Essential Things To Do in Petra: What is the world’s most famous hidden gem? If you’re reading this article, it’s probably not something that most people would know about. But trust us, because we’ve done our research. The answer is Petra, Jordan. This ancient site is an incredible feat of architecture and engineering that has remained hidden for centuries – until now.
But wait! There are 20 Important Things To Know Before Visiting Petra.
Once you visit this UNESCO world heritage site, you will understand why it was listed as such a prestigious honor. So if you have seen any Indiana Jones movies and think Petra might be some type of jungle with snakes, creepy creatures, and quicksand pits… Surprise! You’re wrong!
But there’s so much more to see in Petra than that! In fact, there are 25 things to do in Petra to make sure your trip is unforgettable!
So check out our list below and get ready to discover one of the most interesting places on earth!
1. The Treasury, Petra
The Treasury is the first thing you will see as you enter Petra, and it is a sight to behold! This temple dates back to the early Nabataean era (around the 6th century B.C.). The Nabataeans were nomadic people who eventually settled in the area and rebuilt the city. The Treasury is named as such because of the large collection of carved niches on the structure’s facade. These niches are said to contain the ashes of the deceased. We do not know the significance of the ashes being placed on this structure, but we do know that it is the most famous part of Petra and perhaps the most famous building in the Middle East!
2. Al-Siq – Essential Things To Do in Petra
Al-Siq is Petra’s version of the Grand Canyon. It is a massive gorge that was carved out by flowing water. Al-Siq is also known as “The crevice” which originates in Arabic, though the meaning is somewhat lost on modern translators. Al-Siq is a must-see for anyone visiting Petra, even though it is a bit out of the way. Be sure to explore the flowstones and the dark canyons of this strange rock formation. It’s one of the most unique places in the world!
3. Royal Tombs
Petra is often referred to as the “City of Tombs,” and the Royal Tombs are among its most famous! These tombs are carved out of the rock face and are accessible by a flight of stairs. The tombs are said to be the final resting places of the City’s kings and queens. However, it is uncertain exactly who is buried there. It is believed that the tombs date back to the 9th century B.C.
4. Street of Facades – Essential Things To Do in Petra
The Street of Facades is truly one of the unique sights in Petra. This narrow street is lined with Petra’s most impressive structures. Many of these facades are adorned with the same carved niches found in the Treasury. These buildings are said to have been shops and dwellings for the people living in Petra. Other structures house temples dedicated to various gods and goddesses. In the center of the Street of Facades is the famous oracle tower, which is decorated with colorful mosaics.
5. Colonnaded Street
Essential Things To Do in Petra: Colonnaded Street is one of the most iconic sights in Petra. This street is also lined with two-story buildings that were used as shops and dwellings. The first floor of these structures featured a series of carved columns that were said to have been used as storefronts. The upper level of the buildings was said to have been used as residences for the town’s people. This street was the heart of the ancient city of Petra, and it still is today!
6. Hiking in Petra – High Place of Sacrifice Trail
Essential Things To Do in Petra: Hiking in Petra is a must-do activity for anyone visiting the city! Several hiking trails in the area will allow you to explore the rock-face tombs and the desert landscape surrounding the city. It is a surreal experience to be able to walk through the ancient city and feel as though you are experiencing Petra just as the ancient people who lived there did! If you are a particularly adventurous person, you may want to try a more challenging hike that will take you up to the top of the mountain in which Petra lies. It is not advised that you attempt this if you are not in good physical condition, as it is a very challenging climb!
7. The Great Temple
The Great Temple is a Nabataean temple that was constructed in the 2nd century B.C. This place of worship was built to honor the gods who were thought to rule over the desert. The temple was built with courtyards, niches, and large carved stones. A large stone staircase also leads to the temple’s roof. This staircase is said to be modeled after an ancient flight of stairs in Babylon. The Great Temple is a must-see for anyone visiting Petra!
8. Qasr-Al-Bint – Essential Things To Do in Petra
Qasr-Al-Bint is a small building that was built in the 9th century B.C. This structure is said to have been a water-control device for the Nabataeans. It is thought that the structure was used to control the flow of water in the nearby Wadi Musa. If this is true, it would make Qasr-Al-Bint one of the first-ever water-control devices in human history.
9. Petra by Night – Petra Visitor Center
Essential Things To Do in Petra: Petra by Night is an experience you will never forget! The city comes alive at night as the mysterious rock-face tombs are lit in different colors. This amazing show is not to be missed; it happens every day! It is an experience like no other, and it will make you appreciate the beauty of ancient Petra all the more! If you are visiting Petra during the warmer months, visit the city by night. The temperature is much cooler than during the day, and you will be able to enjoy the illuminated tombs to their full extent!
10. The Monastery
This is a Byzantine temple that was built in the 5th century A.D. This temple is said to be the largest and most impressive Christian structure in Petra. The Monastery also has one of the largest freestanding Corinthian columns in the entire world. This column is thought to have been carved from a single piece of stone. The Monastery is a sight to see, and it will give you a sense of what Petra was like long before the discovery of the ancient city.
11. High Place of Sacrifice
Essential Things To Do in Petra: This is the oldest and most sacred site in Petra and was used for a dark ritual. Young boys between the ages of 10 and 16 were taken to this site and sacrificed to the god of the sun, Shamash, so that the crops would grow and people would be safe from harm, according to the ancient beliefs at the time. The boys were placed in a large hole that was dug and then covered in large stones. It is thought that the sacrifice of these boys ensured a good harvest and protected people from natural disasters, such as drought or locusts. This place is powerful and tragic to visit, especially knowing what happened there and that it happened to young boys who were probably scared out of their minds. This is a very important site to visit in Petra and should not be missed.
12. Souvenir Shopping – Souk Zara Petra
Souvenir Shopping A beautiful and ancient place like Petra deserves a beautiful and ancient souvenir. Because the city of Petra is home to the world’s most famous carved rock structures, ancient carved stones and pottery are the most popular souvenirs to purchase while visiting. Many shops in Petra specialize in selling authentic and handcrafted pieces of pottery and carved stone artwork. So, you can buy a piece of history that dates back thousands of years and add it to your collection at home. Another popular item that is sold at Petra souvenir shops is Shemum, that’s a fragrant incense that is very popular in the Middle East. It is an aromatic spice that can be sprinkled on anything, from food to clothing, and is especially popular at religious sites. So, if you’re looking for a souvenir that’s both beautiful and useful, you can’t go wrong with Shemum.
13. Petra Theatre – Essential Things To Do in Petra
The aptly named theatre is the most famous and most important site in Petra. Why? Because it was here that the Nabataeans performed plays and celebrations, as well as religious rituals. The theatre has been dated back to the first century B.C. and is one of the oldest theatres in the world. It is a truly beautiful site that is worth a visit while visiting Petra. The theatre has been in excellent condition and is a very large site. You can stand on the same stage where performances would have taken place thousands of years ago. The theatre is also home to a large and beautiful carved stone known as the Royal Box. This special box is where the king would have sat during performances and celebrations. But that is not the only place where royalty would have been seated. The Royal Box is also where the gods and goddesses would have been seated if they had decided to show up.
14. Tomb of Aaron
Essential Things To Do in Petra: The next stop on our list is the Tomb of Aaron, the Mosaic Tomb. The first thing that will catch your eye here is the ornate and colorful mosaic artwork on the tomb. The tomb was built in the 2nd century and was meant to house the remains of St. Aaron, the first high priest of the Israelites. The mosaics depict images of plants, birds, and animals meant to symbolize life and rebirth. These mosaics are incredibly well preserved and are one of the highlights of visiting Petra. Make sure to also check out the tombs of St. Aaron’s sons, where you can also find some mosaics.
15. Temple of the Winged Lions
The Temple of the Winged Lions is one of the most beautiful and important sites to visit. This temple was built in the first century B.C. and was used as a place to worship the Nabataean gods and goddesses. The most interesting part of this temple is the two stone lions that are carved on either side of the entrance. These lions are not real lions. They are winged lions that are carved out of stone and placed on the temple entrance. These lions were used in ancient times to mark a place of sacrifice. They have wings because the ancient people thought that the gods would fly down from the sky and land on these lions. So, the lions are used as a place for the gods to land.
16. Petra Museum – Essential Things To Do in Petra
The Petra Museum is a must-see site in Petra. The museum is located in the ancient city of Petra. The city of Petra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the Middle East. The museum is an excellent place to learn more about the history of Petra. It houses over 6,000 archaeological artifacts, which were found in and around Petra. Some of the most popular items that can be found in the museum are jewelry, pottery, and coins. The Petra Museum was established in 1982. The building is also used as a research center and an educational resource for visitors. The museum is open daily and free of charge. It is a great place to learn more about the ancient city of Petra and the history of this beautiful place.
17. The Dam – Essential Things To Do in Petra
The Dam is a large and impressive structure that dates back to the first century B.C. The purpose of the dam was to channel water and irrigation from nearby water sources to the city of Petra and to provide drinking water for the people living there. The ancient engineers who built the Dam were very impressive. They built the Dam with a very small amount of technology and with simple tools. The Dam is approximately 2,000 feet long and about 30 feet high. It is a very large structure that is impressive to see up close and is an important site to visit when visiting Petra.
18. Sextius Florentinus Tomb
The Sextius Florentinus Tomb is a very interesting and important site to visit while visiting Petra. The tomb was built in the first century A.D. It is believed that Sextius Florentinus was a Roman ruler who settled nearby Petra and was later buried in this tomb. The tomb has been in excellent condition and is one of the most preserved structures in Petra. It is a beautiful site that is worth visiting while exploring the ancient city of Petra. The tomb is open daily and is free of charge. It is a great place to explore and learn more about the history of the area.
19. Tomb of Unayshu
The tomb of Unayshu is a very important site to visit in Petra. It was built in the first century B.C. and is believed to have been the resting place for Unayshu, who was the king of the city of Petra. The tomb has been in excellent condition and is one of the most preserved structures in Petra. It is a beautiful place that is worth visiting while exploring the ancient city of Petra. The tomb is open daily and is free of charge. It is a great place to explore and learn more about the history of the area.
20. Mosesquelle – Essential Things To Do in Petra
The Mosesquelle is a very important place to visit in Petra. It is believed that this site is where Moses received water from a mystical rock and then brought the water back to his people so they could drink and be saved from thirst. It is a very interesting site that you can visit while exploring the ancient city of Petra. The Mosesquelle is open daily and free of charge. It is a great place to explore and learn more about the history of the area.
21. Little Petra, Siq al-Barid
The Siq al-Barid is a narrow passage that connects the entrance to Petra with the rest of the city. The most interesting thing about this path is that it’s carved out of the massive sandstone rock face, which you can see on both sides. You can experience walking through this path, which is one of the highlights of visiting Petra. At the end of the Siq al-Barid, you will get to see “Little Petra”.
The area is illuminated by low-level lights at night, making it a perfect place for a romantic stroll.
22. Lion Triclinium
The Lion Triclinium is one of the best-preserved and most impressive sights in Petra. The structure, which was likely a temple, has 3 large lion statues in the front of the building, along with the remains of what were probably dining tables. The Lion Triclinium was built in the 1st century, and it’s believed that the dining tables were meant for guests who brought offerings to the temple. This is one of the most famous sights in Petra, and you should make it a priority to visit.
23. Renaissance Tomb
The Renaissance Tomb is one of the most interesting sights in Petra. This tomb is not just an ordinary building – it has an interesting story behind it. The tomb was built in 1901 to house the remains of a man called “the Merchant”. Originally, the tomb was built in Cairo, Egypt, and was meant to house the remains of a Muslim man. Then in 1934, the remains were moved to Petra and were placed in the Renaissance tomb. This building has beautiful artwork and offers a great view of the Wadi Musa valley.
24. Urn Tomb
The Urn Tomb is one of the most interesting sights in Petra. This tomb dates back to the 1st century and has a very unique design. The top of the structure is open, with the urns inside still intact. You can see inside the tomb and even walk into it! There is a long staircase inside the tomb, which leads to the top where there is a beautiful view of the surroundings. There is also a large crack in the middle of the structure, which caused the tomb to split into two pieces.
25. Obelisk Tomb – Essential Things To Do in Petra
The Obelisk Tomb is one of the best-preserved sights in Petra. This structure dates back to the 2nd century and has some very unique features. The most impressive part of the tomb is the large obelisk in the center. The obelisk is carved from a single piece of stone, which shows the skill and dedication of the builders back then. The obelisk has a dark-colored stain that was caused by people touching it throughout the years.
Visiting Petra is something that everyone should experience at least once in their life. It is an incredible place that blends the ancient and modern in the most spectacular way. You will be able to see incredible architecture and engineering feats that are almost beyond comprehension. It is a place that will leave you in awe, and it is something that you must experience for yourself!
We hope that our list of 25 Things To Do in Petra will help you plan your trip and make the most of your time there.
And don’t forget to check out our travel tips to make sure you don’t forget anything! We hope you have an amazing trip and that you fall in love with this incredible place as much as we did!
But first of all, enjoy your trips to locations around the world with Framey App.
Download Framey (available on Google Play and Apple Store), and let’s explore the whole World!
Other photo sources: unsplash.com,