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Saudi Arabia

Continent: Asia

Ideal Duration: 5 - 7 days

Currency: Saudi Riyal (SAR)

Best Time: November - February Read More

Budget: Moderate

"Hub of Temples and Mosques"

Saudi Arabia Tourism

Saudi Arabia, officially known as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an Arab country located in Western Asia and constituting most of the Arab Peninsula. Most of the citizens are Muslims, and freedom of religion is restricted by the laws of the country. Only Muslims are respected in the country but, people are very helpful and friendly towards tourists. The rich history, vast stretches of deserts, forts, mosques and temples spread throughout the country will overwhelm you. The out-of-the-box festivals and Islamic cultures, etiquettes and tradition will leave you fascinated.

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Best time to visit Saudi Arabia

November - February is the best time to visit Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is an extremely dry country and rainfall is minimum. In summers, the country witnesses blistering heat and humid temperatures thus, making it uncomfortable to get around. From November onwards, the weather is welcoming. However, nights are quite chilly but you can easily explore the place during day time.

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Holidify's Opinion

What's Great?

Generous people. A safe place for women. Hygienic country.

What's Not So Great?

You might face little racism. Less entertainment. Excessive restrictions. No adventures. Frequent sandstorms. Extremely scorching summers. Heavy traffic.

For Whom?

Devotional people. Spiritual peace seekers. Islamic culture lovers.

Read More on Saudi Arabia

Exchanging Money in Saudi Arabia

Foreign currency can be exchanged at many outlets in Saudi Arabia. It is advisable not to change currency at your hotel since rates are horrible there. Many commercial banks offer suitable rates. ATMs are widely available in the country including shopping malls and major airports. Saudi Arabia's bureau de change is situated at the airport also.

Nightlife in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia follows strict laws against drinking and late night music. So, it's hard to find any bars or clubs offering you drinks. Saudis are not party-lovers, and they remain behind closed doors at night. So, if you are travelling here for dancing, enjoying and getting drunk, the country may disappoint you with its quiet nightlife.

Shopping in Saudi Arabia

Shopping can turn out to be a great experience in Saudi Arabia. There are many luxurious malls which have different brands. Saudi Arabian malls can fulfil all your shopping needs. Some of the famous malls are Al-Rashid Mall in Al Khobar, Red Sea Mall in Jeddah, Granada Centre and Riyadh Gallery Mall in Riyadh. Gold shopping is popular in Saudi Arabia. Soft and mouth-watering dates are worth taking home. Bazaars or souks are great places to head for not too expensive shopping. From these bazaars, you can purchase handicrafts. Haggling is very common and make sure to bargain as much as you can for a lower price.

Festivals of Saudi Arabia

Most of the festivals celebrated in Saudi Arabia belong to Muslims. Some of the prominent festivals celebrated throughout the country are Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha, Ramadan, Saudi National Day, Islamic New Year. Janadriyah National Festival is the biggest cultural and folk festival which takes place in Riyadh, in February. Camel races, poetry reading, folk dances and traditional art and crafts shows are some of the highlights of this festival.

Hygiene in Saudi Arabia

Tap water everywhere is potable. However, travellers prefer bottled water to play safe. Summers are hot and humid. Make sure to keep the water level in your body high to avoid dehydration and sun strokes. There is no particular vaccination required to travel to Saudi Arabia. But, take over the counter medicines with you.

Customs of Saudi Arabia

In Saudi Arabia, you are expected to dress very conservatively. Men should wear long trousers and long-sleeved shirts. You should avoid wearing shorts. There are certain dressing rules for local Muslim women like wearing an abaya, a traditional black over-garment. However, as a tourist, you should at least dress properly and always carry a headscarf for covering hair. When shaking hands or accepting gifts, the only right hand should be used. Greetings are limited to strong handshake with the right hand or a hug. But, physical contact between men and women is often stared upon in public or in parties.

Tips for visiting Saudi Arabia

Tipping practice in Saudi Arabia is common. You should give at least ten percent to waiters or taxi drivers. Behave generously with locals. Avoid drinking or smoking during festivals. Also, do not offer drinks to Muslims until you are sure that they drink. Photography is quite restricted in public places. Before clicking pictures, first, take the permission. Check for the sandstorms before visiting deserts.

Food of Saudi Arabia

The main ingredients of Saudi Arabian dishes are wheat, rice, lamb, chicken,Êyogurt, potatoes and dates. Some of the prominent dishes of the country are Kapsa, Margoog, Arekah, Mahela, Gursanand many others. Drinking tea and coffee is also popular in Saudi Arabia. Kahwa is an Arabian coffee which is ubiquitous and most commonly served to guests in households. From yoghurt, a drink named Laban is made. However, drinking alcohol, especially during festivals is illegal in the country.

FAQs on Saudi Arabia

How to reach Saudi Arabia from India?

Flights are the only way to reach Saudi Arabia from India. There are regular flights commuting between major cities of india to Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, Medinah, Abha, Alahsa, Al-Baha, Arar. Major airlines running on this route are Jet Airways, Emirates, Saudia, Oatar Airways, Air India and Gulf Air.

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