Sunday, 18 January 2015

Explore Al-Balad, Jeddah in 1 Day – 10 Things to do

Al Balad is the Heritage part of the largest city of Saudi Arabia, Jeddah. Al Balad when translated means “The City” and after taking into account what this city actually has to offer, it is truly the city! Al Balad was founded in the Seventh Century which in beginning served as the city center of Jeddah. It was not until oil was discovered and families began to move out of this city. This city was recently added to the UNESCO World Heritage List and there is no possible reason why it shouldn't have been. One can keep wandering through the streets and be amazed. You will discover beautiful carved gates, brightly colored Mashrabiat and Rawashaan. What's most appealing about this city are the people who are very hostile and friendly. Today's read will give you ten reasons why you shouldn't miss a trip to the city of Al-Balad. Enjoy!

Land Marks of Al Balad, Jeddah
  1. Discover the Two oldest gates of the city that were built in typical Ottoman style. The two gates are the Gate of Madina and Makkah. This is part of the rich history of A Balad.
  2. Around these two gates you will find old designed merchant houses with the most famous being Al-Naseef House. This is an absolutely stunning building that has been preserved and is now open as a Museum.
  3. Another important Museum within this area is the Jeddah Municipality Museum.
  4. The First School which is now a Museum in the whole of Arabian Peninsula is also situated within the city.
  5. The famous Al Shafei Mosque is also situated here that dates back to the seventh century AD. This mosque is going under a restoration process because over the years it has sunk a bit into the ground. This city however is neglected much of the attention that it should be getting. A bit of attention can restore much of this Heritage Site.

Photography in Al Balad Jeddah
This city is the perfect place to replicate in your images. This should be the first destination if you wish to do photography. This city has beautiful views that one should see back home. If you want to avoid the hustle and bustle, Friday Afternoons are perfect otherwise just taking the stroll during an early time of the day.

Talk to the Locals of Al Balad, Jeddah
While you are here, talk to the locals of this wonderful city. Trust me you will not regret talking to these people. They will enlighten you about the locality and give you much information about the city and how long it dates back.

Explore the Markets
Explore the markets where you can find Abayas in every single color, perfumes, shoes, sandals, and handbags, jewelry made from Coral or maybe just vegetables and Arabian Coffee beans. Take the time ad explore the markets with all these varieties.

Eat something from Small Food Stalls
Make time for the small food stalls that make snacks at the very instance. The food is delicious and starts from One Saudi Riyal for a simple Shawarma.

Saudi style souvenir shopping
Go for something totally different; go on for Saudi style souvenir shopping. From wood work to show pieces or simply Arabian scent perfumes. This city has a whole lot to offer that can leave you completely happy and make your loved ones happy.

The famous Al Shafei Mosque
Within the small alleyways you will find yourself next to the cutest and smallest mosques within the city beautifully made and dated back to thousands of years.

Nasafi House View before Maghrib
Just before Maghrib time climb up to the Nasafi House to see a beautiful view of sunset that will be observed through much of the tall buildings within the city, usually homes of the locals. The beautiful color blend will leave you absolutely breathless. While you are at it don't forget to photograph this view and preserve it.

Beautifully Painted Windows
If you an architect lover make sure you look and admire the beautifully carved painted windows on the houses made especially to catch and restore the breeze to cool down the house. Along with this they gave in side privacy to the homes and gave them an overall appealing look.

Sheesha Cafés
Finally make sure you make a stop to the Sheesha Cafés or the Hookah Cafés that are situated within the city. However these are only for men. Avoid the usual tea and try something new!

The above content was initially published on Blue Abaya

Places to Visit
  1. 10 Must Visit Museums in Saudi Arabia
  2. 16 Lesser Known - Must Visit Places in Jeddah
  3. 11 Ways to Enjoy your Life in Riyadh in this Winter
  4. 8 memorable things about Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia
  5. Visa Free Access to Countries for Saudis


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