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A Definitive Guide To Visiting Petra – Jordan’s Lost City


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Idalia Bard



Welcome to Petra, Jordan’s lost city and one of the most breathtaking historical sites in the world. Nestled amidst the rugged desert of the Middle East, Petra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-visit destination for adventure enthusiasts and history buffs alike.


Steeped in mystery and allure, Petra is believed to have been established as early as 312 BCE by the Nabateans, an ancient Arab civilization. Carved into the rose-red sandstone cliffs, this hidden gem remained unknown to the Western world until its rediscovery in 1812 by the intrepid Swiss explorer, Johann Ludwig Burckhardt.


Today, Petra is a living testament to the architectural genius of its creators and stands as a remarkable remnant of ancient civilization. The magnificence of this ancient city is best exemplified by the iconic Treasury, also known as Al-Khazneh, which is undoubtedly the most recognizable landmark in Petra.


Beyond the Treasury, Petra spreads across an expansive area of 264 square kilometers, offering a plethora of archaeological wonders to explore. From intricately carved tombs and temples to ancient amphitheaters and dwellings, every corner of Petra unveils a new tale of the past.


Visiting Petra is like stepping into a mythical world frozen in time. As you wander through the winding Siq, a narrow gorge flanked by towering cliffs, the anticipation builds. The moment you reach the end of the Siq and catch a glimpse of the Treasury, the sheer grandeur of the sight leaves you awestruck.


But Petra is not just about ancient ruins. It also boasts stunning natural beauty, with rugged mountains, deep canyons, and splendid landscapes surrounding the city. As you explore the caves and pathways carved into the rock formations, you’ll be treated to breathtaking vistas that will leave an indelible mark on your memory.


Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of the past, Petra offers an experience like no other. So, prepare to take a step back in time and embark on an unforgettable journey through ancient history as we delve into the wonders of Petra and all it has to offer.


History of Petra

The history of Petra dates back thousands of years, with evidence of human habitation in the area as early as prehistoric times. However, it was during the 6th century BCE that the nomadic Arab tribe known as the Nabateans established the city of Petra as their capital.


The Nabateans were skilled traders and savvy diplomats, which helped them establish an extensive trade network that spanned from Arabia to the Mediterranean. This strategic location at the crossroads of major trade routes brought wealth and prosperity to Petra, turning it into a flourishing city.


Under Nabatean rule, Petra thrived as a hub of cultural exchange, attracting diverse influences from ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, and Mesopotamia. This cultural fusion is evident in the architectural styles and artistic motifs found throughout the city.


One of the defining features of Petra is its intricate rock-cut architecture. The Nabateans were known for their adeptness in carving elaborate structures directly into the cliff faces. These remarkable structures, including tombs, temples, and houses, were made possible by the soft sandstone rock formations that make up the area.


During its prime, Petra became a bustling metropolis, home to thousands of residents and a center for trade and commerce. However, its prominence began to decline in the 3rd century CE as trade routes shifted and the Roman Empire gained control over the region.


Following a series of earthquakes in the 4th and 5th centuries, Petra gradually faded into obscurity and was abandoned by the 7th century. It remained hidden from the Western world until the Swiss explorer, Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, rediscovered it in 1812.


Since its rediscovery, Petra has captivated visitors from around the globe with its rich history and architectural marvels. In 1985, the site was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has since become one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world.


Today, Petra stands as a testimony to the ingenuity, artistry, and enduring legacy of the Nabateans. Exploring this ancient city is a journey through time, providing a glimpse into the thriving civilization that once called Petra home.


Getting to Petra

Reaching Petra is an adventure in itself. The ancient city is located in southern Jordan, making it accessible from various destinations in the region. Here are some of the common ways to get to Petra:


By Air: The closest international airport to Petra is Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, the capital city of Jordan. From there, you can take a domestic flight to King Hussein Airport in Aqaba, which is the nearest airport to Petra. Alternatively, you can arrange for a private transfer or take a taxi from Amman to Petra, which is approximately a 3-hour drive.


By Land: If you prefer a scenic and adventurous journey, you can travel to Petra by road. Jordan has an extensive network of highways, making it accessible from neighboring countries. From Israel, you can cross the border at either Eilat or Allenby Bridge and then continue by taxi or public transportation. From neighboring countries like Saudi Arabia or Iraq, land routes are available with appropriate visas and permits.


By Bus: There are bus services that operate between major cities in Jordan and Petra. The most popular route is from Amman, with several daily departures from the Abdali bus station. The journey takes around 3-4 hours, depending on traffic and road conditions. It’s advisable to book your bus tickets in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons.


By Guided Tour: Another convenient option is to join a guided tour that includes transportation to Petra. These tours often depart from popular tourist destinations such as Amman or Aqaba and provide a comprehensive experience, complete with a knowledgeable guide and pre-arranged entrance tickets.


Once you arrive in the vicinity of Petra, you will need to make your way to the entrance gate. From there, you can explore the site by foot, as vehicles are not allowed past the entrance point. However, don’t worry if you’re not up for a long walk. Horse carriages and donkeys are available for hire to transport you to the entrance of the Siq or to explore the main sites within Petra.


It’s important to note that traveling to Petra requires a valid entrance ticket, which can be purchased at the ticket office near the entrance gate. Make sure to check the opening hours and plan your visit accordingly to make the most of your time at this magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Entrance Fees and Opening Hours

Before planning your visit to Petra, it’s essential to be aware of the entrance fees and the site’s opening hours. This information will help you make the most of your experience and ensure a smooth visit to this ancient wonder. Here’s what you need to know:


Entrance Fees: The entrance fee for Petra varies depending on the duration of your visit. The fees are as follows:

  • 1-day ticket: JD 50 (Jordanian Dinar) for adults, JD 25 for children
  • 2-day ticket: JD 55 for adults, JD 27.5 for children
  • 3-day ticket: JD 60 for adults, JD 30 for children

The ticket prices are subject to change, so it’s advisable to check the official website or inquire at the ticket office for the most up-to-date information. Note that children under the age of 15 receive a discounted ticket.


Opening Hours: Petra is typically open to visitors from sunrise to sunset. However, the exact opening hours may vary depending on the time of year and other factors. It’s recommended to check the official website or contact the local tourism authorities for the latest information on opening hours.


It’s worth mentioning that visiting Petra during the early mornings or late afternoons can offer a more serene and tranquil experience, as the site tends to be less crowded during these times.


Additionally, for a truly awe-inspiring experience, consider attending the Petra by Night event, which takes place on certain evenings. This magical candlelit journey through Petra under the starry sky is an unforgettable experience, but it requires a separate ticket and has specific opening hours. Make sure to check the schedule and arrange your visit accordingly if you wish to attend this enchanting event.


Lastly, it’s important to keep in mind that ticket prices and opening hours are subject to change. It’s advisable to double-check this information before your visit and make any necessary arrangements in advance to ensure a seamless and enjoyable experience exploring the wonders of Petra.


Exploring Petra

Exploring Petra is like stepping into a magnificent open-air museum where every corner reveals a fascinating piece of history. With its vast archaeological sites and stunning natural landscapes, Petra offers an unforgettable adventure for visitors. Here are some tips and highlights to help you make the most of your exploration:


The Siq: The journey into Petra begins with the Siq, a narrow gorge flanked by towering cliffs. As you meander through its winding path, you’ll be enthralled by the natural beauty and anticipation of what lies ahead. The Siq stretches for about 1.2 kilometers and leads you to the iconic treasure, the Treasury.


The Treasury (Al-Khazneh): The Treasury, a magnificent masterpiece of Nabatean architecture, is the jewel of Petra. Carved into the rose-colored sandstone, this awe-inspiring facade stands over 40 meters tall. Marvel at its intricate carvings and the legends that shroud its purpose and history.


The Royal Tombs: Beyond the Treasury lies a series of grand rock-cut tombs known as the Royal Tombs. These monumental structures were the final resting places of Nabatean royalty and showcase exquisite craftsmanship and intricate designs.


The Street of Facades: Continuing along the main path, you’ll encounter the Street of Facades, a row of impressive rock-cut tombs and burial chambers. These facades showcase intricate architectural details and provide insight into the ancient burial rituals and traditions of the Nabateans.


The Great Temple: Make sure to visit the Great Temple, a vast complex that was once the religious center of Petra. Although mostly in ruins, the remaining columns and structures give a glimpse into the grandeur of this ancient holy site.


The Monastery (Ad-Deir): To truly experience the splendor of Petra, venture up the 800 steps to the Monastery. This massive facade, similar to the Treasury but larger in scale, rewards you with breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscape once you reach the top.


The High Place of Sacrifice: For a unique perspective and a stunning view of Petra, consider visiting the High Place of Sacrifice. It involves a steep climb, but the panoramic views from the top and the ancient sacrificial altar make it well worth the effort.


The Petra Archaeological Museum: To gain a deeper understanding of the history and significance of Petra, don’t miss the Petra Archaeological Museum. It houses a collection of artifacts found within the site, providing insight into the Nabatean culture and their way of life.


Guided Tours: Consider hiring a knowledgeable guide to enhance your visit to Petra. They will provide valuable insights and stories that bring the ancient city to life, allowing you to appreciate its historical and cultural significance on a deeper level.


Remember to wear comfortable shoes and bring plenty of water, as exploring Petra involves a fair amount of walking and climbing. Take your time to soak in the atmosphere, capture stunning photos, and revel in the remarkable history that surrounds you at every turn.


By taking the time to explore all the nooks and crannies of Petra, you’ll truly appreciate the grandeur and captivating beauty of this ancient wonder, making your visit a memorable and enriching experience.


Main Attractions in Petra

As you explore the vast expanse of Petra, you’ll encounter a myriad of fascinating attractions that showcase the architectural brilliance and historical importance of this ancient city. Here are some of the main attractions in Petra that should not be missed:


The Treasury (Al-Khazneh): The Treasury is undoubtedly one of the most iconic and awe-inspiring sights in Petra. Carved into the sandstone cliffs, this intricate and beautifully preserved facade is a testament to the skill of the Nabatean craftsmen. Marvel at the detailed carvings and the grandeur of this ancient architectural masterpiece.


The Monastery (Ad-Deir): Located high up in the mountains, the Monastery is another magnificent structure that leaves visitors in awe. Its large and well-preserved facade is similar in design to the Treasury but on an even larger scale. The journey to the Monastery involves a hike up several hundred steps, but the panoramic views and the sheer beauty of the site make it well worth the effort.


The Royal Tombs: The Royal Tombs are a cluster of grand rock-cut tombs that were the final resting places of the Nabatean elite. These monumental structures, such as the Urn Tomb, the Silk Tomb, and the Corinthian Tomb, feature intricate facades and offer a glimpse into the Nabatean burial customs and architectural prowess.


The Street of Facades: A stroll along the Street of Facades takes you past a row of elaborate tombs and burial chambers. These facades showcase the artistry and craftsmanship of the Nabatean people, with intricate details and unique architectural features. Admire the beauty of the structures and imagine what life was like in ancient Petra.


The Great Temple: Once the religious center of Petra, the Great Temple is a sprawling complex that offers insights into the Nabatean belief system and their architectural achievements. Although mostly in ruins, the remaining colonnades and structures give a sense of its former grandeur and importance.


The Roman Theater: The Roman Theater is a well-preserved amphitheater that dates back to the 1st century CE. With a seating capacity of around 3,000 people, it was once a venue for various performances and gatherings. Climb to the top tiers for a panoramic view of the theater and the surrounding landscape.


The Petra Archaeological Museum: The Petra Archaeological Museum houses a collection of artifacts discovered within the site. From pottery and jewelry to ancient sculptures and carvings, the museum provides a deeper understanding of the Nabatean culture and their way of life.


These are just a few of the many remarkable attractions you’ll encounter as you explore Petra. Take your time to immerse yourself in the rich history and marvel at the incredible architectural achievements of this ancient city. Remember to bring your camera and capture the awe-inspiring beauty of these ancient wonders to cherish for years to come.


Hiking and Trails in Petra

For those with a sense of adventure and a love for the outdoors, Petra offers a range of hiking trails that allow you to explore the stunning natural landscapes and hidden treasures of this ancient city. Lace up your hiking boots and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through Petra’s trails:


The Monastery Trail: Considered one of the most rewarding hikes in Petra, the Monastery Trail takes you from the entrance gate to the jaw-dropping Monastery (Ad-Deir). This trail involves climbing around 800 steps, but the panoramic views along the way and the impressive facade of the Monastery at the top make it well worth the effort.


The High Place of Sacrifice Trail: For a unique and breathtaking hiking experience, take the trail to the High Place of Sacrifice. This trail starts near the Treasury and involves a steep ascent to reach the sacrificial altar at the summit. Along the way, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.


The Al-Khubtha Trail: The Al-Khubtha Trail offers a panoramic view of Petra and takes you to a lesser-known but equally impressive viewpoint. This trail begins near the High Place of Sacrifice and offers a quieter and more secluded experience, away from the crowds.


The Al-Beidha Trail: If you prefer a shorter hike, the Al-Beidha Trail is an excellent choice. This trail allows you to explore the beautiful Al-Beidha, also known as Little Petra, which is a smaller archaeological site located just a few kilometers from the main entrance of Petra.


The Wadi al-Farasa Trail: This trail takes you through the peaceful Wadi al-Farasa, a picturesque valley dotted with stunning rock formations and ancient tombs. Along the way, you’ll pass by the Garden Temple and the Lion Triclinium, both of which are worth exploring.


The Al-Mudhlimah Trail: For a longer and more challenging hike, consider the Al-Mudhlimah Trail. This trail takes you through rugged terrain, deep canyons, and remote areas of Petra, offering a unique perspective of the site. It’s advisable to hire a local guide for this trail due to its remote and less frequented nature.


Before embarking on any of the hiking trails in Petra, it’s essential to be adequately prepared. Wear comfortable and sturdy footwear, carry plenty of water, and protect yourself from the sun with a hat, sunscreen, and appropriate clothing.


It’s also recommended to have a trail map or guidebook to navigate the trails and ensure you don’t miss any important landmarks or attractions along the way. Additionally, hiring a local guide can provide valuable insights and enhance your hiking experience by sharing stories and historical information about the sites you pass.


Whether you choose a shorter hike to Al-Beidha or go for the more challenging trails like the High Place of Sacrifice or Al-Mudhlimah, exploring Petra on foot allows you to connect intimately with the ancient city and truly appreciate its natural beauty and historical significance.


Accommodation Options in Petra

When visiting Petra, you’ll find a range of accommodation options to suit every budget and preference. Whether you’re looking for luxury hotels, cozy guesthouses, or budget-friendly hostels, there’s something to suit every traveler’s needs. Here are some of the accommodation options in Petra:


Luxury Hotels: For a truly indulgent experience, several luxury hotels are located near Petra. These hotels offer exquisite amenities, impeccable service, and stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Many of them also provide direct access to the ancient city, allowing you to begin your exploration conveniently.


Mid-Range Hotels: If you’re looking for comfortable and well-equipped accommodation at a more affordable price point, there are numerous mid-range hotels and resorts in the vicinity of Petra. These establishments offer pleasant rooms, on-site dining options, and amenities that cater to both leisure and business travelers.


Bed and Breakfasts: Bed and breakfast accommodations provide a cozy and intimate atmosphere, with personalized service and a home-like feel. You can find a variety of bed and breakfast establishments in and around Petra, offering comfortable rooms, homemade breakfasts, and a chance to interact with locals or fellow travelers.


Guesthouses: Guesthouses are popular options for budget-conscious travelers who want a comfortable place to stay without breaking the bank. They typically offer clean and basic rooms, shared facilities, and a friendly atmosphere. Staying in a guesthouse can also give you an opportunity to connect with other travelers and exchange tips and stories about exploring Petra.


Hostels: If you’re a solo traveler or on a tight budget, hostels in Petra provide economical and often communal accommodation options. These hostels usually offer dormitory-style rooms, shared facilities, and common areas where you can meet other like-minded travelers. Some hostels also organize social activities and tours to enhance your experience in Petra.


Camping: For those seeking an authentic outdoor experience, camping is a popular option in Petra. Some areas near the site allow camping, but it’s important to comply with local regulations and obtain any necessary permits. Camping under the stars in the desert is an unforgettable way to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the surroundings.


When making your accommodation arrangements, it’s advisable to book in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, to ensure availability and secure the best rates. Consider your preferences, budget, and desired level of comfort to choose the option that suits you best.


Regardless of where you decide to stay, the local hospitality in Petra is renowned, with friendly and welcoming staff ready to assist you throughout your visit. After a day of exploring the ancient city, having a comfortable place to rest and recharge will ensure that you’re ready for another adventurous day in Petra.


Food and Dining in Petra

Exploring Petra can be an exhilarating and tiring experience, and thankfully, there are several dining options available in and around the ancient city to satisfy your hunger and recharge your energy. From traditional Jordanian cuisine to international flavors, here’s what you can expect when it comes to food and dining in Petra:


Jordanian Cuisine: Immerse yourself in the local flavors by trying traditional Jordanian cuisine. You’ll find a variety of dishes that reflect the rich culinary heritage of the region. Indulge in mouthwatering kebabs, savory falafel, aromatic rice dishes, and delicious mezze spreads, accompanied by freshly baked bread and flavorful dips.


Middle Eastern Delights: Petra is a great place to savor Middle Eastern cuisine at its best. Enjoy the deliciousness of warm and fluffy hummus, crispy and buttery falafels, tangy tabbouleh, refreshing fattoush, and succulent shawarma. Don’t forget to sample some savory and aromatic Jordanian Mansaf, the national dish, made with lamb, rice, and yogurt sauce.


Vegetarian and Vegan Options: For those following a vegetarian or vegan diet, Petra has plenty of options to satisfy your dietary preferences. Many restaurants offer plant-based dishes made with fresh and local ingredients, including falafel wraps, stuffed vine leaves, lentil soups, and nourishing salads.


International Cuisine: If you’re looking for a break from traditional cuisine, Petra also has international restaurants and cafes that offer a wide range of flavors. You can find Italian pizzerias, Mediterranean restaurants, and even fast-food chains offering familiar favorites.


Local Street Food: When exploring Petra, be sure to sample some of the local street food as well. You’ll find street vendors selling delectable snacks like sambousek (fried pastries filled with cheese or meat), mana’eesh (flatbread topped with various ingredients), and sweet pastries like baklava and kunafa.


Water and Hydration: It’s important to stay hydrated while exploring Petra, especially during hot weather. Carry a reusable water bottle and refill it at the numerous water stations located throughout the site. Additionally, you can find shops and vendors selling beverages and snacks to keep you refreshed along the way.


It’s worth noting that dining options within Petra itself are somewhat limited, with most restaurants and cafes located in the nearby town of Wadi Musa. This town, also known as “Petra City,” is just a short distance from the entrance to Petra and offers a variety of dining establishments catering to different tastes and budgets.


Whether you choose to indulge in authentic local cuisine, savor international flavors, or try a combination of both, dining in Petra offers a delightful culinary adventure. So, be sure to take breaks during your exploration of the ancient city to sit back, relax, and satisfy your taste buds with the delicious flavors of Petra.


Safety Tips for Visiting Petra

When visiting Petra, it’s important to prioritize your safety to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here are some essential safety tips to keep in mind during your time in this ancient wonder:


Stay Hydrated: Petra is located in a desert region, and temperatures can soar, especially during the summer months. Carry a reusable water bottle and drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated throughout your visit. Take advantage of the water stations located within the site to refill your bottle.


Wear Appropriate Clothing: It’s advisable to dress modestly when visiting Petra, out of respect for the local culture and traditions. Be mindful of the weather and choose lightweight, breathable clothing to stay comfortable in the desert heat. Consider wearing a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun’s rays.


Comfortable Footwear: Exploring Petra involves a fair amount of walking and climbing, so it’s essential to wear comfortable and sturdy footwear. Choose closed-toe shoes with good traction to navigate the uneven terrain and rocky pathways safely.


Follow Signage and Guidelines: Petra is a vast site with many areas to explore. Pay attention to the signage and follow the designated trails and pathways. Respect any barriers or restricted areas to ensure your safety and the preservation of the archaeological sites.


Stay with a Group or Guide: If you’re not familiar with the area or prefer a guided experience, consider joining a group tour or hiring a local guide. They can provide valuable insights, ensure your safety, and help you navigate the complex terrain of Petra.


Be Prepared for the Outdoor Environment: Petra is a blend of ancient ruins and natural landscapes. Be prepared for the outdoor environment by carrying essentials such as a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, and a small first-aid kit. Keep in mind that weather conditions can change quickly, so it’s advisable to check the forecast and be prepared for any changes.


Protect Your Belongings: Petra attracts a large number of visitors, so it’s important to take precautions to safeguard your belongings. Keep your valuables secure and be mindful of your surroundings. Consider using a money belt or a secure bag to carry your essentials and avoid displaying expensive items that might attract unwanted attention.


Respect Local Customs and Etiquette: To ensure a positive and respectful experience in Petra, familiarize yourself with the local customs and etiquette. Dress modestly, be mindful of your language and behavior, and respect any religious or cultural sites within the complex.


Emergency Contacts: Before your visit, make a note of emergency contact numbers, including local authorities and the nearest medical facility. It’s always better to be prepared and have this information readily available in case of any unforeseen circumstances.


By following these safety tips and being aware of your surroundings, you can have an incredible and worry-free experience exploring the wonders of Petra. Your safety is paramount, so it’s important to prioritize it to ensure a memorable and enjoyable visit.


Local Culture and Etiquette in Petra

As you visit the ancient city of Petra, it’s important to be mindful of the local culture and etiquette. Respecting the customs and traditions of the region will not only enhance your experience but also show appreciation for the local community. Here are some key points to keep in mind:


Dress Modestly: Jordan is a conservative country, and it’s respectful to dress modestly, especially when visiting cultural and religious sites. Both men and women should cover their shoulders and knees. Wearing loose-fitting clothing made of lightweight fabrics will help you stay comfortable in the desert heat while respecting local customs.


Greeting and Respect: Jordanians are known for their hospitality and friendliness. Greet locals with a smile and a respectful greeting, such as saying “As-salamu alaykum” (peace be upon you) in Arabic. Show respect for the local customs and traditions by being courteous and polite in your interactions.


Photography Etiquette: Photography is allowed in most areas of Petra, but be considerate and ask for permission before taking photos of local people. Some areas may have specific rules or restrictions on commercial photography, so always be mindful of signage and follow the guidelines provided.


Respect Religious Sites: Petra has significant religious and cultural importance, and it’s essential to treat these sites with respect. When entering mosques or other religious sites, remove your shoes and dress appropriately. Avoid loud conversations or disruptive behavior that may disturb those who are praying or worshiping.


Use of Arabic Phrases: Learning a few basic Arabic phrases can go a long way in showing respect and connecting with locals. Simple greetings like “Marhaba” (hello) or “Shukran” (thank you) are appreciated. Locals will be delighted by your efforts and may even be more willing to engage in conversations and share their knowledge about Petra and the surrounding area.


Food and Dining Etiquette: If you’re invited to someone’s home for a meal or visiting local eateries, it’s customary to accept food and hospitality graciously. When dining, it’s polite to eat with your right hand, as the left hand is considered unclean in Middle Eastern cultures. Be open to trying local dishes and dining customs, as sharing meals is an integral part of Jordanian culture.


Be Mindful of Local Laws and Regulations: To ensure a smooth and respectful visit, familiarize yourself with local laws and regulations. For example, public displays of affection are not culturally acceptable in Jordan. It’s also important to note that the consumption of alcohol is generally restricted to licensed premises, and public intoxication is frowned upon.


Tipping Customs: Tipping is customary in Jordan, especially for services such as guides, taxi drivers, and hotel staff. While tipping amounts may vary, it’s a way to show appreciation for good service. It’s a good practice to have small denominations of local currency on hand for tipping purposes.


By respecting the local culture and customs, you’ll create a positive connection with the people of Petra and contribute to a harmonious and enriching experience for all. Embracing the local culture and etiquette offers a deeper understanding of the destination and fosters a spirit of respect and appreciation.


Other Nearby Attractions

While Petra itself is undoubtedly the star attraction in the region, there are several other noteworthy destinations in close proximity that are worth exploring. If you have the time and opportunity, consider visiting these nearby attractions to complement your Petra experience:


Wadi Rum: Located just a few hours south of Petra, Wadi Rum is a stunning desert wilderness known for its mesmerizing red sand dunes and towering rock formations. Embark on a camel or 4×4 tour to immerse yourself in the beauty of this lunar-like landscape, or spend a night camped under the stars for an unforgettable desert experience.


Dead Sea: The Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth, is a unique natural wonder located about three hours west of Petra. Float effortlessly in its saline-rich waters, renowned for their therapeutic properties, as you take in breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. Don’t forget to slather yourself in mineral-rich mud for a relaxing and rejuvenating spa-like experience.


Dana Biosphere Reserve: Situated between Petra and the Dead Sea, the Dana Biosphere Reserve is an ecological gem that spans diverse landscapes, from rugged mountains to sweeping valleys. Explore its hiking trails to spot unique wildlife, visit traditional villages, and admire breathtaking vistas. The reserve offers opportunities for camping, hiking, and wildlife watching, making it a must-visit for nature enthusiasts.


Kerak Castle: Located about two hours north of Petra, Kerak Castle is a historic Crusader fortress perched atop a hill. This well-preserved medieval structure offers insights into the region’s tumultuous past and provides panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. Explore its underground passages, courtyards, and towers to get a glimpse into the rich history of the area.


Little Petra (Al-Beidha): Just a short drive from the main entrance of Petra, Little Petra, also known as Al-Beidha, is a smaller archaeological site that offers a similar ambiance to Petra but on a smaller scale. Marvel at the well-preserved facades and explore the captivating rock-cut chambers, giving you a taste of the ancient Nabatean civilization in a more intimate setting.


Shobak Castle: About an hour north of Petra, Shobak Castle stands as a testimony to the Crusader era in Jordan. This imposing hilltop fortress boasts commanding views of the surrounding landscapes and offers visitors a chance to delve into the history of the Crusades through its ancient ruins and fortifications.


Each of these nearby attractions offers a distinct experience and provides a deeper understanding of Jordan’s rich cultural and natural heritage. Whether you have a few spare days or are simply looking to expand your itinerary, these destinations complement the wonders of Petra and offer a well-rounded exploration of the region.


When planning your visit to Petra, consider extending your stay to include these nearby attractions, and make the most of your time in this captivating part of the world.



Visiting Petra is an extraordinary adventure that transports you back in time to the ancient Nabatean civilization. This hidden gem, nestled in the rugged desert of Jordan, captivates travelers with its majestic rock-cut architecture, sprawling archaeological sites, and awe-inspiring natural beauty. From the iconic Treasury and the Monastery to the Royal Tombs and the Roman Theater, every corner of Petra unveils a new wonder.


Exploring this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a journey through history and a testament to human ingenuity and artistic prowess. As you wander through the mesmerizing Siq, stand before the intricately carved facades, and soak in the breathtaking vistas, you can’t help but be in awe of this ancient city’s magnificence.


Moreover, Petra is not just a historical marvel; it is a living testament to Jordanian culture and hospitality. The warmth and friendliness of the local people add an extra layer of enchantment to your visit, as you interact with them and embrace their traditions and customs.


Beyond Petra, you’ll find a plethora of other captivating destinations nearby, such as Wadi Rum, the Dead Sea, and the Dana Biosphere Reserve, each offering unique experiences and breathtaking landscapes. Venturing outside of Petra allows you to further appreciate the beauty and diversity of Jordan.


Whether you’re an adventure enthusiast, a history buff, or a culture lover, Petra has something to offer everyone. From hiking trails that connect you with nature to ancient ruins that tell stories of a bygone era, this ancient city is a treasure trove waiting to be explored.


As you plan your visit to Petra, take the time to immerse yourself in its mysteries, respect its cultural heritage, and embrace the hospitality of its people. From the moment you set foot in this extraordinary destination to the moment you bid it farewell, let the wonders of Petra captivate your heart and create memories that will last a lifetime.