Petra By Night: a candlelit visit to the ruins of Petra

by | May 17, 2015 | Jordan, Latest Posts, Middle East, UNESCO Sites | 5 comments

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Our morning had been spent climbing 800 stairs on a 6am hike to the Monastery and, as darkness fell, we returned to the rose red city to experience Petra by Night when the ancient ruins are illuminated by candlelight. If there’s one way to win my heart it’s through an abundance of candles or fairy lights so the excitement levels were high as we arrived at Petra for the second time that day ready to experience Petra at night!

Petra At Night-cover

Dinner overlooking Petra

Our evening started well as we enjoyed dinner in a Bedouin tent overlooking Petra eating maklouba (the traditional Jordan dish of upside down chicken and rice), being serenaded by a Bedouin singer and drinking in the beautiful views. Looking back, our dinner overlooking Petra is one of our favourite moments from our week in Jordan.

Our Bedouin tent:Petra At Night © thewholeworldisaplaygroundOh the views!Petra At Night © thewholeworldisaplayground

Petra By Night

As we arrived at the gates we couldn’t wait to experience Petra by candlelight. It’s a popular ticket and we joined around 150 other visitors in the entrance square as we waited for the Bedouin guide to escort us down to the stunning Treasury Building. Our visit earlier in the day had prepared us for the 2km walk along the entrance path and through the narrow gorge of the Siq.

We were at the front of the crowd and the atmosphere was incredible as we walked along silently in the moon and candlelight. The pictures speak for themselves but it was truly magical!Petra At Night © thewholeworldisaplaygroundAs we turned the last bend in the Siq the Treasury came into view between the high walls of the gorge and we could see hundreds of lanterns twinkling in the darkness. The scene was breathtaking and, being at the front, it was incredible to catch a glimpse of the Treasury before anyone else arrived.

I spy the Treasury! 
Petra At Night © thewholeworldisaplaygroundCandles, candles everywhere!Petra At Night © thewholeworldisaplayground So very special. The postcard perfect Treasury Building:Petra At Night © thewholeworldisaplaygroundThe night air was filled with haunting Bedouin music and we enjoyed some traditional Bedouin tea. The square filled up quickly and we decided to make an early exit to enjoy a quiet meander back to the entrance as the Bedouin told his story.  It was all about the candles for us! Check out our video below!

How amazing?!

Bedouin music:
Petra At Night © thewholeworldisaplaygroundThe walk back to the entrance was peaceful and we enjoyed the silence, the candles and capturing some pics along the way. All while trying not to jump a mile in the air every time one of the cute little stray kittens made an appearance and we didn’t know what was joining us in the darkness!

Starry, starry night:
Petra At Night © thewholeworldisaplayground

Is Petra by Night worth it?

Petra at night is a fantastic experience and it was incredible to see the Siq and the Treasury in candlelight. We wouldn’t recommend Petra by Night for a first Petra experience as nothing can replace the awe of the walk through the Siq and the appearance of the grand Treasury Building in the morning sun.

It is a really beautiful way to spend the evening especially if you manage to hang back from the crowds to truly appreciate the magical atmosphere and the glorious ruins in candlelight.

Petra At Night © thewholeworldisaplayground

Petra by Night

At the time of our visit, Petra at Night operated on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday nights form 8:30pm to 10:30pm at a cost of JOD 17. This ticket is additional to the day time entrance ticket.

5 Comments

  1. Jo

    Would love to seePetra at any time

    Reply
  2. Ravi

    Hi Elaine,
    Thanks for the blog. I myself am planning to visit Jordan same time you guys visited last year. Your blog helped get ideas about the destination and travel. I very much wanted to do Petra at Night. Can you help me with my quick queries please.

    Is the place open all night or are there any deadlines after which Petra closes down and people are stopped from entering.

    Thank You

    Reply
    • Elaine

      Hi Ravi, thanks for the comment! As far as I know visitors can only access Petra until 6pm in summer. The separate night tour then allows visitors to enter for the 8:30pm tour three evenings a week. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  3. Amanda Hsiung

    This looks amazing! Did you have to book the dinner ahead of time? And if so do you mind sharing the details? Would LOVE to do that when we (*knock on wood*) visit Petra this October.

    Reply
    • Elaine McArdle

      Hi Amanda

      It was part of our stay at the Marriott Petra. ?We had to book a day in advance. It’s one of my favourite Petra memories!

      Elaine

      Reply

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