We are often asked how to get from Jerusalem to Petra with two of the most impressive sites of the region being major features on itineraries on so many itineraries for travelers to Israel. Getting from Jerusalem to Petra is simple and there are many different ways that you can travel between the two locations, appropriate for different budgets, time-scales, and preferred means of travel. You can travel from Jerusalem to Petra every day of the week, although differing tour schedules, public transportation timetables and border opening hours do not make it equally simple to travel every day.
Changing Jordanian visa requirements from January 2016 have not changed our tours from Jerusalem to Petra but have impacted on the ease of travel for individuals not joining a group tour.
Travel from Jerusalem to Petra with a tour
There are tours available from Jerusalem to Petra seven days a week. Because the Allenby Bridge Crossing is not simple for tourists to use to cross into Jordan, and the nature of the roads in Jordan being as they are, our tours from Jerusalem to Petra cross into the Hashemite Kingdom either via the Bet Shean Crossing in Northern Israel or the Arava Crossing near Eilat in the South. Although looking at the map, these might look like longer routes around, time-wise they are the most efficient ways to travel from Jerusalem to Petra
One day tours from Jerusalem to Petraare available daily and include $130 worth of entry fees to Petra. These involve transferring from Jerusalem to Eilat, and then crossing into Jordan via the Yitzhak Rabin/Wadi Araba Border Crossing and transferring to Petra. In the evening, you return to Eilat, and from there continue back to Jerusalem. Whilst these tours are popular, they involve a lot of traveling in one day which makes them more expensive than many of the two and three-day tour options which mean that we only recommend them for those who are tight on time. Read more about our one day tours from Jerusalem to Petra, here.
Two and three-day tours from Jerusalem to Petraare available multiple times every week in two variations. These are our most recommended means of traveling from Jerusalem to Petra, comfortable schedules, great traveling experiences, and great value – also those tours include the entry fees to Petra. The two-day tour options available are Petra and Wadi Rum from Jerusalem (day one at Petra and the second day at Wadi Rum, with overnight in a Bedouin Camp in between), and Petra, Jerash, and Northern Jordan from Jerusalem (day one in Northern Jordan, and day two at Petra). Our three-day tour option is a combination of these two options, featuring Petra, Wadi Rum, and the Highlights of Northern Jordan, an ultimate tour experience and a good value way to explore Petra from Jerusalem.
Custom private tours from Jerusalem to Petra can also be arranged for individuals and groups who wish to travel on different days, or prefer to customize the tour and include other sites such as Masada and the Dead Sea which can easily be included en route.
Bus from Jerusalem to Petra
Whilst you can travel from Jerusalem to Petra via the Allenby Bridge Border Crossing, we suggest that you first travel to Eilat and then continue to Petra. There are regular public buses from Jerusalem to Eilat. Whilst there are night buses, we suggest that the best option is to travel first to Eilat, overnight, and then head on to Petra, as the night buses will leave you with a few hours of free time in the Central Bus Station. From Eilat, cross the border into Jordan (be aware of the new visa restrictions meaning that only those on tours will be able to apply for a visa once in Israel). Once on the Jordanian side, your best option is to take a taxi from the border to Petra. The official price from Aqaba to Petra is 54 Jordanian Dinar (approx $75), or for a return journey including waiting time, 87 Jordanian Dinar (approx $122). The taxis at the border crossing are operated by one company. Bear in mind that you must take a taxi from the border to Aqaba (11 Jordanian Dinar – $15 approx), and for a one day visit, that can add time.
We recommend joining a group tour instead, which accounts for all transportation to and from a centralized pickup location in Jerusalem and provides border assistance, pre-arranged visa and transportation to Petra.
So what’s the cheapest and best way from Jerusalem to Petra?
The numbers speak for themselves, and generally, the cheaper way from Jerusalem to Petra is to travel with a tour group. We’ve based the exercise on a two-day tour because one day from Jerusalem to Petra is totally impossible with public transport.
Taking an independent 2-day visit from Jerusalem to Petra:
Bus from Jerusalem to Eilat – $30
Taxi from Eilat to Border – $15
Border Crossing Fee – $65
Visa fee (must be pre-arranged) – $60
Entrance Fee to Petra – $130
Guide at Petra – $100
Taxi from Aqaba Border to Petra – $75
Taxi from Petra back to Aqaba Border – $75
Taxi back from Border to Eilat – $10
Bus from Eilat back to Jerusalem – $25
Overnight in 4-star hotel/Bedouin Camp – $60
Total – $655, but visa must be pre-arranged in your home country, and this does not include Wadi Rum or Jerash, Mount Nebo, and Madaba.
So for most visitors taking a tour from Jerusalem to Petra is the cheaper way to visit Petra, as well as being more efficient, informative, and fun.