8 Very Important Tips for Visiting Petra, Jordan
Last Updated on July 3, 2023
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One of the best experiences I have ever done was travelling to Jordan and visiting Petra, considered one of the 7 wonders of the world.
Since there are actually quite a few things to do in Petra, people tend to underestimate the time it takes to visit and explore Petra,
It’s quite a big place and I spent the entire day exploring nearly every inch of it, and I could have happily come back the next day too (and it’s better value if you buy a two-day pass).
There’s more to Petra than just the treasury, there are tonnes to see!
So if you’re prepared enough, you can make the most out of your time there. That’s why I’ve put together this guide on visiting Petra.
Below are my top tips for Petra Jordan, including how do you get to Petra, what to see in Petra, and the Petra entrance fee.
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Table of Contents
Here are 8 top tips for visiting Petra, Jordan!
1. Go early
When is the best time to visit Petra? I recommend you arrive at the entrance around 7 am or 8 am.
This way you will get to explore before the mass crowds come and you will get to enjoy the place with minimal people around.
Not only will you miss the mass tour buses but also the heat. It gets hot in the desert so get up early and make the most out of the day before the sun blares down on you.
Or you can do what I did and visit in the winter! It was snowing only 15km away but it was kind of nice exploring Petra in the cold!
2. Take the hike up to Monastery
You won’t be a loss for what to do in Petra Jordan, but do not miss the monastery.
It may seem too far away but trust me it’s worth it. In my opinion, it was more impressive than the Treasury.
It’s much larger and there wasn’t a lot of people up there enjoying it either! You also get the most amazing views of Petra from up high.
I would recommend the viewpoint furthest away. It has jaw-dropping views of the Jordan canyons and villages down below.
There are a few small cafes where you can have a beverage and enjoy the view – highly recommend it!
3. Don’t get scammed
Unfortunately, nearly every tourist spot you go, there is the possibility that you may get scammed.
The biggest scam I have heard, fortunately, I never encountered this, is the fake Bedouins who claim they are the original people that lived in the caves.
Yes, Bedouins were the ones living in the Petra cave until the government moved them into a village down below so Petra could be saved and preserved.
Unfortunately, there are people faking their Bedouin status and offering to show women to their caves.
If you have a conversation with one of these people just be polite, cut it short and pretend you must meet back up with your partner or something.
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4. Visit Marguerites stand
Marguerite van Geldermalsen (from New Zealand) visited Petra in the summer of 1978 and fell in love with a Bedouin.
She experienced living in the caves and living life as a Bedouin for many years. She has written a book on her life as a Bedouin called ‘Married to a Bedouin’.
You can buy a copy of her book at Petra. She usually has a stall there selling her book so if she is there you should totally say hello!
Unfortunately, she was in the village when I was in Petra so I missed her.
5. Don’t ride the animals
Like most of the tourism industry, animals are caught up in the show. The donkeys, camels and horses are overworked and poorly treated so I would not recommend using them to get anywhere.
Everything is walkable. Even though the monastery is far and uphill I would not recommend riding a donkey up there.
Please think twice before supporting them! You will also see horse and carts taking people from the entrance to the Treasury.
It’s only a short walk so I would not bother! Save your money to support something else in Petra like the local handicrafts.
6. DRESS RESPECTFULLY
One of the biggest dos and don’ts in Jordan is that you need to dress respectively. This goes anywhere in the Middle East, really.
Most of the country’s population is Muslim so dressing respectively, especially as a woman is a given. It will attract less attention and you will be more respected in the community.
Don’t wear tight clothing and make sure you cover your legs. The key is to look less touristy and more local if you don’t want to be harassed all the time.
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7. Bring your lunch with you
If you can, bring your own lunch and some snacks with you. There are restaurants there but they are incredibly overpriced and the food is average.
Make sure you bring a hearty lunch to keep you going for the day. You will need the energy, trust me!
Some of the accommodation options actually offer a packed lunch for an extra charge which is a great option!
8. BUY A TWO-DAY PASS
A one-day pass is 50JD (about $70USD) and a two-day pass is 55JD (about $77). I would opt for the two-day so you can make the most of the experience.
If you are only visiting Jordan for one day, the cost is more (90JD, or $100). This is to due with laws surrounding foreign visitors.
This was one of the best Petra tips I got before I went and I’m glad I listened. If you’re unsure and wondering is Petra worth visiting, it absolutely is!
After all, how often do you get to go to Petra? It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity!
The hike to the monastery will take up the majority of the day so it’s a great idea if you can come back the next day to check the rest of what to do in Petra, Jordan.
You will want time to properly explore and learn all you can about the site – such as why was Petra abandoned. (Hint: it had to do with an earthquake).
How to Visit Petra Jordan
One of the most important parts of visiting Petra is knowing how to get to Petra in the first place.
You can get to the greater surrounding area of Petra, Jordan by bus, taxi or by hiring your own car. If you have your own car, you will be able to drive to the archaeological site and park in the adjoining lot.
If you don’t have your own car, you can arrange a tour or taxi going to Petra with your hotel.
If you are continuing on after Petra and want to know how to get from Petra to Dead Sea, back to Amman, or anywhere else, have the same options: bus, taxi or private car.
How to get to Petra from Israel
Petra is also a popular stop on the way to or from Israel, and I’m often asked about the logistics.
If you are in Israel and want to know how to visit Petra in Jordan, I recommend going with a tour country.
This is because travelling between the two countries can be tricky, a tour will help with this if you want to travel to Petra Jordan with no issue.
Best Time of Year to Visit Petra
In my opinion, the best time of year to visit Petra is spring (April and May) or fall (September and November). This is when you’ll get the best weather in Petra and the least crowds.
Of course, as one of the biggest tourist places in Petra, you’ll never be totally free of crowds. But there will be significantly fewer people than in the summer months.
Keep in mind that if you are visiting Petra in the summers, the weather in Petra will be hot – just like the rest of the country. If it is hot, be sure to wear loose, breathable clothing so you don’t overheat.
But if you are visiting Petra in November through March, it can be much cooler – especially early in the morning and in the evenings, so bring something to warm up when the sun goes down.
WHERE TO STAY NEAR PETRA
Budget – Al Anbat Midtown ($20USD per room)
Luxury – Petra bed and breakfast ($127USD per room)
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, Jordan is a safe country to visit. But like anywhere, exercise caution: don’t go out by yourself at night, avoid demonstrations, etc. Although Jordan remains safe, there are increased tension in the region, so keep this in mind if you want to do a multiple-country journey.
You can go inside Petra – and it’s HUGE! However, you can’t necessarily go inside all of the buildings and structures within Petra.
A one-day pass is 50JD (about $70USD) and a two-day pass is 55JD (about $77). However, if you are only visiting Jordan for one day, then the cost is 90JD.
There are my top tips for visiting Petra. I visited Jordan alone and I felt safe always. I was blown away by the Jordanian hospitality and would happily visit Jordan again in the future! Tell me below when you are planning to visit Petra.
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- Highlights of Jordan: A 7 Day Jordan Itinerary for First Time Visitors
- Unique and Diverse Things to do in Egypt
- Why Now is the Best Time to Visit Egypt (and is it safe?)
- What It’s Really Like To Travel The Middle East
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