Hotels in Riyadh

With its sparkling skyscrapers, high end hotels, and massive highways, Riyadh is a glimmering oasis of industry in the middle of the desert.

The capital of Saudi Arabia is one of the wealthiest cities in the world, and has plenty of swanky shopping malls, gourmet restaurants, and luxury cars to prove it. At street level you’ll still find a taste of old school Saudi Arabia, with historic mosques standing amongst the modern buildings and camels sharing the road with SUVs.

The attitude in Riyadh is very old school too, with a strict Islamic code of conduct in place. The city is one of the most straight-laced cities in the Kingdom, so if you’re planning a trip to Riyadh it’s well worth reading up on Arabic customs so that you don’t inadvertently cause offence.

Riyadh is a huge city, so it’s good to have an idea of what you plan on seeing and doing in the city before booking your hotel. If you’re visiting for work you’ll find a great range of business hotels in Riyadh, most of which are centred on the Olaya and Suleimaniyah districts. Olaya Road is one of the best streets for window shopping in Riyadh, with plenty of upscale shops to peruse.

If you want to be right in the heart of the action, and are travelling on a budget, hotels in al-Bathaa are ideal. The labyrinthine old town is a heady mix of cheap eats, bargain shopping, and low-cost lodging. If you’re planning on doing a lot of sightseeing, but don’t want to be right in the middle of al-Bathaa’s narrow streets, look for hotels in al-Murabba. This area of Riyadh is home to the King Abdul Aziz Historical Park and is within walking distance of the old town.

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Images by Flickr/escapio