As the commerical heart of the kingdom, and a UNESCO world heritage site, Jeddah’s inimitable blend of old and new makes it among the kingdom’s most magical places to explore – and the best way to see the sights is on foot. Here's how to spend a day exploring the narrow streets and ancient heart of Saudi Arabia's most enchanting historic town.
Start your walk at the eastern edge of the historic Al Balad (old town) near the majestic Makkah Gate. Today, this tasteful reconstruction is a reminder of what the medieval city’s ancient walls once looked like; during the month of Dhu'l Hijjah, a thousand talbiyyahs were chanted by white-clad pilgrims as they passed beneath its impressive triple arch, announcing their intention to perform the most important spiritual journey of all.
Jeddah’s Al Balad is famous for its intricately designed houses, built using coral from the depths of the Red Sea and boasting colorful rawashan balconies, known as mashrabiyyahs. Look up as you amble by to see some of the finest examples of coral architecture anywhere in the world.