Cheers to my 171st country – Saudi Arabia! And for this special event, I was hosted by the Radisson Blu Hotel, Riyadh Qurtuba!
Finally! After the second attempt, I entered Saudi Arabia. My first attempt was last March 2020 but unfortunately I got stuck in Riyadh airport due to last minute Covid rules so I decided to cancel my trip to Saudi Arabia. But hey! Here I am now, much braver and happier!
I am so thankful that not only did I finally enter my 171st country (which is Saudi Arabia), but I also got the opportunity to stay at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Riyadh Qurtuba! I was so lucky because I stayed in one of their luxury suites and they just opened less than a year ago haha!
Things to do in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
1. Visit Edge of the World Riyadh
This is one of my bucket lists and it’s finally checked off! I bet you should too! However, if you have no idea what Edge of the World is, it is one of the best tourist attractions in Saudi Arabia. With a view of the surrounding plain, you will literally feel like you are at the end of the world. The unobstructed view of the horizon when you are on top of the 300 meter high cliff offers an amazing experience not to be missed! Thanks to Tinggly for finally making it happen!
2. Do some Mall Hopping
Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, unsurprisingly, you’ll find plenty of shopping malls around the city. For this reason, one thing you should not miss in Riyadh is shopping in the malls! Here are some of the malls we recommend you visit:
- Al Nakheel Mall – it’s a giant mall that’s very nice and clean. There are also shops for all tastes and budgets, upstairs you will find countless restaurants and bars scattered throughout the mall.
- Riyadh Gallery Mall – it has many stores and boutiques with ready-to-wear including big brands. There is also a playground for children, where there are several ways to have fun.
- Panorama Mall – the mall features a beautiful exterior and interior as its design is environmentally friendly and includes many brands, a high area for children and a large area for restaurants.
3. Explore the Kingdom Center Tower
Skybridge is a place to see in Riyadh. You can see the rooftops of Riyadh from here. You can also eat very well and cheaply in the food court. From Iranian cuisine to sushi to Indian cuisine, you will find everything there. Or you can take a little walk around the mall and people watch. You really must visit!
4. Al Rajhi Grand Mosque
The Al Rajhi Grand Mosque was built with donations from the Al Rajhi family in 2000. It is also the largest mosque in Riyadh with a capacity of 18,000 people in the male and 2,500 people in the female prayer halls. Non-Muslims are not allowed inside the mosque, but seeing and admiring it from the outside is a must!
5. Go to other attractions in Riyadh!
Riyadh is such a beautiful city to explore! Since it was my first time here, I was excited to visit many places. Here are some you should see:
- Al Masmak Fort – Masmak Fort is an adobe fortress built in 1865 by Emir Muhamed ibn Abdul. Between 1902 and 1938, the main courtyard was located here. Now the fort serves as a museum. It allows you to experience life in the Middle East before the advent of modern civilization.
- King Abdullah Park – King Abdullah is the youngest park of culture and recreation in the capital of Saudi Arabia. Opened in 2013, it includes several gardens, children’s and family areas, sports facilities, pedestrian walkways, a restaurant and a large lake with a dancing fountain.
- Al Faisaliah Center – Along with the Kingdom Center Tower, it is one of the tallest buildings in Riyadh. Inside is a mall with several designer stores where you can shop till you drop.
Where to stay in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
This newly opened luxury hotel in Riyadh was our home when we were in town. It has 104 rooms and suites and 16 villas located near the center of Riyadh and only 20 kilometers from Riyadh International Airport.
From the location itself, it was very convenient because I can easily move around and visit the popular attractions in Riyadh easily and smoothly, you know, as a traveler like me, I can’t stay in one place, especially when it’s my first time in Saudi Arabia, haha!
Suite at the Radisson Blu Hotel
As I mentioned above, there are 104 rooms and suites at Radisson Blue Hotel, Riyadh Qurtuba. These are the different types of rooms in the hotel:
- Standard room with terrace
- Junior Suite
- One bedroom suite
- 2 Bedroom Royal Suite
- 3 bedroom villa
I stayed in their one bedroom suite for 4 days and 3 nights! The room itself is very spacious and has a light atmosphere that makes you feel at home.
To be honest, I can actually stay in the room all day without going out because almost everything I need is already there. Plus, they also have a living area separate from the bedroom, which is one of my favorite things about luxury hotels.
Would you believe it if I said I haven’t had the opportunity to try the Radisson Blu restaurants? I know you won’t! Ha-Ha! Restaurants are a must for me!
And guess what? They have 3 amazing restaurants in the hotel that I recommend you all to try; The Bridge, Larder & Lounge and Plumeria Terrace.
Another good thing about the Radisson Blu Hotel is that it offers stylish outdoor, indoor and terrace dining. So apart from the delicious food (all thanks to the great chefs who prepared the food; Chef Sunil, Chef Niin, Chef Sachin, Chef Bikash, Chef Alli, Chef Talal, Chef Jangir, Chef Dipendar, Chef Ansari, Chef Kiran and Chef Nur), you have guaranteed tasty dishes with a great atmosphere.
My overall experience in Riyadh and the Radisson Blu Hotel
Not only did I have a relaxing and luxurious stay at the hotel, but I also got to visit beautiful places thanks to its convenient location (especially Edge of The World, which is one of my bucket lists!) Plus I got to meet some of the most amazing people! Ah! This trip to Saudi Arabia was an amazing journey thanks to Radisson Blu Hotel for being my home and hosting me for a few days. If you are planning a trip to Riyadh, you should definitely book the Radisson Blu Hotel.