Explore this wonderful UNESCO World Heritage site, the first capital of the Saudi dynasty. Founded in the 15th century, Ad Diriyah showcases Najdi architecture, a style particular to the central region of the Arabian Peninsular.
The area was perhaps most influential during the 18th and early 19th centuries, where it became a political and religious center. The evidence of this is everywhere, from its stunning citadel to the remains of the prestigious palaces and, of course, magnificent mosques.
Newly renovated structures
20 km North West of Riyadh, Ad Diriyah is a heritage site of great importance. It’s the place where the first Saudi State was established, back in 1745. It has recently undergone a restoration, bringing this incredible place to life once again.
Alongside palace and city ruins, you’ll find art venues, restaurants and more, to make the guest experience a pleasurable one.
Guests will want to prioritize a visit to the new Al Bujairy center. Here, you can enjoy amazing views of the palace and city ruins, find the old city well and see the Bujairy marketplace, the hub of the ancient city.
Many shops, cafes and restaurants are open for business here, making it a great spot to stop for refreshments. Explore the shaded alleyways and get photos of old watch towers or city walls.
The tribal patterns of the Najd region are evident on the colorful doors, gates, window shutters and panels scattered around the site. You’ll also find the mosque, a school, home of Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Wahab. You can also take a walk and find a nice shaded area for a picnic.
There are many mosques on the heritage site, many of which have been restored. This includes one of the most famous mosques in all of Saudi Arabia—the Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulwahab mosque, where Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulwahab used to be its imam and deliver sermons.
Many other mosques can be found around the plaza area such as the restored Al-Dhwaihrah Mosque and the Imam Mohammed bin Saud Mosque which is still being renovated.
Other activities in Ad Diriyah
There are many Saudi gifts, trinkets and antique stores on site to enjoy. These are the perfect places to find a souvenir to bring home for friends and family. There are also art galleries open, including the AMA Art venue. Here you can browse intriguing art and enjoy a drink in the small coffee shop.
A visit to Ad Diriyah is a memorable and valuable experience for all. Put a day aside to explore this unique destination when staying in or close to Riyadh.