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Best Time to Visit Petra in 2023 | When to Go

Best Time to Visit Petra in 2023 | When to Go

Being one of the seven wonders of the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the ancient city of Petra, Jordan, is one of those destinations that need no lengthy introduction.

What many travelers do end up requiring, however, is answers to questions such as “What’s the best time to visit Petra?,” “How much does it cost to visit Petra?,” and “When should I avoid heading there?” And we’re happy to let you know you’re in the right spot.

From useful travel tips to detailed info on the best seasons, our detailed Petra guide has it all, but first, let’s cover some basics.  

Why You Should Visit Petra in 2023

A stadium like historical architecture made of rocks and bricks.


Petra is one of the most stunning sites you can see in your lifetime — here’s why you need to absolutely visit it at least once:

  • It has plenty of unique and authentic archeological sites. The most popular ones include The Treasury, Al-Siq, The Monastery, Great Temple, Royal Tombs, Qasr al-Bint, Triclinium, Obelisk Tomb & Bab as-Siq Triclinium, and the Byzantine Church.
  • The overall architecture is amazing — just take a look at the theatre carved out of solid rock into the side of the cliff, and you’ll see what we mean.
  • A set of big mausoleums with majestic facades, Petra’s royal tombs will make you re-evaluate everything the sublimity of all the landmarks you’ve seen before. These include the Urn Tomb, Silk Tomb, Corinthian Tomb, and Palace Tomb.
  • Be on the lookout for intricate carvings in the rock as you wander through the secretive passages. Try to find the Lion Fountain carved onto the rock itself; while quite worn, the lion is still noticeable and easily detectable once you know what it is you’re looking for.
  • Considered a historic market avenue in ancient Petra,Colonnaded Street holds many photo opportunities at every corner.
  • Petra has some spectacular views — but be careful, as you’re in for some rough hikes, especially when it comes to reaching areas such as The High Place of Sacrifice. Arguably providing some of the best panoramic views of Petra, The High Place of Sacrifice is called “a high place” for a reason.
  • Very few people know they can visit Petra at night. While going during the day allows you to explore the site in greater detail, there’s a special type of magic taking place at night.
  • In Petra, expect valuable history lessons. After all, where else can you take a glimpse at the remnants of a special water system dating back from the Byzantine and Roman eras?
  • Observe the locals. Known as Bedouins, the people living in the Petra and Wadi Rum area have masterfully adapted to the challenging desert conditions and managed to lead their lives in quite a sustainable manner. You stand to learn a lot from even the simplest interactions!
  • Finally, do you know that only 15% of the city has been uncovered so far? There’s more to Petra than meets the eye — it’s a site that’s waiting to be discovered, and there’s an ancient surprise waiting at every corner.

Overall Best Time to Visit Petra

People head towards a relic sculpted on giant rocks in a desert area.


The best time to visit Petra is either in the spring months of April and May or in the fall in October and November.

The former months see average temperatures between lows of 50°F and highs of 82°F; the latter have temperatures between 46°F and 80°F.

Good weather is key to ensuring the best possible Petra experience, which is why spring and fall allow travelers to make the most out of their stay — from hiking without breaking a sweat to touring all the sacred sites.

Unfortunately, this also means bigger crowds and higher prices due to great demand, so make sure to plan your itinerary ahead of time.

Spring visitors can take a peek at wildflowers and even witness their blossom — such a rare yet amazing sight for a desert landscape. Spring and fall travelers should also pack for chilly nights and dress in layers.

Cheapest Time to Visit Petra

It’s somewhat difficult to talk about the cheapest time to travel to Petra, as you have to pay an entrance fee (a one-day ticket costs $70) regardless of when you go.

What we can help you with, however, is to learn about the cheapest time to head to Jordan, as chances are you’ll be visiting Petra from there.

The cheapest time to visit Jordan is arguably in December. Past travel data indicates it’s the most affordable month when it comes to finding favorable accommodation rates and reduced airfare tickets.

That said, note that this is the cheapest month to visit because neither Jordan nor Petra is very popular in winter from a tourist point of view (more about it in a minute).

Finally, if you’re on a budget, bring your own food and drink in Petra — while there are several cute tea shops there, prices can be high. If you visit Petra in December, get ready for temperatures between 39°F and 59°F.

Least Busy Time to Visit Petra

A man passing through a canyon of orange rocks.

Usoltceva Anastasiia/Shuttertock

The least busy time to visit Petra is in the summer (June–August). The lack of crowds is great for all avid travelers wanting to make the most out of the empty sites with their cameras.

However, visiting at this time doesn’t come without any challenges. Namely, the reason why this period sees so few tourists is thanks to Petra’s dry but extremely hot summer temperatures, repelling even the most enthusiastic of tourists.

That said, getting an early start in the day can help you delay the intense summer heat and make your stay more bearable.

If you visit Petra in summer, bring loose clothing and remember to drink plenty of water, as the temperatures are challenging even for those coming from hot-weather countries. The June–August period has temperatures varying between lows of 61°F and highs of 91°F.

Worst Time to Visit Petra

Although a popular year-round destination, we suggest avoiding Petra in winter (December–February). In winter, the Petra site works only from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m., which is less than the site’s summer working hours.

This means you’ll need to get an early start in the day to make sure you make the most out of your time there. In addition, winter months see fewer daylight hours anyway.

Rain is very common at this time (snow is rare), but if you’re lucky enough, you may get to experience Petra covered in white. That said, this may lead to the site being closed for a few days, so make sure you’re willing to take that risk if you’re planning a winter trip.

Also, Petra is prone to floods, and while most of the time, rainfall doesn’t seem to cause any major issues, flooding has happened in the past.

Finally, winter visitors should pack thicker layers of clothing compared to other seasons and get ready to brave temperatures between 35°F and 59°F.

Things to Consider

People riding a camel while journeying the desert.

Petra, Jordan – November 13 2019: Local Arab tourist guide in Petra city riding on a camel with tourists following during sunny day./Vaidotas Grybauskas/Shutterstock

Need more help planning your Petra getaway? Here are some additional pieces of information worth considering before your trip:

  • The Jordanian government has very strict rules in regard to Petra’s opening hours — there are instances of people trying to sneak in outside of these hours or remain on the site after Petra’s closing time and have been faced with heavy fines (or even jail time).
  • Petra is generally a very safe destination, but be wary of potential pickpocketing or petty scams, as tourist areas worldwide tend to attract such crime.
  • Purchase the Jordan Pass to save some money!
  • The Visitor Center has free WiFi.
  • Petra is equipped with toilets.
  • There are a lot of souvenir vendors, and they’re known for their high prices and being more pushy than what many are probably comfortable with. Use your common sense.
  • While the horse ride from the Visitor Center to Siq is supposed to be free, you’re expected to leave quite a big tip, so our recommendation is to skip it altogether.
  • You can find bottled water in Petra, but we recommend bringing a filtered water bottle — not only is it financially better, as you’ll end up drinking a lot of water, considering Petra’s climate, but it’s also environmentally friendly.
  • Those with mobility issues should consider donkey, camel, horse, or carriage rides — make sure to agree on the price beforehand, though. Also, there have been instances of handlers mistreating the animals, so consider filing a report if you witness something irregular.
  • If you’re staying in Petra for a few days, opt for a two- or three-day ticket.
  • Get travel insurance before your desert adventure.

Frequently Asked Questions

A local old woman sitting on the rock while taking shade, holding her walking stick.

El Khasneh al Faroun. Petra. Jorda. The old Temple in rock throung narrow canyon in Jordan. 04/21/2019. Tourists and local people in a mix of cultures compared./Camillo Cinelli/Shutterstock

How many days do you need in Petra?

This depends on what you wish to see and how much time you expect to spend there. While you can see most highlights in a single day, we recommend spending two days to avoid rushing from one site to another and do your exploration at a normal pace. Factor in the large crowds, as it may take you more time to navigate particular areas.

Can you visit Petra without a tour?

While you can absolutely explore Petra on your own, we suggest joining a tour for a more convenient approach — local guides have all the insider tips and can help you make the most out of your brief visit.

How difficult is walking in Petra?

That depends on your current hiking skills and which sites you wish to explore during your Petra visit. For instance, if you head to The High Place of Sacrifice, expect a relatively steep climb; on the other hand, there’s Petra’s Main Trail, which is a flat, easy path.

Upon your arrival in Petra, you’ll receive a map outlining key sites and trails, together with walking distances and difficulty levels, so this should help you decide which trails to check out and which ones to avoid.

Can you sleep in Petra?

Only if you book the traditional Bedouin cave stays. Otherwise, you’re not allowed to stay in Petra unaccompanied outside of regular work hours.

Is there a dress code for Petra?

No, there isn’t a dress code for Petra, but make sure your shoulders and knees are covered, as Jordan is a Muslim country, after all. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes, as you’ll be doing a lot of walking.

So, What is the Best Time to Visit Petra?

👍 Best Time to VisitApril to May or October to November
💲 Cheapest Time to VisitDecember
🗓️ Least Busy Time to VisitJune to August
👎 Worst Time to VisitDecember to February
  • The overall best time to visit Petra is either in the spring months of April and May or in the fall in October and November. Weather-wise, these months are quite pleasant and allow for exploring Petra’s great outdoors. That said, they’re also the busiest.
  • Heading to Petra in December is going to secure you the most affordable rates in regard to accommodation and airfare. If you’re planning a budget-friendly Petra trip, this is the time to go.
  • Wish to street away from the busy desert crowds? Consider heading to Petra in the summer (June–August). Then again, keep in mind that these are Petra’s hottest months.
  • The worst time to visit Petra is in winter (December–March). You may need to make tweaks to your itinerary depending on the potential rain/snowfall situation, and the temperatures are way lower than the regular ones most Petra travelers are used to.

All in all, being a four-season destination, Petra is amazing irrespective of when you visit, so pick your preferred season based on current availability, and enjoy your sacred exploration!

Happy travels!