Jeddah is a city located in the Hejaz region of Saudi Arabia and it is also the commercial center of the country. Jeddah is largest city in the Makkah Province with a population of nearly four million people as of 2017. It is also the city where the planned skyscraper Jeddah Tower, previously known as Kingdom Tower and Mile-High Tower, is currently under construction: it is intended to be the first 1 km high building in the world and it’s the centrepiece of a development known as Jeddah Economic City that will also host hotels, offices and homes. Find more information about Jeddah Tower here.
Aside from being the future site of the tallest building in the world, beating the height of the Burj Khalifa once it is completed. It also offers several cultural and interesting spots to know and explore when you are in the city. There is the Jeddah Waterfront, that has served as an important seaport over the centuries, its ports have been so full of life that is has become known as the “the bride of the red sea”. This waterfront got an upgrade back in 2017 and now has about 730,000 kilometers of beaches, restaurants, resorts, parks, and mosques. And every weekend there are concerts and festivals to enjoy, since they are now legal!
Eat like a local!
You can also try Al Baik, which is Saudi Arabia’s most famous local fast food chain. It is a must-try dining experience. Even though through the years the menu has evolved to include more options, the classic fried chicken paired with Al Baik special garlic sauce, still remains the favorite of the locals. Don’t forget to order a meal, take it back to the hotel and enjoy a delicious meal. Most people prefer this option because most branches only have dining areas for men and are usually very crowded. There is also a strong cafe culture present in Jeddah. When you visit include a stop at one of the most popular or not so busy cafes in the city.
Take a walk around the city
Take a walk and explore one of the many malls Jeddah has to offer. The summer heat can get intense, so most tourist prefer to spend a lot of time in air-conditioned indoor spaces as possible. We conclude that malls are an essential part of the culture in the city, and they are so much more than just places where you can shop. Take the Red Sea Mall, it features an entire history section that has traditional paintings and decorations and paintings of historical Arabian Saudi figures, and plenty of boutiques that sell local items and dresses.
There is always something interesting about exploring the ancient parts of town, that is why you visit Al-Balad, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Jeddah. It was founded in the 7th century and was the seaport of the region. The streets and houses remain pretty much the same since, and that is why it a must-see stop during your visit, especially when you want to get away from the crowds in the malls and traffic.
Learn some local history through art
Explore the Municipality Museum, Bait Al Balad, that illustrates the history of Jeddah in with photographs and paintings. The museum is located between several other historical buildings in the area of “Balad” which means town in Arabic. It is a local belief that coral extracted by fishermen from the Red Sea was used in the construction of the museum and some of the other buildings as well. It is the heart of the city and is a must in your sites to visit in Jeddah, and if you are a fan of fish, there is also a fish market that opens from early in the morning that offers more than 50 types of fish and an experience all on its own.
The Jeddah Corniche, also known as the bride of red sea, is located alongside the sea and should be included in your sites to see in Jeddah. It is a 30 km long coastline of the region. It has tons of recreational options and restaurants to choose from for a meal. It also includes the largest man-made fountain on earth, King Fahd’s Foundation, a site to see at night with all the lights. You will find along the way 26 beautifully designed bronze sculptures.
The Floating Mosque
On the northern side you can visit the Floating Mosque, that is also known as Fatima Al Zahra Mosque. The exotic and beautiful white mosque is built on pillar that are rooted underwater, to give the impression that it is floating above the sea when the tide is high. The building is in full function and used by many locals for their morning and evening prayers, but it is open for tourists who just want to see the inside, take pictures and have a look around. It attracts millions of visitors year after year, especially during the high season.
Explore the Red Sea
Explore the wonders and beauty of the Red Sea in the Fakieh Aquarium. It is the only aquarium available to the locals and tourists that visit Saudi Arabia, and it is full of education and entertainment of the Red Sea and marvels from other parts of the world as well. You get to view over 200 species of sea animals like sharks, groupies, stingrays, seahorses, amongst others. There is a dolphin and sea lion show every day, and for a certain time in the year you can swim with the dolphins as well. If you’re an enthusiast of sea animals, don’t miss out on the chance to visit the Fakieh Aquarium in Jeddah.
Not quite convinced? Here some more things to do:
On the northern coastline in Jeddah you will find the tourist city, Durrat Al Aurus, and the Durrah Beach Resort. If you’re still looking for a place to stay during your visit you can find accommodations in one of the units, the resort offers. And the Durrah Beach Resort is only 30 km away from the Jeddah international airport.
And if you love a good roller coaster, you can find the Al Shallal Theme Park in Jeddah. It is a very popular attraction and receives millions of visitors every year. It is an amusement park that has wonderful rides that you will not see elsewhere in the country, like the double loop roller coaster and the Slingshot. There are several restaurants of international cuisine like Lebanese and Chinese as well.
Don’t forget that since you are in the coast of the Red Sea, you can also find many options for boat trips and scuba diving on the Red Sea. There are several companies that will accommodate to your needs and desires. All of this and more you can enjoy and explore in the exotic city of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.