Located in the heart of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh is the country’s capital. It is a thriving city with modern buildings and traditional palaces.

The city also boasts many tourist attractions. One of these is the Masmak Citadel. This fortress is the largest in Riyadh and gives visitors a chance to learn about the history of the city.


Riyadh has a long history that dates back to the 12th century. During this time it was the capital of the Saudi Arabian state and home to the royal family.

Today, the city’s historical relics and ruins make it an ideal place to visit. These include the beautiful 19th-century Masmak Castle, which is one of the most important attractions in the city, as well as the Riyadh Museum of History and Archeology.

During the early 20th century, the city began to expand and become an economic hub. With petroleum sales beginning in the 1940s, the city developed into a major metropolitan center with an extensive transportation system.


Riyadh’s architecture is a mix of modern and traditional styles, as the city reflects its rich history. From the iconic Riyadh Water Tower to the Equestrian Club, the city’s buildings are architectural marvels that will leave you captivated.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, a new awareness of architecture was formed in Saudi Arabia, and Saudi architects began playing a more prominent role in the city’s development. This triggered an influx of international architects, who began to adopt local Najdi building traditions and create a new architectural language that blended traditional Najdi building techniques with more modern Western-inspired building styles.

Al-Hathloul pointed to a number of pioneering projects that shaped the direction of architecture in Riyadh during this period. These included the General Organization for Social Insurance Buildings (figure 16), designed by Omrania & Associates; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Staff Housing, designed by Albert Speer & Partner; and the 1978 Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency Head Office, designed by Minoru Yamasaki.


One of the most popular pastimes for expat residents in Riyadh is shopping. This can be done at local markets, Souks and malls for a variety of unique products that can be purchased as souvenirs from Saudi Arabia.

Another popular option is to head to Al Nakheel Mall, which has a range of high-end global brands. It also has a food court and fountains, making it a great place for a relaxing shopping trip.

If you are a vegan, then you can try out Sum+Things, a concept store selling a variety of healthy products, including oils, healing stones and organic hair and beauty items. It also has an indoor cafe where you can grab a matcha latte.


Riyadh is a conservative city, and the nightlife here follows strict social conventions. Men and women are segregated, and the sex ban means there is no western world style nightlife here.

The city’s main attractions are the malls, where shoppers swarm at every turn and teenagers prowl in giggling packs of single sex. The malls are also the social hub of Saudi life, with teens meeting up for dinners, drinks and ‘virtual’ flirtations via Bluetooth messaging.

Shopping is a big part of life in Saudi Arabia, and most people here shop regularly. There are a number of large and upscale malls in Riyadh, including Al Faisaliah on Olaya Road, which features a fun park and Ladies Kingdom for women only.


Riyadh is home to many diverse foods, ranging from Middle Eastern favorites to international cuisines. The food culture in Saudi Arabia is influenced by its surroundings, but it also has its own unique flavors and dishes.

For starters, the famous hummus is a popular Middle Eastern dish that features chickpeas and tahini sauce. It is typically served with khubz (Arabic bread), and is a delicious dip for fried chicken or grilled meats.

Another mezze dish is fatayer, a pie made with fillings such as beef, lamb, and cheese. This popular Saudi Arabian dish is also a great appetizer alongside hummus and kibbeh.