Pro Tips for Visiting Petra

by GO GlobeHopper

Nestled within the rugged desert canyons of southern Jordan, the ancient city of Petra stands as a testament to human ingenuity and artistic brilliance. Often referred to as the “Rose City” due to the pink-hued stone from which it was carved, Petra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most iconic archaeological wonders in the world. As you embark on your journey to this awe-inspiring destination, here are some pro tips to ensure you have a memorable and enriching experience.


1. Plan Your Timing Wisely

Petra experiences a range of temperatures throughout the year, with summers being extremely hot and winters being cooler. To make the most of your visit, consider traveling during the shoulder seasons of spring (March to May) and fall (September to November), when the weather is more comfortable for exploring the site on foot.

2. Early Bird Catches the Beauty

Arrive at the entrance gates of Petra as early as possible. This not only allows you to beat the crowds but also provides you with the magical experience of witnessing the iconic Treasury bathed in the soft morning sunlight. As the sun rises, the rose-red rock façade glows, creating a scene that feels straight out of an adventure movie.

3. Choose the Right Footwear

Exploring Petra involves a significant amount of walking, often on uneven surfaces and through narrow rock passages. Comfortable and sturdy footwear is a must. Opt for closed-toe shoes with good grip to ensure you can traverse the site comfortably and safely.

4. Hydration and Sun Protection

The desert environment can be deceptively dry and hot, especially during the daytime. Carry a refillable water bottle and sunscreen to stay hydrated and protect your skin from the sun’s harsh rays. Don’t forget a wide-brimmed hat and lightweight, breathable clothing to help shield yourself from the sun.

5. Unearth the Hidden Gems

While the Treasury is undoubtedly the highlight of Petra, there are numerous other hidden gems to discover. Allow yourself time to explore the entire site, including the Monastery (Al-Deir), the High Place of Sacrifice, and the Royal Tombs. These lesser-visited areas offer breathtaking vistas and fascinating insights into Petra’s history.

6. Engage with the Local Culture

Interact with the Bedouin community that still resides in the Petra region. Many offer guided tours and insights into their traditional way of life. Engaging with the locals can provide a deeper understanding of the area’s heritage and add a personal touch to your journey.

7. Capture the Moment

Petra’s intricate architecture, dramatic landscapes, and ancient history make for stunning photo opportunities. Ensure your camera or smartphone is fully charged and has ample storage space. The interplay of light and shadows as you explore the rock-cut structures creates a visual spectacle that you’ll want to capture.

8. Be Mindful of the Environment

As a responsible traveler, be conscious of your impact on the fragile environment of Petra. Refrain from touching or climbing on the archaeological sites, and carry any trash with you until you find a proper disposal point. Preserving this marvel for future generations is a collective effort.

9. Guided Tours vs. Solo Exploration

Decide whether you want to explore Petra on your own or with a local guide. While independent exploration allows you to set your own pace, a knowledgeable guide can provide historical context, intriguing stories, and insights that bring the ancient city to life in a unique way.

10. Experience Petra by Night

Don’t miss the opportunity to witness Petra illuminated by the soft glow of countless candles during the Petra by Night event. Offered a few times a week, this magical experience allows you to walk through the Siq and arrive at the Treasury under the stars, creating an enchanting atmosphere.

11. Stay Nearby for Sunrise

If you’re eager to capture the iconic Treasury bathed in the first light of day, consider staying in accommodations located near the entrance to Petra. This allows you to reach the site early in the morning, ensuring you have the best lighting for your photographs.

12. Respect Local Customs

Jordan is a predominantly Muslim country, and it’s important to respect local customs and dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites within Petra. This includes wearing appropriate clothing that covers your shoulders, chest, and knees.


A visit to Petra is a journey back in time, a walk through the pages of history, and an opportunity to connect with a civilization that once thrived in the heart of the desert. By following these pro tips, you can make the most of your visit, ensuring that your experience is not only memorable but also respectful of the site’s cultural and natural significance.

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