An Innsider’s Guide to Jeddah
Small fishing port turned major commercial center, Jeddah is an important trading port and a popular destination for pilgrims on their way to Mecca. Now, with the arrival of a new, flexible e-visa, Saudi Arabia is opening its doors to the world. From its rich culture to its breathtaking beaches and sands of the Red Sea coast: Read on to discover the top five reasons why Jeddah should be on your 2020 travel list.
Walks to remember
Spanning over 100 kilometers in total, Jeddah’s stunning corniche is impossible to miss. Following major redevelopment efforts in 2017, the laidback coastline has become a dream for long, leisurely strolls in the tropical Jeddah sun. Stop to admire outdoor sculptures against the backdrop of the glistening Red Sea. From any corner of this stretch you’ll be able to spot the tallest fountain in the world, the 312-meter-high King Fahd’s Fountain.
In with the old
Known as “The Bride of the Red Sea,” Jeddah has been welcoming visitors long before it became the official seaport for the holy city of Makkah in 647 CE. Nowhere is the town’s unique blend of old and new as visible as in its enchanting center, Al Balad. Spend a day exploring its narrow streets with buildings made of coral and hand-carved wood, and stop at ancient mosques like the Al-Shafi’i Mosque and Uthman bin Affan Mosque, two of the oldest in the city.
Saudi Arabia’s largest bazaar is easily one of the most significant sites to see in Jeddah. Big, bustling, and bursting with colors, Souq Al Alawi invites you to get lost in its maze of narrow alleyways. Follow the scent of exotic spices and the shouts of street vendors selling produce and crafts, and pick up some local treasures the likes of juicy Arabian dates and the famous pancake-like street food called Mutabbaq.
Get in the scene
An important player in the Saudi art scene, Athr is among the most experimental contemporary art galleries in the region. Designed to promote dialogue, the art space exhibits the works of young and established artists at the forefront of the Middle Eastern arts scene, covering paintings and sculpture, ceramics and photography.
The deep red sea
Make a splash on your trip to Jeddah at Desert Sea Divers. Here you can plunge into the crystal-clear Red Sea and enjoy the dive of a lifetime. With visibility up to 30 meters, come up close with flora and fauna, not to mention wrecks, coral gardens, underwater canyons, and colorful fish.
An unrivaled location
Brand new to the scene, the Park Inn by Radisson Jeddah Madinah Road is the perfect introduction to this cosmopolitan city. Wedged between tourist sites, the business district, and King Abdulaziz International Airport, you’ll find 84 contemporary rooms and suites including daily breakfast with a paper. And with a location just 20 minutes from the city, what’s not to love?
The new eVisa is a one-year, multiple entry visa to Saudi Arabia, allowing you to spend up to 90 days in the country. International visitors from eligible countries can apply for an eVisa and discover the warm hospitality of Saudi people. Planning on a visit to Jeddah? Start planning your Jeddah trip today and snap up a 50-euro Park Inn by Radisson voucher with our Tag2Win Instagram competition.