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When is Petra by Night open and how to buy tickets?

If you’re heading to Jordan and Petra is on your list of things to see or if you’ve read our article on Petra and you’re planning your trip, you may want to hit pause and read this article. We are here to explain to you what is and when is Petra by Night open and how to buy tickets. But that’s not all.

Many people think that Petra by Night is just a magical experience and they plan their visit to Petra to make sure they can be part of the night show as well.

We’ve been to Petra while traveling extensively in Jordan and we know everything about Petra: Do we think Petra by Night is worth? Well, we’ll answer this question at the end of the article, so not to influence your decision whether to go or not to go.

Grab a coffee, and get ready to read all about Petra at Night, how to buy tickets, how much do they cost, when Petra by Night happens, if it’s worth it: we’ve been there, we have discovered things nobody told us and now we want to pass this knowledge to you!

You can use the following Table of Contents to navigate through the paragraphs if you don’t want to read the whole article (but you will miss important information!).

What is Petra by Night?

Years ago, a visit to Petra wasn’t complete without spending a night in the ruins sleeping in the caves.

This has now been banned and a group of local tour operators, claiming it was for safety reasons, came up with an idea on how to take advantage of Petra after sunset.

Today Petra at Night is a guided excursion in the old city: people walk in the dark along the Siq, with the light of candles placed every few meters to guide the visitors. In the end, you will arrive at the Treasury which is lit by suffused candles.

When is Petra by Night?

Petra by Night runs place every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday: the experience starts and ends at the Petra Visitor Centre.

What time is Petra by Night?

The tour departs at 8.30 pm from the Visitor Centre and it lasts 2 hours, so it will end officially by 10.30 pm. Arrive at the Visitor Centre at 8 pm if you want to be one of the first to arrive at the Treasury.

What happens at Petra by Night?

After the “silent” walk through the Siq, you reach the Treasury and you’re asked to sit down and shut up. A musician starts playing the rababa, an ancient flute-like instrument, and then a Bedouin will share with you a story about Petra. The entire Petra by Night show takes approximately 30 minutes.

Fascinating isn’t it? The reality may be quite different!

What really happens at Petra by Night?

The walk along the Siq is supposed to be silent and mobiles are supposed to be banned: the reality is people talking, flashing the path with their mobiles, sometimes playing music and so on.

Once you arrive at the Treasury, a guide asks for silence but this rarely happens.

And since the walk is so popular, it is not uncommon to have 150/200 people arriving altogether. Every single person tries to take pictures, ending up disturbing the others and ruining the whole atmosphere.

People have reported that in high season there are so many people that visitors are placed in front of the Treasury, literally blocking the view to everyone else.

How much is it for Petra by Night?

Petra by Night costs 17JD and it’s not included in Petra’s ticket.

Does Jordan pass include Petra by Night?

Petra by Night is not included in the Jordan Pass, not even in the most expensive one.

How to buy tickets for Petra by Night?

You can buy your ticket for Petra by Night at the Visitor Centre a few hours before the departure, at your hotel or by getting in contact with a local tour operator.

Bear in mind that there is countless number of Petra by Night tickets.

Is it possible to get good photos at Petra by Night?

Forget about the pictures you’ve seen: it’s not easy to take pictures of Petra by Night if you’re not a photographer and you know how to use a camera.

Smartphones are useless. The use of flashes is forbidden until the guide will tell it’s possible: this means everyone will flash at the same moment, ruining the view and the pictures. Not to mention that flashes are not the best way to get a night shot at Petra.

Also, to get those amazing shots you’ve seen on social media you have to run all the way there to get there first or you’ve to leave last, but this is pretty much impossible since everyone wants to be last in leaving!

Is Petra by Night worth it?

This question gets asked often.

For us, it was not worth it and we didn’t go: after having heavily researched and knowing our traveling habits, we decided it was not for us.

We felt and feel Petra by Bight is more a money-making scheme and less a wonder of the world: hundreds of people stored in a small space, competing for a picture that will never be as perfect as they think and following instructions from a well-paid guide on how to behave.

We also find Petra by Night disrespectful of history, as also happens in the case of the Centurions at the Colosseum in Rome, just to name one we know quite well

Visiting Petra at night may be amazing and the event has endless possibilities but the way it is conceived at the moment just doesn’t deliver, at least for us: imagine lighting the Treasury in a way that people can enjoy it without the show, taking their time and without restrictions of any sort. This would be an experience we would gladly do, just like when we stroll around the Colosseum admiring how amazing the Ancients were.

So, if Petra by Night is worth it or not it’s a decision we leave to you: someone says it’s one of the best experiences they’ve ever had, many others say it’s a disaster and everything but spectacular.

What we can say is that seeing Petra at night should not be your first experience with Petra as nothing can replace the awe of the walk through the Siq and the appearance of the Treasury in the sun.

Any thoughts on that? Follow us on Instagram and get in touch if you want to have more information and subscribe to our newsletter to receive exclusive content by email!

Where To Stay In Petra

These are the hotels we recommend for your stay in Petra, especially if you want to go to Petra by Night:

Movenpick Resort: at a short distance from the gate, it’s a good choice for people traveling to Petra.

Petra Guest House Hotel: the location is just perfect, beside the gate to Petra, and it’s perfect for visiting the city at night.

Tour to Petra

If you’re thinking to visit Petra, these are some of the tours we recommend:

Full-Day Private Tour from Amman;
Full-Day Tour to Petra from Aqaba;
Petra, Wadi Rum, Red Sea & Dead Sea 2-Day Camp Tour.

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About the author
Veruska Anconitano
Veruska is a freelance content marketer and digital strategist. She's an accredited journalist, a member of the British Guild of Travel Writer, and a certified sommelier. She's the co-owner of TheFoodellers and a bunch of other websites.
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