Petra, one of the 7 Wonders of the World, is undeniably on many people’s bucket lists.
However when you say Petra a lot of people only think of the façade of the Treasury built into the orange canyon walls.
There is actually so much more to visiting Petra than just the Treasury, waiting to be discovered.
If you’re planning a visit to Petra you probably have a lot of questions. This guide will cover all the things you should know before visiting Petra.
What is Petra?
Petra is a huge archaeological site in Jordan, it’s one of the seven Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It was established in 312BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans. It remained under Nabataean rule until 100 AD when the Romans invaded it, and in the 12 century, it was finally abandoned and left to the local people.
Petra remained unknown to the western world until 1812 when the Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt found it.
It then became known as the “Lost City of Petra”.
How much does entrance cost?
Entrance at Petra for tourists costs 50 JOD for one-day access, 55 JOD for two days and 60 JOD for three days. Entry is free you if you have the Jordan pass. Jordan pass is tourist card that includes entrances to many sites and waives the amount you need to pay for Jordan visa (40 JD).
Tickets to Petra by Night cost 17 JOD and aren’t included in the standard entry ticket.
What are the Petra opening times?
The opening times of Petra vary depending on the time of year. The Visitor Centre is open every day from 6AM to 6PM in summer and from 6AM to 4PM in winter.
What should I wear?
It’s a historical site but not a religious one so there is no official dress code for Petra.
You’ll have to walk a lot so make sure you’re wearing comfortable shoes and clothes.
If it’s sunny remeber to bring sunscreen and a hat or a scarf for covering your head from the sun.
Are there places to eat and drink inside Petra?
Yes there are a lot of coffee shops and restaurants into the site, they’re all marked on the map of Petra. We brought some water and snacks with us and we recoomend to do so, just to be free to stop and eat whenever you want.
Are there toilets inside Petra?
Petra is well-equipped with toilets. There are some at the visitor’s centre, near the theatre and at cafes throughout the entire site. Don’t worry about it.
How Many Days Should You Stay in Petra
We suggest to buy a 2 day ticket pass and spend 2 full day there (at least 1day and a half). This is the best option if you want to take your time exploring all the sites and viewpoints without rushing through all the hikes.
Be there early
Wanna see the Treasury all by yourself? Petra opens at 6 AM and all the big tours don’t get there till later in the morning. Go there as soon as it opens and you will be able to enjoy the Siq and Treasury quietly.
What to see in Petra
If you have never visited Petra you have no clue how big it and how many things you can do there. Plan to stay there at least 2 days, you won’t regret it.
Here you are, what to do in Petra in 2 days:
#1 Al Siq: You’ll surely pass through this photogenic passageway carved into a canyon that leads you from the entrance of Petra to The Treasury. It is actually one of the biggest highlights of the experience, if you’ll go at dawn you’ll see why.
#2 The Treasury: well, no need to introduction for the world famous Treasury right? Just a tip then: entry into Petra begins from 6:00 AM, so if you want to beat the crowds get up early and go straight to the Treasury for sunrise.
# 3 The Theater: With over 8000 seats, the Theater is impossible to miss. It’s a great site to see and even better to see from above from the High Place of Sacrifice.
#4 Royal Tombs: Getting to the four tombs involves a tough climb, just beyond the Theater. This is another great spot.
#5 The Monastery: Petra’s most awe-inspiring monument is also one of the most taxing to reach, be ready to climb 900 steps to get here. The Monastery is definitely worth the trek, and if you need to take breaks on the way, there are lots of gift shops and tea shops.
Just across from the Monastery there is a tea shop with tents where you can relax in the shade after the tough hike up.
Tip: starting early in the morning you can avoid the hottest part of the day for the ascent.
#6 High Place of Sacrifice: here you are our favourite place in Petra! This is probably the most underrated spot there and that’s a pity.
The High Place of Sacrifice, as the name suggests, is the location in Petra where they used to carry out sacrifices.
The walk up to the Sacrifice takes around 45 minutes, but is very steep. Once you reach the top you will be rewarded with sweeping views over the mountains and monuments of Petra. Enjoy a hot tea while admiring the panorama!
#7 A lot of other things: On your way back from The Monastery to The Treasury you can stop and have a look to the Royal tombs, Street of Facades and the Colonnaded street.
Remember to bring with you:
#1 Jordan pass
#2 Comfortable shoes
#3 Sunscree and hat
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