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Location:Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, north of Yemen
Currency:Saudi riyals (SAR)
Area:2,149,690 sq km
Population:34,783,757 (July 2021 est.)
Religion:Muslim (official; citizens are 85-90% Sunni and 10-15% Shia), other (includes Eastern Orthodox, Protestant, Roman Catholic, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, and Sikh) (2012 est.)
Things to Do
1. Visit the National Museum of Saudi Arabia
Explore the rich history and culture of Saudi Arabia at the National Museum. See ancient artifacts, interactive exhibits, and learn about the country's heritage.
2. Experience the Riyadh Oasis
Escape the bustling city of Riyadh and relax in the tranquil Riyadh Oasis. Enjoy green spaces, palm trees, and a beautiful lake.
3. Discover the Diriyah Historical City
Step back in time and explore the UNESCO World Heritage site of Diriyah. Wander through ancient mud-brick architecture, visit museums, and learn about the history of Saudi Arabia.
4. Visit the Masmak Fortress
Explore the historic Masmak Fortress, an iconic symbol of Saudi Arabia's rich heritage. Discover the ancient artifacts and learn about the fortress's role in the country's history.
5. Discover the Empty Quarter
Embark on an unforgettable adventure in the vast Empty Quarter desert. Experience the breathtaking sand dunes, starry nights, and traditional Bedouin culture.
6. Explore the Edge of the World
Marvel at the stunning cliffs and panoramic views of the Edge of the World. Experience the natural beauty and enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and picnicking.
7. Visit the Al-Ula Archaeological Site
Discover the fascinating ancient rock formations and archaeological sites of Al-Ula. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage site and learn about the rich history of the region.
8. Experience the Floating Mosque in Jeddah
Visit the famous Floating Mosque in Jeddah and marvel at its unique architecture and serene atmosphere. Experience a spiritual journey and learn about Islamic culture.
9. Go scuba diving in the Red Sea
Explore the vibrant underwater world of the Red Sea. Dive into crystal-clear waters, discover colorful coral reefs, and encounter various species of marine life.
10. Visit the Ancient Nabatean City of Madain Saleh
Step into history and explore the ancient Nabatean City of Madain Saleh. Marvel at the well-preserved tombs, rock-carved facades, and unique architecture.
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The climate in Saudi Arabia is predominantly hot and arid, with temperatures often exceeding 40°C (104°F) in the summer months. Coastal areas have a more moderate climate, while the highlands have a cooler climate and receive occasional rainfall.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Saudi Arabia is from November to February, when temperatures are cooler and more comfortable. This is also the peak tourist season, so be sure to book your accommodations in advance. If you're interested in visiting during the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, it takes place in the 12th month of the Islamic calendar and attracts millions of visitors from around the world.
Saudi Arabia offers a range of accommodation options for visitors, including:
There are several luxury hotels in the major cities of Saudi Arabia, offering high-end amenities and facilities.
For those on a budget, there are also budget hotels and motels available in the cities and towns of Saudi Arabia.
For those looking for a longer stay, furnished apartments are also available for rent in the major cities.
Traditional Arabian Accommodation
For a unique and authentic experience, visitors can also stay in traditional Arabian accommodations, such as tents or houses made of mud bricks, known as "barasti." These can be found in the desert areas of Saudi Arabia.
Visitors to Saudi Arabia have several options for transportation, including:
Taxis are widely available in the major cities and are a convenient option for short trips.
Rent-a-car services are also available in the major cities and can be a good option for those who want more flexibility and independence.
Buses are a popular form of public transportation in the cities and connect many of the major towns.
Trains are also available for longer distances and connect the major cities of Saudi Arabia, including Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam.
Domestic flights are available for those who want to travel between the major cities in Saudi Arabia quickly and comfortably.
- The currency in Saudi Arabia is the Saudi Riyal (SAR).
Cash And Cards
- It is recommended to carry some cash when traveling in Saudi Arabia, as not all places accept cards.
- Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted in major establishments such as hotels and restaurants.
- It is advisable to inform your bank about your travel plans to avoid any issues with using your cards in Saudi Arabia.
- ATMs are commonly found in Saudi Arabia, particularly in major cities and tourist areas.
- It is advisable to use ATMs located inside banks or shopping malls for security purposes.
- Some ATMs may charge a fee for international transactions, so it is recommended to check with your bank regarding any potential charges.
- Tipping is not mandatory in Saudi Arabia but is appreciated for good service.
- In restaurants, a service charge may already be included in the bill.
- It is common to leave a small tip for hotel staff, taxi drivers, and tour guides if you are satisfied with the service.
Cost Of Living
- The cost of living in Saudi Arabia can vary depending on the city and your lifestyle.
- Accommodation, transportation, and dining out can be relatively expensive in major cities like Riyadh and Jeddah.
- However, grocery shopping and local street food can be more affordable.
- It is advisable to plan your budget accordingly based on your needs and preferences.
- Be cautious of street vendors or individuals offering goods or services at significantly lower prices than usual.
- Avoid sharing personal or financial information with strangers.
- Be aware of common scams, such as fake charity organizations or investment schemes.
- It is advisable to use trusted retailers and establishments for your purchases.