Discover the Lost City of Petra in Jordan (The Ultimate Travel Guide)

Discover the Lost City of Petra in Jordan (The Ultimate Travel Guide)

Discover the Lost City of Petra in Jordan (The Ultimate Travel Guide)

Hidden in a valley surrounded by desert and mountains is an entire city carved out of stone. The lost city of Petra is one of the seven wonders of the world. It has been rediscovered only 200 years ago because it was buried due to the effects of an earthquake.
Plan at least one entire day wandering around in Petra. The valley is over 6 kilometers long and offers 15 sights. Even more mind-blowing, is the fact that 85% of Petra is still buried.

Use this Petra Jordan Travel Guide to plan your time in Petra.

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everything about petra jordan

What to expect in Petra, Jordan

Exploring the valley is straight forward; one clear walking route is leading from the Siq all the way to The Monastery. Many detailed, beautifully preserved structures carved out of rose-colored stone can be seen and some visited inside. The following spots are the highlights of Petra. You don’t need a guide to explore Petra.

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Siq; Entrance to Petra, Jordan

Siq is the main entrance, a rose-red 1.2-kilometer long gorge leading to the city of Petra. The walls are a stunning 80-meter high at some point! Small channels carved out of the side of the rock showed an innovative water management system built by the Nabataean people.

Tip: Buy water at the supermarket near your hotel instead of inside Petra.

Siq walk petra jordan guide

The Treasury in Petra, Jordan

At the end of the 30-minute walk through the Siq gorge, an unreal 40-meter high structure appears from behind the rocks. The Treasury is the most beautiful and well-known sight in Petra. For a more unique perspective, hike up to the viewpoint. So-called “Jack Sparrow’s”’ the look-a-likes, will offer you a guided walk to the viewpoint but that’s the illegal route. The Treasury is just a small part of what Petra has to offer.

Good to know: Some structures are accessible, but none are allowed to climb.

➳ Hotels in Petra: Find all hotels

treasury petra jordan best to visit


One of the largest and most beautiful structures discovered in Petra is the Monastery. The trail from The Treasury towards the Monastery takes 1.5-hour and includes 40 minutes of solid hiking up the stairs. It’s a walk with a couple of beautiful panoramic viewpoints over the desert.

Monastery petra jordan tips

On the way, loads of donkeys will pass you carrying tourist. The walking trail is fine; there are loads of spots the hide in the shade and buy drinks so walk by yourself instead of using an animal.

Tip: The best time to visit the Monastery is in the early morning before the heat of the day.

Once at the Monastery take the time to wander around, have a look inside and get some refreshments at the cafe. Is the hike worth it? Yes! The Monastery is beautifully detailed and has more space so feels less crowded.

petra jordan hiking trail

How many days in Petra, Jordan

Two days is the perfect amount of time to spend in Petra. There is a lot to see and quite a distance to cover but when spread over two days it would be short walks and hikes. Visiting most sights of Petra in one day is possible when you start at 6 AM until 6 PM.

➳ Hotels in Petra: Find all hotels

To the Monastery and back from the Siq entrance takes 3.5 hours of walking and hiking up stairs without stopping. So it’s important to remember that you will be walking a lot in one day.

Good to know: Food & drinks available inside.

Best time to visit Petra

It’s is best to visit Petra during the morning and late afternoon. The entrance opens every morning at 6 AM and there won’t be any big tour groups before 8 AM. Petra closes at 6 PM in summer and 4 PM in the winter.

petra jordan travel guide

From March to May and September to November is the best time to visit Petra. There are fewer tourists, and you will avoid unpleasant summer temperatures.

Good to know: avoid rainy days as the valley is prone to flooding.

Entrance tickets Petra

The entrance to Petra is 50 JOD (~ 70 USD) for one day. Visiting two days has better value as that will only add 5 JOD. A two-day pass costs 55 JOD (~ 77 USD). Children under 12 enter for free.

Jordan Pass online

A better deal is to buy a Jordan Pass online. The Jordan Explorer includes your visa to Jordan (usually 40 JOD), 2-day entrance to Petra and 40 other big attractions in Jordan. The costs are 75 JOD (~ 105 USD).

Important: Take your passport, you have to show this with your ticket at the entrance.

viewpoint petra jordan

Is Petra safe?

Yes! Like everywhere in Jordan, Petra is safe. No matter if your a solo female traveler or as a big group, you don’t need to worry. Cover up appropriately but there’s no need to cover your hair.

Make sure to wear good shoes in Petra. The path can be tricky at some point and flip-flops are definitely a no-go for hiking here.

Our tour was arranged by Travel Talk Tours, they take care of the hassle and after explaining some important history they let us roam free inside Petra. ➳ Book your tour online

Hotels in Petra

All hotels in Petra are in Wadi Musa, a perfect location at the entrance of Petra. ➳ Find all hotels

Blog comments (8)

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  • Christyn De Castro

    Hey there! Thank you so much for making this guide? I’m just after booking a flight to Jordan for May and we are travelling with a 2 year old! I know it will be quite a challenge that’s why I came here to ask you guys a question, what is it like to hike in Petra? Are there any steps to climb? Do you recommend bringing a stroller (all-terrain wheels) or a hiking bag for kids is a better option? Please help! Thank you so much, Hannah & Nick!

    • Salt in our Hair

      Hi! You are so welcome :-D So the hike in Petra is fine with a stroller until the last part. The monastery is where you have to actually hike for. It’s a firm hike but fine steps. They have donkeys but we wouldn’t recommend using them as it’s just so sad. Hope this helps!

  • Goedenavond,
    Mijn vriend en ik willen volgend jaar graag naar Jordanië. Alleen we zijn gebonden aan de zomermaanden, denken jullie dat het te doen is als we begin juli gaan?
    Alvast bedankt!

    • Salt in our Hair

      Hi Cindy, het zal dan erg warm zijn. Denk aan ± 40 graden. Spendeer twee vroege ochtenden om de hitte te ontsnappen is je beste optie.

  • Hello. Thank you for the guide. I’m wondering is there a problems for the unmarried couples? Can we stay in one room in the hotels? And how you act in public? Best wishes!

    • Salt in our Hair

      Hi Aleks, no problems at all! Jordan is actually fairly liberal about these things. We never had any trouble :)

  • Hey there,
    thank you so much for this detailed article! I never thought about going to Petra, cause it is allover in social media at the moment and slowly im getting bored about all the same pictures with diffrent people in it. But you have shown a totally different and more personal side from Petra. Thanks for that!

    best wishes

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