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Discover the riches of Riyadh

Book flights to Riyadh and discover Saudi Arabia’s fast-paced, and fast-growing, capital city.

The country’s past is brought vividly to life at the National Museum. Here you’ll find everything from fragments of meteorites to relics from past Arabian kingdoms, alongside fascinating displays telling the story of the establishment of the modern Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

the exterior of al masmak fort in riyadh

The 19th-century Masmak Fortress sits at the heart of Riyadh’s old quarter. Look for the spearhead still embedded in the door from when it was stormed in 1902, while images from the city’s past show the scale of Riyadh’s transformation over recent decades.

For a bird’s eye view of how far Riyadh has come, head to the top of the epic Kingdom Centre Tower. Visit at night for spectacular views across the city from the SkyBridge.

Saudi Arabia is now firmly on the map of international fashion firsts. With shopping malls and boutiques inspired by Arabian fashion, which can still be found in traditional souks, the Saudi fashion scene is one to watch. Finish your day with a stroll amid the green space of King Abdullah Park, and don’t miss the evening fountain show.

Book flights to Riyadh with Etihad and discover the best of this incredible city.

What's the weather like in Riyadh?

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Riyadh has a hot desert climate. Between November and March, the city enjoys milder temperatures – with highs around 29°C in March as summer approaches.

From April onwards, Saudi Arabia experiences a hot and dry summer. July and August are the warmest months and temperatures can typically reach 40°C and above.

Reasons to visit Riyadh

a view of the kingdom tower in riyadh towering over the city skyline

Head for the heights of the Kingdom Centre Tower

Book flight tickets to Riyadh and you’ll have the chance to experience one of the world’s most impressive feats of modern architecture.

The tallest building in Saudi Arabia when it was completed in 2002, the Kingdom Centre Tower dominates the city skyline. Inside this sleek skyscraper, you’ll find the Al-Mamlaka shopping mall and the 200-foot (60 metres) long SkyBridge.

This unique vantage point offers incredible views across Riyadh. A night-time visit is particularly breathtaking as you admire the twinkling lights spread out beneath you.

the historic city of diriyah world heritage site in riyadh

Step back in time at Diriyah

Found on the outskirts of Riyadh, Diriyah was the original home of the Saudi royal family. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it sheds light on the foundations of the Saudi Arabia we know today.

Wind your way through the alleyways of Al Bujairi, where you’ll find craft shops, cafes and the restored Al-Zawihra Mosque. Housed in a former palace, Diriyah Museum features exhibits on the country’s history, while the riverside area is a popular spot for picnics beneath the shade of the date palms.

the interior of al masmak fortress in riyadh

Masmak Fortress

From a distance, Masmak Fortress is a sight to behold – its clay and mud-brick walls rising majestically from the sands that surround it.

Fittingly, given its cinematic qualities, this fort has played a leading role in Saudi history. Its capture back in 1902 was the catalyst for Abdulaziz Al Saud seizing control of his ancestral home in Riyadh. He went on to unite the country’s various kingdoms and provinces, forging the modern Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Tours of the fortress shed fascinating light on the country’s history, including a video recreating the pivotal storming of the fort and displays of guns that were used in the battle.

Things to know before you fly to Riyadh

charities Cultural considerations

Saudi Arabia has relaxed its dress code requirements, and female tourists no longer need to wear abayas or cover their hair. However, both men and women should dress modestly in public.

globe Languages spoken

The official language of Saudi Arabia is Arabic. English will be spoken by many of the locals, however, especially in popular tourist areas and at hotels.

bus Getting around

The most convenient way to get around in Riyadh is by taxi. However, significant investment is being made in public transport in the city as it continues to grow, including a new metro system.

accommodation Where to stay

One of the best places to stay in Riyadh is the Olaya district. This puts you at the heart of the city – close to the main tourist attractions, restaurants and shops. For a more traditional stay, the Qasr Al-Hokm district is where you’ll find the Murabba Palace and Masmak Fortress.

Flying to Riyadh: FAQs

What currency in used in Riyadh?

The currency used in Riyadh is the Saudi riyal (SAR). ATMs are easily found across the city and most shops and restaurants accept credit cards. If you venture out of Riyadh, some businesses may only accept cash.

What should I see in Riyadh?

Riyadh is famous for its shopping malls. Each one has its own attractions to enjoy – not to mention the twice-yearly sales when prices usually plummet. Visit early in the year or in July for the best bargains.

What food is Riyadh known for?

For a real taste of Saudi Arabian cuisine while visiting Riyadh, try kabsa, a spiced lamb and rice combination often thought of as the national dish. Try fenjan too, a type of Arabic tea strongly flavoured with lemon and mint – enjoyable at any time of the day.

Why we love Riyadh

“Riyadh is a city that embraces the future while staying proud of its heritage. There are lots of historic sites to explore, while the view from the SkyBridge in the Kingdom Centre is a must-see."

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Baku - Riyadh
31 Dec 2019 to 31 Dec 2020
from € 317*
Baku - Riyadh
31 Dec 2019 to 31 Dec 2020
from € 1564*

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Book the lowest flight deals to Riyadh (RUH) from GBP 696

Brussels (BRU) to Riyadh (RUH)

Departure 5 Nov 2020,
Return 21 Nov 2020
from EUR900*

Manchester (MAN) to Riyadh (RUH)

Departure 5 Nov 2020,
Return 13 Dec 2020
from GBP696*
*Round-trip fares recently viewed by others

Weather in Riyadh

30 °C
Wednesday28 Oct 2020
29 °C
Thursday29 Oct 2020
28 °C
Friday30 Oct 2020
29 °C
Saturday31 Oct 2020
30 °C
Sunday1 Nov 2020
30 °C
Monday2 Nov 2020
30 °C
Tuesday3 Nov 2020
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