Jeddah offers so many things to many people, and for sure this wealthy city in Saudi Arabia has something for you, too. If you love the beach, some of the best beaches in the kingdom are here; if you love the arts, you should know that this city isn’t called the greatest open-air art gallery for nothing; and if you love to shop, you will have a heyday sorting through the goods at the vibrant Balad marketplace. Getting around Jeddah will reveal to you just how exciting this modern metropolis really is.
Some of the leading attractions and landmarks are the Floating Mosque in the middle of the sea, historic Biet Nassif building, Balad flea market, several mosques, modern supermarkets, and Jeddah’s Fountain, the highest fountain in the world as declared by the Guinness Book of World Records. To see these and other cool spots in the city, you would need to learn how to get around.
Getting around Jeddah by plane begins as you arrive at the King Abdulaziz International Airport, which is the biggest airport in the kingdom. International travelers arrive at the northern terminal and domestic passengers at the southern terminal, while Mecca pilgrims from all over the country and the world have their own terminal. Jeddah is the entry point to Mecca.
Since foreign tourists come here regularly, anybody from Europe, North America and elsewhere in the world will not feel alienated despite the fact that the locals speak a different language and are dressed differently.
From the airport, transporting to and around Jeddah is smooth and easy. Jeddah is the kingdom’s center of commerce and tourism, which means this modern cosmopolitan is serviced by a number of bus, taxi and rental car companies.
The most common transport options when getting around Jeddah on land are the taxi, bus and minibus. You can hail a yellow colored taxi anywhere in the city but be prepared since most taxi drivers can’t speak English well. Sometimes they take advantage of the language barrier and charge foreigners more than what is reasonable. It is best that you ask help from a local friend or people from your hotel to help you get into a taxi for the first time.
Major hotels typically provide taxi service. For some reason they are called water taxi. They are a bit more expensive than regular taxis but at least you know that your driver knows exactly where to taking you.
Meanwhile, the local bus is much less expensive. They have a fixed route and you can get on one from the main Albalad streets. They pass by important landmarks, making them the best form of transport for tourists like you who wish to see the nearest tourist attractions. The minibus, on the other hand, are even cheaper but they can get too crowded and inconvenient. Called by locals as hafilat, minibuses don’t follow a fixed route.
Meanwhile, you can move around on water, too, to avoid the traffic. Getting around Jeddah by boat gives you an amazing view of the Red Sea. The boats are docked at Obhor in the northern part of the city.
Jeddah traffic is getting worse as the city continues to develop as one of the most major cities in the Middle East. When you are in a hurry or wish to get the most comfortable ride when getting around Jeddah, you can always rent a car. The most popular rental car companies are Avis and Budget. And since you are in the Middle East, you can guarantee that fuel is cheap.