2 Days In Petra Itinerary

Spending 2 days in Petra is perfect for exploring a large part of Jordan’s most iconic site. Known for its stunning facades and rich history, this visit is one of the highlights of my Jordan travel. Every corner of this ancient city left me in awe! It’s always incredible to stand before these monumental structures I’ve dreamed of seeing, much like experiencing Machu Picchu in Peru or the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey. Here’s an itinerary to make sure you don’t miss a thing during your two-day stay in Petra.

2 Days in Petra Itinerary – Essential Guide

What is Petra?

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The first time I saw an image of the ancient city of Petra was in the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. That famous scene with the Grail left a lasting impression! However, Petra is much more than just a movie set. It’s an ancient Nabataean troglodyte city located in Jordan, renowned for its breathtaking rock-carved structures.

The Treasury (Al-Khazneh) and the Monastery (Ad Deir) are among the most iconic buildings on the site. Petra was once a bustling center on the caravan route, transporting incense, spices, and other valuable goods. Today, it stands as a significant archaeological and tourist destination.

How to visit Petra in 2 days

Petra is mainly visited on foot. The city is over 10 km2 , so you can walk around for a long time. In addition to the main trail where you will find the main attractions, there are several hikes to do to see other monuments and have different views of the facades. These trails are numerous and you can easily spend several days on the site before having covered them all. If many are content to walk the 30 minutes that separate the reception from Kahzneh, my intention in going to Petra was certainly not to stop there. You will see that these two days in Petra were very busy.

DAY 1: Hiking The Main Trail in Petra

Petra Visitor Center Entrance

For my first day in Petra, I took the main trail that starts from the reception of the Visitor Center. I wanted to explore the site like a real tourist and especially, I admit, I was eager to see Kahzneh, the famous Treasury of Petra. From the first steps, we notice the popularity of the place: the groups of tourists are numerous and we have to make our way through them to get around. At the beginning of the trail, horsemen offer us to take the ride on horseback rather than walking. The main trail is 4 km long, so plan the same distance for the return. Make sure you have a map of the site so you don’t miss anything.


Al-Siq Canyon Petra

Al- Siq is a fairly narrow canyon (between 3 and 10 m wide) of about 1.2 km that leads to Kahzneh. I found the passage magnificent with its orange walls.

Kahzneh (the Treasure)

The Treasury Of Petra

I will remember my arrival at the Treasury of Petra for a long time. The facade slowly takes shape as we cross the last few meters of the Siq: a spectacular moment. The structure is so impressive that it almost made me forget the chaos that reigns. The tourist groups are very numerous and there are several Bedouins (mostly children) who hope to take us for a camel ride or to the Treasury from above, one of the best places in Petra to take a photo.

The Street of Facades

The Street Of Facades Petra

After the Treasury, the atmosphere calms down. The groups that came only for this construction turn back, the main trail widens and there is more space to admire the places. I liked this area of ​​Petra, you can observe all the cutting work on the stone itself.

The Nabatean Theatre of Petra

The Nabatean Theatre Of Petra

Then we arrive at the Nabatean Theatre. I found it particularly spectacular with a view from above while hiking on the Al-Khubtha trail.

The Royal Tombs

The Royal Tombs Petra

The Royal Tombs area was one of my favorite places during my 2 days in Petra. The facades are simply amazing. You can visit some of them, but they are frankly more impressive when seen from the outside than from the inside. The smell was also often quite off-putting.

The Petra Museum

The Petra Museum

As you leave the site, immediately on the left, you will find the Petra Museum, a must-see! There is a lot of interesting information there, both about the region and the history of the site. I found that it was also a great opportunity to cool off in the air conditioning after a hot day in the sun!

DAY 2: Hiking to the Monastery of Petra

The Monastery Of Petra

I warn you, this is a long (and beautiful) day of walking! For this second day in Petra, I chose to go to Little Petra (see the section below to know how to get there) and to take the transport organized by the park to start the Back Door hiking route to the Monastery.

There are two ways to get to the Monastery in Petra:

I did both trails, I wrote about them in my text on the hikes to do in Petra.

Ad Deir (the Monastery)

Ad Deir Petra

The Monastery is another iconic structure in Petra. Since it is a several-kilometer walk to get there, the site is much less crowded compared to Al-Khazneh. I found it beautiful and impressive and I think it is a must-see in Petra.

Ad Deir trail

Ad Deir Trail

I then took the Ad-Deir trail to return to the Main Trail. The advantage of arriving by the Back door to Monastery Trail and leaving by the Ad Deir trail is that you go down the long staircase of 800 steps rather than going back and forth. This allows you to see two different areas while saving a little energy.

Return to the Main Trail

Facades Street

Back on the Main Trail, I took the opportunity to visit what I had not been able to see the day before, namely the Byzantine church, the Street of Facades, the remains of a Nymphaeum, and the sanctuary of Qasr al-Bint . Afterward, I walked the 4 km of the Main Trail again and went back over the attractions of the day before to find the exit and rest my feet.

How to visit Siq al-Barid ( Little Petra )

Little Petra

There are shuttles available from the Petra Tourist Office that run back and forth between the office and Little Petra . The service is included in your Petra day ticket and the shuttles depart approximately every 20-30 minutes.

Don’t believe anyone who tells you there are no shuttles and that you have to take a taxi. When I was looking for the famous shuttles, most people offered me their taxi service instead (even an employee at the site’s information desk). I had to go to the office to get the right information. Don’t hesitate to go there if you can’t find it, these employees are there to limit access to unofficial tourist guides, among other things.

Where to take the shuttle to Little Petra

The shuttles are located behind the reception immediately to the left before heading towards the Main Trail. They are not marked, so they can be difficult to spot.

How long to go to Little Petra

The site itself is not that big and 30-45 minutes is more than enough to go around it. As for getting around, find out about the Back Door to Monastery hike.

Is Petra By Night worth the trip?

Petra By Night is a sound and light show that takes place on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8:30pm. If you have an interest in this type of event, I suppose it might be worth going.

Good to know for visiting Petra in Jordan

Eating and Drinking in Petra

Besides the street vendors who will be happy to sell you overpriced bottles of water and Coca-Cola, there are restaurants and cafes towards the end of the main road (around km 4). This is not the cheapest place to eat in Jordan. For my part, I had brought lunch to be independent and stop whenever I wanted.

Do you need to be accompanied by a guide to visit Petra?

No. It’s your choice. I’m one of those people who prefer to explore on their own, with a paper guide in hand, rather than following a guide. Do I learn less and miss out on some good stories? Most likely. Despite this, my need to improvise is stronger than my need to learn, I very rarely take guides. All this is to say that the visit to Petra can be done with or without a guide. If you are limited in terms of time, a guided tour can be interesting to show you as much as possible in a short time.

What to bring to Petra

Water, sunscreen, and comfortable shoes.

How many days in Petra

One day minimum, but ideally two to have time to see the must-see places in Petra.

Is it dangerous to visit Petra?

No, it is not dangerous to visit Petra. That said, Wadi Musa is the place in Jordan where I was stopped the most on the street. Nothing that seemed dangerous to me, just a little irritating at times. I think it is linked to the very touristy aspect of the place. Refer to your government website for more information on the destination or the registration service.

When is the best time to visit Petra in Jordan?

As with the rest of Jordan, the best times to go to Petra are the months of May, June, July, August, and September when the climate is mild and less hot.

Where to stay in Petra

I stayed in one of the new rooms at the Petra Town Check-Inn hotel in Wadi Musa. The location was perfect (I could access the Petra site on foot) and the owner was all smiles and super helpful. While not exceptional, the room was decent and the breakfast was satisfactory. If you prefer, there are also a few options within walking distance of the entrance to the site such as highly rated: the Petra Boutique Hotel or the Mövenpick Petra .