Ricca Rolfe

Written by Ricca Rolfe

Modified & Updated: 02 Jun 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett

Source: En.wikipedia.org

Riyadh, the sprawling capital city of Saudi Arabia, is a metropolis rich in history, culture, and economic significance. As one of the fastest-growing cities in the world, Riyadh offers a unique blend of traditional charm and modern development. With its striking skyline, impressive architecture, and a myriad of attractions, Riyadh has become a sought-after destination for travelers and expatriates alike.

In this article, we will delve into 37 fascinating facts about Riyadh, shedding light on its history, landmarks, cuisine, and local customs. From the iconic Kingdom Centre Tower to the bustling souks, Riyadh has much to offer visitors seeking a taste of Arabian heritage and a glimpse into the future of this vibrant city.

Key Takeaways:

  • Riyadh is a modern metropolis with rich historical heritage, diverse cultural traditions, and world-class amenities. It offers a vibrant mix of modernity and tradition, making it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.
  • From towering skyscrapers to stunning desert landscapes, Riyadh is a city of contrasts. It boasts a thriving art scene, delicious traditional cuisine, and a range of cultural festivals, making it a dynamic and exciting place to explore.
Table of Contents

A Modern Metropolis

Riyadh is a bustling modern city, serving as the capital of Saudi Arabia. With its towering skyscrapers, expansive malls, and vibrant cultural scene, it stands as a testament to the country’s rapid development.

Rich Historical Heritage

Despite its modernity, Riyadh also holds deep historical roots. From ancient archaeological sites to beautifully preserved historic landmarks, the city offers a glimpse into Saudi Arabia’s rich past.

Birthplace of King Abdulaziz

Riyadh is the birthplace of King Abdulaziz, the founder of modern Saudi Arabia. His legacy is celebrated throughout the city with numerous monuments and landmarks dedicated to him.

Diverse Cultural Traditions

Riyadh embraces diverse cultural traditions, drawing influences from various regions of Saudi Arabia and the Arab world. Visitors can experience traditional music, dance, and cuisine reflective of the city’s multicultural fabric.

Center for Business and Finance

Riyadh is a major hub for business and finance in the Middle East. The city is home to numerous multinational corporations, financial institutions, and business districts.

The Kingdom Centre Tower

The Kingdom Centre Tower is an iconic landmark in Riyadh, standing tall at 302 meters. It offers breathtaking views of the city and houses luxury shopping outlets, offices, and a five-star hotel.

Riyadh Zoo

Riyadh is home to a renowned zoo, housing a diverse range of animals from around the world. It provides a unique opportunity for both residents and visitors to witness a variety of wildlife.

Traditional Souks

The city boasts vibrant traditional souks, where visitors can immerse themselves in the bustling atmosphere and shop for local handicrafts, spices, textiles, and more.

The National Museum

The National Museum of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh is a must-visit for history enthusiasts. It showcases artifacts and exhibits that explore the country’s rich heritage and cultural traditions.

King Fahd International Stadium

Riyadh is home to the King Fahd International Stadium, one of the largest stadiums in the world. It has hosted numerous international sporting events and concerts.

Beautiful Parks and Gardens

The city boasts several well-maintained parks and gardens, providing a serene escape from the bustling city life. These green spaces offer recreational activities and picnic spots for families and nature lovers.

The Diplomatic Quarter

Riyadh’s Diplomatic Quarter serves as a hub for foreign embassies and diplomatic missions. It offers a mix of residential areas, offices, and recreational facilities.

Annual Janadriyah Festival

The Janadriyah Festival is an annual cultural extravaganza held in Riyadh, showcasing traditional Saudi Arabian music, dance, crafts, and cuisine. It attracts visitors from all over the world.

Skybridge at Kingdom Centre

The Skybridge at Kingdom Centre is the highest skybridge in the world, connecting the two towers of the building at a height of 300 meters. It offers a stunning panoramic view of the city.

The Edge of the World

Located just outside Riyadh, the Edge of the World is a stunning natural attraction characterized by towering cliffs and breathtaking views of the desert landscape.

The National Heritage and Culture Festival

The National Heritage and Culture Festival celebrates Saudi Arabia’s cultural heritage with traditional performances, handicrafts, and culinary delights. It highlights the country’s diverse traditions and customs.

King Abdulaziz Historical Center

The King Abdulaziz Historical Center is a vast complex that aims to preserve and showcase King Abdulaziz’s life and the history of Saudi Arabia. It features museums, galleries, and beautifully landscaped gardens.

The Riyadh Metro

Riyadh is currently developing a state-of-the-art metro system. When completed, it will be one of the most extensive and advanced metro networks in the world, connecting different parts of the city.

Wadi Hanifah

Wadi Hanifah is a picturesque valley located in Riyadh, offering a scenic escape from the city. Visitors can indulge in outdoor activities, enjoy a leisurely stroll, or simply relax amidst nature.

King Fahd Library and Research Center

The King Fahd Library and Research Center in Riyadh is a renowned institution for academic research and intellectual discourse. It holds an extensive collection of books and resources.

The Riyadh Gallery

The Riyadh Gallery is a premier shopping and entertainment destination, housing a wide range of international brands, restaurants, and a cinema complex.

The Murabba Palace

The Murabba Palace is a historic palace in Riyadh that served as the official residence of King Abdulaziz. It now functions as a museum, showcasing artifacts and insights into the country’s history.

The National Theater

The National Theater in Riyadh is a state-of-the-art venue for performing arts. It hosts various theatrical productions, concerts, and cultural events, contributing to the city’s vibrant cultural scene.

Saudi Arabian Cultural Heritage

Riyadh takes great pride in preserving and promoting Saudi Arabian cultural heritage. Visitors can explore traditional architecture, artwork, and music that showcase the country’s rich cultural legacy.

Al-Masmak Fortress

The Al-Masmak Fortress is a historical site and museum in Riyadh, representing the city’s early history and its role in the establishment of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

World-Class Shopping

Riyadh is renowned for its world-class shopping experiences, with numerous malls and retail centers offering a wide range of international and local brands.

The Royal Saudi Air Force Museum

The Royal Saudi Air Force Museum in Riyadh showcases the country’s aviation history. It houses an impressive collection of aircraft, exhibits, and memorabilia.

High-Quality Healthcare

Riyadh boasts high-quality healthcare facilities, with modern hospitals and medical centers equipped with advanced technology and staffed by skilled professionals.

The Riyadh International Book Fair

The Riyadh International Book Fair is a major cultural event that attracts publishers, authors, and bibliophiles from around the world. It celebrates the love for literature and knowledge.

King Saud University

King Saud University, located in Riyadh, is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in Saudi Arabia. It offers a wide range of academic disciplines and research opportunities.

The Traditional Dish: Kabsa

Kabsa is a traditional Saudi Arabian dish made with flavored rice and meat, often served with a variety of aromatic spices. It represents the rich culinary heritage of Riyadh.

The Riyadh International Exhibition Center

The Riyadh International Exhibition Center hosts major trade shows, conferences, and exhibitions, attracting businesses and visitors from around the world.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Military Museum

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Military Museum provides insights into the country’s military history and showcases a range of military artifacts and equipment.

The Al-Watan Park

Al-Watan Park is a popular recreational spot in Riyadh, offering large green spaces, various entertainment facilities, and a chance to enjoy outdoor activities.

Riyadh Art Scene

Riyadh has a thriving art scene that showcases the works of both renowned Saudi Arabian artists and emerging talents. Galleries and art spaces are dotted throughout the city.

The Riyadh Wheel

The Riyadh Wheel is a Ferris wheel that offers panoramic views of the city. It is a popular attraction for locals and visitors alike.

Beautiful Desert Landscapes

Riyadh is surrounded by stunning desert landscapes, providing an opportunity for desert safaris, camel rides, and exploring the unique beauty of the Arabian Desert.


Riyadh is a city rich in history, culture, and modernity. From its traditional architecture and bustling markets to its impressive skyscrapers and technological advancements, Riyadh offers a unique blend of old and new. Whether you’re exploring the ancient landmarks, indulging in the local cuisine, or immersing yourself in the vibrant art scene, there is something for everyone in this dynamic city. With its warm hospitality and welcoming atmosphere, Riyadh truly captivates visitors and residents alike. So, the next time you visit Riyadh, be prepared to be mesmerized by its authentic charm and endless possibilities.


1. What is the best time to visit Riyadh?

The best time to visit Riyadh is during the cooler months, from November to March, when the temperatures are more moderate and enjoyable for outdoor activities.

2. Is Riyadh a safe city for tourists?

Yes, Riyadh is generally considered a safe city for tourists. The Saudi government has taken several measures to ensure the safety and well-being of visitors. However, it is always advisable to take necessary precautions and follow any travel advisories or guidelines issued by your own country.

3. What are some must-visit attractions in Riyadh?

Some must-visit attractions in Riyadh include the historical Al-Masmak Fortress, the iconic Kingdom Centre Tower, the modern King Abdulaziz Historical Center, and the stunning Riyadh Gallery Mall.

4. Can women drive in Riyadh?

Yes, as of 2018, women are allowed to drive in Riyadh and throughout Saudi Arabia. This change in policy has brought about a significant transformation in the lives of Saudi women.

5. What is the local cuisine like in Riyadh?

The local cuisine in Riyadh offers a wide variety of delicious dishes, ranging from traditional Saudi Arabian cuisine to international flavors. Some popular dishes to try include Kabsa (a spiced rice dish) and Mutabbaq (a stuffed pastry).

Riyadh's captivating allure extends beyond its city limits. Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, a global petrochemical powerhouse, shapes the nation's economic landscape. Sports enthusiasts flock to cheer their favorite teams at a world-class venue. Passionate fans rally behind a storied football club with a rich legacy of success. Explore more intriguing facts that showcase Saudi Arabia's vibrant culture and thriving industries.

Was this page helpful?

Our commitment to delivering trustworthy and engaging content is at the heart of what we do. Each fact on our site is contributed by real users like you, bringing a wealth of diverse insights and information. To ensure the highest standards of accuracy and reliability, our dedicated editors meticulously review each submission. This process guarantees that the facts we share are not only fascinating but also credible. Trust in our commitment to quality and authenticity as you explore and learn with us.