Destination Idea: Petra

by GO GlobeHopper

Found deep within the captivating landscapes of Jordan lies a world-famous archaeological gem – Petra. Often referred to as the “Rose City” due to its rosy-colored rock architecture, Petra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-visit destination for any avid traveler. From its breathtaking carved facades to its rich history, here’s everything you need to know about exploring this extraordinary site.


What to Expect

Petra is a sprawling archaeological site located in the southern part of Jordan. The city was once the capital of the Nabatean Kingdom and served as a major trading hub. Today, visitors can marvel at its remarkable rock-cut architecture, intricate facades, and deep cultural significance. Prepare for a journey into a lost world, where ancient history comes to life through its stunning remains.

Weather and Best Time to Visit

Petra experiences a desert climate, characterized by hot summers and cooler winters. To make the most of your visit, plan your trip during the shoulder seasons of spring (March to May) and fall (September to November). The weather is more comfortable for exploring the site during these months. Summer visits are possible, but the extreme heat can make the experience challenging.

Local Customs and Etiquette

Jordan is a predominantly Muslim country, and it’s essential to respect local customs and traditions. When visiting religious sites within Petra, such as the Monastery or the Great Temple, dress modestly by wearing clothing that covers your shoulders, chest, and knees. It’s also customary to remove your shoes before entering certain indoor areas.

Currency and Money Matters

The local currency is the Jordanian Dinar (JOD). While credit cards are widely accepted in hotels, restaurants, and larger shops, it’s a good idea to carry some cash for small purchases and tips. Currency exchange services are available at airports and banks, as well as in larger cities like Amman.

Where to Stay

The nearby town of Wadi Musa is the gateway to Petra and offers a range of accommodation options to suit various budgets. You’ll find everything from luxury hotels to cozy guesthouses. Staying in Wadi Musa provides easy access to Petra’s entrance, allowing you to maximize your time exploring the site.

Transportation to Petra

Jordan is well-connected by air, with Queen Alia International Airport in Amman being the primary international gateway. From the airport, you can arrange private transfers, taxis, or rent a car to reach Petra. Once in Wadi Musa, it’s easy to find transportation to the Petra Visitor Center, which is the starting point for your Petra adventure.

What to See and Do

  1. The Siq: Begin your journey with a walk through the Siq, a narrow and winding canyon that serves as the entrance to Petra. As you walk through the towering rock walls, anticipation builds for the grand reveal of the Treasury.
  2. The Treasury (Al-Khazneh): This iconic facade is Petra’s most famous landmark. Carved into the rose-red cliffs, the Treasury is a breathtaking sight, especially during sunrise when the sunlight bathes it in a warm glow.
  3. Royal Tombs: Continue deeper into Petra to explore the Royal Tombs, a series of impressive burial sites carved into the rock face. Each tomb showcases intricate details and architectural mastery.
  4. The Monastery (Al-Deir): A challenging yet rewarding hike takes you to the Monastery, another awe-inspiring rock-cut structure. The view from this vantage point is simply spectacular.
  5. High Place of Sacrifice: For panoramic vistas of Petra, make your way to the High Place of Sacrifice. This elevated platform offers sweeping views of the city and its surroundings.
  6. Petra by Night: On select evenings, Petra is illuminated by the soft glow of candles during the Petra by Night event. This enchanting experience allows you to see the Treasury and its surroundings in a magical light.

Culinary Delights and Dining

Exploring Petra is sure to work up an appetite. Enjoy local Jordanian cuisine, which includes dishes like mansaf (a traditional rice and meat dish), falafel, and mezze spreads. Don’t miss out on the chance to savor the unique flavors of the region.


Petra is a destination that transcends time, where ancient history intertwines with breathtaking landscapes. By following these tips and embracing the local culture, you’ll embark on a journey that will leave you with lasting memories and a deep appreciation for the wonders of human achievement.

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