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Cheap Flights to Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia overview

There may be an assumption that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is not welcoming towards tourists, whether from the Middle East or North America.  But scratch beneath the surface and this is a country that is rich in history, culture – and of course oil.

Most travellers who arrive from flights to Saudi Arabia have a very specific agenda: to visit Mecca, Islam’s holiest city. Located on the Red Sea coast, in Jeddah, Mecca is home to the Kaaba shrine and Grand Mosque. Today, more than two million people take flights to Saudi Arabia every year to carry out the Hajj pilgrimage.

As well as Mecca, there are a number of other historic sites in the country.  The deserted village of Habalah or “the Hanging Village” is also located in Jeddah.  This is the site of the first cable-car system in the Kingdom and there are some fine examples of preserved Arabian houses. Riyadh is the capital, where there is a fine museum – the National Museum – that houses some Dilmun tombs and rock art. 

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Saudi Arabia climate

Saudi Arabia is extremely hot and dry, with slightly cooler and more humid conditions in the coastal areas, where temperatures range from 15 to 30 C. The west and southwest are sometimes hit by monsoons in the summer. Beware of sandstorms in the south.

When to fly to Saudi Arabia

Peak Season:
The best time to visit is between October and May, when the days are warm and nights are cool.

Off Season:
The hot period of summer between April to November. During these months, temperatures are very high. Ramadan usually occurs about November.

Getting around Saudi Arabia

There are a few options for domestic Saudi Arabia flights and this can be an easy way to get around. Saudi Arabian Airlines flies domestically as does Nas Air. Al Khayala flies from Riyadh to Jeddah.

The Saudi Arabian Public Transport Company runs intracity services in ten cities (including Makkah, Madinah, Riyadh, Jeddah, Taif, Dammam, Abha, Gaseem, Tabuk and Hael) and intercity buses.

The Saudi Railways Organization operates a service from Dammam to Riyadh. Taxis are plentiful and cheap and can be flagged down just about everywhere. Taxis are metered, but you can also negotiate a fee with the driver.

Saudi Arabia insider information

  • Mecca is the birthplace of the prophet Mohammed and Islam’s most holy city. All devout Muslims – around the world – are bound to make the pilgrimage (hajj) if possible once in the lifetime. The city is open to Muslims only however. This is also the case with Medina, Islam’s second-holiest city, home to the Tomb of the Prophet Mohammed.
  • Riyadh is the capital and seat of government. Don’t miss Al-Musmak Fortress, which was built in the late 19th century and is now a museum. In mud and brick, it is a beautiful example of desert architecture. The museum is open to families Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday morning; Saturday, Monday and Wednesday for men only. Al-Thumairi Gate is a restored city gate. Kingdom Tower, Saudi Arabia’s tallest building, is known as the bottle opener due to its resemblance to a … bottle opener. It is technically an inverted catenary arch; the developer described it as a necklace for the city. There is a 56-metre skybridge and an observation deck. A half-hour drive from Riyadh is Thumama Desert, with beautiful sand dunes.
  • Madein Salih is an absolute must-visit. It is an archeological site, a sister city to Petra in Jordan. The tombs were carved into the side of cliffs between 100 BC and 100 AD when it was a kingdom of Nabataean people. You will need a permit to visit it, but this can usually be arranged by the hotel or travel agent you book with.

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How much do things cost in Saudi Arabia?

3 course meal for 2
C$ 35.87
Cheap meal
C$ 6.77
C$ 3.33
Large bottle of water
C$ 0.75
Pack of Marlboro cigarettes
C$ 8.12
Small bottle of water (0.33 litre)
C$ 0.31
Meal at McDonald's or similar
C$ 7.45
Local draught beer (0.5 litre)
C$ 1.69
Coke/Pepsi (0.33 litre)
C$ 0.76
Bottle of beer (imported beer)
C$ 1.24
Local draught beer (0.5 litre)
C$ 1.02
Large bottle of water
C$ 0.68
Loaf of white bread
C$ 0.41
Cinema ticket
C$ 7.45
3 course meal for 2
C$ 27.07
Local draught beer (0.5 litre)
C$ 1.02

International departures to Saudi Arabia