Petra Jordan - Tips for Visiting and Things to See
One of the current 7 wonders of the world, Petra in Jordan is truly a sight to explore. A popular destination for many tourist’s travel bucket lists. Let’s uncover the story behind the Lost City, and why it’s essential for your Jordan itinerary.
The Story Behind Petra
One of the most famous ancient cities in the world, the story behind Petra is fascinating and well worth knowing before your journey to the ruins.
Petra's history begins in the 3rd century BC and is still partially inhabited to this day. It began with the Nabatean civilization, who built/carved the city and then lived inside Petra for 400 years.
Also known as the Rose City, Petra was a place of significant trade and gained the attention of the Greek Empire who then attacked. That was the first reference to Petra and the Nabateans in history, who won against the powerful Greeks.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t the last time the Nabateans would be invaded, with the Romans successfully forcing them to surrender in 106 AD.
For 250 years the Romans ruled until Petra was mostly abandoned in 400 AD after an earthquake devastated much of the area.
Since then, it has been a place of huge historical significance due to its fascinating carvings, and the preservation of a thousand old buildings inside the city.
Delving Inside Petra
The outside of Petra in Jordan is one of the most famous sights in the world, but the inside is even more fascinating. Tourists are often surprised that what remains inside Petra is open to the public, an opportunity to travel back in time to a forgotten civilisation.
Petra temple, or monastery, is outstanding to behold and one of the best-preserved buildings in the Lost City. You can also walk amongst the theatre, traditional Hellenistic, where hundreds of civilians enjoyed entertainment thousands of years ago.
Many of the areas have been identified as old marketplaces and more, with a hall for audiences recovered in Petra temple as well.
Walk among the tombs of the Nabatean people, picturing the life they had in this extraordinary place.
On the outskirts of the tourist areas are the current inhabitants of Petra. The Bedouins of the Bdual tribe are very friendly, making their money by selling cool drinks and more to tourists. You can often see their livestock wandering around the area which you can hire to travel around the city as well.
The Best Sights And Things To Do When Visiting The Exquisite Petra, Jordan
With fascinating carvings and buildings to see throughout the entirety of your trip, we’ll tell you the ones you definitely don’t want to miss out on.
To ensure you make the most out of your trip, we recommend getting a guide to take you around Petra in Jordan.
As soon as you go through the ticket entrance, you are already greeted with amazing marvels. The Bab-as-Siq is a trail connecting the entrance to the first attraction and is lined with tombs and monuments, giving you an immediate feel for this member of the current 7 wonders of the world.
The most famous site of the Lost City is the Treasury. A tomb for the ancient King Aretas III, the monument is carved into the sandstone mountain and acts as a gateway for the Petra temple and more.
The Street of Facades
A much more open part of the city is the Street of Facades. This is where the ancient civilisation lived, with their tombs and houses uncovered in the landscape. With the buildings carved into the sandstone, the Street of Facades truly is unlike any other place in the world.
Hiking in Petra, Jordan
Pack your walking boots as there is plenty of hiking to be done here. By taking a trip with a guide, they will lead you through the sandstone mountains for a spectacular view of Petra and the landscape surrounding it.
Many of the trails are unmarked, so getting a guide who knows the area well is a must.
The Great Petra Temple And Monastery
Perhaps the next largest draw to the Lost City after the Treasury are the Petra Temple and the Monastery.
The temple is the largest free-standing building in the city and was built in 100 BC by the Nabateans. A huge place to explore, you can walk up steps that are over 2000 years old, getting the feel for the ancient civilisation’s life
You’ll need your walking boots again to access the Monastery, a good 20-minute walk up 800 steps. However, the excursion is well worth it once you reach the top. Don’t worry, there are plenty of opportunities to stop along the way, with the ascent lined with stalls selling scarves, jewellery and other souvenirs.
The Monastery is perhaps even larger than the Treasury and even comes with a small restaurant nearby to enjoy some authentic Jordan food whilst taking in the wonders around you.
Make the journey to Petra by renting a car through Finalrentals.