Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Visitors Guide to Petra

Visitors Guide to Petra

A guide on how to get the most out of your visit to the marvelous Petra.

The Siq
You might have read vast of details on the internet, seen on movie, pictures or a short video clip or heard from colleagues or friends about Petra, being branded as a UNESCO World Heritage site, a New Seven Wonders of the World, with its magnificent structures that captivates many visitors from all over the world. Perhaps it’s one of the top places listed on your travel list or the next destination on your bucket list waiting to be cross out sooner or later. 

Here are the details that you need to know that can help you prepare to have a memorable visit to the Petra Archaeological Park. 

The Treasury
Let’s start with entrance fees:
Non Jordanian visitor pays the following (Visitors spending at least 1 night in Jordan)
One day entry ticket: 50 JOD per person
Two day entry ticket: 55 JOD per person
Three day entry ticket: 60 JOD per person

Non Jordanian visitors not staying for at least 1 night in Jordan has to pay 90 JOD per person.

Children below 15 year old are exempted in paying entrance.

You can buy the ticket at the New Visitors Centre which was recently inaugurated. 

The ticket booth is open from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm in the summer and 6:00 am to 4:00 pm in the winter. Bring cash as they do not accept credit cards. Here you can get guide books, maps or hire a tour guide. 

The Entrance Gate
The Museum at the New Visitors Centre displaying some artifacts with details

How to get to Petra?
There are plenty of tour companies offering private tour to the site starting from your hotel (or residence) in Amman, Dead Sea, Madaba, Hammamat Main, Aqaba or from the Arava Border. There are public buses from Amman and Aqaba that goes to Petra. 

 Petra Nights Tours Vehicle

When is the best time to visit?
Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to November) is the best time to see the site as the temperature are not so high or low (average temperature beyween 16-24°C). 

During summer months (June to Aug) expect hot temperature (around 36 °C). 

The quietest time (lesser crowds) are usually in early morning or late afternoon.

The Royal Tombs
I’d like to stay for a night or two, what are the options where should I stay?
There are many hotels of all types, budgets, good value and views around the town of Wadi Musa, starting right next to the Visitors’ Centre, stretching up into the hills. 

Samples of hotels:
3 star hotels: Sella Hotel, Amra Palace, Petra Palace etcetera
4 star hotels: Petra Guest House, Petra Moon, Beit Zaman etcetera
5 star hotels: Moevenpick Resort, Marriott Hotel

Room at Sella Hotel

Panorama View of the Petra Guest House
Exterior of Moevenpick Resort Petra
How much time do I need to see Petra?
Petra is a huge site. You can explore and see the main sights in a day (Siq, Treasury, Street of Facades, Royal Tombs, Theatre, Qasr Al Bint, and The Monastery). Active travelers or hiker stays longer to hike the Upper portion of the site.  

Detailed Map of Petra Park
I am visiting Petra for a day, how much walking will I have to do?
Expect a lot of walking. The entrance ticket includes a short horse ride from the visitor’s centre to the entrance of the Siq, or you might want to save this ride going back to the entrance, bear in mind you need to pay a tip to the horse boy.

The walk from the Visitors Centre up to the entrance of Siq is about 15 minutes.  
If it gets too much for you alternative transportation are available such as camels, donkeys and horses. Click here read the separate post on Horses, Camels, Donkeys in Petra.

Camel Ride
Monastery El Deir
What should I wear?
Comfortable walking shoes as you’ll be walking on sandy and rocky ground. A hat, cap or scarf is recommended for protection against the sand, sun or wind. You’ll see people in all sorts of clothing from shirt, short sleeved top and shorts, long sleeved top and trousers or hiking gear. A bag pack or knapsack is recommended for your bottled water and other items.

Exploring Petra
Visit to Petra with the family
Can I buy food and drinks inside Petra?
There are stalls outside the entrance where you can grab a drink and snack. For your own convenience its worth to bring bottled water as prices seems to be higher in the site.

Inside Petra there are some places to sit, drink and eat from simple booth to Bedouin tea stall and there are 2 restaurants where you can have a buffet or A la Carte meals, these establishments are near the Museum.

A small shop and sitting area
Small Kiosk selling souvenirs
The Basin Restaurant near the Museum area
Is there any toilets / wash room / or portable toilet in Petra?
Portable toilet is existing by the start of The Siq and some of cafes.
Proper toilet blocks are located near the Visitors’ Centre, Theatre and by the Museum.

Petra Map showing toilets & store location

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