Skip to Content

The Best & Worst to Visit Saudi Arabia (Updated for 2024)

The Best & Worst to Visit Saudi Arabia (Updated for 2024)

What's the best time to visit Saudi Arabia?

The best time to visit Saudi Arabia is from October to February, when cooler temperatures ranging from 69F to 94F make outdoor activities and sightseeing more enjoyable and comfortable. This period offers minimal rainfall and affordable accommodation, with room rates varying from $24 to $78 per night.

Visitors can experience a variety of activities like desert camping, scuba diving, and visiting historic sites, while avoiding the peak sandstorm season that occurs mainly in March and May.

Saudi Arabia is a treasure trove for travelers, especially at certain times of the year. Learn the best time to visit Saudi Arabia overall, for budget trips, to avoid crowds, and the worst time to go in our guide!

The time of year you go really affects the cost, activities, weather, and crowds you’ll experience when you arrive in Saudi Arabia. We’ll show you the perfect time to go for your trip goals. 

The Overall Best Time to Visit Saudi Arabia

Sun rays hit the cliffs at the Edge of the World outside of Riyadh during fall and winter, the best time to visit Saudi Arabia


The best time to visit Saudi Arabia is from October to February. This period is cooler, perfect for outdoor activities and sightseeing, and more affordable for a visit. 

During the October-February period, Saudi Arabia experiences a lovely drop in temperature that makes it more comfortable for travelers. Highs range from 69F to 94F, so everything from the beach to camping in the mountains is possible! 

You’ll experience very little rainfall during this period, though there’s more than during the summer. No month receives more than 0.3″ of rain from October to February, and October rarely sees any rainfall at all.

Desert tours and activities are at their best from October to February, when the days are shorter and the heat is much more bearable among the dunes and sand. 

Try fresh dates (August-November) or olives (September-January) during the harvest, experience kashta (desert camping), see snow in the mountains (December-February) go scuba diving, relax on a beach, or head into town to visit colorful souqs and historic sites. 

The cost of visiting Saudi Arabia from October to February is affordable, with the lowest rates during December (cheapest overall), October, and November. 

  • October: $26-$67/night
  • November: $27-$72/night
  • December: $24-$64/night
  • January: $29-$78/night
  • February: $28-$74/night

You’ll also avoid most of the country’s sandstorm activity during this period. Saudi Arabia’s sandstorms occur mostly in March and May, so visiting between October and February is ideal. 

Cheapest Time to Visit Saudi Arabia

Jedda Corniche, a mosque on the Red Sea coast, at sunset on the beach shows the cheapest time to visit Saudi Arabia from October to December

Osama Ahmed Mansour/Shutterstock

The cheapest time to visit Saudi Arabia is from October to December, when you’ll find the lowest hotel rates and airfare as the country enters its slower winter season. 

Airfare is consistently cheapest during the month of October, sometimes extending into November, December, and even January as the Saudi Arabian winter enters full effect. 

Skyscanner found that October is the cheapest month to fly to Saudi Arabia, with airfare starting around $634 compared to August averages from $1,039. But airfare isn’t the only concern if you’re trying to plan a budget-friendly trip.

It’s a great coincidence that the cheapest months for hotels in Saudi Arabia occur during this same time frame! December is the absolute cheapest month to stay in Saudi Arabia, with average hotel rates ranging from $24-$72/night.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • October: $26-$67/night
  • November: $27-$72/night
  • December: $24-$64/night

You’ll be able to find excellent deals and packages during this slower season, just after the peak fall tourism season. You might even come across better deals in shops, markets, and restaurants at this time of year! 

Least Busy Time to Visit Saudi Arabia

Mada'in Salih ancient rock carving shown at night lit from below in the desert during the least busy time to visit Saudia Arabia

Osama Ahmed Mansour/Shutterstock

The least busy time to visit Saudi Arabia is from March to May, offering visitors a chance to see the country without huge crowds of tourists and the higher prices that come along with peak season. 

From March, when spring begins, through May, just as the season wraps up, you’ll find that Saudi Arabia is a little quieter, more serene, and less crowded. It’s perfect for a low-key visit that doesn’t feel packed or stressful.

You’ll have an easier time finding and booking flights, hotels, and even reservations for dinner during the springtime. Saudi Arabia’s least busy months overall are April and May, with March seeing slightly higher numbers of tourists as the warm spring weather and rains begin to arrive. 

While there’s a little more rain during this period than in summer, it’s not rainy by any stretch. The most rainfall the country receives during the spring is around 0.3″ in March. 

By May, there’s almost no rain to speak of in Saudi Arabia and conditions are beginning to get very hot. Highs around 102F in the capital, Riyadh, make outdoor activities harder toward the end of spring. 

Hotel rates are generally affordable during this time of year, but prices can be much higher in April. Here’s a look at average hotel prices during spring in Saudi Arabia:

  • March: $32-$84/night
  • April: $44-$115/night
  • May: $27-$71/night

If you plan to spend time on a beach, hanging out in air-conditioned spaces, or enjoying the coastal areas, spring heat won’t be a problem. Visit in March or April for the coolest weather, or in May for the lowest prices. 

Worst Time to Visit Saudi Arabia

View of Maraya Concert Hall, a mirrored building in the desert, taking during the worst time to visit Saudi Arabia in the peak of summer


The worst time to visit Saudi Arabia is in the summer, from June to August. Temperatures soar with little to no rain and hotels and flights are more expensive.

June, July, and August are the worst months to visit Saudi Arabia mainly because of the heat. Temperatures during the summer season range from 107F to 110F in Riyadh, but get as high as 130F in the desert.

Some of the most incredible activities in Saudi Arabia can become unbearable in this kind of heat, from camping and beach visits to desert tours and sightseeing. 

You’ll also have to contend with higher prices and less hotel and flight availability during this time. Skyscanner found that average flight prices peak in July and August with flights starting around $1,000. 

Hotel rates during this time aren’t at their peak, but are slightly higher than spring, fall, and winter rates. Here’s a look at average hotel prices from Google Hotels data:

  • June: $29-$77/night
  • July: $34-$89/night
  • August: $29-$75/night

People usually head to the Eastern Province during the summer to escape the heat, where there are cool, coastal breezes and a large desert oasis (Al Ahsa Oasis) as well as national parks to check out along the Red Sea coast. 

Things to Consider

Salwa Palace in At-Turaif during the afternoon indicates the overall best time to visit Saudi Arabia

Volodymyr Dvornyk/Shutterstock

Visiting Saudi Arabia can be incredibly exciting, holding a variety of new experiences that make it memorable and unique. Here are some helpful travel tips to keep in mind before you start planning your trip!

  • Keep safety your top priority. Many travelers find themselves wondering, “Is Saudi Arabia safe to visit?” The answer: It depends on where you plan to go during your stay. The U.S. Department of State has issued a level 3 travel advisory for the country, urging visitors to reconsider travel at this time. The Saudi-Yemen border, Qatif, Abha, Najran, Jizan, and Khamis Mushayt should be avoided at this time. 
  • Respect the local customs and culture. Islamic law is enforced in Saudi Arabia, so travelers will need to know and respect local customs and culture to avoid issues. Avoid drinking alcohol, taking drugs, and public displays of affection, choose modest dress that covers shoulders and knees, don’t take pictures of palaces, government, or military buildings, and note that LGBT relationships are strictly outlawed. 
  • Make sure your swimwear is approved. Women can’t wear bikinis on most public beaches in Saudi Arabia, since they don’t conform to the Islamic laws of modest clothing. Private beaches may allow bikinis, as well as areas like Red Sea Destination. Do your research before you pack your favorite swimsuit since it may not be allowed here. 
  • Get a tourist visa. U.S. citizens are required to hold a valid passport with at least 6 months’ validity as well as a tourist visa to go to Saudi Arabia. Tourist visas can be obtained by applying online through the Saudi Arabia embassy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Elephant Rock at sunset with colorful sky as a car passes in front for a frequently asked questions section on the best time to visit Saudi Arabia

Osama Ahmed Mansour/Shutterstock

Still have a few questions about the best time to visit Saudi Arabia or what you should know about the country? Here are the most frequently asked questions on the topic. 

What is the hottest month in Saudi Arabia?

July is the hottest month in Saudi Arabia, with scorching temperatures exceeding 110F in Riyadh and over 130F in the Rub'al-Khali desert, making it uncomfortable for travelers.

What is the coolest month in Saudi Arabia?

The coolest month in Saudi Arabia is January, with daily highs averaging around 59-69F, and some mountainous regions experiencing snowfall.

So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Saudi Arabia?

You can’t go wrong by visiting Saudi Arabia between October and February – it’s cool, pleasant, and ideal for outdoor activities and sightseeing around the palaces, mosques, and historic sites. 

If budget is your main concern, go between October and December. December is the cheapest month for hotels, while October is the cheapest for airfare. 

Head to Saudi Arabia during spring, from March to May, to avoid big crowds of tourists and enjoy a more serene visit to this stunning country. Avoid the summer – the worst time to visit – if you want to steer clear of scorching 100+ degree temperatures and the most expensive flights. 

As long as you stay up to date on current travel advisories and keep safety your top priority, Saudi Arabia can be a magnificent and magical place to visit. 

From sunny beaches and vast deserts to hidden oases and modern cities with historic sites scattered throughout, visiting Saudi Arabia during the best time of year should be an entry on every world traveler’s bucket list.