Things To Do In Jordan: Your Ultimate Guide To Exploring The Kingdom by Travel & Lesiure


Things To Do In Jordan: Your Ultimate Guide To Exploring The Hashemite Kingdom

Fall in love with Wadi Rum, admire Petra's wonders, and swim in the healing waters of the Dead Sea – here are the top things to do in Jordan.

By: Lakshmi Sharath Published: Mar 14, 2024 06:00 PM ICT

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Strategically positioned at the crossroads of Asia, Africa, and Europe, Jordan boasts mesmerising landscapes that have been the cradle of civilisation for centuries. Evidence suggests human habitation dating back to the Paleolithic period, with some of the oldest humanoid statues unearthed in villages near the capital, Amman. The ancient city of Petra, established in the 3rd century as the capital of the Nabateans, bears witness to Jordan’s rich history, while the Greeks and Romans founded their kingdoms here. Named after the Jordan River that flows into the tourist-favourite Dead Sea renowned for its therapeutic properties, Jordan offers a vast range of things to do for everyone, catering to culture enthusiasts, nature lovers, and adventure seekers alike.

Whether you’re floating in the Dead Sea or exploring the depths of the Red Sea through scuba diving, visiting the Roman City of Jerash, admiring the ancient Citadel in Amman, marvelling at the wonders of Petra, uncovering hidden mosaics in Madaba, camping under the stars in Wadi Rum, or embarking on hikes in Wadi Mujib, Jordan promises unforgettable adventures. The vibrant markets and delectable street food further immerse visitors in the country’s hospitable vibe, engaging all their senses. We’ve curated a list of some of the best things to do in Jordan to elevate your next adventure.

Best time to visit Jordan

Spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) are the ideal times to visit Jordan. While these seasons see increased tourism and crowded destinations like Petra, the Dead Sea, and Wadi Rum, the pleasant weather makes outdoor activities, especially hiking, enjoyable. March marks the onset of the wildflower season, while April offers the opportunity to camp with Bedouins in Wadi Rum. Fall is perfect for soaking up the sun, snorkelling in the Red Sea, and exploring the desert. Summers (June to August) bring scorching temperatures, while winters (December to February) are cold with heavy rains, sometimes leading to flash floods.

Best things to do in Jordan 

Explore Amman on foot – The best free thing to do in Jordan 

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Explore Amman, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in Asia, by joining any of the free walking tours that lead you into the heart of the Old Town. Amman is akin to an open-air museum with many archaeological wonders and ancient sites that reflect a rich tapestry of influences, from the Greeks and Romans to the Ottomans.


These heritage walks typically include exploration of Roman ruins such as baths, the grand amphitheatre, and the towering Citadel, which houses notable landmarks like the Temple of Hercules and Umayyad Palace. Additionally, you’ll traverse the vibrant Rainbow Street in Downtown Amman and indulge in a culinary adventure through food markets. While the tours themselves are complimentary, it’s customary to leave a generous tip for the guides, and some tours may enforce a cancellation fee for no-shows. Visitors with a Jordan Pass can also enjoy free entry to many historic attractions.

For an enriching experience, consider joining recommended free walking tours of Amman offered by Guru Walks, Civitatis, Strawberry Tours, and other reputable providers.

Float in the Dead Sea – The best fun thing to do in Jordan

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What could be more fun than indulging in a natural spa treatment while floating effortlessly in the iconic Dead Sea with a rejuvenating mud pack on your face? Nestled in the Jordan Rift Valley and situated 430 meters below sea level, the Dead Sea boasts a remarkable salinity of over 30 percent, enriched with more than 20 minerals renowned for their therapeutic properties.

Relax and unwind as you float effortlessly, buoyed by the high salt content of the waters, while immersing yourself in a surreal experience. Easily accessible on a day trip from Amman, the Dead Sea offers a rejuvenating escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Alternatively, indulge in an overnight stay at one of the luxurious resorts lining the Dead Sea and treat yourself to a pampering spa experience.

While enjoying this unique natural wonder, it’s advisable to refrain from soaking your face in the water and avoid applying mud to open wounds or near your eyes, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience amidst the healing powers of the Dead Sea.

Best cultural thing to do in Jordan – Visit the Roman ruins of Jer

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Embark on a journey through time and immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring ruins of Jerash, one of the most remarkably preserved Roman cities dating back over 6500 years. Spread across 200 acres, this ancient marvel invites you to wander through its majestic gates, temples, cathedrals, theatres, arenas, markets, and squares, adorned with towering columns and graceful arches.

Begin your exploration by passing beneath the impressive 13-metre-tall Hadrian Arch, a triumphal gateway leading to the sprawling Hippodrome, where chariot races once enthralled spectators. Marvel at the grandeur of the oval-shaped Forum, adorned with 56 majestic Ionic columns, connecting the bustling main market to the Temple of Zeus. Don’t forget to gaze upon the remnants of the Temple of Artemis, a testament to the site’s reverence for its patron deity, overlooking the ancient cityscape.

Other monuments include the North and South Theatres, the Nymphaeum, the Vaulted Gallery, and the imposing North and South Gates that once guarded the city’s perimeter. Amidst the remnants of Jerash’s storied past, you’ll also encounter traces of its Christian heritage, including the remains of ancient churches. Jerash is easily accessible as a day trip from Amman, but it’s advisable to begin your journey early to avoid the intense midday sun.

Best activity for nature lovers – Hike up the Dana Biosphere Reserve

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Hike the Dana Biosphere Reserve, where sandstone cliffs, verdant valleys, deserts, and plateaus converge to create a haven for nature lovers. Home to a rich array of endemic flora and fauna, including 45 species of mammals, 180 species of birds, and 600 species of plants, this reserve offers a diverse ecosystem that attracts hikers year-round, and more so in spring during the wildflower season, or in autumn to see the fall colours.

While there are several hiking routes, the 16-km Wadi Dana Trail is the most popular among hikers. Starting at the mediaeval village of Dana, this trail takes you toward the Feynan Eco Lodge, offering opportunities to spot endangered wildlife along the way.

You can also opt for shorter trails around Dana, and experienced trekkers can choose guided long hikes on the 27-km Wadi Ghuweir Trail, traversing spectacular gorges and rugged terrain. There are guided hikes to Petra as well.

Jordan for adventure lovers – Hike Wadi Mujib Canyon

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Jordan is a haven for hikers and adventure enthusiasts with its spectacular and diverse landscapes, spanning rugged mountains, verdant forests, expansive deserts, and bio reserves dotted with ancient castles and majestic canyons.

While there are several hiking routes to choose from, one of the most adventurous trails is the 8-km Wadi Mujib Canyon Trail, often referred to as the Grand Canyon of Jordan. Prepare for some river crossings as you wade knee-deep along the river, following the Siq through rocky outcrops and sandstone cliffs, and navigating whirlpools to meet cascading waterfalls. This exhilarating expedition is not for the faint-hearted, so adventurers are encouraged to embark on this epic trek with Wild Jordan to ensure a safe and unforgettable experience.

Other trekking routes include Wadi Zarqa Ma’in, Wadi Numeria Siq, and Wadi Al Hasa besides longer trails like Petra to Wadi Rum and Dana to Petra.

Red Sea Cruise – The best thing to do in Jordan with family

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Embark on an unforgettable family adventure in the Red Sea aboard a glass-bottom boat departing from the port city of Aqaba. For the more adventurous souls, snorkelling and diving opportunities abound, allowing you to immerse yourself in vibrant coral gardens and explore fascinating shipwreck sites.

Set sail on the crystal-clear waters of the Red Sea aboard a glass-bottom boat departing from the port city of Aqaba. If you’re feeling adventurous, dive into the turquoise depths or snorkel among colourful coral gardens and shipwreck sites. The marine life here boasts over 450 species of fish and over 120 forms of corals, creating an underwater paradise waiting to be discovered.

Head to the Aqaba Marine Park, boasting 7 kilometres of pristine protected coastline. Here, you can relax on the sandy shores, soak up the sun, and indulge in the tranquil beauty of the Red Sea. The park also offers organised diving trips to over 18 sites, where you can encounter hawksbill turtles, stingrays, and dazzling shoals of fish. Alternatively, unwind at one of the beach resorts lining the Red Sea, offering a range of water sports and recreational activities for the whole family to enjoy.

Best activity in Jordan for couples? Fall in love again at Wadi Rum

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Lose yourself in the dreamy lunar landscape of the Valley of the Moon, also known as Wadi Rum, where the echoes of Lawrence of Arabia’s adventures