7 Reasons Why You Absolutely Have to Visit Petra, Jordan

7 Reasons Why You Absolutely Have to Visit Petra, Jordan

Discover the sights and mysteries surrounding the lost world of Petra, an archaeological city in southern Jordan.

No one can prepare you for Petra.

travel petra jordan

How do you describe a city as marvellous and mysterious as Petra? | Image credit: Al Cubacub.

With its magnificent ombré ruby sandstone formations and the sprawling ancient architecture, this place is designed to take your breath away. It’s easy to spend two to three days cooped in desert tents just to leisurely take your time to appreciate the rich historical wonder around you. But nobody can ever prepare you for the beauty that is in Petra. And here are the reasons why:

1. The rock formations are of a blushing red-rose colour

The impressive ruby rock formation of the Siq will welcome you to the lost city of Petra.  | Image credit: Al Cubacub.

Named after the Greek word for rock, Petra is carved inside a red-rose sandstone rock. The entrance to this ancient site, which is also called a “Rose City”, is through a very narrow one-kilometre ethereal gorge called the Siq. It is no doubt that your camera will stay right in your face as soon as you step into the entrance. You will be quite disappointed to find, however, that your photos will never capture the unearthly exquisiteness of these rock formations.

2. The ancient ruins are absolutely gorgeous

The grand facade of The Treasury dwarfs the camels and my friend’s son. | Image credit: Al Cubacub.

On the cover of every Jordanian travel magazine is the façade of The Treasury or the Al-Khazneh. Originally built as a mausoleum and crypt at the beginning of the 1st century AD, it is now the driving force of tourism in this lost city. Hellenistic and Greek-inspired architecture lovers will have a feast with the Roman tombs, ancient houses, amphitheatres, temples, obelisks, and those much read about paganist altars found in the city. A professor friend of mine cannot hold his enthusiasm for these lovely and mysterious ruins. You probably wouldn’t too once you’ve laid your eyes on the cryptic tombs and grand temples.

3. The hundreds-of-steps climbs are worth it

An 800-step climb will lead you to The Monastery, located atop a jagged mountain with a sweeping view of Israel and Palestine. | Image credit: Al Cubacub.

Sitting on top of a serrated mountain is another beautiful temple called The Monastery. Its 800-step trail will beat every Stairmaster known to man – but the cardio run is worth it. Can you imagine that these paths have been there since 400 B.C.? Imagine how many (famous and historical) people have walked those stairs that are part of a once-thriving trading and capital city.

4. The cliff views are unimaginably picturesque

Pick your own cliff view out of the many surrounding Petra. | Image credit: Al Cubacub.

The city of Petra is surrounded by a number of cliffs that visitors can easily climb up to. It is best to bring reliable hiking boots if you plan to visit as a lot of walking has to be done. When there is a lot of climbing, there should be a lot of drinking too – of water, that is. It is better to appreciate the deceptively calm view of the Arabian landscape while you’re hydrated.

5. There are opportunities to sleep under the stars

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Nothing beats sleeping on a king-sized bed in a luxury tent under the stars. | Image credit: Wadi Rum Night

The aptly named Full of Stars Hotel at the heart of the Wadi Rum desert offers transparent bubble rooms that will give you a 180o view of the stunning desert topography and the star-drawn skyscape. Known as a luxury camp, it offers king-sized beds and bath amenities in the middle of the Jordanian desert.

6. The desert looks prettier at night

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Spectacular is an understatement when you visit Petra at night. | Image credit: Visit Petra

Prepare yourself for an extraordinary experience when you avail of the “Petra Night Show” where you will get to explore the city after dark and with the aid of 1,500 lighted candles. The event runs every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday and the entrance fee is 17 JD only.

7. There is still more to discover underground

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The excitement continues in this amazing city as massive structures were said to be found underground. | Image credit: Al Cubacub.

Archaeologists reported that only 15% of the ancient has been discovered – the vast majority are still left untouched underground. Just recently, a massive monument was discovered hiding underneath what is now declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. The monument is twice as wide as an Olympic-sized swimming pool and excavation is on its way. There’s still a lot to see in Petra and the anticipation only grows as to what scholars will discover next in this marvellous ancient city.

About Author

Jihan Estrella
Jihan Estrella

Jihan is a neo-Vancouverite who is enjoying discovering her new "hometown". When she is not getting lost in this beautiful metropolitan, she is busy baking fluffy cakes, knitting warm blankets, biking through beach side trails and Netflix-ing any Anna Kendrick movie. While she has a degree in creative writing, she is (surprisingly) doing graphic design professionally. Currently, she is on the hunt (and saving up) for her next big adventure.


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