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Best Historical Places In Jeddah: Mosques, Museums And Markets


Jeddah is the principal gateway to Makkah, only 65 km from Makkah city and 360 km from Madinah. It is also the commercial center of Saudi Arabia, home to Jeddah Islamic Port, which is the largest and the second busiest seaport in the Middle East. But its the historical places in Jeddah that make it a delight for tourists. There are some really beautiful mosques, ruins of palaces and forts, museums and markets that showcase the souvenirs. Then there’s the lovely old Jeddah city that is developing into an engineering and technological leader in Saudi Arabia. It is also a popular destination for visiting famous Islamic historical places in Jeddah. The historic Jeddah city has an interesting past however modern civilization has surpassed the old physical boundaries. The city is expanding towards the Red Sea coastline to ensure connectivity with the rest of the world and other cities of Saudi Arabia. Here’s a look at the city’s most splendid historical tourist spots.

Historical places in Jeddah

1. The Floating Mosque


Built on stilts over the water, the Floating Mosque or the Al Rahmah mosque, Jeddah is a famous and sacred mosque that appears to be floating. With stunning architecture, it is open to pilgrims and travelers. It is a stopover for those intending to perform Hajj or Umrah. With a white marble tomb, the mosque stands as an epitome of spirituality. It has Quranic verses carved in Arabic script on 56 vibrant windows. Travelers and devotees often come here during early morning hours or evenings to witness beautiful sunrises and sunsets.

Hotels near Floating Mosque Jeddah

  • Holiday Inn Jeddah – al Hamra, an IHG Hotel
  • Red Sea Seasons Hotel Suites
  • Hyatt House Jeddah Sari Street

2. Khuzam Palace & Museum

An epitome of the architectural marvel, the palace holds a special place in the history of Saudi Arabia. It served as the erstwhile abode to King Abdulaziz, the first monarch of Saudi Arabia between 1928 and 1932. The palace got its name after the abundant plantation of tulips in the region. It was the first palace in the kingdom that used iron and cement in its construction. At least 3m high walls surround the palace, and the main gate has a tower on either side.

Located inside the Khuzam Palace, the museum exhibits artifacts from the pre-Islamic era and Stone Age. It attracts a lot of visitors interested in getting acquainted with the past. The museum in Jeddah has two floors divided into six halls – Prehistoric Hall, Islamic Hall, Jeddah Hall, Folklore Hall, King Abdulaziz Hall and King Saud bin Abdulaziz Hall.

3. Farsi Mosque


Al-Farsi Mosque is a marvel of modern architecture situated on a small Island near Jeddah Corniche. It is designed with a pleasant blend of contemporary models and the old Islamic structural vocabularies. The mosque features architectural elements such as open vaulted domes and shaded wooden screens and is among top aesthetic places in Jeddah. These structures assist in availing environmental benefits for maintaining the indoor lighting and temperature of the mosque. Tourists and devotees visit the mosque for congregation prayers, blissful serenity, and soothing ambiance.

4. Abdula Raouf Khalil Museum

Stretching over several buildings, this museum is located in the Al Madani, Al Andalus area. It has records from the pre-Islamic era and showcases the Islamic heritage in chronological order. It has artifacts that go back to more than 2,500 years. Many items make visitors aware of the people from the fishing tribes and Ottoman Turks.

5. Makkah Gate or Baab Makkah


Built in 1979, Makkah gate is a popular Islamic historical places in Jeddah that served as an entry to the holy city of Makkah. It welcomes pilgrims and offers an astounding view at night with a dazzling landscape furnished with gardens and trees. Samir Elbad was the architect and Dia Aziz Dia designed the gate. Its construction resembles an arch over the road and has three primary parts – two wings stretching from premises to merge above the road, an open book above the road, and two premises on either side of the road. The holy book Quran sits on a rehal stand. There is a market near the gate that features malls, shops and developing markets where one can buy authentic traditional items like clothes, jewellery, accessories, household decorative items, etc. Small restaurants here are renowned for serving authentic Arabic cuisine that includes dishes like makadim, raas mandi, Bukhari rice with lamb’s skull, kibdah, etc.

6. Historical Jeddah or Al Balad


Being part of old Jeddah city and Jeddah historical district, this area boasts maze-like streets and historic laneways that speak volumes about the past civilizations. Bait Al Balad and Nassif House Museum are the two places that every tourist must visit to experience the history of Jeddah, its people, and Arabic calligraphy. In 2014, historical Jeddah became the UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is where Misk Historic Jeddah, an annual event, takes place and highlights the cultural and historical significance of Al-Balad. Many fun and entertaining activities are organised for children and adults.

7. Tayebat City Museum


Boasting 2,500 years of heritage of fishing tribes, pilgrims and Arabian Trade, Tayebat City Museum takes visitors back in the time. Its construction belongs to Hijazi Style featuring ornate minarets and airy window screens. The premises of the building stretches to 18 wings spread over four floors. It displays more than 60,000 artefacts, manuscripts, re-creation of Kaaba, ancient coins and traditional costumes of Saudi Arabia.

8. Nassif House


Also, called the Biet Nassif House Museum, it has an amazing architecture built in the late 1800 on the main street of Jeddah. Initially, it served as a place for conducting gatherings of high-class people. Today, it showcases Arabic calligraphy and art works in its 106 rooms and is one of most alluring aesthetic places in Jeddah.

9. Souq Al Alawi


Travelers often visit this old Souq to shop for antiques, spices, and handicraft items. The vintage streets here offer the best experience of old Jeddah city. It is famous for selling organic hibiscus flower tea and petals. As vehicles are not allowed in the area, tourists and locals take a stroll without any worries. People also buy traditional clothes and jewelry sold only in this market.

10. Hassan Enany Mosque

Located near the Middle Corniche Park in Jeddah, Hassan Enany Mosque beautifully showcases the opulence of Islamic architecture. The mosque has a massive dome with a golden tiled structure and Byzantine-inspired minarets. The gates of the mosque open up to a large hall decorated with calligraphy in Thuluth script and repeating arabesque. The courtyard can accommodate a large number of worshippers praying in unison. The mosque speaks volumes about the progressive culture of modern Saudi Arabia, keeping the Islamic aesthetics alive.

History of Jeddah

As per the Ministry of hajj, the city was inhabited for more than 2500 years. Additionally, Jeddah has been the center of trade since the pre-Islamic era. The city has seen many warsf such as the Siege of Jeddah, the Ottoman–Saudi War, the Revolt during World War I, and more. During the Siege of Jeddah, important structures were raised, including the six gates and six watchtowers. Further, numerous castles and forts were also built by different rulers to fend off the attacks of the enemies, of which Qishlah of Jeddah is highly popular among tourists. Jeddah has greatly evolved over the years owing to the constant change in rule and power struggle to reign over an important trade region in the Arabian peninsula. In addition, the old trade routes have led to the development of modern-day Jeddah as a thriving commercial capital of Saudi Arabia.

With spiritual vibes and tranquility, there are a lot of tourist and historical places to visit in Jeddah. The city is not far from King Abdulaziz Airport offering domestic and international flights. The city has road connectivity with other important cities of the kingdom like Dammam, Makkah, Riyadh, etc. There are many good options for hotels and restaurants in the city as well. To enjoy to the fullest, tourists should look out for Jeddah upcoming events and plan their visit accordingly.

Suggested Read: Top 30 Tourist Places To Visit In Saudi Arabia

Historical Places In Jeddah FAQs

Why is Jeddah popular?

The city is the gateway to the holiest city in Islam, Makkah. Several historical sites, beautiful stay options, and fine-dining food joints make it a popular tourist destination. It is also the most liberal city in Saudi Arabia.

Is Jeddah safe for women travelers?

Yes, the city is safe for all kinds of tourists. It is a commercial center of Saudi Arabia and has every facility available to make the journey to the kingdom comfortable and memorable for every gender.

Does Jeddah have beaches?

Yes, Jeddah has many stunning, isolated, and clean beaches. Some renowned names include Silver Sands, Salhia, Durrat Al Arus, OIA Resort, and Indigo.

Does Jeddah have destinations for family visits?

Yes, Jeddah has theme parks, markets, adventure parks, and mosques where travelers can visit with their families.

Are there any malls in Jeddah?

Yes, Jeddah has many malls, and one of the most famous is the Red Sea Mall.

Pratyush Srivastava

I think, every human is a beautifully concealed epoch in the making with God to unravel it at the perfect time. Hence, synergizing with distinctive individuals in search of an interesting story is my favorite work as a writer and creator.

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