Petra with kids

Visiting the wonder of Petra with kids? Just do it! It provides an unforgettable experience for both parents and kids. Our kids were 4 years and 11 months old (obviously the youngest will remember little of it), but our 4-year-old daughter still talks about exploring this cool city. The city of Petra will likely be one of the many highlights of your trip through Jordan. Petra is about a 3-hour drive from the capital Amman. The city was founded by the Nabataeans. The houses, tombs and temples are carved out of the orange/red rock. A unique and breathtaking place, which has been declared one of the seven new wonders of the world.

Best travel time Petra with kids

The best time to visit Petra with kids is in spring or fall. The weather is pleasant in temperature from March through May and September through November, when it is mostly dry. Of course, you won’t be the only tourist in Petra then. In summer, temperatures can reach as high as 40˚C and in winter it can get a lot colder (8˚C).

Also take into account e.g. Ramadan. During Ramadan, you can’t buy/get as much food and drink during the day, which can be inconvenient for yourself and your kids.

Petra with kids

Transportation to Petra

With a rental car, you will drive from the capital Amman to Petra in about 3 to 4 hours. By bus or cab is also possible, of course, and various options can be found online. Of course, Petra can also be reached from the Wadi Rum or Aqaba. We drove the route from Amman to Petra, and it is also well worth it! You can follow the Kings High Way to get to Wadi Musa (town near Petra). The following attractions are then located along this route.

  • Madaba
  • Mount Nebo
  • Mujib Panorama viewpoint and the Mujib Dam.
  • Ar Rabba Ruins
  • Castle of Kerak
  • Dana
  • Castle of Shobak
  • Little Petra
What to do in Petra with the family

We ourselves viewed Madaba, Mount Nebo, Mujib Panorama view and Kerak Castle. This did take us a whole day to get from Amman to Petra, but it really was a beautiful route to drive.

If you want to rent a car for your tour of Jordan, it is possible to rent a car at Amman airport through the rental company Sunny Cars. This rental company has most of the insurance and often the deductible included in the price, which means you can hit the road with the rental car with peace of mind. For more information on renting a car in Amman with Sunny Cars, take a look here.

Petra Jordan with kids

Practical tips Petra with kids

  • Take into account a lot of walking in Petra. For small kids who cannot yet walk (long stretches) independently, bring a back carrier or something similar. The trails are sandy and definitely not suitable for a baby carriage. Our oldest daughter walked and climbed almost everything by herself, but because it is such an adventure and she wanted to explore every bit of Petra she didn’t really realize she had walked so much.
  • Temperatures can rise quickly, so some preparation is advisable. Bottles of water are available for sale along the way, but it is certainly nice if you have something of your own to take with you along the way. In the lower part of Petra are most of the facilities, including a few toilets, some stalls selling souvenirs and a few stores and restaurants.
  • Toilets can be found in front of the gorge, near the treasure chamber, at restaurants in the lower part of Petra and at the little restaurant near the monastery.
  • Be at the entrance as early as possible. That way, you’ll be ahead of the big crowds and won’t be as bothered by the heat and other tourists. Petra opens about 6:00 in the morning.
  • Put on good shoes. There are a lot of miles to cover and all the trails are unpaved.
Petra with kids

Tickets for Petra

The entrance fee to Petra depends on how many days you want to visit Petra. If you visit Petra for only 1 day then you will pay 50 JD (about 66 euros). If you visit this wonder of the world for 2 days then you will pay 55 JD (about 73 euros) for these 2 days and if you can’t get enough of Petra and want to visit this ancient city for 3 days then you will pay a total of 60 JD (about 79 euros). For information on buying tickets, check out Petra’s official website.

You can very easily save money by purchasing the Jordan Pass. At an awful lot of attractions, the Jordan Pass gives you free admission. The entrance to Petra is also included in this pass. With the Jordan Pass you also do not have to pay anything for your visa (40 JD), for example, and in this way this pass can offer many benefits for families with kids.

You purchase the Jordan Pass starting at 70 JD. Kids under 12 are free for all attractions, so they also do not need to purchase a Jordan Pass. Remember to still get entrance tickets with the Jordan Pass, The ticket office is a short walk from the entrance. You will need your passport for this as well. Without a passport, you will not have access to Petra. So be sure to take this one with you.

For more information on the Jordan Pass, take a look here.

Petra Jordan with family

Children’s activities in Petra

Petra is not necessarily geared toward kids, but you really don’t want to skip this special place during your tour of Jordan. Petra is really very doable with kids. You may have to adjust slightly with very young kids and not be able to walk all the routes you might otherwise have wanted to explore. But we loved it and experienced no hindrance with our kids.

Sightseeing in Petra

A visit to Petra begins at the Siq: the gorge. Here you walk for about a kilometer between the red/orange rock walls to arrive at the Treasury: The Treasury of the Pharaoh. This is one of Petra’s most famous structures. And is really very rewarding. The structure is about 40 meters high and richly decorated. If you got up early, chances are there are not many tourists yet and you can really enjoy this wonder of the world.

From here you can also climb a bit to a higher vantage point of the treasure chamber. This is not recommended with young kids. Many tourists who visit Petra on bus tours do not get beyond the gorge and the treasure chamber. But Petra is so much more than that. As you walk through, you will come across many more unusual structures.

We focused mainly on the low-lying part of Petra. We walked on from the treasury along the amphitheater and viewed the royal tombs from the lower part. There is also a hiking trail that passes by, but because of the effort for the kids, we left it out. Probably up close, the king’s tombs are also beautiful and impressive.

Petra with kids

We then discovered the great temple, colonnade and palace Qasr Al-Bint (palace of the Pharaoh’s daughter). After this, there are a number of restaurants. Before you start the climb up to the monastery, it is recommended to have a drink and something to eat here.

Since it involves quite a long distance to go to the monastery, we had actually decided not to do so. But our 4-year-old daughter was so excited and still fit that after some food and drink, we decided to take our kids up the climb to the monastery. It is a rock-hewn “staircase” of 800 steps. This is quite a tough climb in the heat. Along the way there are some stalls where you can buy souvenirs and possibly some water. There you can also rest in the shade.

Do not use donkey or horse rides to the top. We found that the poor animals had a hard time climbing the steep stairs with adults on their backs, in the process they were also being chased uphill quite a bit.

What to do in Petra with the family

We took quite a few breaks for our daughter to get to the top, but once at the top it was well worth it. The monastery is perhaps not as lavishly decorated as the treasury but really immense and very impressive. At the top is also a little restaurant and there we rewarded ourselves with an ice cream after that tough climb. Our daughter was able to run around and clamber around upstairs (she even had energy for that).

As you climb and descend, you have a great view of Petra. The route we took from the entrance of Petra to the monastery was about 8 kilometers, the same route we took back. It is good to consider in advance whether your kid can travel this distance. Our daughter was obviously wrecked at the end of the day, but the climbing, scrambling, exploring and adventure kept her super full.

Petra Jordan with kids

In addition to the sights we looked at, there are many other beautiful and special places to discover in Petra, such as:

  • Church of Petra, including well-preserved mosaics on the floor.
  • Royal tombs/king tombs.
  • Still many different hiking trails with more elevation gain, which we ignored due to our small kids.
  • Routes to viewpoints throughout Petra.
  • Petra by Night. Because of the late hour and small kids, we also skipped this. This does require another ticket.
  • Little Petra. This is just 10 kilometers from Petra, and can be visited in just under an hour.
  • Petra museum. This sits next to the entrance to Petra. The museum is free to visit.

You can easily spend 3 days in Petra, but for us, with two young kids, one full day was more than enough and we were able to see most of the highlights.

Petra Jordan with family

Family-friendly hotel Petra

We stayed at the Petra Guest House Hotel, right next to the entrance to Petra. We were rebooked to this hotel last minute, but there was a nice spacious family room available. There was enough room for the baby/child’s bed we had booked in addition. We were excited by the “cave bar” that was present, however, we were not allowed to go in there with our kids because alcohol was being served.

Breakfast and dinner are buffet style. But for dinner, you can also sit outside on the terrace and order something from the menu there. Breakfast is also open early, so anyone who wants to enter Petra early can be ready there around opening time. All in all, had a good experience at this hotel. For more information about this hotel, take a look here.

Of course, there are plenty of other family-friendly accommodations you can book in the Petra area. We list below some of these options that are well-reviewed by families with kids.

Budget hotel: Nomads Hotel Petra

Mid-range hotel: Sharah Mountains Hotel

Luxury hotel: Mövenpick Resort Petra

Don’t see a suitable accommodation near Petra among the options above? Then check out the full list of family-friendly accommodations.

About the author: Roy, Laura, Maud & Gwen love to travel and explore the world. When we have a vacation, we prefer to pick a non-obvious destination where we want to travel around. We have wonderful adventures every time as a family!

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