Travel to Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia: Currency, Shopping, and Exchange Rate

The national currency of Saudi Arabia is the Saudi Arabian Riyal RI

1 Saudi Arabian Riyal = 100 Halalah

5 Halalah = 20 Qurush

The following banknotes are valid and in circulation in the country:

  • 1
  • 5
  • 10
  • 50
  • 100
  • 200 RI

Exchange rate

You can find a currency converter here:


It should be noted, however, that the rate mentioned is not the one that you actually get when you exchange money. So he differs z. B. depending on whether you are exchanging in your home country or in the country of travel or whether you are exchanging cash or withdrawing money from the machine. In addition, the rate differs when exchanging for the foreign currency and when exchanging back.

Bank opening hours

  • Saturday-Wednesday: 8.30 a.m.-12 p.m. and 5-7 p.m.
  • Thursday: 8.30 a.m. – 12 p.m.


Shop opening times

Shops in Saudi Arabia are open daily from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. However, most supermarkets have continuous opening hours.

During the fasting month of Ramadan, however, almost all shops are closed, as well as during the five times of daily prayer.

Cheap or country-specific goods, souvenirs

Popular souvenirs from Saudi Arabia are pieces of jewelry, bronze and brass items, such as. B. lamps, as well as chests with brass fittings.

Saudi Arabia: entry and exit requirements

Formalities, visas

Travelers from the EU need a passport that is still valid for at least six months, a return or onward travel ticket and a visa to enter Saudi Arabia. A personal invitation must be submitted for this. Furthermore, there should be no entry by Israeli authorities in the passport. Tourist visas are only issued in small numbers and for group travel. Single women under the age of 45 are not allowed to enter.

In general, Saudi women are only allowed to travel when accompanied by male relatives or have to be picked up from the airport by a relative. Special entry visas are issued by the Saudi authorities for pilgrimages.

Issuing of visas in Germany

Visa department of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Kurfürstendamm 63

D-10707 Berlin

Tel: 0049 – (0) 30 – 889 25 20 0

Fax: 0049 – (0) 30 – 889 25 10 3

Import and export of foreign currency

Local currency

There is no limit to the import and export of local currency.

Foreign currency

The import and export of foreign currencies is unlimited. However, the Israeli currency is not allowed to be introduced.

Departure fee

There is no fee for leaving Saudi Arabia.

Importing and exporting goods

The following articles may be imported into Saudi Arabia duty-free: 600 cigarettes or 100 cigars or 500 g tobacco, perfume for personal use and cultured pearls for personal use. Personal items and clothing are also duty free.

Cameras and computers are dutiable, but refunds will be given if exported within 90 days.

There is a strict import ban on alcohol (in the event of violations: severe penalties), food of all kinds (especially pork and food with pork), palms or palm products, natural pearls and pornographic material (this means any representation of physical freedom) as well as drugs and weapons.

All kinds of religious books are confiscated upon entry, including Islamic ones such as B. the Koran.

Saudi Arabia: Travel Medicine, Vaccinations and Warnings

Infectious Diseases

In Saudi Arabia, the following infectious diseases, which do not or rarely occur in Germany, Austria or Switzerland, can be expected:

  • MalariaThere is a risk of infection in the rural areas of the south-west provinces. There is no risk of malaria in Jeddah, Mecca, Medina and Taif. About 80-90% of infections occur with the very dangerous malaria tropica, the rest with malaria tertiana.
  • Amoebic dysentery
  • Bacterial agitation
  • Schistosomiasis
  • Chikungunya
  • CholeraOnly travelers who come into contact with polluted water or contaminated food are at risk of infection.
  • dengue fever
  • Intestinal infectionsThese can be caused by contaminated food or water, such as amoebas, lamblia, salmonella, shigella and worm infestation as well as all kinds of viruses and bacteria.
  • Typhus,
  • Hepatitis A and BInfection with hepatitis B is only possible in people who can come into contact with blood or those who have sexual contact.
  • Kala-Azar
  • Leishmaniasis
  • Polio, polio
  • tetanus
  • rabies
  • TyphoidThe only risk of infection is those travelers who come into contact with polluted water or contaminated food.

Vaccination recommendations When traveling to Saudi Arabia, in principle, the same vaccinations are recommended as are usual in Germany, Austria and Switzerland:

  • CholeraA vaccination recommendation exists for travelers who come into contact with polluted water or contaminated food.
  • DiphtheriaA vaccination against diphtheria should always exist, also in the home country.
  • Hepatitis A and BVaccination against hepatitis B is only required for people who may come into contact with blood or who are looking for sexual contact.
  • Polio, PolioA polio vaccination should always exist, also in the home country.
  • Meningococcal meningitis
  • TetanusA vaccination against tetanus should always exist, also in the home country.
  • TyphoidA vaccination recommendation exists for travelers who come into contact with polluted water or contaminated food.

Compulsory vaccination

The following vaccination regulations apply when entering and staying in Saudi Arabia:

  1. Yellow feverAll persons who are older than 1 year and who are traveling from a country designated by the WHO as a yellow feverinfection area must have proof of vaccination against yellow fever.
  • Yellow fever vaccination for childrenIn most countries where a yellow fever vaccination is mandatory, this also applies to children over 1 year of age, in some countries even from 6 months. It should be noted:When vaccinated against yellow fever, there were a number of side effects such. B. Encephalitis. Around two thirds of those affected were children under 6 months. Therefore, under no circumstances should children under this age be vaccinated. But children under one year of age should also not be vaccinated if possible. If in doubt, yellow fever infection areas must then be avoided.Any vaccination against yellow fever may only be carried out in specially authorized yellow fever vaccination centers!

2. Polio All persons under the age of 15 who are traveling from a country in which the polio virus has been reported by the WHO must have a polio vaccination and be able to prove it.

  1. Miningococcal meningitisPilgrims, especially during the Hajj, i.e.the mandatory pilgrimage to Mecca, must have a meningococcal vaccination. The vaccination date must not be less than ten days and no longer than three years prior to entry.

Malaria prophylaxis

When traveling in the country, especially when traveling to the areas mentioned above, it is strongly advised to undergo malaria prophylaxis. However, if the side effects seem questionable to you, you should at least have a “stand-by preparation” with you.

Who pays for vaccinations in Germany?

Most children in Germany are vaccinated against a number of infectious diseases at an early age. However, the vaccination protection only lasts up to 10 years, in some cases even shorter. Therefore, before traveling abroad, you should carefully consider against which infectious diseases a vaccination is necessary or useful in the country concerned and whether the vaccination protection, if applicable, was not too long ago.

Most statutory health insurances have been reimbursing the costs for the following vaccinations since June 2007.

There is even no 10 € practice fee – but the insured usually have to pay the statutory co-payment, which is 10% of the vaccine price – that is at least 5 € and a maximum of 10 €. Under these conditions, the following vaccinations are free of charge:

  • cholera
  • diphtheria
  • Early summer meningoencephalitis (TBE)
  • Yellow fever
  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Meningococcal meningitis
  • Pneumococci
  • Polyo (polio)
  • Tetanus (tetanus)
  • rabies
  • typhus

Some health insurance companies also reimburse the cost of malaria prophylaxis.

As a rule, private health insurance companies (inquire beforehand) also cover the costs mentioned.

Warning notices

Foreign Office (AA) of the Federal Republic of Germany

Citizens’ Service

Phone: 0049 – (0) 30 – 5000 – 2000

Fax: 0049 – (0) 30 – 5000 – 51000

Saudi Arabia: Transportation

How do you get to Saudi Arabia?

Direct flights from Europe go from Frankfurt/Main to Jeddah and from Geneva to Riyadh. Another international airport is located in Dammam.

The Saudi Arabian Airlines is the national airline of the country

The most important international passenger ports are Dammam on the Persian Gulf and Jeddah and Yanbu on the Red Sea. There is regular passenger ferry service between Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and a car ferry operates between Duba, also known as Dhiba, and Hurghada.

The main highways connect Dammam, Medina and Jeddah with Amman in Jordan. Other roads lead to Yemen, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. A causeway was built from Al Khobar to Bahrain.

Bus connections are offered between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

Travel in the country

Air connections

Saudi Arabia has a total of 202 airports and runways. There are regular flight connections between all major cities in the country.


The country’s route network covers around 1,400 km. The most important rail link leads from Riyadh via Harad, Hofuf and Dhahran to Dammam.


The national bus network connects all major cities and rural regions with one another through regular scheduled services.

Ferry connections

Coastal shipping is also of great importance for passenger traffic. Dhows, large, bulbous wooden ships, can also be rented.


The country’s road network covers over 150,000 km, of which around 45,500 km are paved. It connects all major cities and rural regions.

Car, rental

car A minimum age of 25 is required to rent a car. You also need a driver’s license with a certified Arabic translation (valid for up to 3 months) or an international driver’s license.

Taxis Taxis

operate in the cities and the fare should be agreed in advance.

Traffic rules

To avoid trouble with the police or even the courts, drivers should strictly adhere to the traffic regulations in force in the country. Regardless of the information given here, it is advisable to obtain more detailed information from the ADAC, the AvD or the Saudi Arabian traffic clubs.

Top speeds

  • Urban: In built-up areas there is a speed limit of 50 km/h.
  • Country roads: There is a speed limit of 120 km/h on country roads.
  • Motorways: There is a speed limit of 150 km/h on motorways.

In addition, it is of course necessary to pay attention to the current local speed limits, which are indicated by traffic signs.

Special regulations

Women are prohibited from driving a car or cycling in Saudi Arabia. Women are also not permitted to drive a car with men to whom they are neither related nor married.

Since non-Muslims are not allowed to enter Mecca and its surroundings, they have to use the so-called “Christian bypass”.

In traffic accidents, the question of guilt is resolved in a very arbitrary way. Furthermore, many traffic violations are punishable by prison sentences.

Almost all street names and signposts are in Arabic only.

Blood alcohol limit

The official blood alcohol limit in Saudi Arabia is 0.0.

International license plate

The international license plate of Saudi Arabia is:


Saudi Arabia: Embassies and Consulates

Representations of Saudi Arabia in Germany

The embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was previously located on Kurfürstendamm before it moved to the old diplomatic quarter in Tiergartenstrasse in 2009. The building impresses with its special, almost filigree architecture.

However, the official inauguration of the new embassy did not take place until February 9, 2011 in the presence of the Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Feisal and the German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.

Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Berlin

Tiergartenstrasse 33-34

10785 Berlin

Tel: 0049 – (0) 30 – 88 92 – 500

Fax: 0049 – (0) 30 – 88 92 – 51 79

German representations in Saudi Arabia

Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Riyadh

Diplomatic Quarter

Riyadh 11693

Tel: 00966 – (0) 1 – 488 07 00

Fax: 00966 – (0) 1 – 488 06 60



Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany

Al Basateen Village

21411 Jeddah

Tel: 00966 – (0) 2 – 699 64 36

Fax: 00966 – (0) 2 – 699 63 89


Web: www.djidda.diplo. de

Austrian representations in Saudi Arabia

Embassy of the Republic of Austria in Riyadh

Diplomatic Quarter

Riyadh 11693

Tel: 00966 – (0) 1 – 480 12 17

Fax: 00966 – (0) 1 – 480 15 26



Honorary Consulate

Alquds Street, 3rd Building East of Intercontinental Hotel

Al-Hamra District, 21462 Jeddah

Tel: 00966 – (0) 2 – 669 33 22

Fax: 00966 – (0) 2 – 669 64 99

Representations of Saudi Arabia in Austria

Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Vienna

Formanekgasse 38

1190 Vienna

Tel: 0043 – (0) 1 – 367 25 31

Fax: 0043 – (0) 1 – 367 25 40


Swiss representations in Saudi Arabia

Swiss Embassy in Riyadh

Diplomatic quarter

Riyadh 11693, Saudi Arabia

Tel: 00966 – 1 – 488 12 91

Fax: 00966 – 1 – 488 06 32


Web: www.eda.admin. ch/riad

The Swiss embassy in Saudi Arabia is still responsible for:

  • Yemen
  • Oman

Consulate General of Switzerland in Jeddah

Medina Road, Km. 2

Alireza-Tower, 10th Floor

Jeddah 21431, Saudi Arabia

Tel: 00 966 – 2 – 651 07 72

00 966 – 2 – 651 07 76

00 966 – 2 – 657 10 25

Fax: 00 966 – 2 – 651 9105



Representations of Saudi Arabia in Switzerland

Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Bern

Kramburgstrasse 12

3006 Bern

Tel: 0041 – (0) 31 – 352 15 55/-56

Fax: 0041 – (0) 31 – 351 45 81


Consulate General of Saudi Arabia

Route de Lausanne 263

1292 Chambésy (near Geneva)

Tel: 0041 – (0) 22 – 758 97 97

Fax: 0041 – (0) 22 – 758 97 37


Travel to Saudi Arabia