Home Adventure Top Tips For Visiting Petra, Jordan: The Ultimate Travel Guide

Top Tips For Visiting Petra, Jordan: The Ultimate Travel Guide

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View of The Treasury from the top of the Al-Khubtha Trail in Petra, Jordan
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Thinking of visiting Petra, Jordan? No doubt you have a lot of questions.

From what to wear and what to see, to how to get there and how much it costs, find out all the answers in this ultimate travel guide to Petra.

I visited the ancient ruins of Petra last month, and before I left the UK I found myself in a Google frenzy.

I was searching all sorts of things…

What should women to wear in Jordan?

How hot is it in Petra?

Do I need to cover my head?

Can I buy food once I’m inside Petra?

Is there water for sale?

How to get to Petra?

How much is the Petra entrance fee?

How long does it take to tour the site?

So many questions! Surprisingly I couldn’t find a Jordan travel blog with all the answers!

I thought it’d be helpful to impart some of my newfound knowledge for any of you who are planning on visiting Petra soon.

The Monastery in Petra, Jordan

Visiting Petra – The Monastery

View of The Treasury from The Siq, Petra, Jordan

View of The Treasury from The Siq, Petra, Jordan (Photo: Macca Sherifi)

View of The Treasury from the top of the Al-Khubtha Trail in Petra, Jordan

View of The Treasury from the top of the Al-Khubtha Trail in Petra, Jordan

How much is the Petra entrance fee?

As of April 2017, a one-day ticket to visit Petra costs 50 JD (£57 / 70 USD). As there is so much to see, many people opt to visit for multiple days. A two-day ticket costs 55 JD and three-day ticket costs 60 JD.

Children under 12 enter free. Petra By Night tickets cost 17 JD (more info on that below). Remember to take your passport in order to purchase your ticket.

Oh, and if you’re a resident of Jordan it’s super cheap… just 1 JD!

How much does it cost for a guided tour of Petra?

A private guide for the main trail costs 50 JD. You can arrange it at the visitor centre when you arrive. There are plenty of Petra tours you can book to travel to the site with.

I visited with Abraham Tours who were very friendly and efficient. Find out more about my experience here.

What time does Petra open and close?

Petra’s Visitor Centre is open each day from 6am to 6pm during the summer and 6am to 4pm in the winter. This is the place to buy tickets, arrange a guide or pick up a Petra map.

While there doesn’t seem to be an official ‘closing time’ there are instructions at the front gate saying you need to leave the site by 7pm in summer and 5pm in winter, unless you’re attending Petra By Night.

When is the best time to visit Petra?

I’d recommend getting to the site as early as possible. We arrived at 8am and avoided lots of the big tour groups, making for a more pleasant experience.

It can get extremely hot during the day so you’ll want to prioritise the bigger treks in the morning and late afternoon. Also, avoid rainy days as the valley is prone to flooding.

How much is a horse and carriage, donkey or camel in Petra?

You actually get a horse ride included in your ticket at the entrance, but it’s often thought of as a bit of a scam! The owners will ask for costly tips, so if in doubt agree the final fee before you accept the ride, or avoid altogether.

A horse and carriage from the entrance to the Treasury costs 20 JD (two ways) and 40 JD to get to and from the main basin area.

As there are lots of trails, many of them steep with numerous steps, many people choose to travel by donkey. As camels and horses can’t travel up steps, and there is much debate as to how well any of the animals are kept, it’s best to walk unless you’re not very mobile.

Riding donkeys in Petra, Jordan

Riding donkeys in Petra, Jordan

Horse and cart racing through The Siq in Petra, Jordan

Visiting Petra – Horse and cart racing through The Siq in Petra, Jordan

Camels in Petra, Jordan

Camels in Petra, Jordan

How long does it take to walk to The Treasury?

At a reasonable pace, it’ll take you around 30 minutes to walk from the entrance, along The Siq, to The Treasury.

The Treasury in Petra, Jordan

The Treasury in Petra, Jordan

How long does it take to get to The Monastery?

At a reasonable pace, it takes around 1 hour 30 minutes from the basin area (just beyond The Treasury) to reach The Monastery. There are 800 rock cut steps to get up there.

The Monastery in Petra, Jordan

The Monastery in Petra, Jordan (Photo: Macca Sherifi)

What are the key sites I have to see on my first visit to Petra?

The Siq, The Treasury, The Monastery, High Place of Sacrifice and the Royal Tombs. It’s too much to see in a day but if you have the chance to stay a few, then that’s the dream itinerary!

What should a woman wear to visit Petra?

While it may be warm, most women were still respectful of the Jordanian culture and chose to cover up. I wore a long skirt with leggings, my Converse trailers, a T-shirt and cardigan.

I took a scarf too. I’d recommend sturdy trainers or walking boots rather than sandals or flip-flops. Here’s some inspiration…

 

I actually wrote a post to help you pack for Petra: What Clothes Women Should Pack To Visit Jordan

What should a man wear to visit Petra?

Again, most men were in trousers rather than shorts, with a T-shirt and sturdy trainers or walking boots. Here’s some inspiration…

 

READ MORE: What To Wear In Jordan – A Men’s Packing Guide

How To Get To Petra, Jordan

Want to know how to get to Petra, Jordan? Many visit Petra as part of an organised tour – but that’s not the only way! There is the option of public transport from Amman and Aqaba, or you can hire a car and drive.

Driving from Amman to Petra takes about three hours, or it’s just under two hours from Aqaba.

If you’re looking for public transport to Petra, JETT Bus leaves from Abdali station in Amman at 6.30am and arrives to Petra around 10.30an. It then returns to the city at 5pm.

Or from Aqaba, public buses leave from the central market and travel to Petra. More info here.

You can book a group tour to Petra from Amman here, from Eilat here or from Aqaba here.

How much time do I need if I’m visiting Petra for the first time?

How long is a piece of string?! I only had around 6 hours there, but could have easily spent several days. We raced around the site, keen to pack as much in as possible, but it would have been nice to explore at a leisurely pace.

I’d opt for two or three days, and stay at a hotel nearby so you can enter the site early in the morning.

READ MORE: A Tour Of Petra, Jordan

What trails are there in Petra and how long do they take?

I could write all this info out, but as I snapped this handy pic at the entrance, I’ll let that to the talking. 

Petra Trails

Petra trails information

What is Petra By Night?

Every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday there’s magical light show at Petra, with 1500 candles lighting the route to along The Siq to The Treasury.

Along with the beautiful views, there are tales from local Bedouin people and live music.

The experience begins at 8.30pm from Petra Visitor Centre and finishes at 10.30pm. Tickets cost 17 JD. You can find out more here: Petra By Night.

If you want to book in advance for Petra by Night, you can book here. 

 

A post shared by Visit Jordan (@visitjordan) on

What should I bring to Petra?

  • Money
  • Camera
  • Passport
  • Big bottle of water
  • Snacks
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Scarf  

How safe is Petra? 

I’d read a few blogs before travelling, and had a pretty mixed impression on safety at Petra. I was with my boyfriend so didn’t feel nervous, and saw plenty of solo female travellers exploring the site.

I think the biggest dangers are to do with being scammed and ripped off, so as long as you know what price you’re aiming for when you’re haggling, you should be fine!

There are parts where the ground is quite even and rocks are crumbling, so be sure to wear sensible shoes and look where you’re going.

Where should I stay in Petra?

Camping isn’t permitted within the site, so the best option is to book a hotel or camping experience nearby. Have a search, or scroll down for my suggestions…



Booking.com

Luxury – £70+ per night

Movenpick Resort Petra – You can’t get any close to Petra than this! Just two-minutes walk from the entrance, this 5-star hotel is perfect for those wanting to relax in style after a busy day exploring. There are several restaurants, a swimming pool and all the other amenities you could possibly need!

Bed and breakfast: 126 JD / £143 / 177 USD. Check latest prices here.

Movenpick Resort Petra

Movenpick Resort Petra

Petra Marriott Hotel – Another 5-star hotel in a stunning location, this smart hotel has an outdoor pool and a restaurant, plus comfortable stylish rooms, some with Jacuzzis. Check latest prices here.

Hayat Zaman Hotel & Resort – A 5-star hotel in a traditional stone style, set in the hills with a pool and spectacular views, this is another great option for staying near Petra. Rooms start around £70 so it’s great value too. Check latest prices here.

The Old Village Hotel & Resort – This stone hotel is one of the most charming places to stay, and is just over a mile from the entrance to Petra. There’s a gorgeous indoor pool, terrace with beautiful views and a restaurant on site. Check latest prices here.

The Old Village Hotel & Resort Petra

The Old Village Hotel & Resort Petra

Mid-Range – Between £30 and £70 per night 

 P Quattro Relax Hotel – 17-minutes walk to Petra, this is a comfortable mid-range hotel with a buffet breakfast, free wifi and an indoor pool.

Bed and breakfast: 50 JD / £57 / 70 USD. Check latest prices here.

Petra Sella Hotel – Really convenient for visiting Petra, this hotel is around 10 minutes walk to the entrance. There’s free WiFi, AC and views of the mountains, plus it’s close to the town too.
Check latest prices here.

Budget – under £30 per night

Seven Wonders Bedouin Camp – This camp is an incredible place to stay out in the desert, yet only 15 minutes drive to Petra’s entrance. The traditional Bedouin tents are warm and comfortable, and the location is truly magical!

Bed and breakfast: 20 JD / £22 / 28 USD 

Bedouin camp, Jordan

Seven Wonders Bedouin camp, Jordan (Photo: Macca Sherifi)

Rocky Mountain Hotel – Located in the centre of Wadi Musa, this is a small family run budget hotel with free WiFi, AC and a rooftop terrace with spectacular views of the mountains. They also have a free shuttle twice a day to and from Petra which is a great bonus! Check latest prices here.

What can I buy at Petra?

There are a number of stalls within the site selling water, tea, Turkish coffee, scarves, jewellery, antique coins and other nic-nacs. We bought a lovely scarf for 5 JD (a price we negotiated). We also had a free cup of tea thrown in!

Is there Wi-Fi at Petra?

You’ll find Zain free Wi-Fi points around Jordan, and my phone picked it up next to the Visitor Centre at Petra.

Once out in the site, a few small stalls and café claimed to have Wi-Fi but I didn’t test it out. It was nice not to be looking at my phone all day!

And finally… Are there toilets at Petra?

Yes, of course! Don’t panic if you get caught short. There are toilets around the site, but they’re not everywhere, so pick up a map at the start and plan your route.

There are plenty by the entrance and I found one by The Monastery, which was a makeshift portaloo. It had toilet paper and a bowl outside to leave a small tip for the pleasure!

Makeshift toilet at Petra, Jordan

Makeshift toilet at Petra, Jordan

This post contains some affiliate links where I receive a small commission if you choose to book anything (at no extra cost to you!)

Enjoyed this post? Pin it… Top Tips For Visiting Petra


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36 comments

Never stop Traveling 30th November -0001 - 12:00 am

I appreciate this post! I am going at the end of the month and this is just the info I needed and I am more excited now about staying the camp. Happy Travels

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Wanderlust Chloe 30th November -0001 - 12:00 am

Thank you! It is such a unique experience!

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Andee 30th November -0001 - 12:00 am

Were you able to sign up for ‘Petra by night’ while on your tour with Abraham tours? We”ll be doing an abraham tour of Petra/Wadi Rum. Did you get to shower? was there running water to brush teeth and stuff….I wish I got more information as to what to expect with Abraham Tours…

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Wanderlust Chloe 30th November -0001 - 12:00 am

Hey Andee! There was a shower with running water at the camp we stayed in near to Petra. It was fine for brushing teeth and washing faces, but as it was chilly outside I chose not to shower that evening! Some people did though – hope that helps. I didn’t sign up for the night time visit to Petra but it may be something you can organise directly with Abraham. It’s an amazing experience so enjoy it!

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Angie SilverSpoon 20th April 2017 - 8:57 am

It literally looks like something out of Aladdin!! So magical!

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Wanderlust Chloe 20th April 2017 - 9:04 am

It really is one of the most incredible places I’ve ever been. It’s a tricky one to plan though so hopefully this will help a few people out 🙂

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stephaniestraveldiary 20th April 2017 - 2:25 pm

Wow Jordan was never on my radar, but this guide got me interested in it.
Thanks for the great and full guide.

x

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Wanderlust Chloe 23rd April 2017 - 4:24 pm

Thanks so much! It really is a proper bucket list place! I loved it.

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hapa roving 22nd April 2017 - 1:24 pm

Thank you so much for all the tips Chloe, this is so useful! Petra is definitely on my bucket list. Did you feel safe while traveling in Jordan? P.S. thanks also for writing a small section on how to dress – I’ve seen pictures of girls wearing totally inappropriate stuff uhh.

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Wanderlust Chloe 23rd April 2017 - 4:25 pm

Thanks so much! Glad you found it useful. I’m working on a whole feature on What to Wear in Jordan for that reason precisely. I was shocked at how disrespectful people were of the culture, just to get that perfect Instagram shot. So bad!

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Lisa Michele Burns 22nd April 2017 - 4:56 pm

The image of Seven Wonders Bedouin camp is so beautiful! Are they candles that are lit on the cliffs behind? Definitely need to visit Jordan one day!

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Wanderlust Chloe 23rd April 2017 - 4:26 pm

Thank you Lisa – it was such a wonderful experience. They looked like candles but I think they were large fairy lights as it’d be hard to clamber up to the top to light candles! It’s well worth a trip – totally magical experience and you’d love the photography opportunities there.

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Bri 22nd April 2017 - 6:58 pm

I’ve always wanted to visit the Treasury ever since watching Indiana Jones haha, it looks so awesome!!

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Wanderlust Chloe 23rd April 2017 - 4:27 pm

Ahhh it is soooo amazing! I knew it would be special but it went beyond expectations. Hope you get the chance to visit one day 🙂

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Honey @ The Girl Next Shore 23rd April 2017 - 9:48 am

What stunning photos! I play Uncharted and this absolutely reminds me of that. I’d love to visit Petra but I’ve always been reluctant to plan because it’s so meticulous! This is a really cool straightforward guide, though!

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Wanderlust Chloe 23rd April 2017 - 4:28 pm

Thank you so much! I hoped it would cut the jargon and give people a simple to follow guide. I found a lot of the info around very very confusing! Hope you get the chance to visit one day – so worth it, I promise!!

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Sarah Iskander 13th March 2018 - 5:07 am

Did you get a camel or donkey ? If so how much should we pay? with the animals take us the whole trip? is there water or food for the animals or do we bring it with us?

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Wanderlust Chloe 4th June 2018 - 10:36 am

Hi Sarah, we paid 15 JD for two donkeys up the Al-Kubtha trail (the viewpoint overlooking The Treasury). The camels don’t go up steps so I think you’d just ride those down on the main paths. Assuming they’re a similar price! You don’t need to worry about food or water for the animals as far as I know their owners take care of everything. I was a little unsure of their welfare generally, and if you have time/energy I’d suggest walking the routes. We were in a hurry to get to the viewpoint so took a donkey but I wasn’t sure about it all! Have an amazing time though, Petra is incredible!

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Steven from Downunder 3rd August 2019 - 6:22 am

Unless you cannot walk, don’t even consider the ‘free’ ride to the Treasury – it was much slower than walking and then we were hassled to book a return time, which limited us.
But we had a great day!

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Trudy 24th April 2018 - 3:51 pm

Best guide I’ve read on Petra so far, and I’ve read many. Only missing the visa info, but this was so good, its ok 😉

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Donna 20th June 2018 - 3:41 am

Beautiful sights!

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Tim 28th July 2018 - 10:59 pm

So, you can just walk right up to the visitor center and buy a ticket to get in?

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Chloe Gunning 8th September 2018 - 12:41 pm

Hey Tim – yep buy them on the day if you want!

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Tucker Burns 2nd August 2018 - 9:06 am

The culture of Jordan is quite interesting to learn and explore. This is the type of place that i love to travel with. Keep us updated.

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Rashmi 3rd August 2018 - 12:08 pm

Thank you for such informative blog. It is really very useful… Hope to have a grt time at Petra in October.

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Chloe Gunning 3rd August 2018 - 12:23 pm

Thanks so much! I hope you have a wonderful time!

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Nalin 9th September 2018 - 5:41 am

Very informative. We plan to travel end December. Wondering if two days would be sufficient as days are quite short and one has to get out by 5 pm. What would be timings for the night visit?

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Chloe Gunning 12th October 2018 - 11:47 am

Hi Nalin, thanks for your comment. Glad you found the post useful. I can’t find the timings for Petra by night in Dec sadly. I think it’d be enough time though. We only had a day there and rushed to see everything – 2 would have been perfect! Have an amazing time!

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Barbara p 23rd September 2018 - 9:25 am

Thank you for your great info. Off to Jordan very soon and although easy to get info about most things, everyone else has not mentioned toilets in Petra. Was getting a badge concerned! Now able to go with an easy mind. Thanks so much.

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Chloe Gunning 23rd September 2018 - 6:31 pm

Haha it’s the little things like that which are the difference between whether it’s a comfy and relaxed day or not! Have a wonderful time – it’s SUCH a special place!

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Paul 19th October 2018 - 10:01 pm

As for tickets, you really should mention the Jordan Pass – or did I miss that somewhere? It’s just 70 JD for one day, or 75 for 2 days, it also covers the 40JD visa fee on arrival, and it allows you into dozens of other sites around the country for free (I used it today at the Citadel and Roman amphitheatre in Amman, for example). So it’s a major savings off the ticket price at Petra as long as you purchase it online before you arrive in Jordan.
Thanks for the other info!

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Daniel 3rd January 2019 - 3:46 pm

Great highlights and tips! Thanks for sharing about your experience and tips to seeing Jordan! It’s a magical place.

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Dr shylesh 26th May 2019 - 10:28 am

Thanks for your informative blog on Petra

– 💕 love from India

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Aadarsha Basavarajurs 24th June 2019 - 10:20 pm

What do you recommend doing in Jordan other than Petra. We have three full days. Thanks.

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Chloe Gunning 2nd July 2019 - 11:40 am

I really enjoyed Amman and Jerash. I didn’t make it to the Dead Sea or to Wadi Rum, but they’d be on my list for next time!

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