5 min.

If you plan on coming to Petra for only a day, you’re missing out on most of the experience.

One day in Petra is not enough. In fact, you could spend a whole week in Petra and still find new things to do! Petra is a relic of the past, a living city that transports you hundreds of years back in time. Read this guide to find out the ten best things to do in Petra and hidden secrets of the city that most tourists (unfortunately) miss out on.

1. Visit the rest of the attractions

Okay-you’ve seen (or are going to see) the Treasury! But did you know Petra is home to a vast array of diverse and unique cultural and historic sites, landmarks that are often just as inspiring and magical as the more famous sites? Make time out of your day to visit the Corinthian Tomb, Palace Tomb, Urn Tomb, Winged Lion’s Temple, Cardo Maximus, Great Temple, and the Columbarium. It’s easy to spend days lost here, exploring and walking along the etchings and splendors of ancient civilizations. When you visit these sites, you often have more privacy and alone-time, causing these visits to feel even more unique and personal.

2. Explore Petra at night

Petra changes at night. Come to the Treasury during the evening and you will be bedazelled to an amazing and unique experience. Don’t just take our word, hear what David Hoffman had to say in his blog on the subject:

“Visiting Petra at night offers a completely different experience. Upon arriving to the stoned city, visitors will find the walkway softly lit by candles. Follow the path to arrive at the Treasury, where hundreds of candles glow alongside a group of Bedouins. Sit down, accept their herb tea offering, and enjoy the traditional sounds of Bedouin folklore music.”

What to do in the evening in Petra? During the night, why not check out the oldest bar in the world, a spirit-filled tavern built into an old Nabataean rock tomb? The “Cave Bar” offers spirits, drinks, and shisha, a famous water pipe that is also an Arabic cultural staple.

3. Go on a romantic getaway

What’s more romantic than getting lost in a land before time? Petra is brimming with romantic excursions and the ability to intimately experience wild nature with your beloved. Try the Seven Wonders Bedouin Camp in Little Petra, where you can sleep under the stars in the style of the Bedouins. Or read below for the opportunity to go on unique hikes to breathtaking areas of Petra where most people don’t visit.

4. Do a hike

Feelings more adventurous? Petra and the broader Wadi Musa area brims with dozens of hikes and trails that take you off the beaten track (no pun intended). We recommend hiking to Aaron’s Tomb, the brother of Moses, a long adventure that exposes you to the serenity, peace, and profoundness of Wadi Musa’s red sandstone mountains. For a comprehensive list of different
hiking possibilities in Petra, check out BucketListly’s blog on the subject!

5. Meet local people and exchange culture

Jordanians are famous for their hospitality. Strike up a conversation with the locals, and there’s a very strong chance you will end up being invited to their house! You may even find yourself having the chance to try Mansaf, the famous Jordanian dish that is also very popular in Petra. The sites you visit throughout Petra are magical and mesmerizing, but there’s nothing quite like the experience of truly interacting with and understanding another culture.

6. Explore and camp in Little Petra

Little Petra, or “Al Beidha” in its original Arabic, was an ancient suburb of Petra where the ancient Nabataean people used to trade and engaged in commerce. Like it’s bigger counterpart, Little Petra has plenty of tombs, ruins, and caverns and is only a ten minute drive from Petra. At night, visit the Little Petra Bedouin Camp, where you can get artistic Henna on your hands, enjoy traditional Bedouin dishes, and enjoy a night camping under the stars.

7. Stay for a night and feel the old, authentic-style village at Hyatt Zaman.

You probably won’t ever experience anything as immersive as the resort village at Hyatt Zaman. Located on the outskirts of Petra, this hotel was built in and around a traditional 19th century Jordanian village. Less of a hotel and more of a cultural experience, visitors can freely explore this village while still having access to modern amenities like a swimming pool, modern Jordanian restaurant, coffee shop, and terrace. The serene and calming location also provides a sense of profundity and is a perfect way to spend one’s evening and night.

8. Chill with a relaxing Turkish bath after your afternoon adventure

Petra is right next to the desert, and it can get hot. After whatever you choose to do throughout the day, what better way to unwind and calm down than a world-famous Turkish bath? A Turksh bath consists of a steam bath, lying down on a hot stone slab, a full body scrub and massage, and then a relaxing rinse afterward. It’s a detoxing experience that leaves you feeling amazingly fresh and new. There a couple Turkish baths in Petra, but we recommend Al Yakhor Turkish Bath based on what we’ve heard from people who went there!

9. Meet the author of “Married to Bedouins”

In 1978, New Zealander Marguerite van Geldermalsen fell in love with a local Bedouin souvenir-seller while traveling to Petra for a vacation. She stayed with him, married, and raised a family amongst the Bedouins in Petra. Publishing her evocative book “Married to a Bedouin” in 2006, she is still found around Petra and is known as “Um Raami”. You can find her in Petra selling jewelry at her stall, and we are hard pressed to think of a more interesting person to talk to.

10. Learn how to cook Jordanian food.

Only ten minutes away from the Petra Visitors Center is the Petra Kitchen, a culinary center that offers not only fresh authentic Jordanian food to satisfy your hunger cravings but also group communal cooking classes. Learn how to make famous Jordanian dishes like Mansaf and Maqloubeh. It’s a great way to not only experience new foods and cooking styles, but also make new friends.

Final tips for Petra before you go

Set on going to Petra? If so, you would be well advised to pre-purchase the “Jordan Pass” that allows you to save money, time, and peace of mind. Normally, tourists pay $70 USD each day they enter Petra, but the Jordan pass allows you to stay up to three days for the one-price of $113. Furthermore, it pays for your tourist visa fee ($56.5) and entrance to over 40 other world heritage and historic attractions in Jordan. How can you “pass” on this??

Given all these sites, you might be asking how long to visit Petra? How many days in Petra is best? Even if one day is too few, is 2 days in Petra worth it?

Because the Jordan pass gives you such a great deal for the first three days, we recommend you plan for three days in Petra, and two days in Petra if you are in a rush. Petra is a city that continually gives; the longer you stay there the more hidden secrets you unravel. Make the most of your vacation and truly appreciate the splendors, sights, and mysteries of this ancient and awe-inspiring city.

Expérience extraordinaire ! Des paysages grandioses un pays magnifique !Je garderais longtemps dans mon coeur la jordanie et les jordaniens qui sont des gens très sympathiques serviables et honnêtes ! Nous avons eu un guide Hussam au top et très sympa ! Et un chauffeur Naël très bon conducteur et sympathique ! La nourriture jordanienne est excellente ! Je vous conseille à tous ce pays !
Tim H
Tim H
Outstanding service ensured a superb holiday We tailored an existing itinerary to perfectly suit our needs and the trip was an outstanding success. from the second we stepped off our international flight, we were looked after by Zaman Tours who were outstanding. I work in tourism in the UK (promoting African destinations) and have experienced excellent services in the past, but nothing any better than that offered by Zaman. Organisation was by Maiss, our driver/guide was Murad and our tourist guide was Magdi. All were magnificent. They should be very proud of the work they did and the way they represented not only Zaman, but Jordan as a whole. We left the country having made real friends. We cannot recommend Jordan and Zaman Tours enough to others. Jordan felt 100% safe as well as very friendly and welcoming
Julia V
Julia V
So happy we booked this trip! This was our first time booking a private tour for so long (8 nights). I am really glad I found out about Zaman Tours, as they made this trip so smooth for us, so we would not have to worry about a single thing. One if the reasons why I chose them, was because they are a fully local company and have far more reasonable prices compared to the international tour companies working in the region. They have adapted the itinerary many times for us to fit our needs and responded quickly to all of our emails. A special thanks goes to our driver Morad. Not only did he show us his country, but we actually became friends during this trip :)
Alberto P
Alberto P
Excellent tour! Me and my friend went to Jordan for 4 days, We saw Amman, Mont Nebo, Petra, Wadi Rum desert and Dead Sea. The Guide Mr. Hussein was amazing, his italian, kindness, were very appreciated. The hotel's 5 stars were excellent. We felt very safe and recommend touring Jordan with Zaman Tour!
Aloke Das
Aloke Das
Day tour from Dead sea hotel to Wadi Mujib and Ma'in hot springs! We did the day tour to Wadi Mujib canyoning and Ma'in hot springs from Dead sea. Ali, our guide was very friendly and provided us with a lot of knowledge of local culture and traditions. He even gave us tips for restaurants to try a palestinian cuisine "Musakhan", and even offered to take us to his home to try the same. He ensured we got the best of Wadi Mujib and Ma'in hot springs and even found time for us to go souvenir shopping. Great service and friendly guide indeed!
Excellent tour Our tour was 5 days and starts at Aqaba to Wadi Rum, Petra, Aman, Dead Sea, Wadi Mujib and finished at Aqaba. All was organized by Zaman Tours. The Guide Mr. Faisal was amazing, his knowledge, kindness, are very appreciated. The hotel's 5 stars were excellent. We felt very safe and recommend touring Jordan.
We booked our trip to Jordan last minute and they organized all the itinerary for us and it was beyond perfect! This was the best experience we’ve ever had with a tour company. They booked everything and organized the whole itinerary for us. Visa, PCR test, entrance fees, hotel bookings, food, driver…I mean EVERYTHING! Our driver, his name is Issa, was the best driver. He took really good care of us, was prepared with water and juices and almost anything we needed. This was my second time in Jordan and was way better than my first experience. Definitely recommend!
The Best Tour of My Life!!!!! I did a private tour with Zaman for all the highlights of Jordan, and I don't have enough words to thank them for such an amazing and memorable trip. The tour was so well organized and they made me feel I was traveling with a friend. The driver was so professional and friendly and during the entire trip I felt so safe. I feel so fortunate to experience Jordan with Zaman Tours, and If I am visiting Jordan again, I would definitely reach out to them again :-)
JP Vann
JP Vann
The Best of Jordan with Zaman Tours We had little time to plan for our February 2020 Jordan trip, 2 weeks to be exact. We contacted Zaman Tours as they are accredited by the Jordan Tourism Board. Ms Eman quickly responded to my email and offered an 8-day private package that suited our budget. Ms Eman was patient in answering my queries and requests. She arranged our itinerary and our package included airport transfers, a good choice of 3 and 4-star accommodations, sightseeing and admission tickets, a modern Hyundai Sonata for our transportation, bottled water & wifi onboard and half board meals i the hotels. Local guide services in Jerash and Petra as well as Petra by Night tour were optional and can be bought either in advance or on-site. Airport pick up was a breeze. Zaman Tours representative, Mr Freddy, welcome and helped us through immigration and baggage claim. Our English speaking driver for our entire stay was Mr Shareef, an excellent and courteous driver. He was on time all the time. He did all the check-ins for us. During drives, he gave short insights about the place we would be visiting. He also gave recommendations on other activities you could do for extra cost like Turkish bath after a tiring walk in Petra, an additional jeep tour in Wadi Rum and a private cruise in Aqaba. Along the way, he would stop where we could eat lunch, drink coffee, use toilet or buy souvenirs. We appreciated his flexibility with time. We were able to adjust pick up times enabling us to stay a bit longer at our selected sites. We traveled to almost all the significant and picturesque places in the whole of Jordan. We went to Ajloun, Jerash, Amman Citadel, Mount Nebo, Madaba, Petra, Little Petra, Wadi Rum, Aqaba, Bethany and Dead Sea. We stayed 2 nights in Amman, 2 nights in Petra and a night each in Wadi Rum, Aqaba and Dead Sea. I had to say all the accommodations booked by Zaman Tours were centrally located and clean. We were also happy that we never had to worry where to have dinner every night as all dinners were included in the price that we paid. My recommendation to those who would like to see both the Treasury and the Monastery is to book 2 nights in Petra. My suggestion when buying souvenir items and Dead Sea products is to purchase them in Aqaba where the prices are a lot cheaper. And for the other activities, hotels offer more choices at friendly prices. Thank you to Zaman Tours... Ms Eman, Mr Freddy and Mr Shareef for a wonderful first trip to Jordan. Hope to be back someday... Shokran! See the best of Jordan with Zaman Tours!
mar muerto mucho más que flotar llegas a un resort 5 estrellas con todas las comodidades y luego te sumergis en el agua flotando con el barro de las orillas. el cutis y la piel te quedan increíbles. luego disfruté completo en los hoteles....