Saudi Arabia is a fascinating and unique country that is slowly opening up to tourism. With its rich history, culture, and natural beauty, it’s definitely a place worth visiting. Here’s a comprehensive travel guide to help you plan your holiday in Saudi Arabia.
The easiest way to get to Saudi Arabia is by flying into its capital city, Riyadh. There are direct flights from most major cities around the world, including London, Paris, Istanbul, and Dubai. Other cities in Saudi Arabia such as Jeddah and Dammam also have international airports.
Tourist visas are now available for citizens of 49 countries, including the UK, US, and Australia. You can apply for a visa online or through a local sponsor in Saudi Arabia. The process is straightforward, but it is advisable to check the latest visa requirements before traveling.
Saudi Arabia has a range of accommodation options to suit different budgets and preferences, including hotels, resorts, and traditional Arabian guesthouses. In cities, you will find international hotel chains, and in rural areas, there are more authentic local options. When booking your accommodation, consider the location and proximity to the places you want to visit.
Things to do:
- Visit the historic city of Jeddah, known for its old town and vibrant culture.
- Explore the ancient ruins of Madain Saleh, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the largest archaeological sites in the world.
- Climb Mount Uhud in Medina, where the famous Battle of Uhud took place during the early days of Islam.
- Visit the holy city of Mecca, where millions of Muslims come every year to perform the Hajj pilgrimage.
- Admire the modern architecture of Riyadh, including the Kingdom Tower, the tallest building in the city.
- Discover the natural beauty of the Asir region, known for its scenic mountains and stunning landscapes.
Food and drink:
Saudi Arabian cuisine is a delicious mix of Middle Eastern and Arabian flavors, with plenty of spices and herbs. Some must-try dishes include Kabsa (a rice dish with chicken or lamb), Machboos (spicy rice with meat and vegetables), and Harees (a type of porridge made with wheat and meat). The country is also known for its dates, which are used in many traditional dishes. When it comes to drinks, you can try fresh juices and Arabic coffee, which is a staple in Saudi Arabian culture.
Culture and customs:
Saudi Arabia is a conservative country, and it is important to be respectful of local customs and traditions. Dress modestly, covering your arms and legs, and avoid public displays of affection. Women should also wear a headscarf when visiting religious sites. Alcohol is not widely available in Saudi Arabia, and drinking or being drunk in public is prohibited.
Saudi Arabia is generally a safe country to travel in, but it’s always a good idea to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings. Follow local customs and be respectful of religious sites, and you should have a pleasant and safe experience.
In conclusion, Saudi Arabia is a fascinating destination with a rich history, diverse culture, and breathtaking landscapes. With its new tourist visa program, it is easier than ever to visit this amazing country and discover all that it has to offer.