Jordan is by far one of the most beautiful countries I ever visited and honestly, if I could I would go back in a heartbeat. This Middle Eastern country has something to offer for every kind of traveler: adventurous jeep tours through the desert of Wadi Rum, relaxing days by the Dead Sea or simply admiring the historical and architectural wonders that Jordan has to offer. It’s the perfect holiday spot if you’re looking for a little more adventure with a side of relaxation and luxury. This 7-day Jordan itinerary + road trip guide will give you all of the essential info and tips you need to plan the perfect holiday and to enjoy this wonderful and unique country.
Jordan is also the perfect country to discover if it’s your first time visiting the Middle East. Some people are more hesitant towards visiting this part of the world, which is completely unnecessary cause a lot of those thoughts come from wrong prejudices. But if you do feel a little unsure you’ll take your first steps towards loving the Middle East when visiting this stunning country! And I can guarantee that you’ll want to come back for more afterwards!
A 7 Day Jordan Itinerary – The Ultimate Road Trip Guide
Why you should visit Jordan
Jordan is a beautiful country that has something to offer to everyone. If you’re looking for an adventurous trip you’ll love exploring the ancient city of Petra through multiple day hikes or even better, spend the night in the beautiful desert of Wadi Rum. For an extra adrenaline rush you can even go hiking through the river canyon at Wadi Mujib. If you’re after relaxation you can do so at one of the luxury hotels next to the Dead Sea. And if you’re a history and architecture lover you’ll be in for a real treat when visiting the historical sites of Petra, Jerash and Amman. So in short, Jordan is the perfect holiday destination if you’re looking for a wide variety of activities.
Some interesting facts about Jordan
- There are over 100,000 archaeological and tourist sites in Jordan which makes it a great holiday destination to enjoy your time and educate yourself on Middle Eastern heritage.
- Jordan is part of the Holy Land.
- Jordan has the world’s oldest dam.
- The oldest statues in the world were found in Jordan, The Ain Ghazal Statues date back to 7500 BC, they can be found at The Jordan Museum.
- The Dead Sea is the lowest point on Earth.
- Jordan’s national dish is Mansaf, a delicious lamb dish cooked with fermented yogurt called jameed and is usually served with rice topped with pine nuts.
How to get into Jordan
The easiest way to get into Jordan is to fly into the Queen Alia International Airport. It’s Jordan’s main and largest airport and is located in Zizya 30 kilometres south of the capital city, Amman. Pretty much all international flights touch down at this airport. If you wish to reach Aqaba you can also do so by air, it’s linked to Amman by daily short-hop shuttles on the national carrier Royal Jordanian.
Border crossings are straightforward, and most nationalities can get a visa on arrival – except at the King Hussein/Allenby Bridge between Jerusalem and Amman, where no Jordanian visas are issued.
But wether you’re flying or driving into the country you’ll to have a tourist visa if you want to enter Jordan. For most countries you can simply obtain a tourist visa at the airport which costs 40JD. You can check the requirements for your country here.
If you’re eligible for visa upon arrival, consider purchasing the Jordan Pass to save money and time during your trip to Jordan! The Pass offers entry to 36 tourism attractions including Petra, Jerash and Wadi Rum and waives the visa fee if you’re spending 3 or more consecutive nights in Jordan.
Important to know is that you have to purchase your Jordan Pass before you arrive in Jordan and you can do so online here.
The Jordan Pass is a completely digital pass that you’ll get on your smartphone. It allows you to skip the lines and enter the most popular tourist attractions in Jordan for free. There are 3 different Jordan Passes available depending on how much days you want to spend exploring Petra.
- Jordan Wanderer – 70JD and a 1 day visit to Petra
- Jordan Explorer – 75JD and 2 consecutive days at Petra
- Jordan Expert – 80JD and 3 consecutive days at Petra
The best time to visit Jordan
Jordan is a wonderful country to visit year round but some seasons are a little more favorable than others. Jordan is a desert country which means that during the Summer months the days can get incredibly hot with temperatures rising up to 40°C.
The best seasons to visit Jordan are either Spring or Fall and within those seasons the months of April, May, September and October are your safest bet to guarantee yourself the best time.
During Spring you’ll see wildflowers bloom all across the country, yes even in the vast desert landscapes! It’s an ideal time to go hiking and to plan an adventurous trip.
During Fall it can get a little colder but the weather is still nice but the closer you get to Winter the higher the chances become for rainfall.
However if you’re looking for a relaxing holiday and all you want to do is lay in the sun, or you’re amazing in hot weather then the Summer season might be ideal for you. One advantage is that there’s way less tourists during that time.
Spring especially is high season for Jordan so if you’re planning your trip around that time you’ll have to plan and book in advance.
What to wear when visiting Jordan
Jordan is a conservative county but they’re not as strict with dress codes as in other Middle Eastern countries. The local men and women tend to wear long and loose gowns. Jordanian women typically wear hijab (headscarf) and modest clothing. But I found the locals to be extremely accepting towards more hip and western clothing, as long as you’re being respectful. Below are some of my favorite options for traveling through Jordan!
Is Jordan safe to visit?
While the media sure loves to portray the Middle East in a bad and violent way, I can assure you that Jordan is a safe country to visit! Stealing from or harming tourists is strongly frowned upon by locals and harsh punishments exist for offenders. Near every main attraction you’ll also find a police department specifically dedicated to tourist safety. This is the so called tourist police and you’ll be able to recognize them by their white uniforms.
Of course, just like in any other country there’s always the possibility for petty theft and scams. here are some precautions you can take to avoid such things.
- Keep your wallet/purse close
- Carry only as much cash as you need
- If you’re heading home late, take a taxi and don’t walk home alone
- Carry the business card of where you’re staying so a taxi can bring you right to the door.
One pretty common scam in Jordan is the so called romance scam in Petra.
When you’re walking through the Rose City you’ll see two types of bedouins: the normal looking ones and the ones that look like a failed clone of Jack Sparrow. It’s these last ones, also called the “love pirates” that you have to look out for cause they prey on lonely, older women. You’ll recognize them by their black kohl lined eyes and wild hair bound by a headscarf and their look pretty much resembles that of Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean. Of course they tell the story that Johnny copied the look from them.
Day and day out they try to seduce women and try to trick them into believing their feelings are true. They’ll invite you discover the more hidden places of Petra with them and then to have dinner with them and their family inside of Petra in the evening. But there are also stories about girls who passed out after having such a dinner. I don’t have to paint you a picture of what happens afterwards.
A good page to follow if you’re visiting Petra is @shakira_the_donkey. They are very hands on and even contacted me through Instagram when they saw I was visiting Petra to warn me!
Jordan Travel Insurance
I highly recommend you to get a travel insurance before your trip cause the risks are never worth the costs. For instance I ended up spraining my ankle while hiking through Wadi Mujib but I could have easily broken it instead. Medical costs in foreign countries can quickly get pretty high so it’s best to be safe rather than sorry.
I personally love World Nomads, their prices are affordable, their coverage is great, and they also offer 24/7 on-call customer service!
Renting a car in Jordan
Renting a car in Jordan is actually not that uncommon and in my opinion it’s the best way to get the most out of your trip! Plus, renting a car in Jordan is very safe and the advantages definitely outweigh the few disadvantages that you might have.
- Road conditions and driving conditions in Jordan are great throughout the entire country.
- Public transportation in Jordan is very unreliable. By booking a rental car you’ll avoid paying a lot of extra costs on taxi’s or private drivers.
- The GPS system in Jordan works perfectly, we navigated with either Waze or Google Maps.
- By renting a car you’ll get endless amounts of freedom! You’ll be able to go wherever whenever and do everything on your own time.
The easiest thing to do is simply to book your car online in advance. It requires some research from before but with sites like RentalCars you’ll be able to compare different companies and prices next to each other. Plus in case of any issue with the rental company or the car, they take as much responsibility as the actual rental company and they only work with the most reliable car rentals in the world.
Below I’ve listed some of the basics of driving in Jordan.
- In Jordan they drive on the right side of the road.
- You can only rent a car if you’re 25 years old.
- In order to rent a car in Jordan you’ll have to have your passport with you and your drivers’ license. It doesn’t have to be an international one but bring it with you in case you have one. For the deposit you’ll need a credit card as well. Make sure the limit on your credit card is high enough so that you can still use it throughout the rest of your trip after the deposit is frozen.
The ultimate 7 day Jordan itinerary
A total of 7 days is the perfect amount of time to explore Jordan. This way you’ll be able to see all of the main attractions and even have plenty of time to relax. In this part I will talk you through the top things to do and the best places to visit in Jordan.
Below you’ll find an overview of this 7 day Jordan itinerary
DAY 1 – Amman
DAY 2 – Jerash
DAY 3 – Dead Sea & Wadi Mujib
DAY 4 & 5 – Petra
DAY 6 & 7 – Wadi Rum
DAY 1 AMMAN
Welcome to the capital of Jordan! Amman will be the first stop on this Jordan itinerary and before you leave from the airport with your rental car make sure to pick a local SIM card. I always do this at the airport itself. This way I can stay connected throughout the entire trip and also use my smartphone as a GPS.
WHAT TO DO IN AMMAN
1. VISIT THE AMMAN CITADEL
The Citadel in Amman is one of these important tourist attractions and the highlight for many visitors. The site is located on top of the highest hill in Amman, Jebel Al Qala’a, and around 850 meters above sea level and part of the seven hills that originally made up Amman.
The Amman Citadel is a popular sight seeing place for many reasons but its two most striking features are the Temple of Hercules and the Ummayad Palace.
- Opening hours – The Amman Citadel is open from 8 am until 7 pm on Saturdays to Thursdays between April and September and until 4 pm between October and March.
- Entrance fee – 3JOD, free with the Jordan Pass
I WROTE AN INCREDIBLE GUIDE ON VISITING THE AMMAN CITADEL INCLUDING A LOT MORE DETAILS & PHOTOS – THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO VISITING THE AMMAN CITADEL
2. DISCOVER THE ROMAN THEATER
Amman’s Roman theater is a true masterpiece and located in the middle of the centre of Jordans capital, at the foot of a hill opposite the Amman Citadel. It’s the ideal place to attend a musical event cause the Romans were true geniuses when it comes to acoustics. On the side of the stage, a small door opens to the Jordan Museum of Popular Traditions, in which dozens of ceramics, traditional Bedouin clothing, jewelry, and trinkets sit on display.
- Opening hours – From 8am until 5pm, closed on Fridays.
- Entrance fee – 2JOD, free with the Jordan Pass
WHERE TO STAY IN AMMAN
When it comes to hotels in Amman the city is an example of contrasts. On one hand there’s the luxurious 5 – star hotels with its enormous sky scrapers and then there’s the cheaper down town hotels perfect for backpackers. Unfortunately there’s no such thing here yet as a small boutique hotels but I’ve listed my favourites in both categories below.
- Four Seasons Hotel Amman – A palatial oasis in the burgeoning desert destination. The Four Seasons Amman boasts a view over Jordan’s capital from atop the highest of the white city’s seven hills.
- Amman Rotana – The first tower hotel in Amman at 189 meter high.
- The House Boutique Suites – At The House, each and every suite is a retreat that brings together the old and the new.
- Dali House – A spacious apartment close to the centre of Amman.
- Seventh-Star Hotel – A beautiful and spacious suite at a 3-star hotel offering a stunning view over the city at a very affordable price.
MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUT MY DETAILED REVIEW ABOUT THE FOUR SEASONS HOTEL IN AMMAN, INCLUDING A LOT MORE PHOTOS.
DAY 2: JERASH
Jerash is a city in Northern Jodan that is actually incredibly famous for its Roman ruins. After Petra it’s the second most visited archeological site by tourists in the country. Jerash is known for the ruins of the Greco-Roman city of Gerasa, and is sometimes misleadingly referred to as the “Pompeii of the Middle East“.
Jerash is only 46 minutes driving from Amman and it’s a pretty smooth ride, that is as soon as you’ve exited the busy streets of Amman.
The opening hours of Jerash vary throughout the year. In winter, between November and March, the site opens at 8am and closes at 4pm, in the summer, it is possible to stay in Jerash until 8pm.
- Opening hours – From 8am until 4pm (Winter) or until 8pm (Summer)
- Entrance fee – 12JD
WHEN PLANNING YOUR TRIP MAKE SURE TO READ MY DETAILED GUIDE ABOUT JERASH, INCLUDING A LOT MORE PHOTOS – ROMAN RUINS OF JERASH, THE PERFECT DAY TRIP FROM AMMAN
DAY 3: DEAD SEA & WADI MUJIB
TOP THINGS TO DO
1. GO FOR A DIP IN THE DEAD SEA
The Dead Sea is a salt lake bordered by Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west and one of the most beautiful places in Jordan. The Dead Sea is particularly known for its floating capacities and for it being the lowest point on earth.
Important tips for visiting the Dead Sea
- If you’re set on getting into the water don’t shave the day before. It will be extremely painful due to the high concentration of salt.
- Don’t go in if you have an open wound or sores, again it will be extremely painful.
- Don’t stay in for longer than 10 minutes at a time.
- Try to not get your hair wet. The water is so salty your hair will be extremely dry for weeks on end.
- Don’t put your head under water.
2. RELAX AT THE MA’IN HOT SPRINGS
The Ma’In Hot Springs, also known as Hammamat Ma’in are one of those hidden gems in Jordan. There a series of hot mineral springs and waterfalls located between Madaba and the Dead Sea. If you fancy a refreshing feeling of hot water bubbling from the Earth’s core, the invigorating therapy of the Ma’in hot springs is sure to do the trick. Seated 264 meters below sea level the tranquil oasis is the perfect treatment from the bustling streets of Amman.
3. GO HIKING IN THE RIVER CANYON OF WADI MUJIB
Wadi Mujib is an enormous canyon with a river streaming through it close to the Dead Sea. It’s the perfect place to go for an excursion where you’ll go swimming in the river and even climb a couple of waterfalls in the back. Do know that if you do this activity you can’t take your camera equipment with you. You’ll have to leave all of your belongings in a locker at the visitors’ centre.
Important tips for visiting Wadi Mujib
- Entrance to the Siq Trail costs 21JD.
- You can hire waterproof shoes for 5JD per pair.
- The Siq Trail is generally open from 1 April – 31 October (double check weather conditions if visiting in early April), though April and May are the best months to visit.
- Wear comfortable clothes that you don’t mind getting wet and bring a dry set of clothes to wear afterwards.
- The visitors’ centre is open from 8am until 3pm.
WHERE TO STAY NEAR THE DEAD SEA
- Ma’in Hot Springs Resort & Spa – Enjoy the tranquillity and have breakfast overlooking the stunning waterfalls in this valley. Located around 20 minutes from the Dead Sea.
DAY 4 & 5: PETRA
The Lost City of Petra is one of those places that speaks to everyone’s imagination. I remember watching all of the Indiana Jones movies as a little girl and I wasn’t just impressed by Indy himself, hello young Harrison Ford! But what intrigued me the most were all of the places he was visiting on his adventures. And one of those was the rose colored city of Petra in Jordan.
TOP THINGS TO DO IN PETRA
1. VISIT PETRA BY NIGHT
Petra by Night is an incredible event that takes place 3 times a week on every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday and starts at 8.30pm from the Visitor’s Center. It’s a magical way to see Petra where they lit up the entire Siq canyon leading up to the Treasury with more than a thousand candles.
The ticket fee for Petra by night is 17 JOD.
2. WALK THROUGH THE SIQ AND VISIT THE TREASURY
The Treasury is for a lot of people the main reason that they’re visiting the Lost City of Petra. It’s original function even now is still a mystery. Some believe it to be a temple but recent excavations unearthed a graveyard beneath it. And yes, the first time you see it it is as impressive as you would have imagined. Its scale is honestly overwhelming when you’re standing right in front of it and the intricate details are absolutely mesmerizing.
- Opening hours – From 6am until 6pm in the Summer and until 4pm in the Winter
- Entrance fee – 50JOD for a 1 day ticket, free if you have the Jordan Pass
3. CLIMB UP TO THE MONASTERY
The Monastery is one of the top sights to see in entire Petra and one that you really shouldn’t miss, even if you only have 1 day to explore the entire site! It’s without a doubt one of the most beautiful places in entire Jordan!
The road up to the Monastery is lined with souvenir shops and at the top you’ll even find a small restaurant where you can have a snack and drink something.
- Opening hours – From 6am until 6pm in the Summer and until 4pm in the Winter
- Entrance fee – 50JOD for a 1 day ticket, free if you have the Jordan Pass
4. HIKE TO THE HIGH PLACE OF SACRIFICE
The High Place of Sacrifice is one of the most beautiful viewpoints in entire Petra and the hike up to it is pretty spectacular as well. This is the first place I would visit if I ever had the chance to travel back to Jordan. Cause as you can guess due to my injury it wasn’t an option to do this hike.
5. ENJOY A BEDOUIN DINNER WHILE OVERLOOKING THE PETRA VALLEY
It’s the perfect way to end one of your days in Petra, a cosy evening at one of the best hotels in entire Petra! Petra Marriott offers several dining options but their best one is by far the bedouin dinner which is held in an authentic bedouin tent.
Sip on a delicious cocktail while watching the sun disappear behind the mountains of Petra and simply enjoy life!
6. HAVE A DRINK AT THE OLDEST BAR IN THE WORLD
In the heart of Wadi Musa you’ll find a cave bar, located in a 2000-year old Nabataean tomb. It’s an intimate location where they play live music and little coves where you can sit down with your company. This bar offers both shisha and normal alcoholic drinks and can stay open until 4am in the morning!
PLANNING A TRIP TO PETRA? MAKE SURE TO READ MY FULL GUIDE INCLUDING A LOT MORE DETAILS AND PHOTOS – THE MOST AWESOME PETRA TRAVEL GUIDE
WHERE TO STAY NEAR PETRA
Petra Marriott Hotel – This is hands down the best hotel to stay at when visiting Petra! Their hospitality is absolutely amazing! For instance, I arrived limping down the lobby and of course they asked what happened at the reception. Upon hearing my story they offered me an ankle and leg massage on the house, which worked wonders on my ankle! Besides that they also offer a bedouin meal in the evening where you’ll be able to enjoy traditional Jordanian food and one of the most stunning views I have ever seen.
CHECK OUT MY REVIEW ABOUT PETRA MARRIOTT INCLUDING A LOT MORE DETAILS AND PHOTOS – THE BEST HOTEL IN PETRA
DAY 6 & 7: WADI RUM
Wadi Rum, also known as “Valley of the Moon” is by now probably one of the most famous deserts in the entire world and rightfully so! It’s been the backdrop for many movies including the live action remake of Aladdin and the latest Star Wars movie The Rise of Skywalker.
It’s one of the most beautiful places in Jordan and you’ll have the feeling like you’ve set foot on the planet Mars due to its dramatic sandstone and basalt mountains jutting out of its sandy floor. Enjoy this vast desert from the back of a jeep, on top of a camel or in one of the many bedouin camps. Wadi Rum will leave you speechless from the moment you arrived and advise you to spend at least one night in this stunning desert!
The entrance fee for Wadi Rum is 7JD, to be paid at the visitor’s centre, or free if you have the Jordan Pass.
TOP THINGS TO DO IN WADI RUM
1. DISCOVER WADI RUM WITH A JEEP TOUR
Local tour operators (managed by Bedouins) offer a variety of tours that allow visitors to explore the magnificent canyons, dunes and mountains of Wadi Rum. Hang out of the back of a 4WD jeep and admire one of nature’s most beautiful scenery’s. During the Jeep Gtour you’ll discover the biggest highlights of Wadi Rum and it can be combined with an overnight stay of multiple days in the desert or only last a couple of hours.
2. HOT AIR BALLOON FLIGHT OVER WADI RUM
Have you ever wondered what Mars would look like from the sky? Now is your chance! Get whisked away in the early morning, way before sunrise and watch the first rays of sunlight touch the dunes and mountains of Wadi Rum. In total you should calculate about 2 to 3 hours for the entire experience and the average price is 130JD.
3. SPEND THE NIGHT AT A BEDOUIN CAMP
When it comes to bedouin camps to stay there are a ton of options out there! From luxurious tents, to bubble tents and the original authentic tents. All of them have their own charm. During my visit I stayed at an authentic one and it was a really fun experience. We had our own tent with two separate beds but no private toilet or shower. So if you’re really set on having one of those you’ll have to look into the more luxury options (more on those later in this article!).
What I did love was the joined meal that all of us had together around a campfire.
4. GO CAMEL RIDING IN WADI RUM
You can’t compare this experience to the one in Petra. Unlike the camels there the ones here have lived in the desert for their entire life and are actually cherished by their owners. Also known as the “ships of the desert”, they can carry up to 270 kg and are often the main source of wool, milk, and meat in the desert.
Camel riding is one of the classic tours in Wadi Rum and can be booked at any desert camp. A lot of times you can choose between a sunrise or sunset camel ride.
5. Watch the sunset over the dunes of Wadi Rum
To me personally there’s nothing as magical as watching a sunset in the desert and the one I saw in Wadi Rum truly took my breath away. As a part of the Jeep tour we went to a beautiful look out point and to say we took a lot of photos is an understatement.
WHERE TO STAY IN WADI RUM
- Wadi Rum Bubble Luxotel – This luxury bubble tent camp comes with its very own restaurant and offers a unique experience in the desert.
- Memories Aicha Luxury Camp – Nestled in the heart of Wadi Rum this camp comes with some truly luxurious tents. You’ll feel like you’re staying at a 5 star hotel in the middle of the desert.
- Wadi Rum UFO Luxotel – has The perfect desert hide away to spend the night stargazing in luxury!
Last minute tips for your trip to Jordan
- Don’t drink tap water!
- Make sure to try some of the local dishes but keep in mind you might come across some stranger things on the menu such as “lamb brain”.
- Drinking alcohol is not allowed in the streets and also isn’t served at the local restaurants. You can buy it at certain store or order a drink at the hotel you’re staying it.
- The WiFi isn’t the best so make sure to buy a local SIM card at the airport. I went with 5GB which was more than enough to last me an entire week.
- Make sure to take out enough cash cause a lot of shops and restaurants don’t accept payment by card.
I hope this Jordan itinerary and road trip guide has been helpful and provided you with a ton of useful information. Jordan is definitely home to some of the most beautiful places in the world and I hope you’ll feel the same way after your visit!
IF YOU WANT A SHORT OVERVIEW OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACES IN JORDAN MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUT MY DETAILED GUIDE INCLUDING A TON OF PHOTOS!
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