Despite the fact that Petra is probably Jordan’s most well-known and most visited tourist site, I still find it challenging to find information on how to get to Petra in a cost- / time-efficient manner, that’s also safe for solo female travellers. Much of the information is often in Arabic so double or triple-checking the information didn’t always help. There have been some conflicting information as well around cost, pick-up location, and schedule of said transportation so I am summarizing my experience in Jordan from late 2017 to give you a more up-to-date information!
Given that Petra is probably Jordan’s most well-known and most visited tourist site, there have been some improvements in recent years on the public transportation to take independent travellers there. Don’t be intimidated because it seems hard – I think that’s part of the fun!
This guide is meant to provide additional guidance should you wish to find alternative modes of transportation. Since I’m not a group tour kind of person, I am all about putting together my own itinerary and finding my own way around which is definitely not everyone’s style of travelling. Although it means it’s usually harder for me to get around, I know I can spend as much time, and see as many sites as I personally want to!
Getting There: How to Get to Petra, Jordan
Generally speaking, if you’re not comfortable taking the public transit, local buses/shuttles on your own, 1) taxis and 2) “freelance” private drivers are your best bet. They are inexpensive compared to taking a private transfer booked online (which is often charged in USD and costs almost 2-3x more). Taxis are available in abundance throughout the country so it’s very easy to quickly flag one down. Keep in mind that taxis are generally not in the best condition and the drivers smoke a lot too. Fees are negotiable too.
Freelance / private drivers are the best folks that balance safety, price, and availabilities. There is always an availability, they generally drive their own car (safer, cleaner option) and routes / pricing are negotiable. The best way to book private drivers is through your tour operator/hotel. They likely have friends who are private drivers and can take you around easily.
From my own experience, I took the taxi once (couldn’t stand the smoking) and had a private driver the rest of the trip to go to Jerash from Amman, then to Wadi Musa from Wadi Rum.
How to Get to Petra from Amman
1. Tourist JETT Bus
If you are travelling from Amman, you can take the tourist JETT Bus which leaves daily from Amman at 6AM for a mere JD11 (C$22). Purchase your tickets in advance (where possible get the blue ticket slip as proof of purchase if booking in person). You can book a seat online but it is not guaranteed to secure your spot. There are several offices/bus stations in downtown Amman that JETT stops by so double-check ahead of time which bus stops you will be departing from. The four stations (that I’m aware of) are:
- 7th Circle
Journey time is around 3.5-4 hours. You will arrive at Petra around 10-10:30AM. These daily bus only depart once from Amman and once from Petra, so do not miss your bus.
Read More: How Much Does it Cost to Travel in Jordan?
You can take the same bus back to Amman. The bus departs at 4:30PM in front of the souvenir shops. You need to walk over to the parking lot that has all the tour buses, spot the blue one that says JETT on it and buy your ticket. If you need to purchase your ticket separately, you can buy the return ticket directly from the driver. He will give you a slip and assign you a seat number.
2. Take a Public Minibus / Shuttle from Amman
There are a number of shared minibus / shuttles also called servees that departs from specific bus stations in Amman and goes outside a city. This is the same minibuses that the locals take so you’ll likely be the only tourist on it. The bus that departs to Wadi Musa, Wadi Rum, and Aqaba that departs from the South Bus Station (Al Wehdat Bus Station or “Mujemma Al-Janoob” in Arabic). These minibuses don’t have a specific departure time – they only leave when the bus is full. The shuttles that head south of Amman depart from this station. For exact coordinates, and latest information, I find this particular website to be very helpful.
The minibuses depart from 9-4pm from the Amman station and from Wadi Musa/Petra between 6am-1pm. The fee for the minibus may vary – various sites indicates JOD5 (C$10) as the base price, but I paid JOD3.5 (CAD$7) which also covers the cost of my luggage. There are no specific stops so if you need to get off the bus, just knock on the side of the car to let the driver know you want to stop here.
Fun Fact: Men and women don’t sit together (unless they’re married); so expect to be moved around a little bit. Your luggage will be stored at the back!
3. Taxis or Private Drivers
There are taxi drivers that can drive you between Amman and Wadi Musa/Petra. You can also hire drivers for the day and they are more than happy to work out a better pricing for it. If you’re travelling as a group, the private driver is your best bet. Pricing between major routes is quite uniformed and almost identical from different providers. Alternatively, if you are booking a tour, you can ask for them to help arrange a taxi for you. You’ll likely get a better deal that way and won’t get charged an obscene amount as a tourist. You can prebook the taxi’s ahead of time so they pick you up from the hotel. Generally one-way from Amman to Petra costs JOD80-85 (C$160-170) and payment is payable directly to the driver.
I recommend booking with Saleh Al-Qaisi (Phone: 0798297971) or ask the owner of Sydney Hotel (Tariq) for Saleh, the driver; he was my driver in Amman and drove me around to Jerash and eventually to the King Hussein / Allenby border to Israel. His pricing is very reasonable and I booked him through my hotel (Sydney Hotel in Amman)
How to Get to Petra from Wadi Rum
1. Tourist Minibus/Shuttle
If travelling from Wadi Rum, you can take one of the independently run shuttle bus between Wadi Rum and Petra. It looks like the one below. Cost is JOD7 / CAD$15 and it picks you up from Rum Village at around 8:30AM. It also operates the other way around, departing from Petra/Wadi Musa to Wadi Rum at around 6AM. The best way to arrange this transportation is to as your hotel operator/tour organizer to book this service for you. They will call the driver who will let you know what time to be ready. This is a tourist bus so you’ll be picking up a few people before departing.
2. Taxi or private transfer
You can also take a taxi between Wadi Rum and Petra if you need to arrive by a specific time. Taxis cost JOD40-45 (C$80/85) for a one-hour journey per vehicle. It’s much cheaper if you can split the cost with other guests.
How to get to Petra from Aqaba
If you are coming from Aqaba, you’ll need to get to Wadi Rum first via taxi. No other points offer public transportation so your best bet would be a taxi if you’re based anywhere else other than the two locations I’ve shared here.
How to get to Petra from Israel (Jerusalem or Tel Aviv)
The most convenient, safest, and easiest way to tour Petra from Israel is through an organized tour. Tour groups have an easier time at the border, pay a lower visa fee and have their own vehicle. The most budget-friendly, and highly rated option I came across during my trip is Abraham Tours. They have tours that go to Egypt in addition to Jordan, and departs from Tel Aviv or Jerusalem.
Have you been to Petra or Jordan? What are your best tips to get to Petra from surrounding countries/cities?
Want more Jordan Inspiration?
- Here’s what it’s like to go Camping Overnight in Wadi Rum with Bedouin Directions.
- For those looking to cross the land border, here’s a write up of my recent experience, Crossing the Israel – Jordan Northern Border
- For some itinerary inspiration, here’s my 6-days Israel & Jordan Itinerary.
- Budgeting for your trip? How Much Does it Cost to Travel in Jordan? 4-Day Itinerary Breakdown.
- Make sure to stay overnight in the desert – here’s my experience camping Overnight in Wadi Rum!
- Confused as to where you should go once you’re in Jordan? Here’s a few suggestions on where you should stay in Jordan
- If you are considering visiting Petra for more than one day, consider getting a Jordan Pass ahead of your trip
- What are the must-see’s in Petra? Here is my list of 11 Things to do in Petra | What to do and see Beyond the Treasury.
- Make the most of your Petra trip – here is a guide on How to Plan Your Trip to Petra, Jordan
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