Petra by Night, JordanExploring the ruin of the “Lost City” of Petra was a dream of mine for a long long time – long before it was declared as one of the New Wonders of the World. Imagine my disappointment when Keith made it clear that he had no interest whatsover in going to Jordan. But also imagine my surprise and delight when he announced last year that, for my birthday trip, he was going to take me to —(drum roll)— Petra!

Who wouldn’t be intrigued? Petra was once a prosperous city built as early as 5th century BC by Nabateans along the busy spice trading route. They built amazing buildings carved out of sheer mountain rocks where water supply was so short. When the trading route changed, Petra declined and was eventually ruined and abandoned.  Thanks to the Swiss explorer who rediscovered it in 1812, we, too, can now explore this incredible site.


Petra By Night, JordanThe day before we fully explored Petra, we had the chance to visit it at night. It was a magical, mystical and romantic experience.


Petra by Night, JordanWe walked through Petra’s famous Siq, the one-mile narrow gorge that lead to the city.  Lit by thousands of candles, it gave us a sense of how Nabateans and caravan traders traveled through this cobbled path at night more than 2 millenniums ago.


Petra by  Night, JordanIt was a lovely, atmospheric walk in a beautiful, cool June evening. It would have been more perfect if we didn’t forget to bring our tripod:(  (All photos here were shot by a handheld camera. It was quite a challenge to steady your hands if you’re in this awe-inspiring situation.)


Petra by  Night, JordanThrough the crack of the Siq, we finally caught our first sight of the Treasury, Petra’s most spectacular building.  (I was extremely excited at this point that I kept saying, “Oh my God, we’re here!” while squeezing and pinching Keith’s arm.)


Candles, Petra by  Night, JordanThe Siq opened up into a wide open space filled with candles in front of the Treasury.


Candles, Petra by  Night, Jordan



Candles, Petra at Night, JordanThe candles were wrapped inside brown paper bags with sands to anchor them.


Petra by Night, JordanThe visitors sat on rugs while taking in the magic of the candlelit moment.


Petra by Night, Jordan


Petra at Night, Jordan


Petra by Night, JordanAnd then a Bedouin artist came out and played some haunting traditional Bedouin music while we sipped tea. There was also some story telling.


Petra by Night, JordanIt was a fascinating evening and a beautiful way to introduce me to Petra of my dream. I thank my husband for making it a reality for me.

Petra by night was so awe inspiring that we couldn’t wait to explore it by day. We were also anxious to explore the other incredible sites of Jordan. (After the trip, Keith appointed himself as the president of “VisIt Jordan” fan club:)


Travel Notes:
  • You can experience “Petra By Night” every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from  8:30 pm to 10:00 pm.
  • Tickets can be purchased at the site entrance for JD20 or US$28.
  • Keep in mind that “Petra By Night” is more about the atmosphere and experience and not about sightseeing. We heard about some people who were disappointed because they didn’t see much of Petra.
This link is part of Travel Photo Thursday. Check it out for more interesting travel links. 

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About Marisol

Taking you on our journey one photo - and footstep - at a time.

51 responses to “Jordan: Petra by Night

  1. oh WOW – lucky you – and what a fabulous husband you have for making your dream a reality. I would love to go to Petra, but who knows if I will ever get there, so thank you for taking us along through Travel Photo Thursday – now I want to go even more! Your photos are amazing – you have done a wonderful job handheld . Your images really bring us the mistique and atmosphere. Stunningly beautiful. Thank you.
    Life Images by Jill recently posted..Time out weekend – Margaret River, Western Australia.My Profile

  2. As always, I’m captivated by your images.

  3. Aww…how sweet of him to take you to a place you love on your birthday when he has no interest there. And you got to see Petra at night when it’s so romantic too. You must be overjoyed, Marisol. The path and the Treasury is truly magical with candle lighting them up. Beautiful!
    Salika Jay recently posted..Best Ways To Travel Around Sri LankaMy Profile

    • Hi Salike, yes it was truly so sweet of him:) And yes I was very ecstatic. Salika you should see it in person; it’s really magical.

  4. There is a magic about visiting new places at night, isn’t there? You have captured that magic in this post – beautiful photos!
    Jackie Smith recently posted..Finding Fokianos, GreeceMy Profile

  5. Leigh

    Petra at night has captured my imagination too and I would so love to visit. It’s one of the few countries in the Middle East that my husband is keen to see too. I need to look further on your site and see what else you recommend visiting in Jordan.
    I think your photos are amazing considering your lack of tripod.
    Leigh recently posted..Hiking England’s South West Coast PathMy Profile

    • Hi Leigh, you should go! We loved Jordan. I’m sure you and your husband will love it, too. It is a beautiful country with wonderful people, and we felt safe the whole time. We’re going to post more of Jordan the next few weeks.

  6. What a wonderful birthday gift. So thoughtful. I have heard that the by night experience although atmospheric is disappointing as far as seeing the buildings. It is great that Keith loved it too! I would definitely do the “By Night” experience if we were there.
    budget jan recently posted..Photos of the Aqueduct at SegoviaMy Profile

    • Hi Jan, it was really so thoughtful. You know, Jordan by Night is really more about the atmosphere and the experience and not about sightseeing. I’m sure you will enjoy it.

  7. Debbie

    It is absolutely breathtaking! I can’t begin to imagine how beautiful it must have been in person.

  8. How very sweet of your hubby! And what a magical, mystical experience. I think you did a marvellous job with the photos, with a hand held camera.

  9. Hi! Found your blog through Mary (world is a book) and wow! wow! I didnt even know they did petra at night and like this!! Oh wow. this is majestic. while reading it, i thought it was a one of opportunity and it never occurs like this, because i never see photos of petra at night.

    beautiful, romantic… now i want one too – a romantic stroll through its hallow halls!
    Eileen, The Super Tourists recently posted..El Nido, Philippines: Tour C as in Captivating, Charming and CunforgettableMy Profile

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hello Eileen, glad you found your way here and we were ble to introduce you to Petra by Night. It truly is majestic and romantic and a wonderful experience. I hope you get to go there sometime soon.

  10. denise

    very beautiful images especially considering that they are taken at night. Great quality and beautiful composition. It’s always a pleasure to see photos like these.
    denise recently posted..Toyko District Focus: AsakusaMy Profile

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Denise, thanks for you beautiful compliment. Glad you enloyed the photos.

  11. Dennis

    Never heard of Petra By Night before until seeing your post. Really makes the visit so magical, even romantic when with the significant other. I’m sure this was a birthday gift meant to “wow” you forever.

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Dennis, it was truly magical and romantic and will be hard to top as a birthday trip. You should check it out when you’re in Jordan; I’m sure you’ll it too.

  12. Kudos to Keith for making your dream a reality! I love surreal travel moments when you’re finally at the destination you’ve been dreaming about so long. I would definitely love to see Petra by night whenever I make a visit there. Glad to know that this is even an option – thanks for sharing!
    Dana Carmel @ Time Travel Plans recently posted..Time to Smell the Flowers at the Carlsbad Flower FieldsMy Profile

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Dana, yes Keith didi well:) I’m glad you can relate to that surreal travel moment. It was truly amazing. You should definitely do it when go to Petra.

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Agness,
      Yes, you should definitely get there one day. I’m sure you will enjoy it.

    • Traveling Solemates

      Thanks Agness. You;re so sweet.

  13. Jenny

    Oh wow, you’ve captured it beautifully! None of my pics from Petra by Night were any good so thank you for this, it brings back some lovely memories :)

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Jenny, our pleasure. Glad to know you also have lovely memories of Petra by Night:)

  14. Absolutely love all those candles (and GREAT birthday surprise!)! I feel like I’ve been in the city so long, it’s hard to remember what a true black sky with no street lamps or office building lights looks like! I imagine this was even more breathtaking in person!
    Jess @UsedYorkCity recently posted..UYC’s Walks: Upper East SideMy Profile

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hey Jess, I know what you mean about being in the city for so long. Being not used to dark streets made the experience more surreal. Yes, it truly was more breathtaking in person.

  15. Wow! These are gorgeous pictures, Marisol! I agree you did an excellent job especially at night and with a lack of a tripod. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Petra at night and with all those candles. I can’t even begin to imagine how magical this looked in candlelight. What an unforgettable birthday for you! Your Keith is a keeper :)
    Mary {The World Is A Book} recently posted..The Iceland Geysers in Haukadalur Geothermal AreaMy Profile

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Mary,
      Thank you! Glad you enjoyed the photos. I was surprised they didn’t come out too bad considering the lack of camera stabilizer. Oh Mary, Petra at night was truly magical! Keith did well. I think I’ll keep him :)

    • Traveling Solemates

      Sophie, Petra is still so much gorgeous and mysterious:)

    • Traveling Solemates

      HI Arianwen, I had not seen that much candle in one place and it was spectacular.

  16. You need to have Keith talk to my husband. Mine is still in the “no interest whatsoever in going to Jordan” club and looked at me like I was insane when I suggested it a few months ago. Your beautiful photos of the candlelit night are making me want to go even more.
    Michele {Malaysian Meanders} recently posted..Dine with Pearly: Homecooked Nyonya MealMy Profile

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Michele,
      Ha! Ha! I’m sure Keith would love to talk to your husband. Like Keith, I’m sure he’ll love it once het get there. It truly is a beautiful country. There are a lot of sites to interest kids. We went in late June/early July last year and the wonder was beautiful – sweater cool in the morning and evening and comfortable during the day (no humidity). We felt safe every where we went. People were warm, friendly with great sense of humor. I hope you get to go soon.

  17. I have read a lot of posts about Petra, but I have never seen one where people went to visit it at night. This looks absolutely incredible and, yes, very atmospheric. I don’t know when we’ll make it to Jordan, but when we do, this is definitely on the list of things I intend to do!
    Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) recently posted..Coming Home in TaipeiMy Profile

    • Hi Steph, Jordan is such an amazing country. I hope you head there sometime soon. And yes, definitely visit Petra by Night.

  18. i cannot tell you how much i enjoyed this, it just tingles my senses!

  19. EmCi

    Thank you for sharing your awesome experience and the beautiful pictures.
    Thank you also for visiting us at pret-a-vivre :-)

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi EmCi, our pleasure.

  20. Kira S.

    Oh my goodness, what a beautiful evening sight. It looks mysterious and romantic indeed. What a wonderful birthday present for you, M. K really did well.

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