I recently booked a trip to Saudi Arabia which borders Kuwait and wasn’t sure about which places to visit but since my companion knew the area, I spent a fantastic week there. If you are curious about the capital, I wrote this list of what to do in Riyadh to have some fun. I hope to give you some inspiration! Enjoy!
What to do in Riyadh: Activities like bowling, ice skating, swimming, kart and horse riding
Most bowling centres are family-friendly and well-maintained centres; try going to:
- Intercontinental Hotel
- Universal Bowling centre
- AlKhozama Bowling centre
You will find ice skating in Royal mall, Othaim mall and Hayat mall. Finding a swimming pool is quite easy for men. What is tricky is for women. So here are some lovely places you can enjoy swimming, ladies! Just check when are the women special days.
- Sports Club in the Diplomatic quarter (membership required)
- Manahil club in the Diplomatic quarter (membership required)
- Luthan Hotel & Spa for women only
- Riyadh Golf Club
- Dirab Golf & Country Club
You can try karting at Al Reem international circuit, located 76 km west of the city on Mecca Road Exit 11. If you’re a horse-lover then you will enjoy riding at Dirab Golf & Country Club or AlAghar Equestrian Club. At Dirab you can also find a tennis court, cycling area, golf course and a restaurant.
What to do in Riyadh: Enjoy tasty restaurants or go shopping
There are all sorts of cuisine in Riyadh, American, Indian, Turkish, Italian, Lebanese Brazilian, Japanese…and many others… Just go and explore!
Just like Restaurants, Riyadh is full of local shops and international and luxurious brands!
What to do in Riyadh: Explore Dirah and Masmak fort
The old Riyadh is the district called Dirah; it was surrounded by the city walls. It includes the Masmak fort and some traditional markets. There are also some mud-brick houses in this area.
What to do in Riyadh: Hop on Sky Bridge
At the top of the kingdom tower, you can enjoy a panoramic view of Riyadh at the Sky Bridge.
What to do in Riyadh: Visit museums
Saqer Aljazirah Aviation Museum is an excellent museum to visit and see the aeroplanes, fighter planes, helicopters collection. Don’t miss the National Museum in King Abdul Aziz Historical Centre, you’ll love it.
What to do in Riyadh: Tour Wadi Namar and Wadi Hanifah
Wadi Namar is a new project rehabilitated with a lake and a dam. It consists of a corniche also that overlooks the lake with beautiful sidewalks, sitting areas and palm trees. Although on weekends, it is very crowded, people do a barbecue there and meet with family and friends.
You can also explore Wadi Hanifah from the north to the south of Riyadh and forget that you are in a busy and crowded city.
What to do in Riyadh: Walk around Diriyah
Explore the outdoor area in Bujairi district and the view to the old town of Dirriyah, where the first settlement in the region of Najd was.
What to do in Riyadh: Enjoy Thumamah Park
Even though Riyadh is in the middle of the desert, it has many green open spaces and parks to picnic with the family. Drive your car toward the Thumamah area to rent a quad bike and enjoy riding it around the soft dunes. This activity is popular in winter, early morning or before sunset times. You can rent a quad for 50 SR for half an hour and 100 SR for an hour.
Or, rent horses if you know how to ride. Another idea is to do a picnic and enjoy the view of the dunes of the Red Sands. I heard that some people would go and camp there. Lot of things to do, just worth going there and trying!
Other places to visit in Riyadh
- At the stylish place Ceramic Cafe, you can choose the piece of ceramic that you want, and then you’re free to paint to create your own work of art! Put in mind that they need from a week to 10 days to prepare it for you after you finish your work (let it dry and put it in the oven to fix the paint). This place also offers food and drinks. Their kind staff will make you feel most welcomed even after spending 3-4 hours asking for all kinds of painting tubes. It is located in Sahara Mall on the second floor.
- The Snow city is now open in Othaim mall. You can ski there, and the place is divided into different areas: snow discovery, bumper on ice, kids carousel, sledge and mini snowmobile.
- The zoo was first established to accommodate the animals presented as a gift to the first three kings of the kingdom.
- The Diplomatic Quarter is where almost all the embassies are located. It also has many residential areas and many green open spaces and parks. You can enjoy your time there, have a walk or cycle around the DQ following the trail.