Getting around Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Travel/Tourist Information Guide

Getting around Riyadh can be a little hard since the public transportation is not really developed. The streets all have names but some of them only have the names in Arabic. So it is best if you learnt the known landmarks so it would be easier to orient or ask for directions. However, there are certain ways that you can get around the city.

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By taxi

Most taxis are white and can be found in the centre of the city. Most of the drivers usually use the meter, but if you want to you can propose a fixed price. You can definitely agree on a price and it usually turns out to be cheaper than when using the meter. Women are legally allowed to drive alone in a taxi, but if your hotel has a transport it would be better to use that one if you are a woman. The drivers speak decent English, but it would be good if you learned the name of your destination in Arabic. You can always carry a map with you in case if you cannot come to an understanding with your driver.

By bus

There is not much public transportation in Riyadh. There are flat-fare minibuses which go around the city, but they are usually used by labourers. It would be hard for a tourist to use them because they have no posted stops and the routes are mostly in Arabic only.

By car

Renting a car is the best option since Riyadh is a car-oriented city. You can drive by yourself, or you can also hire a driver who knows the city better. If you decide to drive yourself make sure that you have a map or GPS with you and plan before setting off. The traffic is not so bad and the local drivers are just a little aggressive. Women are not allowed to drive and they may be arrested if driving. 

On foot

The modern part of Riyadh is not designed for pedestrians at all. It is a very dangerous area with 8-lane roads and fast cars. It is also very hot in Riyadh so not many people chose to walk around it. However, there are some places where you can only walk because the alleys are too narrow, such as al-Bathaa. If you want to walk and see the whole city make sure that you be careful, stay in the shade and bring beverages with you.