As soon as I announced I was going to Petra, the one thing everyone said I must do was see it at night. On three evenings a week, the ancient city is open to visitors in the evening when it’s lit by over 1800 candles. It’s a popular trip, with around 150 people on our tour. So we held back and let them rush off, and ended up with the pathway down almost to ourselves. A bright full moon lit the route down from the visitors centre to the Siq, into the darkness where the only light comes from the luminaries – candles in paper bags. It’s a challenge to capture how beautiful it was, especially without a tripod, but there are a few helpfully positioned benches and rocks to help you out. By the time we reached the Treasury the crowd were sat down on mats to drink tea and listen to Bedouin musicians. But the most magical part for me was the candlelit walk, so we snuck off early to have the route back all to ourselves again.
Petra by night tours run on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, starting from the main entrance gate at 8.30pm and finishing about 10.30pm. Tickets cost JD17 (approx £16) per person.
Saturday 28th of January 2017
Hi Lucy, loved reading your blog about Petra. We are going to Egypt then planning to go to Petra on 27th December on Wednesday. After reading your blog, I want to see Petra at night now. We can do the day trip on the second day on 28th December. We have two young children and need to fly back to Cairo for our return flight to UK. Any suggestions to make our life easy for Petra would be appreciated. I am happy to hire a car from Amman or can take a taxi to Petra. Your blogs are so much informative, I am following you now on the Facebook.
Monday 30th of January 2017
Hi Ahsan, driving is very easy in Jordan so if you're happy to hire a car that might be a good idea as it gives you so much more flexibility. It's around 2.5 hours from Amman to Petra so easily do-able for a day trip. Hope you have a great time!
Thursday 1st of December 2016
Yea! Yea! Thank you SO much for this! Will be there in Feb. 2017. Thanks to you, we will not miss this!!
Friday 2nd of December 2016
Such an amazing experience – hope you enjoy it!
Thursday 25th of August 2016
This looks absolutely amazing! Cannot wait to get there, very exciting xo
Sunday 10th of January 2016
Hey there, What camera settings did you use for these shots (which are excellent by the way)? I imagine a low ISO to avoid grain, wide open aperture, and perhaps 30 second exposures? Maybe longer with my cropped frame camera? I'm planning on seeing Petra at night sometime this year and just wanna be prepared.
Monday 11th of January 2016
Hi Chris, these were mostly taken with a Nikon D750 without a tripod – there are various rocks you can steady yourself on which helps. ISO was reasonably high but I use one of the Nik Software programmes – Dfine – which helps reduce noise. Also as they are fairly small on blog size that helps! Enjoy Petra.
Monday 25th of May 2015
Thanks for sharing such a great experience. Is it required to buy the night tour tix in advance? Or would I be OK just buying the tix from the visitor centre just before the tour starts at 8:30?
Monday 11th of January 2016
We bought ours about an hour before but there were people buying them right up to the start of the tour – as far as I could see they don’t usually have a limit on numbers so you should be ok except maybe in very high season.