Delve into the streets of AlBalad and discover sites that are filled with so much history.
Since its establishment as a major port for ancient trade, AlBalad acted as a portal for pilgrims who are visiting Makkah by sea.
The Bride of the Red Sea as it is also called, is a place where tourists can marvel at the beauty of mosques, museums, and markets. It is indeed an introduction to the rich history of the hijaz.
While taking a stroll in AlBalad, practice your photography skills. With its unique architecture, to food, and streets; you will definitely find something to capture.
The old doors and windows in AlBalad will take your breath away, known for their vibrant colors and patterns. Visit Nasseef House on Suq Al Alawi St, a historically significant building that has been turned into a museum and cultural center. Apart from its own history, it also depicts Makkah’s through the years.
Right before Maghrib (sundown) prayer, make sure you get to the rooftًop of Al Nasseef, to watch the sunset over AlBalad, with the beautiful sounds of Athan (call to prayer). The Jeddah Municipality Museum is a must-visit after Al Nasseef. Occupying an old building that has been restored, this museum displays vintage antiques and cultural items that date back to thousands of years.
If you have time, try to stop by Al Shafe’i Mosque, which is one of the most famous mosques in the area.
Visit Al Nada and Alawey Souks, which are well-known and distinguished for their freshly-picked produce, authentic Saudi souvenirs such as incense, oud and perfumes, spices and dates, scarves, leather goods, abayas, and much more. They do reach their peaks during Ramadan, as shoppers come for the cultural festivals that are held here. If you head to Al Saghah – jewelry souk in AlBalad, you’ll find crafted pieces and jewelry sets; at a very reasonable price.
For the foodies, this is your haven. You will find vendors selling different kinds of authentic delectable dishes from carts and stalls. Cooked on the spot, and can be as cheap as a riyal; the smell alone while walking on the streets will make your stomach growl.
One of the must-haves is the delicious Balilah (Chickpeas), which is a well-know Hijazi dish. For those wanting to have a street food adventure, seek out the Kebdah stalls usually peppered around AlBalad. Our tip is to start your search in front of the Queen’s Mall. Kebdah is made up of chopped liver sautéed with tomatoes; rest assured that a single serving of this will give you your fill.
Want to play it safe? It’s tradition to walk around this historical area with ketchup smothered street fries in-hand, or a cup of corn, sometimes both. Welcome to our childhood.
Quick Lists At Al Balad
AL balad shopping list
– Abaya and Shemagh
– Dates and Spices
– Oud Perfumes
– Patterned Textiles
AL ALAWI SOUK
– Mistika & essential oils
– Coral Jewelry
AlBalad Eat List
1. Ful and Tamees
(creamed fava beans & flat bread)
(sweet & savory dish made up of bananas and flatbread + toppings of your choice)
3. Kebdah (liver)
4. Shahi Adani
(milk tea with spices eg. cardamon)
(sweet cake made from samolina batter, and sweetened with a simple syrup)
JEDDAH Al BALAD EVENT CALENDAR (PDF)