Quick Guide to Petra, Jordan

Quick Guide to Petra, Jordan

Petra is an ancient city in Jordan that is now part of the new wonders of the world. To get the most out of Petra, it may require 3 days, but if you are short on time, a full day may suffice. 

Entry to Petra

There are two entrances into Petra, one being the main entrance that starts with walking through the siq. The other entrance is a backway that is less known and starts by the monastery. The entrance to the monastery is hidden and may require you to hire a guide to lead you to the entrance. But the perk of entering the backway is that 1. you do not have to hike 900 stairs to get to the monastery. You can take a cart right up to the very top for 5JOD per person one way. 2. You do not have to do a round-trip hike and pass the same sites twice. I will explain this more in a little bit. 

We had every intention to start at the monastery but it had hailed and poured the night before that causing muddy obstacles to the entrance. We were told that it would take 2 hours to get to the entrance so we opted to enter through the main entrance. 


Tickets to Petra vary depending on the attraction package. Below is the current pricing as of Dec 2023. 

Fee for visitors who stay in Jordan for at least one night
Entrance Ticket Price
One Day 50 JD
Two Days 55 JD
Three Days 60 JD
Fee for visitors who visit Petra on the first day of entering Jordan
Entrance Ticket – Border fee: 90 JD, Refund: 40 JD request for refund the next day
Non-Accommodating visitors
Entrance Ticket – 90 JD

For those with a Jordan Pass, a visit to Petra is complimentary. Based on the Jordan Pass level, a visit to Petra can take 1 to 3 days. When you arrive at Petra, you will need to scan your QR code at ticketing and retrieve a ticket. Once you receive the ticket, you will walk towards the entrance to scan your ticket to enter. 


There are several transportation options for those who do not or cannot walk through Petra. I found a line of carts located by the main entrance. Each cart could carry up to five passengers at a time. No advance reservation is required but must pay in cash either in JOD or USD. Transportation can only be taken in limited locations as trails may become too narrow and attractions may be congested. Below are the current rates and locations for a cart. 

Trail Distance Cost/ Per Person
Visitor center – Treasury 4 KM 15 JD
Visitor center – Treasury and return 8 KM 25 JD
Treasury – Qasr Al-Bint/One Way 2 KM 10 JD


Tour Guide

There are several licensed tourist guides for hire at the visitor center. Guides can provide information in several languages including English, French, Arabic, Spanish, Germany, Italian, Russian, Dutch, Hebrew, and Greek. The tour guides provide more insight into the culture and history of Petra while guiding you through the extraordinary city. The guides charge by the distance and not by the hour like most places. Here is the current pricing:

Trail Distance Cost
Main Trail 4 KM 50 JD
Main Trail + High place of Sacrifice Monument 6 KM 100 JD
Main Trail + The Monastery 8 KM 100 JD

Visiting Hours

Petra is best visited during the early mornings when they first open. There are countless tour groups and eager tourists that make the sites extremely overcrowded. 


There are several attractions within Petra. Bedouins currently live in the caves of Petra. They often offer food and tea packages to experience life with them. They also sell trinkets throughout Petra. The most known attraction is riding camels and donkeys. There are signs located within Petra where you can hire camels or donkeys and ride them at a short distance. 


Where to Eat

There are several restaurants located in Petra. The first set of restaurants is about the halfway point and the other set of restaurants is located at the top of the monastery. 





Treasury is the most popular attraction in Petra. There are many ways to view the treasury. When walking through the siq, you will be welcomed by the Treasury at the end of the tunnel. In front of the Treasury, there are opportunities to take photos on a camel. To the right of the Treasury, there is a pathway one can take to view the Treasury from the top. There are locals nearby harassing you to take an “illegal” but shortcut route for a small fee. I declined as I heard that the Monastery was more impressive. Instead, I found a ledge to the right of the Treasury, across the way from the “illegal” route. The ledge allowed me to take photographs with fewer photobombs. 


petra  petra

Royal Tombs 

Next, I walked to the Royal Tombs. The tombs were home to several goats and dogs. 



The last trail I accomplished was the Monastery. My goal for Petra was to conquer this trail as I was not fit but I was determined to climb 900 steps. The steps were not leveled and came with several challenges. 1. There were many people hiring donkeys to go up the stairs. We had to share the road with donkeys and their guides. This caused hikers to step aside frequently and be mindful of being kicked. The rule is to walk against the wall to prevent any casualties if donkeys decide to kick. This also means that hikers have to keep their distance. I have witnessed donkeys attempting to kick hikers. It is horrible, and I do not recommend taking a donkey in any capacity. 2. It gets extremely windy as you get closer to the top. This is troublesome as the sand becomes a weapon. I had nothing to protect my eyes and had to make several stops. For this reason, I highly recommend bringing sunglasses or anything to protect sand from blowing into your eyes. Despite of these challenges, it took me 52 minutes to reach the top. There were not that many patrons at the top and I had a clear view of the monastery. The view was totally worth it 100%. 


petra  petra



As stated earlier, when entering through the main entrance, you have to return the same way. When walking back to the main entrance, it is evident how congested the site becomes. When visiting Petra, be mindful that more than likely, you will need to make a round-trip trek. I spent about seven hours in Petra. Surprisingly, it only took me 1.5 hours to walk from the monastery to the main entrance. I did not make any stops but did have to push myself through the crowd by the Treasury. 

Petra Night Show

The Petra Night Show can be purchased in addition to the Petra experience. Petra Night Show allows visitors to view the old city by candlelight. There are over 1500 candles from the entrance, to the siq, to the Treasury. This night experience runs every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 20:30 to 22:30 and costs 17JD for adults and free for children under 10. Tickets can be purchased at the visitor centers or nearby hotels. The Petra Night Show will only occur when weather permits. It was pouring when I was in Petra and the show was canceled. Be sure to confirm if the show is running should the weather be awry that day. 

Things I Wish I Knew

  • Sturdy hiking shoes are recommended. 
  • There is only one main entrance meaning you see the sites twice. This adds time to your day. 
  • Wear proper attire. This includes wearing light and loose-fitting clothing. A hat can help protect you from the sun and sunglasses can help minimize any pain caused by the sand being blown in your eyes. 
  • Pack snacks and plenty of water. While there are restaurants located in Petra, it is always wise to have snacks and water with you. 
  • I wish I knew that I would spend 7 hours here. Even with 7 hours, I felt like I did not see everything. I would probably dedicate two days here or spend a full day here and relax the following day. 
  • There are people who live in Petra. When you’re walking through caves, you may see personal effects.