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Read this before planning your visit to Petra!

Even though Petra is referred to as the “lost city,” it actually ranks among the oldest cities and has seen a significant amount of civilizational change.

This city was never lost but was very well known to the land and desert dwellers in Jordan. from the ancient Nabateans through the Romans and Byzantines to the modern Jordanian culture and people.

Hidden in the russet convolutions of sandstone and porphyry east of Wadi Araba in Jordan, carved into the faces of the rock, lies Petra.

A city that once served as a safe haven for a brilliant civilization that existed and left traces for us to learn from.

But what can you expect when you visit Petra? What will you discover? How will you be introduced to this city?

This is a question that may arise in your mind as soon as you decide to visit it.

In this article, we will assist you in visualizing the route that will take you to the most significant sites in Petra.

The First Encounter, Bab Al-Siq

You’ll start off on this path of discovery by following Bab Al-Siq, which is the first trail. The Siq will eventually be reached through this portal.

Historically, Nabatean traders used Bab Al-Siq as a route to unload their wares, pricey fabrics, and magnificent stones before entering the city.

The shrieking camels and braying donkeys that once roamed this path have been replaced by tourists from all over the world who are following the trails of Petra’s amazing path, as well as Bedouin horses that quickly ferry visitors throughout the city.

The First Encounter, Bab Al-Siq– Petra, Jordan

There are carved tomb facades in the stones along the Bab Al-Siq path and on both sides (Obelisk Tomb). This and other monuments like it can be found throughout Petra as you explore the city.

Obelisk Tomb, Bab Al-Siq– Petra, Jordan

The Marvelous Siq in Petra

The Siq, a sacred Nabatean way filled with carvings on both sides, will welcome you to prepare for the most anticipated scene of your entire visit, Al-Khazna.

The Marvelous Siq – Petra, Jordan

The Siq was used as a waterway to the city with its two water systems: the first was an earthenware pipe system that was interlocked and set into a groove in the cliff, and the second was a channel cut into the rock face.

What once provided the city with life-giving water is now a source of joy and passion for Petra as it guides visitors from around the globe to the hidden city.

Water Passages, The Siq – Petra, Jordan


 Al-Khazna will stand proudly to greet you as you enter the city of Petra as the light beam emerges at the end of the Siq; Al-Khazna was carved out of stone that is a light rose color.

Al-Khazna as seen from The Siq – Petra, Jordan

The name means “the treasury” in Arabic, is unquestionably the most well-known structure in Petra. From top to bottom, it had been exquisitely carved out of the mountain.

It got its name because people thought it was a place where hidden treasures could be found.

Al-Khazna – Petra, Jordan

Numerous mythological carvings on the facade represent ancient Nabatean gods and cultural icons.

Some of these carvings have retained all of their original sharpness up to this point, while others have lost some of their original details but are still well-known.
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Lead your way to Outer Siq and inner city in Petra

To connect you with the other areas of Petra city, as you descend from Al-Khazna, you will enter another Siq called “the outer siq,” which has a number of carved tombs on its sides.

You’ll be shocked to learn that these tombs are situated at a city entrance! For Nabateans, however, it was absolutely fine.

After a descent walk, you will arrive at a valley that is home to numerous significant structures, including The Great Theater on your left, the Street of Façades, and The Royal Tombs on your right.

The Royal Tombs  – Petra, Jordan

You’ll be astounded to learn that Petra was primarily a city for honoring the Dead Nabateans and making sacrifices.

Judging from the variety of tombs, every level of economic structure is represented—all but the very poor, who couldn’t afford even the most modestly carved tomb.

The Great Theater– Petra, Jordan

One of the seven wonders of the world, Petra, is not there in vain.

Every location in this city will make you wonder, “How did the Nabateans build that?” The Great Theater is one of Petra’s most amazing monuments.

Aretas IV, a Nabatean king, had this theater carved out of the mountains, and it wasn’t renovated until the Roman era. Excited enough to start your Petra trip?

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Monuments in the heart of the Petra

You can still see remnants of the early, well-designed houses of the Nabateans in the ruins of The Colonnaded Street as you descend The Street of Façades and pass by the royal tombs. These houses were later covered with gravel roads during the later periods of Nabatean kings and Romans.

Another notable monument in the city is Qasr al-Bint (the girl’s palace), which was built rather than carved into the mountains.

While it was called a palace, the name didn’t serve the function; it was a large temple, perhaps the most important in the city.

Qasr Al-Bint – Petra, Jordan

Your path will take you to Petra’s “Temple of the winged Lions,” another temple. This temple, which was devoted to the Nabatean goddess of love, al-‘Uzza, was partially destroyed by an earthquake in the year 113 AD and ceased to be a temple after that.

After that you will head to The Byzantine Church, which is located deep within the city. This building, which was constructed around the sixth century and has lovely mosaic floors on both sides of the aisle with human and animal figures, birds, and great geometric designs, will make you feel as though you have been transported to another period and location distinct from Petra.

It’s not Al-Khazna again, it’s The Monastery “ad-Dair”

The Nabatean path will lead you down to a façade that is very similar to Al-Khazna, though it is known as ad-Dair “The Monastery”. The monastery was thought to have been built as a fasting hall for banquets in honor of the dead. It was later used as a place of prayer during Christian periods, which is how it got its name ad-Dair.

The Monastery “ad-Dair”  – Petra, Jordan

Ad-Dair is only the beginning of your journey through Petra; you must also see Petra at night. It’s a breathtaking experience that you must think about experiencing, and you might be lucky if the moon was up to light your path. You can travel back to Al-Khazna and wait until nightfall to see the beauty of the night skies in the desert and between the desert rose city of Petra.

Al Khazneh, also known as the Treasurary, is the most famous monument in Petra. Photographed here at night, illuminated by candle light and beneath moon and stars. Petra, Jordan.

Are you ready to go?

Are you prepared to experience the adventure and take in Petra’s magic now that you have learned a little about the city’s history and where to find its most significant landmarks?
We are ready to take you along the way with our special Destinations or book your seat in our
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