Jordan was my first trip to the Middle East and it quickly became one of my all-time favourite destination! This country really has it all: if you are looking for dramatic landscapes, amazing red sand dunes, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, the lowest point on Earth, amazing local food and friendly people then you have come to the right place! In this Jordan travel guide you can find all the information you need to know before visiting Jordan!
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How Much Time Do You Need to Spend in Jordan?
Well, this totally depends on you. Many people just want to visit Petra so they are border crossing from Israel for only one day. But Jordan deserves so much more than that! I would suggest planning at least 3-4 full days to have enough time to cover the most famous spots.
Originally I wanted to do the same and while it’s totally doable, I realized I don’t want to rush over the whole country in just a few days. I’ve decided to spend one week in Jordan instead and after having done that I would say this is definitely the best option! You will have a decent amount of time for the must-see places plus you can include some fun activities and some relax time as well.
If you want to spend more than one day in Petra or the Wadi Rum desert, or you want to see some more off-the-beaten places, spending 10 days in Jordan is ideal. To be honest, even if you would spend 2 weeks there you wouldn’t get bored so it really depends on your own preferences!
Best Time to Visit Jordan
Jordan is a year-round destination, the best time highly depends on what type of activities you’re looking for. It’s important to know that the country may be small, but due to its topography you can expect different weather conditions across the land. That means you can experience some rainy and chilly days in Amman but you can work on your tan at the same time in the sunny Aqaba.
Spring (March-May) is one of the best options to visit Jordan. The weather is already pleasant in the mid-20 degrees with lots of sunshine, which is perfect for hiking and sightseeing. Springtime is really magical as the whole country is carpeted with wildflowers, even the desert!
The summer months (June-August) in Jordan are insanely hot and dry, the temperature can easily rise up to 40 degrees. Unless you are planning to chill all day long by the pool, I wouldn’t recommend this time for traveling.
Autumn (September-November) can be another great time for visiting as the temperature begins to drop in mid-September. This time is especially great if you are interested in diving in Aqaba.
The winter in Jordan (December-February) is generally short and cold. The temperature usually drops below freezing in the North and snow is not uncommon either. All the popular sites will be quite empty so if you want to explore without the crowds and you can bear the cold, winter can still be a good choice for you, especially if you would like to experience Christmas in Jordan.
Visa in Jordan
Every visitor should obtain for a visa. It can be purchased at the international airports and most of the land borders for 40 JD (56 USD). However, if you decide to buy the Jordan Pass it already covers the visa and it gives you free access to many sites, including the famous Petra. The visa fee is waived on the condition that you stay at least 3 nights in Jordan (bad news for border hoppers).
If you are planning to visit Petra I recommend choosing the Jordan Pass. If you would choose to buy the one-day Petra ticket separately, it would cost you 50 JD (70 USD). You would pay another 40 JD (56 USD) for the visa, so your total cost would be 90 JD (126 USD). The cheapest option of the Jordan Pass is 70 JD (100 USD) and it already includes the visa and a one-day pass to Petra. You can choose a multiple-day Pass as well, if you plan to stay longer in Petra.
Money in Jordan
When I first heard about Jordan I thought it would be a budget destination. I couldn’t have been more wrong about that! Jordan is quite an expensive country, even comparing it to European or American standards.
The official currency is the Jordanian dinar (JD). You can change money at banks, exchange offices or even at some hotels. Most of the major currencies are accepted but it’s easier to change US dollars, Euros or UK pounds. The US dollar rates are fixed (1 USD = 0.7 JD) while the other currencies are subject to the current economical conditions.
I would recommend bringing US dollars to Jordan and then change it to dinars once you’re there. It’s possible to change dinars back to any foreign currency if you don’t need them anymore.
ATMs are available through the country and credit cards are widely accepted. However, there are no ATMs in places like the Wadi Rum desert or Petra and you can only pay with cash in these areas. We brought 350 USD in cash with us and it was enough for the whole week (on top of the credit card payments, of course). We used it mostly in markets and smaller restaurants and in the desert area.
If you’re interested to know more about the travel costs in Jordan, read my post about how much does it cost to spend one week in Jordan!
How to Get Around in Jordan
Public transportation only exists in bigger cities like Amman. Be aware that the public buses don’t follow a timetable, the bus will only depart once it’s fully loaded with passengers. They have specific routes but there are no official bus stops. They will stop anywhere once you press the button and you can waive them down anywhere along the road if you want to get on. You can buy your tickets on the bus.
The other option is taking a tourist bus. The Jordan Express Tourist Transportation Company (JETT) operates many tourist buses across the country. They have a fixed schedule and they don’t stop en route. If you want to travel with them, you have to purchase your ticket in advance. In case you prefer to travel privately, you can also opt for an organized tour or hire a private driver to take care of the transportation issue.
After checking many options we decided to rent a car. To be honest we were a bit afraid of driving in Jordan but as long as you can avoid the bigger cities you’ll be fine. Most of the time you will be driving through empty highways and mountain roads. There are lots of tricky road bumps and some of the roads could be in better condition. Oh and don’t be surprised if you find a horde of sheep (or goat) in the middle of the road! It’s just the normal traffic in the Jordan countryside.
Best Things to Do in Jordan
The rose-colored city of Petra is one of the New Seven Wonders of the Modern World. Since Petra is the most interesting site in Jordan you absolutely need to put it on your itinerary! You can see the vast majority of the ruins in only one day but if you have more time you can easily spend 2-3 days in Petra as well. The most famous spot is the Treasury, but there are many more interesting sites like the Street of Facades, the Roman Theatre or the Monastery. If you’re looking for the best viewpoints in Petra, read my article about how to find the best view of the Treasury!
Where to stay in Petra
LUXURY – Mövenpick Resort Petra
Featuring free Wi-Fi, the 5-star Mövenpick Resort Petra is located directly at the entrance to the ancient city of Petra. The hotel’s rooftop garden terrace offers views of the hills. The spacious rooms feature white linen and bright windows.
MID-RANGE – Infinity Lodge
Set in Wadi Musa, Infinity Lodge offers 3-star accommodation with private balconies. Among the facilities of this property are a restaurant, room service and a shared lounge, along with free WiFi. The property offers car hire and features a garden and terrace.
BUDGET – La Maison Hotel
La Maison Hotel is uniquely located in Wadi Musa, a 5-minute walk from the Jordanian world wonder, the Red Rose City of Petra. The hotel offers air-conditioned guest rooms with satellite TVs.
2. Wadi Rum
The Wadi Rum is an UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the southern part of Jordan. This is a huge desert area with the most amazing landscapes you’ll ever see! If you’re into photography you will absolutely love it. Oh, and it’s definitely one of the most Instagrammable places in Jordan as well! Try to plan at least a half day for visiting the desert but if you have more time I would rather recommend to spend one full day and a night in the Wadi Rum.
Where to stay in the Wadi Rum
LUXURY – Wadi Rum Bubble Luxotel
With mountain views, Wadi Rum Bubble Luxotel is located in Wadi Rum and has a restaurant and a 24-hour front desk. Complimentary WiFi is provided. There is a private bathroom with bidet in all units, along with a hairdryer and free toiletries.
MID-RANGE – Wadi Rum Bedouin Camp
Wadi Rum Bedouin Camp is situated in the heart of Wadi Rum Protected Area. Guests at the campsite can enjoy a continental breakfast. Wadi Rum Bedouin Camp also offers a children’s playground, Jeep tours, camel ride, and hiking.
BUDGET – Bedouin Night Camp
Featuring a terrace, Bedouin Night Camp features accommodation in Wadi Rum. Guests at the camping can enjoy a buffet breakfast. Barbecue facilities are provided and guests can also relax in the garden or in the shared lounge area.
3. Dead Sea
The Dead Sea is the lowest point on Earth and the deepest hypersaline lake in the world. It’s almost 10 times saltier than the ocean, therefore you will rather float than swim in the water. Trust me, floating in the Dead Sea is a true bucket list experience! Although it’s really fun, there are some things you need to pay attention to. Read my 10 best tips for visiting the Dead Sea for more information!
Where to stay at the Dead Sea
LUXURY – Hilton Dead Sea Resort & Spa
Located in Sowayma, this 5-star hotel features a fitness center and a private beach area. All guest rooms equipped with air-conditioning units, WiFi, satellite TV, safe and minibar. If you want to read more about this hotel, check out my complete review of the Hilton Dead Sea Resort & Spa.
MID-RANGE – Dead Sea Spa Hotel
This 4-star resort in Jordan is situated at the lowest spot on earth. The family oriented resort has outdoor pools with water slides and a terrace overlooking the Dead Sea. The hotel offers free WiFi.
Amman is the capital city of Jordan. It’s a very modern city with many ancient ruins so it’s definitely an interesting place to visit. Unfortunately it is often overlooked by tourists but it’s worth spending at least a day there! Even if you have only one day in Amman, you can visit the most famous places like the Citadel, the Temple of Hercules or the Byzantine Church.
Where to stay in Amman
LUXURY – Amman Rotana
Located in the central business, social and residential destination, Amman’s new downtown, Al Abdali, Amman Rotana is the first tower hotel in Jordan offering 412 lavish rooms and suites, housed across 50 floors at 189 m high.
MID-RANGE – Amman International Hotel
Situated next to the University of Jordan, this 4-star hotel offers air-conditioned rooms with a flat-screen TV. All rooms at the Amman International Hotel are spacious and come equipped with free Wi-Fi and a private bathroom with a bathtub.
BUDGET – The Cabin
Located in Amman, The Cabin provides air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi. Providing a shared lounge, the property is located within 7 km of US Embassy.
If you’re looking for the largest and most interesting Roman site in Jordan, you need to put Jerash on your itinerary. This ancient city is packed with many temples, amphitheatres, columns and ruined buildings. You can easily visit Jerash from Amman in a day trip so there is no need to stay there.
Aqaba is the only coastal city in Jordan, packed with beautiful beach resorts. The water is always warm and crystal clear which makes it the perfect place for snorkeling or scuba diving. Unfortunately if you’re only planning to spend a few days in Jordan you will not have time to enjoy the warm weather in Aqaba. However if you’re spending one week in Jordan like I suggested, you can easily plan a full day snorkeling trip in Aqaba!
Where to stay in Aqaba
LUXURY – Mövenpick Resort & Residences Aqaba
This 5-star resort in the centre of Aqaba is 500 m from the Red Sea. It features a private beach, several outdoor pools and 5 food outlets. The rooms at the Mövenpick Resort & Residences Aqaba are bright and furnished with modern décor.
MID-RANGE – Marina Plaza Tala Bay
Situated along the Red Sea shore, this 4-star hotel offers modern rooms with air conditioning and satellite TV. Facilities include Tala Bay Beach Club and outdoor pools and each room is equipped with a private balcony.
BUDGET – Hotel Prestige
550 m from Al-Ghandour Beach, Hotel Prestige is set in Aqaba and features free WiFi, express check-in and check-out and a ticket service. Boasting family rooms, this property also provides guests with a terrace.
So these are all the important things you need to know before visiting Jordan. Hope you guys liked them and this Jordan travel guide will help you to make the most of your visit at this amazing country!
If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email, I always love helping you out! Have you already visited Jordan? Leave your comments and tips below!
The Perfect One Week in Jordan Itinerary
10 Tips for Visiting the Dead Sea
Most Instagrammable Places in Jordan
Want to read more about Jordan?
What Camera Gear Do We Use?
- Camera body: Sony Alpha 7 III
- Standard zoom lens: TAMRON 28-75 mm f/2.8
- Wide angle lens: Sony FE 16-35mm f/4
- Telephoto lens: TAMRON 70-180 mm f/2.8
- Drone: DJI Mavic 2 Pro
- GoPro: GoPro Hero 7
- Camera Bag: Peak Design Everyday Backpack 30L
- Tripod: Manfrotto Compact Action
If you want to read more about what is in our camera bag, check out my detailed post about our travel photography gear!