Ten things to do in Saudi Arabia

Ten things to do in Saudi Arabia

Visit Al Masmak Fort

Located in downtown Riyadh, is a castle made of clay and mud-brick that once played a significant role in the Kingdom’s history. It was where the recapture of Riyadh took place in 1902. Even today, Al Masmak Fort still plays a big part in the country’s tourism. This stunning architecture lets you re-live the memories of the years gone by as the old castle was turned into a museum.

It showcases a variety of antique guns, costumes, set-ups of a traditional Saudi house and exhibits of old photos of places and civilizations of the kingdom. Another good thing about this awesome place is that the entrance is FREE. But be sure to check the schedules first, as there is a separate visiting schedule for men and families.

Explore Deerah Souk

After you get a dose of Saudi history, it’s time to do some bargaining at Deerah Souk. Souk is the Arabic word for market or bazaar. It is located just behind the Masmak Fort. This is the best place to buy souvenirs for your family and friends back home as there are lots of stalls to choose from and the price here is really cheap. Toys, ref magnets, keychains, scarfs, shawls, carpets, lanterns, scented oils, dress, make-ups, gold, accessories, spices… everything you need can be found in the souk. There is a separate area for each. Do not be shy to haggle!

Sky Bridge at Kingdom Center

If you want to see Riyadh from up above, this is the best place to be. Located at the 99th floor of Kingdom Tower, the third tallest skyscraper in Riyadh, is a 56 meter sky bridge where you can have a panoramic view of the city. It takes two speedy lifts to take you to the top.  Whether you come to visit it during the day or night, both offers a spectacular view.

There are also shopping malls and restaurants at the ground floor. The Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh is also located at the Kingdom Center.

Tour at the Largest Integrated Farm in the World

You heard it right! The world’s largest integrated farm can be found on this desert land. Al Safi Dairy Farm in Al Kharj is a Guinness World Record Holder with more than 50,000 Holstein cows.

Upon entering the company’s premises, cars will undergo a series of disinfection. A company staff will welcome the visitors and conduct the tour using their own spacious bus. First stop is the farm. Just like any other place in the Kingdom, male and female cows cannot just mix up. Cows are also separated based on their age. A great experience for children is that they can touch and bottle-feed the baby cows.

Riyadh 11The state-of-the-art milking parlors

Next stop is the state-of-the-art milking parlors. Be amazed on how they pamper these female cows in order to get the best quality milk. A short visit to the machine-operated factory is also part of the tour. But the best part of the trip is at the end where they are giving away lots of freebies. The trip is free but you have to contact the company first and book in advance.

Quad Biking at the Red Sand Dunes

For a quick weekend getaway, head to the Red Sand Dunes. Rent an ATV, do some picnics or barbecue with the magnificent view of Tuwaiq Escarpment on the back drop. It’s better to go there in the morning or in the late afternoon when the sun’s heat is still bearable.

Edge of the World

Almost 90 km north of Riyadh hides this breathtaking rock formation. Located at the Acacia Valley and part of Tuwaiq Escarpment, this amazing place is a common trekking spot for expats. Standing on the edge of the cliff with the endless view of the valley below will really make you feel as if you are on the edge of the world. It is believed that this place was the bottom of an ocean some thousands of years ago.

Visit the National Museum

What better way to understand Saudi Arabia than by visiting its national museum. The museum is divided into 8 well-designed halls namely: Which are Man and the Universe, Arabian Kingdom,  The Pre-Islamic Era, The Prophet’s Mission, Islam and the Arabian Peninsula, First and Second Saudi States, The Unification and The Hajj and the Two Holy Mosque. It offers a vast display of antiques, manuscripts, miniatures and artifacts. There are also audio-visual presentations both in English and Arabic for more enjoyable experience. Entrance fee cost SAR 10 for adults and FREE for children.

A Walk in the Past at the Historical Diriyah

This UNESCO World Heritage Site should not be missed when visiting Riyadh. It was the original home of the Saudi Royal Family and the first Saudi capital. Old houses made of mud are such a wonderful sight to behold knowing the glorious past it once witnessed.

Go on a Road Trip

Since the price of petrol in Saudi Arabia is incredibly cheap, why not invite your family and friends on a road trip. From quirky-shaped buildings, beautiful mosques, huge palaces, green date farms, a vast desert scene, superb sunrise and sunset views and many more, Riyadh has it all.

How About a Food Trip

With a large percentage of expat population, Riyadh is surely the best place to try a wide array of cuisine. From Middle Eastern, Lebanese, Turkish, Indian, Pakistani, Asian, Italian, American and more, Riyadh will surely satisfy your craving appetite.

Here is a few list of some must try dishes and snacks in Riyadh.‘Kabsa’ is like the national food of Saudi. It is a rice meal with meat, vegetable and lots of spices. The best way to enjoy kabsa is by eating with your hands while the food is scattered on a plastic sheet just like boodle fight. Shawarma, do I need to say more? Broasted chicken is another favorite. It is usually served with fries, hummus, garlic sauce and flat bread. There is also a variety of fish and shrimp broasted for you to try. Another tasty dish that is worth a try is ‘foul and tamis’. Foul is a dish made from fava beans with vegetable oil and spices while tamis is the flat bread that you will dip in the foul.

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