Visiting Petra in Jordan: Ultimate Guide to the Ancient City Visiting Petra in Jordan: Ultimate Guide to the Ancient City

Visiting Petra in Jordan: Ultimate Guide to the Ancient City

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.

Things to do in Petra, Jordan

Exploring the valley is straightforward; 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.

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!

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Visiting Petra in Jordan: Ultimate Guide to the Ancient City

Small channels carved out of the side of the rock showed an innovative water management system built by the Nabataean people.

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.


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.

On the way, loads of donkeys will pass you carrying tourists. 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. Here are some things to do about wildlife tourism and the better alternatives.

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.

Tours & Tickets 🥾

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.

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

How to get to Petra in Jordan

Most visitors arrive in Amman, the capital of Jordan.

Getting to Petra from Amman takes about 3-4 hours by rental car and it’s a very easy and straightforward drive. Driving a rental car through Jordan is very common and safe to do so. Another option is to take a multi-day tour or the local Jett bus from Amman. (Get bus tickets here)

Petra opening hours

It 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.

Best time to visit Petra

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.

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), a 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.

Is Petra safe?

Yes! Like everywhere in Jordan, Petra is safe. No matter if you’re 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.

Blog comments (12)

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  • Lameez

    Hi guys! Thank you for this itinerary it’s been really helpful for us to plan our trip to Jordan. We’d like to combine your Egypt itinerary with Jordan .. do you guys have any trips between travelling between the two?

    • Salt in our Hair

      You’re welcome Lameez. We crossed the border by ferry from Egypt to Jordan. I think the port was called Nuweiba. It was a pretty smooth process. That’s all the experience we have traveling between the two.

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