Petra by Night: 10 Essential Tips for a Starlit Adventure

Petra by Night

Petra, the ancient Nabatean city nestled amidst the rugged desert canyons of Jordan, is a marvel by day. However, as the sun sets and darkness descends, Petra transforms into a magical realm illuminated by thousands of flickering candles—a sight that captivates visitors in a unique experience known as Petra by Night. If you’re planning to embark on this starlit adventure, here are 10 essential tips to ensure you make the most of your journey.

Understanding Petra by Night: A Brief Overview

Petra by Night is a special event held multiple times a week after sunset. It begins with a candlelit walk through the Siq, a narrow gorge flanked by towering cliffs that leads to the Treasury (Al-Khazneh), Petra’s most iconic monument. The path, usually illuminated by thousands of candles, sets a mystical tone as visitors are guided towards the awe-inspiring sight of the Treasury bathed in warm candlelight.

Booking Your Petra by Night Experience

To secure your spot for Petra by Night, it’s advisable to book tickets in advance. This experience is immensely popular, especially during peak tourist seasons, and tickets often sell out quickly. You can purchase tickets online or through local tour operators in Petra.

Choosing the Right Timing for Your Visit

Petra by Night is typically scheduled on select days of the week, commonly Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Checking the current schedule and planning your visit accordingly is essential to ensure you don’t miss out on this enchanting experience. The event usually begins around sunset, providing an opportunity to witness the transition from daylight to night.

What to Wear for Petra by Night

While daytime temperatures in Petra can be hot, evenings can get cooler, especially in the desert environment. It’s recommended to dress in layers to adjust to changing temperatures throughout the evening. Comfortable walking shoes are also crucial as you navigate the rocky terrain and walk through the Siq.

Arriving at Petra: Logistics and Entry Points

Unlike regular daytime visits to Petra, Petra by Night has a separate entry point located near the main entrance. Upon arrival, you’ll undergo security checks and have your tickets verified before proceeding to the start of the Siq. It’s advisable to arrive early to allow time for these procedures and to find a good position in the group.

Navigating the Siq: Walking to the Treasury

The journey through the Siq by candlelight is a magical experience in itself, spanning approximately 1.2 kilometres (0.75 miles). As you walk through the narrow gorge, listen to the whispers of history echoing through the canyon walls. The anticipation builds as the silhouette of the Treasury gradually comes into view, illuminated by the flickering glow of countless candles.

Photography Tips and Etiquette

Capturing the beauty of Petra by Night requires careful consideration of photography techniques and etiquette. Due to low lighting conditions, using a camera with low-light capabilities or adjusting your camera settings for night photography can enhance your photos. Remember to be respectful of other visitors and avoid using flash to maintain the peaceful ambiance.

Experiencing the Treasury Illumination

Reaching the Treasury at the end of the Siq is the culmination of your Petra by Night experience. As you emerge from the Siq, the sight of the Treasury bathed in candlelight is nothing short of breathtaking. Take a moment to absorb the atmosphere and appreciate the intricate carvings and architectural marvel of this ancient wonder.

Cultural Insights and Narratives

During Petra by Night, visitors often have the opportunity to listen to traditional Bedouin music played near the Treasury. This cultural addition enriches the experience, providing insights into the historical and cultural significance of Petra to the Bedouin people. Embrace the opportunity to immerse yourself in these narratives and deepen your appreciation for Petra’s heritage.

Practical Tips for Enjoying Petra by Night Safely

To ensure a safe and enjoyable experience at Petra by Night, consider the following practical tips:

  • Stay with your guided group throughout the event.
  • Carry essentials such as water, snacks, and a flashlight.
  • Respect the historical integrity of Petra by refraining from touching or climbing on structures.
  • Follow instructions from event organisers and security personnel.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings and fellow visitors to preserve the tranquil atmosphere.


Petra by Night offers a rare opportunity to witness this ancient wonder in a mesmerising light, quite literally. By following these 10 essential tips, you can enhance your journey through Petra’s starlit adventure and create lasting memories of its mystical allure under the desert sky.


1: What is the best time to visit Petra by Night?

The best time to experience Petra by Night is during the cooler months, typically from October to April, when temperatures are more comfortable for evening exploration.

2: Can I visit Petra by Night if I’ve already visited during the day?

Yes,it offers a different perspective and ambiance that makes it worth experiencing even if you’ve visited during daylight hours.

3: Are restroom facilities available during Petra by Night?

Yes, there are restroom facilities located near the Treasury for visitors attending Petra by Night.

4: Can children participate in the evening events?

Yes, children are welcome to participate in the evening events. It’s advisable to consider the late hour and ensure children are dressed appropriately for the weather conditions.

5: Is photography allowed during the evening events?

Yes, photography is permitted during the evening events. However, using flash is discouraged to maintain the ambient lighting and atmosphere.

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