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Discovering Jeddah: A Beautiful Blend of Tradition and Modernity


Located on the shores of the Red Sea, Jeddah is an enchanting fusion of old-world charm and ultra-modern elegance. With its captivating history, stunning architecture, vibrant shopping scene, and scrumptious cuisine, this gem of the kingdom offers a unique experience for every traveler.

Read on to explore Jeddah in all its glory, shedding light on its attractions, accommodations, eateries, and the places to visit around it.

 

An ornately carved wooden door in Tayebat International City, a museum complex dedicated to pre Islamic and Islamic history and culture

 

About Jeddah (New and Historic Jeddah)

 

The largest city in Makkah Province, the largest city in Hejaz, and the second-largest city in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Jeddah, the port city is a commercial hub and a major urban center of western Saudi Arabia. Its roots trace back to ancient times, with the historic Al-Balad district bearing testament to its rich past.

Today, the city is not just an economic powerhouse but also a cultural melting pot that brings together various cultures and traditions.

Historic Jeddah, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a mesmerizing maze of narrow streets lined with coral-stone houses adorned with ornate wooden balconies. New Jeddah, on the other hand, showcases cutting-edge architecture and infrastructural sophistication, the centerpiece being the Jeddah Tower, soon to be the tallest structure in the world.

 

People walking near the Wonder Wall at the Jeddah Season City Walk

 

Accommodations in Jeddah

Jeddah offers a wide range of accommodations catering to all preferences and budgets.

  • Luxury Hotels:

  • Budget Hotels:

  • Resorts:

    • If a resort stay is what you fancy, Jeddah has you covered. Resorts like the Durrah Beach Resort and Al Bilad Hotel offer serene settings with ample amenities.
  • Home Stays:

    • For a more local experience, consider booking a homestay. Airbnb has numerous listings in Jeddah, ranging from cozy apartments to luxurious villas.

 

Jeddah A speed boat sailing past the floating mosque, Al Rahma Masjid

 

 

Top Attractions of Jeddah

 

  • Al Balad:

    • Step back in time and wander the narrow lanes of Al Balad, where you can marvel at the centuries-old coral-stone houses.
  • Jeddah Waterfront:

    • Unwind by the Jeddah Waterfront, a sprawling 30km coastal area featuring a corniche, parks, fountains, and exquisite sculptures.
  • Arabian Horse-Riding in Jeddah:

    • Experience the thrill of riding Arabian horses, one of the oldest and most esteemed horse breeds in the world.
  • Jeddah Art Promenade:

    • Stroll along the Jeddah Art Promenade, home to over 400 sculptures and monuments by international artists.
  • Jeddah Yacht Club:

    • Revel in the luxury of sailing on the Red Sea by chartering a yacht from the Jeddah Yacht Club.
  • Jeddah Beaches:

    • Soak in the sun at Jeddah's beautiful beaches such as Silver Sands Beach and Durrat Al-Arus.
  • King Fahd’s Fountain:

    • Don't miss King Fahd's Fountain, the world's tallest fountain, soaring up to 312 meters. King Fahd Fountain is a much-loved Jeddah landmark and a 30-year-old monument in the middle of the Red Sea.

 

Nassif House in Old Jeddah, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with Jeddah's oldest tree in front

 

Shopping in Jeddah

From modern malls to traditional souqs, Jeddah is a shopper's paradise.

  • Al Khayyat Center and Jeddah Park:

    • For high-end fashion, head to Al Khayyat Center or Jeddah Park, where international brands await.
  • Jeddah Boulevard and Le Prestige Mall:

    • For a luxurious shopping and entertainment experience, visit Jeddah Boulevard or Le Prestige Mall.
  • The Multicultural Souqs of Jeddah:

    • For a taste of the local market scene, explore the vibrant souqs such as Al Bazaar and Souq Al Alawi.
  • Red Sea Mall and Mall of Arabia:

    • If you’re after a variety of retail outlets under one roof, Red Sea Mall and Mall of Arabia are the go-to places.

 

Red Sea Mall, for high end retailers like Dior

 

Restaurants and Cafes in Jeddah

Jeddah's culinary scene is as diverse as its population, boasting a wide range of local and international cuisines.

  • Jeddah’s Freshest Seafood:

    • Enjoy the bounty of the Red Sea at seafood restaurants like Al Khayam Restaurant and Shrimp Zone.
  • Meat Restaurants:

    • Experience meat the local way at places like Al Baik and Kanz Obhur, known for their delicious grilled meats.
  • Fine Dining in Jeddah:

    • Indulge in a gourmet experience at high-end establishments such as Nozomi and Byblos.
  • Jeddah Local Cuisine:

    • Relish traditional Saudi dishes at places like Al Khayyat Restaurant or Mataam Al Sharq.
  • International cuisines in Jeddah:

    • For global flavors, visit eateries like Shababik (Lebanese), Sakura (Japanese), or Al Khayyam (Iranian).

 

A close up of a selection of popular traditional foods in Jazan

 

Around Jeddah

Jeddah's strategic location makes it a great base for exploring nearby attractions.

  • KAEC:

    • The King Abdullah Economic City is a modern city known for its thriving business, cultural events, and pristine beaches.
  • Makkah al Mukarramah:

    • If you are on a business trip or in transit at Jeddah airport, visiting Makkah Al Mukarramah is very easy from Jeddah city or airport. At a short distance of approx 85 km, it takes approx an hour to visit Masjid al haram for your Umrah.  
  • Yanbu:

    • A port city is known for its beautiful beaches and scuba diving sites.
  • Taif:

    • Known as the "City of Roses", Taif is famous for its cool climate, fragrant rose gardens, and historic sites.

 

MAKKAH-Man in traditional dress raising his right hand performing the tawaf at the Kaaba at al-Masjid al-Haram in Makkah

 

Whether you're a history buff, a food lover, a shopaholic, or just a curious traveler, Jeddah has something for everyone.

From its historic heart to its futuristic skyline, from its local souqs to its lavish malls, from its traditional eateries to its fine-dining establishments, Jeddah truly is a city where history and modernity intertwine in the most captivating ways.

 

A 3D sign for Jeddah on the Jeddah corniche

We hope this comprehensive guide entices you to explore Jeddah and immerse yourself in the rich experiences it has to offer. Safe travels!

 

Shad Siddiqui

A seasoned Tourism & Travel business professional with +20 years of significant experience, Shad has traveled extensively around the globe Especially Far East, China, the Middle East, Africa, the United States, and Europe. He is currently working with La Vacanza Travel, New Delhi

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