Saudi Arabia is a treasure trove of wonder and beauty, offering a diverse blend of historical sites, cultural landmarks, and breath-taking landscapes. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveller, navigating the magic of this Middle Eastern gem requires careful planning. Welcome to our comprehensive travel guide to Saudi Arabia, where we equip you with all the essentials for an unforgettable journey.
Before embarking on your Saudi adventure, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with some fundamental aspects of the country. Take note of the following:
Currency: Saudi Arabian Riyal (Approximately 0.27 USD): The official currency of Saudi Arabia is Saudi Arabian Riyal, and its approximate exchange rate is 0.27 USD or (22.19 Indian Rupees) for 1 SAR.
Official Language: Arabic is the official language of Saudi Arabia, and it is widely spoken and used for all official government and communication purposes.
Visa: Visitors from most countries will require a visa to enter Saudi Arabia. This visa can be obtained online or through Saudi embassies and consulates. We recommend applying for your visa at least three weeks before your travel date. For detailed visa requirements and documentation, visit the official website.
Saudi Arabia caters to many travellers with its diverse accommodation choices. From opulent 5-star hotels to budget-friendly hostels, there’s something for every type of traveller. In this travel guide, we present you with an array of popular accommodation options:
Saudi Arabia boasts some of the world’s most luxurious hotels, including the renowned Burj Rafal Hotel Kempinski in Riyadh and the opulent Ritz-Carlton in Jeddah. Most hotels offer world-class amenities like swimming pools, spas, and dining restaurants. Prices for luxury hotels typically range from $200 to over $1000 per night.
If you plan an extended stay in Saudi Arabia, renting an apartment can be a cost-effective solution. Furnished apartments are available in major cities, with prices varying by location and size. For instance, in Riyadh, a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre may cost approximately $600 per month.
For budget-conscious travellers, hostels provide an economical choice. These accommodations are typically centrally located and offer basic amenities, including shared bathrooms and communal kitchens. Hostel prices in Saudi Arabia can be as low as $12 per night.
Exploring Saudi Arabia is made easy by its well-developed transportation system. In this section, we offer insights into popular modes of transportation within the country:
Taxis are a convenient way to navigate the cities of Saudi Arabia. Most taxis are metered, offering reasonably priced fares. In Riyadh, for example, the initial fare is approximately $1.50, with each subsequent kilometre costing around $0.30.
Uber and Careem are popular ride-hailing apps in Saudi Arabia, providing a convenient and cost-effective means of transportation. Prices vary depending on the time of day and distance travelled.
Saudi Arabia’s public transportation system includes buses and trains, with the Saudi Railway Organization operating a train service connecting major cities. Ticket prices vary based on the distance travelled.
For efficient travel between major cities, consider domestic flights. Airlines like Saudi Arabian Airlines, flynas, and Flyadeal offer domestic flights ranging from approximately $40 to $130 for a one-way ticket. Keep an eye out for discounts available for students and loyalty program members. Booking domestic flights in advance can help secure the best prices and schedules.
Saudi Arabian cuisine is celebrated for its bold flavours and aromatic spices. From street food to fine dining, there’s a culinary delight for every palate. Here are some popular dishes to savour during your visit:
Kabsa is a flavorful rice dish seasoned with saffron and typically served with meat or chicken, complemented by a spicy tomato sauce.
A beloved street food, shawarma consists of marinated meat (commonly chicken or beef), vegetables, and various sauces, all wrapped in warm pita bread.
Falafel, a vegetarian favourite, is made from ground chickpeas, onions, and spices. These delectable deep-fried patties are served with an array of sauces and toppings.
Prices for food in Saudi Arabia vary, ranging from inexpensive street food options starting at $2 to fine dining experiences that may cost $50 or more. For budget-conscious travellers, consider staying in accommodations with kitchen facilities or pooling resources with fellow travellers to save on food expenses.
Saudi Arabia maintains low crime rates, but prudent safety measures are always advised. Avoid carrying large sums of cash or valuable items, and remain aware of your surroundings, particularly in public areas. Road safety can be a concern, especially outside major cities, so adhere to local traffic laws and exercise caution when driving.
Respect local laws and customs, which may differ from your home country. Public displays of affection are not permitted, and dressing modestly, especially for women, is essential. Alcohol is strictly prohibited. Greet locals with “As-salaam alaykum” (peace be upon you) and follow with “Wa alaykum as-salam” (and peace be upon you). Use your right hand for eating, handshakes, and money exchanges, as the left hand is considered unclean.
Suppose you have a two-week itinerary for Saudi Arabia. In that case, this travel guide outlines a sample journey to the country’s premier attractions:
Riyadh, the capital and largest city, offers a diverse array of experiences. Visit the iconic Masmak Fortress, an integral part of Saudi Arabia’s history. Explore the modern architecture of the King Abdullah Financial District and enjoy panoramic city views from the Kingdom Tower. For a cultural immersion, visit the National Museum of Saudi Arabia, showcasing the nation’s rich history and heritage.
Alula, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is renowned for its ancient ruins and natural rock formations. Explore Madain Saleh, an impressive archaeological site dating back to the Nabatean civilization. Take a hot air balloon ride over the mesmerizing desert landscape and hike through Elephant Rock and the Maraya Concert Hall, a breathtaking mirrored cube structure.
Jeddah, a coastal city, is known for its historical old town and modern architecture. Stroll along the historic Jeddah Corniche, a popular waterfront promenade, and immerse yourself in the Al-Balad historic district, featuring traditional architecture and vibrant street markets. For a modern experience, visit the Jeddah Tower, set to become the world’s tallest building upon completion.
Medina, the second-holiest city in Islam, is a must-visit for Muslim pilgrims. Explore the Prophet’s Mosque, the final resting place of the Prophet Muhammad, and visit the Al-Masjid an-Nabawi, a stunning mosque accommodating up to one million worshippers. A walking tour of the city’s historic district and a visit to the Quba Mosque, the world’s oldest mosque, offer further enriching experiences.
Tour Saudi Arabia’s wealth of unique experiences and captivating destinations, tailor-made for adventurous travellers. This Saudi Arabia Tour Guide has been crafted to serve as your compass, providing all the essential insights you require for crafting the perfect journey. By dedicating time to meticulous planning and thorough research, you can transform your Tour to Saudi Arabia into an unforgettable and delightful experience.
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