Petra is undoubtedly the number one highlight of a family trip to Jordan. Some of the most well-preserved ancient ruins in the world can be found in “The Lost City”, dating back to around 300 BC, but only “rediscovered” and shared with the modern world in 1812.
Along with this detailed guide on exactly how to plan your visit to Petra with kids, the next most important question you no doubt have planning your Jordan trip is, where do I stay when visiting Petra?
First things first, though…
Where exactly is Petra, Jordan?
Situated around 230 kilometres (143 miles) south of the capital city of Amman in southern Jordan, it is possible to make a day trip to Petra. Indeed many tours operate from Amman to Petra, from the Red Sea coast Aqaba to Petra and even Tel Aviv to Petra, but trust us; with kids, that makes for an incredibly long day.
You are much better off planning to stay at least two nights in the closest township to Petra, Wadi Musa than undertaking a hurried day trip from a larger city.
- Top Tip! Plan at least one of your overnights in Wadi Musa for a Monday, Wednesday or Thursday in order to capture the unique experience of Petra by Night
It is not possible to stay within Petra itself, though there are nearby Bedouin glamping options if that’s your preference for a more authentic experience.
Our Petra accommodation guide will focus on hotel-style accommodation close to the Petra Visitor Center, where the majority of visitors commence their journey into this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Bear in mind that a trip to Petra involves A LOT of walking. Even if the kids avail themselves of some of the animal rides for part of your journey, once you exit Petra, they’ll want to put those feet up as soon as possible.
Wadi Musa is quite hilly and spread out; Look carefully at the hotel map of Wadi Musa before making your final Petra hotel decision! This is one of those travel stops where you may want to place location over amenities; save the fancy resort stay for the Dead Sea and Red Sea coast.
7 Best Places to Stay in Petra for Families
You will find plenty of great hotels in Petra suitable for families – from luxury stays to cheap and cheerful.
Hotels in Petra may not be as shiny and modern as you may find in big cities and resort towns in the Middle East, but what they lack in modern amenities, they certainly make up for in hospitality.
1. Mövenpick Resort Petra (5*)
If you’re looking for the best accommodation in Petra, steps away from the entrance, look no further than Mövenpick Resort Petra.
This 5-star hotel is located just 50 meters away from the main entrance at Petra Visitor Center. It is the perfect place to stay as close as possible to the archaeological site.
It offers spacious rooms and suites with plenty of space for families. Some rooms feature interconnecting doors, which are great when staying with family. Plus, some of the suites also have separate living areas. Each room is equipped with an air conditioner, satellite TV, and a work desk.
The Movenpick Resort has several dining options, including a buffet restaurant and a rooftop restaurant with views of Petra and an outdoor swimming pool (not heated in winter!).
The best part about staying at Movenpick, they offer babysitting services! We personally used this when we went to Petra by night as we knew the kids couldn’t tackle walking up and down the Siq twice in a day.
- There is a similar-sounding hotel Movenpick Nabatean Castle Hotel, which is often referred to as Movenpick Castle Petra; it is fancy, yes, but be warned, it’s not immediately in the town of Wadi Musa! It is a short drive rather than a short walk away from Petra, so be prepared to organise transport.
2. Petra Marriott Hotel (5*)
Another 5-star hotel located about 10 minutes’ taxi journey from the Rose City entrance is the Petra Marriott Hotel. Known for its spectacular views overlooking Petra and the Jordan Rift Valley, this is one of the more luxurious choices with modern amenities.
The hotel has lavish rooms and suites offering spectacular mountain views. Each room has a flat-screen TV, air conditioning, a minibar, and private bathrooms with hair dryers and bath robes.
And it has an on-site restaurant that offers a buffet and a la carte meals for hotel guests. Plus, there’s a roof terrace and a garden where guests can relax while enjoying the amazing views of the ancient city of Petra.
3. Petra Guest House Hotel (4*)
If it’s proximity you’re after for an early start, it doesn’t get much better than the Petra Guest House Hotel, located right at the entrance to Petra. It has well-furnished rooms with a satellite TV, mini bar, and air conditioning.
Its on-site restaurant, The Cave Bar (yes, in an actual 2000-year-old cave!), offers daily breakfast and delectable Arabic and European cuisine. Besides this, the hotel has laundry and ironing services and can arrange car rentals for guests looking to explore Petra independently.
It is more basic than the first two hotels on our list but definitely, one we would highly consider for location, location.
4. La Maison Hotel Petra (3*)
La Maison Hotel Petra is a charming boutique hotel located just behind the Movenpick, putting you only a couple of hundred metres from the visitor plaza for Petra, less than a 5-minute walk.
The hotel in relatively recently renovated and features beautifully decorated rooms and suites with modern amenities, plus a restaurant serving delicious local and international cuisine for breakfast and dinner.
The hotel has options for booking twin and triple rooms good for families, and includes free parking if you are self-driving around Jordan.
5. Petra Sella Hotel (4*)
If you’re looking for a great place to stay near Petra that also offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and superb hospitality, book a room at Petra Sella Hotel!
We were a little hesitant to include this one as it’s not really within easy walking distance with little legs (about 1.6 km from the entrance of Petra), but we have had friends and community members give us feedback that this is a great family hotel in Petra.
Onsite restaurant Albawadi serves Jordanian and Western-style meals for breakfast, lunch & dinner, and there’s on-site sauna and wellness facilities, perfect for the post-Petra aches and pains you may suffer!
What our families have reported loving most about this 4-star hotel in Wadi Musa is the flexible sleeping arrangements on offer, allowing families to all fit in one family suite, or take advantage of triples and interconnecting doubles with twin beds.
6. Petra Palace Hotel (3*)
If you’re visiting Jordan with family and are looking for pocket-friendly accommodation, a good option is to look at the Petra Palace Hotel.
It is located in the heart of Wadi Musa on Tourism Street, only a short walk to the main gate and under a 10-minute walk to the Jett bus station if you’re using public transport.
The hotel features simple yet comfortable rooms and offers basic amenities such as a restaurant, bar, and Wi-Fi. It’s a great option for families on a budget who want to explore Petra without breaking the bank.
Rooms are configured for doubles, triples and quadruples making it a great choice for families. There are also 2 outdoor pools, perfect for summer visit to Petra.
The common complaint we hear from visitors here is that the hotel is dated, but again, for price and location, this is our top-budget pick for a family hotel in Petra.
7. Seven Wonders Hotel Petra (3*)
Do you want to experience swimming amidst the mountains? If yes, then the Seven Wonders Hotel Petra is an ideal pick!
Located about 15 minutes walk from the entrance to Petra, this hotel has a rooftop swimming pool with a terrace and a gym. It offers modern rooms with amazing views of the mountains of Wadi Musa. Each room comes with air conditioning, flat-screen TV, and a fridge.
The on-site restaurants offer a breakfast buffet, a la carte meals, healthy snacks, and fresh fruit juices. The best part about the Seven Wonders Hotel Petra is the Afra Turkish Baths, sauna, and hot tub, followed by relaxing massage treatments.
There are plenty more budget hotels in Wadi Musa, as well as hostels and guest houses for those seeking a more local experience.
Things to Know Before Booking a Hotel in Petra
While visiting Jordan is an absolute delight, there are several things that visitors should know before booking a hotel in Petra to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay. This includes:
Be aware of the ++ on the advertised price of hotels in Jordan. A 10% service charge and 8% sales tax (this seems to change) will be added to the base price of your room.
Wadi Musa and Accessibility to Petra Visitor Centre
Wadi Musa is located at the main entrance to Petra, and most hotels in town are within walking distance of the Petra Visitor Center. However, you should be aware that the town is built on a hillside, so some hotels may require a bit of uphill walking to reach.
If you are staying more than 1.5 km away from the visitor centre and main entrance, check to see if your hotel or host can offer you a shuttle service or transfers.
Dressing in Jordan
One thing you should consider when visiting Jordan is its conservative culture and dress codes. Dressing modestly and avoiding revealing clothing is very important; read mandatory, especially when visiting religious sites. Therefore, pack clothes with sleeves and pants that cover at least to your knees, and avoid shorts, skirts, and dresses that show too much skin – you can find our complete guide to Jordan’s dress code for tourists here.
Another thing you should keep in mind is the weather in Petra. It gets sweltering during the summer months; therefore, plan accordingly. Try to go out during the earlier, cooler hours of the day. Keep plenty of water with you to stay hydrated, and stay in the shade as much as you can, especially if you’re travelling with kids.
You will see a significant price difference in in booking a hotel in Petra in mid-summer compared to the preferred seasons, spring and autumn.
Jordan is a Muslim country with conservative cultural norms; therefore, respecting local customs and traditions is important. For example, women should dress modestly in public and avoid showing too much skin. Also, families should be aware that alcohol is not widely available in Jordan, and most importantly, public displays of affection are frowned upon.
Although English is widely spoken in Jordan, some language barriers may still exist, especially outside tourist areas. Therefore, bring a phrasebook or language app to help communicate with locals and hotel staff.
Food and Water Safety
Like in any foreign country, families should be aware of food and water safety in Jordan. It’s best to drink bottled water and avoid ice cubes and raw fruits and vegetables that may have been washed in tap water. When eating out, look for restaurants with good hygiene practices and avoid street food stalls with improper food handling and storage procedures.
More on Visiting Jordan With Kids
Planning the rest of your journey around Jordan, you may also find these resources helpful:
- Exploring Little Petra with kids! – If Petra feels a little overwhelming, spare a few hours in your Jordan itinerary for Siq al-Barid; you can easily visit this site just a few kilometres outside of Wadi Musa combined with your stay in Petra.
- Best Dead Sea Resorts with Kids – Where should you stay visiting the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea? We look at each resort along the coast to help you pick the Dead Sea Resorts with the best family facilities.
- Fun Family Things To Do In Aqaba – Continue your journey beyond Petra with a stop at the Red Sea resort town of Aqaba
- Continue your journey through southern Jordan by travelling from Petra to Wadi Rum next. We share all the best Wadi Rum Desert Camps, perfect for family travellers.
- UNESCO sites of the Middle East – learn more about the regions fascinating world heritage sites
- Check your Visa requirements for Jordan here before you go
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
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