Trip to Jordan – Much more than just Petra

A trip to Jordan

For many people it is clear – you go to Jordan only to see the rock city of Petra. Undoubtedly, Petra will be the top highlight of your vacation to Jordan! Nevertheless, there is much more to see here than the impressive rock city.

Jordan… that is beautiful desert landscapes, great hiking trails, an impressive capital and culinary diversity. One also meets many faithful pilgrims who are on the trail of Moses. According to Deuteronomy, Moses’ path led him through large parts of Jordan and ended on Mount Nebo, from where he was allowed to take a look at the Promised Land before he finally died.

Jordan is about the size of Austria and has about 10.5 million inhabitants. Temperatures vary from an average of 3°C in January to an average of 33°C in August. The majority of the country is Muslim,

Top 5 highlights for your trip to Jordan

1) Petra

Without a doubt, Petra will be the highlight of your trip to Jordan. The rock city covers an area of 7.36 square kilometers. It has been a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1985. I recommend to plan 2 days for the visit of Petra. It is best to start early in the morning to be there before the arrival of all the tourist buses from Egypt and Israel. The entrance leads through a long rocky gorge until you land directly in front of the treasure. From there there are several paths and trails that lead to various other excavations. I strongly advise against exploring Petra by horse, camel or donkey, because I had to watch several times with my own eyes how the animals were beaten and tortured.

2) Wadi Rum

If you’ve ever dreamed of feeling like you’re in the Arabian Nights, you’ll love Wadi Rum. The biggest Wadi of Jordan attracts with its dreamlike reddish rocks and the almost endless widths. You first arrive at the Bedouin village, from where you are taken to the camp. The camps are well distributed over the whole area, so that you don’t see much of the others. However, this changes abruptly when you book a desert tour, because all the camps have the same attractions. The tour is quite nice, but next time I would rather hike on my own (don’t forget to mark the point of view). The Bedouin dinner was an experience and is absolutely recommended. Even in winter you do not need to worry about the cold at night, the camps provide enough blankets. Read more about our whole blog post about Wadi Rum in Jordan.

3) Dana

Not on everyone’s list is the Dana Nature Reserve. More than 300 years ago the village of the same name was founded by Bedouins. The small village consists of a few houses and lodgings and knows how to convince with its old charm. The donkey is not a rarity here as a means of transportation. The most famous hotel in the village is called “Tower Hotel” , consisting of mud huts it is a part of the old village. The hotel is very spartanly furnished with everything you need. You can book a guided tour or go on your own – as I did. The staff is happy to give you the info you need for the hike. I just hiked down the canyon and always followed the trail. Please be especially careful with all the debris, a rescue operation here is associated with enormous (financial) effort, as there are no rescue helicopters here. I recommend to do the shopping in the “new Dana”. This is located about 3 km uphill on the main road. Food is also much cheaper here than in the old Dana. If you turn right at the main road and keep left at the fork, you will find, for example, a store with street food. Here you can eat cheap falafel and shawarma.

4) Amman

The country’s vibrant capital also has a lot to offer: From bustling bazaars and historic buildings to fascinating street art, there’s something for everyone here. The sights in Amman itself, such as the Roman Theater, the Temple of Hercules, the Citadel, the Abu Darwish Mosque and the Jordanian Museum are within walking distance. There are also buses that take you to all the sights. Culinary, the capital also has a lot to offer in all price categories. As a budget accommodation I can recommend the “Tower Hostel”. A simple, inexpensive hostel with various sleeping options in the center of the city.

Amman is best suited to start day trips to Jerash and Ajloun, as well as Madaba. All these attractions can be reached by public transport/shared cabs. The cheapest way to visit the castle of Ajloun and the ruins of Jerash is by public bus, as is usually the case. The buses leave from the northern bus terminal. It is a good idea to go to Ajloun first (75 km) and then see the ruins of Jerash on the way back. The bus rides should not cost more than 1 JD per ride.

5) Jerash

The ruins of Jerash are located near Amman and are definitely worth a visit. The entrance fee is included in the Jordan Pass. Excavations and restoration of the site began in the early 1920s. There is a well preserved hippodrome, some Corinthian columns, baths, 2 large temples and some other interesting remains. The history of Jerash I leave to those who really know about it. I don’t want to rewrite a Wikipedia article for you. If you come here with the public bus, you should calculate a waiting time, because the buses, as already said, only leave when they are full. A waiting time of 1-2 hours is not unusual.

Route for your trip to Jordan

As always, it is difficult to give a blanket answer to this question. My recommendation is 10 days to 2 weeks. If you really only want to see Petra and Wadi Rum, 4-5 days are enough. There are a lot of possibilities how to travel the country. I would like to present you mine, maybe it inspires one or the other. I start in the north of the country to save the absolute highlights until the end.

  • Day 1: Arrival in Amman
  • Day 2 & 3 : See the sights of the city and drift (Citadel, Roman Theater, Abu Darvish Mosque and the Bazaar).
  • Day 4: Day trip to Ajloun and Jerash
  • Day 5: Public bus to Madaba to view Mount Nebo and the Dead Sea.
  • Day 6: public bus to Kerak to see the castle
  • Day 7: Public bus and hitchhiking to Dana, leisurely end the day in old Dana.
  • Day 8: Hiking through the Dana Gorge
  • Day 9: Bus from Dana to Petra, ask at the hotel for departure time and place (does not run very often).
  • Day10: Petra
  • Day 11: Petra
  • Day 12: Bus to Wadi Rum
  • Day 13: Wadi Rum
  • Day 14: Bus to Aqaba
  • Day 15: Beach in Aqaba or flight home
Itinerary Jordan

What I should know before my trip to Jordan

  • Jordan-Pass vor der Einreise kaufen
  • Achte auf die richtige Jahreszeit, Sommer und Winter sind eher ungeeignet
  • Geld abheben in den Großstädten, nicht überall gibt es Geldautomaten
  • Ein paar Floskeln auf arabisch kommen immer sehr gut an.
  • Die arabischen Zahlen von 1-10 lernen. Gerade in Touristen-Gebieten erhält man sonst oftmals andere Preise als Einheimische (Speisekarten sind meist ein Bild des Essens mit dem Preis in arabischen Zeichen).

How to get from A to B?

Getting from A to B in Jordan is usually not a problem, but it does require some patience. Here I put together the different possibilities:

Public transport

The public bus network is relatively well developed. The buses are sometimes the cheapest way to get around Jordan and cover pretty much all the important places. Depending on the route, however, it can take up to a few hours for the buses to leave. The buses leave when the driver thinks there are enough passengers on board. Depending on the route, passengers may have to change buses. The buses run mainly in the morning.


For those who like it a bit more comfortable, there are the fully air-conditioned JETT buses. They operate mainly on the tourist routes of the country and are somewhat more expensive than the public buses. Tickets can be purchased online here beforehand and usually cost around 11 JD.


Hitchhiking is also a common concept in Jordan, with only one small difference – locals pay for it. In Jordan, you give the driver a little something for the ride. Therefore, I advise you to do the same as the locals in order not to be perceived as a stingy tourist.


On certain routes, instead of public buses, there are mainly so-called “shared cabs”, which run at a fixed price per passenger. They are usually not much more expensive than the buses. Sometimes a good alternative if it takes too long for a bus to fill up.


There are also flights between the major cities of Amman, Aqaba, Mafraq and Maan. Domestic flights should be avoided if possible, as the distances within Jordan can be covered without problems. A bus ride from Aqaba to Amman, for example, takes 4-6 hours.

Which Jordan Pass should I buy?

Ich habe mich für den Explorer entschieden. 1 Tag Petra erschien mir doch etwas wenig. Zwei Tage Petra waren für mich perfekt, da man nicht durcheilen musste und sich auch etwas für den darauffolgenden Tag aufsparen könnte. Weitere Informationen zum Jordan Pass findet ihr hier.

Foodguide für Jordanien

Das Essen in Jordanien ist sehr abwechslungsreich und auch Vegetarier/Veganer kommen hier auf ihre Kosten. Die Küche ist hauptsächlich arabisch geprägt mit einigen typischen jordanischen Gerichten. Gegessen wird häufig auf einer Plastikplane auf dem Boden. Hier möchte ich euch einige der häufig servierten jordanischen Gerichte vorstellen. Wie man sich vielleicht denken kann, ist es in Jordanien strengstens verboten in der Öffentlichkeit Alkohol zu trinken. In manchen Bars in Amman und Aqaba findet man Alkohol.

Mansaf: Jordaniens Nationalgericht besteht aus fermentiertem Joghurt und gekochtem Lamm und wird meist mit Bulgur oder Reis serviert. Der intensive Geschmack durch den fermentierten Joghurt, mag nicht jedermanns Sache sein.

Maqluba: Ein traditionelles palästinensisches Gericht, das im Prinzip ein Hähncheneintopf mit verschiedenen Gemüsen und Reis ist. Es wird in aller Regel auf einem mit Zimt garnierten “Reisberg” serviert. Dieses Gericht findet man eher bei Leuten zuhause als auf der Speisekarte.

Falafel: Die meisten Leute werden die veganen frittierten Kichererbsen-Bällchen bereits kennen. Meist erhält man sie an der Straße in einem Wrap mit Gemüse und Pommes. Falafel ist wahrscheinlich das güntigste Gericht was man so finden kann. Eine Falafel kostet an der Straße ca. 0,35 JD.

Shawarma: Fleisch vom Drehspieß, meist ebenfalls serviert in einem Wrap mit Gemüse, Pommes und Soße.

Entry to Jordan

Overland from Israel: The entry from Israel was relatively smooth for us. We used the Wadi Araba Border Crossing Station to enter Jordan. With the Jordan passport, I had to wait in another line and nah about 30 minutes I was over there with the appropriate stamp in my passport. The border crossing connects Eilat on the Israeli side with Aqaba on the Jordanian side. Further north, the King Hussein Bridge connects Israel with Jordan. The nearest cities are Jerusalem on the Israeli side and Amman on the Jordanian side. Depending on the route and flights makes

By air: Cheap flights can be found mainly to Aqaba and Amman, with the airport in Aqaba being much closer to the center of the city than the airport in Amman.

Frequently asked questions about your vacation in Jordan

As before each of my trips, I of course had to calculate how much I will spend at most. The currency of Jordan is quite strong with an exchange rate of 1 JD = 1.30 € (as of 2020). In various forums and blogs I have also read that you can hardly find a lunch under 5-6 € and hostels etc. are also very expensive. Of course, as a budget traveler, I do without all the unnecessary luxury for me. The good thing about this trip – I have spent far less than initially planned. A delicious falafel can be bought at street stalls for 0.35 JD and a bed in a dormitory for about 6 JD. Therefore, I must say that Jordan is also well suited for budget backpackers. I strongly recommend buying the Jordan Pass before you start your trip. It costs about 100 $ but includes visa fees as well as the entrance fees to all sights of the country. A few examples of typical prices Falafel at the street stall 0,35 JD Bus ticket (local buses) ~ 0,5 – 5 JD Accommodation shared room 6 JD Freshly squeezed orange juice 0,5 JD – 1 JD Traditional Jordanian dinner 3 JD – 6 JD
I strongly recommend buying such a passport before entering Jordan. It is available in 3 different versions. It includes both the visa fees and the entrance to all attractions of the country. Once purchased, it can be used for 12 months and after activation at the first attraction, it can be used for 14 days. It is only valid for a minimum stay of 3 nights. The 3 versions of the Jordan Pass differ only in how many days you can visit the rock city of Petra. The entrance to Petra, as well as the visa fees already cost more than the pass. A brief overview of the Jordan Passes. Jordan Wanderer: 1 day Petra: 70 JD Jordan Explorer: 2 days Petra 75 JD Jordan Expert: 3 days Petra 80 JD I decided to do the Explorer. 1 day Petra seemed a bit little to me. Two days Petra were perfect for me, since one did not have to hurry through and could also save something for the following day. More information about the Jordan Pass can be found here.ple Description
As it gets almost unbearably hot in Jordan in summer and can get cold in winter, both spring and autumn are suitable as the best time to travel. Those who want to travel in winter should consider that it can get very cold, especially at night. In summer, on the other hand, it can get over 40°C during the day.
Due to Jordan’s location in the hot spot between Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Territories, one could assume that Jordan is dangerous as a travel destination. Personally, I have found Jordan to be a very quiet and safe country with tremendous courtesy and hospitality. Especially if you can speak a few Arabic phrases. However, since the situation and situation can change abruptly, I recommend a brief look at the travel and safety information of the Foreign Office. to throw.
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We are Julian & Naomi and we love to travel the world and immerse ourselves in other cultures. We have an adventurous, spartan, sustainable and reflective travel style. In our opinion, the greatest adventures are experienced when you do things on your own and try to live like a local. The taste of a country is best captured on the road
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