Nestled in the southern part of Jordan, the town of Wadi Musa environs the ancient city of Petra. The name ‘Wadi Musa’ means the Valley of Moses because Moses, the renowned Biblical figure, walked with his followers through this valley. Having Jordanian charm in abundance, the town has a very pleasing ambiance and a lot of exciting things to do. Be it the enchanting tourist spots, shopping, relishing the cuisine, or savoring a Turkish Bath, Wadi Musa has many such fascinations in store for you. Furthermore, the town can be a brilliant base for those, who would like to explore the archaeological city of Petra and many such unexplored surrounding areas. Read on to know in detail about the amazing things to do in Wadi Musa, Jordan.
1. Witness the beautiful exhibits at Petra Museum
Situated at the entrance of this city, the Petra Museum is absolutely worth as it is home to the rich heritage of this ancient Nabataean city. There are about 300 fascinating and well-presented exhibits which will help you understand how progressive the Nabataeans were during their time. The museum has climate-controlled galleries spread over about 1,800 sqm (19375 sq. ft.) with artifacts from the Department of Antiquities, Jordan. Inaugurated recently by the Prince, there are tours that include a visit to this attraction.
Address: Petra Museum, Wadi Musa, Jordan
Website: Petra Museum
Opening hours: Summer: 6am - 6pm (daily); winter: 6am - 4pm (daily)
Price: Free entry
Explore the amazing Al-Khazneh (the treasury), the most notable feature of Petra, which is called the Rose City because of the color of the rocks. On arriving, your guide takes you via the Siz, a canyon of about 1 mile (1.6 km). This canyon serves as the entrance of this city. Know more about the Nabataeans, the founders of this city, while you visit the amphitheater, the Royal Tombs, a clifftop altar, used for different ceremonies. Followed by this is a two-hour jeep ride via the desert where you will witness a gorgeous sunset and some stunning rock formations at Wadi Rum.
Duration: 10 hours
3. Discover the unique Shobak Castle
Shobak is one of the most significant and impressive historical sites that you must visit while you are in Wadi Musa. Previously, it was called Mons Regalis, the fortress of the Royal Mount or Mont Real, Crak de Montreal. The exterior of the castle is magnificent and shows the crusader’s glory. There is a massive gate and the walls are extremely thick. The interior too has some fascinating remains including a wall-shaft cut deep inside the rock, along with 375 steps that take you to the water supply below. You will also see a watchtower, some Christian carvings, catacombs, and Islamic tablets.
Address: King’s Highway, Petra - Wadi Musa, 71810, Jordan
Opening hours: Mon - Tue: 24 hours; Wed - Sat: 8am - 8pm; Sun: 8am - 4.30pm
Price: 1 JOD (1.41 USD)
4. Cross the spectacular Siq Gorge
Positioned in front of the Al Khazaney or the Treasury, the Siq Gorge leads you to the city of Petra. Its height is between 91 – 182 meters (299 – 597 ft) and the unique thing about this place is that this was not formed because of water erosion, but because of tectonic forces, which split the sandstone mountain into half. This led to the creation of a narrow and very deep pathway. With passing time, water from flash floods has smoothened the sharp edges. It’s a long walk but there are horses and donkeys on rent that can carry you and there are many enthralling sights along the way.
Address: Petra - Wadi Musa, Jordan
Opening hours: 24/7
5. Witness the architectural wonder Al-Beidha
Also referred to as Siq-al-Barid, Little Petra or Al Beidha is a prehistoric archaeological site placed in the north of Petra. The Neolithic ruins of Al Beidha are almost 9000 years old. Here you will find temples, tombs, cisterns, water channels formed out of the rock. One of the features of this site is that several religious activities have been performed here. There is a cave having a fresco made by the Nabataeans, which represents grape vines. You can also see the irrigation system of the Nabataeans’ days.
What can be more relaxing than a classic ‘hammam’ or a Turkish bath, amidst sightseeing? Enjoy the soothing feeling as your body loosens up in the warmth of the steam room. A relaxing session om the hot stone follows this and then relish an invigorating body scrub and massage done by a very skilled masseuse, which will surely make you feel renewed. A cup of traditional tea adds to the comfort. Overall, this one and a half hour’s blissful experience cannot be missed. With complementary round-trip transport provided, it is totally hassle-free for you.
Duration: 2 hours
7. Visit the historic Moses' Spring in the Valley of Moses
The Moses’ Spring has great historical significance because this is the place where Moses had struck the rock and water gushed out. There is a three-domed structure that is constructed surrounding the spring. Thus, you can step inside to take a wash, drink or to collect it. You will also see the lush green fields irrigated with the help of the holy water of the spring. Further, there are fruit gardens located not very far from here.
Address: Petra - Wadi Musa, Jordan
How about an adventurous hike to the hidden treasury? During this hiking tour through the Al Madras trail, a private guide will take you to the beautiful, hidden and lesser-known attractions of Petra, such as the High Place of Sacrifice, Wadi Farasa canyon, the Treasury, and many others. The view from the Treasury is spectacular where you can take many memorable photos. The hike starts from Petra’s main gate to the Obelisk Tomb, the Djinn Blocks, Lions Fountain and finally climbing down to the main gate, where the tour ends.
Duration: 3 hours
9. Experience the aerial view from the High Place of Sacrifice
Considered to be one of the easiest hiking trails of Petra, it is just 30 - 40 minutes of hiking to reach the High Place of Sacrifice. The path takes to through marvelous mountain scenery, to a shrine that is devoted to the Nabataean Gods Al-Uzza and Dushara. On the highest point is the sacrificial altar along with a seating area, where the attendees would sit after the ceremony. No doubt that that reaching the top is challenging but you are rewarded with dazzling views of Petra and mountain scenery.
High Place of Sacrifice
Address: High Place of Sacrifice/Robinson’s High Place, Petra, Jordan
Website: High Place of Sacrifice
Opening hours: 6am - 6pm (daily)
Price: 90 JOD (126.85 USD) - included in one day ticket to Petra
10. Admire the delightful Mosaics of the Byzantine Church
A visit to the Byzantine Church is a must when you are in Wadi Musa. Although a lot of sections have been damaged because of a fire and earthquakes, the Church is reputed for its mosaic floors. The ancient remains of this fifth century Church are truly worth exploring. It is also well-known as a World Heritage Site of Petra; especially, its pavement is the best-preserved area, which is adorned with mosaics depicting a variety of human figures, animals and geometric designs.
Address: Byzantine Church, Wadi Musa, Petra, Jordan
11. Unwind in the serene setting of the Petra Kitchen
"A fine local initiative... a hands on experience of Jordanian Culture" Thanks for featuring us Rough Guides! #Roughguides #PetraKitchen #JordanPosted by Petra Kitchen on Friday, 26 January 2018
Cook, learn and dine is the slogan of this wonderful and extremely well-run-kitchen. Petra Kitchen welcomes you with a very friendly atmosphere combined with utmost relaxation. Relish the taste of true Jordanian cuisine prepared by the energetic chefs by meticulous usage of local and fresh ingredients. After a tiring day full of sight-seeing, this restaurant can be a perfect choice, which offers a detailed menu full of snacks, drinks, water-pipe or sheesha and free Wi-Fi as well.
Address: Tourism Street, 71810 Petra, Ma`An, Jordan
Website: Petra Kitchen
Opening hours: 8.30am - 11.30pm (daily)
12. Soak in the soothing ambiance of Petra by Night
Your trip to Wadi Musa is not complete if you don’t experience this magical event. This is a surreal experience where you will witness a particular area of this ancient city illuminated by thousands of candles and a starlit sky above. An incomparable spectacle, this is undeniably one of the most famed attractions here. Maintain silence while you relish the delightful candlelight charming setting of Petra By Night. Nothing can match the amalgamation of traditional music and a walk through these fabulous structures.
Petra by Night
Address: Petra - Wadi Musa, 71811, Jordan
Website: Petra by Night
Opening hours: Mon, Wed & Thu: 8.30pm - 10.30pm (closed on Tue, Fri, Sat & Sun)
Price: 17 JOD (24 USD)
13. Discover the signatory Temple of Dushares
Having the biggest façade in Petra, the Temple of Dushares, also referred to as Qasr el-Bint is the biggest masonry and the main temple of Petra. The name was given by the Bedouin, and it means ‘Castle of the Pharaoh’s Daughter. The ergonomics and craftsmanship surely indicate that it was a very expensive project. At the front of the temple is an altar where devotees gave their offerings and there are two staircases that lead to the roof. Discover the signatory Temple of Dushares of the ancient era.
Temple of Dushares
Address: Temple of Dushares, Petra-Wadi Musa, Jordan
Opening hours: 24/7
Price: Free entry
14. Relish a drink in the world's oldest bar: The Cave Bar
Your trip to Petra is incomplete if you miss a visit to this iconic place, the Cave Bar, part of the Petra Guest House Hotel. Located inside a 2000-year old Nabataean rock tomb, the bar stays open till 4 am during summers. The range of cocktails served here is definitely worth and there are salads, burgers, and different kinds of pasta available too. There is live music too that surely adds to the relaxation after a day full of sightseeing. Further, you get mesmerizing views of the city and sunset. There are tours through which you can enjoy a fantastic dinner experience here.
The Cave Bar
Address: Main tourist street, Petra-Wadi Musa, 71810, Jordan
Website: The Cave Bar
Opening hours: 3pm - 12am (daily)
During this day tour to Petra, you will be visiting this UNESCO World Heritage site – the fabulous Petra Monastery. Following the footsteps of Indiana Jones, you enter through the Siq to see the marvelous treasury – El Khazneh, along with the Royal Tombs, the theatre, the Street of Facades. Climbing about 900 steps is totally worth because of the stunning mountain views from the top. A private guide is there to help you understand the rich and fascinating history of this landmark. Last is the Basin area, where the tour ends, after which you can explore the place on your own.
Duration: 4 to 5 hours
Starting from Aqaba, this tour covers some of the most fabulous points of attraction of the rock city. During this eight-hour tour, you get to visit the Siq, the theatre, the treasury and most importantly, the Royal Tombs. These have been carved out of the Jabab al-Hubta rock. The Royal Tombs are a series of huge mausoleums with very remarkable facades. After this, savor a true Jordanian lunch at a local restaurant. On your way back to Aqaba, you pass by the marvelous views of the desert of Wadi Rum.
Duration: 8 hours
An authentic and memorable Jordanian holiday
With such a wide spectrum of enchanting things to do, Wadi Musa will undoubtedly keep you surprised and entertained throughout your holiday. So, pack your bags and set on an enthralling trip full of emotions, experiences, and memories to a place where several historical wonders were created.
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