Located in the centre of the kingdom, Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh is a rapidly growing metropolis that offers visitors all the amenities they would expect from a modern holiday destination while also providing a gateway into Riyadh's past. The National Museum is Riyadh's premier tourist attraction, while historical sites such as the Masmak Fortress and Murabba Palace are free for visitors to explore at their leisure on a sightseeing holiday in the Middle East.
Visit Saudi Arabia's magnificent capital
Like many destinations in Saudi Arabia, Riyadh rapidly developed in the twentieth century following the discovery of oil and the uniting of the kingdom. It's isolated location means that flights to Riyadh are the only convenient way to visit the city. The city's historical significance is great, being the ancestral home of the al-Sauds who reclaimed Riyadh in 1902 and later made it their capital. Modern Riyadh is the country's leading business city and is easily navigated by car, while Riyadh's old town sits comfortably to the south.
Sights to see in historic Riyadh
Riyadh's old city is its major tourism area, with the National Museum and the King Abdul Aziz Historical Park both located in the al-Murabba district, south of Makkah Road. The museum displays the history of Riyadh and Saudi Arabia with all exhibits translated into English for the ease of international visitors to Riyadh. Visitors to Riyadh's museum can also take a virtual tour of Saudi Arabia's archaeological sites such as Madain Saleh, an enlightening experience which would otherwise require a permit.
Cultural shopping experiences in Riyadh
If you've already experienced the fascinating attractions of Riyadh's al-Murabba region, you can travel further south to find Riyadh's traditional market souks in Deira. You can buy authentic mementos of your holiday in Riyadh from the stalls on as-Sa'ah Square, which is also close to the Masmak Fortress, the site stormed by King Abdul Aziz when they reclaimed Riyadh from its occupiers.
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