Jordan is safe and welcoming country, the best starting point if you wanna taste a bit of Middle East. The majority of the tourists do their only trip to Petra, but they missing a lot, there is so much more to see.
If you spend more time in Jordan, you will admire Roman ruins in Jerash, see the panoramatic view of the Holy Land from Mt. Nebo, enjoy floating and healing in Dead Sea, snorkeling in Read Sea or visiting the desert Wadi Rum. And of course the most important thing - you will eat hummus with falafel for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
Do you want to know the prices in Jordan? Check out our
Jordan budget guide.
Places from the photo journey on the map
The capital of Jordan will get you in the Middle East mood very quickly. We recommend to stay in the old city called Downtown, so you can get anywhere on foot and feel the atmosphere.
Amman was initially built on seven hills, but now it spans over 19 hills! We advise to climb to Citadel to see the city from there. Did you know that Amman was called Philadelphia during Greek and Roman periods?
Amman Roman Theatre
The theatre was built during the 2nd century with capacity of 6.000 people. (Included in Jordan Pass)
Amman food markets
Don't miss the local markets full of fruit&vegetable, meat, nuts&dried fruit and sweets. This one is close to Grand Husseini Mosque
Amman citadel overlooks the old city and dates back to the Bronze Age. Visit the Temple of Hercules and the Umayyad Palace.
Get the right timing for minaret prayers to experience breathtaking echo all over the city.
(Included in Jordan Pass)
The ancient city of Jerash is full of Roman ruins and it is definitely worth visiting. Gerasa (Roman name for Jerash) began to thrive under Roman rule in the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D. Visit Oval Plaza, Hippodrome, Temple of Zeus and Temple of Artemis.
(Included in Jordan Pass)
Madaba Archeological Park
Only an hour drive from Amman you can visit a smaller town called Madaba, famous for its Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics, Roman road and many churches.
(Included in Jordan Pass except the Saint George's Church)
The Madaba Mosaic Map in Saint George's Church
This two million pieces mosaic map preserved on the floor in Saint George's Church shows important landmarks from 6th-century.
Short drive from Madaba you can visit the Holy place where Moses was granted a view of the Promised Land. There is a really nice view from the summit where you can see the valley of the River Jordan, Dead Sea, Jericho and also Jerusalem.
Petra is a huge archeological city, that was settled already in 9,000 BC. During the 4th century BC it was capital of the Nabatean Kingdom. Nabateans were nomadic Arabs and well-known traders. Petra had population over 20.000 people at that time. (Included in Jordan Pass)
Treasury - Petra
This is the place why many tourists come to Petra, but this is not the only thing to see there. You will find Treasury as the first main sight - just 2 km walk from the Petra visitor centre. The Treasurey will surprise you after the walk through the beautiful, narrow canyon called al Siq.
Camels and donkeys in Petra
You will have thousands of pictures of camels and donkeys from Petra.
Ad Deir Monastery - Petra
This is also very famous place in Petra, to see it you need to walk another 3,5 km from the Treasury uphill. On the way there are really nice views that are worth the trip.
Dead sea is Earth's lowest elevation on land - 430.5 metres below sea level. There is no life in Dead Sea due to its salinity which is 10 times higher than in the ocean. That is also why you are floating on the surface.
Dead Sea was one of the first health resorts in the world and there are still thousands of people who come to heal their skin and respiratory problems thanks to the high amount of minerals and higher atmospheric pressure.
Free beach - Dead Sea
If you are a backpacker it is very difficult to stay & swim at Dead Sea. There is only a highway, steep cliffs and crazy expensive resorts who owns the access to the sea. There is no cheap or mid-range accommodation around.
So you can either stay at one of the expensive resorts like Mövenpick or Kempinski, or a cheaper one Ramada resort (the beach is not worth it) OR you can stay somewhere else like Madaba (one hour drive) and come for the swim. There is a public beach that cost 20 JOD (28 USD), you will get a cold shower & towel and mud for extra fee. We read many bad reviews so we didn't go there.
There is one free beach if you are a bit adventurous. You must climb there a bit (our old parents managed), there is no shower, so you have to take bottles with fresh water with you, but actually it is quite nice. There are no people and it is for free.
Aqaba South Beach
If you want to relax at the Read Sea, head to Aqaba. The public beaches are quite alright (the sea is super clean, the beaches are not) if you are here for an afternoon. If you want to spend here more time, you probably want to pay extra to enter a clean beach with at least some facilities. Be aware that if you wear bikini, you will get a lot of unwanted attention and staring from locals on public beaches.
Aqaba has good snorkeling and diving spots. If you don't feel like getting into the water, you can enjoy a trip with Neptune boat that has glass bottom (looks like a yellow submarine). It is a nice wxperience for those who are not able to snorkel.
Awesome and cheap food in Aqaba
If you are coming from Petra, you will really enjoy the cheap and great food in Aqaba! Recommendation: Bring a take away and have a picnic on the beach.
Wadi Rum is a desert valley 60 km from Aqaba. This place is definitely worth visiting. It belongs to one of the highlights of our trip. The views are really amazing!
Wadi Rum with its dark red sand had been innhabited by many cultures as the Nabateans and today's Bedouins that runs the jeep and camel tours.
Wadi Rum jeep tour
It works like this: You book the accommodation in tents on Booking.com. You come to the village and they take you to the camp site. You book a jeep tour with them.
Wadi Rum campsite
To be honest we were a bit dissapointed after reading so many good reviews. Don't get us wrong - the jeep tour, the campsite and the places were amazing, but we read about Bedouins how they welcome you, show you their way of life, the sky full of stars etc.
The reality was that they made you to cancel the booking (so you can't write a review). There is an investor who has bought the campsite and the local beduins work for him. They didn't really talk to us, there was no social program, they didn't show us almost anything. The local family had lots of cooking to do, of course. The food was ok, but nothing really special (take some snacks with you).
We don't usually complain much, but this camp/owner/company seems to care only about making money and it is too obvious. The owner was polite to us, but on the other hand he tried to make the family to hide the kids, so they don't bother us etc. It was all kind of weird.
Places from the photo journey on the map