After visiting Petra and spending three days here I have compiled ten top travel tips to help out fellow travellers. I hope they are useful…
Most tours arrive about 10am and leave by 3 or 4pm, so before or after these times are when you can enjoy Petra at its best.
Plus prices of things will be better as you have more bargaining power for souvenirs and guides.
Another advantage to coming earlier or later is that Petra is much more bearable in the heat.
I stayed at a budget place called Petra Gate Hotel.
It was clean with a friendly owner, but it’s located on the top of the hill and transport to Petra isn’t provided- walking there is fine as it’s downhill and takes around 15 minutes. But getting back it is an uphill climb and after trekking round Petra you’ll most likely want to take a taxi back which should cost around 1JD.
The Valentine Inn hostel provides free transport. Nicer hotels, for example, the Movenpick and the highly rated and fair priced Petra Moon are located opposite the gate of Petra.
I also heard great things about the seven wonders camp.
Get the Jett bus from Amman which sets off at the Jet Abdeli station at 6.30am and arrives around three and a half hours later. It costs 10JD one way.
If you wish to return to Amman the bus leaves at 4pm from Petra.
From Wadi Rum mini buses run back and forth in the morning.
September and October are great months to visit in terms of weather, as they are not too hot or too cold.
March and April are apparently the prettiest and greenest months, but also the most busy with tourists.
However, it is a year round destination, just prepare for the cold climate if you go in winter and for the heat in the summer.
Take more money than you think you will need. Jordan is not a cheap country to travel by any means, and hefty tips are expected.
Entry to sites is costly. I highly recommend pre-purchasing the Jordan Pass before you go which offers entry at a range of attractions including entry into Petra. It also includes the visa entry into Jordan. It costs 70-80JD depending on whether which pass you opt for. It’s expensive, but will cost you a lot more if you pay for everything separately.
I was surprised by how few travellers I spoke to had bought the Jordan Pass, but it offers huge savings, especially if you’re spending more than one day at Petra.
Extra tip- Get the Jordan Pass a few days before you go. It expires two weeks after buying it but saves visa costs upon entry. I recommend printing off a few copies to have with you.
Save on food costs by eating falafel sandwiches and hummus with bread from street cafes. The hummus in Jordan is on par with Lebanese hummus- amazing.
Take food and drinks with you to Petra as you’ll probably be there all day. You can buy food there but options are limited and prices are inflated.
Anybody! I saw elderly, families, backpackers, you name it! Bear in mind that it’s probably going to be a destination more suited to those interested in local culture and history than the party animal.
As always I downloaded the maps.me app which I used a lot in Amman. There’s also a specific Petra app too although I didn’t use this.
Here’s my list of apps I always recommend when travelling:
Personally I felt very safe. Travelling alone people will be more open to talking to you which is what I love about solo travel.
Obviously don’t take unnecessary risks, but overall the people are very friendly and don’t be alarmed if they ask you to come to their house for dinner or shisha- that is just their culture. Just politely explain you have a prior arrangement (even if you don’t).
I don’t usually tell strangers I’m travelling alone – I say I am meeting my friend at the hotel later or that my (imaginary) husband is joining me tomorrow.
Here’s why NOT to accept any drinks/dinner/star watching offers from the local Bedouins:
Yes, but in my opinion they don’t do the hard sell. They are friendly and jovial and will just have a chat to you. Maybe this is just because I looked like a scruffy backpacker though! If you’re a middle-aged American staying in a posh hotel they might be more persistent.
Plus remember by buying the odd thing here and there you are actually supporting the locals, so personally I’m happy to come away with a few souvenirs which remind me of my trip.
Souvenirs I recommend:
A bottle of desert sand (there is a stand in Petra selling these and all are unique.)
Go to the spice stand- I bought some amber.
Take a battery pack if you’re into taking lots of photos and videos, it is an incredibly photogenic location. But make sure you also put the camera down and enjoy the surroundings.
Read my other posts for more information about Petra and Jordan..
I hope you enjoyed these ten travel tips. Please share your tips or any questions you have about Petra in the comment box below.
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Hi, I live and work in Dubai. I enjoy getting out and about and seeing what Dubai has to offer, travelling in my holidays and spare time – prepare for blog posts about this, and cooking vegetarian recipes. I am passionate about travel and animals.