A country that is sure to wow you from start to finish, discover the 10 best things to do in Jordan for a holiday like no other.
Jordan is easily one of the most magnificent and exciting travel destinations on earth. Visiting Jordan often welcomes polarizing looks of shock, surprise, excitement, and questioning. The country is surrounded by unrest which can make some travelers hesitate, however, Jordan offers a welcoming safe space for its visitors away from the chaos around it.
Honestly, I was cautiously optimistic before visiting Jordan. I had no idea what to expect and it blew me away! The people were friendly and welcoming, the security was very high and safety in the country was a top priority, the food was the best I’d had in the Middle East, and the attractions are mind-blowing.
Tourists visiting Jordan can expect to enjoy historic marvels, beautiful cities, friendly locals, a diverse culture, and natural wonders. It is home to one of the oldest cities on the planet, the lowest point on earth, and one of the 7 wonders of the world! There truly is no place like Jordan.
Below are the 10 best things to do in Jordan for a once-in-a-lifetime holiday.
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10 Best Things to do in Jordan
One of the top things to do in Jordan that you CAN NOT miss is visiting Petra. This famous archeological site dates back to 300 B.C. when it was the capital city of the Nabataeans Kingdom. At its height, it was home to around 250,000 people and was a thriving city with very advanced architecture and designs. It is now one of the 7 Wonders of the World and a wonder no doubt.
Petra is accessed by walking down a narrow canyon between huge cliffs, also known as “Al Siq”. Even this walk is incredibly impressed with the huge cliffs, smaller temple carvings, and tombs. After walking down the Siq you will reach the most famous and popular attraction: The Treasury (pictured above). This 45m high ornate detailed temple is carved into the surrounding cliffs. It truly is a wonder how it was carved and created thousands of years ago.
You will notice this is by far the busiest part of Petra due to its popularity. There are also a lot of locals trying to make you pay for camel rides and for them to bring you to the mountain views. They can get pretty annoying and pushy so beware. I chose to not go to the viewpoint – even though I wanted to – because of how pushy they were.
After seeing The Treasury there is a TON more to see in Petra. It is actually quite shocking how huge the entire lost city is and how much you can see and do here. There are many other templates, ruins, and more. However, the best place to head to next is The Monastery. This is a cliff-carved temple that looks quite similar to the Treasury but is MUCH less busy. Getting here requires around 45 minutes of walking uphill and is quite the hike.
I actually preferred The Monastery over The Treasury. Some people rode donkeys to the top which was so sad and cruel, I do not support this! Walk and get a little workout in.
Tips for Visiting Petra:
- At the entrance, people will say a horse ride is included in your ticket. They will give you a horse ride and demand a “tip” so don’t do it.
- The animals in Petra are NOT treated well. Camels, donkeys, horses. Do not ride them and support unethical treatments.
- The entrance price is 50 JD (67.72€) or INCLUDED in the Jordan Pass (More about this at the end of the article)
- Budget around 4-5 hours to see as much of Petra as you can. You won’t nearly see all of it but quite a bit.
- Hours: 6 AM – 6 PM in summer and 6 AM – 4 PM in winter.
There are quite a few tours that will bring you here. The one below is the one I joined for visiting all the hot spots of Jordan and I HIGHLY recommend it.
Enjoy Petra by Night
Petra by Night is an occasional event where you can enjoy the magic of Petra after dark. The only source of light is thousands of candles which makes the entire adventure all the most exciting and magical. This experience only runs Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 20:30 – 22:30, and the entrance price is 17 JD (23€).
Explore Wadi Rum
Wadi Rum is a vast red sand desert in Jordan that attracts visitors from around the world. The name “Wadi Rum” translates to Moon Valley which makes sense with the huge valleys and red sands, however, it looks more like Mars than the moon. There is an entrance price of 5JD (6.77€) which is not included in the Jordan Pass, but this fee is highly worth it.
Heading to Wadi Rum is one of the best things to do in Jordan for travelers looking to immerse themselves in one of the most beautiful and scenic places in the country. Here you can camp in a traditional Bedouin Camp, go on (ethical) camel rides, embark on jeep tours, sand hikes and more. It is easily one of the most beautiful places in Jordan that is best visited overnight since it is a 3-4 hour drive from Amman.
Wondering how you can stay overnight in Wadi Rum? Read Spend a Night in a Bedouin Camp!
Spend a Night in a Bedouin Camp
The best way to spend a night in Wadi Rum is at a Bedouin Camp. These are traditional camping compounds in Wadi Rum that offer stays to visitors where you can sleep under the stars and soak in a warm Jordanian welcome. The types of camps and tents vary quite a bit from the famous bubble tents (like this: bubble tent 1 and bubble tent 2) to private tents, to shared tents. All have their own pros, cons, and experiences so choose what you feel most drawn to.
I found the camps much more modern than I had imagined with heat, AC, running water, plumbing, electricity, and even WIFI! Everyone on my tour had thought it would be completely roughing it but it was quite the opposite for our camp.
Nonetheless, the experience was amazing. With a full dinner and breakfast prepared for us in the traditional Bedouin way. The experience was 100% worth it and this is easily one of the best things to do in Jordan.
Swim in the Dead Sea
The Dead Sea is another one of Jordan’s amazing natural attractions that you cannot miss while here. This salt lake is shared by Jordan and the West Bank and is actually the lowest point on earth at 430.5 meters below sea level. That’s not the only reason the Dead Sea is so amazing but also the fact that it has a 35% salt content level. This means that nothing can live in it, not plants or sea animals which is why it is called dead.
More so, it is so salty that you can float in it incredibly easily. The experience of sitting in the water and floating to the top as if you are sitting on a chair is amazing! Just note, not all of the Dead Sea looks blue and beautiful like this. You can search for the blue clear areas as some are darker and not so pretty. This is one of the best things to do in Jordan for families, couples, and more, a truly remarkable experience.
Jerash is home to some of the most well-preserved and largest Roman Ruins in the world outside of Italy. The ruins have a history dating back 6,500 years with ruins like amphitheaters, fountains, cathedrals, and even an archeological museum. The ancient city of Jerash is more than just one ruin but a massive set of ruins you can spend a few hours walking around and admiring.
Visiting Jerash is one of the best things to do in Jordan after Petra for history lovers. The best way to learn and understand as much as possible about Jerash is with a tour. Below are some tours that will not only bring you to the ruins but also give you valuable information along the way.
See Amman Citadel
Visiting and exploring the Amman Citadel is one of the top things to do in Jordan to immerse yourself in the history of Amman. With the capital city of Jordan, Amman, being one of the oldest cities in the world there is PLENTY of historic places and sites to see and enjoy. One of the best is the Citadel.
This large archeological site is home to a museum, ruins, and some of the very best views of Amman! It is the perfect place to explore for an hour or two and delve into the history of Jordan. The archeological museum has artifacts dating back to 800 B.C. and it is UNBELIEVABLE! The best thing is that the Amman Citadel is included in the Jordan Pass so if you get the Jordan Pass you benefit here.
Eat Amazing Local Food
The food in Jordan was the best I’ve had out of anywhere else in the middle east. It was fresh, unique, and oh-so tasty! From the hummus to falafel to halloumi everything was top-notch. I don’t usually fall in love with a place more because of food but the food really brought Jordan over the top for me. My favorite restaurant in the city was Jubran with incredible food and an even better view.
Heading out to enjoy local, delicious food is easily one of the best things to do in Jordan.
Venture to Aqaba
Aqaba is Jordan’s only coastal city where visitors can enjoy the mountains, history, and water! It sits along the Red Sea’s Gulf and has been inhabited since 4000 B.C. Head here to enjoy the popular beach and water activities like windsurfing and snorkeling. Aqaba is also one of the top destinations for snorkelers with it being close to the Yamanieh coral reef.
Amman, the capital city of Jordan, is one of the best cities to stop in and explore in Jordan. It is HUGE and packed with historic sites, lively streets, and hidden gems. Exploring Amman is one of the best things to do in Jordan to see and experience local life and feel the energy of the country.
The Jordan Pass is a complete sightseeing and entrance package for visitors to Jordan. It is not ideal for EVERYONE to buy as it depends on where you are from. If you are a visitor from a Western country then purchasing this pass BEFORE arrival will save you money during your visit.
The Jordan Pass provides free entrance to over 40 attractions in Jordan, a 1-day visit to Petra, and waves the entrance visa fees. The price for the smallest package (which is all you really need) costs 70JD (94.37€). Without the Jordan Pass, you will pay the visa fee of 40 JD (53.93€), and if you go to Petra 50 JD (67.41€). So even with just these two things you save money with the Jordan Pass.
For more information and to look into if this is right for you check out the Official Jordan Pass Website.
How to Get Around Jordan
The best way to get around Jordan is by tour! There are a ton of amazing tours that will bring you all around the country showing you the top attractions along the way. A guide knows their country inside and out and will give you the best experience possible. The tour below is the one I went on and it was phenomenal!
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Where to Stay in Jordan
The best place to stay in Jordan is Amman if you want to enjoy the city life or in Wadi Rum to enjoy the desert.
With so many amazing things to do in Jordan an amazing adventure awaits.
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