The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an Islam-dominated country that has deep roots in history and a unique heritage. It’s primarily famous for being home to the city that never sleeps, Makkah. However, Jeddah is one of its most vibrant cities worth visiting. Seeing how far this city has developed makes it hard to believe it was once just a tiny fishing village. “Jeddah Is Different” is the motto people live by in this remarkable city of the Hijazi Region.
Spanning along the Red Sea coast, Jeddah is often referred to as the Bride of the Red Sea. It comprises a multicultural community, embracing different nationalities from all over the world, all co-existing peacefully. The city also welcomes fancy malls with a wide array of luxurious brands, iconic landmarks, and an undeniable vibrance that you’ll fall in love with.
Although it isn’t the capital city of Saudi Arabia, it always gives off that vibe. Besides, people rank it as the most fabulous city in the country, given that it’s considered a rather conservative community. Contrary to a common belief that Jeddah is only a spot to purchase expensive stuff, there’s a lot to explore here.
1. Observe King Fahad’s Fountain (Jeddah Fountain)
While exploring the Saudi streets, it’s hard to miss this fascinating landmark, King Fahad’s Fountain. It also goes by the name Jeddah Fountain, ranked as the world’s highest water fountain. There’s great charm in seeing the waters powerfully ejected to great heights and beautifully cascading into the sea. It’s an ongoing show that gets even prettier at night when the fountain illuminates and remains visible from afar.
2. Go Shopping at Red Sea Mall
Most of the Gulf region is known for its luxury shopping and fancy malls, and Jeddah is no exception. It’s home to more than a few fascinating huge malls, offering a unique shopping experience.
However, Red Sea Mall remains the most captivating one, being the biggest shopping mall in all of Jeddah. It’s situated near the International Airport, which is a little far from most of the lively neighbourhoods. Yet, it’s an unmissable destination that will take you on a magnificent journey across high-profile brand names and a wide variety of dining restaurants.
3. Walk Along the North Corniche
The temperature in Jeddah may not be the best for walking along the coast of the Red Sea. However, the North Corniche is a part you don’t want to miss. It’s a long pathway along the coast, featuring a wide array of coffee shops and restaurants spanning along the way. This place is also perfect for family gatherings, where people have picnics on the sands and children run around having fun in the presented play areas.
4. Discover Luxury at El Tahlia Street
El Tahlia is one of the most lavish streets in Jeddah. It is lined with high-end shopping stores and fine dining restaurants and serves as a racing platform for luxurious cars. This is a spot where Ferrari and Porsche are the norms. You can see them roaming around with their roaring engines in various colours. It’s quite a scene for car lovers; you can enjoy watching the cars while grabbing a cup of coffee at Starbucks or sitting down for a delectable dessert at The Cheesecake Factory.
5. Explore Al Balad, Old Jeddah
Al Balad is considered the downtown of Jeddah. It’s the city’s oldest district, displaying ruins and other archaic buildings that you can marvel in. This district is also home to local shopping brands and street vendors. You can pick up some goods while exploring the historic area. There’s also a vast Gazzaz building, owned by one of the wealthiest Saudi families, where you can find high-profile makeup, perfumes, and other cosmetic goods.
6. Play at Chuck E. Cheese’s Jeddah
Interestingly, Saudi Arabia has its own Chuck E. Cheese, and it’s always crammed with people and children from different nationalities. Take your friend and enjoy your time being kids again. There’s so much to do around here.
Eat the irresistible pizza and dip it in the ketchup sauce without having an adult warning you from overeating sauces. Challenge one another at some of the best arcade games or go on an ice skating experience you’ll never forget. Your inner child deserves some spoiling.
7. Revisit History At Baab Makkah
Bab Makkah means the Gate of Makkah, part of Old Jeddah, where many local shops and Saudi restaurants lie. It’s also a great spot to buy souvenirs for your family and friends back home. This massive three-arched gate is one of the city’s historic landmarks.
The naming is because this district leads to the holiest city in Islamic culture, Makkah. It’s the city where Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) was born, so it’s a sacred land for Muslims.
8. Indulge at Al Baik, The Most Famous Food Chain
Al Baik is a fast food chain that serves different kinds of chicken and shrimp alongside some flavoursome sauces and condiments. It’s one of the most popular food chains in Saudi Arabia that you can’t find elsewhere around the Arab World.
This food brand gained massive popularity among all the nationalities residing in Saudi Arabia, not only for its unique taste and excellent quality but also for being the cheapest and most affordable. You should grab one of those hot boxes and munch on some heavenly chicken broast.
9. Don’t Miss Fakieh Aquarium
Fakieh Aquarium is one of the unmissable spots in Jeddah. It’s the only public aquarium in all of Saudi Arabia, and it offers glamorous aqua life, unravelling the wonders of the Red Sea. This place is home to both entertainment and education.
They offer educational tours about the fish living in the aquarium and the colourful coral reefs. Not only will you learn a lot about the sea and deep oceans, but you’ll also get to see marvellous living creatures you never knew existed.
10. Go Arabian Horse Riding
Saudi Arabia is home to one of the world’s largest deserts. It embraces vast landscapes of soft dunes caressed by the scorching heat of sunlight. Besides, it’s also home to one of the best horse breeds in the world, Arabian horses. This breed is known for its might, unprecedented strength, and exceptional beauty.
If you’d like to see one of these pure breed horses, head to one of the horse stables in the desert in north Jeddah. You can unlock new skills while hopping on one of those horses and learning to tame them.
11. Experience Luxury at Jeddah Yacht Club & Marina
Like most Gulf countries, Saudi Arabia is a fascinating country that speaks of luxury and extravagance. Yachts are part of the Saudi lifestyle, so treat yourself to one of the fanciest clubs and explore new features of the country.
Jeddah Yacht Club & Marina is luxurious, with several yachts sitting proudly at the docks. It also features fancy dining restaurants, high-profile shopping, and excellent hotel services. This place has assisted in skyrocketing the country’s tourism capital, for it attracts people from all over the globe to indulge in its magnificent grandeur.
12. Swim At Top-Notch Private Beaches
Jeddah is a city that booms with life, but that doesn’t mean you can’t escape the bustle to a serene spot to recharge your battery. Private beaches are top go-to destinations that make a loud statement, although there are vast public coastlines. Contrary to popular opinion, this means Saudi Arabia can be a great summer destination.
Obhur is a district in Jeddah that features a lot of resorts with exclusive beach services that cater to all sorts of travellers. The oldest private beach in the district is known as Durret Al Arous, and it accepts visitors with no memberships to enjoy its fascinating services. Many other resorts include Indigo, Salhia, OIA Resort, and more. However, most of them are membership-based.
13. See Jeddah Art Promenade
If you’re an art lover, Jeddah has a perfect spot for you to delve into the fascinating form of art, its huge Art Promenade. It’s a whole residential area that sits by the sea, overlooking the renowned King Fahd’s Fountain. This place is where international events are held, which makes it suitable for all family members of all ages.
Different restaurants and cafes proudly sit within the promenade, offering exceptional culinary experiences. So, you can always grab a bite or two while immersing yourself in the beauty of this place’s artistry.
14. Have Fun at El Shallal Theme Park
Lastly, there’s more fun awaiting you in Jeddah if you happen to be a fan of adrenaline rush and big thrills. You can find all of this at El Shallal Theme Park, one of Jeddah’s biggest parks that have been around since 2005. It’s owned by Abdul Rahman Fakieh, a prominent Saudi businessman with several projects in Jeddah and all of Saudi Arabia.
The park is sometimes referred to as “Fakieh Poultry Farms”, which makes sense now that you know the owner’s name. El Shallal is home to a flying carousel, rollercoasters, a slingshot, Amazon flume ride, Samba tower, and an ice skating field. It also hosts many entertaining shows on special occasions and holidays like Eid El Adha and Eid El Fitr.
It turns out that Saudi Arabia is more than just a holy country with religious spirits. Jeddah is where vibrancy stands out, spreading thrills and fun vibes all around the place. Thus, you should make it your next destination if you’re looking for a truly unique travel experience.