Jordan is known for its rich history and culture, as well as its natural beauty and landmarks such as the ancient city of Petra and the Dead Sea.
It has a diverse population, with a majority of Jordanians being of Arab descent, but also a significant number of Circassian, Chechen and Kurdish minorities. Jordan has been a centre of civilization for thousands of years and has been a crossroads for many cultures and religions. This is reflected in the country's many historic sites, including the ancient city of Petra, which was carved out of the rock by the Nabateans more than 2,000 years ago. Jordan is also known for its natural beauty, including the Wadi Rum desert, the Ajloun nature reserve, and the Dead Sea, which is the lowest point on earth. The country also has a variety of outdoor activities and adventure sports to offer, such as hiking, rock climbing, and hot air balloon rides.
I will be sharing my experiences and insights from my travels to Jordan, I hope that through this blog, you will get a glimpse into the rich culture and beauty of this fascinating country and be inspired to plan your own trip there.
If you're going to Jordan for the first time, renting a car is the best way to get around, since transportation between different cities can be daunting, time-consuming, and difficult.
Overview of the itinerary
Nomads Hotel & Hostel
Hashem: This is a traditional Jordanian restaurant that is famous for its falafel and hummus. It's a casual spot with a lively atmosphere and affordable prices.
Sufra: This is a contemporary restaurant that serves traditional Jordanian food with a modern twist. It's known for its delicious mezze and grilled meats.
Tawaheen Al-Hawa: This is a traditional restaurant that serves various dishes from the Bedouin cuisine, it's famous for its delicious mansaf (a traditional Bedouin dish).
Al-Quds: This traditional Palestinian restaurant serves delicious Palestinian and Lebanese cuisine.
Zara's: This is a Mediterranean restaurant that serves a variety of dishes from Mediterranean cuisine, it's famous for its delicious seafood.
Fakhr El-Din: This is a Lebanese restaurant that serves a variety of dishes from Lebanese cuisine, it's famous for its delicious mezze and grilled meats.
Al-Quds Falafel: this is a street food spot that serves delicious falafel sandwiches and other traditional street food.
Khan Al-Kalha: this is a traditional restaurant that serves a variety of dishes from Bedouin cuisine and it's famous for its delicious grilled meats.
Abu Jbara: Best falafel and Hummus restaurant in town
Al Mousellie: Best shwerma restaurant in town
Al Kalha: falafel and Hummus
Things to do
Head downtown and take a stroll through the souks (markets) in the Jabal Amman neighbourhood: The Jabal Amman neighbourhood is located in the heart of the city and is known for its vibrant market. You can explore the local shops selling everything from traditional clothing, spices, handicrafts, and jewellery. The souks/downtown Amman is also a great place to sample traditional Jordanian cuisines, such as falafel, shawarma, Knafah and mansaf.
Visit the Jordan Museum: Located in the Jabal Amman neighbourhood, the Jordan Museum is the country's national museum and a great place to learn about Jordan's rich cultural heritage. The museum houses a collection of artefacts from different periods, including prehistoric, Islamic, and modern times. You can see pottery, jewellery, textiles, coins, and more.
Explore the Amman Citadel: This historical site is located on a hilltop in the centre of Amman and offers panoramic views of the city. The citadel features ruins from different periods, including the Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic periods. You can see the remains of the Umayyad Palace, the Temple of Hercules, and the Byzantine Church, as well as several museums displaying artefacts from the site.
Visit the Roman Theater: The Roman Theater is an impressive 2nd-century AD structure located in the heart of Amman. The theatre is still used for cultural events and performances and can seat around 6,000 people. You can take a guided tour to learn about the history of the theatre and the events that take place there.
Visit Rainbow Street: A lively street located in the Jabal Amman neighbourhood and is a popular destination for both visitors and locals. The road is lined with shops, restaurants and cafes, making it a great place to stroll and explore. You can find everything from traditional handicrafts to contemporary art, and try out some of the street's delicious street food.
Jarash & Ajlioun
Transport from Amman to Jarash & Ajlioun
There are several ways to travel from Amman to Jarash and Ajloun.
Bus: Public buses run regularly from Amman to Jarash and Ajloun. The journey takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes. You can buy the tickets from Amman Central Bus Station.
Car rental: You can rent a car in Amman and drive to Jarash and Ajloun. This will give you the flexibility to explore the towns at your own pace, but please be aware of the traffic.
Uber: The journey takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes. Uber is widely used in Jordan
Private tour: You can also book a private tour from Amman that includes transportation to Jarash and Ajloun. This option is particularly convenient if you want to have a guided tour of the towns and learn more about their history and culture.
Jerash, also known as Gerasa, this ancient Roman city is located around 48 kilometres (30 miles) north of Amman and is considered one of the best-preserved Roman cities in the world. The city features an impressive array of well-preserved ruins, including the Hadrian's Arch, the Hippodrome, the Temples of Artemis and Zeus, and the Forum. You can also see the Nymphaeum, the Cardo, and the South Theatre, which is still used for cultural events.
Ajloun Forest Reserve Restaurant
Things to do
Visit the Jerash Archaeological Museum: Located within the ancient city, the Jerash Archaeological Museum displays a collection of artefacts discovered at the site, including pottery, glass, mosaics, and statues. You can learn about the history of Jerash and the daily life of its inhabitants.
Visit the Jerash Citadel: The Jerash Citadel is located on a hilltop and offers panoramic views of the city. You can explore the remains of the citadel, including the Umayyad Palace, the Temple of Hercules, and the Byzantine Church, and learn about the history of Jerash and the different periods of its occupation.
If you have more time you can choose to visit the Jerash Roman Army and Chariot Experience (JERACHE). This is an interactive experience that allows you to learn about the Roman army and chariot racing in Jerash. On display also authentic Roman artefacts and will be able to learn about the daily life of a Roman soldier, as well as take a ride in a chariot.
Visit Ajloun Castle: Ajloun Castle is a 12th-century castle located in the northern part of Jordan. It was built during the rule of the Ayyubid dynasty to control the iron mines of Ajloun and to protect the region from the Crusaders. You can take a tour of the castle and learn about its history and architecture.
Explore the Ajloun Nature Reserve: The Ajloun Nature Reserve is located on the Ajloun mountain range and it's a great place to go for a hike and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. You can see a variety of wildlife, including birds, and wildflowers and enjoy the panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
Visit the Ajloun Archaeological Museum: The Ajloun Archaeological Museum is located within the castle and it showcases a collection of artefacts from the area, including pottery, glass, mosaics and other items from the Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic periods. You can learn about the history of Ajloun and the surrounding region.
Make your way back to Amman later that evening
Transport from Amman to the Dead Sea
Private Car or Taxi/Uber: This is the most convenient and comfortable option, as you can hire a car or taxi for the trip. The journey takes about an hour and a half, and the cost will vary depending on the type of vehicle and the company you choose.
Public Bus: There are several public bus routes that operate between Amman and the Dead Sea. The journey takes around two hours and a half, and the cost is relatively cheap.
Shuttle Bus: Some hotels and tour companies such as JETT Bus Station in Abdali offer shuttle bus services from Amman to the Dead Sea. This is a convenient option as the bus will pick you up from your hotel in Amman and drop you off at your hotel or resort on the Dead Sea.
Self-drive: You can also rent a car and drive from Amman to the Dead Sea on your own. This will give you more flexibility and the freedom to explore at your own pace.
There are no hostels located at the dead sea. There are multiple resorts with different price range.
Things to do
Take a day trip to the Dead Sea: The Dead Sea is the lowest point on Earth and is located around 50 kilometres (31 miles) east of Amman. The area is known for its therapeutic mud and salt, which you can use to exfoliate and moisturize your skin. You can also float in extremely salty water, which has health benefits. There are several spas and resorts in the area, offering a variety of treatments and services.
Visit the Dead Sea Spa: You can visit one of the many Dead Sea spas and indulge in a variety of treatments that use the mineral-rich mud and water of the Dead Sea. Treatments include mud baths, body wraps, and massages.
Visit the Dead Sea Beach: You can spend your time at the beach and enjoy the sun, swim and float in the sea. There are both public and private beach areas.
Visit the Dead Sea Museum: The Dead Sea Museum is located near the Dead Sea and it's a great place to learn about the history and culture of the area. You can see exhibits on the geology, history, and culture of the Dead Sea and the surrounding region.
Visit Mount Nebo: Mount Nebo is a mountain located near the Dead Sea, it is believed to be the place where Moses viewed the Promised Land. You can take a tour of the mountain and see the remains of the church and the mosaic floor.
Visit the Qumran Caves: The Qumran Caves are located near the Dead Sea and they are known for being the place where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. You can take a tour of the caves and see the remains of the settlement and the scriptorium.
Patra & Wadi Rum
Transport from Amman to the Wadi Rum
Tour package: Many tour companies offer a package that includes transportation from Amman to Wadi Rum with a guided tour of the area. This is a convenient option as the tour company will take care of all the transportation arrangements. I recommend checking with JetBus located in Abdali.
Private Car or Taxi/Uber: This is the most convenient and comfortable option, as you can hire a car or taxi for the trip. The journey takes about 4 hours, and the cost will vary depending on the type of vehicle and the company you choose.
Bedouin Camps: These are traditional desert camps run by local Bedouin communities. They offer a unique and authentic experience, with simple tents and facilities.
Captain's Desert Camp: This camp is run by a local Bedouin family and offers a traditional desert experience with simple tents and facilities.
Wadi Rum Bedouin Camp: This camp is located in a quiet area of the desert and offers a variety of activities such as camel rides and stargazing.
Luxury Camps: These camps offer a more upscale experience, with luxury tents, air conditioning, and private bathrooms. Some also offer activities such as hot air balloon rides and spa treatments.
Wadi Rum Night Luxury Camp: This camp offers luxury tents with private bathrooms, air conditioning and private balconies with stunning desert views.
Wadi Rum Luxury Camp: This camp offers a variety of activities such as hot air balloon rides and spa treatments in addition to luxury tents.
Hotels: There are a few hotels available in Wadi Rum, usually located at the entrance of the protected area. They offer more conventional accommodations with standard hotel amenities.
Wadi Rum Bubble hotel: A new concept of eco-friendly accommodation that offers a unique experience of camping under the stars in a comfortable bubble.
Wadi Rum Rest House: This hotel offers comfortable rooms with air conditioning, a restaurant, and a terrace with desert views.
Things to do
Visit Wadi Rum: Wadi Rum is a desert valley located in southern Jordan that is known for its spectacular sandstone mountains and rock formations. You can take a jeep or camel tour of the valley, hike in the mountains, or even spend the night in a traditional Bedouin camp.
Visit Petra: Petra is an ancient city located in southern Jordan that is known for its rock-cut architecture. You can explore the city's many tombs, temples, and monuments, including the Treasury, the Monastery, and the Royal Tombs. You can also take a guided tour to learn about the history and significance of Petra.
Visit Little Petra: Little Petra is an ancient city located near Petra that is known for its rock-cut architecture. You can explore the city's tombs, temples, and other monuments, and learn about the history and significance of Little Petra.
Visit the Wadi Rum Visitor Center: The Wadi Rum Visitor Center is located near the entrance of Wadi Rum and it's a great place to learn about the history and culture of the area. You can see exhibits on the Bedouin culture, geology, and history of Wadi Rum.
Visit Petra at night: The event that takes place every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, you can explore it and see the Treasury, the Monastery and other monuments illuminated by candles and torches.
Bedouin Garden Village Aqaba
Alamer Hostel 2
Al Manara Restaurant: This restaurant offers a variety of traditional Jordanian and Mediterranean dishes, focusing on seafood.
Al Shurouq: This beachfront restaurant offers a mix of Mediterranean and international cuisine, along with a great view of the Red Sea.
Al Tawaheen Al Bahari: This seafood restaurant is known for its fresh fish and seafood dishes, as well as its beautiful sea view.
Le Royal: This upscale restaurant offers a variety of international dishes and a beautiful view of the Aqaba Gulf.
Al Sayyad: This seafood restaurant serves a variety of fresh fish and seafood dishes, and it's known for its traditional atmosphere.
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf: A café chain that serves a variety of coffee, tea, and pastries.
Things to do
Visit the Aqaba Fort: The Aqaba Fort is a historic fortress located in the centre of Aqaba. It was built during the Ottoman period and you can take a tour of the fort and learn about its history and architecture.
Explore the Aqaba Marine Park: The Aqaba Marine Park is a popular destination for snorkelling and diving. You can see a variety of marine life, including colourful fish, coral reefs, and shipwrecks.
Visit the Aqaba Archaeological Museum: The Aqaba Archaeological Museum is located in the centre of Aqaba and it showcases a collection of artefacts from the area, including pottery, glass, mosaics and other items from the Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic periods.
Visit Aqaba Castle: The Aqaba Castle is a historic castle located in the centre of Aqaba. It was built during the Mamluk period and you can take a tour of the castle and learn about its history and architecture.
Visit the Aqaba Old Town: The Aqaba Old Town is a historic neighbourhood located in the centre of Aqaba. You can explore traditional houses, narrow streets, and local markets.
Visit the Aqaba Beach: Aqaba is home to several beaches, and you can spend your time sunbathing, swimming or enjoying water sports such as jet skiing or parasailing.
Take a boat trip to the Gulf of Aqaba: You can take a boat trip to the Gulf of Aqaba and enjoy the beautiful scenery and marine life.
Visit the Aqaba Royal Yacht Club: The Aqaba Royal Yacht Club is a recreational facility located on the waterfront of Aqaba. You can enjoy the sea view and have a meal in the club's restaurant or enjoy a drink in the bar.
Visit the Aqaba Waterfront Promenade: Aqaba Waterfront Promenade is a beautiful walkway along the Red Sea, you can enjoy the sea view and take a stroll along the waterfront.
Visit the Aqaba Fort Night market: it's a great place to shop for souvenirs and traditional crafts, and sample local food.
Overall, Jordan is a country that has a lot to offer, from its rich history, natural beauty, and cultural heritage to its outdoor activities and adventure sports. It's a great destination for those interested in history, culture, and nature and it offers a different side of the Middle East than the one usually portrayed in the media.
On the last day head back north to Amman to fly out. Safe travels