I am a souvenir junkie and if you are looking for the best souvenirs from Jordan you will find everything you want to know about the best things to buy in Jordan in this post. I used to send a postcard home from every destination I visited, but this ended when I visited Jordan the first time. I mailed the postcard in October and after being postmarked in April, it showed up at my house in June of the following year. YES, it did show up, but as I have been traveling more in the Middle East, I have stopped sending postcards home; instead I pick up a few souvenirs from the places I have visited.
Jordan is a beautiful country, full of wonderful and hospitable people. It is very safe to visit and I even visit with my kids. While everyone in Jordan speaks arabic, most people who work in the tourism industry or those who come into contact with tourists speak excellent English! Keep reading to find all of the best souvenirs from Jordan.
Souvenirs from Jordan: The BEST Things to buy in Jordan
Jordan does not have souvenirs in every corner, but there are a few souvenirs around the main tourist spots such as the Dead Sea, Jerash, Wadi Rum and Karak Castle. You will find lots of vendors outside (and inside) Petra and there is plenty of shopping in Amman. There are also large souvenir shops on the main North / South highway.
Jordanian Scarf (kiffiyeh)
The red and white checkered scarf worn by Jordanian military and many Jordanians is one of the first things I suggest when someone asks me what to buy in Jordan. They are a great way to keep the sun off your head or the back of your neck (and they help make a great accent on any of your pictures from Jordan!)
Dead Sea Mud
The Dead Sea is well known for its skin healing properties and after a dip in the water, make sure you spend a few minutes covering yourself with the Dead Sea mud. Most hotels and private beaches have recently dredged mud from the bottom of the Dead Sea. You can buy mud from the Dead Sea at souvenir shops in the area, as well as in other souvenir shops around the country that is packaged for export. But I have found that the best prices are at the shops that specialize in Dead Sea products. I managed to bring home 5kg of mud for my friends who loved covering themselves in the mineral rich face masks!
Coffee is central to life in Jordan. Refusing a cup of coffee can be considered rude, so whether or not you are used to the thickly flavoured drink, I suggest you try your best to accommodate your hosts. After a few tries (and some sugar), you might even start to enjoy it! I sure did. It is also used for important occasions such as marriage proposals or as a traditional way to resolve disputes. The best place I have found to buy turkish coffee in Jordan is actually at Queen Alia International Airport in Amman. Grab a box or two and a few other souvenirs from Jordan before your flight home!
One of the things that I miss the most from Jordan when I am not there is the food! There is an amazing array of restaurants in Amman and each time I visit, I bring home some baklava covered in sugary syrup and sesame cookies. Although it does not travel well, make sure to try kunafa at Habibah in downtown Amman.
After enjoying zaater on pita in Jordan, you will want to bring some home with you! I have tried the international aisles in my local grocery stores, but nothing compares to the Jordanian style zaater available all over Jordan.Other popular spices are the purple sumac and the popular maqluba spiced used in the traditional dish! Get your tour guide to take you to get these local spices to bring home!
Jordan Golf Shirt
Jordanians are very patriotic and I have never visited somewhere where more flags are visible except maybe the United States. Men all over Jordan can be seen sporting black golf shirts, puffy vests or sweatshirts with Jordan flags on them! It is the unofficial uniform for Jordanians and tourists can bring home a little piece of Jordan with them by buying one of these shirts. When shopping in Amman Jordan, you will find various vendors with different styles and quality of shirts!
Sand in a Bottle
If you want to know what the popular Petra souvenirs are, sand in a bottle is one of them. You can see artists creating colorful works of art with picturesque camels, or your name on them! These are one of the popular things to buy in Jordan to bring back home! It is amazing to watch the artists create these bottles.
A Shisha pipe makes a decorative story piece for your home! Whether it is stories of camping in Wadi Rum, or enjoying a coffee shop in Amman, they are popular souvenirs from Jordan. I have also mentioned these in recent Turkey and Egypt posts! They are a popular Middle Eastern past time!
The black eyeliner you see the Bedul of Petra wearing comes from Kohl, or traditional eyeliner worn by Bedouins. You can buy some Kohl to try for yourself while in Jordan. It could make a great addition to your make up bag or if you ever want to dress up like Jack Sparrow.
Painted Ostrich Eggs can be found in souvenir shops in Jordan and they make amazing souvenirs from Jordan. They feature Jordanian points of interest, the tree of life and biblical scenes.
Olive oil from Jordan and the surrounding region is known for its quality. After trying some of the green colored oil on hummous or fateh you may think the flavor to be overpowering, but by the end of the week, you will wonder how you will be able to use your olive oil at home. While it is not a cheap Jordan souvenir, Olive oil makes a great gift or a practical keepsake to bring home.
You will also find high quality olive oil soaps, some made from the Women’s collectives if you visit Feynan Ecolodge, or Wild Jordan shops. Both of these places offer sustainable and locally crafted goods and help support the small communities in Jordan
Jordan River water
Jordan River water can be found in all of the souvenir shops in Jordan. Known as one of the most important biblical sites in the world, after a visit to the baptism site of Jesus you may want to bring some water from this holy place home with you.
Your Name in Arabic Gold
Jordan is known for its high quality gold and silver and in Amman you will find a street with many gold and silver vendors. They offer competitive prices and are known to provide some of the niest looking gold in the Middle East. If you want to buy a unique souvenir from Jordan, consider having your name written in Arabic, and even better, have it crafted in gold.
Things to buy In Jordan Conclusion
There are many other things to buy in Jordan, from bookmarks to small purses and wooden camels, but Jordan’s manufacturing industry is small and you are likely buying a Chinese or Turkish made product. That does not mean you should not buy it. I have bought many things from souvenir shops that are not made locally, and am still contributing to an economy that needs tourist dollars.
Jordan is not a cheap country to travel in, despite its location in the Middle East. You will find things to be much cheaper in Turkey, and Egypt. Whether it is the cost of a car rental, or booking a tour, it should not be a place where you travel on a shoestring budget. Go for Petra, go for the amazing people and go for the memories, some of which you can bring home in a unique Jordan souvenir!
Lindsay is the founder and editor of Carpe Diem OUR Way. She is passionate about sharing her experiences of traveling with children on adventurous family holidays around the world! She resides in the suburbs of Vancouver when not jet setting abroad.