The Perfect Combination: Discover Jordan’s Top 15 Must-See Destinations for 2023, Embracing the Past and the Present

by operator

“Two paths diverged in a forest, and I—I chose the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the disparity”

Best Places To Visit In Jordan

– Robert Frost

Jordan — an unconventional destination with Israel to its west and Saudi Arabia & Iraq to its east — is not everyone’s preference; and those who get to taste it once long for more. The following finest places to explore in Jordan can explain what entices wanderers to come from near and far to discover the kingdom.

If you are still perusing this, it indicates there’s something about Jordan that captivates you. Read on to find out what’s that.

  • Amman
  • Mount Nebo
  • Jerash
  • Bethany Beyond the Jordan
  • Dead Sea
  • Umm Qais
  • Dana Biosphere Reserve
  • Petra
  • Aqaba
  • Wadi Rum
  • Mujib Natural Reserve
  • Madaba
  • Aljoun
  • Irbid
  • Zarqa

1. Amman – An Exceptional Blend Of Old And New

Amman — the capital and the biggest city of Jordan — holds a plethora of surprises for travelers. The city is a blend of novel and ancient flavors that will keep you fascinated. The towering contemporary buildings harmonize very well with the age-old culture. It’s among the top 10 spots to visit in Jordan for every type of traveler.

King Abdullah I Mosque of Amman

While you are in Amman, you can pay a visit to Amman’s Roman Amphitheater, Jordan Museum, Jabal Amman for art galleries, Abdoun for its exceptional nightlife, shopping centers etc. You can also spend a relaxed evening in one of the rooftop cafes of Amman or watch the sunset from Amman Citadel. Also, make sure you visit Souk — an open-air marketplace — where you can purchase Jordanian carpets, rugs, jewelry, handicrafts etc.

Essential Reading: 15 Finest Hotels And Resorts In Jordan For Every Type Of Traveler

2. Mount Nebo – Stunning Views Of Valleys

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View of Mount Nebo

Mount Nebo is one of the most hallowed sites for Jordanians and many others. It’s the place where Moses was laid to rest, thus making it a popular hub for pilgrimage since Christian times. The commemoration of Moses on Mount Nebo is among the most renowned places to explore in Jordan.

That being said, it is also a stunning peak that towers above the picturesque valleys that allure tourists. Mukawir, also known as Machaerus, is another striking hilltop fortress near Mount Nebo one should visit. Mukawir is also a spectacle to behold and incredibly picturesque.

How to reach Mount Nebo and Mukawir

Mount Nebo is approximately 37 km from Amman and about 10 km from Madaba. If you are staying in Madaba or Amman, then the optimal way for you to reach Mount Nebo or Mukawir is by a private or shared cab. There are no frequent buses running between Amman and Mount Nebo.

Jerash Ruins

Distance from Amman: 37 km

3. Jerash – Among the Finest-Preserved Roman Ruins

Jerash is also known as Gerasa, and the Greco-Roman ruins are located approximately 50 km from Amman city. The city is indubitably among the finest places to visit in Jordan for all those who enjoy exploring ancient ruins. These are some of the most well-preserved Roman ruins and ideal for a day-long excursion from Amman. Travelers adore the undulating hills and valleys that surround Jerash with plum, olive, and pine trees.

How to reach Jerash from Amman

By all means, the most dependable option is to rent a private vehicle from Amman to reach Jerash. Another option is to hire a yellow cab to reach Amman north terminal bus station and then take a bus to Jerash bus station. The bus ride will cost you approximately 2 JD per person.

Distance from Amman: 55 km

Recommended Read: 8 Finest Places To See In Jordan That You Simply Can’t Miss [Infographic]

The famous church officially called the Bethany Beyond the Jordan

4. Bethany Beyond The Jordan – Where Jesus Was Baptized

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Officially known as Bethany Beyond the Jordan, Al-Maghtas lies on the eastern bank of Jordan River. The area consists of two sections: Tell Al-Kharrar or Elijah’s Hill and the area of Saint John the Baptist’s churches near the river.

The location is believed to be the spot where Jesus Christ was baptized by John the Baptist. Bethany Beyond the Jordan is one of the most sacred places to visit in Jordan.

Distance from Amman: 55 km

Suggested Read: Reasons Why You Miss Out A Lifetime Travel Experience If You Neglect Bhutan

sunrise over Dead Sea

5. Dead Sea – The Most Exciting Place

Situated at the deepest point on Earth, Dead Sea is among the most captivating places to explore in Jordan. Dead is actually a lake bordering Jordan and Israel. You can observe a vibrant aquamarine shade at the base of the sea and a fading emerald at its bay. The sea’s hyper-saline is the phenomenon that enables individuals to float on its water without any equipment, and its mineral-rich mud is utilized for restorative treatments. There are also numerous beach resorts along the coastal road for a comfortable accommodation.

Some industrial activities are taking place on both sides, resulting in a decrease in the sea’s water level by approximately a meter every year. If this continues, Dead Sea’s water will completely evaporate within 40 years. So, plan a journey to Jordan before it’s too late.

Quick tips: There is no public transportation available to reach here. Renting your own taxi or motorcycles is worthwhile.

Distance from Amman: 60 km

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6. Umm Qais – A Medieval City In Northern Jordan

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Umm Qais locally recognized as Gadara is the sole verdant town in an otherwise desolate nation. It is situated north of Amman with sweeping vistas of Yarmouk River, Lake Tiberias, Yarmouk River, and Golan Heights. The two-hour lengthy journey from Amman is worthwhile, whether you desire to embark on a full-day excursion from Irbid or sojourn in Gadara to encounter the serene twilight and the chilly and refreshing morning breeze of the town. While you are there, it is imperative to explore the remnants of the Decapolis metropolis of Gadara.

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How to arrive at Umm Qais from Amman

Take a taxi to reach Amman north terminal bus station and then take a bus to Irbid city. From Irbid, you are likely to acquire a shared minivan that will transport you to Umm Qais. The bus ticket will amount to approximately 2 JD per person.

Distance from Amman: 125 km

Recommended Reading: In Photos: Major Tourist Attractions In Jordan

7. Dana Biosphere Reserve – A Site Of Astonishing Beauty

Dana Biosphere Reserve—Jordan’s most extensive nature reserve is a splendid site for embarking on trailing and sauntering on a breezy day. The campsites also coordinate activities like bicycling trails, culinary classes, stargazing, and ornithological observation.

It is a location of awe-inspiring beauty, legacy, and biodiversity. The biosphere reserve’s geology undergoes a striking transformation from sandstone to limestone granite, and its ecosystem shifts from oak and juniper woodlands to sandy desert. Numerous species within the reserve, including Sand Cat, Syrian Wolf, and the spiny tailed lizard are classified as endangered species.

The vast expane of Dana Biosphere Reserve located in Jordan

Distance from Amman: 190 km

Recommended Reading: Things You Must Know Before Traveling #PackingHacksIncluded

8. Petra – Abundant Enigmas To Disclose

For countless years, the ancient Jordanian city of Petra, carved on the crimson sandstone, remained unknown to the rest of the world. Once a thriving hub of commerce and the capital from 400 B.C. to A.D. 106, Petra was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1985 and recognized as one of the new 7 wonders of the world in 2007.

To enter the city, you pass through Siq, a narrow gully extending for 1 kilometer, which provides a stunning display of vibrant colors and rock formations. At the end of the Siq, you catch a glimpse of Al-Khazneh (The Treasury), a temple carved out of pink and red rocks, standing tall and overshadowing everything else. Al-Khazneh is undoubtedly the most popular tourist attraction in Petra and one of the top destinations to visit in Jordan.

A night shot of the lost city of Petra in Jordon

Opening hours:

– Summer season: 6:00 am – 6:00 pm

– Winter season: 6:00 am – 4:00 pm

Open seven days a week.

Entry fees:

– 1-Day Visitor or Non-accommodated Visitor: 90 JD

– Overnight or accommodated visitor 1-day pass: 50 JD

– Overnight or accommodated visitor 2-day pass: 55 JD

– Overnight or accommodated visitor 3-day pass: 60 JD

– Children under 12 years: Free

– Locals, residents, students in Jordan: 1 JD

To obtain an accommodated visitor pass, you must stay in a hotel for at least one night.

How to reach Petra from Amman:

The bus is the most economical and enjoyable means of transportation to Petra. You can take a yellow taxi to reach Jett bus station in Amman, and then board a bus bound for Petra. The bus ticket costs approximately 10 JD per person. There is only one daily bus departure to Petra from Amman at 6:30 am, so be sure to arrive on time.

Quick tips: Petra is a vast city, requiring two days to fully explore. It is recommended to purchase a 2-day pass, saving 35 JD instead of buying a 1-day pass for 90 JD.

Distance from Amman: 235 km

9. Aqaba – A Fusion Of History, Nature, And Urban Life

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The Gulf of Aqaba is one of the most captivating destinations in Jordan. It serves as a haven for Jordanians seeking relaxation and swimming. With its picturesque mountains and deep blue waters, Aqaba is a truly photogenic location in Jordan. There are numerous enjoyable and thrilling activities to experience in Aqaba, such as exploring the coral reefs of the Red Sea, engaging in deep-sea diving, and snorkeling.

The Gulf of Aqaba

How to arrive at Aqaba from Amman

Aqaba is approximately 290 km away from Amman. There are two transportation companies — Jett and Trust — that operate scheduled AC coaches between Aqaba and Amman.

Distance from Amman: 285 km

10. Wadi Rum – A Typical Desert Valley

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Located to the east of Rift Valley, Wadi Rum — spanning across 74,000 hectares — is Jordan’s desert landscape consisting of narrow gorges, sandstone arches, towering cliffs, and natural caves. It is among the most fascinating places to explore in Jordan.

Wadi Rum View

Tourists spend the night in Wadi Rum, and there are tents available at affordable prices. However, sleeping under the expansive blue sky on a mattress while gazing at the shooting stars and the captivatingly changing colors of the sky provides a completely unique experience. Watching shooting stars in the chilly desert during summer can truly become addictive.

How to arrive at Wadi Rum

Travel buses are accessible from Petra to reach Wadi Rum at a mere cost of 5 JD per person. The buses depart from Wadi Musa bus station around 6 am and pick up tourists from their hotels in Wadi Musa. Tourists must request their hotel staff to make the necessary arrangements a day before their departure. A taxi ride from Petra to Wadi Rum will amount to approximately 40 JD.

Distance from Amman: 315 km

Further Reading: 20 Historical Lost Cities Of The World That Were Eventually Discovered

11. Mujib Nature Reserve- Paradise For Adventure Enthusiasts

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Mujib Natural Reserve

Rugged canyons, intricately carved steep valleys, and numerous hidden pathways amidst the rocks come together to form one of the vast and awe-inspiring historical sites in Jordan. It is regarded as one of the lowest nature reserves on the planet and gradually merges into the saline waters of the renowned Dead Sea.

Mujib Nature Reserve attracts numerous thrill-seekers and daredevils. Concealing thrilling gems in its embrace, this reserve allows tourists to engage in various activities such as hiking, rock climbing, zip-lining, and many more.

Distance From Amman: 90 km

12. Madaba- The Most Sacred City Of Jordan

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Positioned in the core of the historical Jordan, Madaba is an incredibly ancient town that can be discovered on the border of the King’s Highway. Renowned for its splendid, gold-plated mosque and assortment of spiky tall minarets, Madaba is a pleasant, and a laid-back little town. Together with the gold-plated mosque, this ancient city enables you to explore a handful of the most sacred sites.


Exquisite Byzantine artwork in the recesses, chapels filled with the essence of spirituality, astonishing ancient mosaics, and the remnants of the ancient Roman town adds to the already ethereal experience.

Distance From Amman: 32 km

13. Aljoun- Less Traveled Road

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This petite town in the northern hills of Jordan can be added to the list of unexplored places. Aljoun is paradisiacal for travelers seeking a less traveled road. This historical town of Aljoun blankets individual villages and hamlets. The renowned Ajloun Castle standing proudly next to the ancient smaller settlements is what attracts the flock to this town.

One of the ancient places to visit in Jordan, Middle East, Aljoun provides an opportunity to hike up the ancient gateways and roam around the interior courtyards of the castle.

Distance From Amman: 71 km

14. Irbid- The Educational Center Of The Country

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Irbid jorden

Emerging as the educational center of Jordan, Irbid flourished immensely due to highly prestigious Yarmouk University and other well-known higher education facilities. The educational services led to the migration of vibrant and lively youth of the country to this town. Along with being a focal center of education, Irbid is also home to numerous fascinating relics and archaeological sites.

Distance From Amman: 90 km

15. Zarqa- The Modernized Little Town

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Embraced by the modernized energy of the Middle East, Zarqa entices travelers to itself due to its rugged, lived-in vibes. Visitors would hardly encounter any archaeological ruins or historical monuments in this town but Zarqa has managed to retain its blue-collar character and is now home to numerous bazaars and markets, local little food shops, teashops, and many more places to explore within the alleys.

Distance From Amman: 30 km

The land of forgotten cities and captivating sites is waiting for you. What are you waiting for? Plan your getaway to Jordan and discover this serene and peace-loving country!

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Frequently Asked Questions about Top Places to Visit in Jordan

What can we do in Jordan in 3 days?

Wadi Rum, Dead Sea, Ajloun Castle, Karak Castle, Dana Nature Reserve, The Gulf Of Aqaba, Wadi Musa, Desert Castles, Wadi Bin Hammad, Ruins at Umm Qais, Shaumari, etc. are the best places to visit in Jordan during a 3-day trip.

What is Jordan best known for?

Jordan features over 1,00,000 archaeological, religious, and tourist places, such as Petra, Dead Sea, Wadi Rum, Jerash, etc. The place is known for its rich history and culture.

Is it safe to visit Jordan during Covid?

You need to follow all the mandatory travel guidelines mentioned by the authorities to ensure a safe travel experience. Avoid crowded places and keep sanitizing your hands after touching surfaces. Maintain social distancing and remain masked in public places.

How expensive is Jordan for travelers?

The expenses of a 5-7 day trip to Jordan may cost you between US$1000 – US$ 1300 per person. Travelling to Jordan on a budget is not easy and the country is more costly than other places in the region.

What can you wear in Jordan?

Women can wear T-shirts with cardigans, jeans, scarves, and hoodies. In order to show respect to the Jordan culture, women cover their legs, arms, and chest. Men can wear jeans, chinos, T-shirts, jackets, and a jumper.

Can you consume alcohol in Jordan?

Yes. Even though Jordan is a Muslim country, consuming alcohol is not a social taboo.

What do people eat in Jordan?

The cuisine in Jordan reflects influences from North Africa, the Middle East, Persia, and the Mediterranean. A few dishes that people consume in Jordan include falafel, moutabel, hummus, labneh, and many more.

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