The city of Petra is one of the most beautiful places we have visited in the world, as you could read in our article: visit Jordan.
It is a place preserved from tourism, at the opening you will have the chance to wander in an almost deserted site. This place totally enchanted us.
We explain you everything to organise your stay in Petra and to don’t miss anything !
History of Petra: when was the city founded?
Petra is a city carved in pink sandstone rocks. This site was built towards the end of the 8th century B.C., then the Nabateans settled there in the 6th century. Many trade routes led to the city, allowing Petra to become a prosperous city.
At its peak, the city of Petra had about 25,000 inhabitants. You will certainly realize that only a few buildings have survived the time!
The city was abandoned towards the end of the 8th century following several natural disasters and the trade routes through Petra were gradually abandoned.
This site is now classified as a world heritage site by UNESCO and is part of the 7 new wonders of the world. A well-deserved title!
How to get to Petra? [map]
The incredible city of Petra is located 3 hours from the Jordanian capital, Amman. You have two options to get there and you go to Petra on your own?
- By car: you can easily book a car in Jordan by comparing prices on RentalCars. The price is about 35€ per day depending on the season. There is a parking lot at the entrance to the site and the hotels usually offer shuttles that will drop you off at the entrance to the site.
- By bus: from Amman the Jordanian company Jett bus offers a daily trip, departing at 6:30 am for about 11 JOD (14€). The buses are comfortable (information given by my sister), you will not see the 3 hours of travel. You can finish your night during the trip 😉
You can book your ticket online, directly on the company’s website or at its ticket office in Amman. Then you can book a Careem (local Uber) to take us to the bus station on the morning of your departure.
Bus company: https://www.jett.com.jo/en
Car: To compare car rental prices we recommend the RentalCars website to find the best price. In the middle of August, we found a car for 35€ per day.
Is Petra worth visiting?
We were delighted with our stay in Petra. We loved exploring this amazing city from top to bottom. You will walk a lot every day, but it is worth it because it is a unique place in the world! We explain you what to see and what to do bellow !
What to see ? the Sîq, the Khazneh and the Deir
- Siq: you will take this magnificent canyon 1.2 kilometers long, with incredible colors, twice a day because it is the access road to the city of Petra.
You will certainly feel very small surrounded by these high walls of about 10 meters high.
When approaching the city, the Siq is at times only 3 meters wide. You’ll really look forward to discovering the wonders that are hidden at the end of the road!
- Khazneh (the treasure): this Nabatean tomb is the first building you will discover when you leave the canyon! You will be overwhelmed by its grandeur and beauty.
It is the most touristic site of the city. By leaving as soon as the site opens, you will have the chance to contemplate its facade almost alone in the world.
- Deir: this Monastery is deserved, you will reach it after having climbed not less than 800 steps carved in the rock. Once on top, you can enjoy an incredible view of the surrounding valleys.
Visit Petra in 2 or 3 days:
To avoid the crowds and the heat, we advise you to arrive as soon as the site opens around 6:00/6:30 am.
No more sleeping in during your few days in Petra, you will still be allowed to take naps every afternoon by the pool or in your hotel room.
You will be able to enjoy the whole morning on the site. We took our breakfast, prepared the day before, when we arrived at the Siq. It was composed of bananas, mustabal, hummus, seeds and Pita bread. We needed strength to get through the morning. Since we were coming back to the hotel around 12:00.
Also take a bottle of water of one and a half liter, the prices are exorbitant on the spot.
To access the site, you have to travel 1.2 kilometers, so we couldn’t split our visit into two parts.
We are used to organize ourselves in the following way on tourist sites, like Bagan or Angkor. We visited a first part as soon as the site opened to avoid the crowd of tourists, then we went back to the hotel to have breakfast and go back to sleep for a few hours. Once refreshed, we left for a second exploration at the end of the day.
We stayed on the site for almost 4 hours in a row, taking several long and well-deserved breaks!
We came back exhausted from our first day of exploration. The next two days we lightened the itinerary.
If you only have two days on site you can merge our day 2 and 3!
Your visit will start daily at the Visitor center (1) then you will walk along the Siq (2) and finally you will reach the Khazneh (3). The numbers correspond to the points on the map below.
- Day 1: The Khazneh (3) from below and then upwards to have a bird’s eye view, taking a path behind the tombs (5), the lower city (4) (Roman theater, column alley …), the Byzantine church, the Blue Chapel (6 ) and the royal tombs (5) .
- Day 2: The Deir (north east of the map) and walk on the heights to enjoy a breathtaking panorama!
- Day 3: High Place of Sacrifice (7), magnificent viewpoint on the whole site of Petra!
If you don’t want to make things difficult for yourself, you can book a trip to Petra from Amman in English here
What is the best time of year to go to Petra?
Jordan is a sunny country with little rainfall and mild temperatures all year round! Nevertheless, the period from April to November is the best in terms of temperature (minimum 15 and maximum 40 degrees).
If you are afraid of being too hot, avoid the months of July and August as temperatures can reach 40 degrees. We were there in August and it was indeed a bit hot in the desert of wadi rum. However, the month ofAugust is recommended by tourist guides because there are few tourists.
One last thing, when Ramadan will take place, because during this time many shops and restaurants will be closed at the time of the young.
Ticket and cost to visit Petra? Jordan pass
You have two options:
- 1/ Recommended option: Buy the Jordan Pass before leaving which includes the visa and the entrance to the site of Petra, also the entrance to several Jordanian sites, find the details of this pass in our article travel in Jordan.
- 2/ Other option: Buy your ticket only for Petra, the price varies depending on the duration of one, two or three days. The rates are, respectively, 50 JOD (63€), 55 JOD (70€) and 60 JOD (75€).
Your passport will be required at the entrance of the site, each day. Do not leave it at the hotel.
Where to stay?
If you don’t have a vehicle we advise you to sleep near the entrance. You will be able to sleep “as” long as possible! In the summer, we recommend a hotel with a swimming pool. You really enjoy your swim when you return from your morning.
Accommodation in Petra (Gaia town): The Petra Moon hotel is a great option, located 5 minutes from the entrance and including a pool to relax in after a long morning of sightseeing. The rooms are nice and clean.
Restaurant in Petra (Gaia town): My Mom’s Recipe Restaurant, located right next to our hotel, we went there every day after our morning tour.
The prices are much higher than the rest of the country. This is often the case in tourist places. Buffet lunch 12 JOD or à la carte dishes. The terrace on the top floor is very pleasant.
We had hummus or mustabal to take away for our breakfast.
There are several mini-markets to buy food for breakfast.
➡️ After Petra we recommend a few days in Aqaba, a well-deserved beach, diving and/or snorkeling break!
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