I have visited Petra numerous times, as well camped in Wadi Rum and wandered the streets of Amman for days. I have floated at the Dead Sea, I have enjoyed the Red Sea Resorts, there is not anything in Jordan’s top 10 things to do that I have not done!
If that is not all, I happen to know a local tour guide pretty well, and if I ever get a question about Jordan that I cannot answer, well, he probably can! Is that good enough? I hope so! Keep reading for my 10 best Jordan travel tips that you need to know before you visit this wonderful country!
10 Jordan Travel Tips you NEED to Know Before you Visit
Jordan Travel Tip #1: Jordan is Safe!
Let me repeat that, JORDAN IS SAFE. Go show this article to your parents. JORDAN IS SAFE. Solo Female? No Problem. JORDAN IS SAFE! I have a whole post on Safety in Jordan, check it out here: Is Jordan Safe?
You do not need an armed escort, you will not see military vehicles, you will not see military action, you will not see fires, burning tires, violence, wars, rockets, bombs.
Jordan is a small peaceful country with neighbours who have a violent history and some have current security situations to be aware of.
However, the country itself is safe. The footage you see on TV of violence in the Gaza Strip or stories from Syria are a very different picture of what it is like in MOST of the Middle East. I travel as a mom with two little boys and have NEVER FELT UNSAFE in JORDAN!
The biggest danger to tourists is vehicle accidents.
Now with that being said, Jordan is a Muslim country and as a woman, I dress conservatively in order to fit in with what most Jordanians would wear.
That leads to Jordan travel tip #2
Jordan Travel Tip #2: You Do NOT Need to Cover Your Hair in Jordan
Except when visiting religious buildings such as mosques, my second Jordan travel tip is that women do not need to cover their hair in Jordan. Some Muslim women choose to, but not all of them do. The country also has a large Christian population and they do not cover their hair.
Queen Rania, the wife of King Abdullah II does not cover her hair in public. If it makes you feel more comfortable and helps you feel as if you do not stand out as a foreigner, you are welcome to and no one would have any issues with it.
With that being said, observe modest dress in Jordan. Even in the hot summers. Leave the short shorts for the beach resort and cover to the knees and shoulders. I wear tshirts and jeans a lot. You can read my packing list for Jordan for more information on what you should pack on your trip.
Jordan Travel Tip #3: Jordan has 4 Seasons and WINTER is one of them!
Jordan is not all desert and can be below freezing in the winter months. If you are visiting between November and April ensure you pack a down jacket, gloves and touque and plan for rain or snow. The desert can be sunny by day and bitterly cold at night (below freezing) and the mountainous terrain all over the country can get snow at any time!
The only place where you are going to have warm temperatures in the winter months is in Aqaba.
Jordan Travel Tip #4: When is the Best time to Visit Jordan?
The best time to visit Jordan is going to depend on a few factors. It really depends WHAT kind of traveller you are and what you want to do in Jordan. Some items are seasonal. For example, if you want to hike Wadi Mujib near the Dead Sea, you need to travel to Jordan between April and September. (However, I was in Jordan in April in 2018 and 2019 and Wadi Mujib was closed into May due to heavy rains and high waters).
If you want to do a lot of hiking, then Spring and Fall are going to be the best times to visit. Spring (March to May is quite cool still, and it can rain a lot). The Fall is quite dry (Sept to Nov) but the temperatures are bearable for hiking and are starting to get quite cool near the end of November. In the winter the weather is cool and there can be rain or snow. Some hiking trails are seasonal due to weather.
If you are not a fan of the heat then late fall, winter and spring might be the right time to you to visit Jordan. Pack a warm jacket as I mentioned in my last tip and try and be a bit flexible in your itinerary.
High Season according to tourism numbers is March to May and September to November, but there are tours all year round and you will find visitors coming in all months of the year. Travelling in high season is fine. You will not see outrageous crowds anywhere in Jordan.
#5 Jordan Travel Itinerary: How Long do you Need in Jordan
This one is a tough one to answer as most travellers are limited in the amount of time they have to visit Jordan. I personally think you need at least a week to see all of the top spots in Jordan, but you can see a lot if you have less time. In order to jam pack your days, I have a 5 days in Jordan Itinerary for those who plan to self drive the country.
I tell everyone that to really enjoy your time, take 7 to 10 days. There are so many amazing things to see in Jordan and the worst is when you are really enjoying something and have to leave because you do not have enough time and have to be somewhere else!
#6 Public Transportation in Jordan can be Frustrating
If you plan to visit Jordan on your own, it can be frustrating to try and get around without a car. Although Jordan is a very small country, its small population means that there is not a lot of infrastructure when it comes to public transport.
If you plan on going from city to city, or from Amman to Petra you are ok taking the JETT bus. But there are many tourist sites that are not serviced by busses. These include places like Feynan Ecolodge, Dana Reserve and even Wadi Rum.
Whether it is a day trip from Amman to the Dead Sea or a week long trip, driving will be the least frustrating option.
Budget USD30 per day for a vehicle.
Brand new for 2019 is the “Amman Bus” which is the first major public bus system running in Amman. It launched in June 2019 and operates like many modern metro systems where you can purchase and load money onto a card to pay for a bus ride. I plan to check this out later this month and will add to this post with all of the details on what is serviced with these new busses!
I do want to note that there are local busses that go most places in Jordan, but they are small, crammed full and you likely need a bit of arabic to find out where the bus goes! (You also need to know where to stand as there are not official bus stops).
#7 Jordan is NOT JUST PETRA!
While Petra is the draw to almost every visitor to Jordan, (and with VERY good reason) there is so much more to this country! My favorite places include Petra but also I would not miss a Jeep Tour in Wadi Rum, Sunset viewing and bedouin camping in Wadi Rum.
I was also amazed by Jerash, floating at the Dead Sea, Feynan Eco-Lodge, Dana Guest House and the Dana Biosphere reserve and Snorkelling in the Red Sea. This does not even take into account the religious significance of the region and the Christian sites that many visitors come to Jordan to see!
There is something bucketlist worthy to fill everyday in Jordan, but the pace of life there is nice and slow and there is always time for a roadside cup of Turkish coffee!
#8 EAT EVERYTHING
Jordan has got to be one of those places that I keep going back for the food! Whether it is hummous, falafel, shwarma, or more local dishes like Mannqish or Macloubeh the flavourful dishes in Jordan do not disappoint!
If you are on a budget you an get by with Falafel sandwiches and shwarma but if you are wanting to taste the best of everything Jordan, ensure you try their national dish, Mansaf, which is lamb and rice with a yogourt sauce! eating it with your fingers is part of the tradition!
There are so many great places to eat in Jordan, I just finished this guide to the best restaurants in Amman. Let me know if you want more recommendations in other cities!
Jordan Travel Tip #9: Check when Ramadan occurs
Ramadan is the holy month where most Muslims will fast from sunrise to sunset. While it is totally fine to visit Jordan during this time, the business hours of many shops, as well as tourist sites, will be adjusted. Everything will be closed at sunset as Muslims will pray and then eat, and then everything is open again and open late!
There are plenty of evening celebrations and special restaurant menus, but there can also be limited bus service, early closing or opening and it can be tougher to get around.
But Ramadan is also a low period to travel so you will not have any problems finding a hotel.
Jordan Travel Tip #10: Bring Your own Water Bottle to prevent Plastic Waste
Jordan does not have much of a recycling industry, and you will see a lot of garbage around. Even in the middle of nowhere there will be plastic bottles and bags! Do yourself a favor and bring your own water bottle with a filter and fill up your bottles for the day from your hotel tap!
So thats it, 10 Jordan Travel Tips for visitors to Jordan. Do you have more questions? Please let me know!
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.