Jeddah is the second biggest city in Saudi Arabia, and one of the most cosmopolitan areas of the kingdom. It’s the gateway for holy pilgrimages to Mecca and Medina, as well as an important trading post.

Only Muslims are allowed to visit the most important parts of Medina and Mecca, so travellers from other religions can only visit the outskirts of this area. For an insight in to the Islamic culture and history, so important to this region, the Al Tayibat City Museum has artefacts and exhibits explaining Saudi Arabia’s journey from early civilizations to the current day.

Scuba divers have long enjoyed the reefs and wildlife of the Red Sea, and Jeddah has some great dive sites that are less busy than those in neighbouring Egypt. For a glimpse of sea life without getting wet there’s the Fakieh Aquarium. As well as turtles, sharks and seahorses, a combined ticket also gets you entry to the Al Shallal theme park, home to one of the largest double looped rollercoasters in Asia.

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Read more on Jeddah below with flight options, current weather, maps, and activities to try while you are there.

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