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15 Best Tourist Places In Riyadh : Mosques, Malls, And Skyscrapers


Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia, has transformed from a tiny tribal settlement into one of the Middle East’s wealthiest and busiest cities over the years. Growing into an attractive destination for tourists around the world, there are many incredible places to visit in Riyadh that excite people with varied interests. In this blog, we look at the best tourist places in Riyadh. Tourist can pick from a host of historical, cultural and religious places to visit in Riyadh.

Riyadh Tourism

Riyadh is the largest and most populous city in Saudi Arabia. It is situated in the heartland of the Arabian Peninsula, and is one of the wealthiest cities in the world. There are some amazing tourist places in Riyadh, ranging from several historical and cultural attractions to lovely parks and huge shopping malls to towering skyscrapers and fascinating museums. With so many famous places in Riyadh, the city  offers a vibrant glimpse of the country’s rich history, heritage, and culture.

Suggested Read: 10 Largest Cities In Saudi Arabia That Are Totally Worth A Visit

Most religious places to visit in Riyadh

1. Al Rajhi Grand Mosque – The largest mosque in Riyadh

Al Rajhi Grand Mosque is one of the city’s most prominent religious spots. It is a beautiful mosque that is considered as an incredible architectural marvel. It serves as a place of worship for Muslims as well as a meeting spot for social events and community gatherings. Illuminated with colourful lights, Al Rajhi Grand Mosque offers a spectacular view at night.

2. Imam Turki bin Abdullah Mosque – A significant Islamic institution

Popularly known as the Grand Mosque of Riyadh, Imam Turki bin Abdullah Mosque is listed amongst one of Saudi Arabia’s largest mosques. Sprawled across an area of 16,800 sq m, it is capable of seating 17,000 devotees at a time. Home to huge separate libraries for men and women, the mosque is a wonderful architectural wonder. Built with brown Arriyadh limestone and white marble, the mosque is beautifully lit up at night.

3. King Khalid Grand Mosque – An architectural and religious gem

Featuring striking architecture and pristine interiors, King Khalid Grand Mosque is counted amongst the top religious places in Riyadh. It serves as a spiritual sanctuary for all devotees and has a serene atmosphere that promotes the feeling of peace and unity amongst the worshippers gathered here.

Best historical places in Riyadh

4. Ad-Diriyah – One of the most prominent historical places in Riyadh

The historical town of Ad-Diriyah is split into two parts by a valley called Wadi Hanifa and additionally divided into several quarters. Formerly, it served as the home to the Saudi Royal family. Now, the ruins of the ancient city are divided into three districts – Ghusaibah, Bujairi, and Turaif. Designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the town is situated on the top of hills overlooking the valley. Ad-Diriyah is home to a number of must-visit cultural attractions including Diriyah Museum and Al-Zawihra Mosque. It is also dotted with numerous quaint cafes and fascinating craft shops.

5. Masmak Citadel – A cultural & heritage site in Riyadh

Featuring thick walls and four watchtowers, this clay and mud brick fort radiates the royal culture of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It is situated in the heart of Riyadh. It was built in 1865 and has played a major role in Saudi Arabia’s storied history. In the modern times, the building serves as a museum and hosts some fascinating exhibitions including historical maps and photographs, a myriad of historical artefacts and audiovisual presentations.

Entry Fee: Masmak Citadel is open for all visitors and does not charge an entry fee.

Entry Timings:

Men are allowed to visit from 8 am-2:30 pm and 4 pm-9 pm on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays as well as 9 am-12 pm on Saturdays.

Women and families can visit from 8 am-2:30 pm and 4 pm-9 pm on Mondays and Wednesdays as well as from 4 pm-7:30 pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

6. The National Museum – One of the most popular tourist places in Riyadh

The National Museum is lined with fascinating exhibits, almost all of which are available in English. The museum has many mini theatres and video presentations that offer virtual tours of Madain Saleh and present re-enactments of the battle of Madina led by Prophet Mohammed.

Opening hours: The museum is open for visitors from 8 am-8 pm from Mondays to Saturdays and from 8 am-2 pm on Sundays.

7. King Abdulaziz Historical Centre – For the love of history

King Abdulaziz Historical Centre is situated near the National Museum and is another one of the famous places in Riyadh. It is sprawled across a large area and houses several exhibitions that cover a variety of topics like the history of Islam, relationship of man with the universe, modern and ancient Arabian Peninsula, history of Saudi Arabia and history of other Arab civilisations.

Opening hours: It is open for visitors from 8 am-8 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, 4 pm-8 pm on Fridays and 8 am-2 pm on Sundays.

Must-See skyscrapers in Riyadh

8. Kingdom Centre Tower – One of the top tourist places in Riyadh

With a 56-metre-long sky bridge on the top, this 42-storey skyscraper is a major highlight of the Riyadh sightseeing scene. This building is home to a luxurious shopping mall, sprawling apartments, several boutiques, popular brands and Four Seasons Hotel, Riyadh. Known for offering a breathtaking god’s eye view of the entire city, it is a prime example of the city’s magnificent modern architecture.

9. Al Faisaliyah Centre – Saudi Arabia’s fourth-tallest building

Another gem in the city’s gorgeous skyline, Al Faisaliyah Centre is a 267-metre-tall skyscraper featuring 44 floors. It was the first skyscraper built in Saudi Arabia and features striking architecture. It is particularly known for its lobby’s monumental stained glass wall.

Situated in the business district of Riyadh, the commercial skyscraper is home to a luxurious shopping mall, which houses numerous major brands in the world.

Timings: Al Faisaliyah Centre stays open from 11 am to 11 pm.

Fun places to visit in Riyadh with family

10. Edge of the World – A rocky wonder

Any trip to Riyadh cannot be considered complete without a visit to this incredible geological wonder that lies in the rocky desert northwest of the city. Also known as Jebel Fihrayn, it is an excellent destination for an overnight camping trip and one of the most remarkable places to visit in Riyadh. Forming part of the majestic Tuwaiq cliffs, it is specially known for the awe-inspiring view it offers.

11. World Sights Park – The park of miniatures

Serving as another major stop in any Riyadh sightseeing tour, World Sights Park houses miniature replicas of some of the most popular landmarks worldwide such as the Great Wall of China, Eiffel Tower and Taj Mahal. It also holds the miniature replicas of a few Saudi landmarks like the two holy mosques – Prophet’s Mosque in Madina and Al-Masjid al-Haram in Makkah.

Opening days & hours: It stays open between 4 pm and 12 am from Tuesdays to Sundays.

12. Riyadh Zoo – For a family outing

Stretched over an area of 55 acres, Riyadh Zoo is inhabited by more than 150 exotic animals including reptiles, amphibians and birds as well as a few endangered species. It is situated in the al-Malazz district of Riyadh.
The zoo was founded as a private menagerie for King Saud in 1957 and was opened to the public in 1987. It is known for being one of the oldest and largest zoos in Saudi Arabia.

Riyadh Zoo Timings: It stays open between 11 am and 5 pm from Mondays to Saturdays.

Best shopping malls in Riyadh

13. Al Nakheel Mall – The biggest mall in Riyadh

Drawing in over 200,000 people every week, Al Nakheel Mall is built over a vast area and is known for being the city’s biggest shopping mall. It boasts an innovative design and is home to a number of international brands such as LC Waikiki, ZARA, Lefties, Kipling, Karaca, Nespresso, Bershka and Aldo. It also houses interesting theme parks like Sparquez and Billy Beaez. The mall also offers a myriad of dining options from Subway and McDonald’s to many fine dining restaurants.

Entry Timings: It stays open from 9:30 am-11 pm from Saturdays to Thursdays and 2 pm-11 pm on Fridays.

14. Riyadh Gallery Mall – An amalgamation of luxury and style

Riyadh Gallery Mall is one of the best places to visit in Riyadh for some retail therapy. It has a luxurious setting, stylish interiors and an array of international brands. Home to a myriad of high-end fashion brands, this is the go-to shopping destination for anyone looking to buy some trendy outfits.
Entry Timings: It is open to visitors from 9 am-12 am from Saturdays to Thursdays and 2 pm- 12am on Fridays.

15. Panorama Mall – In downtown Riyadh

Panorama Mall is the place to go for anyone who is looking for both shopping and fun. It flaunts exclusive interiors and striking architecture, and also houses a wide range of fashion brands. It is home to the city’s finest retail shops, entertainment facilities, supermarkets and restaurants. It also has a modern cinema lounge for enjoying the latest movie shows.

Entry Timings: It is open to visitors from 9 am-12 am from Saturdays to Thursdays and 2 pm-12 am on Fridays.

Places to visit in Riyadh for free

There are many places to visit in Riyadh for free. These places do not have an entry charge however there might be some charge for activities upon entering. All mosques and malls in the city can be visited for free. Similarly, popular natural spots and streets like Tahlia Street and Wadi Namar are famous landmarks in Riyadh that you can visit for free.

Visit these incredible tourist places in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to fully enjoy the trip to one of the most prosperous cities in the world.

Suggested Read: Performing Umrah From Masjid e Aisha: History And Importance

Tourist places in Riyadh FAQs

What are the top attractions to visit in Riyadh?

The top attractions to visit in Riyadh are: Kingdom Centre Tower, National Museum, Al Masmak Fortress, Al Nakheel Mall, Al Rajhi Grand Mosque

What are the best outdoor activities in Riyadh?

The best outdoor activities in Riyadh according to travellers are: King Abdullah Park, Wadi Hanifa, Salam Park, Riyadh Zoo, Wadi Namar

What are the best day trips from Riyadh?

The best day trips from Riyadh according to travellers are: Red sand Riyadh Tour, Full Day Al-Qara Hill & Jawatha AlAhsaa Tour, Edge Of The World Tour

What are the most popular things to do in Riyadh with children?

The most popular things to do in Riyadh with children according to travellers are: Al Masmak Fortress, Al Nakheel Mall, National Museum, Kingdom Centre Tower, King Abdullah Park


My words find inspiration in the most mundane of the things — beads of a rosary, a rehal by the window, rings of incense smoke, and fallen tree leaves. When not dreaming, I crochet them into stories of times, places, & people.

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