As Saudi Arabia’s capital and financial hub, Riyadh is awash with dazzling desert architecture and historical hotspots offering insights into the kingdom’s origins.
The city offers a wide selection of architectural wonders to explore. Completed in 2002, the 985-foot Kingdom Centre is a symbol of modern Riyadh and one of Saudi Arabia’s tallest buildings. Inside, you’ll find luxury shopping opportunities and plenty of places to eat. However, its standout attraction is the Sky Bridge, a 65-metre-long steel structure that lets you take in a sprawling view of the entire city from the very top of the tower. In the business district, the 44-storey Al-Faisaliah Tower resembles a ball-point pen, with a giant glass globe close to its summit housing a modern European restaurant.
Relics of Riyadh’s ancient history are dotted around the city, and you can dive deep into it at the mudbrick Masmak Fortress, the beautiful Murabba Palace and the ruins of the old city of Diriyah. You can also explore the country’s history at the National Museum, offering high-tech educational exhibitions and themed galleries with topics ranging from Arabian kingdoms to the Saudi states.
From ancient souks to modern malls, Riyadh has a huge array of retail options to explore. Next to Masmak Fortress, you’ll find Souq al-Thumairi, where you can haggle over local goods like gold jewellery, carpets and pure pashmina scarves. For international brands offering the latest fashion trends, head to Nakheel Mall or the three-floor retail area inside the iconic Kingdom Centre.