For a picturesque way to cross the country and still stay on schedule during your vacation in Saudi Arabia, travel by train. Hop aboard the Dammam-Riyadh rail line, which offers travelers a budget-friendly way to city-hop with a view.
Though the one-hour flight is faster, traveling by rail offers more opportunities to see sights along the way. In fact, factoring in airport check-in, security and boarding, the 3½-hour train ride isn’t far behind in terms of time. Choose from any of the six daily trains or one of the two special trains, one operating Sunday through Thursday and the other on Thursdays and Saturdays.
Adults can get a first-class, one-way seat for SAR149.50 (about US$39.87) or SAR86.25 (about US$23) for second class.
The journey between Dammam and Riyadh includes two stops along the way. The first is in Abqaiq, home to one of the largest oil fields in the country. The train’s next stop is Hofuf, which is nestled in the heart of Al Ahsa Oasis, a natural wonder filled with more than 2.5 million palm trees and best known as one of the world’s top date producers.
Want to share your journey on social media or reply to an email? Not a problem. Wi-Fi is available on the train and in the waiting lounge at the stations. Another perk of traveling by train? The carriages are air-conditioned, which means summer travelers can enjoy the ride without working up a sweat. Additionally, all trains feature a café and prayer area onboard. Lastly, when booking your seat, try to secure a spot next to a window for the best views.
Now sit back, relax and enjoy a memorable journey as you roll across the country soaking in stunning views of rippling dunes and sand flats.
Saudi Arabia has two state-owned train companies that travel to different locations across the country: the Saudi Railways Organization (SRO), which operates from Dammam to Riyadh, and the Saudi Railway Company (SAR), which operates from Riyadh to Ha’il. Depending on your destination, each railway provides a unique experience for exploring the Saudi landscape.
Now that you’ve figured out how you’ll get from Dammam to Riyadh, discover summer packages like a full day in the Saudi capital, or year-round itineraries like the road to Al Ahsa, which includes hiking on Al Qarah Mountain, a rafting excursion on Yellow Lake and visits to Souq Al Qaisariya and the center of Al Hofuf.
For more transportation tips, check out this guide to getting around from VisitSaudi.com.