Jordan is an amazing country located in the Middle East. It is amazingly welcoming to tourists and safe to visit, trust us! It has some quite infamous neighbors such as Syria and Iraq and some other beautiful Middle East countries such as Israel and Lebanon. The people of Jordan are open-hearted, the food is amazing and the deserts will leave you speechless. Let’s have a look at the best Jordan itinerary and places to visit in Jordan.
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What to know before you go?
You have to get the Jordan Pass! It is the single best thing that makes your visit to Jordan hassle free. It waives your visa fee of 40 JD ($56) and it includes entrance in Petra for 1-3 days (50 – 60 JD). Jordan Pass also includes 40 other attractions that you can visit for free. Jordan Pass costs 70 – 80 JD (~$100) depending on how many days you want to spend in Petra. Therefore, you can already see that by purchasing Jordan Pass for 70 JD you will save 20 JD. The only rule is that you have to stay in Jordan for at least 3 nights! So if you are visiting Jordan from Israel for a day trip, it will not work. However, Jordan is worth visiting for more than 1 day, we promise!
Jordan is a Muslim country thus there are some cultural norms to be followed. Women should not wear shorts, skirts and other similar clothing that shows too much skin. Men should dress politely as well. We observed, that the rules were not so strict around Petra and other very touristic areas. Yet, if you happened to be in smaller towns or blend with the locals, make sure to dress modestly to respect the beautiful culture.
Also, if you travel during Ramadan (check Ramadan Calendar to know what time it is each year) be ready that all the eateries and cafes will be closed during the day and you should not eat or drink in public. You can freely eat in your hotel and order meals there. However, on the streets and public places, it is considered a bit disrespectful. Petra and Wadi Rum are exceptions because it would be impossible to last without water, so do not worry about those places!
Related: What Travel Gear We Use?
How much time to spend in Jordan?
The perfect Jordan Itinerary would be 7 days long. It is the perfect amount of time to see all the most important sights and do not rush them. If you are visiting only to see Petra, then 3 days would be enough. However, we highly recommend not to miss Wadi Rum as well! It is the most spectacular place we have ever been to! You could spend 10 days in Jordan as well and have a day extra around Petra and a day extra in Wadi Rum, which would make your trip very relaxed and without any rush at all.
Best Jordan Itinerary – 7 days
Amman – 1 1/2 – 2 days
Amman is most likely the first stop on your Jordan itinerary if you are arriving by air. It is a beautiful city and there are some interesting things to do! Depending on the time you arrive you should spend at least 1 full day in Amman or preferably 1 day and a half.
Amman Citadel is the most spectacular sight in Amman and should not be missed. You can easily spend a few hours exploring the citadel and its surroundings. You will surely learn many new facts about Amman and how the Citadel came to be. With Jordan Pass the entrance is free, without Jordan Pass it is 3 JD ($5).
Downtown Amman is amazing both by day and night. It is a vibrant place where everyone comes together to have a feast every evening. Restaurants are packed and streets are bustling. During the day you can explore the many narrow and steep streets that have so much character and soul.
Central Market is a place to go shopping for fresh fruit, juices, cheeses, hummus, pancakes and see feel the Arab market vibe. You can purchase spices and teas to bring back home as well as some nice souvenirs.
Rainbow Street is where you will find the nicest rooftop restaurants and pubs. Rainbow street is a great photography spot and a place to enjoy your morning coffee.
Where to Stay in Amman?
An amazing newly built hotel that offers incredible luxury at a great price. The service and staff’s hospitality is outstanding as well as their Suites. It is located a short walk away from Amman Downtown and offers breathtaking views from the rooftop. They have all the amenities you need and the wifi is as fast as lightning. The House Boutique Suites would be our first choice!
This is a great budget option for only $25 a night! The Hotel is located in Downtown Amman and has a sun terrace and breakfast included in the price. A really great option if you are looking for something affordable but charming at the same time.
Petra – 2 days
Petra is the most famous sight in Jordan and the reason most of the tourists visit Jordan. We didn’t know what to expect before we arrived. Our impression was that Petra will consist only of the Treasury Building and we could not understand why someone would need 3 days to explore Petra. Oh, we were wrong! Petra is huge, gorgeous and so unique. You can easily spend 2 days wandering around Petra and Little Petra and grasping all the sights. If you have only 7 days you should explore Petra and Little Petra for 2 days at least. Petra is roughly 3-4 hours away from Amman so if you take the 6:30 am Jett bus from Amman you will reach Petra and be ready for your first exploration day by 10:30 am.
After a long day rest at your hotel and get ready for another full day of sightseeing. Spend half a day in Petra, go for lunch and head to Little Petra as it is often overlooked, but also worth a visit. After your second day you will be exhausted, and enjoy a lazy evening eating and relaxing your feet.
From Petra to Wadi Rum
To make it to Wadi Rum, however, you will have to wake up early again. There is only one minivan to Wadi Rum which leaves at 6 am and the only other option is hiring a car if you are travelling with someone, or renting a car and going on your own. Yet the minivan will be the cheapest option setting you back only 7 JD ($11). The ride takes only 2 hours.
Important Note: Be careful of the scams in Petra. If you are a solo female traveler, do not fall for dinner invitations and other charmers. There have been many reported cases of scamming these woman into paying them money and having intimate contact. Also, do not take the carriage to the Treasury building in the morning when you arrive, it is a 5min ride and it will cost you $30. It is a beautiful walk through.
Where to Stay in Petra?
Hayat Zaman is an amazing place to stay in Petra. It is a 5-star hotel with rates starting from $85 for a room, that is a bargain! Breakfast included, of course! Hayat provides a real, authentic Jordan vibe. They also have a pool to chill at after a long day of exploring.
Seven Wonders provides similar luxury only with a 3-star ranking and the price of $55 per night. They offer a beautiful breakfast buffet and a swimming pool as well.
Wadi Rum – 2 days
Wadi Rum is spectacular. It is like something out of a movie. It makes you feel small and the desert so powerful over you. There are many jeep tours you can take during your stay in Wadi Rum all around the desert. One day can be easily spent touring around with a jeep. Make sure to return for a sunset camel ride as the heat has gone down and you can enjoy the breathtaking views with no rush.
When staying at Wadi Rum make sure to go out in the night and stargaze. It will be unforgettable. We could not remember the last time we saw so many stars! It might be the most beautiful thing we have done in a long time and also very, very romantic.
We would recommend staying 2 nights in Wadi Rum so you can easily explore the desert, choose some of the best 4×4 tours and most importantly – hang around Beduins, learn about their way of life and listen to some amazing stories. You can smoke shisha in the Desert Camp, watch evening dance shows and experience Beduin traditional way of outdoor cooking.
Where to Stay in Wadi Rum?
Rahayeb Desert Camp and Wadi Rum was truly our favourite experience, mostly because of the amazing people that work at Rahayeb. We had so much fun and we spent a great time together. RDC organizes 4×4 tours and camel rides and you can choose either breakfast only, half-board or full-board stay. You can choose out of shared rooms with shared bathroom to private rooms with private bathroom and even mini-suites. We befriended the manager of the site so in case you want to inquire about the prices or great offers, do not hesitate to ask us for his contacts! We can arrange a great deal for you!
Aqaba – 1/2 day
After visiting Wadi Rum you will have to head to Aqaba to either catch a Jett Bus back to Amman or arrange a minivan you took to Wadi Rum to take you back the next day or the day after. If you decide to take the Jett Bus from Aqaba rest assured that the buses for Amman leave 6 times a day. If you have some time to kill you can walk around Aqaba and visit the Red Sea. Aqaba is a very touristy and very modern city, so it might be worth a short visit.
Jerash and the Dead Sea day trip from Amman – 1 day
Depending on what time you arrive back in Amman plan a day trip on the same day to both of the places or divide it into two days if you arrive late and can only make it to one place. Jerash and the Dead Sea both are roughly 45 minutes away from Amman.
Jerash is an ancient Roman city. It boasts an amazing oval forum, like one of those you would think to find in Rome . There is also a stunning colonnaded street to walk through and be in awe of the history of Jordan.
The Dead Sea is an experience you cannot miss. The Dead Sea is a very unique place, where water is like salty syrup that instantly burns your eyes and it is the deepest hypersaline lake in the world. The salt percent in the Dead Sea is around 35%, which is 10 times saltier than in the ocean. And, yes, you float. And, yes, it is extremely fun. We came with the skepticism that we will not enjoy the classic tourist activity but we were laughing our lungs out playing Jesus. The mud bath was an interesting experience as well. Be warned that if you get the salt water in any open cuts or wounds or even on freshly shaved skin, you will be in pain! I had a bruise on my leg and it was a disaster, but absolutely worth it!
Must do: Do not miss the legendary Hashem Restaurant in Amman (coordinates) for your last dinner in Jordan. It is a world famous vegetarian restaurant and their hummus and falafels are to die for. And we are not hummus lovers, haha. The prices are very cheap and a meal for two will set you back 7 JD ($10). This might be the most important tip and why it makes ours the best Jordan itinerary!
Watch our Youtube Vlogs on our experiences in Jordan, including a visit to Hashem Restaurant:
Jett Bus is the cheapest way to get around Jordan. It takes you to all the major sights such as Jerash, the Dead Sea, Petra, Aqaba, Wadi Rum etc. Usually ride will not cost you more than $12. However, the most convenient way to get around would be to hire a driver with a car to take you anywhere you want. This would cost a minimum of $100 a day. You can also rent your own car and drive yourself, this would be cheaper than having a driver. Last option is getting a taxi between cities. Usually, you can get a taxi from Amman to Petra for 50 JD if you negotiate well. Thus, if you are travelling with several people the split price would be close to the bus price, yet you have the comfort of a car.
We were worried about safety, our families were worried. Our social media followers were curious. Jordan is safe, we have been there and experienced it to approve it. People are friendlier than ever in Europe. The fact that 20% of the population is Syrian refugees does not make the country unsafe. People live in harmony and try to avoid conflict and any relations with conflicting regions. Security is present at all the tourist places and such thing as petty theft is very rare. Everyone greets you with a smile and offers you some of their food. Do not worry, the shaky situation of the region does not determine the situation within the borders of Jordan. With the best Jordan itinerary in hands, go and explore the amazing country!