Sometimes we don’t have to travel far for a relaxing weekend getaway! Saudi Arabia offers many great destinations for families to choose for a staycation. Jeddah is just an 1,5 hour flight away from Riyadh making it the ideal weekend getaway destination in Saudi Arabia.
Jeddah has always been a favorite staycation destination of mine in Saudi Arabia because it offers so many fun activities. There are so many fun things to do in Jeddah and each trip we discover something new. It´s easy to find flights to Jeddah on five different domestic airlines that fly to Jeddah daily from all major cities in Saudi Arabia. The best thing about Jeddah for me is definitely the Red Sea and all the leisure opportunities it offers to visitors.
I travel to Jeddah several times a year with my children for some much needed Vitamin Sea and always feel so energized from the ocean breeze and change of scenery. Sometimes a weekend trip to Jeddah feels like you’ve actually gone abroad, the landscape and local culture are so different from what we have in Riyadh.
I would say Jeddah is a must visit at least once for everyone living in Saudi Arabia! Whenever my mom visits Saudi Arabia (she’s visited us 8 times already!) I always take her to Jeddah for a weekend, because nothing beats the Red Sea breezes and the Jeddah vibe.
So what is there to do in Jeddah, especially if you’re traveling with kids? I’ve gathered a list of my favorite things to do in Jeddah with kids (and of course why not for adults too) for some ideas and travel inspiration to Jeddah! Jeddah has developed a lot during the past years and there’s constantly new things to do in Jeddah especially around the newly opened Jeddah Corniche area.
Things to Do in Jeddah
Visit the new Jeddah Waterfront and Corniche
A must see when in Jeddah is the new Jeddah Corniche and waterfront area. The new Jeddah Corniche has become a hot spot for families to spend time together ever since its opening in 2017. You’ll find a beautifully landscaped waterfront area with parks, recreation facilities, children’s playgrounds, fountains, beaches and cafes. The best way to explore the Corniche is on foot, so make sure you to stay closeby with walking distance to the best spots on the Corniche to avoid traffic, especially on weekend evenings. Check out where to stay on the Corniche at the end of this post.
A visit to Jeddah is not complete without a visit to the historical city, Al Balad. A UNESCO listed heritage site, the area is best visited in the early mornings or in the late afternoon/ evenings. Learn about the history of Jeddah by visiting Naseef house and browse through the colorful souks. More things to do in Al Balad here: 10 Things to do in al Balad, Jeddah
Located just on the Corniche, it’s very easy to walk to the aquarium and spend several hours learning about the colorful marine life that can be found in the Red Sea. The Jeddah aquarium is a perfect way to experience the underwater world of the Red sea without the need of getting wet! Kids will be in awe of all the different kinds of fish and corals and a walk through the ”fish tunnel” where visitors can watch sharks, turtles, rays and fish swim above them.
Day at the Beach
There are some family friendly private beaches to visit for a day trip located in Jeddah’s North Obhur area. The whole family can swim together at Lafontaine beach, Salhia beach, Silver Sands beach, Fal beach and La Plage beach. Most of these places do require a yearly membership but some allow day passes as well. For the best public beaches in Jeddah, the ones on the New Corniche area are safe with calm waters that allow for children and men to swim.
Day out at Red Sea
Red Sea divers, Blue Reef divers, and many other dive operators can arrange boat trips for day trips out to the reefs for snorkeling, diving, fishing and swimming. This would be ideal for older children already comfortable in the water. The reefs outside of Jeddah are a great place to explore with kids, the colorful corals and the many different kinds of fish will keep kids entertained for a long time.
Jeddah has plenty of great family friendly restaurants, many of which can be found along the Corniche and in the Red Sea mall. Papaya restaurant, which is right next to Souk Shatee, is located inside an indoor tropical garden with small fountains and daylight coming in from the glass roof. Recommended especially for breakfast and lunch time. For the evenings, try out the restaurants near the waterfront, for views out to the Red Sea try Sofitel Jeddah’s restaurants. A new beautiful outdoor place by the sea is restaurant Angelina. For traditional Saudi food Hejazi style, head to Aseil restaurant or try The Social Kitchen, where you’ll be treated to one of the first Saudi female chef´s cuisines!
Corniche evening stroll
The new Jeddah corniche itself is lovely, clean and family friendly option to spend a relaxing evening. Numerous imaginative, safe playgrounds have been built along the Corniche and visitors can admire local Saudi artists works there too. You can stop by to watch fishermen fishing on the pier or have an ice cream in one of the many cafes on the Corniche. Don’t miss a visit to the JEDDAH-sign after sunset, the best place to take memorable shot of your Jeddah staycation!
Bounce with whole family
If you fancy some indoor fun and physical activity to get the energy drained out of your kids, the biggest trampoline park in Jeddah, BOUNCE INC is the place to go. They have lots of different activities like wall running and dodgeball and activities suitable for all ages plus a section dedicated just for women.
World’s tallest fountain
Many do not know that Jeddah is home to the tallest fountain in the world! The King Fahad fountain, Shooting sea water up to 300 meters high, is best viewed from the southern Corniche areas.
Al Shallal theme park
With an impressive artificial lake at its center, a planetarium, ice skating rink, boat rides, lots of rides for kids of different ages (and adults too) a day at Shallal theme park is highly recommend fun time for the whole family.
Al Tayibat Museum
The Tayyebat Museum for civilizations is an amazing museum which is built in Hejazi heritage village. It’s a great way to get a glimpse of the culture, architecture, traditional clothing and lifestyle of each region of Saudi Arabia.
Red Sea Mall
Undoubtedly the best mall in Jeddah and located just minutes away from the new corniche area, Red Sea mall offers a variety of activities for kids, a vast selection of restaurants, and of course great shopping!
Where to stay on Jeddah Corniche:
For families traveling with kids the new North Corniche is definitely the best family friendly area to stay in Jeddah. The Sofitel Jeddah Corniche is an elegant, family friendly five star hotel located right next to the waterfront and the new Jeddah Corniche. This is an ideal spot to be based because you can walk to the children’s playgrounds, beaches and parks from the hotel in a few minutes without having to worry about the traffic and parking hassles. At the Sofitel Jeddah Corniche, you can watch the sun setting from your room and dine in the many different restaurants they offer.
What I love about the Sofitel is how family friendly it is. Especially for me when I travel alone, having a kids club service is a MUST. Being able to drop off kids for a couple of hours to play at the Kids Club while I can catch up with friends over a cup of coffee, go to the gym, relax at spa or have a nice dinner at the restaurant- and all in the same place- this is really a deal-breaker for me. The Sofitel Penguins Kids Club is free of charge for in house guests and 42 sar per child otherwise. Kids ages 0-4 must be accompanied by a caretaker but 4- 12 years olds may be dropped off and the staff will attend to them.
What makes the Sofitel a great option for families traveling with kids is the 3 minute walk to playgrounds and a safe swimming beach with life guards on duty, and just a 5 min drive to the Red Sea mall. The hotel also offers a relaxing spa and a fitness center both available also for ladies!
To book the Sofitel Jeddah Corniche you can contact them by phone: (+966)(12)6139000
Online Reservations:Sofitel Jeddah Corniche
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Hello there, I’m Laura, the founder, author and manager of Blue Abaya, the first travel blog in Saudi Arabia established in 2010. Travel has always been my passion- so far I’ve visited 69 countries and I’m always on the lookout for new adventures inside and outside of Saudi Arabia! Having visited all corners of the Kingdom with over a decade of experience, I have a vast knowledge base about travel and tourism in Saudi Arabia.