Hey, it’s Julina again (Justin and Karolina) and this month we’re going to share with you our tips and recommendations for Petra, one of the new seven wonders of the world located in Jordan. It is a stunning ancient city, with utterly mesmerising sights. When to Visit Early spring or late autumn are the best balance between weather and crowdedness – summer can be swelteringly hot and busy, and winter not only gives biting cold but the possibility of closures from rain. We visited in April during Ramadan, and although a few places were closed it was much quieter.
How long do I need?
If you’ve got strong legs and not much time then you can see the best sights of Petra in one day, however, to get the most out of it you’ll have to wake up early and walk up and down stairs for 6/8 hours. We recommend taking two days to give a perfect balance between activity and relaxation time, so you can explore the site at your own pace.
Do I need a guide?
To get around the site you don’t need a guide; the main trails are clearly signposted so with the map and a bit of upfront research you will be 100% fine. If you get a bit lost, the local Bedouins are more than happy to point you in the right direction. We did hire a guide for the ‘Main Trail’ and we don’t regret it at all – we learned a lot of interesting facts and small details that we would have otherwise missed along the walk. Other trails will not have as much history so be warned before extending your guide to those also.
How much does it cost?
If you’re staying in Jordan, get the ‘Jordan Pass’ – it works out cheaper than paying the visa fee and the ticket to Petra, and it also gives free entry to 40 other attractions! If you’re staying less than three days in Jordan, then tickets are 50-90 Jordanian dollars. In early 2022 a guide for the main trail was 50 Jordanian. Expect prices inside the site to be heavily inflated for food/drinks.
Where should I stay?
We’d recommend staying walking distance from the Petra Visitor’s Centre, as the visitor’s car park tends to fill up quickly. Our budget/backpacker’s recommendation is the Petra Cabin Hostel, they’ve got a pretty good buffet dinner too. If you’re staying somewhere upscale don’t forget to grab a takeaway breakfast box so you can explore early and still have food!
Top Tips Don’t forget the Ticket:
Even with a Jordan Pass you need to pick up a physical ticket from the office – if you plan on arriving early queue there or pick up the ticket the day before. Get There Early: Petra opens at 6am – we recommend arriving this early to experience the main trail without the crowds and to see the light slowly hit the treasury. Come Prepared: There will be sun, walking and lots of stairs – bring sunscreen, shade, and a large bottle of water.
Most places accept cards, but smaller shops are cash only Don’t Get Fleeced: Prices can be inflated significantly, especially the ‘picture lookout’ by the treasury. If you head up, don’t pay more than a few dollars. Don’t forget to haggle, you can often reduce prices by 50-70%. Mobility Issues?
If you can’t walk, you can still visit Petra – the main trail is mostly flat and you can take an electric cart. The steeper routes do have donkeys but be warned, the ride is a little terrifying and you may be contributing towards the mistreatment of animals. 1 and 2-day Itinerary One day in Petra (Adventurer): 6am start, follow the main trail and stop at the Treasury for the quietest it will be. Next, the Al-Kubtha (Royal Tombs) trail and continue past the official trail, down the rocks following the carved arrows to the secret café with the best view of the Treasury. Head back along the main trail to the Ad-Dier (Monastery) Trail. Climb to the highest viewpoint if you fancy, then take your time heading back down. If you’re still hungry for more, take the trail to the Place of High Sacrifice.
One day (relaxed):
Main Trail – Monastery – Exit (if you have time take the Al-Kubtha trail)
Day 1: Main Trail – Monastery
Day 2: Al-Kubtha – Place of High Sacrifice – Wadi al Farasa (6am start means you can watch the sun rise over the treasury from the lookout) Make sure you check out our previous article on visiting Jordan!
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