There are many places to visit in this beautiful country. Most people just arrive into Jordan expecting to see Petra and quickly leaving. While Petra is impressive, if you have the time there are many places worth checking out. I have included many of them here with links to more information and stories I have posted about my travels there.
Most people just go through Amman to other destinations but it’s worth visiting for sure. There are lots of great sites in Amman including the citadel, hejaz train station, roman theater, and museums including darat al funun and Jordanian National museum. Be sure to check out some of the neighborhoods including Jabel Webdeh which is known for its artistic community. Spend some time in the balad enjoying cafes and the hectic streets surrounding the older shops and restaurants. There are even cafes which feel a world away busy streets, and if you are trying to get around the country most buses leave from stations in the capital. Amman is built around circles, so if you are planning to hit up the tourist spots, staying near first circle will ease in visiting sites. Check out my taxi guide for great Arabic phrases and other tips getting around or car rental guide if you want to get out of town. You can check out all my Amman posts as well.
There is a forest reserve and a really nice castle here. Easily reached from Jerash (or Amman) by bus, and Jerash and Ajloun can be easily combined in the same trip. It’s about 30mins from Jerash. Best visited in good weather!
The lowest point on earth and a easy trip from Amman. Known for its restorative properties, come here to swim and float and cover yourself in mud. It is not the easiest place to reach without your own car. There is a bus on Fridays and taxis will taxi you for about 25JD each (you can do a round trip with 3 hr. wait for about 50JD). If you do decide to stay the night, hotels are expensive and there is no nearby town to walk around if you want to explore outside your resort. Check out my post on visiting the dead sea.
If you have time it is worth visiting Jerash. Some of the best preserved Roman ruins in the world and easily the best in Jordan. It’s about an hour outside of Amman and easily reached by bus or taxi
You’ll need a car really to see the really interesting stuff out here. It is interesting seeing the stark desert landscape and some of the castle ruins (dating back to the Umayyad dynasty and some even older). If you are adventurous (and not solo) its worth trying to visit some of the far out castles and an abandoned city to really feel remote.
The capital of the “Eastern Desert” and the only big settlement in that area of Jordan. Even with a short amount of time it is possible to see the castles in Azraq and it’s surrounding area. There is also a wetlands in the town of Azraq and the desert surrounding it is black volcanic rock that reminds me of asphalt. If you are planning to spend the night in the Eastern Desert, most of the services and all of the hotels are located in Azraq.
Across Jordan there are several crusader castles keeping watch over the valleys and olive trees. Kerak is probably the most famous of the castles, famous for housing Raynald of Châtillon during the Crusades. Shobak is beautiful and interesting as well and far less touristed (and free!), and worth a visit if you are driving along the king’s highway.
Petra is amazing, really truly. Make sure you are there at least 2 days. It’s incredibly expensive too so keep that in mind. it is 50JD (about 70USD) for 1 day, 55 for 2days or 60 for 3 days. If you have a car, its easy enough to get to. If you are going by bus, there are daily buses from Amman generally and some mini buses from other cities. The easiest bust to take are the JETT buses. Also pay attention to where your lodging is. Some are located in higher up and a long walk to the entrance of Petra. Some are really close to the entrance. If you are planning to get into Petra early (highly recommended, it opens about 6/630 depending on the time of year) you need to keep that in mind if you are far away from the entrance and require a taxi.
One of my favorite excursions was connecting with the desert and mountains of Wadi Rum. The sunsets and the sunrises here are so worth it and it is so lovely sleeping under the stars in the desert. You are going to need to book a tour to get around, but there are quite a few options. Be sure to ask where the camp is as some are further into wadi rum than others. I think only 2 or so operators have it in actual wadi rum and the rest are outside. You can rent camels or take jeeps to get around. Mind you if you’ve never ridden a camel before they really hurt and after an hour you will end up quite sore. There is no public transportation to Wadi Rum, but you can get there easily from Petra by taxi (its about 45mins to an hour).
Umm Qais dates back to the Greeks and Romans. it is in the extreme north of Jordan bordering Syria and Israel. it’s safe to visit and really really green. Something I had not really anticipated in my travels in Jordan.
Located next to the Dead Sea, Wadi Mujib was one of my favorite places in Jordan and one most people don’t even know about. Full of water and waterfalls it is a great day trip to go and explore. Prepare to get very wet, so if you want to take photographs, make sure your camera is water proof. There is a self guided path as well as a few that require guides. It is physical so make sure you are prepared for that. You will need to climb ropes, ladders, and over waterfalls, which in my opinion was pretty awesome.
Honestly not much there to be honest worth seeing. It is worthwhile if you plan to go diving or take a boat ride, or a ferry to Egypt (or drive to Israel). There are some cheap options and it’s about 40 minutes from Wadi Rum if you already find yourself there.
The Ancient city of Salt is a great place to visit and an easy trip from Amman (it is basically a suburb). It was a former capital and one of the better preserved cities. In my opinion it is one of the most beautiful cities in Jordan and worth taking a trip out here from the capital to wander among its old buildings and hills. It is about 30 minutes to Salt from the capital and there are regular buses for commuting to the capital. I normally took the bus from in front of the University of Jordan, ask a student and they can probably point you in the right direction.
Located close to Amman it is a wonderful trip to visit some of the beautiful churches and holy sites. Be sure to visit the mosaic map in the Church of St. George as well as other churches and mosaics throughout the city. For the dedicated, you can also visit Mount Nebo where Moses surveyed the holy lands. There isn’t much to see on Mount Nebo itself, but it does offer a lovely view on a clear day.
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