Saudi Arabia climate
The climate is extremely hot and dry, with slightly cooler and more humid conditions in the coastal areas, where temperatures range from 15 to 30 degrees. The west and southwest are sometimes hit by monsoons in the summer. Beware of sandstorms in the south.
When to fly to Saudi Arabia
The best time to visit is between October and May, when the days are warm and nights are cool.
April to November. During these months, temperatures are very high. Ramadan, Eid ul-Fitr and the Hajj are very busy times in Saudi Arabia.
Getting around Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabian Airlines flies domestically as does Nas Air which flies from Riyadh to Gizan, Gurayat, Jeddah and Madinah. 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.