Jordan Middle East Petra

Petra at Night – an unmissable experience in Jordan

Petra at Night - experiencing the lost city of Petra in the dark - the traveloguer travel blog

Sandalled feet crunched in the gravelly, dusty path leading towards the Siq. Voices murmured and orangey light flickered inside brown paper bags guiding a path towards the lost city of Petra, and the wonderful experience of Petra at Night. 

After a day spent wandering amidst the rose-red rocks of the otherworldly Petra, there was only time for a quick dip, shower and giant Middle Eastern feast before it was time to return for Petra at Night, an experience that surpassed by expectations even more than Petra had done earlier that day.

Petra at Night seduced me the first time I read about it. The candles, the music, the photo-opps sounded like an amazing experience, although I wondered if the reality would live up to the hype.

After seeing the wonder of Petra in the baking heat, I was ready to be wowed yet again.

We gathered inside the main entrance to Petra before being led into the darkness.

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Seeing the path lit by endless golden bags of candles was so beautiful. Walking in the darkness was a bit of a challenge at times, as certain parts of the path were more rocky and uneven than others, but take it slow and steady and you should be fine!

In the daylight, the scale of Petra’s towering rock passageway makes you feel dwarfed. At night, the darkness has the same effect.

The rows of candles were glowing, romantic and more than a little magical. We followed their path into the Siq passageway and through the ancient rocks. The walk was quiet and with an air of expectation, all the while I was waiting to hear the traditional Bedouin music I had read about.

candles at Petra Siq at night - travel experience - the travleoguer

Soon we were emerging from the rocky ravine to the open area housing the famous Treasury, (the massive monument carved into the sandstone rock, made famous from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade). A sea of candles greeted us and we were invited to sit in rows on mats.

Although the candlelight was too small to light up the Treasury’s imposing facade, our memory from earlier that day filled in the blanks. Knowing it was there, behind a curtain of darkness added to the enchanting feeling.

We sat cross-legged in the dirt as we waited for the rest of the group, the sea of glowing lights spread out before us like a warm blanket.

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As soon as the stragglers were settled, tea was handed out from a large round tray carefully carried through the rows of people, the steam visible in the darkness.

And then came the music. A man began playing a flute with a tin whistle-like sound, its haunting melody filling the night air.

As a photography addict, it was a nice change of pace to sit in the darkness and not be thinking of capturing the moment.

With travel, especially long term travel, it can be easy to let the special moments pass you by, and it is only in retrospect that those moments become important travel memories. But sitting in the dark and the candles in Petra, I was fully immersed in the moment, knowing that it was one that would stay with me.

After the final note stretched into the darkness, echoing off the pink rocks, a man stood amongst the candles and told us a little about the history of Petra and the Bedouin people, and about the meaning of the music we had just heard. Then, lights briefly lit up the Treasury’s facade , the perfect finale to a perfect experience.

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One negative note on the whole experience was there were a couple of people who were quite disrespectful during the event. Before the music started, the man asked everyone not to take flash photography. He even got everyone to count to three and use their flashes at the same time so we could try capture the Treasury and get it out of our systems. Despite this, people kept using their flash throughout the performance, which was pretty rude.

A couple near us kept making smart comments when the man was talking, and being really obvious that they thought the whole thing was stupid. I found this incredibly rude and mean. So, if you’re heading to Petra at night, try not to be that kind of person!

Petra by Night 

Tickets for Petra by Night can be purchased at the Visitor Centre. We got ours as we were buying our day pass. You should get to Petra by around 20:15 pm. It’s much cooler at night than during the day, so you might want to bring a scarf, although the walk heats you up. 

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday

20:30 – 22:30 pm

Tickets

17 JD, $24 USD, €21.50

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Petra at Night - experiencing the lost city of Petra in the candlelight - a truly memorable experience in Jordan - via The Traveloguer travel blog

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26 Comments

  • Reply
    Edu
    July 1, 2017 at 11:31 am

    wow, this must have been truly unforgettable

  • Reply
    Danik
    July 3, 2017 at 9:23 am

    THis looks like you had an amazing experience. Petra is on top of the list for my middle east bucket list, looks like a truly amazing place to explore
    Danik recently posted…10 Photos that will inspire you to visit the lakes of CanadaMy Profile

  • Reply
    Carol Colborn
    July 3, 2017 at 10:58 am

    Haven’t even been to Petra by day. But if we go, we will try by night, too!

  • Reply
    Castaway with crystal
    July 3, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    I love the way you’ve written this. It paints a really vivid picture. Thank you for the information 🙂
    Castaway with crystal recently posted…[Read] The Case of the Missing ToenailMy Profile

  • Reply
    Elisa
    July 3, 2017 at 10:05 pm

    I missed this when I visited Petra. I only did the day visit. That’s the problem when your travel time is limited, there is no time to fully enjoy the places we see. Nice pictures and storytelling. If I ever go back to Jordan I will be sure not to miss it again

  • Reply
    April
    July 4, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    I’ve heard about Thailand’s floating candles but never heard of this one. Now on my bucket list. Thank you for sharing!:)

  • Reply
    Corinne
    July 5, 2017 at 7:36 am

    I spent two glorious days exploring Petra a few years back. It’s definitely one of the most amazing places on Earth. However, I didn’t get to see it at night? Hmmm, maybe a return trip is needed.

  • Reply
    Teesh
    July 6, 2017 at 4:21 am

    This was just beautiful. It just sucks though that other tourists do those kinds of things and ruin the experience for everyone else. 🙁

  • Reply
    Sandy N Vyjay
    July 6, 2017 at 7:53 am

    Petra at night is indeed nothing short of a revelation. The place looks so ethereally beautiful in the dark. An aura of mystique seems to have enveloped the place. A great experience indeed, hope to experience the magic of Petra by night someday.

  • Reply
    Nathan
    July 6, 2017 at 11:45 am

    This looks gorgeous! I didn’t even know you could visit at night. I would love to see it by both day and night when I finally visit.

  • Reply
    Carmen Edelson
    July 7, 2017 at 12:35 am

    These photos are just stunning! Traveling to Petra is high on my bucket list. Thanks for sharing and happy travels 🙂
    Carmen Edelson recently posted…2017 Seven Stars Luxury Hospitality & Lifestyle Awards: 5th Year Anniversary Gala in Athens, GreeceMy Profile

  • Reply
    jarrod
    July 8, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    Wow, Petra by night looks so amazing! Definitely on my to do list. Great photos!

  • Reply
    Jade D'sa
    July 22, 2017 at 6:12 am

    Wow this looks magical! I’ve not heard about experiencing Petra at night – everyone talks about the sights and list of things to do. It’s sad that tourists behave shamefully sometimes. You’d think that travel polishes up their manners a little bit

    • Reply
      Christine Maguire
      August 5, 2017 at 7:29 pm

      Hey Jade, yeah you would think that! I think that’s why I was so surprised by the way they were acting! Nice blog by the way! 🙂

  • Reply
    Sara
    August 9, 2017 at 10:35 am

    What an amazing experience!

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