If you approach Petra from the south, you will pass a lookout point from where you can see the tattered rocks where the ruined city hides. From the roof terrace of the souvenir shop you have the most beautiful view.
The unadorned town of Wadi Musa (Valley of Moses) is the modern city at the entrance to Petra. This is where the tourist buses disembark and hotels and restaurants await the foreign visitors. The hilly town with about 10.000 inhabitants lives from the tourists and has nothing else to offer.
The Petra Visitor Center is located on the outskirts of Wadi Musa. The visitor center satands at a square with restaurants, toilets and shops. The entrance fees are significantly lower when you stay at Wadi Musa. Without an overnight stay you will have to pay the price of 90 Jordanian Dinar, which is about 115 € in 2019. For current prices hit the link below.
From the Visitor Center you get on a path through the Bab Al Siq (Gate to Siq), here you can already admire the first stone tombs. The path leads slightly downhill and is accompanied by washed rocks. The large square boulders are called "djinn blocks", because the Arabs suspected ghosts to live there. On the photo you can see the Obelisk Tomb. It consists of an upper and lower part that do not belong together. The obelisks were probably created after Egyptian influence, while the lower part was executed in the Nabatean style.
The Siq (Shaft) is the way to Petra through the eroded river valley of the Wadi Musa. At the entrance of the Siq was once the city gate of Petra and the dam, which dammed the water and led it through a tunnel into the city. As a result, the Siq was protected agains flooding. On the left side of the photo you can see a water canal leading into the city. The rocks on both sides tower up to 80 m into the sky. The trail is between 3 and 12 meters wide. For the tourist crowds, the space is enough, it is only a bit tight when the horse-drawn carriages gallop through the gorge. The path from the entrance of the Siq to the Treasury is about 1.2 kilometers long.
Suddenly the narrow gorge widens to a large square and you can see the Treasury, the main attraction of Petra. The name Treasury is probably misleading, it is believed that the high stone façade torn in the red rock was built 100 BC as a tomb. The interior of the Corinthian style tomb can not be visited. Here are two floors, each with a large chamber. The approximately 40 m high facade is very well preserved. In Arabic, the tomb is called Khazne al-Firaun (Treasury of the Pharaoh).
If you follow the Siq from the Treasury in the direction of the ancient city of Petra, the rock walls open after a short time and you can see the theater. The theater of Petra was also carved into the rock. The audience ranks form a semicircle, the former stage can be recognized by the remaining columns.
The royal tombs are a series of magnificent rock facades that were carved into the rock near the historic city of Petra. Whether the tombs were built for kings is not known, but since they are the largest tombs, the people buried there were very rich and powerful. The largest of these tombs is the palace tomb with a five-story facade. Next to it is the heavily weathered Corinthian Tomb, which resembles the treasury but is not well preserved. This is followed by the Silk Tomb with half crenels. The name Silk Tomb comes from the fine color differences of the stone facade, which looks like bute silk. The last in this series is the Urn Tomb, which got its name of a small urn in the facade. The Urn Tomb has a high gable façade, reminiscent of a temple. To get to the entrance of the tomb, you must rise the steps to be rewarded with an incredible view of Petra. The interior is also very beautiful. Here you can see the different layers of stone, that create a colorful pattern on the ceiling.
If you follow the path from the royal tombs further down, after about 500 m you will come to the city of Petra. The historic city center was located in the cliff-surrounded plain at Wadi Musa. The houses are all gone, only the remains of the major buildings are still visible. The main street of Petra was created by the Romans as Cardo. The Romans conquered Petra in 106 AD and transformed the city there way. On the Cardo are the two markets, Upper and Lower Market. Across the street from the Lower Market was the Royal Palace, of which not much is left. The best preserved building is the Great Temple (photo), which is located on a platform above the Cardo. The temple was built around 100 BC. Many pillars have been preserved and rebuilt, giving a good impression of the original proportions.
After the Great Temple, the path continues through the Temenos Gate into the sacred precinct. Now you come to the main temple of Petra, which was dedicated to the sun god Dushara. The Bedouins called the building Qasr el-Bint el-Farounpalace of the pharaoh's daughter. The Dushara Temple was built in the 1st century BC.
Other attractions in Petra City include the Winged Lion Temple and the Byzantine church with its beautiful mosaic floors.