Best Places To Visit In Old Town Jeddah


June 19, 2024

Best Places To Visit In Old Town Jeddah

Discover the charm and history of Old Town Jeddah with its picturesque streets, delightful coffee spots, and authentic local cuisine.

I visited Jeddah for the first time a few years ago. At that time, the Old Town Jeddah was an abandoned center with some shops and night souks. Today, the Old Town has changed and while traditions are still alive, this part of the city looks brand new.

Old Town Jeddah is my favorite part of Jeddah and it is simply a captivating blend of history, culture, and stunning architecture. Despite being under constant renovation, with the entire project slated for completion by 2030, the area is already a beautiful testament to Jeddah’s rich heritage and its continuous evolution.

Whether you’re a photographer, a history enthusiast, or a foodie, Old Town Jeddah has something for everyone. In this guide, I’ll share the best places to visit, stay, and eat in this enchanting part of the city.

Read more: How to travel around Saudi Arabia

me walking in the photogenic streets of Old Town Jeddah
me walking in the photogenic streets of Old Town Jeddah

Most Photogenic Streets

Al-Alawi Street

Al-Alawi Street is the beating heart of Old Town Jeddah. This bustling street is lined with traditional Hijazi houses, featuring intricate wooden balconies that tell stories of the past. Walking down Al-Alawi, you’ll encounter a mix of old and new, with street vendors selling everything from spices to souvenirs. The street’s vibrant atmosphere and stunning architecture make it a perfect spot for photography.

Suq Al-Badawi

Suq Al-Badawi is a charming marketplace offering a glimpse into Jeddah’s past. The narrow alleyways, colorful stalls, and friendly vendors create a picturesque setting perfect for capturing the essence of Old Town. The market is especially beautiful at sunset when the soft light enhances the colors and textures of the surroundings.

Al-Dahab Street

Al-Dahab Street, also known as Gold Street, is famous for its numerous gold shops. The street dazzles not just because of the gold but also due to the beautiful old buildings that house the shops. The ornate facades and the gleam of gold make this street a must-visit for photographers.

Read more: How to plan a trip to Madina as a non-muslim

The mosque at the entrance of Old Town Jeddah
The mosque at the entrance of Old Town Jeddah

Best Places to Stay

Hotel Al Balad

For a truly authentic experience, consider staying at Hotel Al Balad. This hotel is steeped in history and offers a blend of traditional architecture and modern comfort. The rooms are cozy, and the rooftop terrace provides a stunning view of Old Town Jeddah. What’s fascinating is that Hotel Al Balad is just the first of many upcoming projects aimed at preserving and showcasing Jeddah’s rich heritage.

This is the first and “currently only” luxury stay in the Old Town and just for the charm of staying like the locals did 100 years ago, I think its worth a visit.

You can book a stay on Agoda or Booking and get the best prices.

Price: Starting from 500 SAR (120 EUR) per night.

Park Hyatt Jeddah

Located a short drive from Old Town, Park Hyatt Jeddah offers luxurious accommodations with modern amenities. The hotel features spacious rooms, a fitness center, and a stunning view of the Red Sea, making it a great base for exploring the city. You can book a stay on Agoda or Booking and get the best prices.

Price: Starting from 900 SAR (215 EUR) per night.

The Ritz-Carlton Jeddah

The Ritz-Carlton Jeddah provides an opulent stay with its elegant rooms and world-class service. The hotel is known for its exceptional hospitality and beautiful views of the Red Sea.

Price: Starting from 1000 SAR (240 EUR) per night. You can book a stay on Agoda or Booking and get the best prices.

Be connected at all times in Jeddah.
I got a e-SIM with Airalo and bought a plan of 10 GB for my whole stay in the country.

Read more: Top adventure activities in AlUla

Old Town Jeddah is getting a full renovation and boutique hotels are expected to pop up in the next years
Old Town Jeddah is getting a full renovation and boutique hotels are expected to pop up in the next years

Personal Recommendation: While Old Town Jeddah offers unique accommodations, it’s still a bit isolated. For a more vibrant stay with more amenities, consider areas like the Corniche or around the F1 circuit.

Luxury hotels are also quite expensive (specially if you compare to other Arabian megacities like Dubai or Abu Dhabi). My recommendation is also to stay on an Airbnb. During my few visits of Jeddah, I always stayed in an Airbnb and the experience was great.

Best Places to Get a Coffee

مقهى ومركاز حارة الشام (Harah Al-Sham Café)

Harah Al-Sham Café offers a delightful coffee experience right in the heart of Old Town. This café is a favorite among locals for its traditional ambiance and excellent coffee. The cozy seating and the aroma of freshly brewed coffee create a perfect spot for a relaxing break.

Price: Average coffee costs around 15 SAR (3.60 EUR).

Historic Nights Rooftop Café

The Historic Nights Rooftop Café provides a unique coffee experience with stunning views of Old Town Jeddah. The rooftop setting is perfect for enjoying a cup of coffee while taking in the beautiful architecture and vibrant street life below.

To be honest, I think the whole café should be a museum.

Price: Average coffee costs around 20 SAR (4.80 EUR).

روشان كافية (Roshan Café)

Roshan Café combines modern coffee culture with traditional Hijazi elements. Located in a beautifully restored building, the café offers a variety of specialty coffees and local treats. The inviting atmosphere makes it an ideal place to relax and enjoy the local culture.

The location is also amazing and as a photography lover, you will find thousands of angles for a great photograph. This was for sure my favorite café in Jeddah.

Price: Average coffee costs around 18 SAR (4.30 EUR).

This cozy cafe in Old Town Jeddah is my favorite place in this part of the city.
This cozy cafe in Old Town Jeddah is my favorite place in this part of the city.

Best Things to Do

Get Lost in the Old Town

One of the best ways to experience Old Town Jeddah is to simply get lost in its narrow streets and alleyways. Walking without a plan allows you to discover hidden gems, from beautiful old houses to charming little shops. Each turn offers something new and unexpected, making it an adventure in itself.

Visit the Old Town Souk and the Gold Souk

The Souks in Old Town Jeddah are vibrant marketplaces where you can find everything from spices to traditional clothing. The Old Town Souk offers a glimpse into the local life, while the Gold Souk dazzles with its numerous gold shops. Don’t forget to haggle; it’s part of the fun!

Price: Free entry; shopping prices vary.

Each street in Jeddah can be very beautiful
Each street in Jeddah can be very beautiful. Also, expect incredible hospitality.

Visit the Key Landmarks of Old Town Jeddah

Explore the key landmarks that define Old Town Jeddah’s heritage:

  • Nassif House Museum: A beautiful example of traditional Hijazi architecture, now a museum showcasing Jeddah’s history.
  • Bab Makkah: One of the old city gates, offering a glimpse into the historical entry points to the city.
  • The Gate: A symbolic entrance that represents the gateway to Jeddah’s rich history.

Find an Antique at the Antique Shops of Jeddah

Jeddah’s antique shops are treasure troves of history. From old coins to traditional furniture, you can find unique items that tell stories of the past. Spend some time browsing these shops, and you might find the perfect piece to take home.

Read more: Best things to do in AlUla

Don't forgeet to visit the Souk. However, don't be like me and go at night to avoid this.
Don’t forgeet to visit the Souk. However, don’t be like me and go at night to avoid this.

Explore Jeddah like an expert.
Book a tour with Viator or Get Your Guide and find the perfect itinerary for you.

Best Places to Eat Local Food

Ba’eshen Seafood

Ba’eshen Seafood is a popular restaurant in Old Town Jeddah, known for its fresh and delicious seafood. The local seafood restaurants are a favorite among locals, offering a variety of dishes prepared with the day’s catch. The relaxed atmosphere and flavorful food make it a must-visit.

Price: Average meal costs around 80 SAR (19 EUR).

Stairs Restaurant

Stairs Restaurant offers a simple dining experience with its local setting and delicious traditional Saudi cuisine. The menu features a range of local dishes, all prepared with fresh ingredients. The friendly staff and charming ambiance make it a perfect spot for a memorable meal.

Price: Average meal costs around 70 SAR (17 EUR).

Al Mulla Bakery

Al Mulla Bakery is a must-visit for anyone with a sweet tooth. This bakery offers a variety of traditional Saudi pastries and sweets. The freshly baked goods and the cozy atmosphere make it a great place to enjoy a treat and a cup of tea.

Price: Average pastry costs around 10 SAR (2.40 EUR).

INSIDER TIP:  Be like a local and try the Saudi coffee and dates. This is one of the best and simplest traditions in Saudi Arabia. Order a pot of Saudi coffee and get some dates.

I can't wait to see Old Town Jeddah completely renovated
I can’t wait to see Old Town Jeddah completely renovated

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Old Town Jeddah is after sunset when the area comes to life. The cooler evening temperatures make it more pleasant to explore, and the streets are bustling with activity. Avoid visiting between 12 PM and 5 PM unless you want to experience a ghost town, as the midday heat can be quite intense.

Old Town Jeddah architecture
Old Town Jeddah is a place to spend a whole afternoon. Besides wandering around and getting coffee, there is not much to do (yet!)




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