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The Ultimate Photography Guide to Petra

History of Petra

Petra, also known as the Rose City, has a rich history dating back to the 4th century BCE. It was the capital of the Nabataean Kingdom and served as an important trading hub, connecting various civilizations in the region. The city prospered due to its strategic location along the ancient spice routes.


How to Get to Petra

Petra is located in the southwestern part of Jordan. The nearest international airport is Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, the capital city of Jordan. From the airport, you can reach Petra by various means of transportation, including:

  • Private Car: You can hire a private car or arrange for a private transfer from the airport to Petra. This option provides convenience and flexibility, allowing you to travel at your own pace.

  • Shared Taxi: Shared taxis, known as "service taxis" or "sheruts," are a common mode of transportation in Jordan. You can find shared taxis at the airport or in the city centers. They are a more affordable option compared to private cars, but they may require waiting for other passengers to fill the taxi before departing.

  • Public Bus: Public buses operate between major cities in Jordan, including Amman and Petra. The bus journey from Amman to Petra takes around three hours. Buses are a budget-friendly option, but the schedule may be less frequent and the travel time longer compared to private cars.


Navigating Petra

Once you arrive in Petra, navigating the site can be an exciting adventure. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your visit:

  • Obtain a Map: Grab a map of Petra at the visitor center or use a reliable map application on your smartphone. The map will provide a layout of the site and help you navigate the various trails and landmarks.

  • Follow the Main Trail: The main trail, known as the Siq, is a narrow gorge that leads you to the Treasury. Follow this well-marked path to explore the main attractions of Petra, such as the Treasury, Royal Tombs, and the Monastery.

  • Engage a Local Guide: Consider hiring a local guide who can provide insights into the history, culture, and significance of the various sites within Petra. They can enhance your experience by sharing fascinating stories and lesser-known details.

  • Wear Comfortable Shoes: Exploring Petra involves a fair amount of walking and climbing stairs. Make sure to wear comfortable, sturdy shoes to navigate the uneven terrain and enjoy your visit without discomfort.


Best Photography Spots in Petra

Petra offers not only awe-inspiring beauty but also a rich history and vibrant local customs. As you explore this archaeological wonder, make sure to capture stunning shots at the following photography spots:

  • The Monastery (Ad-Deir): Located high up in the mountains, the Monastery provides a magnificent panoramic view of Petra. Although the journey to reach it can be challenging, the reward is well worth it. Along the way, you may also encounter friendly locals who can share stories about the site's historical significance.

  • The High Place of Sacrifice: This elevated platform offers a captivating view of the entire city. From here, you can appreciate the vastness and architectural beauty of Petra while learning about the customs and rituals that took place at this sacred site.

  • The Treasury from Above: For a unique perspective, hike up the nearby mountains to get a bird's-eye view of the Treasury. This vantage point allows you to capture the grandeur of the site from a different angle and appreciate the intricate details of the iconic facade. Take a moment to connect with the local Bedouin community, who have called Petra home for generations, and learn about their customs and way of life.


Recommended Shooting Settings

Shooting with a wide angle lens at a place like Petra is a fantastic way to capture the breathtaking scale of the ancient structures and the stunning surrounding landscape. It allows you to highlight the intricate details and architectural marvels of the temples, tombs, and rock formations. Additionally, the wide-angle perspective enables you to include more elements in the frame, creating a sense of depth and immersing the viewer in the scene. By opting for a wide-angle shot, you can effectively convey the awe-inspiring and expansive nature of Petra, providing viewers with a more immersive and comprehensive visual experience.


Respecting Local Customs and Traditions

When visiting Petra, it's important to respect the local customs and dress appropriately, especially when entering sacred sites. Both men and women are encouraged to dress modestly, with men wearing long pants or trousers and a shirt that covers the shoulders, and women opting for clothing that covers the shoulders, chest, and knees. This shows respect for the local culture and ensures a positive interaction with the friendly locals you may encounter during your visit.



By immersing yourself in the beauty of Petra, capturing incredible moments, and engaging with the locals and their customs, you can truly experience the magic and historical significance of this remarkable UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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