formerly known as Hajr al-Yamamah. Riyadh is a blend of the medieval and the modern, where traditional souks, interesting museums and ancient architecture are located alongside highrises, world-class malls, and restaurants.

Once a walled city, Riyadh is one of the wealthiest cities in the world. It is home to Saudi Arabia's best museums, the UNESCO Heritage site of Diriyah, Masmak Fortress and the Murabba Palace, among other major attractions. Riyadh is also home to world-class designer stores, boutiques, and spectacular fine-dining restaurants. There are also several golf courses near the city. Most sites in Riyadh are closed on Friday and Saturday (weekends) and during prayer hours, while the visiting hours are divided between single men and families. 

Must Know Before You Travel to Riyadh

  • Accommodation: Most accommodation in Riyadh is really expensive. Olaya is the city centre with plenty of options.
  • Transportation: The city is not walking-friendly, and there is no public transportation. However, Uber and Careem have cheap regular taxis. Renting a car is also an option but is not very convenient.
  • Most restaurants have a Singles section and a Families Section.

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Currency in Riyadh

Traveler's check and credit cards such as VISA, MasterCard, and American Express are widely accepted. No other currency is accepted in Riyadh other than Saudi Riyal.

Shopping in Riyadh

Saudi weekend begins on Wednesday afternoon. Shopping malls announce their new promotions to coincide with weekend and all the malls are overcrowded. So, unless you are hunting for a bargain on some favorite item, don't go shopping on Wednesday evening. Thursday morning is always a better option.Shopping for winter clothes in Riyadh during the time of November to mid January could be pricey prior to the •end season saleê in which most tags lowers down to 70% discount, that is between January to February.

Nightlife in Riyadh

Riyadh looks beautiful at night lights, to spend a night, you can go to a "western"style coffee shop like starbucks, or you can go to a "traditional" style of coffee places where you can order shishah with mint tea. Aside from the restaurants and hotels wherein both families and singles can enjoy, there are no other nightlife activites in Riyadh in Western sense like bar, clubs, discotheque etc.Though male can enjoy drinks and coffee along Tahlia street where they have numerous coffeeshops and restaurants which are mostly for singles.

History of Riyadh

Until the 16th century, Riyadh (or, more accurately, Ar-Riyadh) was known by the name¾Hajr. In the Middle Ages, Hajr served as the capital of the province of Al-Yamamah, whose viceroys presided over most of central and eastern Arabia. Only a hundred years ago, Riyadh was a dusty walled town of under 20,000 people surrounded by palm groves, fertile wadis, and a number of small villages. Riyadh (or, rather, the neighboring hamlet of Diriyah) is the ancestral home of the al-Sauds. Driven out by the Rashids in 1891, King Abdulaziz ibn Saud famously raided and recaptured the city in 1902. The city was made the capital of Saudi Arabia when the country was born in 1932, and has grown explosively ever since then

Language of Riyadh

Arabic is the official language of Saudi Arabia, but English is widely spoken. It is used in business and is a compulsory second language in schools. Among the non-Saudi population in Riyadh, many people speak Urdu, the official language of Pakistan, and other Asian languages such as Farsi and Turkish. Hello (Marhaba), Thanks(Shukran), Goodbye(ma'assalama).

Riyadh Customs

  • Never make an "O" sign with the hand and fingers, as this is misconstrued as something else. For some westerners, an "O" sign would mean money. To the Saudis, it's taboo as it symbolizes a woman's dignity.
  • Clicking pictures of women and children is generally not allowed, so one must take permission. Women are not allowed to drive. If you are a westerner and want to drive, you must bring a male companion and expect some curious public eyes.

Religion of Riyadh

Islam is the main religion of Riyadh,Saudi Arabia and its law reuires that all citizens must be muslims. Any overseas national attempting to acquire Saudi nationality must convert to Islam. For many reasons, non-Muslims are not permitted to enter the holy cities although some Western non-Muslims have been able to enter, disguised as Muslims.

Exchanging Money in Riyadh

ATM Machines are everywhere with English language, some of them also allows to withdraw local riyals or US dollars. National bank and Al rajhi are the two banks at Riyadh airport where currency exchange is available 24 hours.

Best Time to Visit Riyadh

Riyadh Photos

Riyadh, Saudi-Arabia
Riyadh Front Shopping Area
North East side of Riyadh city
Dira Square

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FAQs on Riyadh

What is the best time to visit Riyadh?

November-March during the Winters is the best time to visit Riyadh. Winter months of December-February is somewhat cold, and the temperature highs are 79.9°F (26.6°C) and 64.9°F (18.3°C). This place is scorching, and it’s almost impossible to travel there during the summer months of April-July. The temperature in summer often gets up to 50 degrees Celsius. Most days, in summers, the temperature remains 40 degrees Celsius and doesn’t go down at all. Also, July and early-August are the hottest of all in Riyadh, with sands blowing across the city. From late-March onwards, the temperature ranges between 08.5°F (42.5°C) and 79.9°F (26.6°C). It gets higher in the coming months. During summer months of May till September, occasional thunderstorms hit Riyadh during the evenings which leads to a cooler night comparatively. April and October are the shoulder months in Riyadh, and during these two months, you can avoid the rainfalls as well as the crowds around.
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What are the places near Riyadh?

The top places near to Riyadh are Kuwait city which is 534 km from Riyadh, London which is located 4940 km from Riyadh, Dubai which is located 868 km from Riyadh, Amsterdam which is located 4656 km from Riyadh, New york city which is located 10512 km from Riyadh

What are the things to do in Riyadh?

The top things to do in Riyadh are Ad-Diriyah (Saudi early capital), Kingdom centre tower, Masmak Citadel, Al Faisaliyah center, National Museum, Riyadh, Riyadh zoo. You can see all the places to visit in Riyadh here

What are the top hotels in Riyadh?

There are 647 in Riyadh which can be booked through Holidify. The most popular hotels in Riyadh are Vivienda Hotel Villas Granada, منتجعات نوال, Brand New Luxury Apartment in Twin Towers, سمو, شاليه ديــــــفـــــــا, Elite oasis resort. You can see all the hotels in Riyadh here

What is the local food in Riyadh?

Some of the common food items in Saudi Arabian cuisine include wheat, rice, lamb, chicken, yogurt, potatoes and dates.¾Appetizing rice and vegetables, succulent tender beef and fresh chicken marinated with the finest spices is the best thing of Riyadh. Saudi steamed dough patties and saudi date dessert are a must try. The globe,Piatoo and Nozomi are some of the best restaurants in Riyadh.
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6 years ago
Riyadh is the best tourist place of Saudi arabia Nice hotel good hotel for stay in riyadh web design company in riyadh
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