Petra is an amazing archaeological city in Jordan. For many it is best known for its appearance in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade – I highly recommend you watch this film before going! Petra is and old city rediscovered in the early 1800s by a swiss traveller.
Today it is a well deserved World Heritage Site with all the positives that come with that. You can visit by day and/or experience the magic of Petra by candlelight at night. Visiting Petra does involve alot of walking so take care with your footwear! Entry to the city is through the rather magical and very photogenic Siq. You can get a donkey/horse/cart etc but I would recommend walking as this felt the most magical way to arrive.
The entry into Jordan from the Siq is quite unforgettable – The Treasury emerges as you exit the Siq – have your camera ready! Once inside you can then explore the old city and do the hike up to The Monastery. It is a large site and there is much to see. If you are a photographer plan your trip around the light – it moves around alot with all the buildings and has a massive effect on the quality of photos. The colours of the buildings – especially the Treasury – change throughout the day.
The two main buildings of Petra are the Treasury – the first building you see – and the Monastery – the building fartherest away from the Treasury! In between there are many royal tombs to explore. It is a good 75 minutes return from the Palace Tomb to get above the Treasury. Make sure you time this well as you would not want to have to descend down the stairs in poor light.
You can find your way around on your own but you will need a good guide book. There are of course many guide options once you arrive. As it is such a large site I think it is worth getting a guide to make sure you don’t miss anything – or don’t walk randomly for a long period of time!
For more information visit the official Petra tourism site.
Petra is a once in a lifetime experience that you will never forget!
Getting to Petra:
Getting to Petra is not easy! The closest airport and major city is Aqaba but this is still 90 minutes away. Unfortunately there is not fantastic flight frequency to Aqaba either. The other option is to fly into Amman. There are many more flights and better deals but it is 3 hours away.
You could do a long day trip from Aqaba but it would be a lengthy day and you would miss both the morning and late afternoon light. Midday is hot and not the most pleasant for wandering around.
I would recommend either going to Petra on your way from Amman to Aqaba and spending a night there. Or going from either Amman or Aqaba and spending the night. This also then allows you to experience the Petra by night ceremony.
Petra Jordan Useful Links:
For accommodation options in Amman click here
For accommodation options in Petra click here
For accommodation options in Aqaba click here
Looking for flights to Aqaba? Click here for some great deals
Looking for flights to Amman? Click here for some great deals
And here’s my Pinterest board on Jordan
Also published on Medium.