Petra By Night – Jordan’s Ancient Capital At Night

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Petra By Night – A Must Do In Jordan

Jordan's Ancient City of Petra is like Disneyland for anyone with the slightest Indiana Jones fetish. The buildings that were carved into the rock by Bedouin tribes hundreds of years ago was only rediscovered in the early 1800's. This UNESCO world heritage site is a member of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, and is truly astounding in it's magnificence.

The Petra By Night experience shows Petra in a totally different light. If you are in Jordan and spend the day in Petra, yes it is totally worth it to come back for the after dark show.

With over 1,500 candles blinking in front of the Treasury, the after dark evening allows you to see Petra as it might have been to traders thousands of years ago. With the light resembling torch light the site takes on a more mysterious feel and it definitely feels way more peaceful than it is during the day.

When does Petra By Night operate

Petra by Night runs every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday of each week, starts at 20:30 from Petra Visitor Centre and delivers you back by licensed guide to the Visitor Centre around 22.30pm.

Tickets For Petra By Night

The entrance fee for Petra by Night is 17 JD, children under 10 years are admitted free of charge. Tickets can be bought at the Visitor Centre shops, local tour agencies in Petra or at your hotel reception.

Summary

Tour duration2 hours
Tour runsIt runs every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday of each week
Start point & timePetra visitor center    20.30
End point & timePetra visitor center    22.30
DifficultyEasy

Notes:

  • An advance reservation is not available.
  • Unlimited tickets are available for Petra by night show.
  • A valid daylight ticket is required “whether you have a Jordan pass ticket or the regular entry daylight ticket will be fine”.
  • Buying the daylight ticket in advance to do Petra by night is available from 19.30-20.30 at the visitor center.
  • Children under 4 years old are free of charge. 

Known as the Rose City, Petra spans the area of a small city. Over 60 sq km's are covered in the main Petra site so make sure you've got your comfortable shoes on, as you will be doing quite some walking.

The other option that is available to you for Petra is the Petra After Dark experience. I must admit it sounds like some kind of erotic activity, however that couldn't be further from the truth.


Entering through The Siq for Petra By Night

Entering Petra through the incredible wash that has been created mostly by water erosion sets the tone for the night. I hadn't even seen pics of this entrance and was very excited winding my way deeper and deeper into the site.

You will be asked repeatedly if you would like a carriage ride, however unless you really can't do it, resist the temptation. The walk is worth it. I have heard that the carriages don't operate at night now so that might be something that you are free of.

It is a really incredible experience walking down the Siq at night and bizarrely everyone seems to be almost reverent. Its quiet and if people do talk it's in whispers mostly so by the time you get to the Treasury where there are something like 1500 candles burning you have a great appreciation for this incredible historic site.

It's worth noting that the only toilet is about half way down the Siq at the guard station, so maybe don't have a few beers beforehand!

After the experience has ended, try to wait until most of the crowd has gone and then walk back up the Siq on your own. It's pretty surreal.

A Bedouin piper plays until everyone is in the seated. Once that happens you will hear some stories and history of ancient Petra. It is a delightful way to spend the night.

NB: you sit on rugs on the floor cross legged so if you have trouble with sitting like that, maybe take your fold up chair and sit at the back. I'm sure they do cater for people so maybe just ask during the day about that.

Petra After Dark with the candles ready for guests
Petra After Dark with the candles ready for guests

Jenny Marsden - Charge The Globe
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Meet Jenny, a passionate Australian travel blogger who has explored 103 countries to date. With over 30 years of travel experience, Jenny has a wealth of knowledge to share with her readers about the cultures, landscapes, and people she has encountered on her journeys. She's always battling unfashionably frizzy hair and you will never catch Jenny in anything but comfortable shoes. Learn more about Jenny and her travels.