A guide to visiting Petra

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Lisa & Pol
by Lisa & Pol
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The perfect Jordan itinerary | Best places to visit on a roadtrip [2024]

Filmed on : September 2023

Filmed in : Jordan

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Jordan's jewel, Petra, unfolds its rose-red wonders with an entrance ticket through the Jordan Pass. As you plan your visit, consider the number of days wisely; we highly recommend dedicating two days to truly absorb the grandeur of this ancient city.

Day One: Unveiling Petra's Majesty from Wadi Musa

The Treasury in Petra, Jordan
The Treasury in Petra, Jordan

Embark on your Petra adventure from Wadi Musa, the gateway to this archaeological treasure. Begin at the visitor center entrance in the afternoon, allowing for a more relaxed start to your Petra exploration. The late-day sunlight paints the iconic structures with a warm glow, creating a truly enchanting atmosphere.

There is plenty of free parking for you car if you want. The water sold outside is much cheaper than inside the site of course (up to 2JD for the small bottle inside).

If you want to have the famous picture of drinking tea with a view, you might have to pay the local kids, who will not let you pass on your own (although signs everywhere say that you don't need a guide). We were so infuriated with them that we just skipped the place and continued to the rest of the city, which is huge and offers much more (free) photo opportunities.

Explore Petra from the back entrance - Little Petra

The Monastery in Petra, Jordan
The Monastery in Petra, Jordan

On your second day, dive deeper into Petra's wonders. Take advantage of the free shuttle service from the visitor center (check timings, usually around 7:30 AM for the first shuttle) to Little Petra. From there, hop on a jeep (5 JD per person) or walk 1h30 instead, and kickstart your hiking adventure from the back side. Not many tourists take advantage of this opportunity so chances are you'll be alone on most of your hike. You will reach the Monastery after 30 minutes uphill and from there will slowly cross the entire site until you eventually reach the Visitor Centre. Plan for a good 3-4h hike from one side to the other.

In this direction, it's quite easier as the many steps that lead to the monastery are downhill.

The days in Petra can be long, so pack comfortable hiking shoes for the extensive explorations. Accept the reality that you might not cover every nook and cranny, and savor the moments instead.

We stayed with Nomads Hotel, super well located (walking distance from the Visitor's Centre), and with a great rooftop cafe.

In conclusion, Petra is a testament to human ingenuity and a journey through its corridors is a remarkable experience. Take your time, absorb the history, and let Petra's ancient whispers guide you through this archaeological marvel.

Next stop on the roadtrip

From Petra, we continued south to Aqaba, for a few days.

Lisa & Pol
Lisa & Pol
We're a Slovak-French couple in our twenties currently backpacking across Africa for a year. One of our goals is to inspire travellers to go explore this often forgotten continent. On this blog we're focusing on providing up to date info about prices and itineraries, especially geared towards backpackers on a budget. We also create content on Youtube and Insta if you prefer a more visual approach 😉
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