While Saudi Arabia is the most celebrated city in the Islamic history and among the Muslims from all around the world for its deep religious importance and pilgrimage purposes, the country is also an interesting tourist location. The World Heritage coral architecture in Jeddah, the wonderment of Mada’in Saleh, Farasan Islands and the modern city of Riyadh with the best museums of the nation are a few compelling gems that attract travelers from all over. Also, because as compared to older times obtaining a visa to enter the country and getting an affordable online flight booking has become a cake walk. Here are a few quick travel tips to help you make the most of your visit.
- Best time to be here – With a desert climate, KSA often faces soaring temperatures for most time of the year, easily crossing 43 degree Celsius on an average day. The winters stretching from October to March are accompanied by mild and rare rains that keep the temperatures shockingly low. The winter nights are often really cold and the areas near the mountains can be impregnable due to excessive fog. We’d recommend all tourists visiting Saudi Arabia to make the most of the winters. Make sure that your Saudi airlines online booking is confirmed a few months in advance to save big on your travel, as this will mark the peak travel season for Saudi tourism.
- Modest dressing – To show respect to the rules and the culture of this country, dress conservatively. Men could wear long trousers and sleeved shirts (nothing skin fitting) while women are advised to dress up in loose clothes and cover it over with a traditional local styled abaya (a black long cloak). When out in public, women must ensure to wear a head scarf too.
- Moving within the country – The extreme temperatures makes touring the highlights of the city by foot close to impossible and if negotiating taxi fares is not your cup of tea, we suggest you equip your phone with Uber or Careem apps for a smooth cab ride. Another helpful tip would be to rent a car to drive down for distant locations as both the fuel and car rentals are affordable when compared to several other cities.
- Stores close during prayer times – Shops, restaurants, groceries and even malls shut down for the duration of the Islamic payers to ward of distractions and keep the sanctity of the prayer time intact. In case you are inside a store and the religious invocations begin, you will have to step out and wait until the shop keeper is back to reopen the store after his prayers.
- Payments and money exchange – All cities widely accept credit cards and bank ATMs are well spread out and reliable. Exchanging familiar currencies such as British Pounds, US Dollars or even Euros are a breeze here at local exchange houses or commercial banks. Besides the moneys of the neighboring gulf countries, this list also includes Asian currencies such as Indian Rupees, Pakistani Rupees and more, due to the expat populations that reside in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.