1. Make sure you stay at least one night so that you can visit earlier and/or later than the tours. Most tours arrive about 10am and leave by 3 or 4pm, so before or after these times are when you can enjoy the peace. Plus prices of things will be better- you have more bargaining power for souvenirs and guides. And coming earlier/later is 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, 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, and nicer hotels eg the Movenpick and the highly rated and fair priced Petra Moon are located opposite the gate of Petra. I also heard great thing about the seven wonders camp.
2. How to get there? I got the Jett bus from Amman which set off at the Jet Abdeli station at 6.30am and arrived around three and a half hours later. It cost 10JD one way. If you wish to return to Amman the bus leaves at 4pm from Petra. From Wadi Run mini buses run back and forth in the morning.
3. When to visit? September and October are good months- not too hot or cold. March and April are supposed to be the prettiest and greenest months. 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.
4. Money- 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 plus Petra plus the visa cost for 70-80JD. It is expensive, but will cost you a lot more if so pay for everything separately. I was surprised by how few travellers I spoke to had done this but it offers huge savings, especially if you’re spending more than one day at Petra. Get it 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. If you’re travelling then you will be using buses and taxis which again eat into your money. Save on food costs by eating falafel sandwiches from street cafes. 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.
Buy your Jordan Pass here
5. What to pack and wear: Sunglasses and a hat, light cover ups, harem pants/loose trousers. Suncream and fly spray. Flip flops and walking shoes- I just wore canvas shoes which were fine. I didn’t take a lot with me, but these essentials helped me through.
Packing tips for females in Jordan
6. Who can go? 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.
National Geographic- reasons to visit Jordan
7. Useful apps? 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.
Jordan tour guide app
8. Safety concerns. Am I safe in Jordan travelling alone? Personally I felt 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 also 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, and they will ask you:
9. Will I be hassled by tours and guides and sellers? 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 local people so personally I’m happy to come away with a few souvenirs which remind me of my trip.
10. Take a battery pack if you’re into taking lots of photos and videos- it isan incredibly photogenic location. But make sure you also put the camera down and enjoy the surroundings.
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.