Petra, the UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World was the impressive capital of the Nabataean kingdom. It is also the largest tourist attraction in Jordan.
I have always dreamed of visiting this incredible place and when I found a very cheap flight to Jordan, I booked it immediately and asked a friend to join me on this tour. This blog is from my own personal experience of visiting Petra and it has all the information that you should know before visiting this stunning place.
The visitor centre is opened on a daily basis from 6 am to 6 pm during the summer and 6 am to 4 pm in the winter. At the visitor centre, you will also find some restaurants, cafes and souvenirs shops at the visitor centre. The prices are very high compared to what you usually pay in Jordan.
There are two categories of tickets
The most comfortable and the best way to get here is by renting a car at the airport. From Amman, it is a 3-hour drive on the Desert highway and 4 hours drive on the spectacular King's highway. There is also a regular bus connection from Aqaba and Amman operated by JETT bus via the Desert highway. It costs 22 JD for the return trip.
Petra is a massive archaeological park and it can take days to explore this incredible place. In this blog, I will cover the most important and the best things to see in Petra.
The entrance to Petra is through the impressive sandstone canyon. This winding canyon is known as the Siq which is around 2km long. The sandstone patterns in the rock walls are impressive and colourful.
At the end of the Siq is the Jaw-dropping Treasury which is probably the most impressive and also the most crowded place in Petra. I was there among the first view visitors to catch the sunrise at the Treasury and there were only a few other tourists.
The best view of the Treasury is probably from a high point in front of the Treasury which is a probably 20-30minutes of the hike on very steep and slippery rocks. The locals which point you to it and they will demand 5-15JD to take you to that point. Unfortunately, the locals are very aggressive and if you don't agree to pay they will not let you pass. We say they even pushed a Brazilian guy from the path and he was lucky to avoid any serious injury.
After the Treasury, the Siq widens into a large canyon. It is called The street of Facades and is lined with various Tombs of the Nabataean era on both sides. There are a number of small caves and some have impressive views. You can hike up to find some cool photography spots.
At the end of the Facades is the Roman Theatre which was initially built by the Nabataean but later rebuilt by the Romans. It can accommodate up to 4000 spectators.
On the opposite side of the Theatre are the massive Royal or Palace Tombs. The cemetery look like a Palace and that is why it is called Palace Tombs.
It is one of the largest monuments in Petra dates back to 1st century AD. It is quite impressive and after Treasury the most beautiful monument in Petra. The path to Monastery takes some serious effort, especially during the summer heat. It is more than 800 steps and takes approx. one hour. There is a nice cafe which sells drinks and snacks.
Petra is massive and there is so much to see and the heat, especially during the summer, can make it very hard to continue exploring after a few hours. I would say you should plan two full days to explore Petra so you don't rush through which will probably ruin your experience but if you are tight on your schedule and can spare only one day then come very early and be prepared for a day full of action.
Petra is very touristy and there are countless hotels to choose from. We decided to stay in Seven wonders Bedouin camp which is probably one of the best camp and I can highly recommend. You can read more about it here