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Address: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Description: Reminiscent of the Arabian nights fairytales, this vibrant marketplace...
Reminiscent of the Arabian nights fairytales, this vibrant marketplace with multi-storied mud brick and stone buildings sells everything from textiles and sparkling silver and gold ornaments to spices and honey.
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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    Excellent
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    Very good
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    Terrible
A jewel in chaos

Jeddah is a big port city in the Kingdom of Saudi arabia.With construction on in full swing which aims at making the city a tourist attraction of Middle East ,the down side is... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed May 7, 2013
FannyIllinois
,
Kolkata (Calcutta), India
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210 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
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English first
San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
13 attraction reviews
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2013

It's just several blocks of busy shopping streets, full of local stores selling mid- to low-end stuff. Interesting to watch local folks (especially the fact that street vendors could transact business in almost complete darkness).

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Sheffield
Top Contributor
158 reviews 158 reviews
27 attraction reviews
166 helpful votes 166 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2013

As everyone else has reported, Al Balad is a fascinating piece of of the old town, built long before the city expanded up and down the coast. The old buildings are made of fragile coral blocks and several have disintegrated, with rubble cascading onto the streets. Some have been well-maintained, showing that it is possible to renovate and restore but... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
7 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2013 via mobile

It a must visit for first timer in Jeddah, you will see the old houses and old souk ( market ) but it could be way better if there were taking care of this old treasure. You can feel this place is neglected and all those nice building will disappear some day

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Kolkata (Calcutta), India
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
20 attraction reviews
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

Jeddah is a big port city in the Kingdom of Saudi arabia.With construction on in full swing which aims at making the city a tourist attraction of Middle East ,the down side is utter traffic chaos plus disorganised crowds.In all this I really like the Commercial market area in Balad district with Queens Building at the back where I ,a... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
dubai
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
10 attraction reviews
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

Have been in jeddah many times, visit balad area, its very good combination of historical buidings and street shopping, on one side the shopping centres of corniche ,mahmal,faisalyah and queens to other side of historical buildings of long back ago in history and architecture combination. The best stop if you visit al balad is corniche centre or queens building from... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Amman, Jordan
Top Contributor
99 reviews 99 reviews
63 attraction reviews
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2013

Built from layers of sea stones and wood. Many story buildings that are still in use. Many, unfortunately, are neglected. Unique to the area.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Portland, Oregon
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2013

I lived in Jeddah for almost a decade some years ago, and return almost every year. Al-Balad (or "downtown" or "city center") is always on my places to visit when I return 'home'. Al-Balad is the area of the city where one experiences a true 'souk' experience in Jeddah, with small shops selling everything from textiles to gold. Alley-way after... More 

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Cambridge
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

Ignore the malls and head down to Balad for a taste of real Jeddah. Yes, it's rundown in places but this is the authentic gateway to Mecca, with some really stunning and unique old buildings.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Kingston, Canada
Top Contributor
300 reviews 300 reviews
143 attraction reviews
142 helpful votes 142 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

We visited this area twice during our recent trip to Jeddah. When the stores and market are closed for religious observance during the early part of the day on a weekend (Friday), there will be few people to be found. This resulted in a great opportunity to see the architecture and appreciate the history of the area. Look up to... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2013

The old part of town with so much to tell. It's downfall is lack of proper upkeep or even interest in doing so, hopefully that will change soon.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1

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