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  • Writer's pictureExpat Intel

Tips on how to travel within Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is an incredible country. There is just so much to do and see, a country filled with loads of stunning sites, both natural and archaeological, hugely contrasting landscapes and some extremely hospitable people. I strongly believe that this is the most underrated country on this planet.

Places to visit in Saudi Arabia

Mada’in Saleh is an archaeological complex composed of hundreds of tombs carved out from rocks and scattered across the desert. Mada’in Saleh was founded by the Nabateans, the same civilization that built Petra. The cities of Medina and Mecca remains off-limits to non-Muslims. Fayfa is a southern region bordering Yemen that historically, had been part of Yemen, so several aspects of their culture – including the way they dress and their cuisine – have remained. Tabouk is a northern region bordering Jordan home to incredible wadis, rock formations, deserts and Bedouins. Everybody knows about the beauty of the Red Sea, the reason why Egypt has become a prime diving destination. However, few people know that the same coral reefs can also be found along the Saudi Arabia coast, and I particularly like the area between Yanbu and Umluj.

How much does it cost to travel in Saudi Arabia?

These are the prices of the most typical things:

  • Budget Hotel – Double room from 100 to 150SAR (Download and

  • Breakfast in Indian-run café – 5 to 20SAR

  • Breakfast in local Saudi eatery – 10 to 30SAR

  • Lunch in Indian-run restaurant – 10 to 30SAR

  • Lunch in local Saudi eatery – 15 to 40SAR

  • Lunch in mid-range restaurant – From 30-100SAR

  • Short taxi ride in major cities like Riyadh, Dammam, Khobar and Jeddah – 15 to 50SAR (Don't forget to download Uber, Careem and Jenny)

How to get around?

The most effective way to travel in Saudi Arabia would be taking a domestic flight and then renting a car in the destination itself. I recommend you check on Saudia Airlines, as they have the largest number of domestic connections in the country. For cheaper flights, check Flyadeal.

Renting a car in Saudi Arabia

Road tripping around Saudi Arabia is the best way to enjoy the country, and I strongly recommend you do that. Gas is cheap, so are the daily rental rates. However, all companies offer limited daily mileage, around 250-300km a day I think, so if you drive to faraway places like Al-Ula or Jizan, it can get expensive for solo travelers. By the way, most rental companies won’t rent you a car if you don’t have an international driving license, so remember to convert it before leaving your country.

Nearby countries you can visit

  • United Arab Emirates – Easy to cross.

  • Oman – The desert road that goes through the Empty Quarter, linking Oman and Saudi was recently open. This border crossing can be quite an adventure.

  • Qatar – Easy to cross.

  • Bahrain – Easy to cross.

  • Jordan – Easy to cross.

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