Saudi Arabia overview
When is the best time to fly to Saudi Arabia?
The peak season does vary slightly depending on where in Saudi Arabia you are visiting although as a general rule of thumb the busiest time of the year is from October to May. The days are lovely and warm but the nights cool down enough to be enjoyed without feeling too humid and unpleasant. Mecca is always a very busy city to visit and close to two million people try to find cheap flights to Saudi Arabia to undertake the Hajj pilgrimage. The pilgrimage takes place based on the Islamic calendar so it’s worth researching when the next one is as it will severely affect the chances of finding cheap flights to Saudi Arabia. The Janadriyah National Festival usually takes place over two weeks in February and is very popular among locals and tourists. The Janadriyah National Festival is also one of the biggest non-religious festivals that take place in Saudi Arabia.
You should try to avoid April to November where possible. Despite the fact that you can find the cheapest flights to Saudi Arabia around then, the temperatures get incredibly hot and unbearable. Ramadan also takes place around June so you’ll see a lot of bars, restaurants and hotels either closed or open at very limited times of the day making your vacation very limited.
When is the best time to book a flight to Saudi Arabia?
There isn’t too much variation in the price of flights to Saudi Arabia although March, April and May is typically the best time to book your flight tickets for if you don’t take the extreme heat into consideration. You’ll want to try and make sure you’ve secured your flight tickets four or so months in advance to increase your chances of finding cheap flights to Saudi Arabia as they aren’t too easy to come by, regardless of the month. You’ll notice that flights to Riyadh are slightly cheaper than Jeddah throughout the year too so if you’re not overly fussed about visiting Mecca then Riyadh is a good alternative. If you’re not fixed by a certain time of the year or a particular city then you’ll give yourself the best chances of finding the cheapest flights to Saudi Arabia providing you plan far ahead and ensure your flight tickets are booked in advance.
How long is the flight to Saudi Arabia?
Flights from London to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: 9 hours 05 minutes.
Flights from Manchester to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: 9 hours 55 minutes.
Flights from Birmingham to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: 8 hours 50 minutes.
Flights from Glasgow to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: 10 hours 05 minutes.
Which airlines operate flights to Saudi Arabia?
Saudia and British Airways are the two major airlines that offer direct flights to Saudi Arabia, although you’ll struggle to find direct flights from anywhere other than London. There are several other airlines that operate the route such as Lufthansa, Etihad and Qatar Airways. Deciding which airline to fly with will ultimately come down to the price of the flight tickets and then your own preference. British Airways provide a complimentary service where you get snacks and drinks throughout the entire flight to Saudi Arabia. Etihad and Qatar on the other hand are well known for being premium airlines and their aircrafts are to a very high standard.
How to get from the airport to the city centre?
Once your flights to Saudi Arabia land in Jeddah you’re very limited with your options. That said it is still very easy to find your way into the centre by opting for a taxi. You can find them outside of arrivals and the prices vary from around SR60 to SR140 so definitely agree on the fare before you get in. Travelling by taxi in Saudi Arabia is very safe and although expensive to the locals isn’t too bad for people visiting from the UK, with SR60 converting to around £10.
Similar to the airport in Jeddah, there is no alternative to taking a taxi. You’ll find them outside of the airport and you can get one for around SR60. That being said there are many scammers who will try to get you to pay SR200 or more so make sure to agree on the fare and don’t pay more than around SR90 at the most. If you are travelling with friends then you can easily split the fare of the taxi and get direct to your hotel with very little issue.
Saudi Arabia insider information
- Any visit to Saudi Arabia wouldn’t be complete without taking a visit to Mecca. It’s Islam’s holiest city and is home to the Kaaba Shrine and the Grand Mosque.
- If you decide to book your flight tickets into Riyadh then it’s definitely worth taking a look at the airport guide so you can find your way once your flights to Saudi Arabia land.
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How much do things cost in Saudi Arabia?
Pack of Marlboro cigarettes
Meal at McDonald's or similar
Local draught beer (0.5 litre)
3 bedroom apartment outside of centre
3 bedroom apartment in city centre
Pair of Nike shoes
3 course meal for 2
Bottle of local beer (0.5 litre)
International departures to Saudi Arabia