11/18/2022     by Guest Contributor

Can’t Miss Sites When Visiting Jeddah

Nestled on a stretch of Red Sea coastline, the Saud Arabian port town of Jeddah has long been a major commercial hub. Between trade and pilgrimages, outside influences have long blended together here to create a culture rich with nuance. Where do you even start when visiting? What should you see? Heave a sigh of relief: We’ve compiled a couple of options for you. Here are our quick picks of what you can’t miss when visiting Jeddah.
A stroll through Al Balad feels like a stroll back in time to long-ago eras.

Al Balad

Perhaps the best place to start your exploration of Jeddah is with its roots. Al Balad garners the distinction of Jeddah’s oldest neighborhood, as well as a unique snapshot in time. While many of the other neighborhoods in Jeddah developed rapidly with the influx of oil money, this former city center stayed unchanged, thus solidifying its status as an important heritage and cultural hub. Now known as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, its open-air markets stand as a stark contrast to the more modern shopping malls found throughout the city. While you peruse Al Balad’s stalls, keep an eye out for historical landmarks like the Old Jeddah Wall.

It's easy to see how Al Rahma Mosque earned its nickname.

Al Rahma Mosque

Jutting out over the water, Al Rahma Mosque has more than earned the nickname “The Floating Mosque” — its pearly white facade and brilliant turquoise dome are a stunning contrast to the Red Sea, especially so at sunrise or sunset. Inside, you’ll notice modern architectural style on full display, as well as classical Andalusian patterns, contemporary and traditional Islamic art and an impressive chandelier. Lining the walls are 56 ground-level arched windows, allowing for visitors to gaze out on the magical views outside. As the mosque is open 24 hours a day, there is no need to fret about visiting before it closes, but do be aware it’s considered disrespectful to visit as a non-Muslim during one of the five daily prayer times.

King Fahd's Fountain makes for quite the spectacle.

King Fahd’s Fountain

As a beloved Jeddah landmark, King Fahd’s fountain is a 30-year-old monument located off the city’s coast in the Red Sea. Typically operating from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m., the fountain will launch seawater 260 meters into the air in a dazzling display of aquatic engineering. While this is visible from across the city, strolling along the Alhamra Cornish during sunset is the ideal way to view — you can easily grab dinner from one of the many stalls to accompany the fountain’s show.

Fakieh Aquarium provides the chance to come face to face with the Red Sea's inhabitants.

Fakieh Aquarium

If at any point you look out at the Red Sea and say to yourself, “I wonder what kind of marine life lives there?” then a trip to the Fakieh Aquarium is in order. As the first marine exhibition in Saudi Arabia, the aquarium’s vast tanks and tunnels house over 200 species — approximately 85% of them are native to Jeddah’s unblemished coral reefs. Come for the upside-down jellyfish known as Cassiopea, stay for the tunnel through the tank that allows you a close-up view of zebra and sand tiger sharks!

Ready to see for yourself all that Jeddah has to offer? Our travel agents are poised to craft a vacation for the ages. Our professional expertise is paramount to planning a trip to this country — after all, tourism is still new in Saudi Arabia. With a travel agent’s help, you can rest easy knowing a professional has your back from booking to returning home.

Connect with a travel agent today to get started crafting your getaway to the incredible city of Jeddah.

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