Jordan is a country that offers the best balance of modern meets history. The pulse of the culture can be felt everywhere in the air. Watch time come to a standstill as you’re surrounded by the scents, sounds, and sights of the souqs. Feel the energy of archeological landmarks and reminders of crusades as you walk through the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. From art, nature, mountains to valleys- experience Jordan for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Read on to discover the most amazing things to do when in Jordan.
30+ Top Things to do in Jordan
1) Explore the Ancient City of Petra
Petra is no ordinary city. Dating back to 2000 years, this ancient archaeological city played a key role as a part of the Silk Route to China. The intricate buildings built into cliffs are not only a top Jordan attraction but also a Hollywood favorite production spot. Transformers and Indiana Jones are just a few of the movies shot here!
Recommended For: Beautiful ruby sandstone formations and historic architecture
Pro Tip: “Petra Night Show” is a light show to explore Petra after dark surrounded with 1,500 candles.
2) Take a Dip in the Dead Sea
Looking for things to do in the Dead Sea region of Jordan? The answer is simple- float! Feel your body become lighter in the Dead Sea- the salt concentration here reaches 34% thus making it very dense. There is no other body of water saltier on earth, you’ll struggle to even stand on your feet.
Recommended For: A fun and relaxing dip in the Dead Sea
Location: Dead Sea
Pro Tip: Do not dive, or soak your face or head in the water.
3) Reap the Benefits of a Mud Bath
While you’re enjoying the Dead Sea, the top things to do in Jordan also include making the best use of the minerals of the mud there. Known to be rich with healing properties, it is a great treatment for many ailments. This is why many spas in Jordan use it as a regular part of their luxurious treatments!
Recommended For: Detoxifying your body and increasing blood circulation
Location: Dead Sea
Pro Tip: Massaging the mud in your hair for 20 minutes can help reduce hair loss.
4) Get Adventurous in Incredible Wadi Rum
Jordan tourist attractions cannot be covered without a trip to Wadi Rum- the fantastic desert landscape is famous for its red-pink sands. From mountains, arches to prehistoric rock carvings, this UNESCO World Heritage site is ideal for a day trip or camping getaway.
Recommended For: Historic and less crowded desert terrain
Location: Wadi Rum
Pro Tip: The highest peak Jabal Umm ad Dami at over 6,000 feet provides views of the Red Sea and the Saudi Arabian border (subject to weather).
5) See the Home to Wildlife-Dana Nature Reserve
Dana Natural Reserve is amongst the top places to visit in Jordan- a “wadi” lying next to the peaceful village of Dana. This is the largest nature reserve in Jordan with a wide range of landscapes to offer from relaxing greenery, sand dunes to mountain tops and a majestic canyon.
Recommended For: Historic land with proof of Paleolithic, Egyptian, Nabatean and Roman civilizations
Pro Tip: There’s plenty of wildlife- the reserve is home to 190 bird species, 37 mammal species, and 36 reptile species.
6) Witness the Ruins of Jerash
Jerash attractions have earned fame all over the world, this is the most well preserved ancient Roman city outside Italy. Over 6500 years old, it has been a significant part of Rome’s historic trade route. Things to do in Jerash include visiting key landmarks such as the Hippodrome, and Hadrian’s Arch built to honor Emperor Adrian.
Recommended For: Historic sightseeing
Timings: 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Summer), and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m (Winter)
Pro Tip: Only cash is accepted for payment.
7) Make a Stop at the 12th Century Ajloun Castle
Located between Jerash and Umm Qais, this castle is a reminder of the times of Saladin’s Muslim influence. Built as a protection against crusader attacks, this massive castle has various levels and attractions to explore. A grand Jordan tourist attraction, the views of the countryside from the mountaintop are remarkable.
Recommended For: Impressive fort with an informative history
Timings: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Pro Tip: Combining this visit with your trip to Jerash is an ideal way to see the castle.
8) See the Secret Mountain of Nebo
Mount Nebo is known as the mountain where Moses saw the Promised Land before his passing. Later, he was buried in the same area which makes this mountain carry powerful biblical significance. This must-visit destination is home to the Mount Nebo Monastery with majestic views that you need to see to believe.
Recommended For: Religious landmark and incredible views
Location: North West of Madaba
Timings: 5 a.m. – 7 p.m daily (April and October) | 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (November- March)
Pro Tip: Do see the olive tree planted by Pope John Paul II in 2000.
9) Take a Break in Amman’s Cafes
Whether you’re traveling solo or looking for things to do in Amman with kids, the city’s cafes are a great way to experience the culture. The warmth and welcoming hospitality paired with the first cup of thayf (hot coffee) are a treat for all senses. The second cup is called l’kayf (for mood)- a tradition that is unique to this region.
Recommended For: Enjoying good coffee and company
Price: $0.75 (on average)
Pro Tip: Sweet mint tea and strong Arabic coffee are some of the favors common local beverages.
10) Time Travel with Umm Ar-Rasas’s Mosaics
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is an artist’s dream come to life. Counted amongst the favorite things to see and do in Jordan, the detailed mosaic floors represent the Byzantine era’s rich history. The city has been mentioned in both The Old and New Testaments. From the Byzantine churches to the Church of St. Stephen, there’s a lot to see here.
Recommended For: Popular archaeological site visit
Pro Tip: Umm Ar-Rasas is great for a day trip and is 1-hour away from Amman via car.
11) Go Snorkeling in Aqaba
There’s plenty of things to do in Aqaba beyond shopping in the local souqs. The shores of the Red Sea are a great relaxation spot, and there’s a lot of fun activities to try ranging from diving, snorkeling to see the bright coral garden, jet skiing to kite surfing.
Recommended For: Seeing gorgeous marine parks
Timings: Depends on the tour operator
Pro Tip: Try wreck diving to see old wrecks including tanks and cargo ships.
12) Spend a Night Under the Stars in a Bedouin Camp
Take a break from the hotels and hostels, and head over to a Bedouin Camp for an authentic Arabian experience. Whether you choose to camp out in Wadi Rum or rent out a yurt in the countryside, the traditional meals, sunset camel rides and starry nights are a magical memory to make.
Recommended For: Jordan sightseeing and camping at night
Pro Tip: Pack warm clothes for the chilly desert temperature at night.
13) Reinvigorate Your Soul at the King Abdullah Mosque
When researching your list of places to visit in Amman, do not forget a visit to the King Abdullah Mosque. With its construction finished in 1989, this mosque is a tribute by the late King Hussein to his grandfather. With a dedicated section for the royals, women, and men, it also welcomes non-Muslim guests.
Recommended For: Religious landmark
Pricing: $3 (includes museum access)
Timings: Sat-Thu: 8 -11 a.m. and 2.30 – 2 p.m.
Pro Tip: Visit the inside prayer hall to admire the huge blue dome with beautiful Quranic inscriptions.
14) Fuel Your Adventure in Al Balad
Jordan’s attractions are plentiful in Al Balad, or the historic downtown of Amman. You’ll never run low on options when exploring things to do in Amman! The authentic textiles, herbs, scents, restaurants, and souvenirs guarantee an exciting visit for the locals and tourists alike.
Recommended For: An energetic local market
Timings: 9 a.m – 9 p.m.
Pro Tip: Freshly squeezed juices and shisha cafes are extremely popular here.
15) Revisit Heritage at the Citadel
The Citadel ranks high amongst the places to see in Amman with sights such as Temple of Hercules and the Ummayad Palace. Located on the tallest hill of Jordan’s capital, you’ll find a 1700 m wall here dating back to the Bronze Age, with additions made during the Iron Age, Roman, Byzantine and Umayyad eras.
Recommended For: Royal Ancient city ruins
Timings: 8 a.m. -7 p.m. Sat-Thu (Apr-Sep) | 4 p.m Sat-Thu (Oct-Mar) | 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Fri (year-round)
Pro Tip: The Umayyad Palace remains are the best-preserved part of the Amman Citadel.
16) Taste Middle Eastern’s Best Breakfast
Jordanian culture takes pride in their food, and their breakfast is truly fit for a king. The locals start their day with “ful medames”, a mix of warm fava beans, suman, cumin, tomatoes, onions, lemon, chili and more. Eaten with falafel or pita bread, Amman is a food lover’s paradise.
Recommended For: Culinary adventure
Pro Tip: Jordan has a lot to see, but the fresh hummus here is a must-try.
17) Spend an Evening at Rainbow Street
As you embark further on your discovery of places to see in Amman, head over to the Rainbow Street. The modern cafes, restaurants, and shops here fuel a colorful atmosphere and energetic vibe. It’s no surprise that everyone from tourists to the royals are frequent visitors.
Recommended For: Trendy street with eateries and shops
Pro Tip: Thursday nights are especially lively due to the start of the weekend.
18) Go for a Drive on the King’s Highway
There’s no road trip quite like the one that awaits you on the King’s Highway. One of the top 10 things to do in Jordan, get ready for a scenic drive with winding roads. The 280 km long highway connects Amman and Petra covering a route once traveled by kings and crusaders.
Recommended For: Highway over the Great Rift Valley
Location: South of Madaba
Pro Tip: A drive from Amman to Aqaba is a convenient 4-hour drive.
19) Feel like Royalty at Shobak Castle
Built under the rule of King Baldwin I, this spectacular castle is located along the famous King’s Highway. With many victories under its belt, its defense protected its residents till a defeat from Salahuddin Al-Ayyoubi- the first sultan of Egypt and Syria.
Recommended For: Historic crusader castle
Pro Tip: The castle has a lot to explore from churches, historic ruins, to a secret passageway.
20) See Amman’s Gem: The Duke’s Diwan
One of the oldest and well-preserved stone buildings, the best places to see in Amman include The Duke’s Diwan. Having served as a Central Post Office and the Haifa Hotel, it was later rented by Mamdouh Bisharat, the “Duke of Mukheibeh”, to safeguard it from destruction.
Recommended For: One of the oldest buildings in Amman
Pro Tip: Order a coffee and enjoy the inspiring views from the balcony.
21) Seek Shade in the Umbrella Covered Staircases
The streets of Jordan hold a lot of secrets, and the Umbrella Staircases of Amman are proof. From vibrantly colored staircases to street art and graffiti, the umbrella-covered staircases provide lovely shade from the scorching sunshine.
Recommended For: Instagram worthy pictures
Pro Tip: The most famous umbrella street is the one leading from Prince Muhammed Street to the Zajal restaurant.
22) Find the Ultimate Knafeh in the Capital
There are many things to know about Jordan, and their love for knafeh is an important part of the lifestyle. The locals are huge fans of the delicate pastry, and dedicated bakeries serve many different varieties of this delicious dessert.
Recommended For: Sweet and crunchy Middle Eastern dessert
Pro Tip: The two main kinds of knuafeh served in Jordan are khishnah kunafeh and na’ama kunafeh.
23) Taste the Most Amazing Falafels
The ultimate snack for vegetarians, this traditional food is fried fresh with a crispy texture on the outside, and fluffy chickpeas inside. Mixed with spices such as sumac, the taste is not only delicious, but they’re topped with sesame seeds for a distinct flavor.
Recommended For: Local delicacy
Pro Tip: Falafels with fresh vegetables and a cup of tea are a highly recommended dining experience.
24) Watch the Sunset from the Roman Theatre
Almost 2,000 years old, the Roman Theatre was commissioned by Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius, and designed with a capacity to entertain 5000 spectators. With the ancient architecture still standing strong in a near-perfect state, the venue is used for theater and shows even today.
Recommended For: Historic amphitheater
Timings: 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. daily
Pro Tip: Jordan Museum of Popular Traditions and The Folklore Museum are located right next to the Roman Theatre.
25) Spend Some Moments in the Pigeon Market
If you’re looking for a rare experience, Amman’s things to see include a rare pigeon market visit. Located near Al-Hashemi street, don’t be alarmed if you see come across local men with paper bags with pigeons inside. Pigeon training is one of the national sports and a popular hobby amongst Jordanians.
Recommended For: Local hobby
Pro Tip: Pigeon auctions can be found in downtown Amman, it is an art so respected that people buy birds from Syria, Lebanon, and the Gulf.
26) Refresh Yourself with Chilled Sugar Cane Juice
There’s nothing quite as delightful as the sweet taste of cold sugar cane juice on a hot Jordan afternoon. Freshly squeezed by the small local vendors spread across the city, this Amman attraction will have you coming back for refills.
Recommended For: Sweet local drink
Pro tip: Try this drink with a pinch of ginger.
27) Feel Luxurious at a Local Hammam
You don’t have to break the bank to pamper your body. The Hammams and Turkish bathhouses are highly recommended places to visit in Amman for rest and relaxation. With services that include steam baths, soaking, scrubbing, and deep tissue massages, the benefits include improved circulation and glowing skin.
Recommended For: Rejuvenation
Pricing: Start at $40
Pro Tip: Drink plenty of water to compensate for the water lost during the steam.
28) Share the Love for Shisha
If you’re a fan of shisha, Jordanians have mastered the art and are loyal fans of the hubbly bubbly. A fun thing to do in Jordan, you can find many different flavors such as Apple, Lemon, and Spearmint. It’s a part of the culture for the locals to meet at cafes to socialize and watch sports with a side of shisha.
Recommended For: A laid back evening in a local cafe
Price: $8 approximately
Pro Tip: There are shisha home delivery options in Amman.
29) Explore Heritage at Jordan Archaeological Museum
Located in Amman Citadel, this is the best spot to brush up your knowledge about all the things to know about Jordan. One of the top places to visit in Jordan due to its grand collection of artifacts from integral local archaeological sites, there are also jewelry, pottery, and statues among other items.
Recommended For: Museum and historic information
Timings: Friday: 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. / Other days: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Pro Tip: Jordan Archaeological Museum is closed on Tuesdays, so plan your trip accordingly.
30) Make Your Way into the Endless Passages of Kerak Castle
The city of Kerak sits 900 m above sea level, and its iconic Kerak Castle dates back to the 12th century. A fortress that has been recognized for its mighty strength since biblical times, it has withstood several sieges including ones from Saladin- the ruler of Egypt and Syria.
Recommended For: Important crusader castle
Timings: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. Daily/ Saturday and Sunday: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Pro Tip: Take a few minutes to study the map outside the Kerak Castle to have a better sense of direction.
31) Embark on a Self-Guided Art Tour
There’s no shortage of art in this country. The must-see places in Jordan include a visit to the Jabal Weibdeh neighborhood. This trendy locality has earned a reputation for housing brilliant street art in its narrow alleyways. Walk around and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the masterpieces around every corner.
Recommended For: Street art
Pro Tip: Find a local cafe in the neighborhood for great music and drinks.