Saudi Arabia: What is YOUR Favorite Activity in Riyadh?

This time I am asking American Bedu readers and especially those in Riyadh to be very interactive with this post.  I receive many private emails asking about things to see and do in Riyadh whether a single individual or as a family.  I believe there are many enjoyable activities in and around Riyadh.  However I am very curious for those who are already there or have been there, what are your favorites and why?

And of course, to be fair, I’ve also provide some suggestions I have provided from earlier posts I have written.

First Time Visitors to Riyadh

More Things in Riyadh

Newcomers to Riyadh

The Riyadh Zoo

Wildlife Conservation Park

Fossil Hunting

Equestrian Center


19 Responses

  1. I haven’t been in several years- but I like the ruins of Dirrayah.

  2. AA- Carol,

    Do you have any contact info for the wildlife conservation park?

  3. Favourite thing to do in Riyadh? That’s easy, the no.1, best thing to do in Riyadh is of course:

    leaving it!

  4. Nowadays? Not drowning.

    Our thoughts are with them.

  5. Never been there. Someday, maybe. : )

  6. Rose….you have NEVER been to Riyadh?????

  7. I wish we had received the list before we visited! I loved the Kingdom Center and going across the walkway. I have such wonderful photos from there. We only had one day unfortunately and my family wanted to shop. Next time my husband and I will spend more time there on our own and see all the sites. We had a wonderful meal in ‘men only’ restaurant and that was a story in itself.:)

  8. That is an interesting discussion.First time my son and I came to Riyadh in October 2008 for 3 month. My husband has been working here for 2 years before and was traveling back and forth on a regular basis. It was hard for our family to be apart for sometimes 6 months in a row, so we decided to unite in one place. Since my husband also has an office in Bahrain, that was our first choice of residence, Somehow my husband felt I will be more comfortable there, since I grew up in Russia and from 1996 lived in California, After spending about 1,5 month there we came to Riyadh. I absolutely loved it. I felt so safe here and respected. Everyone called me “Madam”, service is immaculate. No one “undresses” you with their staring and no one offends you with their unwanted attention. In Bahrain I was so tired of cutting off those perverts… I am used to man’s attention, but not to that extent. It is does not matter for them if you are married, or have your child with you… They will drag after you in the shopping malls, in the restaurants, on the streets… Yack!!! I felt so uncomfortable, that stopped going anywhere by myself, only with my husband and son in the evening to a nearby grocery shop.
    When we came to Riyadh, first thing my husband did is took us to a Chateau Marrakech restaurant. It was such a nice place with good Moroccan cuisine and wonderful service. Next day was Friday and we went for a brunch at Four Season’s in Kingdom Center. That was wonderful experience. Shopping, of course, is another wonderful experience. We left before Christmas, and since then I was coming to Riyadh on a regular basis every 5 month for a month or two. I like going to Deira, it is always rewarding. We have many friends here and they invite us to visit their homes, childrens Birthday Parties.. We would rent a vacation house for the weekend and invite our friends to have a little party. Children are always happy, since they have 2 swimming pools there, in mens and in womens quarters. We go to Bahrain, Doha, Dubai or to Abu Dhabi quite often, (I just tag along with my husband on his business trips). In March we went to Oman, because I absolutely wanted to visit the Amouage Perfume factory. In 6 hours of flight I can be in Europe, which was not that easy from the USA.
    Life is good here, very family oriented and safe.
    Now, since I am here for indefinite period of time, I will explore more of Riyadh’s attractions, and definitely will start learning the language.
    Thank you, Carol, for the list of interesting places to visit.

  9. Well, a wonderful place i recently discovered for adults and older kids is Ceramic Cafe in Sahara Mall. The price of the ceramic includes all the paints and firing. They have a wide selection to choose from, very pleasant atmosphere and you don’t have to clean up the mess! :) My kids and i have spent several enjoyable afternoons there. Also nice to grab a cup of coffee and paint with a friend.

    Also would recommend the National Museum and exploring the beautiful parks that surround it. Kids will enjoy the water play in a little stream and a waterfall they can run through. The park also has “caves” to picnic in constructed of large slabs of sandstone. They provide climbing fun too! While you’re there, go to the top of the landmark water tower. It’s open air and provides a spectacular view of the city – i liked it better than Kingdom’s skybridge. We went up at sunset and watched the lights come on all over the city. One of the nicest memories i have of Riyadh.

  10. Good topic, I hope I can help ppl find things to do..

    People often say Riyadh is boring, but why do I always run short of time to do everything!?

    Btw I changed my nick from Laurea because I started a blog where I post as Laylah and inshallah I will write a more detailed version of things to do in Riyadh there!

    I guess it depends on how active you are in finding activities and getting to know people.
    Also so much depends on are you single female/male, expat or local, married with children..

    For expats, there is numerous compounds you can go to and have a nice dinner in “normal environment”. Like Romaizan, Sedar or Arizona compounds. Romaizan often arranges special theme days for families at their pool area on fridays often including bbq.Those are very relaxing days indeed some of the best Ive spent here.
    Some compounds arrange dance classes, for example Kingdom has salsa classes every tuesday, very popular!

    Then there is so many nice restaurants to try!
    Our favorites are, the IlMondo at Intercontinental, Furosato on Tahlia for sushi, the brazilian openair terrace restaurant IlTerrazo at the Faisalia hotel,the Sittashams arabic cuisine buffet restaurant, and for chinese food the Mirage on takhasusi street..Oh and of course on weekends there is high tea served in the Globe with magnificent views of the city:)

    I enjoy going to cafeterias with friends, the ones in Centria are nice because even ladies can sit outside and its not segragated..

    For ladies theres lots of good spas, and the ladies only hotel&spa is worth a visit, they also have a restaurant there.Nayara centre has lots of expeditions every month, very interesting to see saudi ladies promoting their own businesses:)

    Almultaka centre is nice place to spend the day, theres cafe, library, shops, beayty/hair salon, gym, pools..ladies only of course:)

    I like to go to Dirah and wander around the gold souq, and the antique souq. Always nice to sit down for a cup (or four) of tea and haggle.

    Outside Riyadh city my favorite things to do is Thumamah sand dunes for dunebuggies ar quadbike riding, Red Sands another favorite although too crowded on weekends.

    Theres alot of places to go horseback riding, our favorite being Dirab golf and recreation club..

    theres alot of big amusement parks around Riyadh, they have ladies only days, family days, and would suspect single male days too?Nice to spend a day..

    for picknicks outside Riyadh there is Rawdhat Khuraim, which is a large surprisingly GREEN area very popular on weekends with locals..but nice to walk around and you will forget you are in saudi!

    I think I will continue the list on my blog, but hope this helps anyone who is bored in Riyadh😉

  11. Thank you very much Layla! You have added some great suggestions.

  12. I forgot to put the link to my post on things to do in Riyadh:

  13. Thank you Laylah!

  14. […] has enough museums and galleries that one can keep occupied for several weeks.  I wrote an earlier blog post which included a number of links for information about museums, galleries and other activities.  I […]

  15. @Maggie: What is the price range for the ceramic cafe? And what age group (kids) would this be appropriate for? What shop is it located near in Sahara?

    @Laylah: Where is AlMultaka center? And also Rawdhat Khuraim?

  16. @ Anebu
    please check on my blog the directions to both!

  17. […] pops to mind – yet – as a holiday for many people, but don’t discount it.  There is much to see and do in Saudi Arabia.  In addition to the numerous activities and facilities, I had composed an earlier […]

  18. I’ve been in riyadh quite sometims now,, but never actually like the city..i tried, but i always hate whn the ppl staring like nothing in me to be proud of…lol I had lots of bad experiences here… But huh… Stop the negativity.. Any ways… I never actually heard about places u all talk about.. I’m so bored to hell,, What a great information thanks aloooot

  19. is mirage restaurant expensive how much would it be for a family of 4

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