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4 museums in Riyadh you should visit at least once

Time to quench your curiosity…

Museums are one of the most important institutions in the world today to learn about art, culture, and history. They evoke indefinable emotions through paintings and sculptures. They immortalise days, months, and years of bygone eras.

In celebration of International Museum Day today (May 18), here are our four favourite museums in Riyadh that you should visit at least once. Whether you’re interested in discovering the ancient gems of Saudi Arabia or learning about Islamic art, these incredible collections in the city are well worth the trip.

King Abdulaziz Historical Centre (National Museum)


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The National Museum of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh, which spans an area of 28,000-square-meter across two floors, brings visitors on a journey through centuries of culture, art, and history, from prehistoric Arabia to today. There are eight galleries where you can discover interactive exhibits, replicas of buildings in old Jeddah, Neolithic rock art, antiques, and manuscripts.

King Abdulaziz Historical Centre, King Abdul Aziz, Al Murabba, Riyadh 12631, Sun noon to 2pm, Mon to Thurs noon to 8pm, Fri 4pm to 8pm & Sat 8am to 8pm. SAR10 per person. Tel: 011 402 9500. @nationalmuseumksa

Saqr Al-Jazeera Aviation Museum


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Saqr Al-Jazeera is an aerospace museum that explores the history and accomplishments of the Royal Saudi Air Force. It showcases a collection of model aeroplanes, collectables, pictures, historical documents and audio-visual installations that explore the country’s aerospace journey.

Saqr Al-Jazeera Aviation Museum, Eastern Ring Rd, King Abdullah Dt., Riyadh 11564, Sun 4.30pm to 8pm, Mon & Wed to Sat 4pm to 8pm. SAR10 per person. Tel: 011 492 2303.

Al Faisal Arabic and Islamic Arts Museum

This museum is affiliated with the King Faisal Centre for Research and Islamic Studies, and

features more than 200 rare heritage pieces of Arab-Islamic art, including home appliances, war equipment, literature, medical instruments, coins, wood, pottery, and textiles, as well as unique manuscripts of the Holy Qur’an.

Al Faisal Arabic and Islamic Arts Museum, No. 38, Al Olaya, Riyadh 12212, Sun to Thurs 9am to 3pm. Free admission. Tel: 011 465 2255. @kfcris_sa

Al Masmak Palace Museum


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Step back in time and explore Saudi Arabia’s roots in this restored building-turned-museum, also known as the Masmak Fort. Some of the fascinating exhibitions on display are maps and photographs of Saudi Arabia dating from 1912 to 1937, a range of historical artefacts and audio-visual presentations. Unfortunately, the museum is currently closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but the area outside the fortress is also worth exploring – next to the fort is the Souq Al Zal. Selling traditional handicrafts, jewellery, spices and cashmere scarves, the market is the perfect place to pick up souvenirs representing the Kingdom’s rich cultural heritage.

Al Masmak Palace Museum, 6937 Al Thumairi St, 3153, Riyadh 12634 6937, closed until further notice. Tel: 011 411 0091. @MasmakM 

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