How to Visit Petra in Jordan
Petra is one of the 7 new wonders of the world and it’s easy to see why. The actual site is huge and intricately designed, the Arab Nabataeans were masters when it came to carving and the city features great halls and passageways, tombs, statues, homes and centers for religious practices. It can, though, to be difficult to work out just how to visit Petra in Jordan as there are so many options available. I personally did it independently and would hugely recommend that to any and everyone. Working on your own timetable is perfect!
Petra in Jordan, What Is it?
It’s a city dating back to 6th century BC from the Nabataean kingdom , but in 106 the Romans claimed it and expanded it. It was abandoned after an earthquake 500 years later, and when Saladin took control of the Middle East, Petra was lost. That is until the 1800s when Westeners became excavating since then it’s been famous. But when Indian Jones and the Last Crusade came to town, it became global! Now a UNESCO world heritage site, it’s officially one of the 7 wonders of the world!
The Treasury at Petra (the most famous site when you think of Petra) was built in the first century AD, and is still in amazing condition today, get your selfies ready.
Petra in Jordan, Where Is it?
The town of Petra is just a couple of kilometres from the ancient site, so if you’re feeling either energetic, or broke (as I was then!), you can walk it in less than an hour. Your hotel will run you there of course too, but if you want to be there first thing, walking is the only guarantee to get you there that early.
From Amman, Jordan’s capital, day trips are possible but it’s a long day. The drive is 3+ hours each way (250km or so).
From Aqaba, Jordan’s tourist hub, day trips are possible too, it’s about 130km and about a 2 hour drive each way.
Petra in Jordan, When does it open and how much are the tickets?
Quite expensive! If you’re day tripping to Jordan/Petra from Israel or Egypt then the ticket is from 90 JD ($127 USD!)
If you’re overnighting in Jordan, or simply traveling there (or on a cruise), then don’t worry, it’s a lot cheaper! 50 JD/$70 USD for a 1 day pass, 55/$80 for 2 days.
NIGHT TICKET: You’re going to want to also go at night, which is an additional ticket, priced at 17JD ($25), it’s worth it, I promise! It only runs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and starts 20:30. They will light candles all along the way to the treasury, but you only have access to the treasury so don’t only do the night ticket.
How long should I spend exploring Petra in Jordan?
Honestly, for everyone I’ve ever met – one day is fine. Ideally, one day plus the night ticket – that’s honestly more than enough.
The site is huge, that’s true. And the only options you have is to walk or to take (a rather uncomfortable) camel or donkey ride. The main walk is the amazing narrow corridor (the Siq), which leads to the famous Treasury. From there you’ll want to walk the 2 hours or so, with a bit of a climb, to the Monastery. From there you can roam the huge grounds, with amazing views and carvings everywhere as you slowly make your way back to the Siq. It’s 8km from the entrance to the Monastery (the main hike).
Then I’d suggest you return for the night show on the Monday/Wed/Thurs to finish off an amazing day.
The ancient site of Petra and its Visitor Center are open to visitors on a daily basis from 6am to 6pm during the summer and 6am to 4pm in the winter. The Visitor Center sells tickets, arranges for guides and provides information and help to visitors.
This means you want you should be at the ticket counter at 5.30 am. Get your ticket at 6am and, if you’re feeling fit, run down the Siq and reach the Treasury where you’ll be the only person there. It’s truly, truly special. Sure you have to wake up around 4am, but for the experience, to be there alone, is worth it.