Petra is one of the Seven Wonders of the New World, and for good reasons! It is a place that is full of history, and it’s way more than just the Petra Treasury, which is the picture everyone takes when visiting Petra (and the picture you can see just above). So, is Petra worth visiting?
Petra is totally worth visiting if you are interested in the Nabatean culture. The Nabateans are the people who built the city of Petra. If you want to visit the whole city of Petra, and not only the treasury, then visiting Petra is worth it. But if you just want to see the treasury, then it is not worth it.
Is Petra Monastery worth visiting?
The first question to ask yourself when visiting Petra is: what should I visit? Indeed, as mentioned earlier, there is the treasury of course, but that’s not all! The treasury is only the main attraction. Petra is a big city. For instance, there is also a monastery to visit. So, is the Petra Monastery worth visiting?
If you don’t mind hiking for a bit, Petra Monastery is definitely worth visiting. To get there, you will need to climb 850 steps. You should take your hiking boots if you don’t want to suffer too much during the hike and make it worth it.
To help you see what both the hike and the monastery look like, here is a video made by Kara and Nate. They will explain to you everything you need to know about Petra overall. But the most interesting part is the one about the hike to the monastery at the end. As you will see, they face lots of surprises!
In the video, you just saw that the weather can change very quickly. Yes, you are in the desert, but it does not mean that it is warm and sunny all year long. In fact, the temperatures can drop very low at night time! So you should make sure to bring both summer outfits and also clothes to warm up.
Is Petra by night worth visiting?
When buying your Petra daily pass, you will also see the “Petra by night” option. This is a $23 pass to be able to visit Petra at night. There, you will experience a light show and listen to a concert. Is that worth the price? Is Petra by night worth visiting?
If you are interested in the Bedouin culture and light shows, then you should visit Petra at night. If you simply want to visit the city of Petra for its views, visiting Petra by night is not worth it at all. Finally, if you already chose to sleep in a Bedouin tent, buying the Petra by night pass makes more sense.
Now to help you see what it looks like visiting Petra at night, I put a video just after this paragraph. I put it in a way that if you double click the video, you should automatically arrive at 1 minute and 37 seconds, which is the moment when Cody arrives at Petra.
How much does Petra by night cost?
As mentioned earlier in the video, people need to pay for a day pass in order to pay for the night pass. This is a bit special, but you cannot only buy a night pass. So Cody paid for 2-day passes and 1-night pass, for a total of $100.
Indeed, a day pass to Petra costs 50 Jordanian Dinar, 70.59 United States Dollar. But a two-day pass only costs 55 Jordanian Dinar or 77,65 United States Dollar. Finally, a night pass costs 23 USD. So when you add up the two-day pass ($77) and the Petra by night pass ($23), it makes $100.
Now you are the only one who can say whether Petra by night is worth it or not, according to your budget. Once again, to help you in your choice, you have the video from Cody that I put three paragraphs earlier. This video shows you what the light show looks like and also a bit of the music show.
How long should you stay in Petra?
Now that you saw that the monastery is a place to see and that Petra by night is a special experience not everyone would enjoy, it is time to plan your trip. The first question to ask yourself is: how many days should you book? How long should stay in Petra?
One long day is enough to visit Petra. You should stay two days if you want to experience Petra by night and sleep in a bedouin tent. But you should not stay more than two days in Petra. Over two days, it is not worth staying in Petra anymore.
One day in Petra planning
As you may have seen in the two videos, Petra can get very crowded at peak times. You should definitely avoid being at the treasury at peak times. To make it simple, you will need to wake up early. How early? Very early. In his video, Cody arrives at the treasury at 6 A.M and he is able to enjoy it quietly. However, after a few shots, it seems like the treasury is already crowded. Since it is at the time they are having lunch, we can assume that it is around noon.
So, you should head to the treasury as early as you can. 6 A.M may be a bit early for you. But later than 9 A.M is probably a bad idea. Indeed, arriving early at the treasury also means that you will arrive early at the other interest points of the city. For instance, if you arrive early at the treasury, you can start the hike to the monastery much earlier than other tourists.
The issue is that if you do a one-day trip from Amman, you need to drive for three hours before arriving at Petra. This is why I would recommend taking a late bus to Petra, sleep in a Bedouin tent, and visit Petra the next day. This way, if you are interested in the night show, you can simply pay for the Petra by Night, and do it directly when you arrive. You will need to buy the extra day pass for that, but as we saw earlier in the article, it only costs $7 more.
Basically, the planning for a one-day trip to Petra should be the following:
Take a bus or a taxi from Amman to Petra in the afternoon
If you want to, visit Petra by night
The next day, head for the Petra Treasury as early as you can
Visit the city of Petra at your pace and do the monastery hike
Head back to Amman in the late afternoon, or sleep one more night in the desert
How much does one day in Petra cost?
Now, in the planning I made up for you, there are several options: you can either sleep zero, one, or two nights in a Bedouin tent. Then, you can also choose to pay for the Petra by night pass. Finally, you can choose to get to Petra from Amman either by bus or by car. By the way, about that last point, you should make sure to book your bus as early as possible. Cody mentions in his video that he needed to take a taxi because the buses were full. So, how much do these options cost? How much does one day in Petra cost?
One day in Petra costs between $164.79 and $195.76. It costs $164.79 if you choose to visit Petra one day, take a bus from Amman, and sleep one night in a Bedouin tent. It costs $195.76 if you choose to visit Petra by night. Finally, it can cost up to $404.56 if you take a taxi from Amman to Petra.
Bus (2 tickets)
Taxi (2 rides)
2 Day Pass
Bedouin tent rent
Here is a table explaining to you how I those numbers were created
What’s the best way to make Petra worth visiting?
The first option is the cheapest one. It means that you booked your bus tickets way in advance and that you follow the plan I made up for you. You choose not to visit Petra by night, and you only spend one night in a Bedouin tent. The second option is like the first one, except that you pay for Petra by night. So, when you arrive by bus, you directly visit Petra. You will need to pay for the 2-day pass for that. The third option is the most expensive one: you did not book your bus tickets, so you need to book a taxi, and you also choose to spend two nights in Bedouin tents.
As you can see when you compare the prices, you should definitely book your bus tickets in advance: it will save you a lot of money. Overall, you can see that visiting Petra by night does not cost a lot compared to the whole price. Now that’s all for me. I will let you choose your option according to your budget. I gave you all the tools to make your choice, but the choice is yours.