Petra Jordan: 12 Things You Should Know About ‘The Rose City’

Grand. Majestic. Monumental. Amazing! These are few adjectives I can think of to describe the ancient architectural wonders of Petra, the most popular attraction in Jordan.

Many people know nothing about Jordan except Petra. It is the primary reason why many tourists are interested to visit the country. Unfortunately, because of the current situation in the neighboring countries, tourists are afraid to travel and explore Jordan. Well we can’t blame them. Bottom line, safety is always the main priority when traveling.

Is it safe to travel in Jordan?

To be honest, Derick and I were hesitant to pursue our trip at first because of safety issues. However, contrary to what we had in mind, we were surprised on how safe we felt during the entire time we were exploring Jordan. Although we were sad when told that many hotels and establishments, particularly in Petra, were affected by the situation. And since the number of tourists visiting Jordan has dwindled in the past few years many businesses had to close down.


Exploring Petra…

Prior to our visit, Derick and I knew that it’s gonna be a long and tiring day. So we made sure we had enough sleep the night before and had a hefty breakfast to maximize our energies. We grabbed some fruits, biscuits and 2 bottles of water then we’re ready to go.

The gates opened as early as 6 o’clock in the morning. We arrived at the gates 30 minutes after it opened and started walking towards the narrow gorge of Petra. Along the way are the impressive rock formations that changes colors as the rays of sunshine touched through its surface.

Petra is really breathtaking, literally and figuratively. I can’t remember how many times I asked Derick to stop for a while because I was badly catching my breath. Each stop is a photo opportunity  since Derick keeps on snapping while I’m taking a quick rest.

Lo and behold, as you get closer to the heart of Petra you can see the majestic structure peeking through the gorge – the ‘Treasury Building’. The  ancient architectural wonder was right in front of me. I was really in awe! Believe me, the 90 minutes of walking was all worth it.

12 Things You Should Know About PETRA

1. The name Petra is derived from the Greek word ‘Petros’ which means ‘Rocks’


2. It is also known as the  ‘Rose City’ because of the rose-red colored sandstone hills.


3. It was built by the Nabataeans, sometime around 312 BC.


4. Petra was carved out of the sandstone cliffs to create structures such as buildings, temples, houses and tombs.

petra27Some of the royal tombs.

5. Because of its strategic location, Petra was one of the wealthiest cities in its time collecting fees and getting business from the large caravans passing through.


6. This desert city has abundant sources of water and survived the dry environment because of the water-system constructed by the Nabataeans. The aqueduct system brought fresh spring water to the city. 

petra12One of many aqueducts that were constructed by the Nabataeans

7. Boring isn’t a word in their vocabulary because the city has its own theater that  holds any kind of entertainment during their time.


8. In the Bible, it was in Petra where Moses struck a rock with his staff and drew water.

petra2This is one of the thousand rock formations in Petra. No, this is not the rock struck by Moses to draw water from. 

9. Petra was discovered by Johann Ludwig Burckhardt who is a Swiss explorer.


10. In 1989 Petra was featured in the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusader.


11. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985.


12. Petra was named among the New 7 Wonders of the World in 2007


Important Tips To Remember When Visiting Petra:
  • Spring (March-May) and Autumn (October-November) are the best seasons to travel. Not too hot, not too cold.
  • Prepare your legs to do a lot of walking. From the entrance to the actual site, it will take 90 minutes on foot. Although you  have the option to hire a horse carriage to save some energy.
  • Wear comfortable walking shoes and light clothing.
  • Sunnies, hats and face towels are must-haves.
  • Bring water and food. There are few stalls that sells refreshments with less choices.
  • Begin your day early. Petra is a large area to explore and it will take you a whole day to see everything.

Finally, our day ended with sore feet and tired bodies but we’re both happy to have explored one of the world’s greatest heritage sites. The experience was really awesome and unforgettable. I hope this article will inspire and somehow convince you guys to visit Petra, as well as the other parts of Jordan.

97 thoughts on “Petra Jordan: 12 Things You Should Know About ‘The Rose City’

    1. Yes, marami ka talagang makikita dun. Isa na ang Mt. Nebo kung saan nakalibing si Moses, tapos yung baptism site ni Jesus. I don’t know kung totoo, pero pinakita sa aming tour guide yung asawa ni Lot na naging ‘pillar of salt’ when she looked back to Sodom and Gomorrah. Kinilibotan nga ako noong nakita ko yun.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I really liked your post and read it with great interest. We were supposed to go to Jordan next weekend but canceled a while ago when the government put out a warning about high risk travel to and through Jordan. I hope we get to go in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Glad that you can help people get over their fear of going to places like this. Jordan seems like a beautiful place and I can’t wait to visit one day. It’s sad how close minded people are because of what they hear online or on the TV. Thanks for this!


  3. This looks beautiful! That is so sad that many businesses had to close down due to the decrease in tourism. I loved all of your facts though, especially number 8. I had no idea that Petra was where Moses struck the rock with his staff. Amazing!


  4. Still high on my list! Actually, I want to do this along with Israel to trace Jesus’ steps. Haha! And to ride camels, too. ❤

    How long did you tour Jordan? Is it as expensive as, let's say, Paris? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, visiting Israel and Jordan in one trip is a good idea. I’m sure you will love both countries. Discovering places that you’ve only known in the Bible will surely gives you goosebumps.

      We spent 1 week in Jordan and still missed a lot of interesting sites. Saving it for next visit nalang. Definitely Paris is expensive. If hindi naman maarte sa accommodation $720 USD/pax for 1 week pwede na. That includes accommodation with breakfast, private vehicle with driver/tour guide and attraction tickets. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ooh, ang tagal nyo rin pala sa Jordan. That means marami ding pupuntahan. 🙂 good thing, ang lapit nyo lang you can always come back. And keribels na rin pala ang budget, all in naman. 🙂 Thanks Joy! This isn’t in the near future for me pa, may ibang priorities this year. Someday 🙏🏼

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Joy musta?Supah wow!Petra is on my bucket list now.hehe.Hopefully, I can visit the place and good thing I can ask you for DIY tips.Thanks for sharing and take care.God bless.


  6. Awesome!! I’m going there next month and I am so happy to hear that you felt safe because that was my one worry. I am super excited and will use all of your tips. Thanks for writing!!!


  7. Did you do Jordan on a tour or was it by yourselves? I’d love to go but I think my only option as a single female is to go on a tour!


  8. That is too bad that Jordan is experiencing such a lack of tourism due to the political situations. I’m sure making a difficult situation that much more challenging. I’ve always wanted to visit Petra since I learned about it on the Discovery Channel when I was a teen. Thanks for sharing your guide! It looks so amazing!


    1. We were sad when we first learned about it too. But then again we can all do our share and help out their struggling tourism industry. They do have a lot to offer to travelers. We all just need to get there.


  9. Petra sounds like fun and good to know that Jordan is safe to travel. Awesome photographs.. just envisioned scenes from the movie ‘The Mummy Returns’ it the same place?


  10. Ok, I am definitely going to Petra! How has it never been on my radar before? And I am such an Indiana Jones fan! It is sad that many places have had close down without tourists. All the more reasons to make it one of my next trips.


  11. I’ve been coming across so many posts on Jordan, that it does seem safe to travel. Petra is really exotic, and the more pictures I see of those gigantic rocky roads leading up to it, the more fascinating it appears to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. There is a distinct beauty that Petra have (the name per se is already beautiful!). I think as a travels we could help them boost their tourism, but sharing good experience to encourage more guests that will lead to income generation for the locals.


    Liked by 1 person

  13. You definitely convinced me to go visit Petra! I can see why they call it the rose city. And I didn’t know that it was discovered by a Swiss explorer! It seems like a fascinating place.


  14. The city of Petra is absolutely fascinating, no surprise it was chosen as one of the New Wonders of the World! Petra has been on my bucket list for a long time and can’t wait to visit soon. Thanks for all the very useful information!


  15. That was very inspiring and helpful! I didn’t know that you had to walk 90min from the entrance to the actual site… I always imagined it was much closer! It’s also interesting to read about the water system. I actually never stopped to think where did they get the water in such a dry environment.
    Good to hear too that it’s safe to visit, it’s one of the places I’d like to visit!


  16. I’ve visited Petra few years ago and I fully agree with you: Petra is really breathtaking ! It is not only the huge, imposing facade that was featured in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, it is so much more. Petra stretches over a massive 60 square kilometers area and you’ll end up doing a lot of walking 🙂


  17. I’ve always been fascinated by Petra – simply stunning! Unbelievable how all of this was carved out of sandstone… Thanks a lot for your tips, they’ll be very useful when I finally make it to Jordan.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ay grabe Janine nindot jud kaayo ang place. Ganahan jud gani mi mobalik kay naa pay daghang site wala namo maadto. To be honest, wala jud ni talent si Derick sa photography pero nakat-on nalang kay awayon man nako ug bati akong pictures. Hahaha sahay malooy ko niya. Basta love buhaton tanan basta malipay lang ko. Thanks for the visit, Janine! ❤


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