Okay so you are in Saudi and want to explore it to the fullest; here’s an insiders perspective on how to go about doing it.
1. Try opting for local vegetarian food like Tameez and Foul or Falafel.
3 SR will be enough to fill your tummy.
2. Avoid the malls – go to the souks.
While at the souks bargain, bargain, bargain.
3. Even small towns in the country are connected by domestic airports.
So don’t be afraid to catch a flight as domestic tickets also come at pretty reasonable rates.
4. However, if they aren’t connected via direct flights avoid them as then fare will be pretty high.
Instead, you can fly to the nearest city to the place that you are intending to go to that is connected by direct flights and take a SAPTCO bus from there.
5. Stay at Shuga Mafrooshas (furnished apartments).
They are not only spacious but come pretty cheap and are available even in the smallest of towns.
6. Try avoiding credit cards while purchasing from small vendors.
The prices tend to increase dramatically as someone will have to cover the credit card transaction fees.
7. Summers and Eid holiday seasons will have a huge increase in prices.
You can probably land the same room for half the price in off-seasons.
8. Avoid the tours.
A tour that doesn’t offer anything more than 100 SR worth of petrol and food charges somewhere around 500 SR. A small markup is fine but 500% – no way.
9. There are loads of places to see around the country that won’t cost you a penny.
Most government-owned museums, in fact, offer free entry to visitors.