The Arabic word Al-Balad means 'the Town.' Al-Balad's particular architecture and appeal still exist today, even though the city's walls were destroyed in the 1940s. The town grew into an ancient commerce port and served as Makkah's principal entry. It is famed for its antique coral-stone homes adorned with magnificent lattice windows.
As you approach the colorful poles that welcome guests to Jeddah's Al Balad neighborhood, take time to do the follwing:
A dilapidated majlis is a short distance from Al Balad's main entrance, directly behind the fake Jeddah Gate that denotes the start of the historic district. The town's meetings are held in this red-cushioned seating area, quickly passed by on foot.
You can see a three-story house with numerous little private balconies and windows across the street, though. Go to the cozy majlis area for the best views and delicious pastries.
Visit Historical Nights, a charming cafe with excellent coffee and breathtaking neighborhood views, as soon as you arrive in Al Balad. Enter and ascend to level two for the best rooftop views. Massive air conditioners are reducing the oppressive humidity in Jeddah.
Baeshen House, located next to Historical Nights, is an excellent example of the coral stone and timber constructions that make up most of Al Balad's dwellings. On the walls are historical pictures of the merchants of the Baeshen family.
Take a seat on one of the rowhans typical of the area (plural of rawasheen). These seats have traditionally been regarded as the coolest places to sit in the house due to their unusual design, which protrudes from the main wall and enhances air circulation. A mosque is also housed in this majestic structure.
An area that still maintains a very Arabian vibe is the old pilgrimage road, also known as Al Dahab Street, which was initially the only path for travelers to Makkah. Due to the thriving street vendors, carts filled with trinkets, and brightly colored shops selling abayas, textiles, clothing, shoes, and more, it's a great place to find a one-of-a-kind souvenir.
At the top of the old pilgrimage route is Bait Nassif one of Al Balad's most important buildings. When visiting Jeddah, King Abdulaziz, the first king of Saudi Arabia, stayed here for three years. The massive structure is one of the district's best-preserved buildings.
Currently in charge of the area around Bait Nassif is a young Saudi artist named Ahmad Angawi. He employs antiquated methods to create new works of art inspired by Islamic values instead of being affected by Islamic aesthetics. To see some of his creations, stop by The House of Traditional Arts, or take a stroll around the neighborhood to see them strewn over the plaza.
Along the path, the artist planted the herbs and spices traded in Al Balad's formative years. Walk down the cobbled road while inhaling the aromas of the leaves, touching them, or even tasting them for a complete experience.
Many Jeddah residents claim that the modest Saidi Bakery serves the greatest freshly made bread. The tiny Saidi Bakery, in Jeddah, is regarded by many residents as producing the city's best freshly made bread.
There's a significant probability that you would miss this location if you weren't aware that it was there. You'll likely find Saidi Bakery, which is close to Talat Al Aydarus Boulevard, when you smell freshly baked bread. For a few riyals, you may get a delightful slice of fresh khoobz that has just been removed from the brick oven where conventional bread has been baked for almost a century.
Pass by the playground, where kids play on trampolines while teenagers congregate in front of outdoor TVs mounted on the park walls. You can take part if you ask to. Expect some polite talk when buying grapes from the vendors wheeling the antique carts down the street. Even the aggressive street domino players are sociable.
Jeddah 21481 Saudi Arabia