“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference” – Robert Frost
Jordan — an offbeat destination with Israel to its west and Saudi Arabia & Iraq to its east — is not everyone’s cup of tea; and those who get to sip it once long for more. The following best places to visit in Jordan can explain what makes wanderers come from far and wide to explore the kingdom.
If you are still reading this, it means there’s something about Jordan that fascinates you. Read on to find out what’s that.
- Mount Nebo
- Bethany Beyond the Jordan
- Dead Sea
- Umm Qais
- Dana Biosphere Reserve
- Wadi Rum
- Mujib Natural Reserve
1. Amman – A Unique Blend Of Old And New
Amman — the capital and the largest city of Jordan — holds a lot of surprises for travelers. The city is a pot of new and old flavors that will keep you intrigued. The sky-high modern buildings blend very well with the ancient culture. It’s among the top 10 places to visit in Jordan for every type of traveler.
While you are in Amman, you can visit Amman’s Roman Amphitheater, Jordan Museum, Jabal Amman for art galleries, Abdoun for its terrific nightlife, shopping malls etc. You can also spend a relaxed evening in one of the terrace cafes of Amman or watch sunset from Amman Citadel. Also, make sure you visit Souk — an open-air marketplace — where you can buy Jordanian carpets, rugs, jewelries, handcraft etc.
2. Mount Nebo – Gorgeous Views Of Valleys
Mount Nebo is one of the most sacred sites for Jordanians and many others. It’s the place where Moses was laid to rest, thus making it a popular center for pilgrimage since Christian times. The memorial of Moses on Mount Nebo is among the most famous places to visit in Jordan.
Having said that, it is also a beautiful peak that looms above the scenic valleys that attract tourists. Mukawir also known as Machaerus is another dramatic hilltop fortress near Mount Nebo one must visit. Mukawir is also a sight behold and absolutely photogenic.
How to reach Mount Nebo and Mukawir
Mount Nebo is about 37 km from Amman and about 10 km from Madaba. If you are staying in Madaba or Amman, then the best way for you to reach Mount Nebo or Mukawir is by a private or shared taxi. There are no frequent buses plying between Amman and Mount Nebo.
Distance from Amman: 37 km
3. Jerash – Amongst The Best-Preserved Roman Ruins
Jerash is also known as Gerasa, and the Greco-Roman ruins are situated about 50 km from Amman city. The city is certainly among the best places to visit in Jordan for all those who love visiting ancient ruins. These are one of the best-preserved Roman ruins and great for a day-long trip from Amman. Travelers love the rolling hills and valleys that surround Jerash with plum, olive, and pine trees.
How to reach Jerash from Amman
By all means, the most reliable option is to hire a private vehicle from Amman to reach Jerash. Another option is, hire a yellow taxi to reach Amman north terminal bus station and then take a bus to Jerash bus station. The bus ride will cost you about 2 JD per person.
Distance from Amman: 55 km
4. Bethany Beyond The Jordan – Where Jesus Was Baptized
Officially known as Bethany Beyond the Jordan, Al-Maghtas lies on the eastern bank of Jordan River. The place consists of two areas: Tell Al-Kharrar or Elijah’s Hill and the area of Saint John the Baptist’s churches near the river.
The place is believed to be the site where Jesus Christ was baptized by John the Baptist. Bethany Beyond the Jordan is among the most sacred places to visit in Jordan.
Distance from Amman: 55 km
5. Dead Sea – The Most Thrilling Place
Located at the lowest point on Earth, Dead Sea is amongst the most interesting places to visit in Jordan. Dead is actually a lake straddling the borders of Jordan and Israel. You can see a rich aquamarine color at the bottom of the sea and a fading emerald at its bay. The sea’s hyper-saline is the phenomenon that makes people float on its water without any equipment, and it’s mineral-rich mud is used for therapeutic treatments. There are also plenty of beach resorts around the coastal road for a comfortable stay.
There are industrial activities happening on both sides causing drop in the sea’s water level by about a meter every year. If this continues, Dead Sea’s water will completely dry within 40 years. So plan a trip to Jordan before it’s too late.
Quick tips: There are no public transport available to reach here. Hiring your own taxi or two wheelers is worth it.
Distance from Amman: 60 km
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6. Umm Qais – A Medieval City In Northern Jordan
Umm Qais locally known as Gadara is the only green town in an otherwise barren country. It is located north of Amman with sweeping views of Yarmouk River, Lake Tiberias, Yarmouk River, and Golan Heights. The 2-hour long journey from Amman is worth it, whether you want to do a day-long trip from Irbid or stay in Gadara to experience the calm twilight and the chilly and fresh morning air of the town. You must explore the ruins of the Decapolis city of Gadara while you’re there.
How to reach Umm Qais from Amman
Take a taxi to reach Amman north terminal bus station and then take a bus to Irbid city. From Irbid, you’ll most likely get a shared minivan that’ll take you to Umm Qais. The bus ticket will cost you about 2 JD per person.
Distance from Amman: 125 km
Suggested Read: In Photos: Top Tourist Attractions In Jordan
7. Dana Biosphere Reserve – A Place Of Staggering Beauty
Dana Biosphere Reserve—Jordan’s largest nature reserve is a fabulous place for to go hiking and walking on a breezy day. The campsites also organize activities like cycling trails, cooking classes, stargazing and bird watching.
It’s a place of breathtaking beauty, heritage, and biodiversity. The biosphere reserve’s geology dramatically changes from sandstone to limestone granite, and it’s ecosystem switches from oak and juniper woodlands to sandy desert. Many of the species in the reserve, including Sand Cat, Syrian Wolf, and the spiny tailed lizard are endangered species.
Distance from Amman: 190 km
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8. Petra – Many Secrets To Reveal
For hundreds of years, the ancient Jordanian city of Petra, carved on the red sandstone was not known to the rest of the world. Petra was once a flourishing business center and the capital between 400 B.C. and A.D. 106. In 1985, Petra was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site and, in 2007, it was declared one of the new 7 wonders of the world.
You enter the city through Siq — a 1-km long, narrow gully — which lets you experience the vibrant colors and formations of the rocks. As soon as you reach the end of of the Siq, you get a glimpse of Al-Khazneh (The Treasury). The 30 m wide and 43 m high temple carved out pink and red rocks stand tall making everything else look dwarf. Al-Khazneh is the most popular tourist attraction in Petra, and without a doubt among the best places to visit in Jordan.
Opening hours: 6:00 am – 6:00 pm in summer season and 6:00 am – 4:00 pm in winter season 7 days a week.
- 1-Day Visitor or Non-accommodated Visitor – 90 JD
- Overnight or accommodated visitor 1-day pass – 50 JD
- Overnight or accommodated visitor 2-day pass – 55 JD
- Overnight or accommodated visitor 3-day pass – 60 JD
- Children under 12 years – Free
- Locals, residents, students in Jordan – 1 JD
To get an accommodated visitor pass, you will have to stay in your hotel for at least a night.
How to reach Petra from Amman
Bus is the cheapest and most fun way to reach Petra. You can take a yellow taxi to reach Jett bus station in Amman, and then take a bus to Petra. The bus ticket will cost you about 10 JD per person. There’s only one bus a day that leaves for Petra from Amman at 6:30 am, so make sure you reach on time.
Quick tips: Petra is quite a big city; it’ll take you 2 days to explore the entire city, so it’s better to buy 2-day pass and save 35 JD, instead of buying 1-day pass and spending 90 JD.
Distance from Amman: 235 km
9. Aqaba – A Blend Of History, Nature, And City Life
The Gulf of Aqaba is among the most interesting places to visit in Jordan.This is the place where all the Jordanians come to chill and swim. It’s one of the most photogenic place in Jordan with its picturesque mountains and deep blue waters. There are plenty of fun and exciting things to try in Aqaba like exploring the coral reefs of the Red Sea, deep sea diving, and snorkeling.
How to reach Aqaba from Amman
Aqaba is about 290 km from Amman. There are two transportation companies — Jett and Trust — that run scheduled AC coaches between Aqaba and Amman.
Distance from Amman: 285 km
10. Wadi Rum – A Quintessential Desert Valley
On the east of Rift Valley, Wadi Rum — spread across 74,000-hectare — is Jordan’s desert landscape consisting of narrow canyons, sandstone arches, high cliffs, and natural caverns. It’s among the most interesting places to visit in Jordan.
Tourists stay overnight in Wadi Rum, and there are tents available at reasonable rates. But sleeping under the wide blue sky on a mattress looking at the shooting stars and the dramatically changing colors of the skies is an entirely different experience, and watching the shooting stars in the cold desert in summer can be really addictive.
How to reach Wadi Rum
Tourist buses are available from Petra to reach Wadi Rum at just 5 JD per person. The buses leave from Wadi Musa bus station at about 6 am and picks up tourists from their hotels in Wadi Musa. Tourists must ask their hotel staff to arrange it for them a day before leaving. A taxi ride from Petra to Wadi Rum will cost you about 40 JD.
Distance from Amman: 315 km
11. Mujib Nature Reserve- Paradise For Thrill Seekers
Rugged gorges, sculpted steep valleys, and tons of hidden pathways in between the rocks combine to form one of the enormous and breathtaking historical places in Jordan. It is considered as one of the lowest nature reserves on earth and slowly merges into the saline waters of the famous Dead Sea.
Mujib Nature Reserve attracts countless adventure-seekers and daredevils. Hiding thrilling jewels in its lap, this reserve allows the tourists to indulge in various activities like hiking, rock climbing, zip-lining, and many more.
Distance From Amman: 90 km ‘
12. Madaba- The Holiest Town Of Jordan
Located in the heart of the historic Jordan, Madaba is a really old city that can be found on the edge of the King’s Highway. Famous for its magnificent, gold-gilded mosque and collection of spikey tall minarets, Madaba is a pleasant, and an easy-going little town. Along with the gold-gilded mosque, this old city allows you to explore a few of the holiest sites.
Beautiful Byzantine artwork in the alcoves, chapels filled with the essence of spirituality, amazing ancient mosaics, and the remnants of the old Roman town adds to the already surreal experience.
Distance From Amman: 32 km
13. Aljoun- Road Less Taken
This little town in the northern hills of Jordan can be added to the list of unexplored places. Aljoun is paradisiacal for travelers seeking for a road less traveled. This historic town of Aljoun blankets individual villages and hamlets. The famous Ajloun Castle standing proudly next to the ancient smaller settlements is what attracts the flock to this town.
One of the old places to visit in Jordan, Middle East, Aljoun gives an opportunity to hike up the old gateways and roam around the interior courtyards of the castle.
Distance From Amman: 71 km
14. Irbid- The Educational Hub Of The Country
Emerging as the educational hub of Jordan, Irbid thrived immensely due to highly prestigious Yarmouk University and other well-known higher education facilities. The educational services led to migrating of vibrant and lively youth of the country to this town.
Along with being a focal center of education, Irbid is also home to numerous fascinating relics and archeological sites.
Distance From Amman: 90 km
15. Zarqa- The Modernised Little Town
Touched by the modernized energy of the Middle East, Zarqa attracts travelers to itself due to its rough, lived-in feels. Visitors would hardly encounter any archeological ruins or historical monuments in this town but Zarqa has managed to retain it’s blue-collar character and is now home to numerous bazaars and markets, local little food shops, teashops, and many more places to explore between the alleys.
Distance From Amman: 30 km
The land of lost cities and mesmerizing sites is waiting for you. What are you waiting for? Plan your vacation to Jordan and discover this peaceful and peace loving country!
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Frequently Asked Questions About Best Places To Visit In Jordan
A. Women can wear T-shirts with cardigans, jeans, scarves, and hoodies. In order to show respect to the Jordan culture, women cover their legs, arms, and chest. Men can wear jeans, chinos, Tshirts, jackets and a jumper.
A. Yes. Even though Jordan is a Muslim country, drinking alcohol is not a social taboo.
A. Cuisine in Jordan reflects influences from North Africa, the Middle East, Persia, and the Mediterranean. A few dishes that people eat in Jordan includes falafel, moutabel, hummus, labneh, and many more.
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