Riyadh 08

Riyadh – Saudi Arabia: Things to see and do in a few days

To the point Here is our travel guide to visit Riyadh in Saudi Arabia in a few days: things to see and best activities to do.

Riyadh is not necessarily the first city that comes to mind when you want to visit Saudi Arabia. It is the capital and the main financial center of the country, located on a desert plateau in the center of the country.

Little dedicated to tourism until now, the city is transforming itself (like the country). Many development projects are present throughout the city by 2030.

Indeed, many projects have been set in motion in the city of Riyadh by King Salman Bin Abdulaziz :

  • Green Riyadh: the objective is to green Riyadh with more than 7.5 million trees and the creation of many green spaces
  • King Salman Park: a new 16 km2 park
  • Diriyah Gate: located in the heart of At-Turaif (listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site), the aim is to offer a cultural place focused on the heritage of the Arab world
  • Riyadh Art: an initiative to accelerate the development of culture and the art world in general in the capital
  • Riyadh Sports Boulevard: the goal is to provide residents with more than 100 kilometers of bicycle and pedestrian paths throughout the city

You might as well say that at the moment, the construction sites are well present throughout the city.

In this article, you will find some of my recommended visits at the moment if you are in Riyadh.

Riyadh - Downtown

In the heart of the city of Riyadh, you can discover several districts and historical monuments including:

Riyadh 10
Riyadh 10
Riyadh 11
Riyadh 11

You can also visit Masmak Palace and Deera Square (also known as Al-Safaa… or “Chop Chop Square”). It was here that executions by beheading took place.

The death penalty is still in force in Saudi Arabia, but executions are now carried out in other places.

Riyadh 09
Riyadh 09
Riyadh 12
Riyadh 12

Riyadh - Skybridge

The Sky Bridge is located at the top of the Kingdom Centre tower.

Riyadh 01
Riyadh 01

This 65-meter long footbridge joins the two sides of the tower at a height of more than 300 meters.

From up there, you’ll get an excellent 360-degree view of the city of Riyadh and the developments taking place.

The cost is 69 SAR for adults (about 25 CAD) and 23 SAR for children under 10 (free for children under 2).

Riyadh 08
Riyadh 08

Riyadh - Season

Riyadh Season is an event that lasts several months during the winter (usually from November – March depending on the year). Numerous activities are planned throughout the city, mainly in the evening (from 3 to 4 pm) such as

Soudstorm 36
Soudstorm 36

Riyadh - BLVD World

BLVD World (read Boulevard World) is part of the Riyadh Season festivities. It is a gigantic pedestrian zone especially designed for families.

Riyadh Season – BLVD World-21

In all, there are about ten zones presenting the culture and food of different countries including :

  • France
  • China
  • Japan
  • United States
  • India
  • Mexico
  • Morocco
  • Spain
  • Italy
  • Greece

As well as areas for children (or adults) such as:

  • Super Heroes
  • Combat Village
  • Medieval
Riyadh Season – BLVD World-01

Count on at least 4 hours to make the tour. The rate is 100 SAR (weekdays) and 150 SAR (weekends). Hours of operation are from 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Riyadh Season – BLVD World-38

Here are a few photos showing the different areas:

BLVD World - India

The India Zone at BLVD World Riyadh:

Riyadh Season – BLVD World-03

BLVD World - Mexico and Spain

Mexico and Spain area at BLVD World Riyadh:

Riyadh Season – BLVD World-06

BLVD World - Morocco

Morocco area at BLVD World Riyadh:

Riyadh Season – BLVD World-23

BLVD World - China

The China Zone at BLVD World Riyadh:

Riyadh Season – BLVD World-22

BLVD World - Japan

The Japan Zone at BLVD World Riyadh:

Riyadh Season – BLVD World-33

BLVD World - Greece

The area of Greece in BLVD World Riyadh :

Riyadh Season – BLVD World-31
Riyadh Season – BLVD World-32

BLVD World - United States and Superheroes

The United States and Superhero Zone at BLVD World Riyadh:

Riyadh Season – BLVD World-14

BLVD World - France

The area of France at BLVD World Riyadh:

Riyadh Season – BLVD World-17

BLVD World - Italy

The area of Italy at BLVD World Riyadh:

Riyadh Season – BLVD World-39
Riyadh Season – BLVD World-40

BLVD World - Combat Village

Combat Village is the area that left me wary. In fact, in the middle of this area, there are attractions that could be seen in any fair: shooting balloons with a pellet gun, duck fishing, etc.

Riyadh Season – BLVD World-25

On the sides, there are activities more oriented for teenagers or adults like a zombie hunt or a shooting training.

But the problem in my eyes: several arms dealers were also present in the middle of these attractions! It was thus possible to hold real weapons in hand, and even to buy them!

Toy or Weapon. There is no difference here.

Riyadh Season – BLVD World-27

Riyadh - In the vicinity

Riyadh - Edge of the World

Even though Edge of the World is only about 100 kilometers from Riyadh, it will take you between 2.5 and 3 hours to get there.

Indeed, the last 30 kilometers will be done in the middle of the desert on stony roads.

Edge Of The World 1
Edge Of The World 1

You will need an SUV to cross the different obstacles, but be aware that at the end of the road, depending on the path you have chosen, you will probably have to finish on foot.

Once there, the spectacle offered by nature is breathtaking, especially at sunset.

Edge Of The World 3
Edge Of The World 3

Be aware that many private or semi-private tours are offered from Riyadh, including on Viator like this one.

Sometimes including a meal and drinks.

Riyadh - Red Sand Dunes

About an hour’s drive southwest of Riyadh is the Red Sand Dunes.

The best way to explore it is via the Quad. On the spot, you will find many rental companies (count 100 SAR for 1 hour). You can also book a Quad bike activity on Viator.

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Riyadh - Where to stay

During my stay in Riyadh, I had the opportunity to test 4 Marriott Bonvoy hotels:

Of the 4 establishments, Le Méridien Riyadh and the JW Marriott Hotel Riyadh offer the best value for money.

Le Meridien Riyadh 02
Le Meridien Riyadh 02
JW Marriott Riyadh-55

Riyadh - Credit Cards

Credit cards are accepted almost everywhere in Riyadh and Saudi Arabia (including Apple Pay/Google Pay).

I recommend using a credit card with no foreign currency conversion fees: you will save 2.5% on each transaction and earn rewards points on your purchases.

Personally, I hold the HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® and the Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card. This way, I am never caught off guard knowing that Mastercard and Visa are accepted worldwide.

For cash withdrawals on site, I prefer the Wise card in order to minimize fees. You should also know that if you are an HSBC customer, you will be able to use the ATMs of the local bank SABB free of charge.

Désert Riyadh-1

Riyadh - Activities

Here is a selection of activities to book in Riyadh via our partner Viator:

Come to discuss that topic in our Facebook Group!
4.8 Milesopedia Rating
Jean-Maximilien Voisine
Jean-Maximilien is an expert in Canada and France about Loyalty programs, Credit cards and Travel. He is the Founding President of Milesopedia.

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