Saudi Arabia has recently introduced a new tourist visa, signaling its intention to welcome travelers from around the globe. With a convenient and user-friendly online platform, visitors from 49 eligible countries can now effortlessly apply for an electronic visa.
By doing so, you can embark on a remarkable journey to explore the genuine warmth of Saudi people, delve into the nation’s rich historical heritage, immerse yourself in a vibrant culture, and marvel at the country’s breathtaking and varied landscapes.
Check whether you’re eligible
As with other types of conveniences for visitors, this tourist e-visa is only available to travelers from certain countries:
- Brunei Darussalam
- Czech Republic
- New Zealand
- Republic of Cyprus
- Russian Federation
- San Marino
- South Korea
Once you’re sure you’re eligible, you can apply for your electronic Saudi tourist visa.
Apply for the Saudi visa online
Getting an e-visa to Saudi Arabia is a straightforward process that requires a few essential documents. Here’s a thorough guideline to help you apply as smoothly as possible.
First, you will need a valid passport with a minimum of six months validity beyond your intended stay. Also, prepare a digital copy of your passport biographical page and a recent visa application photo.
Once the application is submitted and paid for, and the e-visa is approved, it will be sent to you by mail. Print it out and present it upon arrival in Saudi Arabia.
Planning your trip
Planning your trip is not only crucial for a successful journey but also necessary for obtaining a visa: when filling out the application form, it is necessary to specify the expected dates of arrival in Saudi Arabia and the travel itinerary.
What to see
As a tourist in Saudi Arabia, you will have the opportunity to discover a plethora of captivating attractions. Immerse yourself in the mesmerizing blend of old and new by exploring the historical wonders of Diriyah, Al Ula, and Mada’in Saleh, where ancient ruins and archaeological treasures transport you back.
Uncover the spiritual significance of Mecca and Medina, the holiest cities in Islam, and witness the iconic landmarks of the Great Mosque and the Kaaba.
Marvel at the modern architectural marvels of Riyadh, Jeddah, and the futuristic city of NEOM. Indulge in the vibrant local markets, known as souks, and savor the delectable Saudi cuisine.
For nature enthusiasts, the majestic landscapes of the Red Sea coastline, the stunning rock formations of the Edge of the World, and the breathtaking Empty Quarter desert offer unforgettable experiences.
Whether exploring historical sites, embracing cultural authenticity, or connecting with nature’s wonders, Saudi Arabia welcomes you with a wealth of diverse and awe-inspiring attractions.
When to visit
The optimal period for visiting Saudi Arabia is from November to February, offering mild weather and moderate temperatures. It is advisable to avoid the summer months between April and October, as they bring scorching heat and uncomfortable conditions.
Booking your trip
Booking your flight to Saudi Arabia can be done through various convenient resources. Online travel agencies (OTAs) such as Expedia, Kayak, and Skyscanner allow you to compare multiple airlines, fares and routes in one place. These platforms provide user-friendly interfaces and filters to customize your search based on preferences like departure city, travel dates, and budget.
Additionally, you can visit individual airlines’ websites, such as Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia), Emirates, or Qatar Airways, which often offer exclusive deals and promotions.
It’s recommended to book your flight well in advance to secure the best fares and preferred travel dates, keeping in mind that peak travel seasons may affect availability and prices.
Where to stay
Booking accommodation in Saudi Arabia as a tourist is made easy with various resources available. Online travel agencies like Booking.com, Agoda, and Expedia provide a wide selection of options for hotels, guesthouses, and serviced apartments, allowing you to compare prices and read reviews.
Additionally, you can directly book through hotel websites or explore local booking platforms catering to the Saudi Arabian market. Mobile applications like Airbnb, Hotels.com, and TripAdvisor also offer convenient options.
Consider factors like location, amenities, and price when choosing, and don’t forget to read reviews for a better understanding of the accommodation.
Health and safety concerns
When traveling to Saudi Arabia as a tourist, it is important to take certain precautions. Before your trip, check for any recommended vaccinations and ensure you have adequate travel insurance that covers medical emergencies.
Respect the local customs and dress modestly, especially in public areas. Saudi Arabia is a Muslim country, and Islam is deeply ingrained in the culture. Respect religious customs and practices, such as praying times and religious sites. Non-Muslims are generally not allowed to enter mosques except for certain designated areas. During the holy month of Ramadan, it is respectful to refrain from eating, drinking, or smoking in public during daylight hours. Dress as modestly as possible, avoiding shorts and sleeveless shirts.
Stay hydrated and protect yourself from the intense sun by using sunscreen, wearing hats, and seeking shade when necessary.
Familiarize yourself with local laws and regulations to avoid any legal issues. For example, public displays of affection, consumption of alcohol, and drug use are strictly prohibited.
Be mindful of your personal belongings and avoid displaying signs of affluence. Stay updated on travel advisories and follow any guidelines or instructions provided by local authorities to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit to Saudi Arabia.
Best of luck on your trip to Saudi Arabia! May your journey be filled with beautiful experiences, warm hospitality, and cherished memories.