Jeddah has no shortage of museums, most of which are located in the historic part of the city in Al Balad. Although the entire area of Historic Jeddah is like an open air museum, there are many museums in the area that function as wide windows to Jeddah’s past. With the temperatures cooling down now after a sultry summer, it is the best time to visit some of these museums that are often overlooked.
1. Jeddah Days Of Bliss Magad
This private museum has an interesting collection from a time when Saudi Arabia was first exposed to the West. Most of the items on display here are from an era that runs from the formation of the country to the 1960’s. Old banknotes, the very first Pepsi glass bottles and gramophones among many other things that came from the industrialized west during the mid-20th century are the star attractions. Though rather small in size, the museum will make you feel nostalgic, literally a walk down the memory lane. All born in the 20th century will feel as if they have stepped into a place where childhood memories are revived.
Coordinates: 21.484121, 39.187368
2. Municipality Museum (Bait Al Balad)
It’s a journey back in time, a tribute to Hejazi architecture. According to locals it is believed that the museum was built by fisherman using coral from the Red Sea. The museum’s impressive collection majorly consists of paintings and photographs by Saudi artists. Visitors to Bait Al Balad will often find themselves distracted by the architecture of structure whilst scrolling through the displays as the building in which the museum exists is equally remarkable as the artifacts it houses.
Coordinates: 21.487823, 39.182659
3. Jeddah Encyclopedia Center
Want to get to know Jeddah better? This newest addition to Jeddah’s museums will help you with just that. Visitors can expect all info about Jeddah here through a series of photographs, which number to around 5000. The Encyclopedia Center documents Jeddah’s development and progress right from the time of being a small trading town to the modern metropolis that it is now. The center is a pictorial journey of the transformation of Jeddah.
4. Bait Al Nasseef
It is considered to be the grandest mansion in the Historic Jeddah area and luckily for tourists, it has been converted into a museum. The multi-storied building is considered to be the epitome of Hejazi architecture. Bait Al Naseef was also the temporary dwelling of King Abdul Aziz. Inside, there are intricate wood carvings on the facades, railings, pillars, and ceilings. One can expect to see kitchen utensils, pottery and photographs from a bygone era. Though the collection of items within the museum is scanty, it is the edifice that is the lure here.
Coordinates: 21.484065, 39.187615