There is no place like Jeddah. With its own charm, customs and a wonderful Corniche, this coastal city has been welcoming people to its shores for centuries and today stands as a true representation of multiculturalism. Diversity extends to every corner of the city, from the thriving arts scene and food culture, to the countless architectural influences. Whatever your tastes, you’ll find it in Jeddah.
For both the initiated and the uninitiated, a visit to Al Balad, the historic downtown area of Jeddah originally built in the 7th century, is a memorable experience. The area’s charm has been preserved through careful restoration of the striking townhouses and narrow streets. Come for the unique architecture, the colorful markets and enchanting atmosphere.
Each corner of Jeddah’s Al Balad has a story to tell, and Naseef House is no exception. This restored coral house was once the royal residence for King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud, following his conquering of the city in 1925. Inside you can see ramps that were installed to allow camels to walk all the way up to the upper terrace and a beautiful neem tree at the entrance, once believed to be the only tree in Jeddah. Today, Naseef House is a cultural center offering exhibitions, lectures and more.
The Tayebat City of Science and Knowledge is a must-see museum, housing an extraordinary range of exhibits and collections. Bringing pre-Islamic and Islamic history to life across 300 rooms and 12 buildings, including a mosque, the museum spans the House of Saudi Arabian Heritage, the House of Islamic Heritage, the House of International Heritage and the Public Heritage exhibition.
The most famous stretch of Jeddah is its corniche, a 30km promenade that frames the coast of the Red Sea. If the view and sea breeze isn’t enough, there are plenty of restaurants, recreation areas and pavilions along the way to relax and unwind in.
Jeddah’s art scene is thriving – from modern to contemporary to post-modern, the city’s galleries offer something for everyone. Among the highlights is the open-air Jeddah Sculpture Museum located on the corniche, which houses specially commissioned pieces from artists including Henry Moore, Jean Arp, Alexander Calder and Jean Miró.
The King Fahd Fountain is a landmark of the Jeddah skyline, firing water 312 meters into the air at a speed of 375 km an hour. Go at night to see its silhouette illuminated by 500 spotlights, for the perfect photo opportunity.
Getting out on the Red Sea is the best way to experience the Jeddah lifestyle. Spend a full or half-day on a private boat to enjoy fishing and swimming, or dive among some of the world’s best-preserved coral reefs and rich marine life.
Jeddah’s food scene is eclectic and ranges from excellent street food to sublime modern cuisine. We recommend hitting up a local seafood spot – one of many across the city – for a taste of Hijazi cuisine.