8. Riyadh: Full-Day Guided Bus Tour with Hotel Pickup and Lunch
We start our tour of Riyadh by visiting the primary custodian of the Saudi national heritage and culture, the National Museum. Today it is a place of learning and discovery that hosts a unique collection of artifacts and covers the whole history of the Arabian Peninsula up to the modern era. After this, we continue to the nearby Murrabba Palace which used to be the royal residence where King Abdulaziz hosted his court. The palace was named after it's square 40 by 40 meters shape and is now one of the city’s major museums. Adjacent to the palace, a modern building hosts a collection of King Abdulaziz’s personal items that we will briefly tour. These places are at the heart of the birth of the Saudi nation. Lunch in the city. In the afternoon we delve further into old Riyadh by going to the downtown area, visiting the old “Souq” the Dirah Souq famous for buying antique carpets and other useful Saudi heritage antiques, while walking we will always smell sandalwood fragrance and the scents or orient. The Souq is known for men’s clothing and one of the entertainments is to watch the auction which takes place every Friday. Then we will visit the Masmak Fort which is just walking distance from the Old Souq and whose importance is linked to the creation of the 3rd Saudi Kingdom, the modern one we live in. The fortified palace was built during the reign of Abdullah bin Rashid in the year 1895 A.D. to serve as a military garrison for the Abdullah bin Rashid army. His Majesty King Abdulaziz, the father of today’s nation, captured the fort in 1902, marking the beginning of the reconquest of Arabia by the House of Saud. From there we will head to the famous Kingdom Tower and its Sky Bridge to see Riyadh from a panoramic viewpoint nearly 300 meters above the city.