Wondering how to spend your free time in Jeddah? From snorkelling to shopping, here are five of the top sights and activities in Saudi Arabia’s bustling port town.

Wander al-Abad: Jeddah’s old city, which has origins dating back to the 7th century, is easily the most atmospheric and interesting area in town. Packed with picturesque coral houses and teeming with lively souqs (markets) scattered throughout winding narrow lanes, al-Abad is not to be missed. 

Walk the Corniche: A late-afternoon seaside stroll along this paved coastal stretch is a wonderful way to relax and unwind after a busy day in the city. It’s dotted with massive sculptures and installations, among them the King’s Fountain, the largest water fountain in the world.

See the Red Sea: With easy access to dazzling offshore reefs in the Red Sea, Jeddah is certainly one of the more underrated snorkelling and scuba diving destinations in this part of the world. Ask your concierge for assistance in booking a half- or full-day tour.

Shop ‘Til You Drop: If you prefer air-conditioned window-shopping to bargaining with vendors in the al-Abad souqs, head to one of Jeddah’s many megamalls to score good deals on international luxury and mid-range brands. Some of the best (and biggest) malls are the Mall of Arabia, Red Sea Mall, and Heraa International Mall.

Hit the Beach: Jeddah has some marvellous beaches; Silver Sands Beach is generally the most popular pick for groups and families. It’s a private beach, too, which means any manner of swimwear for men and women is acceptable, though an entry fee applies.