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How Expensive Is SAUDI ARABIA? (Jeddah, Riyadh, Dammam) Budget Travel Guide 🇸🇦

hello and welcome back after finishing all of my Saudi Arabia vlogs I thought it would be helpful to create a video showing you how expensive things are in Saudi Arabia based on my experience traveling around the country just over one month I’ll begin by breaking down the currency from pounds as that’s my currency to Saudi riyal here we are I’m using an app called currency converter plus one pound is equal to four point eight five Saudi riyal five pounds twenty four point two six and ten pounds then forty eight point five 250 is just under two hundred and fifty two hundred forty two point six two and 100 pounds equal to just beneath 500 Ryo four hundred and eighty five point two five so we can average around one pound for five Ryo so before even venturing to Saudi Arabia you need to organize your visa to the country sometime last year they introduced a new visa scheme which aimed at targeting travelers like myself going to the country for non-religious purposes and that visa cost is quite expensive I have to say it’s four hundred and sixty three rial which is around ninety five pounds and it is very easy to do the website is very clear there’s no problems getting the visa just simply the cost is quite expensive if we’re comparing with other countries but that’s the fee if you want to visit Saudi Arabia as for my flight in from London Gatwick I flew with Turkish Airlines and I transit in Istanbul so it was two flights and altogether the cost was 304 pounds one way from London to Jeddah transiting in Istanbul on the way next up is accommodation and I’ll start by saying that Saudi isn’t the friendly yes country when it comes to budget backpackers I would say if you’re traveling on a shoestring you might struggle just slightly with accommodation prices and your best bet is to use couchsurfing I’m gonna go through each city and how much I paid and then you can get a general idea for how much it might be for you if you’re planning a trip to Saudi yourself so for Jeddah I did just that I use couchsurfing didn’t pay any accommodation cost in Jeddah but I imagined it to be the same price as the capital city Riyadh now Riyadh I did pay for hotel I stayed for a week in oh yo one for 6-hour awesomer which was 736 3 out for one week which is just over 105 Riau per night which equates to just over 21 pounds a night that is actually very good for the room I got ensuite spacious clean sheets Wi-Fi although it wasn’t the strongest the only thing I can complain about that hotel is the area it was in was not particularly nice full of workshops a bit rough and way of the center of Riyadh in the old town not the greatest area but if you just want somewhere to rest your head and you don’t care about the actual area you just want to find a cheap room then this hotel would also be perfect for you however bear in mind that you will be having to most likely take taxis from the hotel to reach the parts of the city that you want to get to so there’s that added cost so you have to work out what works for you but if you don’t care about the area then I’d recommend this hotel on the budget rewinding slightly when I visited alula before I went to Riyadh it was also very overpriced and very difficult to find a room I didn’t actually manage to find anything online on that I thought was reasonable for the price some of them were way way overpriced you know we’re talking 150 200 300 pounds for a night in hotels which didn’t necessarily look like they were worth that much so I figured that when I arrived in a Lulla I would just roam around and find my own place I did but it was still expensive who I got it was a furnished apartment which cost 300 really like which is around 60 pounds it was dirty it wasn’t the greatest there are places in Saudi especially outside the big cities where they haven’t quite built enough hotels that are affordable yet most of them are towards the luxury end and it’s going to take some time but now they’ve announced the e visa and there’s people coming I’m sure they’re going to try and build more hotels and hostels and places like that where backpackers can actually stay but this whole process is probably going to take a few years but you can do it if you couch-surf a little bit get one dodgy hotel here or there with an okay room for a good price and manage your trip like that if you really want to see Saudi that it’s definitely possible and then there’s also the chance that you can find a really good deal which is what happened to me in Dammam the last city that I was in I stayed in the eastwood hotel which roughly worked out at 500 rial for three nights in British pounds 34 pounds per night a little bit more expensive but if you’re only staying for a couple nights like I was then you can probably manage it the Eastwood hotel in derm um I highly recommend it but on the whole Saudi isn’t the greatest for accommodation if you’re really on a budget then couchsurfing is gonna be a great friend for you as well as the incredible people that you’ll meet on app which is more important than saving money so moving on to transportation within the country there is a lot of options actually flights trains buses you can rent a car which is one of the most popular things to do ever since the new TVs has been announced I’ve met quite a lot of travellers who rented their own car all over Saudi as it’s relatively inexpensive petrels not too much over there and you can get it fairly hassle-free for me I used a variety of modes of transportation to try and get a proper feel of the country so I’ll run you through each of those and their costs a train from Jeddah to Medina cost me a hundred and twenty rial which is around 25 pounds sabko bus from medina to alula with 79 rial or about 16 pounds sap co is the best company to use if you want to take buses around the country comfortable modern air-conditioned on time everything you need no concerns Sacco is the company to go with the second SAP Kobus I took was from Riyadh to Durham which came to 60 real just around 12 pounds much cheaper than if you were to fly I took one domestic flight in Saudi from Jeddah to Riyadh there are plenty of options when you want to fly around Saudi Arabia it’ll be roughly the same price going between any of the big cities although I don’t really encourage it more than once because you’re just contributing to carbon footprint and some of these distances you can do by bus and it doesn’t take that long for example I went from Riyadh to Dammam on the bus and it only takes just a few hours it’s not too bad traveling within cities I mostly use the application uber which I’m sure you’re familiar with and generally it was quite inexpensive a bit more than other countries yes but for Saudi Arabia I probably expected it to be a little bit more expensive so overall I’m quite happy with the prices of it I worked out that it was around 25 rial for a 12 kilometer journey which is also around five pounds so six kilometers about to power 53 kilometers around one pound 25 etc etc around 2 rial or 40 P a kilometer and that’s based on my experiences and costs that I accumulated across Jeddah Riyadh alula and also Dammam and looking through the different rides after trip that’s the rough amount you can expect to pay per kilometer now we have the most important thing of course food varies depending on whether you eat in local places or nice modern air-conditioned restaurants in the big cities can fluctuate a lot and also if you’re eating fresh fish from Jeddah or if it’s just full you know it’s gonna vary so like every country depends on the restaurant you go to but I’ve got a few prices here to show you from some menus that I filmed one was a really nice place in Riyadh where I went for breakfast called moonshell it’s really healthy it’s not Arabic food it’s just like acai bowls and smoothies but I thought would be interesting to show how much that costs in somewhere like Saudi Arabia so take a look at the menu a few different bowls here between around 7 and 10 pounds quite expensive but very healthy and also coffee there 15 rial then shakes and juice too at roughly 24 25 rial is about 4 or 5 pounds and then secondly i also film the menu in a really cool place which does shawarma falafel all that jazz it was super heaving again this was in the capital Riyadh so take a look at a few of the prices on the menu here we have the Manila menu which has a bunch of different stuff of course chicken shawarma you can also get meat shawarma different place there around five six rial they’re very small so just around one pound for those cheese pastries and others again only one pound or so moving on to the chicken and kebabs these are a lot more expensive of course and usually they can be shared with multiple people there you can see 27 rial which is over 5 pounds moving on to the juiciest every kind you can imagine all of them for a small around 1 pound and for a large less than 2 pounds really good to also see the locals coming to get their food and the different stations made it a really nice experience and something a little bit different as well as affordable there various different branches of Mama Nora in Riyadh so find the nearest one and give it a visit because is certainly a great place to try some regional food not necessarily Saudi but something that’s very popular in Saudi and also see amongst the other locals who’ve come to grab something quick there are of course many other food places in Saudi Arabia and it’s been hard to kind of give you an entire representation of what you can expect to find I’ve only shown one more expensive place and one relatively more affordable place in the short space of this video food can be affordable in the extent that you eat locally and you don’t necessarily have to splurge on expensive restaurants all the time but still the expensive restaurants are not as bad as say Western Europe so it’s all relative to what you are able to spend if you’re looking for cheap food you can find it if you’re looking for expensive food in very nice restaurants you can also find that too finally I also decided to film inside a supermarket in Riyadh just to find out what the average everyday prices would be so if you’re interested then take a look this particular supermarket has absolutely everything including even a large cheese selection you can get almost anything here you can see the amount of fresh produce available is quite amazing and most of it’s very inexpensive oranges here just around a pound a kilogram or just over as well for lime and apples over there just over a pound for a kilogram all the different beds here every tight even avocados around the pound as well for a kilogram of bananas for 95 three reals for a pot of watermelon chunks Henry L for two barbecue chicken breasts skilless 18 three out just underneath four pounds from the skewers around two pounds for the press 1495 around three pounds for 450 grams of chicken breast for a regular fresh LaVon drink which they absolutely love it just hurry out nine rial around two pounds for twenty four fresh eggs almost any modern supermarket here in Saudi has alcohol-free beer 550 around a pound bottle and will say for a coca-cola two-fifty hey boss how much is a loaf of bread in Saudi Arabia just under 1 pound for most brands even sandwiches if you’re craving some six ninety five point eight of hurry out or a Aquafina bottle of water 265 for a Snickers bar and 310 a galaxy lastly sightseeing in Saudi Arabia and how much is it let’s start with Jeddah as that was the first city I explored Jeddah was mostly free the corniche Al Balad no prices involved and then heading north arguably to the country’s most impressive site Medina Saleh next to the town of Al Houla then I went on a tour which was around 50 pounds or 255 rial this was for the winter Santora festival I explained all the details in my Medina salad vlog however this festival is not open forever and by the time you’re watching this video most likely is finished and there’ll be a different type of tour regarding Medina Sala or it might even be closed so do check the relevant website and information online to find out more about how you can visit but that’s how much it cost me for a day tour of Medina Sala I also did a couple days road trip down south from Jeddah to up high and Baja with my hosts from Jeddah and another Spanish guy the cost didn’t add up to very much at all because entering the historic villages of Rajah Alma and the a is completely free the only thing you have to pay for is your petrol your car if you’re renting one and also your hotel for the night food all the extras generally not that expensive and very affordable if you can manage your transportation moving on to Riyadh the capital city there were some things I didn’t have to pay for such as entering the mass Mac fortress and of course the mosque just beside it there is one place I had to pay an entrance cost for in Riyadh though which is the sky bridge at the top of the Kingdom Center tower which was completely worth it and by the way that cost around 12 pounds or 60 rial to go up there onto the skybridge and I recommend doing it around sunset so you get the contrast of day and watch the city turning tonight and then seeing the lace afterwards a separate day trip from Riyadh is to the edge of the world which again is a little bit pricey but if you want a good experience and an opportunity to meet other travelers and have it all sorted for you then you can go with the guys I recommended in might vlog the trip was 250 rial which includes dinner coffee tea shisha Bedouin tents afterwards it’s a great experience and that’s around 50 pounds there again for Dammam costs were very little only entering the museum did I have to pay anything which was covered by Aziz who was looking after me and I never found out the price of it but I don’t imagine it to be very much aside from that walking around in Dammam there were no costs at all so that’s a general summary of how much things can cost in Saudi Arabia I hope it gave you a slightly better idea if you’re planning to go there for yourself or just wanted to get a quick gauge of whether you’d be able to make a trip there or not well now you know and you can refer to some of the individual things I’ve mentioned in this video I hope it was helpful for everyone who subscribed to my channel and watched my Saudi Arabia videos and thank you very much I appreciate it and I hope you’ll stick around for the future when I go to other countries maybe I’ll be back one day I love the hospitality and I love seeing the other side of the lens in a country which gets different kinds of media perceptions from around the world well to see it underneath the scope was certainly interesting and I’d highly recommend it as a place to visit because the culture is so rich certainly you’ll not have a problem just simply because the people are so friendly and hospitable but even if you’re in trouble you just ask a guy for help and he would do anything for you that’s the nature of how people are there you might have seen that a little bit in my videos I didn’t film people as much in saudi arabia’s i’d have liked because it is still a conservative country as we all know and I don’t want go overboard with filming people that don’t want to be filmed but you’ve got to see a little bit and hopefully got a nice taste of what the country’s like I’m heading to Bahrain next so stay tuned for vlogs from there and then also one other Gulf country if you’re interested then hang around for those videos coming next on my channel thank you for watching again and I’ll see you then [Music]
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