The Multicultural Souqs of Jeddah

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Local and international markets have been a huge part of Jeddah for generations, adding to the city’s diverse and colorful culture. They are a must-visit for visitors who have yet to experience the joys of bargaining and exploring the nooks and alleyways of intertwining local shops.  

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Old Turkish and Afghan Souq  

Located in Al Hindawiyah, the Afghan market is best known for its intricate, handwoven carpets that leave each visitor dreaming to collect. Standing for over half a century, the market’s tight roads are packed with souvenir shops and Afghani food vendors.  

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Yemeni Souq 

Also found in Al Hindawiyah, next to the Old Turkish and Afghan souq, the Yemeni market has been standing for nearly forty years. The market is often crowded with visitors looking for a variety of Yemeni products ranging from food and juices to clothes and pottery. Popular purchases for locals include Yemeni spices, Arabic coffee, and jasmine flowers, which are used for special occasions.

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The Souqs of Historical Jeddah 

Historical Jeddah, locally known as ‘AlBalad’ is host to all things Hejazi in the city. The market street along Bab Al Makkah is a gateway to the other souqs scattered around the area, some over 140 years old. If you are a culture shopper – you need look no further than the alleyways of souq Al Badu and souq Al Alawi - where you’ll find local fabric stores, incense, bakeries, and all types of goods, showcasing the true essence of Jeddah and its history. If you’re lucky, you’ll run into an antique shop, which has been passed down families for generations.  

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Souq of Khans

Also referred to as Qaysareeya, this market is a melting pot of cultures. Here you’ll find South Asian wares, from vibrant fabrics, intricate jewelry, alongside local Shalkhy (floral) fabrics. Some great finds also include mouthwatering foods and spices that ignite the senses. Keep a lookout for the ful madames (fava beans) paired with scrumptious paratha bread often sold in ‘hole in the wall’ style cantinas. You can also wander through Khan AlQasaba, which specializes in the cloth trade, Khan Al Daleen, where you’ll meet auctioneers and Khan Al Attareen for local perfume makers and sellers. 

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