1 Day in Petra Itinerary

While most visitors to the Red-Rose city of Petra allow for at least two days, with a little forward planning, a visit can be done in just one day. This one day Petra itinerary offers a quick glance into the impressive site. It covers the highlights and the essentials for those who are short on time.

Petra, the rock-cut capital of the Nabataens, is what seduces almost a million visitors to the Kingdom of Jordan each year. Lost for hundreds of years, this World Wonder is well worth its title. From its secret entrance down a narrow Siq, to the stunning Treasury views, every visitor leaves Petra awe-inspired. By the time you get to the end of this post, you will have everything you need to take advantage of 1 day in Petra.

One day in Petra Jordan

1 Day in Petra Itinerary

There is a daily Jett bus from Amman to Petra that arrives into Petra around 10:00am. It departs daily at 17:30 offering those short on time the opportunity to see Petra in one day. You should book your tickets in advance as there is only one bus and when it is full it is full.

Click here to book the JETT bus online

One Day Itinerary when arriving on the JETT bus

  • 10:00 Arrive at Petra Visitor’s Centre
  • 10:30 Purchase Tickets and Begin Siq trail
  • 11:15 Arrive at Treasury
  • 11:45 Continue down the Street of Facades
  • 12:00 Pass Byzantine Church and Temples
  • 12:30 Snack stop / Toilets at Basin Restaurant
  • 1:00 Depart for Monastery
  • 2:30 Return to Basin Restaurant Area (note that it is all uphill back to the visitors centre)
  • 4:30 Return to Visitor Center

Note that this is an ambitious day and keeps you moving constantly.

  • 7:00 Arrive at Petra Visitor’s Centre
  • 7:30 Purchase Tickets and Begin Siq trail
  • 8:15 Arrive at Treasury
  • 8:45 Continue down the Street of Facades
  • 9:00 Start Al Khubta Trail to Treasury viewpoint
  • 10:00 Arrive at Treasury viewpoint
  • 11:00 Pass Byzantine Church and Temples
  • 12:00 Snack stop / Toilets at Basin Restaurant
  • 12:30 Depart for the Monastery
  • 2:30 Return to Basin Restaurant Area (note that it is all uphill back to the visitors centre)
  • 4:30 Return to Visitor Center

Expect over 25K steps if you are planning this itinerary for the day! It is ambitious for sure and includes a lot of up and downs.

For those who want a more casual day

  • 10:00 Arrive at Petra Visitor’s Centre
  • 10:30 Purchase Tickets and Begin Siq trail
  • 11:15 Arrive at Treasury, take photos and enjoy tea
  • 12:00 Continue down the Street of Facades
  • 12:30 Pass Byzantine Church and Temples
  • 1:00 Snack stop / Toilets / Buffet Lunch at Basin Restaurant
  • 2:00 Depart back to Treasury stopping at Roman Theatre
  • 3:00 Arrive at Treasury
  • 4:00 Return to Visitor Center

Petra Entrance Fees

A one-day visit to Petra costs JD50 which is about USD70 (65 Euros / 97 CAD / 58 GBP). There are discounts for multiple-day visits (an extra JD5 per day – when bought on the first day). If you think you may have more time than just a few hours in Petra, you can read more about Petra entrance fees. Do take note in the Petra entrance fees article that if you are day tripping from Israel and not spending the night in Jordan, the fees are different.

When is the Best Time to Visit Petra

Spring and Fall are the best and most popular times to visit Petra (although summer months are also busy). Spring and Fall offer the best temperatures for hiking. For more information, check out the best time to visit Petra.

Start at the Siq Trail

The Petra main trail starts at the visitors center and follows the 1.2 km narrow gorge (known as the Siq Trail) that leads into Petra. You follow this trail until you reach the Treasury (it is about 2 km from the visitors center as you have an 800m walk before you reach the start of the Siq. This first 800m is the area where you may ride a horse for free, but you are expected to tip). The Petra Main Trail is flat and slightly downhill. But remember it will be uphill on the way back.

Marvel at the Treasury

The Petra Treasury, Al-Khezneh, is probably the most photographed spot in Jordan, and once you visit it, you will know why. But not all Instagram shots are created equal and if you want to get some of the best photos of the Treasury in Petra here are a few tips.

Mornings will often have some shadows on the face of the Treasury. Afternoons are better for fewer shadows. If your morning shots have sun, save some time to take photos in the afternoon, but be warned, afternoons can be busier, it ebbs and flows with crowds coming down the Siq.

Popular shots at the Treasury are of the camels, on the camels, and of the carving itself. There is not a lot of space, distance-wise, you need a wide-angle lens to fit it all in the frame.

Hiking in Jordan Petra
Petra - Treasury with kids.

Pass the Street of Facades

If you continue past the Treasury, this is known as the lower Siq. It is still part of the Main Trail, which continues past the Street of Facades, Royal Tombs, the colonnaded street, to the Great Temple. If you do not veer off, the main trail is a total of 4 km one way.

Some of the most impressive buildings in Petra are the tombs and while they no longer contain any treasures or bodies, they are still pretty awesome to explore.

The Roman Theatre is an impressive site. Is estimated that it could hold around 8500 people. 

Climb the Treasury Viewpoint: Al Khubta Trail

Al Khubtha Petra Hiking Trail will get you to the viewpoint spot above the Treasury. It is about 2.5 hours round trip and 3.5 km long (roundtrip). It starts after the Royal Tombs on the right hand side if you are walking down the lower Siq. There is a small sign that says “Al Khubtha Trail” and it continues up the back side of the mountain.

At some points along the top of the ridge there are not very good trail markings but keep an eye out for the stacked stones along the path.

You can buy tea and pop at a coffeeshop at the top! You return back the same way you came and finish again at the Royal Tombs.

Check out the Byzantine Church and Temples

There are plenty of excavation sites still being uncovered along this part of Petra as well as the Byzantine Church and Winged Lion Temple.

Have Lunch at the Basin Restaurant

The Basin Restaurant offers a set menu lunch buffet. If you are not interested, pack in some snacks.

Climb to the Monastery

The Petra Monastery, known as Ad Deir is one of the largest monuments in Petra. It towers above visitors at a height of 47m wide and 48m high. It was built in the second century and is the finale of the Ad Deir Trail.

The Trail starts at the end of the Petra main trail and is 2.5 km round trip.

Jordan - Petra Monastery
The Monastery is absolutely huge. Look at the size of the entrance compared to the people infront.

Walk the Collonaded Street

This ancient Roman road is still under excavation and offers a glimpse into the grandear of Petra’s past.

Head Back to the Treasury

From here, you will want to head back up to the Treasury. Grab some water if it is hot as it is a slow uphill climb the whole way.

Dinner In Wadi Musa

If your visit includes an overnight, head out of the site and grab something to eat in Wadi Musa. Here are the best places to eat near Petra.

Where to Stay

Petra is located in Wadi Musa and there are hundreds of small hotels, as well as well known five star accomodation options. For my top picks, here are suggestions on where to stay in Petra. Here are some popular quick picks

LUXURY MovenpickPetra Bubble LuxotelPetra MarriottPetra Moon

MIDRANGE Edom HotelLa MaisonPetra Palace

CAMPING Petra Bubble LuxotelSeven Wonders Camp

BUDGET Seven Wonders HotelNabati HostelSilk Road Hotel


What to Pack for Petra

It depends on what time of year you are taking a tour to Petra from Amman. But generally, you are going to need these items any time of the year:

  • Comfortable shoes (unless you are on a multi-day trek, I do not personally think you need hiking boots, comfortable shoes, or even comfortable sandals that you can walk in all day)
  • Water (I highly suggest a Grayl Water Bottle to everyone, not just those going to the Middle East. Some people say the water is safe to drink from the tap, others say it is not; it is not something I am going to chance. And Jordan has a HUGE garbage problem. The streets, the forests, and even the desert are littered with plastic bottles.If you consider drinking at least 1-2 big water bottles a day while you are there, think of how much plastic that creates when every visitor and the population’s 9 million people do the same. With a Grayl, you can filter any tap water (or actually any water source) and have clean drinking water in seconds. Since most people travel with water bottles already, consider one like this with a filter so that you are not just pouring from big water bottles to small. It might sound expensive, but when you compare it to spending a few dollars per day on water while you travel (and do not forget how expensive the water is inside airports), you will pay for this very quickly.
  • Hat or Scarf (will keep the sun off your head in the summer and will keep you warm in the winter)
  • Snacks (you can buy tea and snacks inside the site, and there is a restaurant also)
  • Camera and or Phone
  • Selfie Stick
  • Kleenex and Hand Sanitiser (there are washrooms in the site, but not few, and sometimes they are not well stocked)

Have any questions about how to spend your one day in Petra? Let me know in the comments!