This list of 20 ‘museums’ in Riyadh was compiled by Brian Salter and published, with GPS coordinates, in Al Manakh 2 under the title “26 (or so) Museums. I have merely placed the museums on the map and reproduced, in abbreviated version, the information the author gives in the article, sometimes with some small additions. Please refer to the author’s website for more information, including practical information and photographs.


Masmak Fort : The capture of this fortress in 1902 by the Al Saud clan from their rivals Al Rasheed (from Ha’il) marked the beginning of the 3rd and present Saudi State. See the Wikipedia site here

Visitors Center for Environmental Awareness: Stuffed Saudi animals

National Museum

Agriculture Ministry Exhibition: Aging agricultural equipment. Book an appointment with the Ministry’s public relations department before going.

Dir’iyyah: The ruins of the seat of the Al Saud dynasty, whence the first Saudi kingdom was established in 1744. Dir’iyyah was thoroughly destroyed by the Ottoman Turks in 1818. On the banks of the Wadi Hanifa, the old city grounds used to be a popular picnic site. The archaeological site is currently being restored and will house museums of War and Defense, Commerce and Finance, Horses, and Social Life.

King Fahd Library Museum: The existence of the museum appears to be unknown even to the staff of the library. From Salter’s article: “Go up two flights of stairs and look for the spur positioned immediately opposite to the main entrance. Report to the office at the end of this corridor and ask to be shown to the manuscripts room,which is normally kept securely locked”. The small museum is dedicated to the preservation of about 300 manuscripts and 10,000 books.

King Faisal Memorial Gallery: Much of the exhibit is about the work King Faisal did for the cause of the Islam.

Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz Humanitarian City Art Collection: Supposedly the largest collection of contemporary Saudi art in the world, in the corridors and public spaces of a 1.2 billion $ hospital and rehabilitation center. See here for more information

Postal Museum: Items from Saudi and international postal history.

Saqr Al Jazeera Aviation Museum: The story of Saudi civil and military aviation through interactive and ‘fun’ displays.

Hall of Manuscripts: Exhibit of rare and handwritten religious texts.

Meteorology Exhibition: No information about exhibit.

King Fahd Cultural Center: a planetarium in a sprawling modern cultural center in a beautiful location along the Wadi Hanifa.

Currency Museum: Antique Islamic and non-Islamic coins.

Murabba Palace Historical Center: 7000 square meters of memorabilia from Saudi Arabia’s founder King Abdul Aziz.

Al Dwaihi Museum: Private museum with weapons, costumes and cars. Contact owner before visiting (see map icon)

Military and Security College Museums: Difficult to access for the general public, in the Ministry of Defense and the Security College respectively.

King Saud University Museums. Apparently the following departments have their own museum:

  • Medical Drugs Museum
  • Anatomy Museum
  • Zoology Museum
  • Geology Museum
  • Archaeology Museum
  • Museum of Antiquities and Folklore. This museum hosts pre-Islamic artifacts from Qaryat al Faw and early Islamic artifacts from Al Rabzah. For men only (except weekends, when family visits can be arranged).



Written by: RobertK Last modified: 19th Nov 2012