Accessible only for children and those accompanying them, this is the largest zoo in Saudi Arabia and began life in 1957 as a small-scale menagerie housing animals gifted to the Al Saud family. Its highlights include the houbara bustard bird, which is almost extinct in the wild in Saudi Arabia. Late afternoon is the best time to visit, when the weather is cooler and kids can ride the mini trains.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Riyadh attractions

1. King Abdullah Park

0.61 MILES

One of Riyadh’s cleanest and best maintained parks, here there are several green lawns that you can picnic on, wide pathways for jogging and cycling, a…

2. National Museum

2.54 MILES

This state-of-the-art museum is one of the finest in the Middle East. Encased within modernist architecture, its two floors contain eight well-designed…

3. Riyadh Water Tower

2.64 MILES

Until the year 2000, when the Al Faisaliah Tower was built, this was Riyadh's tallest landmark. It remains prominent today, and you can climb to the top…

4. Al Thumairi Gate

3.37 MILES

Sitting at the mouth of what was once Riyadh's western fringe in the neighbourhood of Ad Dirah, this reconstructed old city gate, made of mud and wood,…

5. Masmak Fortress

3.42 MILES

Surrounded by sand, this squat fortification was built around 1865 and is like a scene out of the movies: a big fortress representing an empire. It was…

6. Globe Experience


The Globe Experience is a spectacular viewing platform inside an enormous glass ball that's 24m in diameter, made of 655 glass panels and suspended just…

7. Clock Tower

3.51 MILES

This unusual green and white clock tower in the shape of an Egyptian needle sits at the western end of Al Thumairi St in the old Riyadh neighbourhood of…

8. Kingdom Centre


Riyadh’s landmark tower, rising 302m high, is a stunning piece of modern architecture – it’s particularly conspicuous at night, when the upper sweep is…