8 Days in Jordan: A Jordan Travel Itinerary for First-Time Visitors

by Jem
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Are you searching for the perfect Jordan travel itinerary? Our in-depth guide is here to help. Here’s all you need to know about visiting Jordan.

Jordan, a gem in the heart of the Middle East, beckons travelers with its rich tapestry of historical sites, spectacular landscapes, and warm Bedouin hospitality. This guide aims to provide an in-depth exploration of how one can immerse themselves in the essence of Jordan in just seven days.

From the bustling streets of Amman to the silent majesty of Wadi Rum, from the ancient wonders of Petra to the therapeutic waters of the Dead Sea, we’ll journey through a land where history and modernity coalesce. Along the way, we’ll delve into practical tips, cultural insights, and gastronomic delights that await every traveler. This Jordan itinerary truly offers the ultimate travel guide for experiencing this Middle Eastern country.

If you’re a history lover, an adventure seeker, or someone looking for a unique retreat, this itinerary promises a comprehensive and unforgettable Jordanian experience. Here’s your in-depth travel guide for Jordan.

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How to Spend 8 Days in Jordan

Imagine standing atop a dune in Wadi Rum, watching the sun cast long shadows over the red sands, or feeling the thrill of discovery as you turn a corner and the majestic facade of Petra’s Treasury reveals itself.

Jordan offers a week of endless wonder. In this guide, we’ll embark on a seven-day adventure, meticulously planned to ensure every moment is steeped in awe and authenticity. From the cosmopolitan pulse of Amman to the tranquil shores of the Dead Sea, each day unravels a new chapter of Jordan’s story.

We’ll navigate through Roman ruins, indulge in Bedouin hospitality under a canopy of stars, and dive into the crystal-clear waters of the Red Sea. As we journey through this guide, let the spirit of adventure guide you, and let Jordan’s timeless beauty ignite your wanderlust. Here are the best places to visit in Jordan that you simply can’t miss.

Pre-Trip Requirements for Visiting Jordan

Before you set foot in Jordan, there are some essential preparations and considerations to ensure your trip is smooth and memorable. From understanding Jordan’s visa requirements to packing just right for the desert sun and cool nights, here’s everything you need to know before you go:

Visa Requirements & the Jordan Pass

One of the first steps in planning your trip to Jordan is understanding the visa requirements. Most nationalities can obtain a visa upon arrival at Jordanian airports for 40 JDs.  However, a notable travel tip for those looking to explore Jordan’s best attractions is the Jordan Pass. This pass not only covers your visa fees but also grants you prepaid access to over 40 attractions across the country.

Once purchased, you can simply show your Jordan Pass at the entrance of any covered attraction, making your exploration seamless and efficient. The pass remains valid for use within 12 months from the date of purchase but will expire after 2 weeks from its first scan at a touristic site. This means you can enjoy a plethora of sites, from UNESCO World Heritage locations to museums, castles, and more, all with a single pass. It’s a time, money, and effort saver, truly enhancing your travel experience. Priced between 70 to 80 JDs, it’s a no-brainer when visiting Jordan.

For Arabic nationalities, there’s an added advantage. While they can enjoy the convenience of the Jordan Pass, they are exempt from paying for attractions, making their journey even more cost-effective.

Currency & Budgeting in Jordan

The official currency of Jordan is the Jordanian Dinar (JOD). While credit cards are widely accepted in urban areas, it’s prudent to carry cash, especially when venturing into more remote regions. A daily budget of 50-70 JOD typically covers mid-range travelers, encompassing accommodation, meals, and sightseeing.

Packing Tips for a Week in Jordan

Jordan’s diverse landscapes and climates necessitate thoughtful packing to ensure you’re prepared for every adventure:

  1. General Packing: Lightweight and breathable clothing is ideal for daytime explorations. However, evenings, especially in desert areas like Wadi Rum, can get surprisingly chilly, so packing a warm jacket or sweater is essential. For visits to religious sites, modest attire, covering the arms and legs, is a must.
  2. Wadi Rum: This desert landscape is known for its dramatic temperature fluctuations. While daytime temperatures can soar, nights can become quite cold. Layering is key here. Consider packing a warm fleece or jacket, and perhaps a beanie or scarf for those cooler evenings. If you’re planning to camp, a good sleeping bag can also be beneficial.
  3. Aqaba and the Red Sea: If you’re heading to the coastal city of Aqaba, don’t forget your swimming kit. The Red Sea offers fantastic snorkeling and diving opportunities. Depending on the season, you might also want to pack a light wetsuit or rash guard. Summers are hot and sunny, perfect for beach days, while winters are milder but still suitable for water activities.
  4. Seasonal Variations: Jordan’s climate varies by season. Spring and autumn are mild and are the best times for outdoor activities. Summers, especially in areas like Petra and the Dead Sea, can be scorching, so sun hats, sunglasses, and high-SPF sunscreen are essential. Winters bring cooler temperatures, and in some areas like Amman, even occasional rainfall, so a waterproof jacket might come in handy.

Remember, comfortable walking shoes are crucial, especially if you’re exploring archaeological sites like Petra or hiking in nature reserves.

Let the timeless charm of Jordan inspire your desire to travel.
Let the timeless charm of Jordan inspire your desire to travel.

One Week in Jordan: Day-by-Day Itinerary

Ready to dive deep into this Jordan itinerary? Embarking on a week-long journey through Jordan promises a blend of historical immersion, natural wonders, and cultural experiences. Here’s a detailed day-by-day breakdown to help you make the most of your time in this captivating land.

Day 1: Amman

Upon your arrival in Amman, the capital city of Jordan, you’ll be greeted by a harmonious blend of ancient history and modern urban life. Start your journey with a visit to the Citadel, an archaeological gem located in the heart of downtown Amman. One of the best places to visit in Jordan, the remnants of the Roman Temple of Hercules stand tall, narrating tales of a bygone era.

Exploring further, the Umayyad Palace, a beautifully preserved 8th-century structure, will captivate you with its intricate architecture. Don’t forget to explore the Jordan Archaeological Museum within the site, where artifacts spanning over 50,000 years await your discovery.

In the afternoon, make your way to Al Balad, the vibrant downtown area of Amman. The streets here are alive with the hustle and bustle of daily life. Immerse yourself in the Arabic metropolis vibe, wandering through souks filled with vendors selling everything from aromatic spices to handcrafted souvenirs. Take this opportunity to sample local delicacies like Yalanji or Maqlubah, and let the flavors dance on your palate.

As evening descends, the city’s nightlife begins to shimmer. Al Balad, with its myriad of restaurants, is the perfect place to savor a traditional Jordanian meal. Let the authentic flavors and ambiance transport you to the heart of Jordanian culture.

Where to Eat in Amman, Jordan

Indulging in local flavors is an integral part of any travel experience. Thankfully, there are incredible places to eat in Amman that cater to all budgets and tastes.

  1. Budget: Hashem Restaurant – A legendary spot known for its falafel and hummus. The best place for cheap eats in Amman!
  2. Mid-Range: Sufra Restaurant – Dive into traditional Jordanian dishes in a homely setting.
  3. High-End: Fakhr El-Din Restaurant – A fine dining experience offering a mix of Jordanian and Middle Eastern cuisines.

Where to Stay in Amman, Jordan

Finding the perfect place to rest after a day of exploration is crucial. When it comes to finding the best places to stay in Amman, there are accommodations that range from budget-friendly to luxurious.

  1. Battuta: One of Amman’s best hostels, offering private and dorm rooms as well as a cozy atmosphere. [$]
  2. Le Royal Hotel Amman: Combining comfort with modern amenities, it’s a traveler’s favorite. [$$]
  3. Fairmont Amman: One of the best hotels in Amman. Experience luxury with panoramic city views and top-tier services. [$$$$]
Jordan's capital city, Amman, is a modern place with a lot of historic ruins.
Jordan’s capital city, Amman, is a modern place with a lot of historic ruins.

Day 2: Jerash and Ajloun

The second day in Jordan promises a captivating journey through time, with the ancient city of Jerash and the medieval fortress of Ajloun on the itinerary. Leaving Amman, make your way to Jerash, the scenic drive setting the tone for the day.

Upon arrival, the allure of the “Pompeii of the East” becomes evident. With some of the best-preserved Roman ruins outside Italy, Jerash offers a unique window into the grandeur of the Roman era. Strolling along its colonnaded streets, one can almost envision the bustling markets and chariots from centuries ago. An insider tip: the South Theater often hosts performances showcasing Jordan’s traditional bagpipe music, blending history and culture in a harmonious melody. It’s one of the coolest things to do in Jordan!

As hunger set in, the local eateries around Jerash beckon. Sampling Mansaf, Jordan’s national dish, is a must. This delightful combination of lamb, rice, and a special yogurt sauce promises a culinary experience to remember.

The journey continues to Ajloun, where the majestic Ajloun Castle awaits exploration. This 12th-century fortress, perched atop a hill, offers breathtaking views of the Jordan Valley. Delving into its history, travelers will discover tales of battles and sieges that once echoed within its walls. A travel tip for photography enthusiasts: the castle’s vantage points are perfect for capturing stunning sunset views.

Returning to Amman, the day’s adventures provide ample stories and experiences to share and reflect upon over a cup of traditional Jordanian tea.

Where to Eat in Jerash, Jordan

Whether it’s a quick bite on the go or a lavish feast, there’s a variety of restaurants in Jerash and Ajloun to tantalize your taste buds.

  1. Budget: Al-Minshar Restaurant – Known for its traditional dishes, it’s a favorite among locals and travelers alike.
  2. Mid-Range: Lebanese House – A delightful fusion of Lebanese and Jordanian cuisines in a cozy setting.
  3. High-End: The Olive Branch – Offering gourmet dishes complemented by panoramic views of Ajloun’s rolling hills.

Where to Stay in Jerash, Jordan

It’s recommended to head back to Amman after a day trip to Jerash and Ajloun. However, if you wish to stay to suit your travel plans, here’s a selection of the best hotels in Jerash.

  1. Hadrian’s Gate Hotel: Coined by many as one of the best hotels in Jerash, this centrally located accommodation offers homely rooms and free breakfast. [$$]
  2. The Olive Branch: Boasting incredible mountain views, an outdoor pool, and an on-site restaurant, it’s a top choice when deciding where to stay in Jerash. [$$]
  3. Celestia Boutique Inn: In the heart of the city, this hostel in Jerash offers no-frills dorm rooms and an excellent breakfast. [$]
The historic town of Jerash and the ancient citadel of Ajloun are just two of the fascinating stops on Jordan's tour through time.
The historic town of Jerash and the ancient citadel of Ajloun are just two of the fascinating stops on Jordan’s tour through time.

Day 3: Dead Sea

The third day beckons travelers to the lowest point on Earth, the Dead Sea. Renowned for its therapeutic properties and unique buoyancy, this natural wonder offers a blend of relaxation and rejuvenation. It’s one of the best places to visit in Jordan and should not be missed!

Upon arriving at the Dead Sea, the first thing most travelers are eager to do is experience the sensation of floating effortlessly on the water. The high salt concentration ensures that one can float without any effort. After a relaxing float, it’s time to indulge in the famous Dead Sea mud therapy. The mud have numerous skin benefits because it is rich in minerals. Slathering on the mud and letting it dry under the sun is not just therapeutic but also makes for a fun photo opportunity!

Post-lunch, consider exploring some of the nearby attractions. The Ma’in Hot Springs, located in a scenic mountainous landscape, is a series of hot mineral springs and waterfalls. It’s the perfect spot to soak and relax. Another noteworthy site is the Bethany Beyond the Jordan, believed to be the baptismal site of Jesus Christ.

As the day winds down, find a quiet spot along the Dead Sea’s shores to witness a mesmerizing sunset. The play of colors on the water, with the mountains of Palestine in the backdrop, is a sight to behold.

Where to Eat near the Dead Sea

The Dead Sea region, while primarily known for its natural beauty, also offers a range of dining experiences that cater to different tastes.

  1. Budget: Tamar Bakery – Famous for its fresh bread and local pastries.
  2. Mid-Range: The Grill Restaurant – Offers a mix of local and international dishes with views of the sea.
  3. High-End: The Sawa Restaurant – Located in the Kempinski Hotel, it provides a gourmet dining experience with panoramic vistas. Hands down, it’s the best restaurant near the Dead Sea, Jordan.

Where to Stay near the Dead Sea

Staying near the Dead Sea allows travelers to fully immerse themselves in its tranquil ambiance and therapeutic benefits. Home to some of the best luxury spa resorts in Jordan, it’s a great spot to enjoy some rest and relaxation.

  1. Dead Sea Spa Hotel: Offers basic amenities with direct access to the sea. [$]
  2. Holiday Inn Resort Dead Sea: Combines comfort with stunning sea views and spa facilities. [$$$]
  3. Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea: A luxurious retreat with private beaches, multiple pools, and top-tier spa services. [$$$$]
This marvel of nature offers a combination of leisure and restoration.
This marvel of nature offers a combination of leisure and restoration.

Days 4-5: Visiting Petra, Jordan

The fourth and fifth day is dedicated to Petra, an archaeological wonder carved into the rose-red cliffs of southern Jordan. This ancient Nabatean city, with its intricate facades and tombs, promises a journey back in time. Without question, Petra is the best place to visit in Jordan.

The journey into Petra begins with a walk through the Siq, a narrow gorge flanked by towering cliffs. As the path winds its way, the first glimpse of Al-Khazneh, commonly known as The Treasury will greet travelers. This iconic monument, with its Hellenistic facade, is a testament to the artistry and ambition of the Nabateans. Arrive early to avoid the crowds and capture stunning photographs in the soft morning light.

Beyond The Treasury, Petra unfolds into a vast landscape dotted with tombs, temples, and amphitheaters. Key sites include the Street of Facades, the Royal Tombs, and the Monastery. For those seeking panoramic views, a climb to the High Place of Sacrifice is a must. Along the way, local Bedouins offer insights into Petra’s history and their own personal stories, adding depth to the experience.

For a magical experience, consider joining the “Petra by Night” tour. Thousands of candles illuminate the path to The Treasury, and the traditional Bedouin music enhances the ambiance. It’s a serene and enchanting way to see Petra from a different perspective. It’s worth noting that Petra by Night is not included in the Jordan Pass.

Where to Eat in Petra

There’s a wide variety of places to eat in Petra (and nearby Wadi Musa), from local eateries to upscale restaurants, ensuring travelers are well-fed during their exploration.

  1. Budget: Al-Arabi Restaurant – A local spot known for its Jordanian dishes and quick bites.
  2. Mid-Range: The Basin Restaurant – Located within Petra, it offers a buffet-style meal with a variety of options.
  3. High-End: Petra Kitchen – A unique dining experience where travelers can partake in cooking classes and savor their creations.

Where to Stay in Petra

After a day of exploration, a comfortable rest near Petra ensures travelers are refreshed for the next day’s adventures. Here are some amazing stays to consider in your Jordan itinerary.

  1. Petra Gate Hotel: A budget-friendly option with basic amenities and a warm ambiance. One of the best places to stay in Wadi Musa, near Petra. [$]
  2. Petra Moon Hotel: Located close to the Petra entrance, it offers modern comforts and a rooftop pool. [$$]
  3. Mövenpick Resort Petra: A luxury hotel in Petra with top-notch services, just steps away from the Petra entrance. [$$$$]
The rose-red rocks of southern Jordan are home to the magnificent marvel of Petra.
The rose-red rocks of southern Jordan are home to the magnificent marvel of Petra.

Day 6: Wadi Rum

Day six beckons travelers to the ethereal landscapes of Wadi Rum, a desert wilderness in southern Jordan. Often referred to as the “Valley of the Moon,” Wadi Rum’s dramatic sandstone mountains, narrow canyons, and ancient petroglyphs offer a surreal experience. It’s one of the coolest places in Jordan which will blow your mind!

The best way to explore Wadi Rum’s vast expanse is through a jeep tour. Guided by local Bedouins, these tours navigate the desert’s unique terrain, stopping at iconic landmarks such as the Burdah Rock Bridge and the Khazali Canyon. The ancient petroglyphs within the canyon, depicting humans and antelopes, provide a glimpse into the lives of the desert’s early inhabitants.

For a more traditional desert experience, consider a camel ride. As the camel’s rhythmic strides take you deeper into the desert, the vastness of Wadi Rum becomes even more palpable. The journey often includes stops at towering sand dunes, where travelers can try their hand at sandboarding or simply enjoy the panoramic views.

As night falls, the desert transforms into a tranquil haven. Many travelers opt to stay in desert camps in Wadi Rum, where traditional Bedouin tents offer a unique accommodation experience. The highlight of the evening is undoubtedly stargazing. With minimal light pollution, the desert sky reveals a tapestry of stars, planets, and meteor showers.

Where to Eat in Wadi Rum

While Wadi Rum is remote, the desert camps ensure travelers are treated to authentic Bedouin meals. Food is generally included when booking accommodation in Wadi Rum.

  1. Budget: Bedouin Whispers Camp – Offers traditional Zarb, a Bedouin barbecue cooked underground.
  2. Mid-Range: Wadi Rum Night Luxury Camp – Serves a mix of local and international dishes in a communal setting.
  3. High-End: Memories Aicha Luxury Camp – Provides a gourmet dining experience with a focus on Jordanian specialties.

Where to Stay in Wadi Rum

There are incredible places to stay in Wadi Rum, ranging from traditional Bedouin tents to luxury bubble tents with clear roofs for stargazing. It’s recommended to book in advance, especially in high season, as the best hotels in Wadi Rum tend to fill quickly.

  1. Bedouin Lifestyle Camp: A traditional experience with communal tents and shared facilities. [$]
  2. Sun City Camp: Offers private tents with modern amenities and stunning desert views. [$$$]
  3. Bubble Luxotel Wadi Rum: Luxury bubble tents that allow travelers to sleep under the stars in comfort. [$$$$}
The stunning sandstone mountains, constricting canyons, and prehistoric petroglyphs of Wadi Rum.
The stunning sandstone mountains, constricting canyons, and prehistoric petroglyphs of Wadi Rum.

Day 7: Aqaba

On the seventh day, travelers are invited to unwind by the pristine shores of Aqaba, Jordan’s only coastal city. Located by the Red Sea, Aqaba offers a blend of relaxation, water sports, and historical exploration. For those wondering where to go in Jordan to enjoy the beach, Aqaba is your spot!

Aqaba is renowned for its vibrant coral reefs and diverse marine life. Whether you’re a seasoned diver or a snorkeling enthusiast, the underwater world here is nothing short of mesmerizing. Popular dive sites include the Yamanieh coral reef in the Aqaba Marine Park and the Cedar Pride shipwreck. For those who prefer to stay above water, glass-bottom boat tours offer a glimpse of the marine wonders below.

Aside from its beaches, Aqaba is steeped in history. The Aqaba Fortress, dating back to the 12th century, stands as a testament to the city’s strategic importance over the centuries. Nearby, the Aqaba Archaeological Museum showcases artifacts that trace the city’s history from the Bronze Age to the Islamic era.

As the sun sets over the Red Sea, the city’s promenade comes alive with locals and tourists alike. It’s the perfect time to indulge in a seafood feast. With the day’s fresh catch on offer, dining in Aqaba is a memorable experience.

Where to Eat in Aqaba

Home to some of Jordan’s best restaurants, Aqaba’s culinary scene is a reflection of its coastal charm. Here seafood takes center stage.

  1. Budget: Al Tarboosh – A local favorite, known for its grilled fish and traditional Jordanian dishes. Perfect for cheap eats in Aqaba.
  2. Mid-Range: Ali Baba Restaurant – Offers a diverse menu with a focus on seafood and Middle Eastern flavors.
  3. High-End: Romero Restaurant – A fine dining experience with gourmet dishes and panoramic sea views. Arguably the best restaurant in Aqaba.

Where to Stay in Aqaba

From beachfront resorts to cozy inns, there are hotels in Aqaba to suit every traveler’s preference.

  1. Amer 1 Hotel: A budget-friendly option with basic amenities, close to the city center. If you’re looking for cheap hotels in Aqaba, this is your spot. [$]
  2. Marina Plaza Hotel: Located by the Tala Bay marina, it offers sea views, outdoor swimming pools, and modern comforts. [$$]
  3. Kempinski Hotel Aqaba Red Sea: A luxury spa resort in Aqaba with private beaches, spa facilities, and top-tier services. [$$$$]
Unwinding, sea athletics, and cultural exploration are all available in Aqaba.
Unwinding, sea athletics, and cultural exploration are all available in Aqaba.

Day 8: Mount Nebo and Madaba

The concluding day of this Jordanian journey takes travelers to the biblical landscapes of Mount Nebo and the mosaic-rich town of Madaba.

Mount Nebo, believed to be the final resting place of Prophet Moses, offers panoramic views of the Holy Land and the Jordan River Valley. On a clear day, one can even glimpse the Dead Sea, Jericho, and Jerusalem. The site is also home to the Memorial Church of Moses, housing intricate mosaics and artifacts.

A short drive from Mount Nebo is Madaba, often referred to as the “City of Mosaics.” The town’s centerpiece is the St. George’s Orthodox Church, which houses the famous Madaba Map – a 6th-century floor mosaic depicting the Holy Land. Exploring Madaba, travelers will discover numerous other churches and museums, each boasting its own collection of mosaic art.

After exploring Mount Nebo and Madaba, it’s time to make the journey back to Amman for a final night in Jordan’s capital. The city’s vibrant nightlife, bustling souks, and local eateries offer ample opportunities for last-minute shopping and dining.

Where to Eat in Madaba

Madaba’s culinary scene is a delightful blend of traditional Jordanian flavors and international cuisines. You won’t go hungry here!

  1. Budget: Ayola Coffee & Roastery – A cozy spot known for its coffee and light bites.
  2. Mid-Range: Haret Jdoudna – Set in a historic house, it offers a mix of local and Mediterranean dishes.
  3. High-End: Adonis Restaurant & Cafe – A fine dining restaurant in Madaba with a diverse menu and elegant ambiance.

Where to Stay in Amman near to the Airport

Returning to Jordan’s capital, there’s a range of hotels in Amman near the airport, convenient for onward travel.

  1. Amman Airport Hotel: A four-star hotel with 304 newly renovated rooms, it’s only 2 miles from Queen Alia International Airport. There’s a free 24-hour shuttle, too. [$$$}
  2. Opal Hotel Amman: A luxury hotel in Amman with a pool and spa. Conveniently, it’s a 20-minute drive from the airport. [$$$]
Mount Nebo, where Prophet Moses is thought to have been buried, provides sweeping glimpses of the Holy Land and the Jordan River Valley.
Mount Nebo provides sweeping glimpses of the Holy Land and the Jordan River Valley.

Local Cuisine and Dining in Jordan

I’d be remissed to create a Jordan itinerary without mentioning the culinary scene. Jordanian cuisine is a delightful blend of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors, with each region offering its own unique dishes. The country’s culinary heritage is deeply rooted in its history, with influences from the Nabateans, Ottomans, and Bedouins. Dining in Jordan is an experience that encompasses tradition, hospitality, and a sense of community.

Staple Dishes to Try in Jordan

  1. Mansaf: Often considered the national dish of Jordan, Mansaf is a hearty meal made of lamb cooked in fermented dried yogurt and served over rice. Traditionally, it’s eaten with the right hand and is a dish often reserved for special occasions and gatherings.
  2. Falafel: These deep-fried chickpea balls are a popular breakfast item and snack. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, they’re often served in pita bread with tahini sauce, tomatoes, and pickles.
  3. Maqluba: Translating to “upside-down,” Maqluba is a one-pot dish with rice, vegetables, and meat. Once cooked, it’s flipped over onto a plate, revealing a flavorful layered masterpiece.
  4. Zarb: A Bedouin barbecue, where meat and vegetables are cooked underground in a sand oven. The slow-cooked meal, often prepared in the desert, has a distinct smoky flavor.

Desserts and Beverages

  1. Knafeh: A sweet cheese pastry soaked in sugar syrup, often topped with pistachios. It’s a popular dessert in Jordan and the broader Middle East.
  2. Baklava: Layers of filo pastry filled with nuts and sweetened with honey or syrup. Each bite offers a mix of crunchiness and sweetness.
  3. Arabic Coffee: A strong, cardamom-infused coffee that’s an integral part of Jordanian hospitality. It’s often served in small cups and is a symbol of welcome.
  4. Mint Tea: A refreshing beverage, often sweetened and served with fresh mint leaves. It’s a staple in Jordanian households and cafes.

Dining Etiquette

Jordanians take great pride in their hospitality. When invited to a local’s home, it’s customary to bring a small gift, such as sweets or flowers. During meals, always use the right hand for eating, as the left hand is considered unclean. It’s polite to leave a little food on the plate, signaling that the host has provided abundantly.

Where to Dine in Jordan

Jordan offers a range of dining experiences, from bustling street food stalls in Amman to upscale restaurants in Petra. For an authentic experience, consider dining at local eateries, where traditional dishes are prepared with age-old recipes. Additionally, many hotels and resorts offer themed nights, showcasing Jordanian music, dance, and cuisine.

The cuisine of Jordan is a delicious fusion of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern tastes.
The cuisine of Jordan is a delicious fusion of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern tastes.

Cultural Etiquette and Travel Tips in Jordan

Jordan is a country that welcomes visitors with open arms. However, as with any destination, understanding and respecting local customs and traditions enhances the travel experience. Here’s a guide to help you navigate Jordan with sensitivity and awareness.

Cultural Etiquette

  1. Dress Modestly: While Jordan is progressive, it’s essential to dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites. If you’re wondering what to wear in Jordan as a woman, consider wearing long skirts or trousers and covering your shoulders. Men should avoid wearing shorts.
  2. Greetings: A handshake is the standard form of greeting, often accompanied by the Arabic salutation “As-Salamu Alaykum” (Peace be upon you). It’s customary for close friends and family of the same gender to exchange kisses on the cheek.
  3. Public Behavior: Public displays of affection, such as hugging or kissing, are frowned upon, especially between opposite genders. It’s best to act conservatively in public spaces.
  4. Religious Observance: Jordan is predominantly Muslim, and the call to prayer can be heard five times a day. During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset. While non-Muslims aren’t expected to fast, it’s respectful to avoid eating, drinking, or smoking in public during daylight hours.
  5. Tipping: Tipping is customary in Jordan, especially in restaurants, cafes, and for services like guided tours. A tip of 10% is generally acceptable.

Jordan Travel Tips

  1. Stay Hydrated: Jordan’s climate can be arid, especially in places like Petra and Wadi Rum. Always carry water and stay hydrated, especially during the hotter months.
  2. Local Currency: The Jordanian Dinar (JD) is the official currency. Most places accept credit cards but, it’s a good idea to carry some cash, especially when visiting remote areas or local markets.
  3. Safety: Jordan is one of the safest countries in the Middle East. However, it’s always wise to take standard precautions, such as avoiding poorly lit areas at night and keeping an eye on personal belongings.
  4. Transport: While public transport is available, renting a car or hiring a driver can be a more convenient way to explore the country, especially if venturing outside major cities.
  5. Language: Arabic is the official language of Jordan. However, some can speak English in touristy areas. Learning a few basic Arabic phrases can be a delightful way to connect with locals.
The travel experience is improved by being aware of and respectful of native cultures and traditions.
Improve your travel experience and be aware and respectful of native cultures and traditions.

Getting Around Jordan

Navigating Jordan is relatively straightforward, with a range of transportation options available to suit different travel preferences. Whether you’re hopping on a local bus or driving through the desert landscapes, getting around is part of the Jordanian adventure.

Public Transportation in Jordan

  1. Buses: Buses are the most common form of public transportation in Jordan. The main bus stations in Amman serve routes that connect major cities and tourist destinations. While they’re an economical option, schedules can sometimes be irregular.
  2. Service Taxis: These are shared taxis that operate on fixed routes, similar to minibusses. They’re a popular choice for shorter distances and can be flagged down anywhere along their route.
  3. JETT Buses: The Jordan Express Tourist Transportation Company (JETT) operates modern buses that connect Amman with major tourist destinations like Petra, Aqaba, and the Dead Sea. They’re comfortable, air-conditioned, and often used by tourists. If you’re planning on traveling to Jordan without a car, taking the JETT buses is one of the best options.
  4. Trains: While Jordan has a railway system, it’s primarily used for cargo. However, there are occasional tourist-oriented train excursions, especially in the northern regions.

Renting a Car in Jordan

  1. Convenience: Renting a car offers the freedom to explore at your own pace. It’s especially useful for visiting remote areas or multiple destinations in a single day.
  2. Driving Conditions: Roads in Jordan are generally in good condition, especially the main highways. However, travelers should be cautious when driving in the desert or rural areas, where road conditions can vary.
  3. Traffic Rules: Jordanians drive on the right side of the road. It is mandatory to wear seat belts. Then, it is prohibited to use a mobile phone without a hands-free system. It’s essential to carry a valid driving license, car registration, and insurance documents when driving.
  4. Rental Agencies: International car rental agencies, such as Hertz, Avis, and Budget, have branches in major cities and airports. Local agencies might offer competitive rates, but it’s crucial to ensure they provide comprehensive insurance coverage.
  5. Parking: In cities like Amman, finding parking can be challenging, especially during peak hours. It’s advisable to use designated parking lots or rely on valet services offered by hotels and restaurants.
Jordan is easy to navigate because to a variety of transportation choices.
Jordan is easy to navigate because to a variety of transportation choices.

Tours in Jordan

Need some help organizing your Jordan itinerary? Jordan offers a plethora of tour options for travelers. Whether you’re keen on exploring the archaeological wonders of Petra, experiencing the nomadic lifestyle of the Bedouins in Wadi Rum, or simply floating in the therapeutic waters of the Dead Sea, there’s a tour tailored for you. Here are some popular tour options in Jordan:

Highlights of Jordan

  • Operator: G Adventures
  • Details: This comprehensive tour covers iconic sites like Amman, Jerash, the Dead Sea, Petra, Wadi Rum, and Aqaba. It’s perfect for travelers who want a mix of adventure, history, and relaxation.
  • Duration: 8 days
  • Inclusions: Accommodation, some meals, transportation, and entrance fees to major sites.
  • Price Estimate: Approximately $185 per day, with a total cost ranging from $1,478 to $1,679.

Jewels of Jordan – Group Tour By Locals

  • Operator: Trip500
  • Details: This tour offers a deep dive into Jordan’s history and culture, covering Amman, Umm Qais, Ajloun, Jerash, Petra, Wadi Rum, Madaba, Mount Nebo, and the Dead Sea.
  • Duration: 6 days
  • Inclusions: Accommodation in hotels, meals, transportation, guided tours, and entrance fees.
  • Price Estimate: Approximately $125 per day.

Choosing the Right Tour in Jordan

  1. Duration: Tours range from short day trips to extensive multi-week adventures. Determine how much time you have and select accordingly.
  2. Accommodation: Some tours include hotel stays, while others might offer unique experiences like camping in Wadi Rum.
  3. Inclusions: Always check what’s part of the package. Some tours might include meals, entrance fees, and even tips, while others might not.
  4. Type of Experience: Whether you’re looking for an active adventure, a cultural immersion, or a relaxing getaway, there’s a tour tailored for you in Jordan.
  5. Budget: Tours can vary significantly in cost based on the inclusions, duration, and type of accommodation.
There are numerous tour alternatives available in Jordan for tourists.
There are numerous tour alternatives available in Jordan for tourists.

Jordan Safety Tips

Jordan is often hailed as an oasis of stability in the Middle East. It’s one of the region’s safest travel destinations. However, as with any country, it’s essential to be aware and take standard precautions. Here are some safety tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey in Jordan:

  1. Stay Informed: Before traveling, check for any travel advisories or updates related to Jordan. Websites like the U.S. Department of State or the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office provide up-to-date information.
  2. Respect Local Customs: Jordan is a predominantly Muslim country, and it’s essential to respect local customs and traditions. Dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites, and be aware of local customs during the holy month of Ramadan.
  3. Avoid Public Demonstrations: While Jordan is politically stable, it’s always wise to avoid participating in or being near public demonstrations or large gatherings.
  4. Secure Valuables: Use hotel safes to store passports, extra cash, and other valuables. When exploring, carry only what you need and be mindful of your belongings, especially in crowded areas.
  5. Travel with Reputable Tour Operators: If you’re joining a tour or excursion, ensure it’s with a reputable operator. They’ll be knowledgeable about local conditions and can provide guidance on safety.
  6. Stay Hydrated: The Jordanian climate, especially in desert regions, can be arid. Always carry water, wear sunscreen, and protect yourself from the sun.
  7. Local Emergency Numbers: Familiarize yourself with local emergency numbers. The general emergency number in Jordan is 911, which covers police, fire, and medical emergencies.
  8. Road Safety: If you’re driving, be cautious and aware of local traffic rules. While roads are generally in good condition, driving styles can differ from what you’re used to.
One of the safest locations to visit in the Middle East is Jordan, which is sometimes regarded as a place of serenity.
One of the safest locations to visit in the Middle East is Jordan, which is sometimes regarded as a place of serenity.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Travel to Jordan

If you’re looking for more information about traveling in Jordan, our travel guide is here to help. Here are some common questions (and answers) I get asked a lot about travel advice in Jordan.

How many days do you need in Jordan?

Jordan offers a rich tapestry of historical sites, natural wonders, and cultural experiences. For a comprehensive exploration, including Petra, Wadi Rum, the Dead Sea, Amman, and other key attractions, a 7 to 10-day itinerary is ideal. However, if you’re pressed for time, a 4 to 5-day trip can cover the major highlights.

Is Jordan cheap or expensive?

Jordan’s cost of travel can vary based on your preferences. While it’s possible to travel on a budget in Jordan by staying in hostels and eating at local eateries, luxury accommodations and dining can be on the pricier side. Entrance fees to major attractions, like Petra, can also add to the cost. Overall, Jordan offers a range of options to suit both budget and luxury travelers.

Is Amman safe for women?

Yes, Amman is generally safe for women travelers. Jordanians are known for their hospitality, and many female travelers have reported feeling safe and welcomed. However, it’s advisable to dress modestly and avoid isolated areas after dark. As with any destination, it’s essential to be aware of your surroundings and take standard precautions.

Can you drink alcohol in Jordan?

Yes, alcohol is available in Jordan, primarily in hotels, bars, and licensed restaurants. While Jordan is a predominantly Muslim country, it’s tolerant of alcohol consumption by non-Muslims. However, public drunkenness is frowned upon, and it’s respectful to avoid drinking during the holy month of Ramadan.

Is it OK to wear shorts in Jordan?

Wearing shorts in Jordan is generally acceptable, especially in tourist areas, more liberal cities like Amman, and at tourist sites like Petra or Wadi Rum. However, it’s important to be mindful of the local culture and dress modestly, especially when visiting religious or conservative areas.

What’s the best time to visit Jordan?

The spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) are the best times to visit Jordan. During these periods, the weather is mild, which makes it ideal for sightseeing and outdoor activities. The summer months can be scorching, especially in desert regions, while winter can be chilly with occasional rainfall.

This itinerary ensures whether you're a history buff, a thrill seeker, or looking for a special getaway.
This itinerary ensures whether you’re a history buff, a thrill seeker, or looking for a special getaway.

Do I need a visa to visit Jordan?

Most nationalities require a visa to enter Jordan. However, visa policies can vary based on your country of origin. Many travelers can obtain a visa on arrival at major airports and border crossings. The Jordan Pass, which includes visa fees and entrance to major attractions, is a cost-effective option for tourists.

Is tap water safe to drink in Jordan?

While some consider tap water safe to drink in Jordan, most travelers and locals prefer to drink bottled water due to its taste and mineral content. It’s advisable to avoid ice in drinks unless you’re sure it’s made from purified water.

Is it customary to tip in Jordan?

Tipping is customary in Jordan, especially in restaurants, cafes, and for services like guided tours. A tip of 10% is generally acceptable. However, always check if a service charge is included in your bill.

What language is spoken in Jordan?

Arabic is the official language of Jordan. However, English is widely spoken, especially in tourist areas, hotels, and among the younger population. Road signs and menus in restaurants are often bilingual.

Can I use my credit card in Jordan?

Hotels, restaurants, and larger shops in Jordan accepts credit cards, especially in tourist areas. However, it’s a good idea to carry some cash, especially when visiting remote areas, local markets, or small establishments.

Is 8 days enough for Jordan?

Absolutely! Here’s a rough itinerary for a 7-day trip to Jordan, focusing on its main attractions:

Arrive in Amman, Jordan’s capital – Day 1

  • Explore Amman’s historic sites, such as the Amman Citadel and the Roman Theater.
  • Sample Jordanian cuisine at a local restaurant.

Day trip to Jerash – Day 2

  • Visit the ancient Roman city of Jerash.
  • Return to Amman in the evening.

Travel to Petra – Day 3

  • Drive to Petra, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
  • Explore Petra’s archaeological wonders, including the Treasury, the Monastery, and more.

Full day in Petra – Day 4

  • Continue exploring Petra’s hidden gems.
  • Consider hiking to the High Place of Sacrifice or visiting Petra by Night.

Travel to Wadi Rum – Day 5

  • Drive to Wadi Rum, a stunning desert landscape.
  • Take a jeep tour or go on a camel ride to explore the desert.

Travel to Aqaba – Day 6

  • Head to Aqaba, a coastal city on the Red Sea.
  • Enjoy water activities like snorkeling or diving.
  • Explore Aqaba’s markets and restaurants in the evening.

Return to Amman or depart from Aqaba. – Day 7

  • Depending on your departure location, you can either return to Amman or depart from Aqaba.

Wrapping up our Jordan Travel Guide

As our journey through Jordan comes to a close, this Middle Eastern gem makes it hard for every traveler to not to be captivated. From the rose-red city of Petra to the tranquil waters of the Dead Sea, Jordan is a tapestry of unforgettable moments.

Whether you’re sipping on aromatic Arabic coffee in a bustling Amman café, stargazing in the vastness of Wadi Rum, or simply soaking up the local culture and hospitality, there are incredible places to go in Jordan that’ll find a home in your heart.

Utilizing our Jordan travel guide, get ready to pack your bags, lace up those walking shoes, and prepare for an adventure that’s as enriching as it is exhilarating. Jordan awaits, and trust us, it’s a journey you’ll be reminiscing about for years to come. Until next time, safe travels and endless discoveries!

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