What you know about Abu Dhabi
The best tips for your trip to Abu Dhabi
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Etihad Airways has direct flights to Abu Dhabi from Munich, Frankfurt am Main and Düsseldorf.
From all other airports you have to make a stopover. The direct flight takes about 6 hours, a flight with a stopover takes between 8 and 13 hours.
How to get to the city from Abu Dhabi Airport
Abu Dhabi Airport is about 30 kilometers east of the city center. Like everything else in Abu Dhabi, the airport is difficult to get to by public transport.
If you want to give it a try, look out for the A1 bus. The bus stops at various points in the city and costs only 4 AED (approx. 1 euro).
We took a taxi from the airport to the city. To get to the taxi stand, simply follow the signs and then take the exit in the terminal on the far left.
On the way, resourceful sellers try to sell you a transfer with a private limousine company. But that is significantly more expensive than a taxi and hardly more comfortable.
We paid 90 AED (20 euros) for the taxi ride from the airport to the hotel.
If you still prefer to drive to the hotel with a private driver, we recommend booking it online.
The driver will then wait for you with a sign in hand and take you straight to your hotel.
Private transfer from Abu Dhabi Airport
Where to stay in Abu Dhabi
For overnight stays in Abu Dhabi, we have written a detailed article in which we introduce you to the best hotels:
Where to stay in Abu Dhabi Our hotel tips
We stayed at the Southern Sun Hotel Abu Dhabi and can recommend the hotel. It is located at the northern end of the downtown coastline.
Many travelers book their time in Abu Dhabi in the famous Jumeirah Etihad Towers hotel.
In terms of location, we would recommend that you consider the two hotels, the Southern Sun and the Jumeirah, as the outer border for your hotel search.
If you're looking for your hotel somewhere in the region between these two hotels, it's totally fine.
For the well-known sights, such as the Louvre and the mosque, you have to take the bus or take a taxi anyway. Therefore, the location of the hotel is not as important as in many other cities.
If you like to explore a city on foot, then we will unfortunately have to disappoint you. We tried that and after half an hour we gave up in exasperation.
The distances between the sights are very long and in between it is simply absolutely unattractive to walk.
It is very hot, there are not sidewalks everywhere and the area between the highlights is sometimes so ugly that it is better to drive past them quickly.
In this section, we'll tell you what options you have for this.
Taxi driving in Abu Dhabi
The best option to get from A to B in Abu Dhabi is by taxi. Taxis are very cheap and can be found everywhere. We never stood on the side of the road for more than 2 or 3 minutes until we found a free taxi.
For most destinations within the city, you pay the equivalent of between 5 and 10 euros. The exact prices are as follows:
Base price: 5 AED (1.20 euros)
Price per kilometer: 1.82 AED (approx. 0.40 euros)
Minimum price: 12 AED (2.70 euros)
At night the basic price is slightly higher and if you order a taxi, you pay an additional 4 AED (approx. 1 euro).
All taxis have a taximeter and the taxi drivers always turn it on. Taxis are cheap and there is no risk of being ripped off.
Abu Dhabi Big Bus
For tourists there is a hop-on / hop-off bus that takes two routes to all of the city's main attractions.
There is also an audio guide that tells you everything you need to know about the sights in eight languages (including German).
The buses run every 30 minutes between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
There are two ticket options:
Premium ticket (valid for 2 days): approx. 80 euros
Deluxe ticket (valid for 5 days): approx. 90 euros
Here you can buy the tickets for the bus
The premium ticket includes a yacht cruise to Yas Island.
With the deluxe ticket, in addition to the yacht trip, you can also take a night tour of Abu Dhabi, a day trip to Al Ain and get a city pass for 20 attractions.
In our opinion, the deluxe ticket is worthwhile, as you get a lot more extras for only about 10 euros more.
Unfortunately, there is no subway in Abu Dhabi. Public transport is done entirely by buses. In principle you can reach all sights by bus, but it is quite cumbersome.
Unfortunately, there isn't one line that goes to all of the highlights. So you have to find the right bus for each sight and usually also change. Since taxis are just a bit more expensive than buses, it's not really worth it.
The best time to travel to Abu Dhabi
Just like Dubai or Doha, Abu Dhabi is also a typical winter travel destination. In summer, temperatures rise to over 40 degrees and it is next to impossible to be outdoors.
In winter, on the other hand, between November and April, the outside temperatures are around 25 degrees during the day. This is almost the best time to travel to Abu Dhabi, because you can then visit sights, make excursions into the desert and swim in the sea.
Language and communication
Arabic is the official language in Abu Dhabi, but everyone who works in the tourism sector also speaks English. Shop signs, menus or information boards are always written in both languages.
However, the further you get away from the city center, the more only Arabic is spoken. So if you intend to stay outside, it is worth having a dictionary with you.
Visa to Abu Dhabi
If you enter Abu Dhabi with a German, Austrian or Swiss passport, you do not need to worry about a visa before you leave.
You can get the visa for Abu Dhabi directly and free of charge for 30 days.
However, you need a valid passport (not a temporary passport) that is valid for at least 6 months when you leave the country. Children need a children's passport to enter the country.
Travel adapter for Abu Dhabi
For European electrical appliances you need an English, three-pin plug in Abu Dhabi.
With most sockets you can simply plug our plugs into two of the poles, but to be on the safe side you can pack an adapter.
We use this travel adapter and are very happy with it.
Money and Pay
For one euro you get around 4.3 dirhams (AED). As everywhere in the world, we withdraw cash from the ATM for free immediately upon arrival at the airport.
Either with our DKB credit cards or with the Santander Visa card. Here we tell you why we use these cards and how you can save a lot of money with them on vacation: The best travel credit card 2018.
ATMs are everywhere in Abu Dhabi, so you shouldn't have any problems withdrawing money in the city.
Hygiene & safety in Abu Dhabi
No specific vaccination is required from Central Europe. The hygiene on site is good and can be compared with ours.
So you don't have to worry about food poisoning, at least no more than we do.
The crime rate is also generally very low. Nevertheless, you should take care of your valuables just as well as you would in Germany and not carry around a lot of unnecessary cash with you.
You can get SIM cards either directly at the airport or in town. The best thing to do is to ask at the reception of your hotel where the nearest shop is.
The best known provider is Etisalat. Don't forget to take your passport with you if you want to buy a SIM card.
Dress code in Abu Dhabi
You should conform to the country's Muslim values and etiquette.
For men this means: shorts that do not end above the knee if possible (because that is laughed at) and no strapless T-shirts.
As a woman, it is best to wear baggy, opaque clothing that also covers your shoulders and knees.
Above all, it should be breathable clothing, otherwise you will sweat everything through within a few minutes.
And: Even if it is always warm in Abu Dhabi, you should definitely have something long-sleeved or a scarf with you. In public buildings such as restaurants, museums and shopping centers, the air conditioning is always running at full speed, so you can catch a cold quickly.
Read our other tips from Abu Dhabi as well
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