wadi rum jeep

The Ultimate Guide to Travelling in Jordan

Jordan is a land rich in history, culture, and natural beauty, and probably one of the most spectacular places on Earth I’ve visited. From the ancient city of Petra to the stunning landscapes of Wadi Rum, Jordan offers an array of experiences for every traveller. Here is how I spent a week in Jordan with two friends. This guide will also provide information to help you plan your trip, including key places to visit, practical tips on visas, what to wear, and what to pack.

To make this trip more cost effective, my friends and I flew from London to Amman via Milan. We saved several hundreds of pounds doing this and got to have a night in Bergamo, either side of the trip. If you’re short on cash, I highly recommend doing this as we had a great time in Bergamo too.

Camels in Petra

Jordan Pass

The Jordan Pass is the best way to save time and money on your trip. when visiting Jordan. It gives you pre-paid entry into more than 40 popular tourist destinations, including Petra, Wadi Rum and Jerash. The Jordan Pass also waivers your visa fee, as long as you stay a minimum of 3 nights/4 days.

There are three types available – Jordan Wanderer, Jordan Explorer, and Jordan Expert – depending on how long you want to spend in Petra. The cheaper of the passes will allow you 1 day in Petra, whilst the most expensive pass will give you 3 consecutive days in Petra. The pass will be sent via email, with a PDF containing a QR code that will be scanned at the airport and sites. I’d recommend having a few print out copies alongside your digital copy. You can buy the Jordan pass online here. I can’t recommend this pass enough, it saved us money and we skipped most queues at popular sites.

dead sea jordan guide

Jordan Visa

You’ll likely need a visa to travel to Jordan but these can be obtained upon arrival at the airport or at border crossings. The visa fee is typically around 40 JOD. However, if you purchase the Jordan Pass, the visa fee is waived. Check the specific visa requirements for your nationality before traveling, as some nationalities may need to apply in advance.

Things to do in Jordan

There are so many amazing places to explore in Jordan! We had just over a week there, so decided to visit the Dead Sea, Dana Biosphere, Petra, Wadi Rum and Amman. This was to cover some of the main sites and get a varied experience of the country – between desert, city and historical sites. Here are more details on each place, in order of our itinerary, before looking at a few other key places to consider.

The Dead Sea – 1 Night

The Dead Sea, located at the lowest point on Earth, is renowned for its extremely high salt content, which allows you to float effortlessly. The mineral-rich mud and waters are also said to have therapeutic properties. After landing at Queen Alia International Airport, Jordan’s main international airport, we got a taxi directly to the Dead Sea. The taxi was fixed rate at 15 JOD (17) and took an hour, but this will cost more at night. We managed to get a good deal at the Movenpick hotel at the Dead Sea, so choice to do out first night in Jordan there.

the dead sea

We spent our first afternoon swimming (or floating) around the Dead Sea. It was a surprisingly good core workout!! We were also able to enjoy a mud bath here, which is supposedly great for your skin. If you’re planning to visit the Dead Sea via a hotel, there should be a jetty that will allow you to walk into the sea. Otherwise be sure to bring thick water shoes, as the salt along the shore is very sharp! It felt like walking on glass. After a few hours enjoying the Dead Sea, we spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing by our hotel pool, before having dinner at the resort. We didn’t venture out of the hotel, but it seemed like there wasn’t much to do outside of enjoying the Dead Sea, spending time within the resort or visiting a public beach.

getting muddy at the dead sea

I’ve written a detailed guide on our time at the Dead Sea, along with tips on how to make the most out of your experience there. From the Dead Sea, we took a taxi to Dana Biosphere Reserve.

Dana Biosphere Reserve – 1 Night

Dana Biosphere is the largest nature reserve in Jordan, covering 320sq km, and is famous for its stunning views and impressive hiking. The limited public transport in Jordan meant it was easiest to grab a taxi here. However, I believe you can get buses to Dana Biosphere Reserve from any main city, like Petra or Amman.

dana biosphere reserve

After arriving in the afternoon and settling into our cabins, we went for our first hike. The whole area was very peaceful and provided stunning views! Once we got back to the camp, we spent the evening watching the sunset, before joining everyone in the main tent for dinner.

dana biosphere sunset

Our accomodation provided a huge buffet of local cuisine, all eaten in a traditional tent. It was a great way to meet other people, hear their stories and exchange travel tips for Jordan.

The tents were surprisingly comfortable, warm and quiet, so I slept well. We got up early to watch the sunrise, which was equally as impressive as the previous night’s sunset. After a lazy morning and tasty local breakfast, we packed up and got a taxi to Petra.

dana biosphere hike

If you’re looking for something a little more off-the-beaten-track from the standard sites of Jordan, I really recommend coming to Dana Biosphere. The nature and views are unlike anything else, there are many hikes and the overall atmosphere is very peaceful. Read more about this with my guide on the Dana Biosphere Reserve.

Our sunrise view at dana biosphere

Petra – 2 Nights

Petra is an ancient city carved into rose-red cliffs by the Nabateans over 2,000 years ago. Recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Petra is often referred to as the “Lost City” due to its rediscovery by the Western world in the early 19th century. The iconic Treasury is the most famous structure, but Petra is vast, with many tombs, temples, and an impressive amphitheater.

the Treasury at Petra

We stayed in the centre of Petra and our hotel included free, return transfer to the Petra Archaeologic Park. I’d recommend looking into this when booking, as a number of places offered free return transport to the Park and it saved us hassle and money.

We spent two nights here, to have 1.5 days of exploring Petra. I found this to be enough time to do the main hikes of Petra. Highlights included seeing the famous Treasury, the Siq, the High Place of Sacrifice and the Monastry. You can easily spend three days here though.

I’ve written a more detailed guide on Petra, which goes into more detail on the different hikes and activities within the Park. After an incredible time in Petra, we made our way to Wadi Rum for our desert adventure.

Wadi Rum – 3 Nights

Wadi Rum is one of Jordan’s most breathtaking deserts, and honestly, one of the most unbelievable places I’ve ever been. Truely felt like something out of a movie. Known as the ‘Valley of the Moon’, this surreal landscape features awe-inspiring rock formations, ancient petroglyphs, and vast, echoing canyons. This mesmerising spectacle is an absolute must-do in Jordan.

We chose to spend 3 nights in Wadi Rum and stayed in a traditional Bedouin camp. During the night, we marvelled at the starry-skies and ate incredible local meals that had been cooked using the heat of the sand! In the day, we would explore different parts of Wadi Rum desert via Jeep. This included walking through unique rock formations, dune surfing, spotting wild camels and driving through vast desert plains. This is a place no picture can do justice. One of my favourite parts was watching the sunsets with other groups every evening. Wadi Rum only allows a very small number of tourists in at any given time, so it feels very empty!

After an unbelievable experience at Wadi Rum, we got up early to catch a taxi to the capital of Jordan, Amman.

Amman – 1 Night

Amman is a vibrant capital city, blending ancient history with modern culture. Known for its Roman ruins, bustling markets, and contemporary art scene, Amman offers a truely varied experience.

Arriving in Amman late morning, we were ready for a jam-packed day! We started with lunch at the famous Hashem Restaurant in the bustling downtown area. It was packed with tourists and locals alike and it became obvious why it was so highly recommended. The food was incredible; falafel and other Jordan specialities with the freshest ingredients and very efficient service. I also had the best Knafeh of my life at a stall round the corner from here too.

After eating, we embarked on a self-guided walking tour of the historic parks of Amman, using the Lonely Planet tour. This BRILLIANT 3km walk took about 2.5 hours, taking us through all the key sites; including the Citadel, the Roman Theatre and some Souks. There were 20 notable stops on the tour, one being Hashem restaurant we’d been to earlier. Although it was an incredible afternoon, I would say it was hot in 40-degree heat and being completed covered up out of respect to the culture. Definitely bring light, floaty clothing as I was dying in black jeans!

We opted for a more fine dining experience for dinner at Fakhr el Din. After a lovely meal, we wandered around the night markets at Souk Jara and Rainbow Street. Here you’re find a number of food stalls, handcrafts, antiques, jewellery, clothes, paintings and more! As Jordan is predominately a Muslim country, you’re more likely to see Shisha lounges in the evenings, as opposed to bars.

The next morning, we had our final breakfast of Jordan and wandered around Amman, before leaving for the airport.

Flight to Bergamo

To end our time in Jordan, we flew back to London via a night in Bergamo. This saved us a lot of money and allowed us to have 24 hours to explore Bergamo, Italy. I have a full itinerary on the best things to do in Bergamo.

We managed to do a lot in our short time in Jordan, but these are places I’d love to visit next time:


Jerash is home to one of the best-preserved Roman cities outside Italy. The key things to see here include the ancient streets, the colonnaded avenues, and the impressive theatres, temples, and plazas. Every summer the Jerash Festival is put on, featuring cultural performances of traditional music, dance, and theatre.


Aqaba, Jordan’s only coastal city, offers access to the Red Sea’s vibrant marine life and coral reefs. If you’re into reef diving, water sports, snorkelling, or just lying on a beach, then Aqaba is a must-do. The city also has a rich history, with sites like the Aqaba Fort and the early Islamic city of Ayla. Aqaba is apparently a great transport hub for excursions to Wadi Rum and Petra, so consider this in your planning. 

Mount Nebo

Mount Nebo is a significant biblical site where Moses is said to have seen the Promised Land. The Mount Nebo Summit offers panoramic views of the Jordan Valley, the Dead Sea, and even Jerusalem on clear days. Mount Nebo is also home to the Memorial Church of Moses, which houses mosaics from the Byzantine period.

What to Wear In Jordan

What to wear in Jordan was a big concern of mine ahead of travelling. Dress code was very relaxed in the hotels and resorts. We were able to walk around in swimwear and wore short dresses in the evening. However, as Jordan is a conservative country, you’ll need to dress modestly outside of your accommodation, particularly in rural areas or religious sites.

For women, this generally means covering shoulders, cleavage, and knees. Long skirts, dresses, and loose trousers paired with tops that cover the shoulders are ideal. Men should avoid wearing shorts in cities and opt for long trousers. Comfortable walking shoes are a must for exploring archaeological sites. As it was extremely hot, I’d choose floaty or thin clothing – particularly in Amman!

What to Pack for Jordan

  • Clothing: Bring lightweight, breathable clothes for the day and layers for the cooler evenings. A scarf or shawl is useful for visiting religious sites.
  • Footwear: Comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots for exploring sites like Petra and Wadi Rum.
  • Sun Protection: Sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat to protect against the strong desert sun.
  • Hydration: A reusable water bottle to stay hydrated, especially in the desert!
  • Medications: Basic first-aid supplies and any personal medications you may need.
  • Adapters: Jordan uses Type C, D, F, G, and J power outlets, so a universal adapter is useful.

Jordan FAQs

Is Jordan Safe?

This is the first thing people always asked me after my trip to Jordan. As three female travellers, we all felt very safe throughout our trip. If anything, everyone was extremely friendly and welcoming. The Jordanian government has put in huge efforts to make tourists feel safe by increasing the police presence in cities and tourist areas. The country also has a stable political environment and a strong security presence. However, it’s always wise to stay informed about current events and follow any travel advisories from your home country.

What Is The Best Time to Visit Jordan?

The best time to visit Jordan is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is mild and pleasant. Summers can be extremely hot, especially in the desert, while winters can be cold, particularly in the northern regions. We went in September I found

Can I Use Credit Cards in Jordan?

Credit cards are widely accepted in hotels, restaurants, and larger shops in major cities. However, it’s advisable to carry cash for smaller purchases, especially in rural areas and local markets.

What Language is Spoken in Jordan?

Arabic is the official language of Jordan. English is widely spoken, especially in tourist areas, hotels, and by younger Jordanians.

Do I Need Any Vaccinations to Travel to Jordan?

No specific vaccinations are required for entry into Jordan. However, it’s recommended to be up-to-date on routine vaccines such as measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, varicella (chickenpox), polio, and your yearly flu shot. Check with your healthcare provider for the most current advice.

How Can I Get Around Jordan?

Public transport options are quite limited in Jordan. There are coaches you can get that’ll let you travel between key places in Jordan, e.g. Amman to Petra. But I would try to plan your journey ahead of time to see if public transport options are available for your specific itinerary. Otherwise it’s easy to organise taxis between places. We met a few travellers who had rented cars. A last option is to join an organised tour.

Jordan Blog Posts to Check Out

The Complete Guide to Wadi Rum, Jordan

Wadi Rum – or Valley of the Moon – is an unbelievably stunning desert wilderness in southern Jordan. Covering 720 km2, …
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The Ultimate Guide to Travelling in Jordan

Jordan is a land rich in history, culture, and natural beauty, and probably one of the most spectacular places on …
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Visiting the Ancient City of Petra Jordan

The ancient Jordanian city of Petra is located in the southwestern part of the country, 150 miles south from the …
dana biosphere reserve

A Guide to Dana Biosphere Reserve

Dana Biosphere Reserve is Jordan’s largest nature reserve, covering an impressive 320 square kilometres of diverse landscapes and habitats. During …
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Visiting the Dead Sea in Jordan

The Dead Sea, a unique natural wonder, attracts visitors from all over the world. Known for its high salinity and …