From historic landmarks to skyscrapers, the capital city of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh offers an unforgettable journey. With its rich blend of tradition and modernity, the city stands as a dynamic metropolis in the heart of the Arabian Peninsula. Visiting soon? Come, let’s explore its thriving business landscape, cultural treasures, and the welcoming spirit that defines this remarkable Arabian city.
Riyadh: The Capital of Saudi Arabia
The story of the city began when Riyadh was announced as the capital of the Kingdom in 1952. Since then, the city has evolved rapidly, providing world-class amenities and beyond. Riyadh offers a myriad of experiences for visitors. In this guide, we’ll discover five must-do activities that will immerse you in the culture, history, and flavours it offers. Whether you’re a history buff, a food lover, or simply seeking an authentic Arabian experience, Riyadh has something special in store for you.
Top 5 Must-Do Things On Your Trip To Riyadh
1. Explore Diriyah, The Oldest Saudi State
Diriyah, also known to be the first capital of the Saudi Kingdom, can be called a ‘Powerhouse of Culture’. The oldest and most historic district of Riyadh, Diriyah, was the original home to the first family in the country. A place with a plethora of cultural landmarks, Diriyah needs to be at the top of the list of every history enthusiast visiting Saudi Arabia. In 2010, Diriyah was deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site, recognising its cultural and historical significance. From Masmak Fortress in At-Turaif District to Diriyah Gate and Al Bujairi Square, you will find some of the most picturesque spots. Don’t forget to visit the Salwa Palace, which is a blend of Najdi and Islamic architecture.
2. Relish Authentic Saudi Cuisine
In the vicinity of Diriyah is the Bujairi Terrace, where you can witness the perfect amalgamation of modernity and culture. While this place boasts plenty of local and international restaurants, you shouldn’t miss out on the traditional cuisine of Saudi Arabia. Well, you can also try to indulge in the local lifestyle at the Najd village in Al Olaya, Riyadh. Make sure you dig into the local rice delicacy called Chicken Maqluba along with some Cheese Samboosa.
3. A Trip To The Boulevard
While keeping its culture and heritage intact, Riyadh has steadily headed towards urban development. The best example of this is the Boulevard of Riyadh. The Boulevard is a hub where you can witness a blend of commercial, residential, and recreational spaces. It is also home to high-end luxury shopping centres that feature a wide range of international brands. This makes it a premier shopping destination in Riyadh. From offering a diverse range of culinary delights to entertainment hubs, Boulevard is the symbol of the city’s modern side.
4. Go Shopping At The Traditional Souks Of Deira
Exploring traditional souks in the capital city of Saudi Arabia offers a unique cultural experience. It allows you to connect with the local way of life and appreciate the authenticity of Saudi traditions. From buying souvenirs to shopping for authentic Saudi products, these souks have a lot to offer their visitors. Bargaining is a common practice in Riyadh’s traditional souks. Be prepared to negotiate hard to get the best deals. Engage with local vendors and craftsmen to learn about their traditions and culture. Many are friendly and happy to share their knowledge. From antique items, handicrafts, and traditional clothing to spices and perfumes, these souks are filled with a lot of options to shop from. You can take back souvenirs for your loved ones from here.
5. Soak In Riyadh’s Skyline
Riyadh is known for its futuristic skyscrapers, and two of the gems are situated on the Boulevard. The first ever skyscraper to be built in Saudi Arabia was the Al Faisaliah Tower, a 267-metre-high building that has a restaurant offering a beautiful vantage point at the top. The next one is the Kingdom Centre. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to visit the Kingdom Centre, where you should definitely walk on the sky bridge to see the scenic panoramic view of Riyadh.
Exploring the city of Riyadh is a journey filled with captivating contrasts. This modern metropolis, while embracing a contemporary lifestyle, proudly preserves its deep-rooted Saudi Arabian culture and traditions. And it makes for a great vacation spot with family and friends. Do not miss out on this gem. There’s more to it than what meets the eye and in a good way! So when are you coming here?
Cover Image Courtesy: Internal
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