Experience the Magic of Petra at Night • Family Travel in the Middle East (2023)

Did you know that you can visit the Modern Wonder of the World Petra at night? See the incredible Siq and Treasury of Petra lit up by candlelight in a truly magical nighttime experience.

Experience the Magic of Petra at Night • Family Travel in the Middle East (1)

The official show is called Petra by Night, run by experienced guides from the Petra Development And Tourism Region Authority.

Entry to Petra by Night is separate to your main Petra entry fee. You can expect to pay 17 JOD (approx $24 USD) per person for an entry ticket, children under 10 are free.

Held only three nights a week, it’s really important if you’d like to attend Petra by Night to arrange your whole Jordan road trip itinerary around this. Currently, show nights are Monday, Wednesday & Thursday.

Petra by Night opens at 8:30 pm and ends at 10:30 pm.

What can you expect seeing Petra at Night?

Similar to entering Petra during the day, the night tour starts from the Petra Visitor Centre Plaza. Once gates open, you are free to walk down the Siq to the Treasury (If you are unfamiliar with the layout of Petra, pop back to our complete guide to Petra here).

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The Petra by Night experience is supposed to be undertaken in silence under candlelight, but sadly this is not well policed and you will see plenty of visitors destroying the ambience with chatter, torches and mobile phones… alas this is the way of some popular attractions.

It is still quite a different experience to the daytime walk as there are no horse and cart options (making it a littel safer!), and the normal bustle you would experience walking through the Siq. Your “guides” are not talking to you for this part of the show, they are only there spotted very intermittently securing the site.

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The evening show commences with visitors sitting on the ground in front of the Treasury. A musician starts by playing a rababah, before storytelling about the history of Petra (in English) from a Bedouin Guide. The big ‘reveal’ is then made when Petra pops into life, floodlit to show off its full glory.

The actual “show” element only lasts about 30 minutes. If you choose to put yourself at the back of the pack on entry to enjoy a more ambient experience through the Siq, just be prepared you may miss a little of the show.

After the formalities are over, guests are then free to photograph the Treasury lit up at night, then make the climb back up the Siq pathway to Wadi Musa township.

(Video) Petra Jordan - This World Wonder will BLOW YOUR MIND

Tips for taking kids to Petra by Night

You will need to gauge this entirely on the age and fitness of your own children.

If you have already tackled the main Petra site during the day, asking kids with little legs to complete the walk to the Treasury again (there is no horse option for the evening) is an incredibly steep task. You are looking at a further 2.5km walk both in and back out again.

Those with young kids who may be scared of the dark or you have concerns they may be tired, this is one of those occasions we would recommend NOT taking your kids along for. The alternative is to have your children minded at your accommodation.

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Tips for Photographing Petra at Night

You will no doubt see plenty of stunning photos of Petra By Night, but do note, you will need the right set up to achieve these sort of pictures (hey we’ve totally cheated here and included professional photography to inspire you!). You will need:

  • Patience! A bucket load of it. There will be selfie sticks galore and those simply wanting a quick snap. You’ll want the crowds to clear before setting up your own space, but quickly before the guards kick you out by 10 pm sharp! (front gates shut at 10:30 pm)
  • Do use a proper DSLR or mirrorless camera with a tripod for best results, a smartphone will not cut it for good night shots.
  • Flash photography is only allowed for one brief period, the staff will tell you when, though it’s not of much help.
  • Ideally, if your camera has a silent mode, use it so as not to disturb other visitors and be mindful of other photographers waiting for that perfect crowd-free shot too.
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Frequently asked questions about visiting Petra at Night

Helping you plan your trip to Petra by Night, and all your other burning questions around Petra at night!

Where can I buy tickets to Petra By Night?

You can purchase your tickets at the Visitor centre entry, alongside your Petra entry ticket, noting that it’s a separate entry fee and ticket.

(Video) 1 week in Jordan! - Not what I expected.

You may also be able to purchase your Petra by Night tickets from your hotel concierge and there are local tour agencies permitted to sell the tickets in Wadi Musa.

Can I see other parts of the Petra complex at night?

No, your walk only takes you as far as the Treasury, staff are on hand to stop wondering further into the Petra complex at night, you will need to return during the day to explore further.

Can I not stay in the Petra complex and wait for Petra at night to start?

No, you will need to leave the Petra complex after your day’s exploration and come back down the Siq for the evening show – definitely save yourself some leg power for this!

Would you only see Petra at night?

On a tight timetable and only got an evening to spend in Petra? You COULD just see Petra by night and enjoy the experience, but you’d be doing yourself an injustice to get this far and not explore further during the day.

Is Petra By Night included in the Jordan Pass?

Sadly not, this is one major attraction not included in the Jordan Pass. No matter what you will need to pay the 17 JOD fee to enjoy this experience.

(Video) Petra Travel Guide: YOU MUST Know These Tips

Petra by Night – Where to Stay

Accommodation for Petra is in the nearby township of Wadi Musa. You want somewhere in easy walking distance after the long trek, so these are our top picks for family-friendly nearby hotels (some also offer babysitting services, if you were planning to tackle Petra by Night kid-free).

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  • Mövenpick Resort Petra– located right by the Petra entrance andour top luxury pick for staying near Petra (but it comes with a price tag). Babysitting available at extra charge.
  • Petra Guest House Hotel – literally on top of the entrance this is the best choice if you are worried about tired little legs and late nights (or want to stick around and enjoy an end of walk beer at the cave bar!)
  • Petra Palace Hotel a great choice for larger families with quadruple room options and pool facilities, on the main street of Wadi Musa before the Petra visitor centre.
  • Jordan Guest House – a wonderful family run business offering larger family-sized rooms for up to 5, slightly further from the sight but owner Shadi will be very helpful with your needs, our top boutique pick.


Before you go, don’t miss these Jordan travel planning tools and resources:

  • Jordan with Kids– fact guide & overview for planning a Jordan family vacation
  • What do people wear in Jordan? – Not an ultra-conservative Muslim country but some modesty still required; get the balance right between dressing for weather extremes and religion
  • Classic 5-day Jordan road trip itinerary– for those travellers short on time but wanting to see the highlights
  • Visiting Siq Al Barid (Little Petra) – make time in your itinerary for this stunning nearby landmark, perfect for littler legs!
  • Best Dead Sea Resorts with Kids– a run through all the Jordanian Dead Sea Resorts and which have the best family facilities
  • Best time to visit Jordan– talking you through the seasons and weather at popular destinations
  • UNESCO sites of the Middle East– learn more about the regions fascinating world heritage sites
  • Check yourVisa requirements for Jordanhere before you go

Jordan Guide Book

For a first-timer looking to visit Jordan, we can highly recommend you download the Step Into Jordan Guide & Itineraries.

This handy digital guide is just $19.99USD and includes:

  • An interactive downloadable map
  • 36 detailed pages of planning guidance
  • Multiple suggested itineraries (10, 7 and 3 days)
  • Tips from an expert
  • Accommodation recommendations

Experience the Magic of Petra at Night • Family Travel in the Middle East (9)

All Petra designs used under license from Canva


This post is not sponsored but does contain affiliate links. Should you book accommodation or tours using any of our links we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

You may also enjoy:

  • Amman to Aqaba; All your transport options …

  • What to Wear in Jordan; Packing advice …

  • (Video) what it's like in THE MIDDLE EAST ? 7 days trip in Amman Jordan (SHOCK! Alcohol is not forbidden?)

    Best Wadi Rum Desert Camps for Families

  • Best Jordan Dead Sea Resorts for Families 2022


Is it worth seeing Petra at night? ›

I loved Petra by Night especially as I love to take pictures. I wanted to take pictures of Petra by Night and for me, it was absolutely worth visiting. In my personal experience, if you plan it properly you can have an incredible experience.

Can you stay overnight in Petra? ›

While you are not allowed to stay overnight unaccompanied in Petra, you can book a traditional Bedouin cave stay. Most hosts offer the full traditional experience, including dinner cooked over an open fire, the option of sleeping under the stars, as well as transportation back to the park entrance in the morning.

How many nights does Petra have? ›

Travelers to Jordan typically plan a trip for 5 to 6 days when combining Petra with Amman, Wadi Rum, and the Dead Sea. If you're not interested in those extensions, 2 to 3 days is enough for your Petra trip. Read on for the best itineraries including Petra and beyond.

Can you go to Petra on your own? ›

Even though you can visit Petra on your own, it is absolutely advisable that you have a guide to visit Petra to learn about the incredible history of this Unesco World Heritage site.

Is Petra worth visiting? ›

Yes. Absolutely. If you're visiting Jordan, Petra should be one of the absolute must-go places on your list. Located in the town of Wadi Musa, Petra (also known as 'Rose City' due to its colours) was named one of the Seven Wonders of the World in 2007, and it's not hard to work out why.

What is the history behind Petra? ›

Located amid rugged desert canyons and mountains in what is now the southwestern corner of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Petra was once a thriving trading center and the capital of the Nabataean empire between 400 B.C. and A.D. 106. The city sat empty and in near ruin for centuries.

What is the best time to visit Petra? ›

The best time to visit Petra – Jordan's most popular attraction – is in spring, when temperatures are neither too hot or cold. May, in particular, is a winner, because rainfall is very low (at 4mm) and thermometers are unlikely to read above 30°C.

Can you wear shorts to Petra? ›

Whether you are in the city of Amman, exploring Petra or trekking the desert men should refrain from wearing shorts as it is seen as disrespectful. Even in warm weather, light linen or cotton trousers can keep you feeling cool and comfortable so just make sure to pack trousers with materials that suit the weather.

Is one day enough for Petra? ›

The Petra Archaeological Park is a huge 2,640 acres, and you could easily spend weeks exploring the complex, however one day in Petra is perfect to see the main sights!

How long is Petra walk? ›

The walk from the entrance of Petra to the Treasury (the iconic facade that is the highlight on a visit to Petra), is 2km long, or just over one mile. If you walk fast, you can get to the Treasury in 20 minutes. If you slow down, enjoy the views, and take lots of photos, it can take at least 30 minutes.

What's inside of Petra? ›

The caves, temples, and tombs of Petra reveal an impressive civilization. The “Rose City” is a honeycomb of hand-hewn caves, temples, and tombs carved from blushing pink sandstone in the high desert of Jordan some 2,000 years ago. Hidden by time and shifting sand, Petra tells of a lost civilization.

How old is the Petra? ›

Archaeology > The Ancient City of Petra. Petra was founded over 2000 years ago along the ancient trade routes between Arabia, Egypt, and the Mediterranean Sea.

What is Petra Jordan famous for? ›

Petra is half-built, half-carved into the rock, and is surrounded by mountains riddled with passages and gorges. It is one of the world's most famous archaeological sites, where ancient Eastern traditions blend with Hellenistic architecture.

How much time should I spend in Petra? ›

In order to really appreciate its size and splendours, it is recommended to spend at least two days at Petra. This will allow you not only to take in the major sites such as the Treasury, Monastery and Royal Tombs, but also to explore the less popular trails at your leisure.

Who built Petra? ›

The city of Petra was established as a trading post by the Nabateans, an Arab Bedouin tribe indigenous to the region in what is now southwestern Jordan.

Do you need passport for Petra? ›

Finally, you will need your passport or a local residents special ID in order to get into Petra.

Why is Petra called the Lost city? ›

During the first centuries BC to AD, Petra is believed to have been home to 20,000 – 30,000 people and was an important trading city. It then sat uninhabited for over five centuries until rediscovered by a Swiss explorer in 1812, hence the name the 'Lost City'.

What is Petra called in the Bible? ›

What is the biblical name of Petra? The biblical name of Petra is Sela, which was probably replaced by the Greek name Petra, meaning "rock."

Why is Petra a wonder of the world? ›

One of 7 Wonders

Renowned for its charm and ancient cultural heritage, Petra marks the achievement of an impressive civilization, the Nabataean Arabs, who perfectly carved the city into its mountains.

What is the best time to travel to Jordan? ›

The best time of year to visit Jordan is either spring (March to May) or autumn (September to November). Travelling during the summer months (June to August) can be challenging for those not accustomed to the heat as temperatures are known to top 40°F in some areas of the country like the Gulf of Aqaba.

Is November a good time to visit Petra? ›

Mid-September, October, to Mid-November is also the best time to visit Petra and Jordan. It is considered high season due to its favorable weather. The hot summer days are gone (although it is still very warm in the sun) and the evenings are still warm.

Is February a good time to visit Petra? ›

While Petra has plenty to recommend it this month, in early February most visitors continue to await warmer days. But numbers begin to inch sharply upwards as the month progresses. This is a great time to visit for a more personal experience before the crowds of March begin to take up elbow room.

Can I wear a dress in Petra? ›

Yes, you could absolutely wear a dress or a skirt to visit Petra and get that photo you've always dreamed of in front of the Treasury. However, here's the thing…you're likely only going to be comfortable wearing something like that on the path to the Treasury and back.

Can you bring food into Jordan? ›

Items that do not need an import license may require prior authorization by the appropriate government ministry. Any imported agricultural or food products may be inspected and tested for human consumption. Virtually all prepared and mixed foods are tested at the border.

Can you wear leggings to Petra? ›

Linen Pants | Even though Petra is the most touristy place in Jordan and local people are used to seeing western travelers in tight leggings and sleeveless t-shirts, we think this is not appropriate clothing here.

Which city is close to Petra? ›

Cities near Petra
Eilat, Israel61.35 miles98.73 km
Aqaba, Jordan61.8 miles99.46 km
Adir, Jordan63.07 miles101.5 km
Ar Rabbah, Jordan67.22 miles108.18 km
17 more rows

Can you stay in a cave in Petra? ›

One of our best and most memorable experiences from our trip to Jordan was staying in a traditional Bedouin cave. If you're looking to stay somewhere a little bit out of the ordinary, then you'll love this version of camping in a cave, inside the mountains of the Little Petra community.

How far is Petra from airport? ›

Amman Queen Alia (AMM) airport is located 202 km away from Petra, Jordan. This journey takes around 150 minute by taxi and 340 minutes by bus.

How do I get from Wadi Rum to Petra? ›

Traveling from Wadi Rum to Wadi Musa|Petra by bus

Ticket cost 10 JOD per person. Jett bus runs daily between the Wadi Rum visitor center (8 kilometers from Rum village) and the Petra visitor center. The departure time is 9 AM, and ticket cost 15 JOD per person.

How much does Jordan pass cost? ›

How much does a Jordan Pass cost? With online processing, the Jordan Pass can cost between USD $176.99 and USD $264.99, depending on how fast you need your document. If you don't get the Jordan Pass, you will have to pay for a visa and pay each time you want to go to a tourist site.

What is Wadi Rum? ›

Wadi Rum is a spectacularly scenic desert valley (wadi in Arabic) in southern Jordan. It is also known as "Valley of the Moon" and inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Can you drive in Petra? ›

Many visit Petra as part of an organised tour – but that's not the only way! There is the option of public transport from Amman and Aqaba, or you can hire a car and drive.

Is Jordan safe to travel? ›

The Border with Syria and Iraq – Level 4: Do Not Travel

Do not travel to Jordan's border with Syria and Iraq given the continued threat of cross-border violence, including the risk of terrorist attacks.

How far is Wadi from Petra? ›

The distance between Petra and Wadi Rum is about 110km, more or less 2 hours. Be careful as some parts of the road are damaged and dangerous. There are several transportation options between Petra and Wadi Rum. All transportations are direct, so it is pretty easy and fast.

Who can enter Jordan without visa? ›

Which Countries Do Not Require A Visa For Jordan? The following countries do not need a visa for Jordan: Bahrain, Egypt (1 month), Israel (1 month), Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestinian Territory (1 month), Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Tunisia (2 months), and the United Arab Emirates.

Can you buy Jordan pass at airport? ›

Those visa fees will however only be waived if you stay in the country for at least three consecutive nights. The pass needs to be purchased online in advance of your arrival in Jordan in order to realise and maximise the savings available.

How old is the Petra? ›

Archaeology > The Ancient City of Petra. Petra was founded over 2000 years ago along the ancient trade routes between Arabia, Egypt, and the Mediterranean Sea.

What should I wear in Wadi Rum? ›

Packing guide
  • Light, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Sun hat or Bedouin scarf, sunscreen and sunglasses.
  • Walking shoes or sandals with grip - even if you opt-out of hiking, you will still want to wear comfortable shoes.
  • Day pack or backpack.
  • Camera.

Is Wadi Rum safe? ›

Wadi Rum is not an inherently dangerous place but travelers in the desert should take a few simple precautions to reduce risks and make their visit more enjoyable.


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