Welcome to Petra, a timeless city carved into rose-red cliffs, steeped in history, and enveloped in myth. As one of the most iconic archaeological sites in the world, Petra beckons travelers to embark on a journey through time and imagination. In this ultimate travel guide to Petra, Jordan, we will unveil the secrets of this ancient wonder, from the best time to visit and budget tips to top things to do and hidden gems. Get ready for an extraordinary adventure that will leave you awe-inspired and captivated by the magic of Petra.
When to Visit
The best time to visit Petra is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is mild, and the landscapes bloom with vibrant colors. Avoid the scorching summers, as temperatures can soar to uncomfortable levels. Winter (December to February) can be chilly, but it offers fewer crowds and a unique experience.
Budget and Costs
While Petra is a bucket-list destination, visiting doesn't have to break the bank. Budget travelers can plan to spend around $40 to $70 per day, while mid-range travelers can budget $100 to $150 per day, including accommodation, food, transportation, and entrance fees.
Petra offers a range of accommodation options, from budget-friendly hostels to luxurious resorts. For an authentic experience, consider staying in a local Bedouin camp near Petra's entrance.
How to Get There
The closest international airport to Petra is Queen Alia International Airport (AMM) in Amman. From there, you can hire a private driver, take a public bus, or arrange a group tour to Petra. The journey takes about 3-4 hours.
Top 10 Things to Do/Visit in Petra
The Siq: Enter Petra through the narrow Siq, a stunning natural corridor flanked by towering cliffs.
The Treasury (Al-Khazneh): Marvel at the iconic Treasury, Petra's most famous monument.
The Street of Facades: Wander along this ancient street lined with intricate rock-cut tombs.
The Theater: Discover the well-preserved Roman-style theater with breathtaking views.
The Monastery (Ad-Deir): Hike up to the Monastery for a rewarding panoramic view of Petra.
High Place of Sacrifice: Climb to this sacred spot for a unique perspective of Petra's landscape.
Royal Tombs: Explore the grand Royal Tombs showcasing impressive Nabataean architecture.
The Colonnaded Street: Walk through the remains of Petra's bustling main street.
The Great Temple: Witness the ruins of the Great Temple, once a monumental structure.
Little Petra (Al-Beidha): Visit this lesser-known site, a smaller version of Petra with its charm.
One-Day Start early to explore the Siq, Treasury, and the main highlights. Optionally, hike to the Monastery.
Two-Day : Day 1 - Cover the Siq, Treasury, Street of Facades, and the Theater. Day 2 - Visit the Monastery and explore other sites like the High Place of Sacrifice and the Royal Tombs.
Three-Day : Day 1 - Siq, Treasury, Street of Facades, and the Theater. Day 2 - Monastery, High Place of Sacrifice, and Royal Tombs. Day 3 - Little Petra and free time to revisit favorite spots.
List of Things to Know Before Going
Entrance Fees: Check the updated entrance fees and buy your ticket in advance.
Comfortable Footwear: Wear sturdy walking shoes, as Petra involves a lot of walking.
Water and Snacks: Carry sufficient water and snacks, as there are limited food options inside.
Sun Protection: Don't forget sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect from the sun.
Respect the Site: Show respect for this historical wonder by not touching or climbing on monuments.
Local Guides: Consider hiring a local guide to enrich your experience and learn more about Petra.
Arrive Early: Start your Petra adventure early to beat the crowds and enjoy cooler temperatures.
Night Tour: Consider a magical Petra by Night tour for an enchanting candlelit experience.
Petra Kitchen: Indulge in a culinary experience by joining a cooking class at Petra Kitchen.
Camel Ride: Take a camel ride for a unique way to explore Petra's terrain.
Local Souvenirs: Support local artisans by purchasing handmade souvenirs.
Bonus Tip: Embrace the Unexpected
Allow yourself to get lost in the mystique of Petra and embrace the unexpected encounters and hidden surprises that this ancient city has to offer. Whether it's a hidden viewpoint or a serendipitous meeting with locals, letting go of plans and embracing the spontaneity can lead to the most unforgettable moments.
Treat your taste buds to traditional Jordanian dishes like Mansaf, Falafel, and Jordanian Mezze. Savor the flavors of this rich and diverse cuisine.
Petra holds a deep-rooted history and cultural significance. Show respect for local customs and traditions, and engage with Bedouin communities to learn about their way of life.
Hidden Gem: The Treasury at Sunrise
Experience the magic of the Treasury at sunrise. Arrive early, and you might have this iconic monument all to yourself as the first rays of the sun illuminate its majestic facade.
Pack essentials such as comfortable walking shoes, a refillable water bottle, a camera, and a flashlight for exploring caves.
Visa and Travel Documents
Ensure you have a valid passport and check visa requirements for Jordan based on your nationality. Obtain any necessary permits to explore Petra.
Safety and Health Information
Petra is generally safe for travelers. Carry a basic first aid kit and stay hydrated in the desert climate. Be mindful of your belongings and keep them secure.
Petra is not just a place; it's an enchanting experience that will leave you in awe of the ancient world. This archaeological marvel has stood the test of time, and as you explore its majestic ruins, you'll find yourself transported to a bygone era. Allow the grandeur of Petra to unfold before you, creating memories that will forever hold a cherished place in your heart. So, embark on this extraordinary journey, and let the secrets of Petra unravel before your eyes. Happy travels!