12 Things To Do In Riyadh During Spring

Have you ever tried golfing in the desert? Ever been to the beautiful desert during the spring time when even the Red Sand dunes are in full bloom after the winter rains? How about a leisurely walk or a sweat inducing run in the desert with fellow expats? Or a picnic to a hidden desert lake?

Spring is the best time to head out for some hiking and camping trips just outside Riyadh. Check out all the desert treks from Riyadh I’ve written about by going to this page: Off the Beaten Path Saudi Arabia.

If you’re feeling too hot for outdoor activities,  you can always visit and art gallery or musuem and stay cool. Read some suggestions below on things to do in Riyadh during spring time (around March-April).

Here’s a list of some suggested activities for those in Riyadh this March. Most of the listed outdoor activities could be done in other months too but they are at their best during the spring. ARTICLE UPDATED FOR 2018!

1. Visit the International Riyadh Book Fair. The fair starts normally in the first week of March and runs around two weeks, open daily from 10 am to 10 pm at the Riyadh International Exhibition Center. There is an English books section, a female only area and an excellent children’s book and activity area. Guide to the Book Fair found here: Riyadh International Book Fair. UPDATE Riyadh International Book Fair open in 2018 dates 14th-24th March 

pink desert flower

2. Go to the desert! Saudi springtime is almost over, now is the time to see the desert in full bloom and the weather is not too hot yet. Easy to reach, even with two wheel drives are the Red Sands area on Mecca highway and Thumamah sand dunes and park in the North. For further expeditions out of the city try the King’s ForestRawdhat Khuraim, Red Sands Flower Fields, For seasonal desert lakes try Lake Kharrarah. If you haven’t visited yet, now would be a great time see the Edge of the World in Riyadh!

field of desert flowers outside Riyadh

3. Visit the National Museum.  A fascinating time travel experience on the Arabian Peninsula starting from hundreds of millions of years ago when oil was formed, traveling forward in time through seven exhibition halls until modern day Saudi Arabia. The National Museum will keep you occupied for hours!

Around the museum you will find lovely parks and fountains perfect for a stroll or picnic. Don’t miss the Murabba palace nearby, where King Abdulaziz used to live. National Musuem is now open open daily 8 am – 8 pm except Fridays 4 pm onward.  Museum Guide here: Riyadh’s National Museum 

 4. Visit a compound function. For the expat ladies in Riyadh there are monthly coffee mornings in compounds such as Kingdom, Seder village, Cordoba, and Nakhla compound among many others. Kingdom compound has the largest ladies bazaar in Riyadh, organized every first Monday of the month. There are also bazaars and crafts markets aimed at families which are held outdoors, like the recent ‘The Gathering’ held at Bujairy Square. Al Nakhla compound hosts concerts and buffet theme nights at their Majdoool restaurant. To keep up to date with these events don’t forget to subscribe to Blue Abaya email updates! You can find the form at the end of this post. Like Blue Abaya on Facebook to stay tuned to event updates.

5. Go watch the horse races at Riyadh Equestrian Club. Located next to the Janadriyah village, the Riyadh Equestrian Club is open and free entrance for all. Races start after Asr on Fridays. There’s singles, family and a VIP sections. You can rent your own room complete with private service and brunch included, no abaya needed! Last race for 2018 season 24 th March. Check out this post for more info on the horse races: http://www.nzpounamu.com/2012/04/horse-racing-in-riyadh.html 

King Abdulaziz race track in Janadriyah

6. Learn to golf or watch (or participate in!) a golf tournament. The Dirab Golf & Country Club is one of the most beautiful of golf courses in Riyadh and they often have gold tournaments in the spring. Some of the other golf courses are Riyadh Greens Gold Club, Intercontinental Hotel Palms golf course, Arizona compound golf course. Dirab golf club is worth visiting because it has stunning scenery, a nice restaurant, swimming pools and horse stables with beautiful Arabian horses. More pics and info here: http://gavinlee.travellerspoint.com/8/

7. Go to a concert. April is the Europe Month in Riyadh and the various European embassies hold concerts and other cultural events. Check out Facebook page for the schedules and info. King Fahad Cultural center has free concerts almost every week. The Riyadh Music Society organizes concerts in Riyadh, they will be posted on the Blue Abaya facebook page- make sure you’ve liked and followed the page!

8. Desert hiking with expats Check out Riyadh HHH group. You can always enjoy the walking track at Diplomatic Quarter instead. Walk, run or cycle around the 20 km long path. (ladies can join and don’t need abaya!) More info on how to do that here. 

Join the Riyadh Road Runners! The running season continues until end of April and all levels of runners are welcome to participate. They have regular 10k runs, more info on their website: http://riyadhroadrunners.com/index.html.

9. Visit Musmak Fort. Open all day from 8 am to 8 pm.  Free entry. Friday’s open after Asr prayer.
10. Go to an Art exhibition of Saudi artists. Lots of art galleries in Riyadh frequently host exhibitions. Check out: Naila art gallery, SAMA Art hub, LAM Art gallery, Areej Art cafe, Hewar art gallery, L’art Pur and many others. You’ll find them all on instagram and can follow their updates on the latest expos there .
11. Go fishing at a hidden desert lake. On some years after heavy rains lakes form in various areas of the desert valleys. Check out Shoaib Luha pools, Salbuk dam and lake, Wadi Namar and Riyadh River.
Secret Lake february 2016
12. Visit a heritage village. The Ushaiger Heritage village is a lovely place to visit for a half day trip, about 1,5h drive from Riyadh. Close by the Raghbah village has a more rustic feel and hasn’t been restored like its neighbor. The crown jewel of Saudi heritage villages, At Turaif in Historical Diriyah is still closed for the huge restoration project. In the meanwhile the adjacent Al Bujairy square is open and bustling with things to do and see. Read more about what you can do there in this post. 
diriyah historical city of saudi arabia

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  • mominsanityMarch 5, 2012 - 10:44 am

    These sound fascinating – I really am interested in desert trips and the book fair!ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousMarch 6, 2012 - 6:00 am

    hi, thanx for the information.im new here and want to go the craftsmarket at najdi and the bazaar at jadawel. do you have any info as to locations and timings? is najdi compound the one in ghirnata? fantastic blog by the way!ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousMarch 6, 2012 - 6:03 am

    hi, thanx for the information.im new here and want to go the craftsmarket at najdi and the bazaar at jadawel. do you have any info as to locations and timings? is najdi compound the one in ghirnata? fantastic blog by the way!
    Umm saalihReplyCancel

  • LaylahMarch 7, 2012 - 12:36 am

    This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyCancel

  • swedemomMarch 8, 2012 - 7:22 pm

    Thanks for the info. I’m new to the Kindgom, so this was very helpful!ReplyCancel

    • LaylahMarch 11, 2012 - 1:35 am

      swedemom-you’re welcome nice to see you around!ReplyCancel

  • FarooqMarch 10, 2012 - 7:49 pm

    Hello Laylah,

    I know that this isnt the place to ask but I do not know how to contact you. If I do offend you then I do apologize for it. I thought since you know Riyadh so well, maybe you knew something about what I wanted to ask. Anyway here goes..

    I wanted to know whether Riyadh has a spa for babies…you know the kind where babies can swim around in small pools. My two month old son absolutely loves swimming and while he was in Singapore, he had enough chances to have a swim. Was wondering if any such thing is available in Riyadh.ReplyCancel

    • LaylahMarch 11, 2012 - 1:38 am

      Farooq-No worries, of course you can ask!
      You have a good question, i might like to go to one with our baby as well!
      The only one that comes to my mind is the DQ recreation center pool which has kiddy pools,baby pools and a wave pool! You would have to buy the annual membership to enter and it’s open from May until September only.

      P.s you can find my email on the contacts tab.ReplyCancel

    • FarooqMarch 11, 2012 - 4:19 am

      Thanks for the info, will check that out.

      Stupid me, I was checking for the contacts tab at the bottom of the page rather than the top lol.ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousJune 10, 2012 - 1:44 pm

    Dear Traveller,

    I will be staying in Riyadh for only few days and would really really love go around the city to show my friends the beauty of the country.

    Unfortunately my travelling partners are females and they are afraid to go out. I saw my male colleagues who been to Riyadh and had taken so many beautiful pictures themselves (very jealous).

    Do you have any recommendation for a trustworthy tour company I can join the package?ReplyCancel

  • ory nellaApril 29, 2013 - 1:26 pm

    Hey thank you for the info! I’m new to Riyadh and I’m a fashion designer. I would like to know if by any chance you know when there will be an upcoming proper fashion exhibition? In a hotel maybe? And is there a website that informs us about all the coffee mornings and events?

    Thank you


  • Muhammad NomanFebruary 20, 2014 - 9:38 am

    Dear Your Website is fascinating and have lot of information
    i am living in riyadh and want to know places to go where expats are present specifically barb q in desert area and camel racing to see with family
    please let me know how to manage these events with family and feasible times and location
    waiting for your reply thank youReplyCancel

    • LaylaFebruary 20, 2014 - 3:35 pm

      Hello Mohammad, thank you and please check the FAQ section for more info!ReplyCancel

  • MannyFebruary 27, 2014 - 9:36 pm

    Hi, i’ve come across your wonderful informative site. i would like to join your weekend desert trek, with my family. Let me know when and where. Cheers.ReplyCancel

  • MannyFebruary 27, 2014 - 9:43 pm

    i think you should visit Nofa Resorts down south. the place is not fully open to the public but golf course is open and equestrian also. Though families aren’t allowed but you can set appointment for a see-through visit. That place is very nice, soon to open is the safari area.ReplyCancel

    • LaylaMarch 9, 2014 - 9:04 pm

      Thank you for the suggestion, been wanting to go there for a long time now.ReplyCancel

  • LaylaOctober 30, 2014 - 9:17 pm

    Hi! Yes there are some tour guides, try Haya tours and Amazing tours for starters :)ReplyCancel

    • EleeshaOctober 30, 2014 - 11:43 pm

      Thankk youu!! I will check with them :)ReplyCancel

  • 185 Things to Do in Saudi ArabiaDecember 5, 2014 - 4:09 am

    […]  16. 10 THINGS TO DO IN RIYADH DURING SPRING […]ReplyCancel

  • Khatuna TavartkiladzeDecember 16, 2014 - 6:19 am

    Are women allowed to attend the horse racing any Friday?ReplyCancel

    • LaylaDecember 17, 2014 - 12:36 am

      hi, yes women are always allowed, there is family section and singles section.ReplyCancel

  • […] things going on this month not to be missed!  For more things to do in Riyadh please check out 10 Things to Do in Riyadh in the Spring and the complete list of Things to do in Riyadh here. To keep up to date with new events and […]ReplyCancel

  • hadeelNovember 3, 2016 - 4:10 pm

    Please inform me with fun activities in riyadh compounds so I can register and catch upReplyCancel

  • Sony FugbanNovember 25, 2016 - 1:46 pm

    That deep blue lake is awesome. Looking forward to going there soon.

    Thanks for the info, Blue Abaya.ReplyCancel

  • […]  12 THINGS TO DO IN RIYADH DURING SPRING (blueabaya.com) […]ReplyCancel

  • AlaaDecember 9, 2017 - 12:02 pm

    A free invitation to the whole family members for escaping Riyadh routine: https://r3h4.godaddysites.com/ You can share it with your Relatives/Friends. I am sure someone will be happy to joinReplyCancel

    • Laura of ArabiaDecember 11, 2017 - 1:36 pm

      Thank you Alaa for this link! Glad to see HHH is up and running again and even with a website now, wow! Great job. ReplyCancel

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