Visiting Petra in May: All You Need to Know

When it comes to bucket list destinations within the bucket list destination that is Jordan itself, there’s nowhere quite like Petra. Heck, it was on my own travel bucket list, before my first visit in May 2016.

As you plan your Jordan itinerary, you’ll probably want at least one day and night in Petra – and rightly so. That’s why it’s important to understand the weather in Petra each month and other important details of visiting during different times of the year. As I visited Petra in May for my first visit, I can speak directly about what it’s like to visit Petra in May – and all the special advice you need to know.

Below you’ll find a complete but quick guide to visiting Petra in May. I’ve included details on the weather, what to pack, and what to expect during your visit.

Petra Weather in May

Petra in May Hero

While most visitors come in March and April, May is an ideal month to visit Petra. Why? Because the Petra weather in May is fantastic, hitting the perfect balance. The weather is generally sunny and warm during the day and chilly in the evenings.

As for the temperatures, the average high temperature in Petra in May is around 90°F (32°C), while the average low temperature is around 55°F (13°C); this is great if you love hot weather and can bear the heat while exploring the famous site.

Petra Open & Closing Hours

Knowing the opening times for any place you visit is important, but it’s especially important if you’re visiting Petra. The ancient site is one of the tourist attractions that change hours of operation by season. Since it’s already spring in Jordan, the opening hours for Petra in May are from 6:00am to 6:00pm.

It’s also worth knowing the length of the day so you’ll know how much of Petra you can fit into your visit. The average length of the day in May in Petra is around 13 hours at the beginning of the month and 14 toward the end. Sunrise occurs between 5:00am and 5:30am and sunset occurs between 6:00pm and 7:00pm; that means you can literally spend the entire 12 hours that Petra is open enjoying the site and it’ll be daylight.

If you’ve read my other guides, you know I always give the same advice regardless of the season: wake up early. It’s the number one way to take advantage of your visit to Petra. The only way to explore the Nabatean Kingdom is by hiking. If you wake up early, you’ll have extra time to take breaks and even spend more time on each site. 

Oh, don’t forget about Petra By Night, which occurs Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights at 8:30pm all year long; after you’ve seen Petra by day, the nighttime experience is essential. 

What to Pack for Petra in May

As I mentioned above, the weather in Petra (and Jordan as a whole) is hot during the day and chilly at night during the month of May. For this reason, I recommend you bring layers of lightweight clothing – fabrics like breathable cotton or linen are good options. My Jordan packing list will help you cover the basics.

Since you’ll be doing a lot of hiking in Petra specifically, throw in a pair of sturdy shoes. Also, don’t forget to bring sun protection – the sun has no mercy in Petra so packing a hat and sunglasses is a good idea, even if you call a sunny climate home too.

Other Considerations for Visiting Petra in May

I’ve provided a lot of different advice for visiting Petra in each month of the year, but my advice for visiting Petra in May is very similar to what I suggested for March and April:

  • May falls within the peak tourist season in Petra, so plan your visit in advance and book your tickets and accommodations early to avoid any last-minute rush.
  • Spring (even late spring into summer, which May qualifies) is the most expensive time to visit Petra. So the earlier you book your flights and accommodation, the better. If you travel in late May you might find deals – though you should expect significantly hotter temperatures at the end of the month compared to the beginning.
  • Let me say it again: wake up early when you’re visiting Petra. Try and enter the site as close to 6am as you can, depending on your abilities and travel companions. This will give you the chance to get incredible pictures with nobody in them, and to avoid the crowds at certain sites like the Treasury and Monastery.

Have any other questions about visiting Petra in May? Let me know in the comments below so I can help you plan your bucket list trip.

JT Headshot New

I fell in love with Jordan after my first visit in 2016; now I love returning to explore more – and writing guides to help you do the same.

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