Not sure what to do in Jordan? The Hashemite Kingdom is a great destination for travellers, with an abundance of history, dramatic landscapes, bustling cities, and idyllic beaches. Top Jordan landmarks include the rock city of Petra, the Jerash Roman ruins, Ajloun Castle, and Bethany Beyond the Jordan, which are some of the most popular tourist attractions in Jordan. Let’s explore some of the best things to do in Jordan.
Top places to visit in Jordan
Jordan’s capital, Amman, combines ancient history with a modern cityscape for an unforgettable visit. Top things to do in Amman include exploring the ancient Citadel and Roman theatre for your culture fix before delving into the lively streets of downtown. Make sure you visit Souk Al-Sukar market for street food and handcrafted souvenirs.
What is there to do in Aqaba, Jordan? The best things to do in Aqaba include diving or snorkelling in the coral reefs, strolling along the palm-lined promenade, and sampling the catch of the day at a beachfront restaurant. With its crystal-clear waters and white sandy beaches, Aqaba is a popular destination for beach holidays. You can also hire a car from Aqaba if you want to explore further afield.
Petra, one of the world’s most famous UNESCO World Heritage Sites, is an absolute must-see in Jordan. The ancient city is half built and half carved into the red rock, giving it the name ‘The Rose City’. Walk through the narrow Siq and catch your first glimpse of the intricately carved Treasury. Discover the ancient wonders of the Monastery, the Royal Tombs, and the impressive High Place of Sacrifice – it’s no wonder it’s the best-rated tourist attraction in Jordan.
Wadi Rum, a desert paradise known as the ‘Valley of the Moon’, is an other-worldly place with its vast expanse of red sand dunes and towering sandstone cliffs. It’s often used as a filming location and has provided scenery for Star Wars, Aladdin, and Lawrence of Arabia. Take a Jeep safari tour, ride a camel across the dramatic landscape and spend a night camping under the stars.
The Dead Sea
The Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth, offers an experience like no other. Take a dip in the water to float effortlessly (thanks to the mineral-rich waters), cover yourself in healing mud and relax as you bask in the warm Jordanian sun.
Jordanian food & drink
Not sure what to eat in Jordan? The country offers a diverse culinary scene – it’s a melting pot of influences from the Middle East, North Africa, Persia, and the Mediterranean. Indulge in the national dish, Mansaf: tender lamb, rice, and tangy fermented yoghurt sauce, traditionally enjoyed with your hands. You’ll find plenty of street food in Jordan, too, including falafel, shawarma, and fresh hummus. And when it comes to drinks, make sure you try a cup of aromatic Jordanian tea or indulge in a refreshing glass of mint lemonade, perfect for quenching your thirst on a hot day.
Best time to visit Jordan
The temperature can soar in the summer, so the best time to visit Jordan is spring or autumn – from March to May or September to November. It’s pleasantly warm in these months, with highs of 30 degrees. Temperatures can reach 40 degrees in the summer months, which can be unpleasantly hot for exploring.
Festivals and events in Jordan
Looking for some of the best things to do in Jordan? Why not attend a festival or event?
The Azraq Festival, held in the namesake eastern town of Azraq, celebrates the rich cultural heritage of the region with traditional music, dancing, and local craft exhibitions. The festival takes place every spring, often in April.
The Aqaba Traditional Arts Festival
Every September, The Aqaba Traditional Arts Festival takes place in the coastal city of Aqaba. It showcases the folklore and artistic expressions of Jordan by bringing together local artists, musicians, and craftspeople. Expect a colourful spectacle of traditional dances, music, and art against the stunning backdrop of the Red Sea.
The Jerash Festival
If you’re looking for cultural festivals in Jordan, head to the ancient city of Jerash, this annual festival is a renowned cultural extravaganza that takes place in the summer. Expect artistic performances from both local and international talent, including music, dance, theatre, and poetry.
The Amman International Theatre Festival
The capital plays host to this festival every autumn to celebrate all things performing arts. It brings together theatre groups from around the world to perform plays, take part in workshops, and interact with visitors.
The Jordan Rally
Petrolheads will love the Jordan Rally, part of the FIA World Rally Championship. This motorsport event takes place in different locations across Jordan, usually in April. Watch as top rally drivers attempt to navigate the challenging terrains of Jordan for an adrenaline-filled experience.
Jordan road trips
Planning a road trip across Jordan? Some of the best roads to cruise down include the Dead Sea Highway (for unrivalled views of the coastline) and the King’s Highway, one of Jordan’s oldest routes (for mountain and desert landscapes).