Jordan Travel Guide
- Everything you need to know for your trip to Jordan-
Jordan, officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, is an Arabic country in the Levant region of Western Asia. When you plan to visit a country, the first countries might be European, East Asian, and maybe American. However, why not Jordan?! Tourists who have visited this country are surprised by the beauty and diversity of the country as well as friendly and kind people.
Why Visiting Jordan?
Petra, also known as Rose City, can be one of the main reasons for visiting Jordan. It’s the country’s most famous attraction classified as one of the seven wonders of the world. The city was home to the ancient Nabatean people dating back to 312 BC and classified as a UNESCO world heritage site.
If you are into stargazing at night, make sure to visit Dana Biosphere Reserve! Dana Biosphere Reserve is the largest natural reserve in Jordan, covering over 320 square km of mountains and valleys. It’s home to plants and animals from across Africa, Asia, and Europe.
Another reason for having a trip to Jordan is the fantastic locals in the country. Jordanians are the most hospitable people you can ever find in the world! They always try to make sure that you are enjoying your trip as a guest in their country.
Jordanian food is something you never want to miss during your trip to the country. The cuisine is exceptionally delicious and healthy. Mansaf and Maqloube are among the most famous local foods in Jordan.
As for historical sites, you need to visit some of the best-preserved archaeological sites from the Roman Empire like Gerasa, Citadel, and Roman Theatre in Amman.
Jordan Top Destinations
Click on each Jordan’s destination to read the full travel guide of the city.
Best Time to Visit Jordan
The best times for visiting Jordan can be early spring and late autumn since the weather is pleasant and lovely. You will enjoy your trip during these two seasons.
Temperature: +16 °C (61 °F) – +27 °C (81 °F)
Spring is one of the best times for visiting Jordan. You may see some rains in this season, but be sure that you will enjoy your trip in spring. In March, the weather is mild and pleasant. In April, the temperature stabilizes and goes toward being hot, and in May, the real summer arrives!
Temperature: +30 °C (86 °F) – +31.5 °C (89 °F)
Summer in Jordan is dry and hot, reaching 38-42 °C (100-108 °F) in August. The country’s warmest spots are located in the Dead Sea coastal areas and the Valley of Jordan River. However, eastern resort areas are colder.
Temperature: +30 °C (86 °F) – +20 °C (68 °F)
Autumn is the best season for visting Jordan since the weather is highly desirable and lovely. From the second of September, the weather becomes cool. In November, the weather would occasionally drizzle.
Temperature: +14 °C (57 °F) – +13 °C (55 °F)
If you want to experience the warmth in winter, you need to visit the Dead Sea coastal area. Other reigons are colder. January is the coldest month of the year, but since February, the temperature increases, and the warmth begins again.
Best Jordan Tours
Things to Do in Jordan
Plan a trip to one of the most exotic destinations filled with lore and history in Jordan. The country may be mostly warm and full of desert activities, but it does not lack fun things. It has its fair share of natural elements like the beach at the Red Sea, historical places such as the Petra, and its delicious local cuisine.
Start Your Trip at Amman
Amman is Jordan’s capital city, at the heart of the Middle East, which is perhaps the most peaceful modern city you can see. It is both modern and traditional, but the mix does not result in chaos. It can be a great starting point in Jordan as you will get familiar with the locals and their culture. It is also filled with all kinds of ancient ruins dating back to the Roman Empire and before.
The best of this city are the heritage sites, exploring the city, trying the street food, and everything you can find all over Amman.
Walk in the Ancient Roman Ruins of Jerash
Being part of an ancient empire, you can see numerous Roman ruins near Amman, the most well-preserved of Jerash. Jerash’s ruins have highlights like the temple of Zeus, Hippodrome, theater, and other sports arenas. You can imagine the glory of the former days and the 15000 spectators who would come to the sports arenas.
Other sections of Jerash may also be discovered in the excavations, but so far, you can explore the Roman Empire’s remains.
-The heat will be unstoppable, be sure to bring bottled water.
Relax on the Beach at Aqaba
If the heat of the Middle East gets to you, the place you want to go is Aqaba and its beach. Aqaba’s coastal city is known for its popular diving spots, marine life, and calm environment. While in this part of Asia, be sure to give this city a try for all of the fun activities you can find there. If you do not like swimming or scuba diving, you can just enjoy one of the fantastic cruises on the Red Sea waters.
Walk Around the Sands and Valleys of Wadi Rum
Wadi Rum or the Valley of the Moon, as the travelers call it, is a very famous UNESCO Heritage site and a must-see in Jordan. One of the best things to do in this country is to ride on camelback or horses in the deserts like Wadi Rum. Why is it one of the top things to do in Jordan? Several things make this experience exotic, like the Sand Dunes, The Rock Bridges and Rock Formations, and more.
Be sure to give it a try and spend some time exploring the warm sands of Jordan.
Marvel at the Magnificence of Petra
The most famous and popular place among the tourists, as they call it the “star” or “crown jewel” of Jordan, is Petra. It is a city belonging to sometime around the 3rd century BCE that was lost in ages. While in Petra, you should visit as many of the buildings, temples, and monuments carved out of sandstone.
Despite being hundreds of years old, they are relatively well-preserved. Nobody can tell what the purpose of several of these buildings is precisely, but in any case, Petra is one of the most magnificent UNESCO Heritage Sites you can ever visit.
Before you leave, plan to make another visit during the night or go on one of the night tours. One thing that you may never see is the beautiful light of the candlelight on the red and massive structures of this beautiful part of Jordan.
Visit Little Petra
Little Petra is a bit to the north of the Petra site and looks very similar to that site. It is easy to miss this visit, but it is all the same as the best places to go to spend some time. It is much calmer, but at the same time, also smaller in size.
Like Petra, the Little Petra is also carved into the cliffs and on the rocks’ side. When in Jordan, be sure to but both sites on your list.
Read the Ancient Madaba Mosaic Map!
A relatively small part of a would-be short visit is to see the Madaba Mosaic Map in the St. George’s Church. While Madaba’s city has more historic places and sites, the Madaba Map is among the best. These Mosaics show a map of the Middle East and belong to the sixth century Byzantine Empire.
A significant number of the Madaba Floor Map tiles are missing, but they are still a perfect representation of the names and locations of that time.
Spend Some Time at the Ma’in Hot Springs
You might think of this place just as a place to rest while traveling, but Ma’in is a must-visit attraction of Jordan. The nature around the springs and waterfalls are only one aspect of the beautiful area. What usually attracts people are the many hot-springs and bathing in their waters.
Some of these springs at Ma’in may not be good for relaxing as they can be too hot. However, suitable ones are said to have healing abilities, especially for joint and muscle pain.
Float in The Dead Sea
The Dead Sea is as odd as it sounds, but the floating on its waters is actually real and fun. The water is full of salt and minerals, about four times than normal, making you stay on the water and not drown. It is also lower than the water level of the seas and surrounded by mountains.
If you are looking for a very exotic and memorable visit, be sure to put the Dead Sea on your list. But if you are looking for some water sports, it is not good to go for them in these dense waters.
Many travelers do a fun thing, which is to read newspapers as they are floating on the surface.
Head Out to Mount Nebo
According to the stories and ancient tradition, Mount Nebo is where Moses walked and saw the Promised Land. The walk in a place known for its historical value is not seen anywhere else like here. Mount Nebo, while being where vital for its religious and historic significance, has also a great view.
It is nearly 700 meters above sea level and gives you a view over all the surrounding lands. There is also a monastery near the foot of Mount Nebo, known as the final resting place of Moses as well.
Local Transportation in Jordan
Cities are filled with yellow taxis, which are best for intra-city routes. City trip will not cost more than JOD3 (US$4.25). Some drivers can speak English, and you may feel comfortable talking to them. Drivers should use the meter, but you may find some taxis that don’t have a meter or don’t use it. Make sure that your taxi has a meter or negotiate the price before getting in. in Jordan, usually, men sit in the front and women sit in the back.
Unlike private taxis, white cabs have defined routes like buses with higher speed and cost-effective prices. If you are not familiar with the Arabic language, taking yellow taxis is more recommended.
Taking the bus is the cheapest way of getting around the cities of Jordan, costing around JOD0.500 (US$0.70). It would help if you asked your guide or any English-speaking local for the routes as they are written in Arabic on the buses.
App-based hailing services like Uber and Careem are available in Jordan, especially in Amman. They are not considered legal in Jordan yet; however, there are no penalties for the drivers. These services are more expensive than other taxis (30% – 100% more), but they are great for non-Arabic tourists as they can enter the map location.
Intercity Transportation in Tuerkey
All internal flights in Jordan are operated from Queen Alia International Airport located 30 km away from Amman. The only internal flight route is between Amman and Aqaba taking only half an hour and costing around 56JD (80USD).
There is no train operation in Jordan except the Hejaz Railway organized by international tour companies and known as a very luxury form of transportation.
You can take convenient buses to get around the country. Buses in Jordan don’t follow a specific timetable, and whenever you want to take a bus, it’s possible. However, you have to wait until the bus is full of passengers. Roads in Jordan are passable, and traveling between Amman and other tourist destinations like Aqaba is easy and fast. A half-hour bus journey costs around 1 USD.
Taxis in Jordan are yellow and green with Arabic writing. This service is very affordable, and the drivers are friendly. You should negotiate the price before getting in.
Flight Deals to Jordan
Jordan Travel Costs
|Features||Very basic room – minimal meals – Transportation by bus|
|Cost||$150 USD Per Day|
|Features||Still basic rooms but clean and comfortable – Meal from everywhere – renting a car – entry to major attractions|
|Features||Not exactly 5-star hotels (but the most luxurious in the country) – Eating and going anywhere|
Costs per items
|Amman||$45 USD (Outside the city is more expensive)|
|Petra||$62 for a clean hotel on average (for modern one double and for luxury one treble or quadruple|
|Rural areas||$120 per night|
|A large meal||$5.25 USD in the city or $21 USD in rural areas on average|
|Cheapest option||$20 USD per day|
|Modern Cars||$35 USD per day|
|Petra||$71 USD for one day pass- $78 USD for two-day pass – $85 USD for three days pass|
|Wadi Rum||$162 USD for two people and two full days and two nights, tented camp, all food, and sunrise the next morning|
|Wadi Mujib||under $30 USD|
|Dead Sea||$150 and $300 a night (modern and luxury accommodation)|
Best Hotels in Amman
Find the best hotels in Jordan using our best price search engine, or go with one of our All-inclusive tours with 4 Star hotels included. You can book our guaranteed hotels for your extra accommodation; before or after your tour days.
Jordan Travel Tips
Jordan and the Middle East are warm, perhaps too warm. However, that does not mean it is all deserts and heat, and it can get freezing in the winter and autumn, so bring appropriate clothes for both situations.
While keeping the weather in mind, you should also consider “Hijab” as Jordan is a Muslim country. They are not so very restricting to tourists, but you must wear something to cover your arms and legs. Women will also have to wear a shawl or scarf to cover their hair and head.
The tap water in Jordan, like many other countries, is not drinkable. Be sure to have bottled water with you wherever you go.
Tipping in Jordan is not mandatory, but it’s highly appreciated. In restaurants, you can consider 10% for tipping. In hotels, $2 per day is fine for bellhops and hotel maids.
In Jordan, you will not have any communication problems as most people understand English rather well. And chances are you will meet locals that are always willing to help you with communicating. Hospitality is found in all corners of Asia, but still, be mindful of the locals even though most are just trying to help.
There are ATMs almost everywhere you go, which means there is mostly no need to carry cash. The currency of Jordan, however, is the Jordanian Dinar. Have some cash just to e safe but your credit card can be used. As for the prices, the prices may not be very cheap as some people expect.
There are public transports in Jordan, but they have limited uses as they do not go to all places. The best way is to rent a car, and perhaps a driver as the locals drive a little “harshly”. Keep in mind that if you have not planned for transportation, you will get some problems.
While many people might think all of the Middle East is in chaos and not safe, you will not have safety problems in Jordan. If you mind your belongings and stick to the good neighborhoods, there is an excellent chance that you will have no problems at all. Since the people are mostly kind and hospitable, the biggest problem you might have would be with Hijab.
Since Jordan is an Islamic country, alcohol and pork are forbidden. There is a minimal chance that you may find them in some top touristic places, but don’t get your hopes up. If you plan a trip to Jordan, do not bring your drinks, and arrange an alcohol-and-pork-free vacation!
If you plan to stay and explore for more than two or three days, you need to get your Jordan pass. You have to purchase your pass online and before your visit. When you buy the Jordan Pass, it will be emailed to you.
|Public Security Directorate|
|The control room||911|
|Public relations||196 – ex: 3300 + 3348|
|Amen FM||196 / ex: 2810|
|Unified emergency number||911|
|Emergency Phone for Amman||199 + 911|
|Complaints of water and sanitation|
|Complaints of water and sanitation Water Authority||06 – 5100180 Free phone – 080022142|
|Complaints of water and sanitation Jordan Water Company||Miyahuna – 117116|
|Amman main call center||06 – 4696000|
|Zarka branch call center||05 – 3758000|
|Madaba branch call center||05 – 3294141|
|Salt branch call center Al||05 – 3493030|
|Complaints Electricity Distribution Company||06 – 5001370 / Freephone: 080022288|
|GAM emergency||06 – 5359970/71|
|Airport Information Desk||06 – 5002777|
Currency & Money Tips
The currency in Jordan is the Jordanian Dinar (JOD – JD) dividing into 100 piastres (also called Kirsi) or 1000 Fils (1 piastre is 10 Fils). Banknotes in Jordan are 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 dinars, and coins, including 1/2, 1, 2 1/2, 5, 10 piastres, 1/4, 1/2, and 1 Dinar.
What currency to bring in Jordan?
The best currency in Jordan is the dollar; however, the Euro is also acceptable in local banks and offices. Also, if you bring Euros, the conversion rate is not something you like!
ATMs are available throughout the country except for tiny towns. There are no local charges on credit cards, but it’s essential to know the maximum daily withdrawal.
Major credit cards are accepted in major hotels, restaurants, travel agencies, large shops, etc. However, the commission can be up to 5%, and maybe it’s better to have paper cash in this case.
Where to exchange money?
Exchange services in banks, exchange offices, airports, and hotels are available. Exchanging money in hotels is not recommended as the rate is not suitable!
Food & Drink (Jordanian Food)
The food in Jordan is vibrant and full of proteins with amazing smells. Some of their dishes may not look very special until you try them but their traditional cuisine a significant part of your trip to Jordan. Jordanian cuisine can offer vegetarian-friendly food as well as barbeque feasts with any flavor you favor. Keep an eye out for their local food as you walk in the street, and do not miss the opportunity to give them a try.
If you like Falafels, you have to give them a try while in Jordan. They are quite popular in all of the Middle East, but Jordan’s local herbs and vegetables give it a different taste. The delicious Falafels of Jordan are vegetarian friendly, which makes them very popular. They can also be served at any time of the day.
They are made of chickpeas, spice, and other ingredients that are ground and deep-fried. Your Falafels will be served in a flatbread with fresh vegetables and the special sauce that each restaurant or stall offers.
Hummus is a world-famous food from the Middle East, which is always found in Jordan’s households. It looks like a bowl of stew, which is actually a mix filled with beans and legumes. The ingredients may differ slightly from one place to another, but the taste is usually the same. It is very much favored all over Jordan and is served with bread.
You can try it at any time of the day, but it is always best served for breakfast. The excellent idea is to have them with Falafels. The mix of these two is full of protein and very vegetarian healthy.
Sayadieh is a dish you need to try in Aqaba. It is a dish of fish from the Red Sea along with rice, nuts, herbs, and vegetables. The taste and flavor of both the rice and the fish are unique in Jordan, and with the caramelized onions, almonds, cinnamon, and a few drops of lemon, it is both a good meal and a good memory. Sayadieh can get a little spicy as well, but nothing too hot or bothersome.
Warak Enab, like Dolma, is a mix of several things that are wrapped in grape leaves. Although they look similar, they also have their differences. In any case, they are filled with meat, rice, as well as local vegetables. The use of vegetables is what makes Warak Enab so unique in Jordan.
If you had Dolma or Warak Enab before, be sure to have them in Jordan with their own local and regional ingredients. They are favored by everyone and even have a vegetarian version that is just as delightful.
Another very healthy and nutritious food in Jordan is a dish of Mujadara. It can simply be just rice and lentils cooked together with spice and herbs. Or it can have several types of vegetables that give it a fantastic aroma.
You can try it as a meal full of protein, which can be served with caramelized onions and nuts that make it even better. Alternatively, you can serve Mujadara with yogurt, salad, or something to make the food richer and tastier. It is easy and quick to prepare and a favorite of the locals.
One of Jordan’s most delicious experiences is trying the layers and layers of meat in a Shawarma. You will spot the places that serve Shawarma with their vertical spits with numerous layers of meat and fat grilled and then sliced with a large knife. As soon as the meat’s outer parts are cooked, they are cut and wrapped in bread like a sandwich.
The smell is enough to fall in love with a Shawarma sandwich, but it is topped with vegetables and spices and a unique tahini sauce as it is served. Most people consider it a quick street snack, but it is so rich that it can keep you on your feet for hours of exploring the city.
Popular among the people of Jordan and Palestine is the Musakhan, a mouthwatering food with an exotic appearance. It may look like the Middle Eastern version of Pizza, but it is nothing like that. They use slices of their local bread with chicken meat on top cooked with spices, nuts, and olive oil.
The people of Jordan prepare Musakhan in stone ovens, and as they serve this dish for you, its ingredients will melt in your mouth. The bread and meat have a tender texture and a relatively sweet taste, and an indescribable aroma. It may not look lovely at first, but it will get you addicted, so do not miss it.
Everyone who travels to Jordan must eat the national dish called Mansaf. It is the most delicious combination of rice, lamb, and Jordanian Jameed. It has numerous herbs, spices, and seasonings, but Mansaf’s special ingredient is perhaps the Jameed, the dried chunks of goat milk yogurt that is rehydrated for this meal.
If someone serves you this national dish, they are showing you their utmost hospitality and respect! Likewise, if you want to invite a valued guest to a Jordan meal, Mansaf is the choice. It can be served with other types of meat, but the Jordanians do not favor chicken for this food. But no matter which version you find, be sure to try this Jordanian cuisine.
So far, you have read about several dishes of rice and meat, which may make Maqluba sound a little ordinary. But it certainly is not, as the method of cooking is something exciting. In this dish, a pot is filled with rice, potatoes, cauliflower, parsley, nuts, and other herbs and vegetables. Some people may use some other optional ingredients to make the dish better than it already is.
As soon as the cooking is finished, the Maqluba pot is turned upside down into a plate. Maqluba’s name translates into “upside-down,” which results in a mix that looks a little like a cake. After Mansaf, Maqluba is another famous and loved food in Jordan, and you must try in this country.
Zarb is a traditional food of the deserts of Jordan that is originally a Bedouin dish. Different types of meat can be used for this barbeque dish, along with rice, carrots, onions, and optional vegetables. The meat is marinated, and each of the ingredients is put on a tray. Sounds boring? Wait until you see the oven that is dug in the ground!
In Zarb, an oven is made in the ground and heated for hours before barbequing the meat and vegetables. The mix is put over the heat to be cooked and smoked at the same time to make the best barbeque you have ever had. The amount of food in Zarb may be too much for one person, so bring your friends for this feast.
Mobile & Internet
What is the best company?
The best company is Zain for tourists as it offers the best coverage, speed, and packages. Besides, Umniah is also acceptable, but not as good as Zain. The orange company, on the other hand, offers the smallest network.
How to buy a SIM card in Jordan?
You can find Zain shop at Amman International Airport and buy your SIM card according to the offered packages. Otherwise, you can find Zain stores or genera cellular stores around the country. Keep in mind that you will be requested to provide your passport.
As an example, you can buy Shahmah Package at 9.18 JOD (~$13), offering these features:
- 35000 minutes (in-network)
- 500 minutes (domestic)
- 8GB standard data
- 6GB for Facebook
- 5500 local SMS
Holidays & Festivals
Some of the holidays in Jordan, like Eid al-Fitr, are based on the lunar Islamic calendar and other holidays are based on the Gregorian calendar.
|Holiday||Date 2021||Date 2022|
|New Year’s Day||1-Jan||1-Jan|
|Eid al-Fitr Holiday||13 May to 14 May||2 May to 4 May|
|Eid al-Adha Holiday||20 Jul to 23 Jul||8 Jul to 12 Jul|
|Islamic New Year||10-Aug||30-Jul|
|Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday||19-Oct||8-Oct|
Shopping in Jordan
Some of Jordan’s silverware and traditional jewelry can be a very exotic item to bring home if you have enough money. If you find the right price and good quality, you will not regret this kind of shopping.
When in The Middle East, you must look for their Mosaics. While in Jordan, keep an eye out for Mosaics, especially those that duplicate the map at Madaba, which is one of the famous attractions.
The most traditional part of their attire is Keffiyeh, a kind of headscarf used by men. Their patterns are mostly colored in red and white. Also, they can be seen on the heads of most of the locals in some areas. While they look exotic, they are also useful in protecting the face and eyes in the sand and cold times.
Ceramics and pottery
Ceramics and pottery are found all over Asia, and each country has its own style. You can find very delicate and expensive patterns or just simple patterns of famous monuments. Some of these designs also refer to the times of the Byzantine Empire.
In some shops around Jordan, you can see Sand Art made in small glass bottles. They come in all sizes and shapes with different patterns and designs. If they catch your eye, they are one of the most popular souvenirs of Jordan.
Spice and Salt
If you see some of their fantastic spice, you should not miss the opportunity to bring some of it home! Arabs and Jordanians have always had excellent and famous spices, which they also use regularly in their cuisine. Other than that, you should try and purchase some Dead Sea salt while in Jordan.
Local Bedouin Dress
Apart from Keffiyeh, you can also find traditional Bedouin Dresses. These dresses have intricate embroidery over a long black dress. The best place to look for them is the Bedouin Tents, which sell such items and souvenirs.