Cheers to my 171st country – Saudi Arabia! And for this special event, it was Radisson Blu Hotel, Riyadh Qurtuba that hosted me!
Finally! After my second attempt, I entered Saudi Arabia. My first attempt was last March 2020 but unfortunately, I got stuck at the Riyadh Airport due to the last-minute Covid rules at that time so I just decided to cancel my Saudi Arabia trip. But hey! Here I am now, much bolder and happier!
I am so grateful 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! Got so lucky because I stayed at one of their fancy suites plus they just opened less than a year ago, haha!
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Things To Do in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
1. Visit the Edge of the World Riyadh
This is one of my bucket lists and it’s finally ticked off! I bet you should too! If, however, you don’t have an idea what Edge of the World is, it is one of the top tourist attractions in Saudi. Overlooking the surrounding plain, you will literally feel that you’re at the edge of the world. The uninterrupted view of the horizon while you’re at the top of a 300-meter high cliff offers an amazing experience that you shouldn’t miss! All thanks to Tinggly for finally making it happen!
2. Do Some Mall Hopping
Riyadh, being the capital of Saudi Arabia, is not surprising to find a lot of malls around the city. For this reason, one thing you shouldn’t miss while in Riyadh is mall hopping! Here are some of the malls we recommend you to visit:
- Al Nakheel Mall – it’s a giant mall that is very nice and clean. There are also shops for all tastes and budgets, upstairs you can find a myriad of restaurants, and bars scattered throughout the mall.
- Riyadh Gallery Mall – has many ready-to-wear shops and boutiques including major brands. There’s also a play area for children where there are several means of entertainment.
- Panorama Mall – the mall is distinguished by its beautiful exterior and interior design because its design is environmentally friendly and contains many brands, a high area for children, and a large area for restaurants.
3. Explore the Kingdom Center Tower
The Skybridge is THE place to see in Riyadh. One can look over the roofs of Riyadh from here. You can also eat very well and cheaply in the food court. From Iranian cuisine to sushi to Indian, everything can be found there. Or you can take a little walk through the mall and watch the people. Really a must-visit!
4. Al Rajhi Grand Mosque
The Al Rajhi Grand Mosque was built with donations from the Al Rajhi family in the 2000s. It is also the largest mosque in Riyadh with a capacity of 18,000 people in the men’s and 2,500 people in the women’s prayer halls. Non-Muslims are not allowed to enter the mosque but to see and admire it from the outside is a must-do!
5. Go to more attractions in Riyadh!
Riyadh is such a beautiful city to explore! Since it was my first time here, I got so excited about visiting lots of places. Here are some you should see:
- Al Masmak Fortress – The Masmak Fortress is an adobe fortress built in 1865 by Emir Muhamed ibn Abdul. From 1902 to 1938 the main court was located here. Now the fortress serves as a museum. It allows you to learn about 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 areas, pedestrian alleys, a restaurant, and a large lake with a dancing fountain.
- Al Faisaliah Centre – Along with the Kingdom Center Tower, it is one of the tallest buildings in Riyadh. It has a mall inside with some designer stores where you can shop ‘til you drop.
Where to Stay in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
This newly-opened luxurious hotel in Riyadh was our home while we were in the city. It has 104 rooms and suites, and 16 villas that are conveniently located near Riyadh city center and just 20 kilometers from Riyadh’s international airport.
From the location itself, it was very convenient since I can easily move around and visit popular attractions in Riyadh easily and smoothly, you know, as a traveler like me, I can’t really stay in one place, especially since it’s my first time in Saudi Arabia, haha!
Suites in 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 at the hotel:
- Standard Room with Terrace
- Junior Suite
- One-Bedroom Suite
- Two Bedrooms Royal Suite
- Three-Bedroom Villa
I stayed in their One-Bedroom Suite for 4 days and 3 nights! The room itself is very spacious and has this bright atmosphere that will make you feel at home.
To be honest, I can actually stay in the room the whole day without going out since 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 upscale hotels.
The Hotel’s Restaurants
Would you believe it if I say that I didn’t get the chance to try Radisson Blu’s restaurants? I know you won’t! Haha! Restaurants are a must for me!
And guess what? They have 3 amazing restaurants at the hotel that I recommend for all of you to try; The Bridge, Larder & Lounge, and Plumeria Terrace.
Another good thing about Radisson Blu Hotel is that they offer stylish outdoor, indoor, and terrace dining. So aside from the delicious meals (all thanks to the great chefs that 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 are guaranteed a mouthful dishes with a great ambiance.
My Overall Experience in Riyadh and Radisson Blu Hotel
Not only did I have a relaxing and fancy stay at the hotel, but I also got the chance to visit beautiful places due to its convenient location (especially the Edge of The World which is one of my bucket lists!) Plus, I was able to meet some of the most amazing people! Ah! This Saudi Arabia Trip has been a wonderful journey all thanks to Radisson Blu Hotel for being my home and hosting me for a few days. If you’re planning a trip to Riyadh, you should definitely book in Radisson Blu Hotel.