Visit Petra in Jordan: What to see and do in this mysterious city

The city of Petra is one of the most beautiful places we have visited in the world, as you could read in our article: trip to Jordan.

It is a place preserved from tourism, at the opening you will have the chance to wander in an almost deserted site. We were totally enchanted by this place.

We’re going to detail our itinerary for visiting Petra, so you don’t miss a thing on the spot, as well as our best addresses. As always, our aim is to help our readers organize their trip with ease.

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Is it dangerous to visit Petra?

We’d like to reassure you that visiting Petra is absolutely safe. As explained in the article about our trip to Jordan, before leaving we consulted the diplomatie.gouv website . For Jordan, we didn’t deviate from the rule: the government website advised us to avoid the border zones(with Syria and Iraq).

Petra is Jordan’s most visited site, located in the center of the country, so you’ll feel totally safe. Of course, as with any trip, we advise you to use common sense and be careful with your belongings.

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!

If you have time before your visit, we recommend you watch the documentary “C’est pas sorcier Pétra“, as always very comprehensive and easy to understand, thanks Jamie 🙂 An ideal family activity!

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Where is the city of Petra? [carte]

The incredible city of Petra is located 3 hours from the Jordanian capital, Amman. You have two options to get there:

How do I get from Amman to Petra (how far)?

The distance between Amman and Petra is around 250 km, and it takes around 3 hours to drive between the two cities, much of which is on dual carriageway.

  • 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.

Nos conseils pour le transport

Compagnie de bus:

Voiture: Pour comparer les prix des locations nous vous conseillons le site RentalCars afin de trouver le meilleur tarif. En plein mois d’août, nous avons trouvé une voiture pour 35€ par jour.

The main sites: 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!

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  • 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.

Petra Gate
  • 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.
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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.

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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!

Things to do in Petra

Petra by night: organize your visit

We recommend not to miss the Petra by Night show. Some 2,000 candles are set up along the Sik and at the Treasury.

The atmosphere is magical when you arrive in front of the treasure, lit only by the light of hundreds of candles. Sit back in silence to take in the spectacle.

This nocturnal experience starts at 8.30pm from the visitors’ center and lasts about 2 hours, the price is 17JD (about 21€) we advise you to check the days and times on the official website.

Is Petra one of the 7 wonders of the world?

Petra is not on the list of the 7 Wonders of the World, but can be considered as the 8th, since it has been designated as one of the 7 Wonders of the World, by the New Seven Wonders Foundation in 2007.

We totally understand why it made it into this ranking, as it’s one of the most beautiful sites we’ve ever had the chance to visit.

Practical information

Entrance ticket: Jordan pass

You have two options:

  • 1/ Recommended option: Buy the Jordan Pass before you leave, which includes the visa and entry to the Petra site, as well as entry to several Jordanian sites. Find out more about this pass in our article on traveling to 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€).
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Your passport will be required at the entrance of the site, each day. Do not leave it at the hotel.

Where to stay, which hotel?

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.

Nos conseils et hébergements

➡️Coup de coeur avec piscine : le Petra Moon hotel est une excellente option, situé à 5 minutes de l’entrée et comprenant une piscine pour se détendre après une longue matinée de visite. Les chambres sont agréables et propres.

➡️Si c’est complet nous vous conseillons le Petra Corner Hôtel, situé également à 5 minutes de l’entrée de Pétra et les chambres sont très confortables.

➡️Restaurant à Pétra (ville Gaia): My Mom’s Recipe Restaurant, situé juste à côté de notre hôtel, nous y avons été tous les jours en rentrant de notre matinée visite.

Les prix pratiqués sont nettement supérieurs au reste du pays. C’est souvent le cas dans les endroits touristiques. Buffet midi 12 JOD ou plats à la carte. La terrasse au dernier étage est très agréable.

Nous prenions le houmous ou moutabal à emporter pour notre petit déjeuner.

Il y a plusieurs supérettes pour acheter de quoi manger pour le petit déjeuner.

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We were delighted with our stay in Petra. We loved exploring this enchanting 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!

➡️ After Petra, we recommend visiting Aqaba for a few days, for a well-deserved beach, diving and/or snorkeling break!

We hope you enjoy your stay in Petra! Feel free to leave us a quick note or 5 stars below, to tell us if you’re planning this trip, to ask any questions you may have, here or on Instagram, we’ll get back to you with great pleasure.

Nos conseils

– Pour venir en Jordanie, par avion l’aéroport le plus proche est situé à Amma, depuis la France les vols oscillent entre 350€ et 500€.

Chercher un vol au meilleur prix sur Skyscanner

– Pour votre itinéraire, L‘organisme Evaneos propose des circuits organisés de grande qualité, 100% personnalisables.

Nous vous conseillons de contacter un expert local pour demander un devis gratuit et sans engagement, afin de gagner du temps dans la préparation de votre voyage et vous donner plein d’idées !

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We are Floriane and Matthieu, a French couple with a passion for travel. After working for a few years in our beautiful capital, we decided to leave everything behind to travel around the world. of 2016-2017. Today, travel is still a part of our lives. Here we share all our traveltips and useful information. Find out more about us.
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