Is it Worth Seeing Petra By Night, Jordan?


Jordan’s Kingdom is home to some amazing natural wonders. During our two day stay in Petra, Jordan, we took in the Petra by Night attraction. The Petra by Night attraction has visitors wandering through select ruins of Petra, taking in the sights by candle light. Read on to see whether taking the time and effort to see this evening attraction be worth your time and energy?

This post is one chapter on our trip to Jordan, Israel and France during the end of the pandemic. This trip was enhanced through Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status, Hertz Gold Plus Rewards and Alaska Mileage Plan. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Is It Worth Seeing Petra by Night, Jordan?

We were always astounded by Jordan’s abundance of attractions throughout our entire trip. After spending a day visiting the main sights of Petra, we set out in the evening for the attraction “Petra by Night”.

What is Petra by Night?

Petra by Night is marketed as a night show and a magical way to see part of the rock city by candlelight and explore the old city. It is also advertised as having the area lit with over 1,500 candles to bring the major attraction due to the spectacular view.

The Petra by Night attraction gets a lot of word of mouth advertising as a result of all of the photographs that exist on the internet and social media that feature The Treasury bathed in the light of hundreds of candles.

When is Petra By Night?

Petra by Night runs three times a week. Currently, Petra by Night runs every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday of each week. It starts at 8:30 PM from Petra Visitor Centre and ends at the Visitor Centre by 10:30 PM.

Purchasing Tickets to Petra by Night:

Tickets for Petra by Night can be purchased at the Petra Visitors’ Centre.

Our tickets during our visit were 17 JOD ($24 USD) per person.

  • You don’t need an advance reservation.
  • There are unlimited tickets not currently limited by capacity
  • A valid day time ticket is required (Jordan Pass or at the Door)
  • You can buy tickets in advance between 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM
  • Children under 4 PM are Free

If you have your heart set on Petra by Night, there can be a bit of strategy timing your visit surrounding Petra by Night. Keeping in mind that it’s approximately 1.5 kilometres from the Petra Visitor Centre to the Treasury, if you have a single day Petra visit, you’ll be doing another five thousand steps on top of a sixteen thousand step day. If you happen to be visiting Petra for Two days, you may want to consider doing Petra by Night on your second day when you’re not tired out from all the walking.

In our case, we actually picked up our tickets at about 3 PM after our day visit to Petra.

Getting to Petra by Night, Jordan:

We were staying at the Petra Marriott Hotel just a short ways out of the Wasi Musa, Jordan city centre. The hotel did not offer a complimentary night time shuttle to Petra by Night. As a result, we took our rental car down and parked it at the adjacent free parking lot across from the bus and coach parking lot. We had no challenges finding a parking stall at this event, and the lot was only about half full. We also didn’t have to worry about payment for parking.

Entering Petra by Night:

Much like our morning visit, we queued at the Petra Visitor Centre up at 8 PM. When it came time to enter, we started the walk down from the Petra Visitor Centre down through The Siq to the Treasury.

It was a neat, exciting and dark experience to be walking down towards The Siq along these walkways. The pathway was indeed as advertised, lined with 1,500 candle lanterns that lined the pathway.

We passed by the landmarks visible on the first walkway, including Bab al Siq. Most of the upper walkways attractions were nicely lit with flood lights, and the full moon and stars made the walkway a pretty neat experience.

As we got into The Siq walkway, the grounds got a little cobblestoned in certain sections. If you’ve got some mobility issues, or like to stable yourself on someone while you walk, you might consider bringing a partner or some really sturdy walking shoes so you don’t inadvertently roll your ankle.

While I did see some adventurous travellers bringing along their own head lamps, I found that this took away from the whole experience a little.

The walk itself through The Siq was pretty neat at night. It was a little bumpy on the road way down, so make sure you bring sturdy foot wear.


Arriving to The Treasury and Petra by Night:

Eventually, after passing through The Siq, we arrived to the location of the main event at The Treasury.

We were corralled over and into the fifth row on the left side. However, this seemed to be loosely enforced, with many of the crowds sneaking around for general photographs of The Treasury by candlelight.

We ended up sneaking over to the front row on the far right hand side where were able to get a front row pop out chair seat in the darkness.

Initially, I got some great photos at the start, but then over time, more and more tour groups came in filling the area. The seating area surrounding the front of the Treasury got completely full of visitors. The guests in the seated area tended to block the candle light views. If you are aiming for great photos, make sure you arrive very early.

The mood was also different than what I might have expected. You are visiting a historic attraction with probably six hundred of your new best friends. In our case, this involved a lot of chatting and the sounds of Italian tour groups yelling across the Treasury area looking for misplaced tour members. There would then be the sounds of crowds “hushing” harshly, followed by some not really listening at all. This yelling didn’t make for a peaceful experience.

Since it’s not enough just to sell tickets for night time photographs of The Treasury, there was an entertainment portion of the evening. I should state that the entrainment part was Middle Eastern style; this is a relative term.

Once everyone was seated on pop out chairs or mats on the ground, we had a few announcements and a welcome message. We had an Arabic musical instrument playing styled like a wind recorder you might have played in elementary school, followed by a small guitar.

Given the light notes of the flute recorder style wind instrument, and the strings of the guitar, most of the sounds got completely drowned out by people talking. Not surprisingly, MrsWT73 checked out of this musical presentation after about five minutes of the music and started on work email.

After the musical presentation, there was a brief accented speed on general Petra history. The scripted sounded a bit government or government tourism board oriented and was pretty structured in presentation instead of a master of ceremonies that was exceptionally personable.

After about seventy five minutes, we walked back the way we came back up The Siq, back to the Petra Visitor’s Centre. It was still pretty interesting to see some of the ruin sights against the night time sky dotted with lit candles along the pathway.

We eventually made it back to the Petra Visitor Centre and self transferred ourselves back to the Petra Marriott Hotel before heading off to The Al Manara, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Saraya Aqaba the next day.

What Petra by Night Worth it?

The question of “whether Petra by Night is worth it?” is a great question.

On the favourable side, you get to experience walking down The Siq at night. You’ll get to see dozens of stars, and the whole place has a magical feel to it as a result of the layout of the rocks. Seeing The Treasury at Night dotted with thousands of actual candles is a pretty cool experience that is worth a photograph or two.

On the negative side, you’ll be there with hundreds of your new best friends. Your best friends are loud, they wear bright night headlamps that kill your night vision, and generally are chatty and don’t necessarily interact with you. They will talk over any ambiance that you might have from being in candle light surrounding a magical place.

The entertainment itself is pretty elementary in nature. With all due respect to the performers and musicians, you certainly won’t leave remembering much of the music or entertainment aspect to the evening.

Ultimately, I think this is a “pass” for me, the next time that I am through town. I’d probably save your money and put it towards a nicer dinner, an excursion in Wadi Rum, or a day or sunset out on the water in Aqaba instead.

My Thoughts on Petra by Night:

Petra by Night falls into one of those tourist attractions that likely capitalizes on many people who have the fear of missing out. While the walkway down to The Siq was pretty neat, and our initial photographs of the candlelight area of The Treasury were pretty inspiring, the entertainment portion of the event was plain dull. I’d recommend saving your money for a different excursion in Jordan; either. inWadi Rum or perhaps out on the water in Aqaba, Jordan.

If you been to Petra by Night Jordan, did you find the evening worth your time?

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