Jeddah is known around the world for being the gateway for pilgrimages in Makkah and Madinah. It is also a popular tourist destination and features beautiful beaches, open-air art sculptures, a large waterfront area filled with restaurants and cafes, impeccable architecture, ancient forts and sites, hotels and resorts, and amazing shopping hubs. There are numerous fun and exciting things to do in Jeddah.
Jeddah city is easy to reach. It is served by King Abdulaziz International Airport and is connected to major cities of the country via regular flights. Tourists can hire a taxi or rent a car to explore the beautiful sites and destinations in Jeddah. While visiting, there are some amazing experiences that are worth bucket-listing. In this blog, we look at:
- 3 Top things to do with the family in Jeddah
- 3 Fun things to do in Jeddah
- 4 Best cultural experiences
- 2 Top adventure activities in Jeddah
- 3 Things to do in Jeddah at night
Top things to do in Jeddah with family
1. Visit the serene beaches
Jeddah, nestled on the Red Sea coast, is known for its beautiful beaches where visitors may relax and unwind. Travelers can enjoy excellent sunset views, adventurous beach experiences, and long romantic walks on public and private Jeddah beaches, which offer a serene atmosphere. Standing on the beach along the Red Sea shoreline provides breathtaking views and is a lovely way to escape from the chaos of city life. The best beaches in Jeddah that you should visit are Al Saif Beach, Khaleej Salman Beach, South Obhur Beach, Silver Sands Beach, Thuwal Beach, Dhaban Marine Park, South Corniche, and Duurat Al Arus Beach. Situated in a secluded location, Silver Sand Beach is the most peaceful place in this commercial city. The entrance fee of Silver Sand Beach is 150 SAR, which includes entry to the beach, access to changing rooms, and washrooms.
2. Offer prayers at famous mosques
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia’s primary urban and cultural centre, is also home to several exquisite mosques. King Saud Masjid, Jeddah’s largest mosque, is stretched out over 9,700 sq m, with 2,464 dedicated to the prayer arena. The floating Al Rahma Mosque is also a popular mosque, built-in 1985. It is one of the most renowned mosques in Jeddah. Worshippers prefer visiting the mosque after dawn or sunset as it gives a beautiful view with the streaming lights and mesmerizing view of the Red Sea. Al Rahma Mosque is a private mosque constructed by a famous family of Jeddah city. Another popular mosque is Sayidna Aisha Masjid. It is a modern mosque that has reimagined traditional mosque characteristics like domes and minarets. Sayidna Aisha, with its conical shape and stalactite-like crystal glass mimbar, stands out among the city’s many mosques.
3. Take a sightseeing day-tour
Bicycle Square, also known as Midan Addarajah, was installed in 1982. It is a 50-foot metal sculpture of a bicycle considered a must-visit place for tourists. Visitors love to take pictures of the roundabout or with the bicycle sculpture. Situated on the northside of the Islamic Seaport, Jeddah’s Lighthouse is claimed to be the world’s tallest lighthouse. The lighthouse is 436 feet tall. Tourists cannot enter the seaport; however, they can take a picturesque view of the lighthouse. The Globe roundabout is located at the intersection of Assalam Street and King Abdulaziz Road. During the night, the black and grey colored globe light up with blue and green lights that display the map of the world. It looks spectacular during the night, so one is suggested to visit the place after sunset.
King Fahd’s Fountain is the world’s tallest fountain which is popularly known as Jeddah Fountain. It uses saltwater taken from the Red Sea instead of freshwater. There are numerous standpoints from where tourists can watch the King Fahd’s Fountain clearly and enjoy the serene view. A walk along the fountain fencing is pleasing and calming.
Fun things to do in Jeddah
4. Have a fun day at the Jeddah theme parks
The city is home to some of the most adventurous and amazing theme parks. Al Shallal Theme Park is sprawled over an area of 60,000 sq m and offers various fun outdoor activities. It is an ideal place to spend a good day with kids. Visitors can enjoy activities such as boat rides, skating rink, and arcade games. The embolic ride of the park is the Big 8 roller coaster. Another marvelous theme park in Jeddah is Atallah Happy Land Park. It has more than 100 rides and is one of the largest amusement parks in the city. Moreover, it has outdoor and indoor rides suitable for all age groups. Apart from the adventurous and thrilling rides, the park also offers arcades and video games. Tourists can shop from the retail outlets and buy toys and gifts for their family members. Jungle Land Jeddah is also worth exploring.
5. Watch the dolphin show at Fakieh Aquarium
Fakieh Aquarium is one of the first marine exhibitions opened in Saudi Arabia and is the only public aquarium in Saudi Arabia. It is home to over 200 marine species, including sharks, seahorses, sea lions, and stingrays. Tourists can enjoy the amazing dolphin show. With numerous activities, there is also an on-site restaurant where tourists can eat delicious food.
Address: Next to، Al Kurnaysh Rd, Al Nawras
Opening Hours: 10 am to 11 pm from Sunday to Thursday | 1:30 pm to 11 pm on Friday | 1 pm to 11 pm on Saturday
6. Shop at famous malls and markets
Mall of Arabia is one of the best shopping malls in Jeddah. It features colorful bright wall LED lighting and an elegant white interior. With a vast variety of international brands, one can find each and everything they need. The food court of Mall of Arabia serves top-quality food in a wide range of options. Another one is the Red Sea Mall, located in the Northern suburb, the Red Sea Mall covers an array of dining places, contemporary cafes, local and international brands, and entertainment centers. Even the local markets and souks are a great places to pick pretty souvenirs that reflect the rich Arabian culture.
Other malls in Jeddah: Serafi Mega Mall, Aziz Mall, Haifaa Mall, and Al Salaam Mall
Cultural experiences in Jeddah
7. Explore Al-Balad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Al-Balad, the old city centre of Jeddah, was founded in the 7th century and retains its unique architecture and charm. With the old city gates, historic mosques, various traditional markets (souqs), and a museum, there are many things to do and see here. Bab Mecca, a medieval gate in Al-Balad, is a renowned tourist destination in the ancient town. Masjid al Shafi’i, Jeddah’s oldest mosque, is another famous site. The colorful mosque, built in the classic style of 970–1171 CE, boasts elaborate Islamic calligraphy and patterns on its walls. Al-Balad is a must-see for bargain hunters and those looking for unique mementos. There are hundreds of little stores or souqs along the narrow lanes, selling everything from watches and clothes to incense and antiquities. The famed Naseef House, which dates from the 19th century, is also located in Al-Balad. It was transformed into a museum and cultural centre in 2009, after serving as the home of a notable family and later as the household of King Abdul Aziz.
8. Visit the important historical sites
Explore the popular historical locations to get a sense of the city’s rich history. Some of the important ones are:
- Nassif House: The Biet Nassif Mansion Museum is a beautiful historic house erected in the late 1800s on Jeddah’s main thoroughfare. It was once a gathering place for people of high social status, and the mansion’s 106 rooms now house pieces of art and samples of Arabic calligraphy. It presently serves mainly as a museum.
- Beit al Balad: Beit al Balad is a historical museum in Jeddah that displays items and photographs depicting the city’s past. The museum is housed in a cream-colored stone structure typical of local Hejazi architecture and has been renovated and maintained.
- Gate of Mecca (Baab Makkah): The Mecca Gate, commonly written “Makkah,” is located just outside of Jeddah on the road to Mecca and has welcomed numerous pilgrims on their way to Mecca. Built-in 1979, the gate forms an archway over the road.
- Jeddah’s Abdul Raouf Khalil Museum: The Jeddah Abdul Raouf Khalil Museum is spread across numerous buildings in Jeddah’s Al Madani, Al Andalus neighborhood. The museum complex preserves the area’s Islamic legacy while also documenting pre-Islamic cultures dating back over 2,500 years. Artifacts from the Ottoman Turks and pieces from early local fishing tribes are among the items in the collection.
- Khuzam Palace Museum: Khuzam Palace houses the Jeddah Regional Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography. The Palace Museum in southern Jeddah’s Al-Nuzlah al-Yamaniyah sector has exhibits on the area’s history and antiquities from pre-Islamic cultures, including some dating back to the Stone Age.
9. Explore indigenous authors at Jarir Bookstore
The Jarir bookstore possesses the city’s widest collection of books, showcasing cultural books, ancient books, mythological books, and history books. Tourists can buy the book of their favorite authors from the never-ending collection. The bookstore is present in various locations.
Jarir Bookstore locations: Al Tahaliah Street, Falasteen Street, Town Square at Abdullah Suleiman Street, Jeddah Airport – Domestic Terminal, King Abdulaziz Road, Prince Majed Road, Jarir Mall at Prince Sultan Road, and Sary Street.
Timings for all stores except the airport location: 9:00 am to 11:00 pm from Saturday to Thursday, and 4:30 pm to 11:00 pm on Friday. The store at the airport is open 24 hours.
10. Try local eateries and food stalls
Jeddah’s restaurant scene is rich in spice, shared platters, meter-long kebabs, and sushi, blending Middle Eastern and Asian foods. Eating out in Saudi Arabia’s capital is a truly global experience, with worldwide culinary influences colliding with traditional Saudi cuisine. Some of the must-visit restaurants are Al Khayam, Piatto, Toli, and Al Nakheel. Each of these has its own unique decor, signature food, and breathtaking vistas. Then there is Al Baik, the amazing Saudi Arabian fast-food chain that opened in 1974. It serves a variety of fried chicken and seafood dishes with some of its authentic signature sauces. Not just the food, Al Baik also has a contemporary setup with an awe-capturing interior.
Adventure activities in Jeddah
11. Take a Jeddah Desert Safari Tour
Saudi Arabia, especially Jeddah, is famous for its vast stretches of sand and visitors travelling to Jeddah should not miss out on the opportunity to enjoy an evening or morning desert safari tour. The beauty of the Jeddah Desert is immensely splendid and it is one of the most visited tourist spots in the city. The evening desert safari will unravel the hidden natural beauty of the city, leaving visitors spellbound. An unforgettable camping experience in the Jeddah Desert under the clear night sky is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Visitors can start their desert safari by engaging in dune bashing, sand boarding and camel riding. If tourists plan an overnight desert safari, they can enjoy desert camping with little bonfires and BBQ facilities. Sleep under the sky and stargaze at millions of stars lighting up the golden sand.
12. Enjoy Scuba Diving in Jeddah
Situated near the Red Sea, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is known for its beautiful coastal cities, and Jeddah is one of them. Jeddah has beautiful coastlines, which makes it an ideal spot for scuba diving and snorkelling. The spectacular marine life of the Red Sea and the perfect maritime climate around the area make Jeddah’s scuba diving sites a convenient and safe choice. Scuba diving in Jeddah is special because the Red Sea has a higher salinity than many other seas, which is beneficial for good blood flow in the body. Moreso, the Red Sea’s marine life is huge and diverse. It is home to many rare species of fish, including solitary sailfish, the fastest fish in the world. Some of the favourite scuba diving sites in Jeddah are Sharm Obhur, Shipwreck Island, Abu Faramish, Jabal Al Laith and Shipwreck of Ann Ann.
Things to do in Jeddah at night
13. Go stargazing at the beaches
Imagine having a fine-dining experience under a starry night with a cold sea breeze gushing around the coast, making the whole environment more lively than ever. This sounds nothing short of a fantasy, but this can become a reality in Saudi Arabia. Visitors can experience the most beautiful night sky in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, at the Khur Al-Shadaiq Beach. The Khur Al-Shadaiq Beach is one of the most famous beaches in the city and is famous for its long coast and evening sky studded with millions of twinkling stars. The Red Sea facing the beach is the perfect spot for taking dives and observing its unique marine life. There is also a nearby island, which is explorable through vessel trips. Visitors can choose to have their meals under the sky and observe the beauty of nature closely with their loved ones.
14. Camp at Jeddah Deserts
It is common to imagine extensive sand deserts when thinking of Saudi Arabia. While Jeddah is a coastal city, it does not fail to surprise its visitors as it is also home to a vast stretch of sandy desert. Visitors can have the best of both worlds, the beaches and the sand desert, at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. There are morning and evening desert safari tours that one can choose from. Visitors can go snowboarding, sand dune bashing, camel riding and much more. The unique night desert safari experience has also become quite popular these days. Here, visitors stay overnight, camping in the Jeddah deserts, enjoying the serenity and beauty of the night sky.
15. Enjoy splendid views at the King Fahd’s Fountain
The King Fahd’s Fountain graces the sunset in Jeddah at a spectacular height, making it visible from practically everywhere surrounding the Red Sea. The waterjets can reach astonishing heights of up to 300 metres. King Fahd’s Fountain is not just about the fountain. It has much more than scenic vistas. The very famous Jeddah Corniche offers visitors the chance to stroll along, sample a variety of delicacies from the many sellers, and sip hot coffee while seeing the magnificent fountain. The best part about this fountain is that there is no ticket fee, making it easily accessible.
Address: G48W+727 Meeza International Tourism Services Co. Ltd، Al Andalus, Jeddah 23311, Saudi Arabia
Opening Hours: King Fahd’s Fountain’s water jets start after sunset (maghrib) and remain till 3.00 am.
As Jeddah is a highly-developed city in Saudi Arabia, it is easily accessible via various modes of transport. Tourists can easily reach the city and other popular spots to spend an amazing time with their family and friends.
Things To Do In Jeddah FAQs
Is Silver Sands Beach a private beach in Jeddah?
Yes, Silver Sands Beach on the Red Sea is private. Entrance costs around USD 40, including access to the beach, washrooms, and changing rooms. In addition, there is a small cafe that serves drinks and light meals. While this private Jeddah beach can get crowded on weekends, it is a terrific place to relax, snorkel, swim, and dive in the crystal-clear waters.
Can I swim with the Dolphins at Fakieh Aquarium?
Yes, visitors can enjoy a live dolphin show or even the opportunity to swim with the friendly dolphins for an extra fee at Fakieh Aquarium.
Which are the Middle-Eastern restaurants in Jeddah?
Byblos, Mataam al Sharq and Shawarma Shakir Aljazeera are 3 of the top middle eastern restaurants in Jeddah.
When was Al-Balad, the old city centre of Jeddah founded?
Al-Balad, the old city centre of Jeddah, was founded in the 7th century.
How can I spend my day in Jeddah?
Jeddah, one of the most famous cities in Saudi Arabia, is best known for its tourist attractions. Tourists visiting Jeddah can explore its desert for dune bashing and camping or dive into the Red Sea for snorkeling and scuba diving. They can then spend time at historical and cultural sites like museums or admire nature at beautiful aquariums and parks for some indoor activities in Jeddah. They can visit the famous Jeddah Corniche to witness the world’s tallest water fountain.
What makes Jeddah special?
Jeddah is one of the few cities with an elongated coastline, which makes it an ideal location for summer getaways. The beaches are perfect for escaping from the scorching heat, and water sports, like snorkelling and scuba diving in the Red Sea, which make Jeddah even more appealing. Jeddah also has a desert where people can go for desert safari tours and engage in sand boarding, dune bashing and camping. Jeddah also acts as the gateway to Makkah and Madinah.