January – Saudi Fun Quiz


The January Fun Quiz has been added to our quiz page or you can access it directly from here.

And just a little hint…you might want to go back and review January postings for the answers!

First Time Visitors to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

riyadh-mapMany individuals may find themselves in Riyadh for a short time such as a weekend whether he or she is in the Kingdom for short term business, visiting Riyadh in order to see the capital city or maybe came to attend a conference. It would be a shame to be in Riyadh and not make an effort to see some of its sites and highlights.But where does one start? What are the “do not miss sites of Riyadh?”

I’m putting together my own recommendations and I’ve no doubt readers familiar with Riyadh may add to this list. However after giving careful thought and consideration, here are some sites I think one should see to discover the rich heritage, culture and history of the capital city:


National Museum: The National Museum as its name indicates gives one an excellent overview of the history and noteworthy sites of Saudi Arabia. If one can only visit one place while in Riyadh, the National Museum is the place. It is “one stop shopping.” I had also written an earlier post on my observations when I first visited the National Museum. Visiting the museum made a lasting impression on me teaching me about the history, traditions and culture of Saudi Arabia both past and present during my short visit to this museum. The museum is very well organized and structured. However anyone should check before just deciding to go to the museum as there are separate hours for men, women and families.


Al Mismak Castle: This is next door to the National Museum so easy to visit in conjunction with the museum. The castle is representative of the march and battles which led to the formation of Saudi Arabia as it is known today. The castle is well preservered and provides authentic glimpses into the life and history at the beginning of Saudi Arabia. Again, like the National Museum one should check on the hours due to the differing visiting times for men, woman and families. Admission to the castle is free of charge.


City of Old Ad’Diriyah: This is a short taxi ride heading out of Riyadh and is the founding home of the Al Saud family. The ruins remain although the area is slowly being renovated. It is a popular location for outdoor picnics and one can walk freely among the ruins. There are no separate timings for men, women and families.

Deira: Deira is a traditional souk located in walking distance of the National Museum and Mismak Castle. It is also in the same location as the infamous “Chop Chop Square” also known as “Clocktower Square” where public executions may be held. In Deira, everything is negotiable and here is where one can examine and purchase Saudi oud, spices, daggers, carpets, traditional dress and much much more! It is suggested that females have a head scarf handy since it is located near the Headquarters of the Muttawa who if seeing an uncovered woman, may approach and request that she cover her hair.

Camel Souk: Naturally when one thinks of Saudi Arabia it is to include oil, magic carpets, beudoins, desert, falcons and CAMELS! One of the world’s largest camel souks is located in Northern Riyadh. Any taxi driver or hotel concierge should know how to instruct/take one to this fascinating souk. Camels are brought from all over the Kingdom where they are bartered, sold and traded. And one will quickly realize that camels DO NOT come in one size and color but that there are many variations. There are no separate timings for men, women and families. This is a public souk and the “camel sellers” are quite accustomed to visitors from all over the world coming to this souk. Most have no objections to photos but it is prudent to ask first before taking.

riyadh_cityLastly, the weekend tour should also include visits to Al Memlika (Kingdom Mall) and Al Fasiliyah as contrasts from the tradtional souks. Al Memlika and Al Fasiliyah are among Riyadh’s most modern and elite shopping malls with exclusive designer haute coutre shops. In addition, one can travel to the skywalk at Al Memlika and get a birds eye view of Riyadh. It is worth going both during the day and at night for the view and photo opportunities. At Al Fasiliyah one can go to the Globe Restaurant where one also has an incredible view of Riyadh from high above.

So the above are my Riyadh “must see” recommendations if one has limited time. There is indeed much more to see and do but if time is limited, don’t miss the above sites. I’ve also written previous posts about Riyadh which you may enjoy perusing:




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