Our trip to Jordan was unexpected. We had 5 days off and we didn’t know what to do, so we started looking for all destinations from the airports around us and we decided to go to Jordan to visit one of the Wonders of the World. It was a decision well made!
If you want to go to Jordan and visit Petra, you can do so going through Amman, Aqaba or Eilat. If you go through Aqaba you will save 40 JOD (50€) which is what the visa cost since Aqaba is a tax free city. You will only need your passport to get in the country. From Eilat and Amman you will have to pay the visa in the passport control in the airport and you will also go through the border if you go via Israel.
We took our travel insurance with Intermundial. We payed 17€ each.
You can change euros in JOD in the same airport. We recommend you take enough money because the country is expensive and credit card are not always accepted.
We went in March and the temperature changes a lot depending where you are. Aqaba was really hot and the temperature in Petra changes a lot during the day. In the shade it was cold but in the sun it was really hot. Wearing sunglasses, hat and sun cream is really important. In two days we got our face completely burned. But the nights can be cold. Just remember that Petra is a desert.
The first thing you will do once you get out of the airport is starting negotiating prices for a taxi. You always have to negotiate because they tend to overprice everything. The first taxi driver wanted us to pay around 30 JOD and we took another one who charged us 8 JOD.
The first day we went to have dinner to the restaurant Alibaba. This is one of the best places in the area. Here we tried our first typical food and we also discovered their local beer called “Petra” which has 10% of alcohol. We were very surprised. If you really want to taste local food, this is the best restaurant.
ACCOmMODATION IN AQABA
Both of them has a good location but the rooms of the hotel Days Inn Hotel & Suites are better because they also have a little balcony. Both hotels have swimming pools.
HOW TO GO FROM AQABA TO PETRA
To go to Petra is very simple. There are two options:
It takes around 2 hours to get to Petra and you will stop a few times to go to the toilet or do some shopping.
We bought the tickets on Internet a few weeks before via the official website of Jett Bus. We paid 18 JOD and it’s cheaper to pay online than at the ticket desk of the station. We recommend you pay in advance, not only because it is cheaper but also because there is the possibility to be sold out. You can go and come back on the same day, or you can buy single tickets for different days. You will only need to show your ticket on the phone to the driver and that’s it.
If you go in a group of 4 people, it could be better to travel by taxi. You will pay the same amount of money per person but the trip will be faster. Anyways, you will have to negotiate the price with the taxi driver.
Hotel Goldel Tulip Aqaba
Days Inn Hotel & Suits Aqaba
Jordan Express Tourist Transportation. JETT Ticket Office
ACCOMMODATION IN PETRA
We stayed two nights in Petra Palace Hotel, which is 5 minutes away walking from Petra. We recommend you stay in a hotel close to Petra, even though it is more expensive. This way you will avoid constantly having to negotiate a price with the taxi driver to get from the hotel to Petra. In addition, the money you will save for a cheaper hotel you will spend in the taxi. So, it doesn’t make any sense. The hotel we stayed at included swimming pool for the summer season, breakfast and for 14 JOD extra per person if you decide to have dinner at their buffet.
There are different combinations of tickets:
1 day: 50 JOD
2 days: 55 JOD
3 days: 60 JOD
We recommend you visit for at least 2 days. There are a lot of things to see and it´s better to go slowly enjoying the landscapes and monuments rather than rushing it. In addition, you will need to stop time from time to rest and protect youself from the sun. Petra is extremely hot.
Once you get inside, local people will offer you rides for free on a horse, donkey or camel. Remember there is nothing for free, they will want a tip after the ride.
They will also offer to take you to see The Treasury from above. This is what we liked the most, no doubt about it. We really recommend you visit The Treasure for the first time from above with a local person who will take a unique way to The Treasury. It will take longer to see but it is really worth it. This “guide visit” is not for free. You will have to negotiate the price with the guide. Once there, you will go down to the square to continue visiting the lost city.
We also recommend you take your time and not see everything on the first day.
There is algo a show by night called “Petra by night” which costs 17 JOD extra per person. They will illuminate the whole way with candles. Visually it is beautiful but the show itself could be better. It’s an activity you will probably do only once in your life so it’s better to do it.
Always buy bottled water and ensure that the bottle is sealed because a lot of them are filled with tap water. I recommend you buy sparkling water even though you don’t like it and it’s expensive (3€ or 4€ per bottle), but this way you know what you are paying for.
It is very important to take sun cream with you. Petra is between 800-1396 meters high. The sun is very strong.
CONCLUSIONS AND BUDGET
We would’ve liked to have more time to go and visit The Dead Sea and Wadi Rum but 5 days is not enough. We made a good decision spending most of our time in Petra as there are as many things to visit in Aqaba.
Petra is amazing. It doesn’t matter how many pictures you’ve seen of this place, but nothing compares to seeing it in person. Once there you will understand why it is truely a Wonder of the World. There is no doubt that this trip is worth it but one warning avoid going in the summer. We went in March.
Here is a list with our expenses:
- Flights Koln-Aqaba and back with Ryanair: 80€
- Travel insurance: 17€
- 1 Night in Golden Tulip Aqaba: 47€ (between two)
- 2 Nights in Petra Palace Hotel: 211€ (between two)
- 1 Night in Days Inn Hotel & Suits, Aqaba: 60€ (between two)
- Taxi airport-Aqaba: 8 JOD (10€) (between two)
- Taxi Aqaba-airport: 15 JOD (20€) (between two)
- Bus Aqaba-Petra: 18 JOD (23€)
- Petra by Night: 17 JOD (21€)
- Lunch and dinner: 200€
Total: 500€ approx. per person.
I Hope this information helps you. If you have any doubts don’t hesitate to ask in the comments.
See you soon!