Jordan is a desert landlocked in the Middle East, at its southern end east of Amman. With significant ancient history and artifacts dating back to the 10th century BC, it’s widely regarded as one of the most historical sites in the world today.
The country is also proud of its religious tolerance and hospitality towards tourists. A place of immense beauty and culture, it features from ancient desert cities and monuments to modern cities, stunning beaches and desert landscapes.
Listed as a top country to visit in 2023, Jordan is a destination that should be on every traveler’s bucket list. If you’re planning a trip to Jordan, here are 9 things you should know before your visit:
1. Jordan Is a Tourist-Friendly Country
Hospitality is a way of life in Jordan, and you’re sure to encounter many friendly locals as you explore the country. For centuries the region has been welcoming visitors from around the world, as caravans traveling from the Middle East to Europe made their way through Jordan. As a result, Jordanians became accustomed to welcoming people from different corners of the world, and the tradition of welcoming foreigners remains to this day.
Most people in the Middle East have a playful spirit. You can expect memorable experiences of locals sharing stories of their country and doing their best to make sure you’re comfortable during your visit.
2. Jordan is a safe country for tourists
Compared to many of its neighboring countries, Jordan is a very safe haven for travelers in the Middle East, making traveling there a safe adventure. Yet, as with any other destination, you should keep a few things in mind to ensure a safe and fun visit.
Stay away from protests
Protests happen frequently and especially in the capital city of Amman. They are usually peaceful and often happen on Thursday evenings or after the Friday noon prayers. Try to stay away from protest areas and big gatherings, and be sure to check the news to be aware of what might be going on in the city.
Avoid Syria and Iraq borders
Bordering Jordan, Syria, and Iraq have shaky security situations. Not only are these places unsafe, but they’re also far from the country’s main sights, so it’s best just to avoid heading into that area.
Keep an eye on your belongings
Like anywhere else, it’s best to keep an eye on your belongings when you’re traveling in Jordan. This means keeping a close watch on your wallet and other valuable items while you’re out exploring the city or country, especially in more crowded areas or tourist spots.
Research your neighborhood
Be sure to always ask your hotel or host family if it’s okay to venture out at night on your own. While Jordan is generally a very safe destination, there may be certain areas where it’s not safe to be out alone at night. Also, it doesn’t hurt to do a quick research to try to find out if there are any areas with a higher crime rate.
Women traveling in Jordan
Women should be especially aware of their safety in Jordan. Here are some extra tips:
- Avoid public transportation
- Always sit in the back seat of taxis, and be alert.
- Avoid places near bars and clubs.
- Avoid dark, isolated areas.
- Trust your gut. If something feels off, get yourself away from that situation.
- Always dress appropriately and respectfully.
3. You Might Need a Visa to Visit Jordan
As with most countries in the world, the answer is: it depends! The rules of entry and stay in Jordan are different depending on your citizenship, which country you’re entering from, and the purpose of your visit.
There are two ways to get a visa: on arrival or at local embassies.
Who can get a visa on arrival?
The list of countries whose citizens can get a visa on arrival in Jordan changes frequently and is quite long. At the moment, citizens from over 100 countries are able to enter Jordan on a visa-on-arrival basis, which costs about USD $ 57 (40 JD).
Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria , Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France , Georgia, Germany, Guatemala, Guyana, Guyana, Haiti, Holland, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati , Kosovo, Kuwait , Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Macau, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia Monaco, Montenegro, Nauru, New Zealand, Nicaragua, North Korea, Norway, Oman, Palestine, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania Russia , Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Salvador, Samoa, San Marino, São Tomé and Príncipe, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Solomon Islands, Spain, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunis, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu UAE, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vatican, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe.
Who does not need a visa?
Citizens from Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestinian Territory, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates are exempt from visas. They can usually enter the country with a photo ID.
Citizens from other countries not listed here need to apply for a Jordanian visa before departing.
Be aware that the list of countries whose citizens don’t need a visa might change, as well as other entry requirements. It’s also worth noting that the rules change from one point of entry to another.
So if you’re arriving through Aqaba Airport, you might not need a visa. But if you’re arriving through Israel’s border, then you might.
So make sure to check your situation before departure, and be prepared to apply for a visa if needed.
4. The Jordan Pass can be a good deal
The Jordan Pass is an official government-issued pass that grants you free entry to over 40 tourist attractions, including Petra, Wadi Rum, Jerash, and many others.
Why get a Jordan Pass?
- One great advantage of the Jordan Pass is that you can be exempt from the visa fees if you stay at least three nights in the country and if you have a single-entry visa. That way, you can save up to USD $60 in fees and have some extra money to spend on your holiday in Jordan.
- Another advantage is that the Jordan Pass gives you access to many tourist attractions, including ancient ruins, national parks, and more. This means that you can explore more of the country’s incredible sites during your visit!
- Finally, it’s a good way to avoid lines at ticket windows and make the most of your time.
Who can get a Jordan Pass?
You can buy the Jordan Pass if you meet the following requirements:
- Be eligible for a Jordan Visa
- Plan to stay in Jordan for at least 3 nights
- Hold a passport that’s valid for at least 6 months
- Have an email address and a credit card or debit card for online payments
Where to get it?
You need to apply for the Jordan Pass on the website. Basically, you’ll need to fill out a form with your personal information, choose one of three types of passes and pay. Then you’ll receive a PDF with your pass, which contains a QR Code. We recommend printing this document and carrying it with you during your Jordan trip.
5. You Should Dress Respectfully
Jordan has a large Muslim population, but there are also other religions peacefully coexisting, like Christians, Jews, and members of other faiths.
Although wearing a hijab is not required by law and there is no specific dress code, women are expected to dress modestly, as this is a conservative country.
That means women should avoid wearing low-cut and shoulder-bearing shirts, short skirts, and shorts. You can wear blouses and dresses with short sleeves – a good option for those hot desert days – as long as the shoulders are covered.
If temperatures are high, long or midi flowy dresses are your best bet. You’ll feel comfortable and stylish, and you will respect customs at the same time. If that’s more your style, you can also wear jeans, just be sure to avoid the super tight ones.
Places of worship
If you plan on visiting any mosques or other places of worship during your trip to Jordan, it’s mandatory to dress respectfully.
For women, this means wearing long sleeves, trousers or long dresses, and a head scarf covering hair, shoulders and neck. As for men, they are also expected to cover their knees and shoulders when entering a house of worship.
6. Getting Around in Jordan
Jordan is a large country with many cities spread out over a big area. Because of this, it’s important to be aware of the different transportation options available in order to make the most of your trip.
Airports in Jordan
Queen Alia International Airport is Jordan’s major airport and where several well-known airlines operate. The airport is likely to be your entry point into the country, so make sure to check for any visa requirements before landing.
Another airport is Aqaba King Hussein International Airport, which is smaller but also important to connect the country to other places in the region and also in Europe. EasyJet, Whizzair and Ryanair operate flights at this airport, making it a popular option for budget travelers.
The greatest alternative for you to go from the airport to the city center is to take the local shuttles. You can use the Sariyah Shuttle Service, a convenient and affordable option for traveling between Amman and Queen Alia International Airport.
We recommend the Sariya Airport Express bus on Busbud.com. The company offers airport shuttles for as little as $5 USD between the Airport and Amman’s Downtown district. The shuttles run approximately every 30 minutes from 6 AM to 6 PM, and then every hour after that. Book your tickets in advance here to make sure you get the best price and secure your seats.
Intercity buses and tour buses in Jordan
One of the safest and most reliable ways to get around Jordan is to take the JETT buses. They run between many major cities in the country and have several different routes, making it easy to plan your trip according to your schedule.
With comfortable buses and affordable prices, JETT buses are a great option for budget travelers, as they are not only fast but also safe and convenient to travel on.
You can expect to find the following:
- comfortable seats
- air conditioning
- reliable schedules
- online booking
The company offers daily services between Amman, Petra, Awaba and Wadi Rum and also runs daily tours to popular Jordanian tourist locations. Travelers report having great experiences with them, so if you’re looking for a convenient, affordable way to travel around Jordan, booking your trip with JETT can be a great option.
The JETT buses are a comfortable option to get around in Jordan
Taxis and city buses
Bus and taxi services are commonly used as transportation inside the cities. Taking the city bus in Jordan can be a little hectic, so you’re better off taking a taxi to go from the city’s main sights to your hotel.
The taxis in Jordan are easily recognizable thanks to their distinctive yellow and green paint schemes and Arabic text. They are cheap, and locals are ready to transport tourists to their destinations. Remember to always sit in the back seat for extra safety.
Another option to get around is driving yourself using a rental car. It’s important to keep in mind that driving in Jordan is different than what you might be used to, and it can be a challenge. Traffic laws seem to work more as suggestions than actual rules, as Jordanian drivers can be frequently seen missing road lines and parking spots.
You should also be aware that there are a lot of street signs in Arabic, so we recommend downloading an offline translation app so you can read the signs and navigate safely. Still, with a little bit of preparation and caution, you can drive around the country.
7. Jordan Attractions You Don’t Want to Miss
Jordan is a place of incredible natural beauty and rich history, making it the perfect destination for tourists looking to explore and experience something new. Some of the top attractions that you won’t want to miss on your trip include:
Petra is a stunning ancient city carved into the sandstone cliffs of the surrounding mountains in southern Jordan. Dating back to the 6th century BC, Petra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was once an important trading center along the famous Silk Road. With its ornate temples, tombs, and other structures, Petra is truly a marvel of ancient architecture and a must-see destination for any traveler exploring the Middle East.
Some of its key features and attractions include the Treasury, an elaborate temple carved into the rock; the Roman Theater, a large amphitheater carved into the mountainside; and Al Khazneh, a tomb decorated with intricate carvings and sculptures. Whether you’re interested in exploring Jordan’s rich history or simply admiring its natural beauty, Petra is a place that you won’t want to miss.
Wadi Rum is a vast desert area in southern Jordan that is known for its spectacular scenery and unique geological formations. Often referred to as the “Valley of the Moon,” Wadi Rum is characterized by towering sandstone cliffs, narrow gorges, and expansive plateaus. It is a popular destination for adventure seekers and nature lovers, who come to explore its unique natural beauty and experience the peaceful solitude of this vast desert landscape. A visit to Wadi Rum is sure an unforgettable experience.
Wadi Rum by Alex Vasey
The Dead Sea
The Dead Sea in Jordan is one of the most magical places to visit. Not only is it known for its salt-heavy water (nearly ten times as salty as the ocean), but also because it has been a destination for people looking to relax, unwind, and rejuvenate.
One of the most popular attractions of the Dead Sea is its mud. Visitors can cover themselves in black mud and lie back to let it dry before washing it off, leaving their skin feeling silky smooth. The water itself has very high mineral content, so many people enjoy floating on top of the water while basking in the warm sunshine. In addition to these fun activities, you will also find hotels and resorts along the shoreline where you can stay overnight or for an extended period if you want to fully immerse yourself in this unique destination.
Jerash, in northern Jordan, is an old Roman city. The city’s historic theater, Temple of Artemis, and Hadrian’s Arch are just some of the well-preserved ruins that have brought the worldwide city renown. Jerash is a city full of history, and its ruins are a great way to learn about that history and have fun doing it simultaneously. The city’s charm enchants both history buffs and avid travelers, so it’s worth adding it to your itinerary.
Madaba is a city famous for its stunning mosaics. The Madaba Mosaic Map is the most famous mosaic and depicts Jerusalem as well as other biblical sites in vivid detail. Visitors to Madaba can see this intricate work of art at St. George’s Church, one of the city’s many historical sites. The Church of the Apostles and the Madaba Archaeological Park are also popular attractions for tourists who want to learn more about this vibrant city’s history and culture.
Aqaba is a coastal city in southern Jordan that is known for its rich history and its pristine beaches in the Gulf of Aqaba. The city has been an important trading port throughout the centuries, and it continues to attract visitors looking to explore ancient ruins, snorkel and dive in crystal-clear waters, or enjoy the city’s vibrant nightlife.
8. What’s The Best Time to Visit Jordan
In general, the best seasons for weather in Jordan are spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November), when the temperatures are milder, and the average is 65 °F (or 18 °C).
Of course, it also depends on your specific travel plans, interests and availability.
The autumn months, from September to November, are a great time to visit Jordan. The weather is mild and comfortable, with cool evenings and low humidity. This is an ideal time to take advantage of the many outdoor activities available in Jordan, from hiking and biking to rock climbing and snorkeling. Temperatures range from 60°F to 90°F (18 °C to 32°C) during the day, so you can expect nice weather for exploring the treasures of Jordan’s beautiful landscapes and ancient cities.
Another great time to visit Jordan is in the spring, from March to May. The temperatures are mild and comfortable, ranging from 45°F to 75°F ( 7°C to 23°C) with cool evenings and low humidity. This is an ideal time to enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and biking, as well as cultural attractions like archaeological sites, museums, and galleries. As this is a great time to visit Jordan, you can expect moderate crowds and higher prices, making it a popular time for travelers. So don’t forget to book your tour tickets and hotels early.
If you visit during the summer, be prepared for some serious heat, with temperatures ranging from 60 °F to 90 °F (15 °C to 32°C). In the sunny desert, it can feel even hotter, with temperatures racing 100 °F in desert areas like Wadi Rum, Petra and Aqaba. However, there are many activities that you can do during this season, including snorkeling and diving in Aqaba and enjoying the calm waters of the Dead Sea. We don’t recommend long hikes in the desert, though, as it might be too hot or difficult due to the sandy terrain.
If you are planning a winter visit, keep in mind that it can get quite cold at night. The days might be cloudy, with rain showers possible. Temperatures range from 30 to 65 °F (1 °C to 18 °C), so don’t forget to bring a warm jacket. However, this is also a great time of year to explore some of Jordan’s best attractions: Jerash’s Roman ruins, the fascinating mosaics at Madaba, and the intricate details of the ancient city of Petra. It could be a good time to go on hikes (guided by local professionals, of course), but be aware that in case of heavy rains, there might be floods, with mud blocking roads and access to some parts of the country.
No matter when you visit, be prepared for a travel adventure in the fascinating country of Jordan! Whether you want to relax on pristine beaches and soak up the sun, explore ancient ruins, or experience local culture and cuisine, there is something for everyone here in this enchanting country
9. Expect A Lot of Social Interaction
One of the things that you will quickly notice when you visit Jordan is how friendly and welcoming the people are. This is a very social culture, where it is common to engage in lots of small talk, chat with strangers, and share meals and drinks with those around you.
So when in Jordan, get in the mood and try to engage in as much social interaction as you can. That’s going to be a rich part of your experience and a show of respect to the locals as well, as you might come across as rude if you don’t accept tea and coffee invitations or greetings and goodbyes. In fact, according to local traditions, you can refuse a meal three times before you have to accept an invitation for lunch or dinner.
And when it comes to greetings, the best thing you can do is follow the lead of your hosts. Whether it’s a simple handshake, an elaborate hug or a kiss on the cheek, just follow their lead and try to express how thrilled you are to be in their company. This will go a long way in making your experience all that much more memorable.
So if you’re looking for an immersive travel experience in a fascinating and welcoming country, don’t miss out on the opportunity to visit Jordan! With plenty of stunning landscapes, unique cultural attractions, and delicious local food and drink, you are sure to have an adventure you’ll never forget. So pack your bags and get ready for an amazing journey!
Book Your Jordan Visit Today
Jordan is a truly magical place, full of stunning landscapes, fascinating cultural attractions, and delicious local cuisine. From the ancient ruins of Jerash and Madaba to the magical beauty of Petra, you can see a lot of amazing sights in this enchanting country in a short trip. And with its welcoming people, great weather all year round, and endless opportunities for social interaction, Jordan is truly a one-of-a-kind travel destination.
Don’t forget to book your bus tour tickets with Busbud, which offers a wide selection of routes and departure times to fit your travel plans. So why wait? Book your trip to Jordan today, and prepare for an incredible adventure!