Back to Blog List

The magical city of Petra

21 May 2014 5 PM

The magical city of Petra
Drive three hours south of the Dead Sea through Jordan and you’ll reach Petra – a magical ancient city that lay undiscovered by the Western world for over 600 years.

Let yourself be transported away from modern civilisation and into the ancient world. This vast city was carved into the rose-red rock by the Nabataean people who settled in Petra more than 2000 years ago. And it’s one of the most compelling sights in the Middle East.

Often called the ‘Lost City’, it was completely forgotten by the Western world from the 14th century until 1812 when it was rediscovered by the Swiss traveller Johann Ludwig Burckhardt. But getting into the city wasn’t easy – it was fiercely guarded and he had to pretend to be an Arab from India wanting to make a sacrifice at the Prophet Aaron’s tomb.

The unmissable sights


Half built, half carved into the rock, prepare to be overwhelmed by Petra’s beauty. You’ll enter the city through the Siq – a narrow 1km gorge flanked by 80m high cliffs on either side – and be entranced by the glorious colours and rock formations. Horse-drawn carriages are the norm for travelling through the Siq and donkeys and camels are popular once you’re inside the city.

Once you’ve passed through the Siq, you’ll catch your first glimpse of the Al-Khazneh (commonly known as the Treasury). The Treasury’s incredible façade is carved into the rock face and dwarves everything around it – but this is only the first of Petra’s awe-inspiring sights.

Take the Roman-style theatre, which was built to seat 3,000 people. Or the temples, obelisks, colonnaded streets and sacrificial alters.

And don’t leave Petra without venturing up to the Ad-Deir Monastery – it overlooks the whole valley and once you’ve climbed the 800 steps to reach it, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views of the whole area.

There’s no other place in the Middle East quite as entrancing as this forgotten city and it is so iconic that it’s even made it onto the big screen – making its Hollywood debut in ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’ starring Harrison Ford in 1989.

Your journey to Petra


If you’re planning on visiting Petra, you’re not alone. The ancient city gets up to 3000 visitors every day, making it the most popular tourist attraction in Jordan.

If you’re staying at Dead Sea resort, you can easily reach Petra within around 3 hours. The journey will take a few hours longer on the King’s Highway than on the more modern Desert Highway but you’ll be guaranteed a more scenic route. Stay at DoubleTree by Hilton Aqaba and you can start and end your trip to Petra with comfortable, luxury accommodation.

And while you could just spend a day here, it’s recommended that you stay for two or three to truly soak up the atmosphere of this ancient city. Just remember that you’ll be very exposed to be sun during your visit so a protective hat and plenty of bottled water are vital.

Top tip: Visit mid-morning or late afternoon when the angle of the sun makes the colours in the rock look even more stunning.

BLOG LIST

  • What is considered good etiquette in Egypt

    What is considered good etiquette in Egypt

    When visiting Egypt for the first time, it’s important you get to know the culture. Here's an etique

    Read More...
  • Nine unmissable beaches in Egypt

    Nine unmissable beaches in Egypt

    Egypt is a popular holiday destination for those looking to relax by the sea. Here we explore nine o

    Read More...
  • Discover the best restaurants in Egypt

    Discover the best restaurants in Egypt

    Can't decide where to enjoy a lovely meal in Egypt? We've done the legwork for you and compiled a li

    Read More...
  • Spotlight on Hilton Hotels in Cairo

    Spotlight on Hilton Hotels in Cairo

    Planning a trip to Egypt anytime soon? Here is a review of five Hilton hotels of the highest quality

    Read More...
View All
Winter Sale Terms & Conditions

Offer is subject to availability at participating hotels within the Hilton Worldwide portfolio of brands in the UK, Europe, Middle East & Africa.  Offer available for stays booked between November 15, 2016 and January 31, 2017 and  completed on weekends between November 18, 2016 and December 31, 2017, except as indicated below.  For purposes of this offer, “weekend” is defined as Friday, Saturday and/or Sunday nights and in Middle East (excluding Turkey, Lebanon, Morocco, Africa) as Thursday, Friday and/or Saturday nights.  Must book a minimum 3 days before arrival.

Full prepayment is required at time of booking.  Your credit card will be charged immediately for the total amount quoted for the entire stay as reservedRates are not refundable; in case your contract with Hilton is governed by German law a refund of 10%, of the paid rates applies upon cancellation.  In such case you may however prove that no or a significantly lower damage has been incurred for Hilton.  Charges cannot be applied to other stays, services or merchandise. Booking cannot be changed. If you fail to arrive at the hotel on the scheduled arrival date, your reservation will be cancelled and you will not receive any refund or credit.  Rates featured in advertising are the lowest rates available for destinations, not at specific properties. 

Blackout dates may apply and vary by hotel. Offer is subject to offer details herein and the individual hotel’s booking terms and conditions. Prices shown are per room per night based on two adults sharing. Unless otherwise stated, rates include taxes but exclude gratuities and incidental charges.  Offer is not combinable with other promotions, packages, negotiated/qualified rate plans or bonus offers and is not valid for group bookings.  The Hilton Minibreaks offer of a 2nd room for children for half price is not combinable with this promotion.

Participating Waldorf Astoria™ Hotels & Resorts, Conrad® Hotels & Resorts, Canopy by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton™, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Curio, a collection by Hilton and Hilton Garden Inn™, and Canopy by Hilton hotels are offering up to 25% discount (which varies by participating hotel) off the best available (easy cancellation) rate and the best available bed and breakfast rates.  Participating Hampton by Hilton™ properties are offering a 10% discount on the Best Available Rate. Some participating hotels in Europe may offer availability on midweek arrival dates between 9th December 2016 to 9th January 2017. Some hotels may offer discount on premium room categories only (i.e. Executive or Deluxe rooms) and rates advertised may be for premium room categories.  Some participating hotels may offer a discount off of the Dinner, Bed and Breakfast Best Available Rate (or half board rate).

The Winter Sale Hilton HHonors member rates are an additional 5% off of the Best Available Rate and the Best Available Bed and Breakfast rate (indicated above) i.e up to 30% off for participating hotels as outlined above.   To qualify you must be a registered member of Hilton HHonors™ at the time of booking and the booking must be made through Hilton direct channels: Hilton.com or HHonors.com, or the Hilton Reservation call center (HRCC). Enroll at HHonors.com before booking.

Any currency conversions displayed on advertising are for comparison only.  Reservations will be booked in the local hotel currency displayed. Currency rates utilized in each conversion rely upon several different public sources from other parties without independent investigation or verification and should be used only as examples. Hilton does not, and cannot, verify the accuracy of any rate conversion examples.

Hilton HHonors™ membership, earning of Points & Miles™ and redemption of points are subject to HHonors Terms and Conditions.

Guaranteed Discount or lowest price offering is valid for Hilton HHonors members only.

 

Free Wi-Fi Terms & Conditions

HHonors members who book direct enjoy free standard Wi-Fi at any Hilton, Doubletree, Embassy, Waldorf, Conrad, Curio, and Canopy hotels. Free standard Wi-Fi is available for all booked stays at Hampton, Hilton Garden Inn, Homewood Suites, and Home 2 Suites. Premium Wi-Fi is available for a fee at selected properties (except Diamond Members). Not free in meeting spaces or at properties with a resort charge.

Free Wi-Fi Disclaimer

Standard Wi-Fi is free. Premium (if available) has a fee. Not free at properties with a resort charge.