Most visitors to Jordan enter via Queen Alia International Airport and spend at least a night in Amman before visiting Petra, which lies about 4 hours drive south of Amman, Jordan’s capital city. There are a few different ways to get from Amman to Petra. They include rental car, private tour, private transfer, bus and taxi. Whether you are backpacking Jordan on a budget or looking to see the very best from accommodation to amenities, you will find the best ways to get to Petra from Amman below!
So Why Visit Petra? Well if you need some convincing, here you go! The red rose city of Petra is one of the most underrated destinations in the world. While topping lists of “must-visit” places, its visitors are a fraction of what you will see in Paris or Venice or other Western countries. Because of the unrest on the other side of Jordan’s borders, few people put visiting Petra on the top of their lists.
This archaeological marvel, the capital of the Nabataeans, stood hidden for hundreds of years and since its discovery, it has been attracting those who wish to marvel at its ancient grandeur. It is one of the most popular things to do in Jordan for good reason! Tourism to Jordan has been increasing year after year, this is one of those sights that should be at the top of your list to see before waves of crowds destroy the vibe of having this marvel to yourself!
Petra is open year-round is costs JD50 (USD71) for a one day visit. I suggest buying a Jordan Pass if you are traveling the country independently as it will save you some money during your trip!
There are also evening light shows called Petra by Night. Click the link to get all of the information on visiting the evening show.
Different Ways to Get From Amman to Petra
Amman to Petra by Rental Car
Many visitors to Jordan intend on self-driving the country and following their own, or a suggested itinerary. While driving in Amman can be chaotic, once you are on the Kings Highway and out of the city, the drive to Petra from Amman is quite easy.
It takes about 4 hours to drive from Amman to Petra. Plan for construction delays due to the highway reconstruction and be mindful of oncoming traffic in construction sections. Check out tips for renting a car in Jordan and rent your car as soon as you have dates locked in! Prices go up as inventory goes down!
Get a quote on renting a car.
Overwhelmed with Planning a trip to Jordan?
Want to skip all of the planning and access my detailed Jordan Itinerary and Guide? I have been to Jordan several times and after being asked again and again for suggestions, not only did I build this website but I created an interactive PDF guide to help you plan the best trip to Jordan! It includes an interactive map, multiple itineraries for up to 10 days and as little as three days and plenty of practical information about renting a car and driving in Jordan. Get the guide by clicking the button below.
Amman Petra Bus
There are two options when it comes to taking a bus from Amman to Petra, either JETT Coach busses or small coaster public transportation.
JETT buses operate once per day and return to Amman in the evening. If you want to see Petra in one day and return to Amman, this is your best option. The bus departs at 6:30 from the Abdali JETT Bus Station in Amman and you can either buy a round trip ticket or buy a one way ticket to Petra. It returns to Amman at 4pm or you can stay the night in Petra. Ensure you arrive 30 minutes before departure to pay for your ticket.
If you are anywhere near the 7th Circle in Amman, the JETT bus also picks up there at 7:00am.
JETT offers air-conditioned coach style busses with plenty of room for luggage. You should buy your ticket the day before to ensure you get a seat.
The JETT Bus makes one stop along the way to use the bathroom or grab a coffee or tea. (It may not stop during Ramadan)
The Coaster buses go from the southern bus station and leave between 9am and 4pm. If you want to go during the day and cannot make the 6:30am or 7:00am JETT bus, these are your only bus option. These minibusses are cheaper than the JETT bus but do not have a schedule. They depart when the bus is full. These buses do not have air conditioning and only have a small amount of room for luggage, so you might end up with it under your feet.
Coaster bus public transport costs about JD3. It makes stops along the way for people who are not going all the way to Petra.
Amman to Petra by Tour
There are plenty of short tours from Amman to Petra. You can even do it on a day tour, although I will warn you that you will be spending a lot of your day in the car (I suggest you at least overnight). Tours can be arranged in advance, and often on arrival. If you have a group with more than 5 people, I suggest you arrange your tour in advance as larger vans are hard to come by last minute in high season!
Here are a few options:
- Viator Tours has this one (make sure you read what is included)
- Get your Guide has this popular day tour (read what is included so you are not surprised as the entrance to Petra is JD50)
Amman to Petra by Private Transfer
If you do not want a tour, you can also book a private 1 way transfer in a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle. Usually a round trip option (like the links above) are more popular.
Taxi to Petra from Amman
A taxi to Petra can set you back over USD100 if you want to use that option. Ensure you negotiate the rate in advance and you do not need to feel obligated to tip above the rate quoted.
Where to Stay when you Get to Petra From Amman
Before you even worry about transportation between Amman and Petra you are going to want to make sure you have some accommodation booked. There are hundreds of hotels in Petra, most are small, 3 star style accommodations. There are also lots of five-star hotels as well as plenty of budget accommodations. However, in the busy season, ALL hotel rooms can actually sell out!
CLOSEST TO SITE ENTRANCE: Movenpick
More information on Jordan, Petra, and Wadi Musa
If you are into photos, read up on the best spots for photos in Jordan.
Are you are souvenir junkie? Read about popular souvenirs from Jordan
Want to know what to wear? Check out: What to Wear in Jordan
Lindsay fell in love with Jordan when she first visited in 2016. She now goes back every year to explore more of this special place. Lindsay is also the owner of Amman Food Tours, a social enterprise that is women-owned and hires local female guides. This project provides meaningful employment for women in Amman.