Hey there, fellow adventurers! Ready to uncover the best things to do in Petra? Well, you’re in for a treat because in this blog post, we’ll be taking you on an extraordinary journey through the breathtaking landscapes and ancient marvels of this historic city.
From our last visit to this place, we learned that Petra is a destination that will leave you utterly spellbound. With its magnificent rock-carved architecture, hidden passages, and intriguing history, there’s no shortage of incredible experiences awaiting you.
So, fasten your seatbelts and get ready to explore the wonders that make Petra one of the most extraordinary destinations on the planet.
5 Facts about Petra
1. Petra, an awe-inspiring ancient city hewn into rock cliffs, once thrived as the Nabataean civilization’s bustling capital.
2. The Treasury, famously featured in movies like Indiana Jones, stands as Petra’s iconic masterpiece—a magnificent structure carved into the sandstone facade.
3. Welcoming visitors through a narrow and winding canyon called the Siq, Petra unveils its grandeur and historical significance, leaving visitors captivated by its dramatic allure.
4. Embarking on an exhilarating 800-step hike rewards adventurers with breathtaking vistas and the enchanting Monastery (Ad-Deir), an architectural marvel perched atop Petra’s rugged landscape.
5. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985, Petra continues to resonate as a testament to human ingenuity, cultural heritage, and the enduring spirit of ancient civilizations.
Best Things to Do in Petra
Here are some of the best things to do in Petra:
1. Bab As-Siq
Bab As-Siq, meaning “The Gateway to the Siq,” serves as the entrance to the historic city of Petra. This monumental archway greets visitors with its impressive presence, marking the beginning of a captivating journey into the ancient world.
As you pass through this gateway, you are transported back in time, setting foot on the path that leads to the wonders of Petra.
- Location: Bab As-Siq is situated at the entrance of the historic city of Petra.
- Famous For: This monumental archway marks the beginning of the journey into the ancient world of Petra, captivating visitors with its impressive presence and serving as the gateway to the wonders that lie within.
The Siq is a narrow and winding canyon that stretches for about a kilometer, forming the main entrance to Petra. Walking through the Siq is a remarkable experience, as towering sandstone cliffs envelop you, creating a sense of mystery and anticipation.
The walls of the Siq showcase intricate geological formations and bear the marks of ancient Nabataean craftsmanship. With each step, you are enveloped in the ancient atmosphere, paving the way for the grand reveal of Petra’s splendors.
- Location: The Siq is a narrow and winding canyon that forms the main entrance to Petra.
- Famous For: Walking through the Siq provides a remarkable experience, as towering sandstone cliffs envelop visitors, creating a sense of mystery and anticipation.
3. The Treasury
The Treasury, also known as Al-Khazneh, is the crown jewel of Petra. This awe-inspiring facade is a true architectural marvel, intricately carved into the rose-red cliffs by the Nabataeans over two millennia ago. The Treasury’s grandeur is enhanced by its towering height and ornate details, showcasing columns, statues, and intricate reliefs.
It has become an iconic symbol of Petra, attracting visitors from all corners of the globe. Stepping into the Treasury’s presence, you can’t help but marvel at the ingenuity and craftsmanship of the ancient civilization that brought this magnificent structure to life.
- Location: The Treasury, also known as Al-Khazneh, is located within the ancient city of Petra.
- Famous For: The Treasury is a true architectural marvel, intricately carved into the rose-red cliffs by the Nabataeans over two millennia ago.
4. Street of Facades
As you venture deeper into Petra, you encounter the Street of Facades, a captivating row of towering rock-cut tombs and burial chambers. The facades, with their intricate details and towering heights, create a sense of grandeur and reverence.
This ancient street served as the final resting place for prominent Nabataean citizens, showcasing their wealth and social status. Walking along the Street of Facades allows you to appreciate the scale and artistry of these tombs while immersing yourself in the rich history and culture of Petra.
- Location: The Street of Facades is found within the archaeological site of Petra.
- Famous For: This captivating street features a row of towering rock-cut tombs and burial chambers, exhibiting intricate details and evoking a sense of grandeur and reverence.
5. Hike through Petra
Beyond the main archaeological sites, Petra offers numerous hiking opportunities that take you off the beaten path and into the stunning natural landscapes surrounding the city. From short walks to longer treks, hikers can explore hidden canyons, climb to high viewpoints for panoramic vistas, and discover lesser-known archaeological treasures.
Whether you choose to hike to the High Place of Sacrifice or venture into the beautiful Wadi Farasa, each step unveils new wonders, offering a unique perspective of Petra’s diverse landscapes and showcasing the harmonious integration of nature and ancient civilization.
- Location: Hiking opportunities can be found throughout the stunning natural landscapes surrounding Petra.
- Famous For: Beyond the main archaeological sites, Petra offers numerous hiking trails that allow visitors to explore hidden canyons, climb to high viewpoints for panoramic vistas, and discover lesser-known archaeological treasures.
6. The Royal Tombs
The Royal Tombs of Petra are a collection of magnificent rock-cut mausoleums that served as the final resting places for Nabataean kings and other elite individuals. These impressive structures, carved into the cliff faces, feature intricate architectural details and decorative elements, such as urns, friezes, and pediments.
The Royal Tombs exhibit the wealth and power of the Nabataean rulers, showcasing their status and influence within the ancient city. Exploring these tombs provides insight into the funerary practices and societal hierarchy of Petra’s past.
- Location: The Royal Tombs are located within the archaeological site of Petra.
- Famous For: These magnificent rock-cut mausoleums were the final resting places for Nabataean kings and elite individuals.
7. The Colonnaded Street
The Colonnaded Street was the bustling heart of Petra, serving as its main thoroughfare. Lined with columns and flanked by ancient structures, this impressive street was the hub of commercial and social activities in the city.
Traders, residents, and visitors would traverse the Colonnaded Street, which bustled with market stalls, workshops, and public buildings. Walking along this historic street today offers a glimpse into Petra’s vibrant past, where the sounds of commerce and conversation once filled the air.
- Location: The Colonnaded Street runs through the heart of Petra.
- Famous For: As the main thoroughfare of Petra, the Colonnaded Street was bustling with market stalls, workshops, and public buildings.
8. The Great Temple
The Great Temple in Petra stands as a testament to the city’s religious and spiritual significance. Dedicated to the Nabataean gods, this monumental complex was an important center of worship and pilgrimage. The temple’s grand architecture, with its towering columns and intricate design, reflects the grandeur and devotion of the ancient Nabataeans.
Exploring the Great Temple allows you to immerse yourself in the religious practices and beliefs that shaped the daily lives of Petra’s inhabitants.
- Location: The Great Temple is situated within the archaeological site of Petra.
- Famous For: This monumental complex was a center of worship and pilgrimage dedicated to the Nabataean gods.
9. The Monastery (Al-Deir)
The Monastery, locally known as Al-Deir, is one of Petra’s most impressive and remote attractions. Perched high on a mountainside, reaching the Monastery requires a strenuous but rewarding hike.
This colossal rock-cut structure, similar in design to the Treasury but on a larger scale, showcases the incredible craftsmanship of the Nabataeans.
From the Monastery’s vantage point, visitors are treated to breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes, immersing themselves in the natural beauty and tranquility that envelops this ancient masterpiece.
- Location: The Monastery is located high on a mountainside within the Petra archaeological site.
- Famous For: The Monastery, also known as Al-Deir, is one of Petra’s most impressive and remote attractions.
Best Time to Visit Petra
The best time to visit Petra is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons. These periods offer milder temperatures, making it comfortable for exploration and outdoor activities.
Spring brings colorful blooms, enhancing the scenic beauty of the surroundings. Autumn offers pleasant weather, ideal for hiking and discovering the ancient city.
It is advisable to avoid the scorching summer months, as temperatures can reach extreme highs, making the experience arduous. Similarly, winter brings cooler temperatures and occasional rainfall.
By planning a trip to Petra during the optimal seasons, visitors can fully appreciate the historical wonders, natural landscapes, and cultural richness of this extraordinary archaeological site.
How to Get to Petra
1. By Road
To reach Petra by road, the most common option is to travel by car or bus. The city of Petra is accessible from major cities in Jordan, including Amman, Aqaba, and Wadi Musa. The journey typically involves well-maintained highways, and there are several transportation services available for travelers.
2. By Train
Currently, there is no direct train service to Petra. However, travelers can take a train to Amman, the capital of Jordan, and then continue the journey to Petra via road transport. The train network in Jordan connects various cities and offers a comfortable mode of travel.
3. By Air
To reach Petra by air, the closest international airport is Queen Alia International Airport in Amman. From there, travelers can take a domestic flight to King Hussein International Airport in Aqaba, which is closer to Petra. Alternatively, flying into Aqaba directly from selected destinations is also an option.
Where to Stay in Petra
1. Petra Marriott Hotel
The Petra Marriott Hotel is a top choice for accommodation near Petra. Situated near the entrance to the ancient city, it offers comfortable rooms with modern amenities and breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. The hotel features on-site dining options, a swimming pool, fitness facilities, and excellent hospitality, ensuring a convenient and enjoyable stay for visitors.
2. Movenpick Resort Petra
The Movenpick Resort Petra is another highly recommended place to stay, located just steps away from the entrance to Petra. This luxurious resort offers spacious rooms, elegant decor, and a range of amenities including multiple dining options, a rooftop terrace, and a spa.
3. Petra Guest House Hotel
For a more authentic experience, the Petra Guest House Hotel is a popular choice. Nestled at the entrance of Petra, this hotel combines modern comfort with traditional Jordanian hospitality. The rooms are tastefully designed, and some offer stunning views of the Treasury.
Where to Eat in Petra
Here are three top places to eat in Petra:
1. Al Qantarah Restaurant
Located near the entrance of Petra, Al Qantarah Restaurant offers a delightful dining experience with its traditional Jordanian cuisine. The restaurant serves a variety of flavorful dishes, including Mansaf (a national dish of Jordan), grilled meats, mezze platters, and vegetarian options.
2. Petra Kitchen
For a unique culinary experience, Petra Kitchen provides a hands-on cooking class where visitors can learn to prepare authentic Jordanian dishes. Led by experienced chefs, the interactive sessions allow participants to engage in the cooking process and then savor their creations.
3. My Mom’s Recipe
Nestled in the heart of Wadi Musa, My Mom’s Recipe is a charming family-owned restaurant that offers homemade Jordanian specialties. The menu showcases traditional recipes passed down through generations, ensuring an authentic taste.
Travel Tips & Suggestions
- Wear comfortable walking shoes to explore Petra’s vast site.
- Carry sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water, especially during hot months.
- Start your visit early to avoid crowds and make the most of your time.
- Engage a knowledgeable local guide to enhance your understanding of Petra’s history.
- Take the time to hike up to the Monastery for stunning views and a unique experience.
Conclusion – Things to Do in Petra
In conclusion, Petra is an awe-inspiring ancient city that seamlessly blends history, architecture, and natural beauty. From the mesmerizing blend of rock-cut tombs to the dramatic allure of the Siq canyon, every step in Petra unveils grandeur and historical significance.
The iconic Treasury stands as a crown jewel, while the Monastery perched atop the rugged landscape offers breathtaking vistas.
Exploring this UNESCO World Heritage Site reveals the enduring spirit of ancient civilizations and the harmonious integration of nature and human ingenuity.
Whether you embark on exhilarating hikes or savor authentic Jordanian cuisine, Petra promises a truly unforgettable experience.
FAQs – Things to Do in Petra
What are the Things to Do in Petra?
When it comes to Things to Do in Petra, you can’t miss the iconic Treasury, famously featured in movies like Indiana Jones. The Street of Facades is another highlight, showcasing towering rock-cut tombs and burial chambers. For a breathtaking experience, embark on the hike to the Monastery (Al-Deir), perched high on Petra’s rugged landscape.
What is the best time to visit for Things to Do in Petra?
The best time to visit Petra is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons. These periods offer milder temperatures, making it comfortable for exploration. Spring brings colorful blooms, enhancing the scenic beauty, while autumn offers pleasant weather, ideal for hiking and discovering the ancient city.
How can I get to Petra for Things to Do in Petra?
To get to Petra, you can travel by road from major cities in Jordan, such as Amman, Aqaba, and Wadi Musa. Renting a car or taking a bus are common options. If you prefer train travel, you can take a train to Amman and then continue the journey to Petra via road transport. Alternatively, you can reach Petra by air, flying into Queen Alia International Airport in Amman or King Hussein International Airport in Aqaba.
Where should I stay in Petra?
For convenient access to Petra, the Petra Marriott Hotel and Movenpick Resort Petra are excellent choices. Both offer comfortable rooms, modern amenities, and breathtaking views. If you seek a more authentic experience, the Petra Guest House Hotel provides a blend of modern comfort and traditional hospitality, situated at the entrance of Petra.
What are some recommended places to eat in Petra?
When it comes to dining in Petra, Al Qantarah Restaurant offers delightful traditional Jordanian cuisine, while Petra Kitchen provides a unique cooking class experience where you can learn to prepare authentic dishes. For a taste of homemade specialties, My Mom’s Recipe serves up delicious Jordanian recipes in a cozy atmosphere.
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