Ticket prices, ranging from 12JD to 20JD, fall appreciably as you purchase multi-day passes. Each three-day pass entitles the holder to an additional fourth day at no extra cost. Multi-day pass holders are also admitted one hour before the site’s official opening hours. Generous student discounts are available, so be sure to bring along your green ISIC. It is a requirement to write your name and place your signature on your pass, but this rule is hardly ever imposed – my pass was never documented and I was not once questioned nor put on the spot. The result being, quite happily, that it is fairly possible to purchase a three-day pass (valid for four days) for two person’s use – two days per person on separate occasions. This translates to appreciable savings especially if you and your companions are on a tight budget.
Tickets cannot be purchased at the gate, but must instead be purchased at a booth next to the information centre. As you approach the area from the single possible road, it splits into a Y-fork. The left lane leads to the gate-check area. You must first take the right lane which leads up to the information centre and ticket sales, then proceed to the left lane to enter the gate. Before proceeding, be sure to ask for your free map to Petra at the information centre.
Two big banks sit along this main road, and there are also numerous money changers offering never-before-seen horrifying exchange rates. I have forgotten the name of the bank at the extreme corner of the row of shophouses, nearest to the Y-fork, but that branch often offers the best rates, and is also the only location where you can make a VISA cash advance.