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“Look for the buried spear head in the gate”
Review of Masmak Citadel

Masmak Citadel
Ranked #3 of 66 things to do in Riyadh
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: This renovated 19th-century mud fortress looks like a giant sandcastle, and contains costumes, handicrafts, a sitting room, a courtyard and a well.
Reviewed November 29, 2012

If you want a peek at historic Riyadh then this is it. This little advertised fort is just next to chop-chop square, another must-see, and the rather run-down "old souk" where you can bargain for tatty carpets and jewellery.
The fort is perfectly restored with true-to-original construction materials, namely mud and wattle, or straw. Exposed interior beams are wooden branches, etc. The displays are interesting and nicely lit and spaced, without overwhelming the senses. A guard at the entrance will point out the famous spear head buried in the front gate - it's hard to find otherwise. Only drawback is the timings: due to prayer times you may be asked to leave before completing your tour, which needs 45min - 1 hour. And keep in mind there are separate entrance times for families and for singles (who here like elsewhere are given fewer options). However if like us you have one adult female amongst several adult males, none of whom are related, they will allow you to visit during 'family' time.

Thank GRKnight
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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231 - 235 of 416 reviews

Reviewed November 8, 2012

Worth a visit if you are in the city of Riyadh. Will take about an hour / hour and a half to get round it.
Not many of the exhibits have English translations but you can still get a feel for the story being told.

Thank Pilot129825
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 21, 2012

This is where the modern Saudi State got it's start. The citadel itself is a lovely example of Nejd architectue and the surrounding area of Deerah offers a traditional souk and ruins of the old city. The souk is where Saudis themselves come to buy traditional goods, as well as antiques.

2  Thank LyleN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 26, 2012

Very very interesting place to visit, it tells a lot about how KSA was unified in one kingdom under one leadership of the House of Saud.

2  Thank Khitam A A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2012

A magnificent mud fort in the heart of old Riyadh. Pivotal in the modern history of the region, as the place where Saudi Arabia all started early one Friday morning. Beautifully restored, but with empty rooms inside. Someone should visit the Dubai Museum, (if they can get past the hordes of tourists) to see what can be done with a building of this magnificence. It is a wasted opportunity to show tell the story of the Nation.

Thank John S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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