What will you become during this Haj holiday? Last year, The Pink Tarha gave you ideas on how to spend your “staycation” in Riyadh. This time, we give you ideas on how to spend your vacation on the great outdoors. Ehrmn in Riyadh, “great outdoors” basically mean outside your housing or flat. So find your personality in our recommendations because Riyadh (and Saudi Arabia) has a lot to offer if you only venture out. 😉
1. CULTURE VULTURE
|You should have been here by now. 😉|
So you’re into arts, culture and heritage? The National Museum of Saudi Arabia is open this holiday so it’s the perfect time to visit it and see its eight halls of interesting history and artifacts. You can also visit the museum inside the Musmak Castle near Dirah Souk. Recently, Riyadh has also seen the rise of art galleries and most of them are in the area of Oruba Road. So why not hop from one to another when you have the chance? Try Alaan Artspace which features a contemporary multi-functional art gallery, library, restaurant, and coffee shop. Lam Gallery is located outside the Al Mashreq Boutique Hotel in Oruba too. Visit it and have a sweet ending in Maya La Chocolaterie.
2. LAID-BACK LIKER
|The famous fountain of King Abdullah Park via AlRiyadh.com|
Like the culture vulture, you’re just not into the rushing yourself into thrills. You like strolling and walking and biding your time to keep calm and relax. Well, it’s a good thing that the King Abdullah Park in Malaz is now open for you and your families. It has a fountain that dances and lights up during the night to entertain you and the young ones. It also has paths that you can walk in and grassy areas where you can have a quick picnic. If you’re weary of the crowd in the newly-opened park, then head to the classic Salam Park, one of the biggest parks in Riyadh. It has a pond where you can ride small boats. The Wadi Hanifa and Wadi Laban, Riyadh’s longest rivers, are also home to picnic pockets where you can spend the cool mornings or nights. The areas around Prince Sultan University and King Fahd Medical City are also quick fixes to your cabin fever. Walk around the area early morning or evening when the weather is cooler.
3. ADVENTURE SEEKER
|The once in a blue moon blue waters of Al Heet Cave|
You’re not like me. You’re more of the thrill seeking Riyadhizen who ventures out into the desert in need of life’s next adventure. The outskirts of Riyadh holds these places where expats go to when they want to climb sand dunes or rock mountains. I’m quite sure you’ve been to the Red Sand and Hidden Valley. You can rent an ATV (or are these banned already?) to explore the dunes beyond. Have you been to the Al Heet Cave? Or to the Eyes of Al-Seeh in Al-Kharj? Like I said, we expats are the mothers of tourist spots: where there is none, we find something.
4. HEIGHT JUNKIE
|Riyadh from above.|
Here’s a challenge for you: see Riyadh on all view decks available in the city. And that means three to our knowledge: the Skybridge in Kingdom Tower, the Globe Experience in Al-Faisaliah Tower, and the Water Tower near Batha. These are the highest places in Riyadh where you can see the city in its grandeur (wow grandeur?! hahaha!). Well sometimes, it’s good to see the city from above and not from the ground, which we always see on a daily basis. And for those who have acrophobia (fear of heights), you think you can conquer it through these places? If you know any other viewing decks we haven’t visited, please feel free to suggest in the comment section.
5. FUN FOODIE
|Burger Box, opening soon.|
And yet another challenge: try five new restaurants or food stores in Riyadh that you haven’t tried. There are a lot of restaurants that have mushroomed in the city and we’re all dying to try them just because. I was telling The Pink Tarha that we should venture out to the streets we haven’t been paying attention too because we’re more focused on the usual Tahlia Street, Takhasussi Street, and Olaya Road during the past few years. We have our sights on King Abdulaziz Road to try Just Felafel and Burger Box, Al Muruj for Hamburgini (the best burger according to Destination Riyadh‘s food issue), King Fahd Road for Antica Roma, and Khurais Road for Forchetta. Do you have a list of restos you want to try? The haj holiday opens up an opportunity for you to try them.
I have other “personas” in mind like be a Mall Rat where you go to malls you haven’t visited, mostly the ones away the city center like Al Qasr Mall and Salam Mall. But since there are no sales yet, we don’t recommend being a mall rat nowadays. You can also be the Out of Towner, the one who goes to nearby cities and towns like Al-Khobar, Dammam, Taif, Jeddah, etc. But I’m pretty sure most of you are already there. You can also mix and match your activities. It’s your choice and you have a week to do what you want. Whatever you decide on, take care, have fun, and ENJOY!