5 fun and completely free things to do in Riyadh
Let’s make the most out of it…
We have rounded up a list of recommendations for some of the best free Riyadh attractions. Plus, we know the weather hasn’t been great lately. But don’t let a rainy day in Riyadh dampen your mood or your desire to go out and explore our incredible city because there are plenty of things to do and see here – and did we mention they are for free?
Visit The Line exhibition
Ever wondered what it will be like to live in NEOM’s The Line city? You now have the chance to see how it looks at The Line exhibition at Diriyah’s JAX district. During your visit, you will experience detailed designs, architectural models, and informative films explaining the project in all its glory. The exhibition offers a far more enriching and engaging experience that takes visitors on a remarkable journey, giving you an in-depth view of NEOM’s sectors and its surrounding natural landscapes where people and technology will come together in harmony with nature. Guided tours are available in Arabic and English.
Take cover in the National Library
Not vibing the wet start to the new year? Get comfy in the library with a book. There’s something about libraries that leave us all warm inside, especially when it’s an eye-catching one like the King Fahad National Library. Its futuristic steel and glass structure features lozenge-shaped textile awnings, which playfully combine revelation and concealment – a perfect spot to hide from a rainy day in Riyadh alongside the smell of leather-bound ledgers. Did you know that the library houses 6,000 original manuscripts and nearly 73,000 photocopied transcripts, with 7,000 digitised for online readers? We also love how the well-stocked rows of books bring a splash of colour and life to this modernist book emporium.
Brighten your day with a trip to Noor Riyadh art exhibition
“From Spark to Spirit”, the Noor Riyadh art exhibition in Riyadh’s Jax District, is a tribute to light and all of its hypnotic, illuminating and deceptive potential. It brings together works by 30 local and international artists, segmented into three zones – Technologies of Light, Architectonics of Light and Consciousness of Light. Its title is a nod to the progression of themes, beginning with the technological fabrication of light and moving towards its more ineffable and symbolic properties.
Be transported to the old days of the 80s and 90s
Part of the Riyadh Season zone, Qariat Zaman, or “the old village”, is akin to a time machine that transports visitors back to the glory of the past. Learn about old times while listening to traditional music and buying antiques. Visitors can learn more about old stories and tales related to Saudi traditions and heritage and enjoy displays of traditional artworks, ancient crafts and dance shows. It will also showcase popular Saudi costumes, along with nostalgic games, local snacks, and other entertaining activities for the whole family.
Qariat Zaman, until Jan 22, 4pm to midnight, Prince Bandar Ibn Abd AlAziz, Riyadh 13233 (near King Fahd Stadium). Ghirnatah, Riyadh. Free entry, but a ticket is required to enter the zone. @riyadhseason
Wander along the tree-lined paths at Najd Oasis Walkway
For when the sun miraculously comes up again (sometime this week, we hope), take a stroll through Najd Oasis Walk and surround yourself with lush greenery. Better yet, pack the picnic basket and spread a blanket. There are also a couple of food trucks available at the park.
Najd Oasis Walkway, King Fahd, Riyadh 12261.