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“A most fascinating old town”
Review of Balad

Ranked #2 of 51 things to do in Jeddah
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: 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.
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Level Contributor
76 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“A most fascinating old town”
Reviewed March 23, 2014

Balad is one of Jeddah's star attractions, and with good reason. The very old architecture is fascinating, although unfortunately some of it has been allowed to fall into disrepair or has been demolished to make way for new construction. Balad also has several souks that are interesting to wander through. The locals as well were friendly and quite helpful. We only spent half a day walking through Balad, but I know we missed a lot and look forward to exploring it more on our next trip to Jeddah.

Visited January 2014
Thank Helen B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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699 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Kesgrave, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
61 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Superb half day wandering the Old City”
Reviewed March 10, 2014

Visited here in March 2014. Have been to the Souk here previously by myself and wanted to bring the wife along to experience it. Had a superb time browsing all the shops and stalls that fill this maze of streets and alleyways. The best looking part of the Al Balad Souk can be found on the other side of the road bridge which divides the Souk, and which you go under to reach the oldest part of Jeddah. The spices and scarves fill this part of the Souk, with streets which lead you to the old merchants houses which tower above you for 4 or 5 storeys. The old city has been renovated in many parts here and the streets here were spotless when we visited. Easily missed if you just concentrate on the Souk itself. Slowly work your way to the left once you pass under the road bridge and into the Old Souk, and you will find the houses. An experience that absolutely must be part of your visit to Jeddah!

Visited March 2014
Thank Tomtomgoer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Khamis Mushait, Saudi Arabia
Level Contributor
88 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Jeddah is Balad”
Reviewed February 9, 2014

You can't really appreciate the city of Jeddah without experiencing the Balad Souk. You can see a true relic of the past life of Jeddah. It is an amazing place filled with all the sounds and smells associated with an ancient place. Don't just walk the shops. Look at the buildings. You will have to look up in some cases through the awnings to see the amazing architecture that still amazingly stands. If you do decide to purchase anything, do not pay the asking price. You should cut the price by 80-90% as your original offering. Go in the early evening and be prepared to be bustled by all sorts of humanity.

Visited February 2014
Thank Philip B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Level Contributor
21 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Jeddah was like this festival”
Reviewed January 23, 2014

This year Festival was great it is about jeddah many years ago.I thank the organizers for having shown how we lived 50 or so yeara ago.they even showed the house where our family use to live which was named later in this Festival by aTag that carried my late mother full name.

Visited January 2014
Thank Wahebbo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“heart of city ancient city jeddah”
Reviewed January 13, 2014

I wanted to purchase , some dryfruits, a 32 inch lcd ( to bring lcd from saudi is cheaper) , and ofcourse if possible check for gold prices. All people suggested me one location i.e. balad. Go to balad and you will get everything. I took a taxi to reach to balad and stucked in traffic jam and then as usual hurried taxi driver dropped me as per his convenience. so try to avoid the peak hours like evening time.

you can find there a bif railway engin shape is created for a food chain hotel and asmall shopping centre. you can get a good deal for dryfruits here. rememeber to bargain well as they increase the rate onc they see you entering the shop.

make good negotiations and you can get good deal specially on pista,walnuts and dates. I saw n number of date types. they offer it for test before purchase. the dates rate range from 10 riyals to 120 riyals

Another thing is to search for gold shops where you can buy simcard size gold biscuit; lot of people purchase it and carry it to home. check it on the main street of balad and you can find lot more shops. Also gold chain can be seen and you can bargain and purchae. there is no charges for the making of ornaments

Visited April 2013
Thank Aks2452
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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