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Is Petra By Night Worth Visiting? Reasons Why You Should or Shouldn't Visit


Petra by Night is a magical experience for some and for others, it's not worth visiting. I visited Petra by night with one of my friends and personally loved it but my friend didn't really like it. In this blog, I will explain my own personal experience with some tips to have an amazing Petra by Night experience and whether it's worth visiting. 

Petra by Night

'Petra by Night' or simply Petra Night Show is a unique experience when you find yourself in open area, sitting in front of 'the treasury' in the ancient rocky wonderland of Petra, illuminated by thousands of candles. The candles light up the night and at the same time create a mystical effect by hiding more than they reveal. Add a cup of tea and live traditional music to it and you are in for a treat. It's a rather horizon expanding experience.

Petra by Night - The candles along the Path through the Siq to Treasury

Here is some useful info, followed by some important tips for you.

1. Petra by Night Schedule

Petra by Night is a 2 hours show every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday of the week which starts at 20:30 and ends at 22:30. 

2. Petra by Night Tickets

The entrance fee is 17 JOD (24 USD) which can be bought on the spot at the visitor centre. I had read on some blogs that it is not necessary to have a day ticket along with Petra by Night pass but we were asked by security to show our day ticket at the entrance gate. 

Petra by Night - The incredible view of Treasury

During Petra by night tour only the Treasury and the Siq is opened to visitors. We arrived 30 minutes early and waited patiently in the queue. The doors were opened at 20:30 and we walked as fast as we could to get to the Treasury before the crowds started to arrive. The path through the Siq was lit with candles and looked stunning.

There were only a few people who arrived before us and we got a nice place in the front row which was perfect for photography.

Petra by Night - People walking around after the show ends

Unfortunately, when the crowds arrived, people began to walk in between the candles to take pictures and some turned on their torch lights. After a few minutes, everyone was served with tea and the show started with Bedouin music. Everyone sat quiet and this is the perfect opportunity to take pictures of the Treasury without people. After the show, everyone walks around to take pictures. I moved to the side to take a few pictures from a different perspective.

After the show, the Treasury was lit with horrible magenta colour light which was awful at least to my personal taste.

Petra by Night - A Unique Experience

Petra By Night Tips: 

1. For a Magical Experience

  1. ​Visit Petra By Night first and then see Petra during the daytime. It becomes less impressive if you have already seen the Treasury during the daytime. 
  2. To avoid the crowds arrive 40 minutes before the gates are opened and you will have Treasury to yourself for at least a few minutes. 
  3. Don't stop along the way for photography and walk straight to Treasury. You will have plenty of time after the show to photograph the Siq.
  4. After the show when everyone is taking pictures of the Treasury, leave early and walk back to the Siq to take some pictures without people walking around. 
Petra by Night - The Siq

2. For Night Photography 

​One of the main reason to visit Petra by Night was to take some beautiful pictures. I used Sony A7ii with Samyang 14mm f2.8 which is a very good wide-angle cheap lens for night photography. There is no need to have a very expensive camera and some of the tips that can help you to take some nice pictures are 

  1. A sturdy tripod is a must
  2. Turn off the flash
  3. Use manual focus
  4. Use Low ISO if possible 
  5. Use a wide-angle lens with an f-stop of 1.4 to 2.8
  6. Use manual mode or Aperture priority mode
  7. Use self-timer mode on the camera or a remote trigger to avoid any camera shake
  8. play with different shutter speed (some of the pictures I took with 5, 10, 15 and 20 seconds)
  9. Take some test images

Petra By Night Worth It? 

I loved Petra by Night especially as I love to take pictures. I wanted to take pictures of Petra by Night and for me, it was absolutely worth visiting. In my personal experience, if you plan it properly you can have an incredible experience. On the other hand, if you are into photography and only want to see Petra then visit during the daytime and you don't really have to visit again by night. 

If you have any questions then let me know in the comment section and I will get back to you as soon as possible. 

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Comments 2

Guest - Kamran Jacob on Saturday, 08 August 2020 06:09

Dear Abrar,
Does Jordan Pass cover the entry of Petra by night?

Dear Abrar, Does Jordan Pass cover the entry of Petra by night?
Super User on Saturday, 08 August 2020 10:50

Dear Kamran,
Petra at night is not included in Jordan Pass and costs 17JD.

Dear Kamran, Petra at night is not included in Jordan Pass and costs 17JD.
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