Petra After Dark: A Mystical Journey Through the Ancient City at Night

Petra, the ancient city of the Nabateans, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Jordan. The city’s stunning architecture, intricate carvings, and rich history make it a must-visit destination for travelers. However, Petra’s true beauty is revealed after dark, when the city is illuminated by thousands of candles, creating a mystical atmosphere that transports you to a different time and place.


Petra by Night is a unique experience that allows you to witness the beauty of the city under the stars. The tour takes you through the Siq, a narrow gorge that leads to the Treasury, one of Petra’s most iconic landmarks. Along the way, you will be surrounded by the flickering light of thousands of candles, creating a magical atmosphere that is truly unforgettable. As you reach the Treasury, you will be greeted by the sound of traditional Bedouin music and the sight of the monument illuminated by hundreds of candles, creating a breathtaking sight that will stay with you forever.

Exploring Petra: A Historical Overview


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Petra, also known as the “Rose City,” is a historical and archaeological city in Jordan that dates back to the Nabataean Kingdom. The city is famous for its unique rock-cut architecture and its beautiful rose-colored sandstone cliffs. Petra was a significant trading center in the ancient world, and it was a hub for the trade of spices, silk, and other valuable commodities.

The Nabataean Kingdom was a nomadic Arab tribe that settled in Petra around the 4th century BCE. They were known for their skills in carving intricate structures out of the sandstone cliffs. The Nabataeans built a bustling city with temples, tombs, and other buildings that were carved into the rock. Petra was a wealthy and prosperous city, and it was a center for trade and commerce in the ancient world.

During the Roman Empire, Petra continued to thrive as a trading center. The Romans conquered Petra in 106 CE and added their own architectural touches to the city, including a grand theater that could seat over 8,000 people. The Romans also built a large colonnaded street that ran through the heart of the city.

Today, Petra is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, and it attracts thousands of visitors from around the globe every year. The city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it is renowned for its stunning architecture and its rich history. Visitors can explore the city by day or by night, and they can marvel at the beauty of the rose-colored cliffs and the intricate carvings that adorn the buildings.

In conclusion, Petra is a unique and fascinating city that offers visitors a glimpse into the ancient world. Whether you are interested in history, architecture, or culture, Petra is a must-see destination that will leave you breathless.

Petra After Dark: An Enchanting Experience

If you’re looking for a unique experience in Petra, Jordan, then Petra After Dark is definitely worth considering. This enchanting experience takes you on a mystical journey through Petra by Night, where you’ll get to see the ancient city in a whole new light.

The experience begins with a walk through the Siq, a narrow canyon that leads to the Treasury. As you make your way through the Siq, you’ll be surrounded by candlelight that illuminates the path and creates a magical atmosphere. The walk takes around 40 minutes and is a great opportunity to take in the stunning rock formations that surround you.

Once you reach the Treasury, you’ll be greeted by a spectacular light show that uses colored lights to highlight the intricate details of the ancient structure. The Treasury is bathed in a warm glow that creates a truly unforgettable sight.

As you take in the beauty of the Treasury, you’ll be served Bedouin tea and have the chance to listen to live music played on a traditional rababa. This adds to the overall experience and creates a relaxing atmosphere that allows you to fully appreciate the beauty of Petra by Night.

Overall, Petra After Dark is a unique and enchanting experience that is definitely worth doing if you’re visiting Petra. The candlelit walk through the Siq, the spectacular light show at the Treasury, and the live music and Bedouin tea all combine to create a truly unforgettable experience that you won’t want to miss.

Practical Information for Visitors

Petra by Night is a popular event that takes place on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. The entrance fee is 17 Jordanian dinars or approximately 24 USD per person. Children under 10 years of age can enter for free. The event starts at 8:30 pm, and the entrance gates open at that time. It is recommended that you arrive at least 30 minutes before the start time to avoid the crowds and get a good spot.

If you are planning to visit Petra during the day as well, it is recommended that you purchase a two-day ticket. This will allow you to explore the site during the day and attend Petra by Night on a separate day. You can purchase tickets at the entrance gates or through the Jordan Pass, which is a tourist pass that includes entry to many of Jordan’s top attractions.

Wadi Musa is the closest town to Petra, and it offers a range of accommodation options, from budget hostels to luxury hotels. The Movenpick Hotel is a popular choice among visitors, and you can book your stay through websites such as If you are looking for a more authentic experience, you can also stay with a local family through a private company.

Getting to Petra from other parts of Jordan is relatively easy. If you are coming from Amman, you can take the JETT Bus, which leaves at 6:30 am every morning. It takes approximately 3.5 hours to reach Petra. If you are planning a longer trip to Jordan, you can include Petra in your itinerary and explore other parts of the country as well.

Overall, Petra by Night is a mystical journey that is worth experiencing. Just make sure to plan ahead, purchase your tickets in advance, and arrive early to avoid the crowds.

Photography Tips for Capturing Petra by Night

Petra by Night is a mystical journey through the ancient city of Petra, where the Treasury is illuminated by thousands of candles. It’s a unique and unforgettable experience that you’ll want to capture with your camera. Here are some photography tips to help you get the best shots of Petra by Night.

Use a tripod

A tripod is essential for night photography, especially when you’re using long exposure times. It will help you keep your camera steady and avoid blur. You can bring your own tripod or rent one at the entrance to Petra.

Adjust your camera settings

To capture the beauty of Petra by Night, you’ll need to adjust your camera settings. Start by setting your ISO to a low value, such as 100 or 200, to reduce noise in your photos. Use a slow shutter speed, such as 30 seconds, to capture the light trails and candle flames. Adjust your aperture to a small value, such as f/8 or f/11, to keep the entire scene in focus.

Use a light meter

A light meter can help you determine the correct exposure for your photos. You can use the built-in light meter in your camera or a handheld light meter. Point the meter at the scene and adjust your camera settings accordingly.

Avoid using flash

Using flash can ruin the atmosphere of Petra by Night and disturb other visitors. Instead, use the available light sources and adjust your camera settings accordingly.

Worth it?

Petra by Night is definitely worth the experience and the photography opportunities. The Treasury illuminated by candlelight is a sight to behold, and you’ll get some amazing shots. Just make sure to come prepared with the right equipment and camera settings.

Exploring Beyond Petra: Additional Attractions

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Petra is not only about the famous Treasury and the Monastery, there are many other attractions that you can explore. Whether you are interested in hiking, ancient tombs, or Bedouin culture, there is something for everyone. Here are some additional attractions that you should consider visiting:

The Royal Tombs

The Royal Tombs are a set of four tombs that are located above the Theater. These tombs are known for their impressive facades and intricate carvings. If you are interested in ancient architecture, then these tombs are a must-see. The Urn Tomb, the Silk Tomb, the Corinthian Tomb, and the Palace Tomb are all located in this area.

The High Place of Sacrifice

The High Place of Sacrifice is a temple that was used for religious ceremonies. It is located at the top of a mountain and offers stunning views of Petra. To reach the temple, you have to climb a series of stairs carved into the rock. It is a challenging hike, but the views are well worth it.

Petra by Night

Petra by Night is a mystical journey through Petra after dark. The experience starts at the entrance to Petra, where you will be greeted by Bedouin guides. You will then walk through the Siq, which is illuminated by hundreds of candles. At the end of the Siq, you will reach the Treasury, which is lit up by a full moon. The experience is truly magical and is a must-do for anyone visiting Petra.

Top Tips

  • Wear comfortable shoes: Petra is a large site, and you will be doing a lot of walking. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes to avoid blisters and sore feet.
  • Dress in layers: The temperature in Petra can vary throughout the day. It is best to dress in layers so that you can adjust your clothing as needed.
  • Follow the rules: The Ministry of Tourism has rules in place to protect Petra. Make sure you follow these rules to help preserve the site for future generations.
  • Avoid alcohol: Drinking alcohol is not allowed in Petra. If you are caught with alcohol, you could be fined or even arrested.

Petra is a fascinating attraction that offers something for everyone. Whether you are interested in hiking, ancient tombs, or Bedouin culture, there is always something new to discover.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I buy tickets for Petra After Dark?

You can buy tickets for Petra After Dark at the Petra Visitor Center. The ticket booth is located near the entrance to Petra. You cannot purchase tickets for Petra After Dark online, so you will need to buy them in person.

What is the entrance fee for Petra After Dark?

The entrance fee for Petra After Dark is 17 JOD (~$24 USD) per person. This is in addition to the general admission fee for visiting Petra during the day. Children under 10 years old can enter for free.

What are the opening hours for Petra at night?

Petra After Dark takes place three times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. The event starts at 8:30 PM and ends at 10:30 PM. The entrance gates open at 8:30 PM, so make sure to arrive on time to experience the full event.

Is it worth visiting Petra at night?

Visiting Petra at night is a unique and magical experience that is definitely worth it. The Treasury is illuminated by candlelight, creating a mystical atmosphere that you won’t experience during the day. The event includes a Bedouin music performance, adding to the overall ambiance of the experience.

Can I purchase Petra After Dark tickets online?

Unfortunately, you cannot purchase Petra After Dark tickets online. You will need to buy them in person at the Petra Visitor Center.

Do I need a Jordan Pass for Petra After Dark?

If you already have a Jordan Pass, you can use it to enter Petra during the day. However, the Jordan Pass does not cover the entrance fee for Petra After Dark. You will need to purchase a separate ticket for the event.

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