Planning Your Time

An overnight trip to Petra is optimal. Be prepared for a lot of walking: it's about 3 km (2 miles) from the entrance to the Basin restaurant.

Begin at the Horse Square and walk through the narrow, mysterious Siq to the Treasury, Petra's most magnificent facade. From there, continue along what was once the city's main street, lined with monuments from Petra's glory days. Walk along the colonnaded street to the Basin for lunch. The route back is the same, but the sun striking the rocks at different angles reveals new dimensions of the site's beauty; note that the way back is uphill. The horse-drawn carriages you'll see are meant only for the infirm, but they can be hired, gypsy-cab style, by tired pedestrians.

Expect to pay JD 50 for a day pass from the entrance to the Treasury if you are spending the night in Jordan (those who do not stay overnight in Jordan pay JD 90 for entrance). Multiday passes are also available for JD 55 (two days) or JD 60 (three days). In the evening, enjoy the sunset from a hotel balcony or rooftop terrace. Check at the visitor center to see if the Petra by Night tour is on.

On the second day, you can return to the Treasury and explore other sites, perhaps making the climb up to the Monastery. There are lots of well-stocked souvenir shops near the visitor center if you’re looking for something to take home.

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