In 2022, I spent 12 days in Jordan to explore this beautiful country. Undoubtedly, one of the highlights of my trip was visiting the amazing Petra. This magnificent archaeological site is one of the most iconic travel destinations globally. Carved into the sandstone cliffs within Jordan’s desert, Petra has been a popular place among visitors globally for ages. After my visit, I can confirm that it is an essential addition to any travel bucket list and any Jordan travel itinerary. Discover how you can get the most out of 2 days in Petra with this comprehensive Petra travel guide.
Petra has many more hidden treasures beyond the famous Treasury which make spending 2 days in Petra well worth it. However, be prepared as Petra’s vastness might surprise you and ample walking is involved. Therefore, this travel guide provides you with a detailed travel plan of how to best spend 2 days in Petra. Regardless of your interests, be it history, hiking or photography, Petra guarantees an unforgettable experience.
When planning your trip to Jordan, it’s recommended to purchase a Jordan Pass, which proves to be a smart investment. The Jordan Pass not only covers your visa fees but also grants access to multiple sights across the country. With various Jordan Pass options available, the distinction lies in the duration of Petra visits. For our journey, we chose the Jordan Pass offering three consecutive days in Petra.
Although we ultimately spent only 2 days in Petra, having the option to revisit for a quick morning excursion made us feel at ease. Nevertheless, I would advise that spending 2 days in Petra is enough and would therefore invest in the Jordan Pass, inclusive of 2 days in Petra. This variation costs approximately 100 euros, making it a cost-effective and convenient choice.
You can best stay in the nearby village of Wadi Musa. We stayed at the Nomads Hotel (75 euros a night), which was a lovely backpacker hotel, however, it is located up the hill. Therefore, we had to take our car when going for dinner. In addition, they do have an amazing rooftop terrace!
For a backpacker-friendly atmosphere catering to budget travellers, I could highly recommend Rocky Mountain Hotel (42 euros a night). Next to this, they also offer great dining experiences while witnessing an amazing sunset.
Slightly closer to the dining places and Petra entrance, you will find multiple hotels located at Tourism Street. If this matches your preferences, Petra Corner Hotel is a very decent option (115 euros per night) in a perfect location.
Not different from all of Jordan, in Petra, it’s essential to respect the local dress code, which entails covering your knees and shoulders. Additionally, be well-prepared for extensive walking, so opt for comfortable shoes. Keep in mind that you’ll already need to walk around 2 kilometres from the entrance to reach the Treasury.
Arrive right a 6 am when Petra opens to experience Petra without huge crowds.
When using the front main entrance of Petra, you will have to walk about 1 km before reaching the Siq. Moreover, the Siq itself is already stunning, and just looking up and around makes you spot so many details. If you arrive at 6 am, expect to walk through the Siq for 30 minutes, subsequently arriving at the Treasury at 6:30 am.
The Treasury, also known as Al-Khazneh, stands as one of the most iconic and recognizable structures in Petra, Jordan. Furthermore, the Treasury showcases a stunning example of ancient architecture and engineering. Undoubtedly, this famous sight in Petra remains one of the primary reasons for tourists to visit. I wanted to arrive early enough to explore the place without too many others around. For this reason, I highly recommend making it a priority to visit the Treasury early in the morning on your first day of 2 days in Petra.
After spending enough time admiring the Treasury, we decided to hike up to the High Place of Sacrifice. In April, the temperature was already around 30 degrees, so we wanted to avoid the more intense sun later in the day. The High Place of Sacrifice is a peak in Petra, offering breathtaking views of the ancient city and its surroundings.
In total, the hike took us about 45 minutes, and along the way, we encountered multiple ancient altars and stairs. While generally quite doable, we did have to inquire about the route a few times at different stalls since the directions weren’t clear. Though the place itself wasn’t particularly intriguing, I enjoyed the stunning views it provided!
After finding an online article detailing a path from the High Place of Sacrifice to a Treasury viewpoint, we decided to take that route. Despite multiple warnings from others about needing a guide, we were confident in navigating ourselves using a map. However, we nearly got lost multiple times, and luckily, ran into another couple with a guide who allowed us to follow them. Otherwise, I’m not sure if we would have made it safely on our own. To summarize, I highly recommend enlisting one of the Bedouin guides to lead you to the best viewpoints of the Treasury.
There are three main viewpoints for the Treasury. Two of them are located higher up, with one positioned on the side of the High Place of Sacrifice (which we visited). The other viewpoint, Treasury from above 2, can be reached by following the path in front of the Royal Tombs and is more easily accessible. The final viewpoint is visible from the Treasury itself and lies slightly lower (on the left side when facing away from the Treasury).
Visiting one of these viewpoints is truly rewarding. I enjoyed the panoramic views from above and the opportunity to have tea, and chat with the Bedouins. It added a special touch to the whole experience.
The Street of Facades is the main street through Petra. When following this street, you will end up at multiple of the main sights in Petra, such as the Roman Theater, Royal Tombs, the Garden Temple and the Great Temple. Along the street, you will find multiple stands with souvenirs and a lot of camels and donkeys walking around. Be kind and just use your own feet when exploring Petra.
As you follow the Street of Facades, you’ll naturally come across the Roman Theatre, Royal Tombs, and Great Temple, making it effortless to see these remarkable sights. They are unmissable, so no need to worry about ensuring you visit them all.
Make sure not to miss the opportunity to climb up to the Royal Tombs and explore the various tombs, each with its unique features both inside and outside. For a truly magical experience, consider visiting the Royal Tombs during sunset. However, if you arrive at 6 am, it might be best to explore them earlier in the day to make the most of your time. Alternatively, you can save the sunset visit for the second day of your 2 days in Petra. This way, you can fully appreciate the beauty of the Royal Tombs and capture the stunning views at the perfect moment.
After reaching the food stands before taking the road to the monastery (which we did the next day), we walked back and left Petra through the Siq. When we left, we headed to the Cave Bar, one of the oldest bars in the world, when it comes to location. We went during Ramadan, so no cocktails were available. After changing and relaxing a bit at our hotel, we headed to My Mom’s Recipe for dinner, in my opinion, the best restaurant in Petra!
Today, for the second day of your 2 days in Petra travel plan, you can start a little later. We departed around 14:00 to catch a taxi to the Petra Back Entrance. Accessible only with an approved Petra ticket (obtained at the front entrance), the back entrance is ideal for your second day. From the back entrance, a hike of about 1.5 hours leads you to the Monastery, saving you from climbing the 800 steps.
For convenience, park your car at the main entrance and take a cab from there, as you will exit Petra through the main entrance later.
The hike from the back entrance to the Monastery is stunning, offering wide views of Petra’s surroundings. It’s relatively easy and not much more challenging than the steps from the front entrance. We left in the early afternoon to reach the Monastery approaching sunset, allowing us to explore other parts of Petra around this magical time of day.
I must confess, the Monastery might have been even more impressive than the Treasury. It was less crowded, even larger, and offered beautiful viewpoints. With just a short walk, you’ll find a food stand where you can sit down, relax, and admire the breathtaking views.
After visiting the Monastery and completing your second day in Petra, you can walk back to the main entrance. This way, you’ll only have to walk the 800 steps downhill and get a different perspective of all the main sights in Petra,. Next to that, you have the opportunity to end your Petra travel experience by bidding farewell to the iconic Treasury before exiting through the Siq. If you’re up for it and have enough time, you can still hike up to one of the other Treasury viewpoints. I recommend taking the route from the Royal Tombs, but make sure you don’t leave too late to reach it before sunset!
In conclusion, I would answer the question “How much time in Petra?” with “2 days in Petra is perfect”! In my opinion, spending 2 days in Petra will give you plenty of time to explore this beautiful ancient city and world wonder. By entering Petra through the Siq on day 1, while taking the back entrance on day 2, there is plenty of variation during your visit. All in all, Petra is one of the must-see places in Jordan and potentially the world.