Jordan is a country in the Middle-East and it might not be on your travel list, but definitely, it should be.
From the amazing Petra to the modern malls, from the Red Sea to the Death Sea, Jordan packs a lot of experiences and landscapes out of this world.
Tourism in Jordan started to grow, more and more people started to visit this little amazing country.
But before your visit, you should know some things to make the most of your trip.
Jordan is safe to travel to.
Jordan borders countries like Iraq, Syria and Saudi Arabia and of course the first thing that comes to your mind is safety. This was also our first though, but we started to look for information about it and we decided that it was safe to travel to.
After two weeks in Jordan, we can say for sure that it is a safe country.
It is true that along the way, we met a lot of police and army checkpoints, but we understood that this was for extra protection.
Jordan has low levels of crime. Punishments for stealing or crimes against tourists are very harsh.
Your goods in the hotel or travel buses are generally safe. Locals have a lot to lose in a country where unemployment is very high.
People are extremely welcoming, they smile often, they are not aggressive when they want to sell something and they are not insisting.
There is so much more to see than Petra
Petra is indeed one of the Seven New Wonders of the World, it is unbelievable, and yes you must visit it, but Jordan has many more things to offer.
There are tropical canyons to discover, very well preserved Roman cities to see, mountains to climb, biblical places to feel or a million stars to stare at in one of the most beautiful deserts in the world.
If you only have been to Petra, you hadn’t been to Jordan.
You should spend about 10 days in Jordan
If you are looking to explore Jordan, then we suggest 10 days as the perfect amount of time to spend here.
Jordan is relatively a small nation and it’s easy to get around it.
In ten days you will see almost everything.
Buy the Jordan Pass
If you are visiting Jordan you should buy the Jordan Pass. This way you will save a lot of money.
Jordan Pass includes the price for visa on arrival, entrance to Petra and prepaid entry to over 40 attractions in Jordan. So basically, it covers entry to most historical sites around the country.
You should buy it before arriving in Jordan.
Jordan Wanderer – 1-day visit to Petra (70 JD)
Jordan Explorer – a 2-day visit to Petra (75 JD)
Jordan Expert – a 3-day visit to Petra (80 JD)
Citizens of most countries can purchase a visa on arrival. For exceptions please see the Visit Jordan visa information page.
- Single entry month-long visas are 40JOD each
- Double-entry visas valid for three months are 60JOD Don’t forget about the Jordan Pass that can take care of your visa cost.
Best time to visit Jordan is in Spring or Autumn
The ideal time to come to Jordan is in the spring.
Mach – May is a wonderful time in this country with great daytime temperatures and cooler evenings.
June, July and August, the summer months here are very hot, with temperatures reaching up into the 40 degrees.
Sept –Nov is a good time to visit Jordan as the temperature is typically mild.
In December and February, the temperature can drop to 0 degrees in almost all the areas except the Red and the Death Sea. Don’t think that in Jordan it is not cold.
Keep in mind that Jordan is not cheap
Jordan’s currency is the Jordanian Dinar (JOD), which is worth about 1.2 Euros, at this time. And for you to have an idea. Jordanian Dinar ranks 4 in the top 10 strongest currencies in the world. Especially in Amman, the prices for everything are high.
A cup of coffee at a casual cafe can cost upwards of 1 euro. A dinner or lunch in a no touristic restaurant is about 10 euros and forget about alcohol. It is so expensive.
Dress respectfully, especially if you are a woman
There is no mandatory dress code in Jordan, but keep in mind that this is a Muslim country and there are few recommended ways of dressing. Women have to cover their knees and cleavage not to draw too much attention to themselves. In the more remote areas, you’ll see women wearing hijabs that completely cover their faces, but as a tourist, we recommend to use a headscarf as a sign of respect for the locals. For men, shorts seemed to be ok, the same as T-shirts. Sandals are ok. If you’re looking to be conservative wear long pants and long sleeve shirt.
Accommodation in Jordan
If we speak about 2-3 star hotels, conditions are really basic. Don’t expect great value for your money, even if on Booking.com they have a good rate and great pictures. Hot water runs on boilers so it is possible not to have hot running water all day long. Most hotels don’t have a heating system and believe us that in winter, you need it.
Hotels are not exceeding on cleaning chapter.
And there are luxury hotels. Here there is a completely different story but it comes with huge costs.
You can use your credit card in the cities
ATMs are available throughout the country and credit cards are widely used. But keep in mind that this is valid for cities and even in cities you will find some places that won’t accept credit cards.
To withdraw money from ATMs, there is a fee of 5 JOD / transaction.
I recommend that you have money on your credit card and use it whenever possible. But take into consideration that there are many places like Dana Biosphere Reserve, Wadi Rum desert where you can use only cash.
You should have cash all the time
In the cities, cash can be withdrawn from ATMs and it is better to have cash all the time. There are some places cash only, like Dana Biosphere Reserve, Wadi Rum desert or remote places, not to mention that even in the cities there are some places that won’t accept credit cards.
Call the bank and tell them about your trip to Jordan
Jordan is a Middle East country, so the bank can consider your transaction suspicious and block your credit card. So, it is better to let them know that you will travel to Jordan.
Buy an internet SIM card
These days people want to stay in touch or to use social media as much as possible. The best way to do this is to buy a SIM card. There’s a couple of telecommunication companies in Jordan, but we highly recommend Zain or Orange which are quite cheap, helpful and had excellent network coverage across the country.
In Jordan, many people speak English
The national language of Jordan is Arabic. Jordanians speak the Levantine dialect of Arabic. Most Jordanians speak English, especially in urban areas such as Amman and in areas that receive tourists and amongst younger people. So you won’t have communication problems.
You shouldn’t miss the food, it’s amazing
You’ll always find hummus, baba ganoush, falafel, kebabs, and tabbouleh on Jordanian dining tables.
Try Mansaf (lamb seasoned with herbs & spices), which is a national dish.
Jordan has incredible street food be sure to try it and be prepared to gain few extra kilos.
Not to mention the sweets… we fell in love with the traditional sweet called Kanafeh or Kunafeh. This was one of our favorites! Yummy!
Jordan has a poorly developed public transport.
In Amman, we found public transport rudimentary with old and crowded buses.
In Aqaba, public transport seemed much better. They have clean and relatively modern buses.
There are buses between Amman and Aqaba or Amman and Petra, Wadi Rum or the Dead Sea.
There are connections between all the major tourist attractions, the prices are low, but they tend not to stay stick with the schedule.
Nonetheless, I don’t recommend using public transportation in Jordan.
The best way to experience Jordan is by renting a car.
Jordan might be a small country, but public transportation is not so well developed – the public buses only connect the major cities. That leaves out so many beautiful places. Having your rental car helps you explore these gems on your schedule. Renting a car in Jordan is easy and the cost is about 30 JOD/day.
The streets are in good condition and safe.
You can drive easily from north to south in about 5 hours.
Prepare for the chaotic traffic in Amman
Easily one of the most shocking parts of life in Amman is its traffic.
In Amman, the traffic is extremely chaotic in the old center and crowded in the new part of the city.
Drive with the utmost attention.
In the old town, you should park only in parking places especially marked, otherwise you risk a fine. And they are taking their job seriously.
Once you get out of Amman and generally out of town, the traffic is quiet, in any direction you go.
You will have to learn how to drive here. But the best news is that you will get used to it in time.
You shouldn’t miss a night in a camp in Wadi Rum
Wadi Rum is a destination in its own right, both for its surreal landscape and pleasantly isolated location. To get the most out of your experience, you’ll have to spend the night here. And the perfect experience is to stay in a traditional Bedouin camp. It is one lifetime experience that you shouldn’t miss it.
Jordan has the best-preserved Roman ruins you have never heard
When you think of Roman ruins, Rome is easily coming to your mind and it is easy to overlook other amazing Roman ruins that exist all over the former Roman empire, like those in Turkey, Greece or Jordan.
Jordan was once a very important Roman city called Gerasa. It was a member of the Decapolis, a group of ten cities in Jordan, Israel, and Syria.
Today remained only the ruins of the city, but there are so well preserved that you should come to see it.
Don’t miss to drive on the King’s Highway
It is one of the most historic highways in the world. The King’s Highway history dates back to several centuries BC when Nabataeans who lived in Petra already used it. In its glory days, the route extended from Egypt through today’s Jordan to Mecca. Connecting Africa with Mesopotamia Later on, in the Roman times, it was part of the Via Nova Traiana and it served as a military and trade road along the fortified Limes.
Don’t miss the lowest elevation point on Earth
Swimming in the Dead Sea, Earth’s lowest elevation point, is a bucket list moment. The water here is around 10 times saltier than seawater. However, it is only the fifth saltiest body of water on Earth and it’s a case of floating rather than swimming! Anyway, it is a unique experience.
Alcohol consumption is legal
There are numerous liquor stores, especially in large cities but quite expensive.
The Jordanians even have their beer – Petra