AlUla Old Town

AlUla Old Town

Modern AlUla encompasses one of Saudi Arabia’s most exceptional heritage sites, AlUla Old Town.

 

One of the reasons it evokes such a deep sense of emotion is that it was actually inhabited in the not-so-distant past. AlUla Old Town is located in the narrowest part of the AlUla Valley. Built on a slight elevation, the town is overlooked by the Musa bin Nusayr Castle, a citadel dating back approximately to the 10th century.

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Old Town

With nearly 900 houses, 400 shops and 5 town squares, the Old Town of AlUla still contains remnants of some of the original stone and mudbrick buildings constructed here.

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Historical Significance

In the 12th century, AlUla Old Town became an essential settlement along the pilgrimage route from Damascus to Makkah. The city gradually replaced Qurh, to the south of AlUla, and is favourably mentioned by travellers from the 12th to the 20th centuries, when modern AlUla was constructed nearby. The houses were designed to be attached to one another, providing fortification, which hints to defence being a priority for the city's early inhabitants. At one point, the city was accessed by 14 gates, which were opened in the morning to welcome travellers, pilgrims and other visitors, and closed each evening. The ancient city’s recent occupation has enabled researchers to begin to gather oral histories, painting a picture of what life was like inside its walls. These stories will one day be available to visitors who can look forward to tapping into AlUla Old Town’s living memory.

AlUla Old Town

Experiences in AlUla Old Town

Alula Old Town Tour 1-Hour Tour

Take a tour with a Rawi (guide) through AlUla Old Town where pilgrims, travellers and permanent settlers congregated through the ages.

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AlUla Old Town Market Shopping & Dining

Stroll through the outdoor market and shop local artisans, traditional crafts and cafes.

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Restaurants in AlUla Old Town

Le Maschou

Le Maschou brings rich culinary flavours and a sophisticated ambience from the old alleyways of France to AlUla. An authentic array of wood-fire smoked meats will leave customers craving for more.

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Suhail Old Town

A high-end Saudi Arabian dining concept serving dishes inspired by old Arabian Peninsula spices and time-honoured traditions, matched with a modern twist and exemplary service.

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Wacafe

Mouthwatering croissants and scrumptious cinnamon rolls fill the cases at Wacafe. Grab the perfect cup of coffee and settle in at this great AlUla Old Town café.

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ACME

ACME’s unique burgers and delicious bites bring fun new flavours to AlUla’s Old Town. From refreshing drinks to savoury snacks, an exciting menu awaits kids and adults alike.

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Le Moulin Bakery

Delicate French pastries and delicious coffee are served all day long at Le Moulin Bakery, found in AlUla’s Old Town.

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Merkaz

Serving a selection of traditional Saudi plates. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner with a selection of traditional sweets and hot drinks.

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Rahba café

Offering breakfast, and lunch at this casual outdoor dining option in AlUla Old Town.

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AlNakheel Café

A relaxed and casual dining venue, Palm Garden is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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Explore The World's Masterpiece

The World's Largest Living Museum Heritage

Take a journey to both the ancient and recent past. Uncover preserved tombs, sandstone outcrops, historic dwellings and monuments, both natural and man-made, that hold 200,000 years of largely unexplored human history.

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A DESERT OASIS BECKONS NATURAL WONDERS Nature & Outdoors

There’s a sense of openness, vastness and quiet that invites visitors to wander in AlUla – among dramatic rock formations, sand-swept dunes, lush valleys and ancient basalt lava flows.

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Thrilling experiences and outdoor excursions Adventure

By day, tour heritage sites, enjoy mountain hikes and experience thrills on zipline tours and cross through the dune on a leisurely bike ride. By night, relax with stargazing and other activities.

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A Land of Wondrous Inspiration Arts & Culture

From contemporary artists creating pieces made for the stunning desert backdrop to local artisans continuing the tradition of ancient handicrafts, the spirit of creativity and ingenuity can be discovered in every corner of AlUla.

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