Explore the Arabia

Why Saudi should be on your must-visit list?

Combining history, pristine nature, diverse landscapes and culture, and a future of immense possibility, it is truly the authentic home of Arabia.

The very fact that Saudi has six sites on the UNESCO World Heritage list is the testament to the natural beauty, cultural diversity and fascinating history of the country.

A country with adventure, Saudi offers awe-inspiring natural phenomena and exciting, unique ways to explore its diverse terrain, making the kingdom worthy of a spot on any outdoor enthusiast’s bucket list. Saudi boasts quite an itinerary, from desert and water adventures to camping and hiking through caves and craters.

While Saudi is home to the holy cities of Makkah and Medina, a pilgrimage route around the country doesn’t have to stop there. Travelers can venture to other holy and less crowded spots to enjoy the mosques’ calm atmosphere and to check out sites of historical significance. Makkah and parts of Medina are accessible only to Muslims, however, other architecturally noteworthy mosques and historic sites across the country are accessible and can provide a first-hand glimpse into the intriguing religious roots of Saudi.

Saudi is home to a plethora of museums, castles and cultural institutions around the country. Visitors can immerse themselves in exhibitions and displays that not only highlight the ancient past but also bring to light more contemporary works by local and international artists.

Winter
Mid Dec – Mid Mar
Spring
Mid Mar – Mid Jun
Summer
Mid Jun – Mid Sep
Autumn
Mid Sep – Mid Dec
Ideal for camping, rock climbing or exploring Saudi Arabia’s highlands and bustling cities. Particularly in the north, temperature can drop below 15 degrees. Central and southern regions are warmer, averaging 20 degrees after nightfall. Take advantage of the warm seas to explore Saudi’s world-class scuba diving sites, or try sailing and snorkelling. Cool breezes in the northern regions and southwestern highlands. Fit for outdoor strolling along Jeddah’s waterfront or alfresco dining or visiting Al Ahsa’s cool desert spring.
Who is eligible for a visa, and what is required?
  • Tourists from the 49 eligible countries listed below can apply for a tourist visa online through the quick and easy-to-use eVisa platform before travelling, or upon arrival in Saudi through the visa offices of the Immigration Department.
  • Minimum age of applicants is 18. (Underage applicants require a person older than 18 to act as their guardian).
  • When applying, the passport validity must suffice for at least six months at the time of entering Saudi.
  • Religion of applicants is not relevant.
  • Countries with bilateral agreements (USA, UK, South Korea and Japan) can apply for the visit visa through eVisa or visa on arrival, or through consulate  Saudi embassies and consulates.

 

What is the cost?
  • The cost for the tourist eVisa is SAR535. The visa cost includes a fee for full health insurance during your stay in Saudi.
  • The cost for the tourist visa on arrival is SAR480.
  • The multiple-entry tourist visa is valid for one year from the date of issuance, and the permissible period of stay is 90 days.
  • For eVisa and visa on arrival, payment must be made in Saudi riyals using an international credit or debit card.
  • Overstay fees: SAR100 for each day of overstay when the visa expires without leaving Saudi. A refund in case of rejection is not possible. Visa fees are nonrefundable.
  • US, UK or Schengen (business or tourist) visas holders are eligible for the visa on arrival; the visa must be used at least once and has an entry stamp from the issuing country.
  • US, UK or EU permanent residents are eligible for the visa on arrival.

 

How long does the process take?
  • Time taken to issue an eVisa is 5 to 30 minutes in most cases.

 

How can I apply?
  • Application for eVisa for the eligible 49 counties is done through the eVisa platform.

Eligible countries for the Saudi eVisa:

  • North America: Canada, United States.
  • Europe: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia. San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom.
  • Asia: Brunei, China (Including Hong Kong and Macau), Japan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea.
  • Oceania: Australia, New Zealand.

Saudi Destinations

Jeddah

Welcome to Saudi destinations sta old city jeddah

Lies along the Red Sea, the second-largest city of Saudi is now known for its perfect blend of old and modern days.  From the magnificent Old Jeddah, Al Balad which is one of the Kingdom’s most evocative quarters, with narrow alleyways between ancient houses to the gleaming, modern architecture, Jeddah has the best of both worlds.

Historic Jeddah
Al Balad, which refers to the “Historical District” in Jeddah, was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014.

Day Trips from Jeddah
Jeddah has enough to entertain visitors for days, But if you’re craving a break from the big city, natural wonders and intriguing high-altitude towns are just a short drive away.

Discover the Comedy Spirit of Jeddah
Saudi Arabia’s comics offer a unique perspective & wit. Check out Jeddah’s AlComedy Club, & the Saudi comedians making audiences laugh like never before.

Makkah (Mecca)

Welcome to Saudi destinations sta mecca

This is the holiest city for Islam, the birthplace of Prophet Muhammad and the city where Quran was first revealed to him. The city also hosts brilliant places such as museums and landmarks dates back to some of the most pivotal moments of Islam’s earliest days to complement your understandings of the region and faith itself.

Masjid Al Haram
At Makkah’s heart is the expansive Grand Mosque, The holiest mosque in Islam which can accommodate as many as 4 million worshippers. Its focal point is the Kaaba, the cube swathed in black silk with gold calligraphy at the center.

Hajj
The annual Hajj pilgrimage takes place in the Grand Mosque and at other sites around Makkah over five days in the month of Dhul Hijjah and is typically booked as a package with guides to lead you through the full itinerary of rituals and prayers.

Museums
Makkah has a host of fascinating, intimate museums that shed light on the city’s history as the birthplace of Islam and a crossroads for travelers from all over the world for centuries.

Diriyah

Welcome to Saudi destinations sta diriyah

A historical destination filled with thrilling discovery and wonder for explorers travelling from far and near. As the birth place of the kingdom, Diriyah offers UNESCO listed sites, Museums holding thousand years of history and many more as a symbol of beauty, generosity, and resilience of the Saudi nation and its people.

UNESCO Heritage Site: At-Turaif
Diriyah’s historical center is the UNESCO-listed site of At-Turaif, which was founded in the 15th century. It is the original seat of power of Saudi Arabia’s Al Saud family and contains ruins of mud-brick houses connected by narrow alleyways.

Museums of Diriyah
Various museums are set to open in Diriyah. They include: The Museum of Al Saud House, The Museum of the Saudi State and Arabian Peninsula and Misk Heritage Museum.

International Events
In Diriyah, visitors can be part of history-making international events, such as Diriyah Tennis Cup and Diriyah ePrix.

AlUla

Welcome to Saudi destinations sta hegra al ula

One of the oldest cities in the Arabian Peninsula and home to Hegra, Saudi’s first UNESCO World Heritage site. The well-preserved monuments found here are living museum spanning hundreds of years of Arabian history.  Each of the carved wondrous tombs are from around 2nd century BCE until 106 CE giving you plenty of space and time for reflection with its beautiful desert landscapes.

Hegra, AlUla Old Town, Dadan and Jabal Ikmah
An outdoor museum on its own curated by nature, AlUla showcases rock formations, canyons, & cliffs that rival the majestic wonders carved by ancient settlers.

Outdoor Adventures in AlUla
Breathtaking nature, exhilarating adventure experiences and impossibly starry skies make AlUla an unbeatable destination to enjoy the outdoors. From hiking to cycling, there are many trails and tours to explore the untouched beauty.

Dammam

Welcome to Saudi destinations king abdulaziz center for world culture dammam ksa

Boasting endless views of the tranquil Arabian Gulf, Dammam is a modern metropolis that thrives on its coastal location. Although it is known for its lush green parks, airy waterfronts and sandy beaches, it is highly enjoyable in the winter, too, with daytime temperatures averaging in the low 20s Celsius during the day and around 10 degrees at night.

Half Moon Bay
A short drive south from Dammam, Half Moon Bay was a stop for many of the Arab traders from the Arabian Gulf area.

Saudi Arabia’s cultural hub
The iconic monolithic design of the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, known as Ithra, has become a symbol of Saudi’s cultural renaissance. The sprawling building houses a theater, library, cinema, galleries and museum, alongside a wealth of interactive activities for children.

Al Khobar waterfront
Dancing fountains and landscaped gardens make this seafront stretch a family favorite, where kids can play in the park as adults take Instagram-worthy snaps of the historic water tower and remarkable King Fahd Causeway.

Yanbu

Welcome to Saudi destinations yanbu ksa

The new city to the south of Medina is known for its oil refineries and industrial plants, whereas the old town to the north is an ancient spice route staging post where T.E. Lawrence – the British military officer famous for his role in the Great Arab Revolt – lived in a typical Hijazi building at some point between 1915 and 1916. You’ll find many of the attractions in the historical area around the harbor, which comes alive at night.

Discover Radwa Mount
To the northeast of the city, Radwa Mount is a colossal icon that stands 2,282 meters tall. Throughout the years, its jagged peaks and curious red color have inspired many Arabic poets, including Hassan Ibn Thabit, one of the sahaba, or companions, of the Prophet Muhammad.

Visit the Home of T.E. Lawrence
Surrounded by evocatively crumbling coral-stone buildings, the home where T.E. Lawrence, author of the Seven Pillars of Wisdom and inspiration for Lawrence of Arabia, once lived has been restored as a museum to the British officer’s remarkable story.

Explore Red Sea Diving and Waterfront Activities
You can enjoy some of the best diving in Saudi Arabia in the warm, rich waters off Yanbu, and a handful of dive centers in the city cater to underwater adventurers. Even in winter, the water in this part of the Red Sea never drops below 20 degrees Celsius.

Riyadh

Welcome to Saudi destinations sta riyadh

Capital city of Saudi. Buzzing metropolis with vibrant souqs, brilliant skyscrapers and fascinating museums. Beneath this shiny new façade found the fascinating centuries old histories. The beautiful capital is so modernized with its support for art and culture.

Trace Riyadh’s history
Built in 1865 and superbly preserved, Al Masmak Fortress is a vast clay and mud-brick citadel that’s a favorite among tourists wanting to step back in time and explore Saudi’s roots.

Shopping in Riyadh
From ancient labyrinthine souqs to luxury malls and quirky boutiques, Riyadh sets the standard for a destination shopping city. The city’s most famous market is the Souq Al Zal, which remains as noisy and vibrant as when it first emerged in 1901.

Sample Saudi cuisine in Riyadh’s Restaurants
One of the best ways to experience Riyadh’s cultural fusion is through its cuisine. Najd Village combines the dining and heritage experiences, with faithfully re-created Najd architecture and authentic recipes such as kabsa, jareesh and hashi.

King Fahd International Stadium
Established in 1988, King Fahd International Stadium (KFIS) has been an iconic landmark, both in design and events it hosts.

KAEC (King Abdullah Economic City)

Welcome to Saudi destinations sta KAEC

Located 100 kilometers north of Jeddah along the coast of the Red Sea, is a modern metropolis and booming tourist destination. Though it was conceived of in 2005 to attract international business, leisure is also a big part of KAEC’s appeal.

Cruise the Red Sea Coast
Like much of the Red Sea coast, the area around KAEC is perfect to explore by boat, whether you just want to cruise or you prefer diving and snorkeling in the shallow reefs hugging the coastline.

Yam Beach
Yam Beach, on the shores of the Bay La Sun district, is a hub for fun in KAEC. A shallow natural pool surrounded by coral reefs, it’s popular with kitesurfers and snorkelers, as well as families, who can relax under thatched umbrellas.

Go-Karting
Motorsports are a big part of KAEC’s DNA, and the easiest way to tap into the excitement is at Juman Karting, a high-speed 700-meter track near the city’s K-Max theater. Visitors can kart during the day, but many come at night, when the air is cooler and the floodlit track lends the experience a futuristic video game feel.

Source: From See & Do, Destinations, Saudi Tourism Authority.