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The Perfect Weekend

Elegant restaurants, fascinating architecture, plentiful history and culture, and beautiful outdoor spaces make Riyadh a captivating Middle Eastern destination. Whether you’re inspired by its incredible skyscrapers or moved by its mosques, you’ll quickly learn to appreciate the charm of this bustling world capital. What’s more, the comfort and sophistication of The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh provide a lovely space to return to at the end of a busy day of adventure.

Day

1

MORNING
  • Sophisticated Breakfast.

    Elegant, simple and lovely, breakfast at Café Bateel consists usually of a traditional omelet, a pastry and fresh juice. But should you choose to liven things up a bit, you’ll also be treated to smoked salmon, detoxifying juices and shakshouka. Regardless of what you order, Café Bateel is breakfast dining at its finest.

  • Tales as Old as Time.

    Although the Antiquities Museum at King Saud University was established as the best means of educating university students about the history of Saudi Arabia, the National Museum accomplishes the same for visitors to this ancient kingdom. In fact, many consider it a must-visit attraction, thanks to its depiction of ancient excavations and its multimedia presentations that reveal the history of the Arabic peninsula.

MIDDAY
  • Kingdom Come.

    With 99 stories and a height of 992 feet, Kingdom Centre is the third-highest building in Saudi Arabia. But the best part? The skyscraper houses a shopping mall that features some of the world’s most fashionable brands, from Cartier to Van Cleef & Arpels. After you shop, visit the tower’s sky bridge. The 300-ton walkway traverses the length of the tower and overlooks the vibrant city below.

AFTERNOON
  • Fast Food.

    Don’t worry — Mama Noura doesn’t serve fast food in the traditional sense (soggy cheeseburgers and wilted salads). Instead, it quickly dishes up fresh juices, decadent shawarmas, warm pita and more. Stop in for a quick bite before moving on to your next adventure.

  • Fortitude.

    With four watchtowers, thick mud and clay walls and a location in the old quarters at the center of Riyadh, Al Masmak Fort’s role in Saudi Arabia’s history is significant and worth a visit. In January 1902, the forces of Abdulaziz bin Abdul Rahman bin Faisal Al Saud gathered outside the fort in an effort to regain control of Riyadh from
    its Kuwaiti captors. It worked. Al Saud ultimately conquered and reunited the kingdoms that make up present day Saudi Arabia.

EVENING
  • Fit for a Sultan.

    Elegant oak accents, excellent service and a menu fit for a king make Sultan’s Steakhouse a perfect choice for your evening meal. Salads, meatballs, lamb and, of course, fine cuts of beef, make the menu read like a feast. For dessert, try the grilled pineapple. It’s fresh, simple and perfectly sweet.

  • Cigar Aficionado.

    A walk-in humidor, resident mixologist and beautiful atmosphere. You’ll find these and more in the Turquoise Cigar Lounge at The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh. Unwind with a cigar and your favorite beverage and toast a day well spent.

Day

2

MORNING
  • Early Bird.

    Wake early to travel to the history city of Al Dir’iya, where the first Saudi state was established in 1745. On the banks of the Wadi Hanifa, the city is broken into different quarters, each containing their own green areas, restoration projects and more. And, perhaps surprisingly, there are even a few waterfalls to explore.

MIDDAY
  • Brunch Benefits.

    After a morning of history, enjoy brunch at Appetit Kitchen & Co. This Riyadh favorite is best known for its European-inspired fare, served in a beautiful, bright atmosphere. Some locals praise the restaurant’s “best eggs Benedict in Riyadh,” while others rave over the cappuccino and croissants. Regardless of what you select, you’ll find excellent service and reasonable prices.

  • The Star Dome.

    The fourth-tallest building in Saudi Arabia, Al Faisaliah Centre is an architectural marvel. At 876 feet, it soars over the city and is also known as the Star Dome. Al Faisaliah’s luxury mall features world-renowned brands from A to Z, while its culinary offerings include everything from ice cream to falafel.

AFTERNOON
  • Water Dance.

    King Abdullah Park is home to dancing water fountain displays, boat and buggy rides and intricately designed flower gardens. Clean, quiet and beautiful, it’s a lovely place for an afternoon walk or an early evening jog.

  • Sanctuary.

    Its white walls standing out against the Saudi sky, King Khalid Grand Mosque is a quiet place of prayer and reflection. Commissioned by daughters of the former king of Saudi Arabia, the mosque provides insight into Saudi Arabia’s Islamic heritage.

EVENING
  • A Memorable Meal.

    Chef Riccardo Pinna’s newest venture, Azzurro, at The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh, brings authentic Italian cuisine to the Saudi desert. With garden views, homemade pastas, Neopolitan pizza, saffron risotto and a selection of prime meat and fish, the restaurant is quickly gaining acclaim. Luxurious, warm and lovely, it’s a wonderful way to end the perfect weekend.