Al Balad is a bustling market with multi-story mud brick and stone structures that are evocative of the Arabian Nights fairytales. This place sells everything from fabrics and shining silver and gold decorations to spices and honey. Take a moment to orient yourself as you reach the brightly painted poles that welcome visitors to Jeddah’s Al Balad neighbourhood.
History Of Jeddah Streets
Don’t feel disappointed by Al Balad’s run-down appearance despite its collapsing structures, dusty streets, and hordes of stray cats. The history of the region is intriguing.
The origin story of this neighbourhood starts in the seventh century. Jeddah stands as the second-largest city in Saudi Arabia and this spot was originally its beating centre. The town served as Makkah’s main entrance and developed as an ancient trading harbour. It is now renowned for its traditional structures constructed with coral stone.
Visit #AlBalad and discover ornately carved doors, delicately inscribed windows and colorful wooden balconies… if you know where to find them.
— Visit Saudi (@VisitSaudiNow) September 29, 2022
You might notice a lot of big doors standing in your way of exploring the streets. The story dates back to history when they were used for the protection of alleys.
UNESCO Acknowledged Spot
Find out where the antique residences that were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List were converted into art galleries. Specialised eateries utilising the most up-to-date methods and technology are present now. In AL-Balad, the wooden Rawashins dangle above as a representation of traditional architecture that watches over the contemporary life that goes on below it.
The Al-Balad location, Historic Jeddah, foundation laid on the lovely coastal land before being designated as Makkah’s royal harbour in 657 AD. Through the ages, it attracted individuals from various cultures and spheres of society. This region of the world reveals a human legacy. Its walls faced many historical challenges with eight gates, each with a storied past. Additionally, it is home to around 10 antique houses that are famous for their unique architectural features and the identities of their ancient lineages.
Grab A Bite While Exploring These Historic Streets
We highly recommend trying the delectable Shawarma Shaker when you’re seeking a fast bite to eat. Indulge in Jeddah-style food after your tour of these neighbouring markets.
Additionally, you might try making a reservation in advance at the quaint, real-deal Baisi Ras Al Mandi cafe. It serves only a small selection of regional specialities. The atmosphere transports you back to the days of Old Jeddah.
Al-Saidi Furn bakery is the best way to start your mornings. It is well known for producing some of the tastiest baked pastries. The smell of freshly baked bread will likely lead you to this spot.
Cover Image Courtesy: Visit Saudi