Did you know that you can visit the Modern Wonder of the World Petra at night? See the incredible Siq and Treasury of Petra lit up by candlelight in a truly magical nighttime experience.
The official show is called Petra by Night, run by experienced guides from the Petra Development And Tourism Region Authority.
Entry to Petra by Night is separate to your main Petra entry fee. You can expect to pay 17 JOD (approx $24 USD) per person for an entry ticket, children under 10 are free.
Held only three nights a week, it’s really important if you’d like to attend Petra by Night to arrange your whole Jordan road trip itinerary around this. Currently, show nights are Monday, Wednesday & Thursday.
Petra by Night opens at 8:30 pm and ends at 10:30 pm.
What can you expect seeing Petra at Night?
Similar to entering Petra during the day, the night tour starts from the Petra Visitor Centre Plaza. Once gates open, you are free to walk down the Siq to the Treasury (If you are unfamiliar with the layout of Petra, pop back to our complete guide to Petra here).
The Petra by Night experience is supposed to be undertaken in silence under candlelight, but sadly this is not well policed and you will see plenty of visitors destroying the ambience with chatter, torches and mobile phones… alas this is the way of some popular attractions.
It is still quite a different experience to the daytime walk as there are no horse and cart options (making it a littel safer!), and the normal bustle you would experience walking through the Siq. Your “guides” are not talking to you for this part of the show, they are only there spotted very intermittently securing the site.
The evening show commences with visitors sitting on the ground in front of the Treasury. A musician starts by playing a rababah, before storytelling about the history of Petra (in English) from a Bedouin Guide. The big ‘reveal’ is then made when Petra pops into life, floodlit to show off its full glory.
The actual “show” element only lasts about 30 minutes. If you choose to put yourself at the back of the pack on entry to enjoy a more ambient experience through the Siq, just be prepared you may miss a little of the show.
After the formalities are over, guests are then free to photograph the Treasury lit up at night, then make the climb back up the Siq pathway to Wadi Musa township.
Tips for taking kids to Petra by Night
You will need to gauge this entirely on the age and fitness of your own children.
If you have already tackled the main Petra site during the day, asking kids with little legs to complete the walk to the Treasury again (there is no horse option for the evening) is an incredibly steep task. You are looking at a further 2.5km walk both in and back out again.
Those with young kids who may be scared of the dark or you have concerns they may be tired, this is one of those occasions we would recommend NOT taking your kids along for. The alternative is to have your children minded at your accommodation.
Tips for Photographing Petra at Night
You will no doubt see plenty of stunning photos of Petra By Night, but do note, you will need the right set up to achieve these sort of pictures (hey we’ve totally cheated here and included professional photography to inspire you!). You will need:
- Patience! A bucket load of it. There will be selfie sticks galore and those simply wanting a quick snap. You’ll want the crowds to clear before setting up your own space, but quickly before the guards kick you out by 10 pm sharp! (front gates shut at 10:30 pm)
- Do use a proper DSLR or mirrorless camera with a tripod for best results, a smartphone will not cut it for good night shots.
- Flash photography is only allowed for one brief period, the staff will tell you when, though it’s not of much help.
- Ideally, if your camera has a silent mode, use it so as not to disturb other visitors and be mindful of other photographers waiting for that perfect crowd-free shot too.
Frequently asked questions about visiting Petra at Night
Helping you plan your trip to Petra by Night, and all your other burning questions around Petra at night!
You can purchase your tickets at the Visitor centre entry, alongside your Petra entry ticket, noting that it’s a separate entry fee and ticket.
You may also be able to purchase your Petra by Night tickets from your hotel concierge and there are local tour agencies permitted to sell the tickets in Wadi Musa.
No, your walk only takes you as far as the Treasury, staff are on hand to stop wondering further into the Petra complex at night, you will need to return during the day to explore further.
No, you will need to leave the Petra complex after your day’s exploration and come back down the Siq for the evening show – definitely save yourself some leg power for this!
On a tight timetable and only got an evening to spend in Petra? You COULD just see Petra by night and enjoy the experience, but you’d be doing yourself an injustice to get this far and not explore further during the day.
Sadly not, this is one major attraction not included in the Jordan Pass. No matter what you will need to pay the 17 JOD fee to enjoy this experience.
Petra by Night – Where to Stay
Accommodation for Petra is in the nearby township of Wadi Musa. You want somewhere in easy walking distance after the long trek, so these are our top picks for nearby family-friendly hotels (some also offer babysitting services if you were planning to tackle Petra by Night kid-free).
- Mövenpick Resort Petra – located right by the Petra entrance and our top luxury pick for staying near Petra (but it comes with a price tag). Babysitting is available at an extra charge.
- Petra Guest House Hotel – literally on top of the entrance, this is the best choice if you are worried about tired little legs and late nights (or want to stick around and enjoy an end of walk beer at the cave bar!)
- Petra Palace Hotel – a great choice for larger families with quadruple room options and pool facilities, on the main street of Wadi Musa before the Petra visitor centre.
- Jordan Guest House – a wonderful family-run business offering larger family-sized rooms for up to 5, slightly further from the sight, but owner Shadi will be very helpful with your needs, our top boutique pick.
FURTHER JORDAN READING
Before you go, don’t miss these Jordan travel planning tools and resources:
- Jordan with Kids – fact guide & overview for planning a Jordan family vacation
- What do people wear in Jordan? – Not an ultra-conservative Muslim country but some modesty still required; get the balance right between dressing for weather extremes and religion
- Classic 5-day Jordan road trip itinerary – for those travellers short on time but wanting to see the highlights
- Understand when it’s best to tip in Jordan, an when its not required
- Visiting Siq Al Barid (Little Petra) – make time in your itinerary for this stunning nearby landmark, perfect for littler legs!
- Visiting Petra from Amman on a Day Trip – top recommended tours and the pros and cons of visiting Petra from the capital in a single day
- Best Dead Sea Resorts with Kids – a run through all the Jordanian Dead Sea Resorts and which have the best family facilities
- Best time to visit Jordan – talking you through the seasons and weather at popular destinations
- UNESCO sites of the Middle East – learn more about the region’s fascinating world heritage sites
- Check your Visa requirements for Jordan here before you go, or if you’d be better getting the Jordan Pass
Jordan Guide Book
For a first-timer looking to visit Jordan, we can highly recommend you download the Step Into Jordan Guide & Itineraries.
This handy digital guide is just $19.99USD and includes:
- An interactive downloadable map
- 36 detailed pages of planning guidance
- Multiple suggested itineraries (10, 7 and 3 days)
- Tips from an expert
- Accommodation recommendations
All Petra designs used under license from Canva
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