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8 Popular Places To Visit In Al Ula, A Global Cultural Hub In The KSA


Places to visit in Al Ula flaunts historical and cultural richness of Saudi Arabia. Tourists visiting the old city of Al Ula can indulge in exploring the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hegra. The site has ruins from thousands of years back. Additionally, visitors can experience the mesmerizing sunset at the beautiful natural landmark Jebel Al fil. The city efficiently preserves the memories from past civilizations in the famous museums and historical tourist spots. Further, Al Ula enjoys the desert location, which makes it accessible to various desert adventure sports.

Beautiful places to visit in Al Ula

1. Hegra Heritage Site – The tombs in Nabataean architecture


Hegra is the first World Heritage Site of Saudi Arabia, having around 111 tombs uniquely designed in Nabataean architecture. The site preserves many ruins from the ancient and pre-Islamic eras. Numerous remains of agricultural farms and wells can be found on the site showing the architectural prowess of the Nabataeans. The city has fine structure designs and tombs that tourists can explore to understand the past civilizations.

Location: 31 km north of Al Ula city center in the Al Hejaz region

Top attractions: Ancient tombs, and Nabataean structures

Must Read: Al Hijr Archaeological Site, Hegira Madain Saleh: Inside, History, How To Reach, Permit

2. Dadan Historical Site – The capital of Dadan kingdom

Dadan served as the capital of Dadan and Lyhan Kingdom in the 9th and 8th BC. The city showcases ancient rock arts. Most of these inscriptions from the period can be found in a mountain near Dadan, Jabal Ikmah. The mountain is the Saudi Arabia’s largest open library due to the presence of age-old inscriptions and rock art on animals, hunting techniques, livelihood, and more.

Location: Road 375 near Harrat Viewpoint Park

Top attractions: Rock art, and inscriptions from Dadan period

3. Jabal Al-Fil – Famously known as the Elephant Rock


Having been carved from wind and water erosion, Jabal Al-Fil is one of popular Al Ula tourist places which is a sand structure resembling an elephant. The location offers several activities, including trekking, camping, and sightseeing. Tourists can indulge themselves in stargazing in a serene setting with barbeque and campfire. Further, elephant rock is a sight to behold in itself with picturesque surroundings.

Location: 19 km from Al Ula City Center

Timings: 4 pm to 12 am

Ticket: 50 SR

Top attractions: Camping, and watching sunsets

Must Visit: Elephant Rock, Al Ula: Natural Rock Formation For Family Getaways

4. Jabal Khuraibah – The Tomb of the Lion


Jabal Khuraibah is a mountain in Al Ula housing an old fortress and some ancient rock inscriptions. The rock-cut Tomb located at the foot of the peak is the most impressive structure in Jabal Khuraibah. The Tomb of the Lion is named after the two lions carved on either side of the entrance. There is a huge headless sandstone statue in Kurabibi with stone stairs and walls linking all three crags to form a ruined fortress city.

Location: Al-Abwa, Saudi Arabia

Timings: This location is open from 8 am to 5 pm

Top attractions: The Tomb of the Lion, and the fortress

5. Al Ula Heritage Village – With an old mosque and a fort

This offbeat village is among the top places to visit in Al Ula. Visitors can freely wander and stroll among the breathtaking mud ruins or the heritage village. The ancestors of the current residents of Al Ula stayed here for centuries. While visiting Al Ula fort, tourists should visit the tantura (sundial) and the old mosque. The location has several ruins from the old era.

Location: Near road 375, Al Ula

Timings: It opens at 8:30 am and closes at 12 am, everyday

Top attractions: Al Ula fort, old houses, and the mosque

6. Al Ula Old Town – Ancient houses and shops


The Al Ula Old Town has 900 old houses and 400 shops distributed throughout the location. Tourists exploring the town can get an insight into the life of people inhabiting the town in the past. The town is constructed with mud and brick walls giving a hint of the advanced architecture of that era. It served as a settlement for pilgrims traveling from Damascus to Makkah.

Location: Road 375 near King Abdulaziz Park, Al Ula

Top attractions: Mud wall structures, houses, and shops

7. Hejaz Railway Station – The living museum of Hejaz railway

The railway station is built on the old trade routes linking the Levant and Egypt to the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah. The aim to build the railway lines was to decrease the travel time and enhance the safety of the pilgrims. Though the Hejaz railway project was never completed due to World War 1, the station serves as a great memoir of the 19th and 20th-century railways.

Location: Near Tomb of Lihayn on road 375, Al Ula

8. Al Ula viewpoint – View of Red Mountains

Al Ula’s viewpoint offers a shimmering view of Al Ula tourist spots and city. Tourists can experience a surreal picture surrounded by majestic red mountains disappearing into the horizon. Nabataeans chose this Martian landscape as their settlement. The viewpoint provides exceptional sunrise and sunsets. Tourists can camp on the nearby camping sites to spend a night under the mysterious Al Ula sky.

Best time to visit: The best time to visit Al Ula Viewpoint is either during dusk or at dawn, as the sky looks beautiful and gives a scenic view to the tourist.

Top attractions: Picturesque landscape of Nabataean settlement

Best Time to Visit Al Ula


Al Ula has extreme summers; hence, the best time to visit Al Ula is from October to March. The temperature remains moderate during these months making them best time to explore numerous spots in the city.

How to reach Al Ula

Al Ula Airport

Al Ula is served by Prince Abdul Majeed Bin Abdulaziz Domestic Airport. The airport provides flights to the major airports in the country. The airport is 34 km from the city center and can easily be reached via taxi.

Railways and roadways

Tourists can visit Al Ula from Madinah via a road that is 330 km from the Madinah city center. Further, one can board a train to Al Hofuf railway station and reach Al Ula via taxi. Tourists can reach most of the city’s destinations easily by taxi and public transport.

Ideal trip duration

Al Ula is a must-visit ancient city, offering some of the most famous tourist spots in Saudi Arabia. Tourists visiting Al Ula should at least plan a trip of 3 to 4 days to explore the mesmerizing destinations of the city fully.

Al Ula weather

As most of the Al Ula is a desert, the city has a hot and sweltering summer. Whereas, the winters are relatively cool and calm. The best time to visit Al Ula is from October to November and March to May.

Al Ula temperature

The summer maximum temperature can range from 35 to 38 degrees Celsius and minimum ranging between 20 to 25 degrees Celsius. The winter maximum range between 20 to 25 degrees Celsius and minimum ranging between 3 to 7 degrees Celsius.

Al Ula is a city ruled by many leaders in the past, imparting a vibrant culture to the region. Places to visit in Al Ula offer a hint of past civilizations and their life. Tourists can experience the heritage of Al Ula by visiting these mystical locations.


Places To Visit In Al Ula FAQs

Is Hegra a UNESCO World Heritage Site?

Yes, Hegra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

How to reach the Al Ula viewpoint?

To reach the hill, head west at the intersection of routes 375 and 70 towards the north intersection of old Al Ula. From here, follow the unmarked path up the mountain to a few rusty frames coming soon.

Which is the nearest airport to Al Ula?

Prince Abdul Majeed Bin Abdulaziz Domestic Airport is the nearest airport to Al Ula city center.

Why is Jabal Al-Fil famous in Al Ula tourism?

Jabal Al-Fil is popular for its natural elephant-like structure.

Which is the best mode of transport in Al Ula?

Tourists should use private taxis to explore the city comfortably.

Where is Al Ula?

Al Ula is an old town located in Madinah province in the North western region of Saudi Arabia.

How to go to Al Ula from Jeddah?

Tourists can easily board a flight from Jeddah to Al Ula or can take the Route 328 and Route 5/Route 55M with a total distance of 687 km to cover on road.

Pratyush Srivastava

I think, every human is a beautifully concealed epoch in the making with God to unravel it at the perfect time. Hence, synergizing with distinctive individuals in search of an interesting story is my favorite work as a writer and creator.

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