Itineraries for Your Trip to Petra

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2 Days in Petra for First Timers

Curated by Sarah IredaleSarah is an experienced copywriter specialising in travel, finance, and IT. Born and raised in Sri Lanka and India, and with stints living in the UAE and Oman, her love of South Asia and Arabia has seen her add travel writing to her record of copywriting for cross-sector global brands. Sarah has a BA Hons in History from Reading University and lives in East Sussex with her partner. When not working, she enjoys scuba diving, wild swimming, and woodland walks with her rescue Jack Russell, Charlie.

Jordan’s rose-red city of Petra, once a trading hub of the Nabataean people, offers a long lineup of astonishing sights, from its Treasury and Monastery to Roman-built ruins. Here’s how to experience the highlights of this 2,000-year-old city and some of its surrounding attractions in just two days.


Day 1: Morning

Devote today to covering Petra’s must-sees, whether you’re on a full-day tour from Petra town (Wadi Musa) or a 2-day tour with the first day assigned to the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Walk through the Siq canyon and marvel at star attractions such as the Treasury, Amphitheater, and Colonnaded Street—once Petra’s main shopping thoroughfare.

Day 1: Afternoon

Dig deeper into Petra this afternoon: Many tours let you explore independently after the key sights. Perhaps trek to the High Place of Sacrifice, where a clifftop Nabataean ceremonial altar commands panoramic views, or ascend the 600 steps of the Al Khubtha trail to a vertiginous viewpoint over the Treasury.

Day 1: Night

Enjoy dinner at the Petra Cave Bar: an atmospheric restaurant within a 2,000-year-old Nabataean rock tomb. Many 2-day tours that visit Petra include an overnight stay at a tent camp in the desert valleys of Wadi Rum, giving you a full-on Bedouin cultural experience.

Day 2: Morning

Continue inside Petra this morning, perhaps with a private tour customized to cover sights you missed yesterday. Maybe include a guided hike to the magnificent Monastery, or take a closer look at Petra’s Royal Tombs and temples. Alternatively, if you’re on a 2-day tour, take a trip to nearby Wadi Rum, Aqaba, or the Dead Sea.

Day 2: Afternoon

Covered Petra? Then assign this afternoon to Little Petra, thought to have been a suburb of the main city. Book a tour of its rock-cut facades and triclinium dining halls—one bearing frescoes—or up the adventure with a 4WD journey that visits this mini-Petra and other local ruins.

Day 2: Night

Make your last night in Petra special with a Turkish bath: indulging in a steam bath and scrub. Otherwise, choose a Petra-by-night tour, returning to the Siq and Treasury to see them in the glow of hundreds of candles.

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