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.

🧳 MUST-HAVE: Before you head out on your trip, make sure you have travel insurance. My #1 recommendation is SafetyWing!

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!

Remember these dos and don'ts in Jordan, view of large stone structure carved into a larger rocky mountain with many columns and tall doorways

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!

Try out these things to do in Petra, two donkeys trotting past the ruins of a large brick building with some trees and tall rocky hills behind

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.

📸 PRO TIP: My go-to camera for all my travels is the Sony A7iii – I highly recommend it!

Find out how to get to Petra, view of a large range of rocky mountains stretching off into the distance with the hazy horizon and a wide azure blue sky behind

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.

Accommodation near petra

Discover what to do in Petra, a saddled-up camel sitting in the shade of a large stone structure with two other saddled standing camels behind

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.

Make sure to visit Petra Jordan, person holding selfie stick walking through a series of winding canyons carved into some massive stone structures with the sun shining down beyond

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!

Learn what to do in Petra Jordan, view looking through a gap between two large rock walls towards people and camels outside a large ornately carved stone structure in Petra

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).

Work out the logistics of going to Petra, a stationary small car with door open to reveal a bed and ornate furnishings inside sitting on some rocks next to a sign which reads "The smallest hotel in the world" with rolling hills covered in some stone ruins behind all under a clear blue sky

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

BudgetAl Anbat Midtown ($20USD per room)

LuxuryPetra bed and breakfast ($127USD per room)

🛌🏼 Find the best accommodation near Petra

Frequently Asked Questions

✅ Is Jordan a safe place to visit?

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.

✅ Can you go inside Petra?

You can go inside Petra – and it’s HUGE! However, you can’t necessarily go inside all of the buildings and structures within Petra.

✅ What is the Petra Jordan entrance fee?

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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The Comments

  • Kavita Favelle | Kavey Eats
    October 29, 2017

    We visited Petra at a time when virtually all tourism to the country had ground to a halt, with most people booked having cancelled their trips. We kept an eye on the Foreign Travel Advice page maintained by the UK government and decided that unless they actively put a full stop on travel (rendering any travel insurance invalid) we would go. Our good fortune, in having Petra almost entirely to ourselves, was of course Jordan’s misfortune as those who relied on tourism for their living were adversely affected. So your tips for being able to enjoy it with less crowds by going out of season and getting up early are good advice, as are your notes about what to see and the potential scams. Good to know about the tiny extra to get a 2 day ticket rather than a 1 day, this makes a lot of sense when travelling so far for an iconic site!

  • Tamara
    October 29, 2017

    Great tips, especially about visiting first thing in the morning. It’s usually the best light, and there are less tourists to get in your way!

  • Suruchi
    October 29, 2017

    Petra is so attractive. We would love to visit it too when its snowing around. Saying Marguerites Hello or waiting to have small talk is what i would love to do. Dressing according to the country is really important. Your all points are so valid. Will really take care of all these once planing to visit Petra, Jordan.

  • Kirstie
    October 30, 2017

    Wow, amazing blog about Petra. Also, that’s why I prefer, as a female, to never travel alone. You just can’t avoid things like this. I mean, good if it doesn’t happen but what if it does. There’s always that possibility everywhere. We just have to stay safe as we explore the world. Be safe always and keep the blogs coming! 😀

  • Vicki Louise
    October 30, 2017

    Jordan is right up there at the top of my travel to do list. Thanks so much for the tips – I think I’d definitely opt for the two day pass to make the most of my time there, and I’ve read about the scams there, so I’d be making an extra special effort to avoid them! Hopefully I’ll get there sooner rather than later!

  • James
    October 30, 2017

    Not knowing much about Petra besides the beautiful pictures we see on travel guides, I would have probably planned to spend only a day or two over there. Thanks to your post I can plan a longer trip to ensure I make the most out of my future visit. It didn’t look so cold on your pictures, but I noticed you were wearing a winter jacket. How could was it at night?

  • James
    October 30, 2017

    Not knowing much about Petra besides the beautiful pictures we see on travel guides, I would have probably planned to spend only a day or two over there. Thanks to your post I can plan a longer trip to ensure I make the most out of my future visit. It didn’t look so cold on your pictures, but I noticed you were wearing a winter jacket. How cold was it at night?

  • Ryan Biddulph
    October 31, 2017

    Good stuff Anita. Spending so much time in SE Asia we do all things super early. First, for the high temp and humidity levels. Second, for the throngs of tourists who visit these places when the buses come piling in later morning to the mid afternoon. Good note on dressing appropriately too. We learned how to honor the Muslim culture in Doha earlier this year. Shoulders to knees you gotta be covered. Excellent advice.

    Ryan

  • Tami
    November 1, 2017

    I like your very practical list of tips for visiting Petra. I’ve never been and am very intrigued by it, but have also thought it might be a difficult place to visit. You make it seem very do-able. Even for a solo traveler. Which lodging did you opt for?

  • Himanshu
    November 1, 2017

    Jordan is high on my priority list, in fact yesternight only, I was searching for flight rates etc. So this post is right on time for me, though Jordan will not happen soon for me. I feel Petra is the place which keeps calling me. Every time I see a photograph of its imposing architecture, I so much want to be there. Would love to read the book by Marguerite van Geldermalsen and some day spend nights in caves too like her.

  • Sandy N Vyjay
    November 1, 2017

    Petra is definitely the stuff that dreams are made of for us. We hope to get there someday and these tips are going to be of great help.I appreciate the fact that you have pointed out about not riding the animals, so true, hope more people realize and spare these animals. And yes one needs to be aware and alert of the scams like any other major tourist centre.

  • Jennifer
    November 1, 2017

    I love all the tourist scams from around the world. The fake Bedouin is one of the more creative and reminds me of the Egyptian let me be your tour guide one.

    I always try to get to places early. Mostly the goal is to beat the tour buses or to just stay longer than the tour buses so I am there after they leave.

  • Claire
    November 1, 2017

    I’ve wanted to visit Petra since I first saw it on the Indiana Jones film! I had no idea it got cold there, I just assumed it would be hot desert every day! Great tip about the 2 day ticket, it would be a shame to go all that way and not make the most of it!

  • Theresa
    September 5, 2018

    Hi
    Im lookimg to go for New Years any tips you can share?

    Thanks

    Theresa

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > Theresa
      September 9, 2018

      Sorry, I don’t have any as I visited in March! 🙂