Jordan on budget
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Jordan is not definitely a cheap country for tourists compare to Asia, but it is possible to see a lot for a reasonable price. This time we traveled with our family, so the costs were a bit higher due to the higher standard the older people need.
The local currency in Jordan is Jordanian dinar (JOD). The exchange rate in 2019 was 1 USD = 1.4 JOD. Like everywhere else it is best to bring US dollars and exchange them. Otherwise you can withdraw money from ATM. The withdrawal fee is usually 5 JOD (7 USD).
Average cost per person: 50 USD per day (traveling with our parents => higher standard => higher price)
including visa, mid-range accommodation, food, car rental & gas, Jordan Pass, souvenirs
excluding flight tickets
Check also top things to see in Jordan in our photo journey.
The main thing you can save money on are the flight tickets. Read our tips how to find cheap flights.
There is a regular Ryanair connection from Europe which makes it very cheap to get to Amman.
We decided to rent a car because it was easy to get anywhere we wanted with our parents who are not able to walk far as we usually do. Generally it is quite a good public transport connection between for example Amman-Petra, but it is impossible to get for example to the Dead Sea. If you want to get to Jerash, go to Tabarbour bus station (north part of Amman).
Prices example (2019)
- Uber to the airport - 17 JOD (24 USD)
- official taxi from the airport - 21.5 JOD (32 USD)
- Uber in Amman - around 3 JOD (4.2 USD)
- bus to Jerash (from Tabarbour station) - 1 JOD (1.4 USD) The bus leaves when it is full. If you are 5 and more, you can pay 2 JOD (2.8 USD)/each and leave right away. It works especially on the way back where you can hitchike the bus actually.
- car rental 10 days gas+insurance (van for 9 pax) - 744 JOD (1050 USD)
- 1l gas (everywhere the same price) - 0.75 JOD (1 USD)
We were traveling with our parents, so they needed a bit higher standard than we usually do. The prices vary a lot, but generally you won't get a lot for what you pay. In Amman and Petra we succeeded to get a quite "cheap" double room for 10 JOD/person (14 USD) , but this was impossible by the Dead Sea where you are basically forced to stay in resorts if you really wish to be close. Accommodation in Wadi Rum is cheap 7 JOD/pers (10 USD), but they will charge you more for everything else, so it will even up.
Jordanian food is really one of the highlights of the trip. It belongs also to one of the cheapest things for tourists in Jordan. The cuisine is a combination of food from North Africa, the Middle East and the Mediterranean. Every day you will probably eat pita bread, olives, za’atar, yoghurt and hummus.
The most common meal is hummus and falafel. Falafel is always fresh and awesome. Try especially fattet hummus (a better fluffy version of hummus served with pine nuts). Don't miss moutabal (eggplant with yoghurt and tahini), tabbouleh salad (parsley, tomatoes, garlic, and bulgur). From meat you have to try shish kebab (grilled minced meat lamb skewers), shawarma (Jordanian version of "european" kebab). The national Jordanian dish is mansaf (rice, lamb, and jameed, which is a hard dried and fermented goats milk yoghurt).
One of the best desserts is hareeseh or a cheese version kanafeh (baked semolina, coconut, cream, sugar, yoghurt, and almonds). The Jordanian coffee is usally served with cardammon and the black tea with mint. The alcohol is very expensive here as Jordan is a muslim country.
Recommended place to eat street foor in Amman: Hashem restaurant on Shaaban street
The prices vary unbelievable a lot, you can get a lunch/dinner for 2 JOD (2.8 USD) in Aqaba, but you will have a huge problems to find a restaurant in Petra where you can eat below 8 JOD (11 USD). The average price for a good meal is around 4.3 JOD (6 USD)
- Shawarma on the street - 1.2 JOD (1.7 USD)
- Hummus - 1 JOD (1.4 USD)
- Coke 0.5 l - 0.5 JOD (0.7 USD)
- Water 1.5 l - 0.25 JOD (0.7 USD)
- Cardammon coffee local price - 0.5 JOD (0.7 USD) There is no surprise to have a bad instant coffee in the centre of Madaba/Petra for 3 JOD (4.2USD). Choose wisely!
- Ice cream - 1 JOD (1.4 USD)
- Beer - 4 JOD (5.6 USD), The beer in Petra costs 8 JOD (11.3 USD)
You must definitely buy the Jordan Pass.
We recommend you to purchase it online, so you have it ready on your arrival. It covers your visa fee, entrance to Petra and other 40 attractions.
We bought the pass for 75 JOD (106 USD) which includes the entrance fee for Petra for 2 days.
Prices example per person (2019)
ATTRACTIONS THAT ARE NOT INCLUDED IN JORDAN PASS
- Petra by night - 17 JOD (24 USD) Most of us had an experience that it wasn't worth the extra fee. We experienced there a huge panic when we heard a sound that resembled a shooting (It was a day after the Sri Lanka attacks). Not a nice experience. The place lacks any kind of security.
- Mt. Nebo - 2 JOD (2.8 USD)
- St. George's Church in Madaba - 1 JOD (1.4 USD)
- Wadi Rum 1 day tour - 60 JOD (85 USD)
- When you come to the airport, don't exchange the money inside where they ask for freaking 15 JOD (22 USD) exchange fee for nothing. Find the bank at the exit with NO exchange fee.
- We had some issues catching Uber at the airport. Three of our drivers didn't show up and send us messages in arabic. You will probably need to walk a bit out of the airport to be able to get one. It was no problem to get Uber on the way back and it stopped right at the departure hall.
More tips for traveling cheap here