Set just on the outskirts of Riyadh, Diriyah is the birthplace of the Kingdom of Saudi. Founded in 1446, it symbolises the beauty, generosity and resilience of the nation and its people. It was once an ancient trade and pilgrimage route, and a meeting spot for people traveling to or from Asia, Africa or Europe. Within Diriyah, uncover the UNESCO World Heritage mud-brick city of Al-Turaif, where you can walk through hidden alleyways in the footsteps of Arabian kings and heroes. Alongside the extensive ruins and historical monuments, the site features a variety of museums, luxury hotels, restaurants, shopping, entertainment options and more!
Saudi National Museum
Head on a journey across Saudi through the ages at the Saudi National Museum in Riyadh, home to nearly 4,000 fascinating artefacts and antiquities – from pre-historic skeletons and desert meteorites to documents from the founding of the modern kingdom and exhibits on the birth and rise of Islam.
Al Masmak Fortress
Dating back to 1865, another thing to do in Riyadh is visit the alluring Al Masmak Fortress. This fascinating citadel is made from clay and mud-brick, and was conquered by King Abdulaziz back in 1903 when he took control of Riyadh. From this fortress, he united the different kingdoms and provinces that make up the Saudi nation as it’s known today.
Shopping and Souqs
Whether you’re after Arabian antiques, dallah coffee pots and incense burners, or the latest designer labels, shopping in Riyadh offers it all. Don’t miss a trip to the labyrinthine alleys of Souq Al Zal (which first opened in 1901) where local merchants sell everything from gold coins to quirky handicrafts. For a more modern retail experience, Riyadh Park Mall features an IMAX cinema and various designer shops beneath its wave-like glass roof, whilst other options include the open-air precinct The Zone and the shiny skyscraper Kingdom Centre.
As the capital of Saudi, Riyadh has long been a crossroads for travellers passing between the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Asia. As such, it has developed a unique and dynamic culinary heritage, which can be experienced across the city’s array of eateries. Head to Najd Village to enjoy authentic Saudi recipes (such as kasba, jareesh and hashi) in a traditional communal style and amid local architecture. The sophisticated Takya serves Saudi fusion food inspired by the country’s regions, and Suhail takes a contemporary take on authentic local favourites.
Direct flights from London Heathrow to Riyadh take around 6 hours 30 minutes. There are also options to connect in cities such as Bahrain and Doha. When planning your luxury Saudi holiday, your Luxury Travel Specialist will advise the best travel arrangements for your itinerary.
Travelling With Children or Without an Adult
Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.
Visa and Advance Passenger Information
All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.
Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.
For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk
Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit Insect and tick bite avoidance.
In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations i.e, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.
Visit the FCDO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: Foreign Travel Advice. Additional sources of information include: Public Health England, The National Travel Health And Network Centre, Foreign And Commonwealth Office and your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.