I'm heading to Jordan this weekend and am planning on taking two days in Petra, a dream destination since I saw Indiana Jones as a kid. This is a big city so I'm looking for tips on what to see and what to do there. Any secret spots you can share?
its funny my desire to go to Petra was also from IJ movie!!! I saw it when i was 9.
The city is an entire day experience, you will walk around 12 km. The journey will be one depending if you are doing it by yourself or with a guide.
The first atraction will be The Treasury (Al Khazneh) building, you can not enter in it, burt the outside view is astonishing. Then you will see lots of tumbs, the rock´s color are really beautiful. After that, taking the rigth, you have to see the Royal Tombs and continue the route to reach the Theatre and Al Siq.
Then you should climb the upstairs to the Petra Monastery building. Those stairs have 900 steps, but the view is worthy, this monastery, is bigger than the treasury, and you can enter in it. Finally, there is another building that you will see just across from the Monastery, it takes about 300 more steps to reach.
Hope I can help you, and hope you like the city as much as i did.
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Hjortur, are you staying in Wadi Musa then? Great! You will really get to see the site with two days of touring. (I had to rush through, literally speed walk with 14hrs onsite.)
First thing to note is that The Treasury (Al Khazneh) (as seen in Indiana Jones) is actually at the entrance of Petra, after walking down 2km in a carved tunnel-way, siq). The approach you want to make on the first day is through the Al Siq, if you enter at 6:00/6:30am you will avoid the tourists and have the treasury almost to yourself. You can then explore the city, theatre and the monastery (a must!).
Make sure to also hike up to the place of sacrifice over the Treasury. It takes about 2hours but is well worth the amazing views and solitude.
I have also been reccommended a different approach (which I never tried). Apparently there is another entrance through the wadi that takes you past the aqueduct and on a high ground hike that ends in the place of sacrifice. It may also include a visit to the 'Little Petra' or Siq al-Barid. I reckon this is a good route for day 2?
You can also check with your hotel/tourism website to see whether you can visit the site at night as Petra is often open in evenings for cultural activities (beber music, etc).
You are going to love Petra! It is pretty mind blowing.
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Hjortor, if you are daring enough you can either walk up the steps to the Petra Monastery, or hitch a ride up on a donkey, the monastery is about 45 minutes away from the main treasury (the popular structure from the Indiana Jones movie). Also, there are some tombs available for you to check out.
Finally, you should check out Petra by Night which is available Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 8:30pm to 10:00pm.
If you craving a full experience you can hire one of the local tour guides to take you around, most of them have very interesting stories of their own to tell having been born and raised there.
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Stay overnight in Petra and go early in the morning. There's something about being in the canyons almost by yourself. After about 9/10am, the buses from Amman reach Petra and then it's usually quite noisy.