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 For centuries, Jeddah has been a meeting point for traders, travellers, and pilgrims in the Red Sea. It is a major port, an important commercial centre and the second-largest city in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia — famous for its wealth of restaurants, cafes and shopping districts, as well as for its comparatively liberal social life. But to many, the city is more important because it is a gateway for millions of pilgrims on their way to the holiest places in Islam: Mecca and Medina. It is a grand city with history, personality, and tons of opportunity.


1 riyal (SAR) = 100 halalas


Police: 999
Fire: 998
Ambulance: 997


Saudi Gazette


The working week is generally from Sun–Thu with some businesses open Saturday mornings. Government offices: 7:30am–2:30pm. Banks: 9:30am–4:30pm. Private businesses: 8am–12pm and 4–8pm.


4.6 million (2020)


Saudi Tourist & Travel Bureau Ltd.
Center Al Madinah, Al-Madinah Al-Munawarah Rd, Mishrifah, Jeddah
+966 2 665 9251
Sat-Thu 8am–8:30pm
Closed on Friday

Public park at jeddah beach Joe El Naggar/

The City

With a population of over four million inhabitants, Jeddah is the second-largest city in Saudi Arabia, and its long history as a major port and important commercial centre is clearly palpable in the cosmopolitan mix of its people. Gathering millions of Muslim pilgrims on their way to Mecca and Medina throughout its history, the city has become an amalgamation of people and cultures, flavours and aromas, customs and traditions. Nowhere is this tradition more evident than in Al-Balad, the old town, which showcases the city's architectural past with its white coral buildings, narrow alleyway souks, and old city gates.

But it is also a city of fun and entertainment, as it is of fine dining, elegant cafes, and great shopping. It is a place where the country's wealthy come to enjoy and indulge in the city's famous seafood and liberal attitude. The fabulous Corniche is the very essence of leisure, with friends and families enjoying pleasant strolls along the water, sunset picnics on the grass or parties at the hotels and beach resorts all along the 35 kilometres of the walkway.

Fishermen fishing in redsea at sunset Joe El Naggar/

Do & See

Many of the city's attractions and entertainment can be found along the corniche, from bizarre sculptures and a record-breaking fountain to parks, restaurants and museums. But savvy travelers will also want to stray a bit from there to discover the old town with its white coral buildings and historic city gates, or visit some of the city's fantastic museums. There are also mosques, markets and a top-notch aquarium to explore, so visitors to Jeddah are sure to have a full itinerary.

Victor Jiang/




Andrew V Marcus/

King Fahd's Fountain

Mohd Nawi/

Al-Rahma Mosque (Floating Mosque)

Olesia Bilkei/

Fakieh Aquarium


City Gates

Johanna K M Nilsson/

Central Fish Market

Yousefmadari/Wikimedia Commons

Abdul Raouf Khalil Museum

Hummus, chickpea dip, with rosemary, smoked paprika and olive oil in a metal authentic bowl with pita on a wooden background. Anna_Pustynnikova/


Pilgrims, traders, and voyageurs have been coming to Jeddah for centuries, bringing with them delicacies from their lands and cultures. As a result, Jeddah's dining scene today is rich in variety and quality. The city boasts a wealth of fine international restaurants, bringing together flavours from around the world, which are then combined with local ingredients to create truly unique dishes.

Yesudeep Mangalapilly/Flickr

Chennai Darbar Restaurant


Section B

Grant Slater / Flickr

Sakura Japanese Restaurant


Dar Al Qamar

Luisa Leal Photography/


Eldred Lim/

Asia Restaurant

Arabic tea and dates Sophie James/


Jeddah has a long history with coffee and tea, as traders and travellers often brought different and exotic varieties of beans and leaves. Today, visiting cafes is one of the city's most beloved pastimes. Friends and families gather at the numerous Arabic and Western-style cafes to enjoy hot cappuccinos, fresh teas, and fruity shishas.

Gang Liu/

Caffe Aroma


Titanium Café



Arabic coffee pot with hot coffee Peter Kremzar/

Bars & Nightlife

The cultural environment in Saudi Arabia is highly conservative. Religious law forbids the sale or consumption of alcohol throughout Saudi Arabia, so there are no bars or nightclubs. Instead evening social activities are centred on shopping or dining out in one of the city’s many restaurants or cafés whilst indulging in a delicious mocktail (a mix of fresh fruit juices) or strong Arabic coffee.

dried herbs flowers spices in a spice souq Zhukov Oleg/


Shopping in Jeddah, like the city itself, is a mix of old and new. Centuries-old souks still function as the commercial blood vessels of the city, selling everything from clothing and jewellery to fruit and spices in narrow alleys packed with people, colours and fragrances. At the same time, huge and modern shopping centres offer all manner of international products and entertainment for the whole family.


Souq Al Alawi

Nong Mars/

Tahlia Shopping Center

dean bertoncelj/

Mall of Arabia

Naufal MQ/

Thanaa Addas

Tourist Information

Cultural Norms

When strolling and exploring the city please make sure you wear the appropriate attire. Women should be covered from neck to ankle and in certain areas scarves are used to cover the face and head. Shorts and tank tops should not be worn outside of your accommodation by women. For men, loose clothing is recommended and shorts are prohibited.

When visiting, please make sure you respect and abide by the laws and culture of the country.





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Passport / Visa

Saudi Arabia introduced a new eVisa system in October 2019, dramatically simplifying visa applications for citizens of multiple world countries, including the USA, Canada, China, Japan, Australia, and much of Europe. The new multiple-entry visa will be processed within record time (as quickly as 30 minutes), issued for one year, and will allow visitors to stay in the country for up to 90 days during its validity period. This marks a watershed moment in the country’s history, as Saudi Arabia has historically been off limits to non-Muslim tourists, with visas notoriously difficult to secure.

Citizens of countries not covered by the eVisa program will still need to turn to their nearest consulate to obtain a visa.





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Best Time to Visit

Jeddah is well known for its dry and hot weather but surprisingly it has very pleasant and cool winters. Summers here are extremely hard to handle, as the temperatures rise over 45 degrees. Jeddah is also known for its dust storms which come from the deserts in the Arabian Peninsula. The best time to visit the city is from late October to March when the weather is not unbearable and temperatures are between 10 and 20 degrees.





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King Abdulaziz International Airport

King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED) is the largest airport in Saudi Arabia, located about 20 km north of the city of Jeddah. The famous Hajj terminal is specifically for the use of Muslim pilgrims on their way to Mecca. The two regular terminals are 8 km apart, and the only way to get between them is by taxi. This is also the best way to get to the city. Be sure to agree on a price with the driver before stepping into the vehicle.

Address: Medina Road, Jeddah


Phone: +966 9200 11233


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Public Transport

Taxis are by far the most common way to get around the city for tourists. Buses are not commonly used, but they are very cheap and can be a bit of a cultural experience. Larger buses are government-run and don't follow a schedule. Smaller buses are privately-owned and run and can be a more reliable option. Many chain hotels also have minivan services that take guests from the hotel to some of the commercial areas of the city.





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Taxis are a fast and affordable way to move in Jeddah. There are two types: regular yellow taxis are cheaper, but tend to be quite old and sometimes dirty. Newer white taxis, known as "limousines" are air-conditioned and in very good shape. There are also unlicenced taxis, but these are illegal and it is not recommended to take them. One reputable taxi company is Makkah Taxi.



Phone: +966 55 803 0464


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Post Office

Saudi Post - Al-Balad

Address: Al-Balad, Jeddah


Phone: +966 9200 05700


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Outline Pharmacy

Address: Prince Saud Al Faisal, Al-Rawdah, Jeddah


Phone: +966 55 647 9032


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Country code: +966
Area code: 2





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Voltage: 127/220 V
Frequency: 60 Hz
Power sockets: type A / B / F / G





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