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Things To Do In Saudi Arabia

saudi arabia desert

Is Saudi Arabia tourist friendly?

Saudi Arabia is one of the most popular destinations in the Middle East that offers a complete package for vacationers, thrill-seekers and those who love trying new cuisine palettes. With some common and popular activities, Saudi Arabia ensures there's something for everyone.

From relaxing on Saudi Arabia's white sandy beaches to trying out new and flavoursome cuisines; there is a lot so make sure you're not missing out! Saudi Arabia is considered safe and has seen improvements in its security situation over the years, especially for women.

camel safari

Camel safaris in the empty quarter

Lose yourself in this timeless Arabic tradition by embarking on a camel ride across the golden dunes in Riyadh, soaking in the awe-inspiring vistas. There's no experience quite as authentically Saudi Arabian – or as enjoyable – as spending a day acquainting yourself with these gentle creatures in their native environment.

Most camel excursions are led by guides and provide tourists with coffee or an evening meal to fully enhance their experience and just another great way to get a glimpse into the country’s rich culture and traditions. This can be quite expensive and we recommend booking ahead to make sure there is availability. Sometimes you can book quad biking and camel riding in the same package for around £200 per person but will last 5 hours.

quad biking in the dunes

Dune bashing and quad biking

The dunes and rocks of the desert in north Riyadh are perfect for outdoor adventure, there are activities such as quad biking, sand boarding and dune bashing. These excursions last around 1-2 hours and include pick up & drop off services from your hotel or residence in Riyadh.

If you want to seek an adrenaline rush then you can't go wrong with dune bashing or quad biking but don't worry if you are new to this as there are experienced instructors who speak English to help. Make sure you pack to correct clothing as the heat and the sand can pose risks to your safety if you're not careful.

scuba diving

Scuba Diving

Due to the beautiful weather in Saudi Arabia, it's the perfect temperature for scuba diving all year round. The Red Sea has lots of underwater caves that were formed thousands of years ago, making it a popular destination for divers and other water sports enthusiasts. One of the best places to go cave diving is along the coast of Jeddah. This stretch of water is characterized by deep caves and sparkling coral reefs rich in marine life. It’s also a spawning ground for aquatic creatures such as​ ​sharks and manta rays, which can grow to be 7 meters wide!

You may be wondering how long does cave diving take, throughout this excursion, you may encounter a variety of fish species, ranging from grouper to Nagel fish. Guided groups will descend into the caves, with the descent potentially lasting up to 45 minutes. It is safe to dive in Saudi Arabia but as sea caves are narrow and have many channels, diving in them can be risky and require technical skills therefore, visitors must be accompanied by trained divers

water park

Visit the Water Village in Taif

Exploring the water village in Taif ranks among the top activities in Saudi Arabia, particularly during the summer months. Situated in Al Hada, this town draws in numerous tourists annually. The water village offers enjoyable experiences for both children and adults, featuring delightful water rides and various aquatic games. Serving as a prominent park, this attraction has captivated visitors in Saudi Arabia for a considerable period. In multiple sections of the park, you get swimming pools and wave pools. This is a wonderful place to spend the day with your family and it includes Cable Car Rides, Bumper Boats, Aqua Loop, Karting Cars Rides and Water slides. It is quite expensive for a family to visit for the day as it's approximately 1500 SAR for 6 people and approximately 250 SAR for 4 people.

Fahd’s Fountain

Visiting Fahd’s Fountain

Recognized as the world’s tallest jet in "The Guinness Book Of World Records," Fahd’s Fountain stands as a remarkable marvel in Saudi Arabia. Soaring to a height of 260 meters and boasting water speeds of up to 375 km/h, this fountain offers visitors a truly awe-inspiring spectacle. The highlight of this site is its evening fountain show, a must-see experience included in the list of nighttime activities in Saudi Arabia. The mesmerizing display of the fountain show captivates viewers throughout the vicinity of Jeddah, thanks to its substantial airborne mass, which can exceed 18 short tons. When planning your trip to Saudi Arabia, be sure to include Fahd’s Fountain show in your itinerary for an unforgettable experience.

Hot air balloon

Fly in a hot air balloon

Want to get a better view of the beautiful landscapes in Saudi Arabia? A hot air balloon ride would be the perfect way to capture the picture-perfect sunrise whether you are an adventurer seeking new horizons or a couple looking for a romantic escape, we recommend you step out of your comfort zone and into the sky. A shared hot air balloon experience costs SAR995 per adult and SAR795 per child in Riyadh. Hot air balloon adventures offer enduring memories. The distinctive viewpoint, serene atmosphere, and awe-inspiring vistas combine to craft an experience that is frequently deemed invaluable. The best time to plan this excursion is between April and October however, if the weather isn't suitable on the day then you will be informed.

Boulevard World

Boulevard World

In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia there is a new theme park that only opened in 2022 and the best part is that it's free entry. If you want to participate in certain activities, however, you must book a ticket online. It's the perfect place for families or couples as there is so much to do including outdoor cinemas, cafes, and restaurants besides hosting multiple sports, music and theatrical events. Opening times are 4 pm to 12 am so there is lots of time to visit the twelve culturally-oriented subzones in Boulevard World which are the Italian subzone, the American subzone, the French subzone, the Moroccan subzone, the Greece subzone, Indian subzone, Chinese subzone, Japanese subzone, Spanish subzone, Mexican subzone, Egyptian subzone and the Thailand subzone.

Things you should know before travelling to Saudi Arabia

  • Are you thinking of visiting Saudi Arabia? A few things you need to know include travel documents such as visas and a valid passport. Make sure your passport has at least 6 months of validity before the date of your departure. You may be required to have 2 recent passport-sized photographs with you as well! Your visa application form is essential - you need to make sure it’s accurate too.
  • Saudi Arabia follows conservative Islamic practices. This means you need to dress modestly with clothing that covers your shoulders, arms and legs. If you’re visiting Saudi Arabia with your partner or spouse, avoid public displays of affection as it isn’t acceptable. You’ll also need to adhere to local customs and traditions, such as avoiding criticism of the royal family and respecting prayer times. 
  • The official currency of Saudi Arabia is the Saudi Riyal (SAR). Keep an eye on currency exchange rates before your trip to get an idea of how much your money will be worth in Saudi Riyals.
  • Lastly, to ensure you have a smooth and respectful travel experience in Saudi Arabia, you’ll want to think about your communication with locals and using the Arabic language.
  • Find out more about the country on our blog post: things to know before visiting Saudi Arabia.
  • Find out more about what you should pack for your journey with our guide: what to pack when visiting Saudi Arabia

Things to do in Saudi Arabia FAQs

Can you drink in Saudi Arabia?

The sale and consumption of alcohol are strictly forbidden in Saudi Arabia. Foreigners found drinking may be subject to public flogging, fines, imprisonment, and deportation.

Is Saudi Arabia cheap to visit?

On average, expect to spend anywhere from $800 to $1500 per person whilst visiting. 

What is the most visited place in Saudi Arabia?

One prominent destination among Saudi Arabia's tourist attractions is Mecca. For Muslims worldwide, Mecca serves as the focal point of Muslim life, housing Islam's holiest mosque and a diverse array of captivating landmarks within its boundaries.

Is Riyadh or Jeddah better for tourists?

Each city has their unique charm and offers a different experience to residents and visitors alike. Riyadh, serving as the capital and political epicentre of Saudi Arabia, boasts a conservative culture and thrives as a bustling business hub. Conversely, Jeddah exudes a more laid-back atmosphere.