Visiting Jordan? This country set in the Middle East is full of interesting history and absolutely mind-blowing scenery. You’ll be forgiven for thinking you’ve stepped into an entirely new world as you explore the landscapes of Wadi Rum, marvel at the exquisite Petra and float in the Dead Sea. This 9 day Jordan itinerary will show you the main sights of Jordan without feeling rushed. Interested? Read on.
Day 1: Arrive
Entry process into Jordan
Touch down at Queen Ali International Airport in Amman. When we visited in February, PCR tests were still required on entry – however, very soon after they scrapped this rule entirely – which makes the process for entering Jordan easier. As we were from the United Kingdom, we paid for our visas on arrival (only applicable to certain countries – you can find out the Jordan visa requirements suitable to your situation here), which I thought were quite expensive at 40 JD pp (equivalent of about £40/$80AUD). Keep your passports out, we had to show our passport about 4 different times from leaving the plane to picking up our luggage (including being allowed to access the escalators that lead to our luggage – after already clearing immigration!).
Duty free alcohol Jordan
We didn’t buy any duty free on arrival to Jordan; however, on the whole, found alcohol quite difficult to access in Jordan and therefore if you are interested in drinking on this trip, I would recommend picking some up at the airport. You can find the duty free shops in Queen Ali International Airport here.
Leaving the airport
To save time and stress when landing in a new country, we got an airport transfer from Queen Ali International Airport to where we were staying at Layaali Amman Hotel in downtown Amman. We arranged this with our accommodation, and I believe this is a very common service on offer so you’ll be able to arrange the same.
Suggested read: Layaali Amman Hotel: Jordan Accommodation
Day 2: Amman
Wake up in Amman – it’s your day to explore the capital of Jordan and your second day of your Jordan itinerary.
Things to do in Amman
I recommend visiting the Amman Citadel. Entry is 3JD (correct at 2022) and you can wander through the archaeological site and enjoy spectacular views across Amman. You can learn more about the Citadel experience here. Afterwards visit the Roman Theatre (which was conveniently situated across the road from our Layaali Amman Hotel accommodation), and be sure to wander through the markets. These markets come alive later in the afternoon and are bustling with food, gifts and spices.
Where to eat in Amman
We enjoyed a really delicious lunch at Old View Restaurant and Cafe. While the prices were on the slightly more expensive side for Jordan, the food was delicious and came with views across Jordan from the rooftop. You can find this restaurant here and learn more here.
Hashem – it’s a touristy restaurant located in downtown Amman, famous for serving local Amman street food. This was very cheap and so delicious. You can find the restaurant here and learn more about it here.
Habibah Sweets – if you want to enjoy traditional Jordanian desserts, stop by Habibah Sweets. We had the Soft Kunafa/Knafeh, which is cheesy and sweet. If you have a sweet tooth, this is a place for you. You can find the restaurant here and learn more about it here.
Amman is bustling with markets, so be sure to take your time wandering around them. When you’re here you can pick up fresh fruit, olives and more to snack on as you explore.
And you can’t go pass Rainbow Street. Pedestrian friendly and full of a lively atmosphere when you visit in the evenings and weekends, discover the best restaurants here and to find the famous Rainbow Street the Google Maps location is here.
Day 3: Amman to Wadi Rum
Wake up bright and early, on day 3 of your Jordan itinerary you’ll be heading south down to the vibrant and incredible landscape of Wadi Rum. We visited on a tour so our accommodation was included and spent two nights experiencing the wander of the Wadi Rum Protected Area.
There is a variety of accommodation available from the luxurious to the more budget options. We stayed in a sort of glamping tent – we had beds and the tent had a hard floor raised slightly off the ground; however, was still canvas walls and the bathrooms were seperate. We visited in February and although places like Amman and Dead Sea were more warm at this time (about 18 degrees) Wadi Rum was very cold. I had thermals or jeans and my coat on during the day (able to take the coat off as we walked if I wanted to) and at night I slept in thermals and under two heavy blankets. I believe summer is a lot warmer in the dessert, but do be prepared for how cold it will get out of the summer season.
Day 4: Full Day in Wadi Rum
Depending on how much time you have, you can leave Wadi Rum after one night or stay for a longer experience of two nights. We stayed the second night so spent one full day exploring Wadi Rum. This included a guided 4 hour walk around the desert exploring the different rock formations and taking in the view along the way and an afternoon car tour where we visited some of the famous sights including the Khazali Canyon, Um Fruth Rock Bridge and the Red Sand Dunes. Be sure to watch the sunset over the rock formations as it is absolutely gorgeous.
Day 5: Wadi Rum to Petra
Getting to Petra
Time for day 5 on your Jordan itinerary. Wave goodbye to Wadi Rum and begin the trek north to Petra. Wadi Musa (the village surrounding Petra) is your destination today and you should expect to reach it within a 2 hour drive from the Wadi Rum Village (Google Maps directions here).
Petra Entrance Fees
Once you’ve arrived in Wadi Musa, get ready to discover Petra. The entrance fee for Petra is 50 JD for one day or 55 JD for two days (correct at 2022 – you can see prices here), so it’s worth buying a two day ticket to really take advantage of this incredible area.
How to Plan
We spent the first afternoon in Petra seeing the Treasury and making the hike to the Monastery and then returned the following day to see the Treasury again (this time from up high as well as below), do the High Place of Sacrifice hike and wander around Petra. In the afternoon we went further by car to Little Petra which is worth a trip if you have the time.
Day 6: Full Day in Petra
There is much to see on Day 6 of your Jordan itinerary and today is a day you will want to wake up early to take in as much of Petra as you can. Depending what you saw on your first afternoon will depend on how you want to plan your day but a suggested itinerary for a full (and very exciting) day is below.
Walking into Petra
It is about a 45 minute walk from the Petra Visitor Centre to the famous Treasury. The walk in is almost as magical as what will await you when you arrive. Get up as early as possible to enjoy the walk without the crowds of people and to experience the Treasury with the least amount of people as possible – it is worth the early alarm!
Each time we saw the Treasury at Petra we just could not get enough, it really is spectacular. For views from above, we paid the locals 5 JD pp to be taken to their shop with incredible views of the Treasury. We were here early in the morning so were able to enjoy the spot all to ourselves. In addition to being served tea, the owners were very welcoming and even offered us props to use in the images. The morning we spent up here was definitely a highlight of the entire trip and one I will never forget.
Again, depending on how you split the activities up between two days (or if you prefer to experience Petra in one day), the next adventure is the hike to the Petra Monastery. Not as well known as the Treasury, the Monastery is still incredible. It is advertised as 900 steps up (although someone I was travelling with tried to count and thinks its closer to 700-800 steps!) and it is well worth the hike. The path is very well signed posted and you will see shop merchants along the way who will be very eager to stop you at their shops. There is a cafe next to the Monastery to fuel up again before making the trip back down. You can learn more about the Monastery here.
High Place of Sacrifice
A slightly unexpected great hike was to the High Place of Sacrifice. When you return down from the Monastery you will see sign posts to the start of this hike on your right. While it is a bit of a slog to get up to the top, you are rewarded with panoramic views of Petra – which really gave us a great understanding to just HOW big this area is. Before visiting Jordan, I had always just assumed the Treasury was ‘Petra’ but now I have a much better understanding of this area and how impressive it is. If you have the time, I would highly recommend the hike up here to see for yourself just how far Petra stretches around.
After completing the hikes above, it’s likely you’ll be feeling a little tired. I’d recommend heading out of Petra back to Wadi Musa and enjoying a late lunch before heading to Little Petra in the afternoon. We went by car and it was about a 15 minute drive (Google Maps directions here).
Day 7: Petra to the Dead Sea
After a full on few days with a lot of exercise and sight-seeing, it’s time to wind down and treat yourself. On your 7th day of your Jordan itinerary, you’ll head to the Dead Sea. It’s about a 3 and a half drive to the Dead Sea from Petra. On the way you’ll pass by the entrance to Wadi Mujib, a famous canyoning location in Jordan. If you have more time and still have energy to burn, this is one incredible location. You can learn ore about Wadi Mujib canyoning here.
Where to stay on the Dead Sea
We only visited the Dead Sea for a few hours; however, if I was to do it again I would’ve stayed overnight and enjoyed some time just relaxing while on this holiday. We visited the Dead Sea through the Holiday Inn Resort Dead Sea, where we were able to access the Dead Sea through the hotel private beach (please note: this is a paid day pass experience). Floating in the Dead Sea is an experience like no other, it’s so strange to not be able to sink to the bottom (even if you try) and to feel so light in the water. Afterwards we also were able to enjoy some of the Dead Sea skin and facial mud masks that left our skin feeling silky smooth for the next few days.
Day 8: Dead Sea to Amman via Madaba
On your last full day of activities in your Jordan itinerary, it’s time to say goodbye to the Dead Sea and continue on your journey back to Amman. While we are only less than an hour’s drive away from Amman (Google Maps directions here), you can make a slight detour to get back to Amman by the city of Madaba (Google Maps directions here).
Things to see in Madaba
Madaba is famous for mosaics, which you will find in every shop along the streets and all around the city. It is also known for its close proximity (Google Maps directions here) to Mt Nebo – said to be the place where Moses saw the promised land and boast views across the surrounding landscape. In addition to mosaics and Mt Nebo, be sure to visit St George’s Church (Google Maps location here), which is home to the oldest map of this region in existence (created back in AD 560!).
On a seperate note, Madaba was the only place we felt leered at by men on the street. In Amman, we attracted some attention from people on the street but it was mostly just to get us into shops whereas here in Madaba it did feel somewhat menacing and obvious. While we never felt unsafe while walking around the streets, it wasn’t pleasant to experience. Something to keep in mind of what to expect when you’re in Madaba.
Day 9 and Final Day of your Jordan Itinerary: Say Goodbye
It’s the final day of your 9 day Jordan Itinerary and time to say goodbye to this incredible country. After I visited Jordan I was itching to see more of this part of the world as I was blown away by its incredible beauty and just how interesting it was. Enjoy your time exploring Jordan!
If you are interested in this you may be interested in: