It is likely that a move to Saudi Arabia will be a big change in lifestyle for you, but it’s important to immerse yourself into the Saudi way of life in order to make the most of your time there. Riyadh, the Capital City of Saudi Arabia is home to 5.7 million diverse people from a variety of different backgrounds waiting to welcome you into their metropolis. But in which direction should your first steps be?
The National Museum:
Learning about the history and culture of the place you are staying in is recommended wherever you go, and Saudi Arabia is no different. A trip to the National Museum is highly recommended as it covers all aspects of the Arab lifestyle from sciences to literature, politics to inventions all the way from the prehistoric era to the present day. The museum itself is described as having a ‘great ambience’ and you are encouraged to spend a whole day there. There is even a park area outside where families are known to gather in the evenings
(Please note that opening hours are different for families and single men so do enquire about specific visiting hours when planning a visit.)
A Dining Experience:
Najd Village is the best place in Riyadh for the most authentic Saudi dining experience. Not only is the menu made up of excellent quality traditional dishes but all guests sit on floor mats and are encouraged to eat with just their hands. The décor pays homage to traditional Arabia and really completes the atmosphere, allowing you to immerse yourself in a truly genuine Saudi Arabian meal.
The Sky Bridge:
Living in Riyadh will open your eyes to the obvious wealth of the Middle East and a trip to The Kingdom Centre is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in this affluent lifestyle. Not only is the Centre home to luxury shops, offices and a hotel, but it also houses The Sky Bridge. The bridge, situated on the 99th floor, can be accessed by high speed elevators and provides spectacular views across the whole city.
Get back to nature:
Saudi Arabia is technically a desert country but it is far from being starved of greenery. There are two main green spaces to be enjoyed by the public in Riyadh and both are used by both locals and tourists alike.
King Abdullah Park is within the city and is popular for its lawns and open spaces to fly kites. The main attraction here is the fountains that play home to a ‘dancing light’ display most evenings, but the refreshment vendors, coffee shops and abundance of flowers make it a worthwhile place to visit during the day as well.
Towards the south of the city is Wadi Hanifah. Here is a valley with trails and routes for walking, jogging and biking. The lake is a popular fishing location and you are encouraged to take a picnic or BBQ equipment. It is known locally as somewhere to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and just breathe!
Dirah Souk/ Bazaar:
The best way to see Riyadh in its most untouched form is to visit Dirah Souk. This shopping location gets extremely busy in the evening but an earlier trip will allow you to browse the incredible offerings in a more relaxed environment. You can find anything here from food to furniture, traditional clothing to wooden carvings. Most things on offer aren’t Saudi-made but don’t let that put you off buying the unique items that you wouldn’t find at home. It is also acceptable to bargain but don’t expect the prices to budge too much.