Are you planning a trip to Jordan? It’s a country that may not have been on your travel radar but one that offers unique experiences that are worth exploring. From the UNESCO World Heritage Petra, the therapeutic Dead Sea, to the vibrant snorkeling possibilities at the Red Sea, Jordan has a lot to offer. Our journey was filled with surprises, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to have visited. Without a doubt, it’s a destination that should be on everyone’s travel bucket list. So, here’s a comprehensive list of practical things to know before traveling to Jordan, including tips on local customs, must-visit attractions, outdoor activities, the best times to visit and much more!

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Useful Things to Know Before Traveling to Jordan

What to expect from Jordan

Jordan is a small country in the Middle East, covering about 90,000 square kilometers. What impressed me the most were its rich history, gorgeous landscapes, local culture and diverse climates.

You’ll get the chance to visit one of the world’s seven new wonders, Petra, float at the Dead Sea, wave to the people of Israel, discover the less-known hidden gem Little Petra, and hike through the canyon of Wadi Mujib.

Then, get on a boat, take some scuba diving lessons at the Red Sea, stroll around one of the many castles, or enjoy a specialty coffee in Amman. Want more? Hop on a Jeep safari at Wadi Rum, indulge in traditional food, and dance with the Bedouins.

Useful things to know before traveling to Jordan - how the camel transport in done in the country

Best time to visit Jordan 

While Jordan is a year-round destination, I would skip the winter season. The temperature drops below freezing in the north, and you won’t get to experience everything this unique country has to offer.

On the other hand, the summer months can be scorching as the temperature can rise to 45 degrees, and visiting sites like Petra or Wadi Rum might seem impossible.

Spring and autumn are the best options for traveling to Jordan. This is because the temperatures tend to be around mid-20 degrees with lots of sunshine, not too hot for hiking and not too cold for swimming.

Interesting fact: Different areas deal with varying weather conditions due to their landscape. For example, while the Dead Sea area might be too hot, you could quickly need a sweatshirt in Wadi Rum or Petra during the evening. And sometimes, you can encounter some chilly rainy days.

Renting a car in Jordan 

The easiest and most obvious option would be renting a car and discovering the country on your own terms. One of the things to know before traveling to Jordan is that traffic is accessible outside the big cities, and you’ll be driving through empty highways, rural areas or scenic mountain drives. Sometimes, you’ll get on some bumpy roads, but nothing dramatic. Parking is easy and free. And fuel is also cheap.

We always use DISCOVER CARS when we want to rent a car as it compares local, national and international companies. Renting a car is the easiest way to see all the famous country has to offer. Almost all destinations are easy to access with a rental car, and having your own car is also the smoothest way to travel and discover new places.

Check out the best rental deals HERE.

one of the things to know before traveling to Jordan is that the road conditions are great

Traveling by bus in Jordan

Another option for moving around the country is to take public buses. The JETT – Jordan Express Tourist Transportation Company operates tourist buses across the country on a fixed schedule. I know travel fellows who travelled by bus everywhere and hitchhiked through the desert, so the possibilities are endless even if you don’t rent a car.

Best guided tours in Jordan

If you don’t feel like driving and renting a car in Jordan, there are guided tours that can take you to the best places.  I have selected some of the best for you based on the number of reviews and value for money. Be sure to check them out!

From Amman: Petra, Wadi Rum, and Dead Sea 2-Day Tour. Visit the ancient rock-carved city of Petra on a 2-day tour from Amman. Float in the mineral-rich water of the Dead Sea and discover the beauty of Wadi Rum by Spending the night in a Bedouin camp.

From Amman: Petra, Wadi Rum and Dead Sea 3-Day Tour. Embark on a 3-day tour of Jordan’s highlights from Amman. Marvel at the rock-carved city of Petra, spend the night at a Bedouin camp in Wadi Rum and traverse the Aqaba City in the Great Rift Valley.

From Amman: Private Day Trip to Petra with Pickup. Discover the highlights of the historical city of Petra on a day trip to the archaeological site from Amman. Marvel at the rock-carved Treasury and get panoramic views from the High Place of Sacrifice.

From Amman: Petra & Wadi Rum Day Trip with Hotel Pickup. Discover two of Jordan’s treasures, Petra and the Wadi Rum Desert, on this action-packed adventure from the capital city of Amman.

Should you purchase the Jordan Pass?

The Jordan Pass is an approach by the Ministry of Tourism to make it easier for tourists to visit the country. However, you’ll only have access to the Jordan Pass if your stay is at least three nights.

The Jordan Pass is a sightseeing package that includes the cost of the tourist visa and the entrance to over 40 tourist attractions, such as Wadi Rum, Petra, Kerak Castle, the Citadel of Amman, and Jerash. However, some popular sites, such as Mount Nebo, Wadi Mujib, or Petra by Night, are not included in the Jordan Pass.

You can choose one of three packages: Jordan Wanderer, Jordan Explorer, or Jordan Expert. The only difference between the three is the number of consecutive days you plan to spend at Petra: one, two, or three. You get free access to over 40 attractions.

Is it worth it? Think about that: even if you only get to visit Petra, you would still save money by purchasing it. The more tourist attractions you visit, the more it is worth it.

Girl in Petra. How to purchase the Jordan Pass, one of the important things to know before traveling to Jordan

How to purchase the Jordan Pass, one of the important things to know before traveling to Jordan

Among the things to know before traveling to Jordan is that you should consider purchasing the Jordan Pass. Buying it online before the flight would save you from wasting time in line once you arrive. Once the payment is made, you’ll receive a confirmation email with a QR code, which is pretty much it. After that, you can print the PDF copy or show it on your phone. After that, you need to validate your Jordan Pass on arrival, and you’re good to go.

As a tip, you’ll come across the Jordan Pass counters at the Queen Alia International Airport. If there are only a few people, wait in line to validate the email, but if you see a massive crowd in front of you, pass this area. Next, you’ll come across other counters, with no one waiting in line, where you can validate your confirmation email. After that, you should get to the customs counter, where you’ll show your passport and visa.

From now on, all you have to do is show the Jordan pass at the tourist attractions or religious sites across Jordan, and you’re free to roam.

For more about the Jordan Pass, click here.

Currency in Jordan

The Jordanian Dinar is the country’s national currency, and JOD indicates the abbreviation. The Dinar, or Jay-DEE as the youngsters call it, has smaller denominations such as 1, 5, 10, 20, and 50.  

Interestingly, the Dinar became the official currency in July 1950 after replacing the Palestinian pound, a currency circulating between the Emirate of Transjordan and the British Mandate of Palestine since 1927. 

The Jordanian Dinar is pegged to the US dollar at a rate of $0.70 per dollar. Thus, the country benefits from a stable currency regime. 

It is easy to change money once you arrive at the airport. You can also do it in Amman malls or exchange offices on the main street if you’re heading to the capital. 

The easiest way to get local currency in Jordan is by using ATMs. You’ll find them everywhere, even in the smaller towns. However, do expect a fee every time you withdraw some cash.  

Credit Cards are widely accepted at restaurants, hotels, travel agencies, and shops, but it’s always good to have local currency on you. For example, the taxi drivers prefer cash.

an old gorgeous car in Wadi Rum desert, Jordan

Get an eSIM before the trip

Because phones have become our most important devices, it’s necessary to have a data connection as soon as you step foot in a different country. Your home data plan might only work if you paid for a much more expensive package, finding wifi connections in airports or train stations might be tricky, and seeking a local store to buy a SIM card might be exhausting. Forget all of that!

You just purchase an e-SIM, install it on your phone, and activate the plan when you’re ready to use it. Getting out of the plane and instantly connecting to data was a game changer for me. I didn’t have to waste time standing in line to get a local SIM card or finding a wifi connection to book a taxi to reach my hotel.

If you ask me, getting an e-SIM is a quintessential part of traveling. There is no physical installation and no long-term commitments. And the best part is that you can always top up or purchase a new plan through the app. Pretty convenient, right? You can get an e-sim card with AIRALO

Safety in Jordan 

One of the things to know before traveling to Jordan is that it’s considered one of the safest countries in the Middle East. Crime rates are low, but be aware of pickpockets in tourist areas. Also, religious or political demonstrations should be avoided, as they can turn violent. Finally, leave your valuable belongings at your hotel and always be aware of your surroundings. Of course, those are things applicable worldwide, so nothing new.

We traveled as an independent couple around the country in a rented car for 10 days, and we never felt insecure. On the contrary, we made quite a few stops during our road trip in remote places and left all our belongings inside the car’s trunk. We visited many locations packed with locals and were greeted with smiles and waves. The warm hospitality of the Jordan people will amaze you every time. We’ve met people who shared taxis, camped on the beach, hitchhiked through the desert and felt safe everywhere.

If safety is your main concern, forget about it. Instead, buy those flight tickets and have a great time in this incredible country!

strolling the streets of Aqaba in Jordan

Secure your travel insurance

When it comes to health, Jordan’s medical system is not something to take lightly. Travel is full of surprises, and you never know what might happen. That’s why having proper medical insurance is not just a good idea; it’s vital when you travel.

For us, peace of mind is a non-negotiable when we travel. That’s why we always ensure we have travel insurance designed to cover our expenses if something goes wrong. If you’re still in the process of securing travel insurance for your trip to Jordan, I highly recommend HEYMONDOThey are a trusted insurance provider for leisure and business trips, backpackers, long-term travelers, and digital nomads. Their comprehensive travel insurance protects against theft, flight delays, injury, illness, cancellations, and much more, giving you the peace of mind you need for your journey. 

One of the useful things to know before traveling to Jordan is that as a Lizy Travels The World reader, you’re entitled to an exclusive 5% discount on your HEYMONDO Travel Insurance.

How many days do you need in Jordan? 

Before traveling to Jordan, the first question that comes to your head is, how long do I need to visit? Well, the answer is so individual! It depends on how much time you have, how much you want to see, how high your budget is, or how many kilometers you wish to drive.

You can get a sense of this fascinating country in only one week. As an idea, reaching Aqaba, the most southern point in Jordan, from the airport in Amman takes nearly 4 hours. So, during one week, you can float in the Dead Sea, visit the ancient town of Petra, take a Jeep safari in the Wadi Rum desert, hike through the water at Wadi Mujib, and snorkel in Aqaba.

While this is totally doable, you won’t want to rush through the country in only one week, so adding a few extra days to your itinerary would be much better!

We did it slowly, as we had enough time and didn’t want to hurry—and having done that was the best decision! Therefore, we chose to travel around Jordan in 10 days, which is more than enough to cover the main sights and also have some leisure time.

People in Jordan

The first thing you’ll hear from a Jordanian will be, “Welcome to Jordan.” The big smile on their face will make all your worries disappear in a minute. So be ready to meet wonderful, respectful, decent, courteous, and helpful people around the country.

Jordan is one of the most friendly countries I have ever visited. Most people were ready to answer my questions, solve my problems, and help whenever necessary.

Of course, there are some exceptions, like everywhere else in the world. I found those exemptions in the ancient city of Petra. We’ve seen some local guides acting disrespectfully and aggressively towards foreign tourists. Mainly when the police were not around. However, as I found from a local from Wadi Musa, the police are not interested in those acts and take no action. Those guys’ main frustration comes from the fact that you do not need their service to get you up to the Treasury viewpoint. And I encourage you not to go with them as there is an easier, although longer, path to get the best view of the Treasury. Just let them be, don’t react; they will leave you alone.

girl interacting with locals in Jordan

Dress Code in Jordan

Among the important things to know before traveling to Jordan is that this Middle Eastern country is Muslim-majority, with an Orthodox community in Madaba and Jews. And what the Jordanians do not like about foreign tourists is the lack of respect, the public displays of affection, and the inappropriate dress code.

So, women should cover their chest and shoulder area and wear long skirts or pants, especially when entering a restaurant or museum or strolling around the major cities. Also, if you’re planning to visit a place of worship, remember that both women and men must cover their shoulders and knees, and women also need to cover their hair and neck.

Dress code is an important thing to know before traveling to Jordan

What to eat in Jordan 

Food is always a part of a trip, essential to better understanding a country. You’ll fall in love with Middle Eastern cuisine as soon as you arrive and soon discover that eating is a social experience here. 

Jordanian cuisine tends to use the same ingredients: chicken, lamb, muting, rice, and salad. However, these are prepared using traditional cooking methods, like sand in the Wadi Rum desert. The starters are essential for Jordanians and accompany every meal.

sampling Jordanian food on a road trip through the country

HUMMUS is definitely a must when traveling to Jordan.

You’ll find FALAFEL, the golden balls of chickpeas, everywhere. Just dip them in one of the many sauces on the table.

MUTABBAL is a cream mix of tahini sauce, baked eggplant, lemon, garlic, and olive oil. You will love it!

MANSAF, the national dish of Jordan, a plate of slow-cooked lamb over rice accompanied by fermented yogurt sauce, chopped parsley, and Baharat spices. It is a must for anyone traveling to Jordan. 

MAGLUBA is another exciting meal for you to try. The meat, rice, and grilled vegetables are cooked in a pot and reversed when ready. Season it with yogurt and almonds; it’s more than tasty!

KNAFEH, the most delicious desert in Jordan

You can’t leave Jordan without savoring the KNAFEH– the famous pastry filled with mild white cheese, topped with kataifi, and soaked in sugar syrup! Simply delicious! 

Can you find alcohol in Jordan? 

Before traveling to Jordan, remember that this is a Muslim country and finding alcohol is not easy. For example, I noticed a couple at a resort at the Dead Sea, blown away because the on-site restaurant wasn’t offering alcohol. So they asked themselves, what will we do the entire week?

Try LIMONA – a non-alcoholic drink made from lemon, ice, spearmint, water, and sugar if this happens to you. This drink is standard on hotel menus, so you could try it at least once.

If you step outside the resorts, you’ll find restaurants offering alcoholic drinks, especially in Amman and Aqaba. In Christian towns like Fuheis and Madaba, you’ll discover alcohol easily and even craft beer breweries. 

The most important thing to remember is that if you’re visiting the country during Ramadan, it’s illegal to sell alcohol, so you won’t find it. 

one of the things to know before traveling to Jordan is that cu can find a variety of craft beer in Madaba town

Useful Things to Know Before Traveling to Jordan. Best Places to Visit

If you’re considering traveling to Jordan, here is a list of my favorite places:

The UNESCO World Heritage PETRA 

The most exciting site in Jordan and the reason many tourists visit this country is, no doubt, Petra, one of the New Seven Wonders of the Modern World! The most famous spot is the Treasury, followed by the Roman Theatre, the Royal Tombs, the Street of Facades, and the Monastery. This place can be seen in only one day, but for the best experience, two days would be enough. 

Find out how to visit Petra from my article: A COMPLETE GUIDE TO VISITING PETRA ON YOUR OWN

If you don’t feel like driving and putting up an itinerary, the best way to visit is by joining a guided tour from Amman. BOOK YOUR GUIDED TOUR TO PETRA FROM AMMAN

girl admiring the gorgeous Treasury in Petra, Jordan

Little PETRA

Everyone has heard about Petra in Jordan, but did you know there is a similar ancient city called Little Petra, which is only 6km away? It is another incredible place to see in Jordan and is well worth visiting! Although not as huge as Petra, this place only requires a couple of hours to fall in love with. 

Find out how to visit Little Petra from my article: HOW TO VISIT LITTLE PETRA IN JORDAN. EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOUR VISIT

Little Petra, one of the hidden gems of Jordan

Wadi Rum

Another fantastic place on your itinerary should be the Wadi Rum desert, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you’ve watched the movie “The Martian” you should know it was filmed here. Spend the night in a Martian tent, admire the stars, and go on a guided jeep tour to discover the gorgeous landscape, enjoy a bedouin dinner, dance with the locals, and indulge in the atmosphere. 

Wadi Rum landscape is simply amazing

Dead Sea

Did you know that the deepest hypersaline lake and the lowest point on Earth are also in Jordan? The Dead Sea is the border between Israel and Jordan, to be more precise. What makes this place so unique? You can’t swim, but you can float, and it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

Find out from my article the best tips for swimming in the Dead Sea: THE BEST TIPS FOR SWIMMING IN THE DEA SEA

Amazing views over Dead Sea in Jordan

Aqaba

The only coastal city in the country, Aqaba, is the place to be if snorkeling or scuba diving is high on your list. The water is always warm and clear, so water activities are guaranteed. Finding a hotel with beach facilities should also be high on your list if you want to lie in the sun and relax for a few days. Or spend some days at the public beaches, and you won’t be disappointed. After that, get lost on the streets, try local food, buy souvenirs and try the most delicious local desserts! Aqaba won’t disappoint, for sure! 

one of the useful things to know before traveling to Jordan is that scuba diving in Aqaba is very affordable

Amman

The capital of Jordan, Amman, is a modern city with many ancient ruins to visit. Not really the kind of place to stay longer than a couple of nights, but seeing the Amman Citadel and Jerash ruins, further north, should also be included in your itinerary. 

a visit to Amman Citadel is a must on every Jordan itinerary

Madaba

South of Amman lies the ancient market town of Madaba. Unfortunately, visitors often overlook the home to Jordan’s most important religious landmark, the City of Mosaics. The city is large, but all the sights are concentrated in the historic center.

First, find a boutique hotel in downtown Madaba. Then, visit the Greek Orthodox church of St. George and witness the mosaic flooring representing the Holy Land.

Next, visit Madaba Archeological Park to see more mosaics in Jordan, and for the largest mosaic floor, visit the Apostles Church.

After so much sightseeing, find a coffee house and relax under the shade of the olive trees!

Wadi Mujib

The lowest nature reserve in the world, Wadi Mujib, is the perfect place for adventure activities. Also known as the Grand Canyon of Jordan, Wadi Mujib is known for its Siq trail, a three-hour self-guided hike between towering sandstone cliffs against the river’s current.

Before traveling to Jordan, you should know that this trail is accessible from April 1 to October 31. The water level can be pretty high with some challenging sections, so some fitness skills are required.

Wadi Mujib is one of the best places to visit in Jordan

Interactive Map of Useful Things to Know Before Traveling to Jordan

Underneath, you’ll find a customized map that includes all the locations you will visit. Just open this article on your phone and click on the frame in the upper right corner of the map. The Google Maps app will open, and you can check all the details. I hope it helps!

Jordan Related Posts

I hope you found my article on the things to know before traveling to Jordan useful. If you need some extra inspiration for your trip, check out my other articles:

A COMPLETE GUIDE TO VISITING PETRA ON YOUR OWN

HOW TO VISIT LITTLE PETRA IN JORDAN. EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOUR VISIT

THE BEST TIPS FOR SWIMMING IN THE DEA SEA

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