Your full Wanderlust guide to

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is definitely a destination for someone with wanderlust in their DNA. From ancient and little-visited Nabataean tombs to its traditional coffee culture, Saudi is awash with millennia-old traditions that the wider world is now able to experience.

Saudi’s cities are the starting point for any trip to the country, offering a vibrant insight into daily life, encounters with locals, great shopping opportunities and a rich dose of the Kingdom’s arts, crafts and heritage. And then there are the festivals and events which pack its calendar, crowned by the annual Riyadh Season.

For lovers of the outdoors, Saudi’s desertscapes, mountains and epic wildernesses provide a rich backdrop for incredible adventures, whether on hikes, hot air balloon trips or cycle rides. Elsewhere, the Red Sea coast offers some of the best diving and snorkelling in the world among its protected waters. Saudi Arabia is a destination for everyone, whether you’re a globe trekker, world traveller or culturally curious.

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32 million
Int. dial code
+ 966
UK visitors need a visa to visit
Time zone
Plug type
Type G

International airports

Saudi Arabia has several international airports, with two currently being served with direct flights from the UK: the King Khalid International Airport (RUH) in Riyadh and the King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED) in Jeddah. Saudi has several other international airports accessible from other countries, like King Fahd International Airport (DMM) in Dammam, Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz International Airport (MED) in Madinah and Taif International Airport (TIF) in Taif.

When to go in Saudi Arabia

You might think it’s hot all year round in Saudi but it’s not as clear cut as that. Saudi summers are sweltering but in winter (October to March) temperatures are balmy and much more mild, giving you the chance to explore Saudi’s cities during the day. In the winter, it can get chilly in the evenings, too.

Getting around Saudi Arabia

Getting around Saudi Arabia is easier than you might think. One of the most popular ways to navigate major cities like Riyadh and Jeddah is ride-sharing apps like Uber and Careem. Key cities are also connected by an ever-expanding rail network but, as a general rule of thumb, hiring a car is the best way to get around Saudi.

Where to stay in Saudi Arabia

High-standard accommodation is easy to find across Saudi, with luxury hotels aplenty in its major cities. Impressive resorts can also be found in new visitors destinations like The Red Sea and AlUla.

What to eat in Saudi Arabia

Saudi cuisine is a key part of the country’s social and family culture, with traditional Arabic hospitality playing an integral part in welcoming visitors and guests with plates of food. Ensuring they leave will full and happy stomachs is a source of great pride for locals. Key ingredients of Saudi dishes include rice, breads, grains and fresh meat, all of which are used to prepare some of the country’s most beloved dishes like kabsa, saleeq and jareesh.

Health and safety in Saudi Arabia

Crime in Saudi Arabia is very low but, like with any trip, it always pays to be vigilant and cautious. Make sure you’re aware of the local customs before you visit Saudi Arabia, as locals value their privacy so ensure you ask for permission before taking photographs where they might feature. Photographing government buildings is prohibited. For the most up-to-date information, check the government’s travel advice for Saudi Arabia.