Riyadh, the financial hub and capital of Saudi Arabia, has grown into the busiest and wealthiest city in the Middle East. Recent developments and reforms have led to a boom in tourism too. From large shopping malls to impressive museums and parks, you'll have plenty to explore and do in Riyadh.
Be sure to purchase
travel medical insurance or
before you set off on your trip. A suitable insurance plan can offer financial coverage in case of an unexpected illness, injury or travel mishap. It's not something you want to travel without.
Top Tourist Destinations in Riyadh
Kingdom Centre Tower
Kingdom Centre Tower is one of the tallest buildings in Saudi Arabia. It's a sight to behold when it lights up at night. Walk along the 56-meter sky bridge up top and enjoy spectacular views of the city. Don't miss the breathtaking sunsets from this location. The Kingdom Centre also houses shopping malls and the luxurious Four Seasons Hotel, so there is a lot to offer for visitors.
Al Masmak Fortress
This mud fortress played an integral role in the unification of Saudi Arabia. It looks like a giant sandcastle from the outside, but inside you'll find vast courtyards, sitting rooms, stalls selling costumes, and handmade native gifts. The Al Masmak Fortress sits in the center of the Deira district. It's open to everyone with no entry free.
Located in the King Abdul Aziz Historical Center, the National Museum is the largest museum in Saudi Arabia. It has over 10 galleries displaying spectacular rock carvings, impressive models, and cultural art. Visit this museum to gain an insight into the history of this region. The audiovisual section of the museum displays historical documentaries on 180-degree screens.
King Abdullah Park
Located in Malaz District, King Abdullah Park is a welcome reprieve on a hot day. Stroll through the vast, lush green gardens, breathing in the natural fresh air. The biggest attraction of King Abdullah Park is the dancing fountain. The fountain shows start every evening at 6:15. Other attractions include shopping areas and games for kids to keep them entertained.
The kings of Saudi Arabia kept their wild pet animals in this place. But in the late 1980s, it was opened to the public as Riyadh Zoo. It's the largest zoo in Saudi Arabia, and home to more than 1,500 animals including elephants, monkeys, camels, and many endangered species. Explore the zoo on foot or take a train ride if you'd prefer.
Key Guidelines for Travelers in Riyadh
The best time to visit Riyadh is from October to March, when the weather is quite pleasant. During the summer, temperatures can exceed 45°C (113°F) in Riyadh, with July and August being the hottest months. On the other hand, in the winter a coat is often required. Sandstorms strike regularly in the city, so look for the sandstorm warnings and stay indoors during such times.
Getting Around the City
The public transport system in Riyadh is underdeveloped. It may be difficult to get around via bus, as there are few posted stops, and routes are usually written in Arabic. Turn on your GPS while traveling by bus. Use apps such as Google Translate to translate route information. Driving a rental car is a good way to travel around the city, but be aware that the driving laws are not always enforced, so drive carefully.
Crime rates in Riyadh are very low. However, petty crime is not unheard of. Here are a few tips to help you ensure your safety when you're in Riyadh:
The weather during the day can be harsh. Drink plenty of water to prevent yourself from getting dehydrated.
Stay away from secluded areas of the desert during the day. If you run into trouble it might take rescuers hours to locate you.
Watch for sandstorm warnings before you go sightseeing.
Don't take photographs of military facilities or other government buildings. You might draw unwanted attention.
Carry your identification with you always. You may be asked to present it at security checkpoints.
Avoid voicing political opinions.
The biggest health risk when visiting Riyadh is dehydration. The symptoms of dehydration include a dry mouth, decreased urination, headache, and dizziness. To prevent this from happening, make sure to drink plenty of fluids. Eat fruits and vegetables with high water content. If symptoms worsen, seek medical help.
Travel Medical Insurance for Travelers in Riyadh - FAQs
With interesting tourist destinations and activities, Riyadh will give you a breathtaking travel experience. But you can never anticipate the dangers that might befall you when you're traveling. Therefore, buying travel medical insurance is a smart decision.
Do I need travel medical insurance for Riyadh?
While travel medical insurance is not legally required for visitors to Saudi Arabia, it is highly recommended that all travelers purchase it.
Medical facilities in Riyadh can be very expensive for tourists. Without insurance, you may face enormous hospital bills should you need to be treated. Travel medical insurance can provide protection against these expenses, giving you peace of mind when visiting.
Why buy travel medical insurance for Riyadh?
When taking a trip abroad, you want to get out, see the sights and have new experiences. However, the most attractive aspects of international travel also carry with them increased risks. When navigating your way around a new city it's always possible to sustain an injury. Unfamiliar food or overexposure to sun and heat could result in an illness requiring medical treatment.
Most of the medical facilities in Riyadh are located miles away from tourist destinations, and the cost you could incur being treated at them is significant. This is why travel medical insurance is so important. It can cover your emergency expenses so you aren't stuck with a medical bill that's impossible to pay.
Trip Cancellation Insurance for Travelers in Riyadh - FAQs
If you've pre-booked your flights or hotels, it's worth investing in trip cancellation insurance. You never know how or when you may need to cancel or reschedule your trip, and many of your prepaid charges can be nonrefundable. Trip cancellation insurance can reimburse you for these significant expenses.
Why should I get trip cancellation insurance for my Riyadh trip?
It's impossible to predict why your dream trip to Riyadh could be canceled, but the possibilities are vast. A natural disaster or world event could make travel impossible. A sudden sickness or family emergency could prevent you from traveling. Whatever the case, it's essential that you're prepared for it.
When you cancel or reschedule your trip for a covered reason, your trip cancellation insurance can reimburse you for hefty cancellation charges. This way you can plan your trip with less worry.
What should I look for in my Riyadh trip cancellation insurance?
Your insurance policy certificate wording will be able to give you detailed information about everything that is covered by your trip cancellation insurance. However, in addition to trip cancellation coverage, many travel insurance plans will provide coverage for things such as:
Before You Travel to Riyadh - Do This
Pack sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. Temperatures can get extremely hot in Riyadh during the day.
Make photocopies of your passport and other IDs. Have the copies with you at all times when in Riyadh.
travel medical insurance or
for yourself and your travel companions. If you encounter an unexpected emergency, you'll be glad you have it.