What to see in Jordan – 20 places not to be missed

The most beautiful places to visit in Jordan in 7 or 10 days

Jordan is a small country that concentrates numerous wonderfully preserved archaeological sites, picturesque and lively cities, access to the Dead Sea, the mysterious Petra, the wonderful desert of Wadi Rum and even a small stretch of coast in the Red Sea with a beautiful coral reef where you can swim with turtles.

There are so many things to see in Jordan and they are not limited to the most famous ones just mentioned. There are many more.

Jordan is one of the most liberal countries in the Arab world and is an exceptionally safe place to visit. Another reason that makes it a popular destination for those who have just 7 days or so available and want the exotic, traveling safely among natural and cultural wonders.

Jordan is indeed an exceptional destination for nature lovers, history buffs and road trip fans. Let’s add that Jordanians are welcoming and kind, the country is safe to travel even for single women and that the food is excellent. The picture is complete.

So if I have intrigued you, most likely if you are reading it is because this destination is already flashing in your head. – If you are thinking of traveling to the Middle East and want to know what to see in Jordan in this post you will find the best places to visit, two ideas itinerary for 7 and 10 days and lots of practical advice for best travel.

If you then need some more motivation I recommend you read the 10 reasons why to travel to Jordan.

Have you found plane tickets? See also on Traveljourn
Read also: What to see in Amman, Jordan

How to travel in Jordan – Tours, private car (rental or with driver) and public transport

Before we get into itineraries and specifically things to see in Jordan, I want to share some different options you have for traveling to Jordan.

  • Group Tours and Self-Guided Travel – Tours are easy and a stress-free way to get to all the places mentioned in this post. I will also share some recommendations for each location but for now keep in mind that this solution is perfect if you are short on time , don’t want to rent a car and want to save money compared to having a driver or renting a car. 
  • Complete group tours – If you are traveling alone and want to join group tours from the first to the last day you can search among the many options starting from 5 up to 14 days. On TourRadar you can find tours of different durations and costs
  • Traveling with a driver – This is one of the most popular solutions for those who want to travel privately and don’t want to worry about transportation . It’s a little more expensive than a group tour, but it was great to go everywhere at our own pace and not worry about driving.
  • Renting a Car – Driving in Jordan is much easier than I expected. If you are comfortable driving in foreign countries, you will have no problem driving in Jordan . Amman has some traffic, like any other major city, but overall driving in Jordan is not chaotic at all. Rental costs start from around €30 per day, a little more if you pick up the car in Amman and leave it in another city.
  • Traveling by public transport – It is not impossible but you must have time available, there are no precise departure times because the mini buses leave when full and therefore you may not be able to stay on time, especially if tight, or reach all the places that I will mention. The pro is that the means cost very little. 

I opted for the car rental solution , I rented it on with collection in Amman and delivery in Aqaba. The roads in Jordan are few and in good condition, traffic is almost non-existent, except in Amman, so driving will certainly not be a problem.

gray concrete stadium during daytime

What to see in Jordan – 20 unmissable places

I traveled to Jordan for more than 4 weeks, which is definitely a long time for such a small country. This long stay, however, allowed me to visit and stay for a long time in many places that those who have a few days available usually skip or see quickly.

Whether you are traveling to Jordan for a week or several weeks and want to know which places are worth visiting, here is the list of the 17 most beautiful places in Jordan (and not just the ones you expect) that you should see.

Amman – The capital of Jordan

Amman, the capital and largest city of Jordan – holds many surprises for travelers. The city is a truly unique and very particular concentration of modernity and antiquity.

In fact, if walking in Downtown you walk through a historic center typical of Arab cities, between the large souk , the mosque and the streets full of life 24 hours a day, in total contrast the Boulevards where you walk between enormous skyscrapers in a city light years away from the one not far away.

Some of the best things to see in Amman are:

  • The Citadel: Perched on Jabal al-Qal’a, the highest of the city’s seven hills, this fortification dates back to the Bronze Age and boasts intricate carvings on the walls and ruins from the Roman, Byzantine and Umayyad eras. It offers panoramic views of Amman, making it one of the most photogenic spots in the city.
  • The Roman Amphitheater is easily reachable on foot from downtown on the way to the citadel
  • Jabal Amman famous street with art galleries
  • Abdoun place where nightlife takes place in the capital
  • The King Abdullah I Mosque , a beautiful mosque holding 7,000 worshipers known for its blue mosaic roof, Koranic inscriptions and eye-catching white minarets. The mosque was built in 1989 as a monument to King Hussein’s grandfather, and is open to non-Muslim visitors outside of prayer times.
  • The Amman Souk , a huge open-air market where you can find everything from carpets to jewelry and beautiful pieces of local crafts
  • The Boulevard , the modern neighborhood of Amman, a kind of shopping center usually full of Saudis who go on holiday to Amman to have fun (at least that’s what my friend Aiman ​​told me)

For a nice city experience I recommend you sleep in Amman Downtown to be close to the main places to visit in the city including the Citadel, the Amphitheater and Rainbow street. Check out Nomads hotel and Nu Fifthy Two .

To find out what to do in Amman I recommend reading the post: What to see in Amman in one day

Le rovine romane di Jerash

Among the things to see in Jordan, one of my favorites is certainly Jerash , known as Gerasa , which is home to some of the best-preserved Greco-Roman ruins in the world. To visit it, the best thing is to base yourself in Amman .

Jerash is located about 50 km from the city of Amman and can be visited in a day. The city is quite large so it will take a couple of hours to see it all and is generally combined with a visit to Umm Qais (description to follow).

The most important sights in Jerash are the hippodrome , which once hosted chariot races watched by 15,000 spectators, the cardo maximus , once the city’s main thoroughfare, and Hadrian’s Arch , built to commemorate the visit of emperor Hadrian. The site is so well preserved that it is easy to imagine the grandeur of this city.

How to reach Jerash from Amman

The easiest option to reach Jerash is with a rental car or driver. You can also use the bus that leaves from Amman Bus Station. 

brown concrete building under blue sky during daytime

The ancient city of Umm Qais

On the border between Jordan, Israel, Palestine and Syria you can visit the ancient city of Umm Qais which has a breathtaking view of the Sea of ​​Galilee and the Golan Heights. Umm Qais, known as Gadara, is a surprisingly green city in a rather arid country.

It is located north of Amman with sweeping views of the Yarmouk River, Lake Tiberias, the Yarmouk River and the Golan Heights.

Umm Quais represents the ruins of a Roman city , not as well preserved as those of Jerash, built on an old Ottoman village.

It is also said that Umm Qais is the place where Jesus chased away the demons from a man of the city by sending them into a group of pigs who went mad and threw themselves into the lake where they drowned.

How to reach Umm Qais from Amman

You can reach Umm Qais by bus that leaves from Amman and reaches Irbid. From here you can take a collective minivan to reach the site.

Bethany beyond the Jordan

The site of the Baptism of Jesus Christ , also known as “Bethany beyond the Jordan” or Al-Maghtas, is located on the eastern bank of the iconic Jordan River, approximately 10 kilometers north of the Dead Sea.

The Site of the Baptism of Jesus Christ , recognized by most Christian churches, is an important pilgrimage destination where John the Baptist is believed to have baptized Jesus and about an hour’s drive from the capital Amman. This sacred site is of immense spirituality and biblical relevance and offers a unique and once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Al-Maghtas is considered to be the original place where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist . This act marked the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry and is a vital event in Christian theology.

Regardless of your faith, visiting this site can offer a deep dive into the rich tapestry of religious history and human civilization.

Monte Nebo

Mount Nebo is one of the holiest sites in Jordan because it represents the place where Moses was first shown the Promised Land and where Moses is said to be buried, although this has never been proven.

Apart from the religious mention, I consider Mount Nebo one of the places to see in Jordan because from here you can have an exceptional view of the valley below, you can see the famous Bronze Serpent Monument , a bronze serpentine cross created by the Italian artist Giovanni Fantoni and the excavation works that brought to light elements of the Byzantine basilica incorporated today into the Memorial Church of Moses.

How to get to Mount Nebo from Amman

Mount Nebo is about 37 km from Amman and about 10 km from Madaba . If you are staying in Madaba or Amman, the best way to reach Mount Nebo or Mukawir is by private or shared taxi . There are no frequent buses between Amman and Mount Nebo.

Castello Ajloun

This small town in the northern hills of Jordan is one of the least visited places in Jordan but also among the most fascinating. Aljoun is a historic town where the famous Ajloun Castle stands alongside smaller ancient settlements. You can walk and wander within the castle courtyards.

The beauty of this place is also the fact that it is surrounded by pine forests and that it was built on the ruins of an ancient market town visited by the emperor Hadrian. Although damaged by earthquakes and attacked by the Mongols, the city remains surprisingly well preserved.

Castles in the desert

During the days in Amman I drove to the eastern desert of Jordan to visit the collection of desert castles .

These structures were built by the Umayyads . Many were used for the defense and residence of the Kaliphs and it was through the development of this network of castles that the Umayyads were able to live and thrive in the unforgiving desert landscape.

Umayyad qusurs , or desert palaces , are known for their variety of architectural styles and decorations. The most beautiful and interesting is Qusayr ‘Amra which came to light thanks to the Czech explorer Alois Musil in 1898.

During his travels in the Jordanian desert he discovered the architectural remains of several structures. The remains suggested an original complex consisting of a bathhouse, a throne room and irrigation systems that provided water for the palace baths in the heart of the desert.

But the most interesting and surprising thing are the frescoes of the complex which have totally overturned the knowledge we had until then of figurative representation in the early Islamic period.

It is possible to see several of these desert castles in a single day of driving.

The ring can take you to the black rock and mosaics of Qasr Al-Hallabat , to the archaeological site Hammam as-Sarah , to the incredible frescoes of Qasr Amra up to Qsar al-Azraq , near Azraq which for a short time was the palace in where Lawrence of Arabia lived .

If you leave from Amman and leave the visit of the castles as last, from the capital, you can drive to Madaba and then begin the journey south (Madaba, Dead Sea, Petra, Wadi Rum).

Qasr Amra Castle


Located in the heart of historic Jordan, Madaba is a very ancient city that sits on the edge of the King’s Highway on the way to the Dead Sea.

The city is famous for its magnificent golden mosque, collection of tall and pointed minarets, and beautiful Byzantine works of art in the alcoves, chapels filled with the essence of spirituality, astonishing ancient mosaics and the remains of the old Roman city.

The city is pleasant and very quiet so much so that you could easily dedicate a whole day to it but if you have little time make sure to see the incredible mosaics in the Church of San Giorgio .

During restoration work in 1884, the builders came across an ancient Byzantine church by chance , and amidst all the rubble and ruins they discovered one of the most significant maps in history – a mosaic cartography depicting the most ancient known representation of Palestine .

You can visit Madaba on the way from Amman to the Dead Sea where you can stay at the end of the day and where you will probably stay for a couple of nights.

horse crossing stairs

Ma’in terms

Located between Madaba and the Dead Sea, Ma’in Hot Springs is the perfect place to relax after a long day of sightseeing. Here you can soak in the healing waters of the springs with the Ma’in mountains and beautiful Ma’in waterfalls as a backdrop.

Overall you will find more than 63 springs, each different in shape, size and temperature. Some are boiling hot, 145 degrees, but most are around 95 degrees.

You can reach the hot springs if you base yourself in one of the Dead Sea hotels or you can book into the Ma’in Hot Springs resort within the complex. Quite expensive but in a phenomenal location.


A venerated Christian pilgrimage site, Al-Maghtas translates as the place of baptism , is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site , and is a famous Christian pilgrimage site because it is believed here that John the Baptist baptized Jesus of Nazareth.

The archaeological site now includes more than 20 points of interest including caves, a monastery and baptismal pools. Al-Maghtas is located on the east bank of the Jordan River 8 km north of the Dead Sea.

Dead Sea

Located at the lowest point on Earth, the Dead Sea is one of the most interesting and interesting things to see in Jordan.
The Dead Sea is actually a huge hypersaline lake divided between Jordan, the West Bank and Israel.

The hypersaline of the sea is the phenomenon that makes people float on its water without making any effort. Its high salinity means that there are no fish in its waters, hence the name: Dead Sea. Furthermore, its mud is very rich in minerals, so much so that it is used for therapeutic treatments.

There are not many places to stay on the shores of the Dead Sea , in particular here you will mainly find rather expensive resorts, all with swimming pools (sometimes more than one), private beaches and multiple restaurants.

I stayed at the Ramada Dead Sea which was one of the cheapest but really very nice and clean with two swimming pools, private beach and several restaurants. Obviously you don’t pay to enter the beach if you stay .

There are some public beaches along the coast of the Dead Sea in Jordan. However, remember that beaches may not offer the same level of facilities and services as private resorts. A very popular public beach in Jordan is Amman Beach , which has changing rooms, showers and a restaurant.

Another public beach is the Dead Sea Panorama Complex , which offers a small beach area with umbrellas, showers, and a bar. This complex also features an observation deck with breathtaking views of the Dead Sea and the surrounding landscape.

I recommend that you do not put your head under water or shave, as I cleverly did, the day before or the burning sensation will be unbearable!

View of the Dead Sea in Jordan

Wadi Mujib

If you want to liven up your day at the Dead Sea, be sure to visit Wadi Mujib which is located a short distance away.
Here you will find jagged gorges, steeply carved valleys and plenty of paths hidden among the rocks that offer one of the must-see places in Jordan and considered among the most beautiful.

Wadi Mujib is considered one of the lowest nature reserves on earth and slowly merges with the saline waters of the famous Dead Sea.

The reserve is located inside the deep gorge of Wadi Mujib , it extends between the Karat mountains, to the south, and Madaba to the north and from 410 meters below sea level reaches 900 in some points with a difference in altitude of 1300 metres.
This peculiarity combined with the constant flow of water all year round makes Wadi Mujib a reserve with rich biodiversity.

More than 300 species of plants, 10 species of carnivores and numerous species of permanent and migratory birds have been recorded here.

There are many activities in the canyon , the most popular are canyoning and trekking. Both activities must be done exclusively with a guide, must be booked in advance and are not accessible and practicable all year round. In winter, for example, only one route is accessible. If you want to enter the water you can only do so from April to October .

Castello di Kerak

Central Jordan is crossed by the King’s Highway, which runs south between the Dead Sea and the desert. The highlight of this route is the massive Crusader castle of Karak , with its immense fortifications dominating the city that bears its name.

The castle was built in 1140, and was one of the last outposts held by the Crusaders after Jerusalem was recaptured by Saladin in 1187.

Falling to the Arab-Kurdish armies the following year after a long and prolonged siege, it passed under numerous dominations. The Mamluks widened the moat and added more towers, while the Ottomans built an imposing entrance gate.

Today Karak is the largest and best preserved castle in Jordan . Inside you will find tunnels, dark and secret rooms and old stables. Passing the Cairwan Hotel you will find a fantastic viewpoint over the castle and the city.

I visited it in passing starting from the Dead Sea to reach Wadi Musa , the base for visiting Petra the next day.

Dana Biosphere Reserve

The Dana Biosphere Reserve is Jordan’s largest nature reserve and is a fabulous place for hiking and walking. The geology of the biosphere reserve changes dramatically from sandstone to granite limestone, and its ecosystem transitions from oak and juniper forests to sandy desert.

Here you can also see many animal species typical of the reserve such as the sand cat, the Syrian wolf and the spiny-tailed lizard which are endangered species.

In the Dana Biosphere you can sleep in beautiful structures in the middle of the desert and participate in some of the organized activities such as cycling tours, Jordanian cooking classes, stargazing and bird watching.

If you want to spend a night here I recommend you take a look at the Wadi Dana lodge or, if you are traveling on a tighter budget, at the Al Nawatef Camp ECO camp Dana Nature Reserve .

Kings Highway

This is absolutely one of the best things to do in Jordan because the entire route the view is spectacular.

The King’s Highway is a historic road in Jordan that extends from the northern city of Irbid to the southern city of Aqaba, passing through some of the most beautiful and historic landscapes in the country.

The King’s Highway has been in use for thousands of years and in ancient times was an important trade route connecting the Middle East with the Mediterranean region . It was later used by pilgrims traveling to the holy sites of Jerusalem and other parts of the Holy Land.

This road passes through some of Jordan’s most beautiful landscapes , including the green hills and olive groves of the north, the rugged mountains of the central region, and the dramatic desert canyons of the south. Along the way you will enjoy breathtaking views of the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea, and historic sites and attractions, including ancient cities, castles and archaeological sites.

Some of the most popular stops along the route include the ancient city of Jerash, the Crusade-era castle of Kerak, and the stunning desert landscape of Wadi Rum.

The road is also a popular route for bicycle and motorbike tours.

Kings Road

Petra the lost city

When you think of what to see in Jordan the image of Petra is probably the first that comes to mind. For hundreds of years, the ancient Jordanian city of Petra was a thriving trading center and capital between 400 BC and 106 AD. In 1985 carved on red sandstone, it remained unknown.

Until it came to light it began to attract explorers and visitors from all over the world.
In 2007 Petra was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was declared one of the New 7 Wonders of the World .

You enter the city through the Siq – a narrow, 1 km long gorge – which suddenly opens onto the Al-Khazneh known as the Treasury.

The temple, 30 m wide and 43 m high, carved into the pink and red rocks, stands tall, making everything else seem tiny.
Al-Khazneh is Petra’s most popular tourist attraction, and undoubtedly among the best places to visit in Jordan but the visit certainly doesn’t stop there.

Be prepared to walk all day and do even more tiring climbs because the wonders of the valley are truly many.

Opening hours: Every day from 6am to 6pm in the summer months and from 6am to 4pm in winter.

Petra, Jordan


Pella, one of the oldest sites in Jordan , is located in the northwest of the country. The area is historically significant and contains numerous archaeological wonders, with ruins spanning the Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Canaanite, Hellenistic and Islamic periods. Pella was also part of the famous Roman Decapolis , a group of ten cities in the eastern Mediterranean region. This site is particularly important to archaeologists as it shows evidence of continuous human habitation for over 6,000 years.

Although much of what is known about Pella lies beneath its surface, visitors can still appreciate the site’s rich history and enjoy the accessible ruins. The city prospered during the Umayyad period for just over 100 years. Unfortunately, like other parts of Jordan, Pella suffered destruction caused by an earthquake in 749, with excavations and archaeological work ongoing since 1979.

The Wadi Rum desert

Among the things to see in Jordan you cannot miss the days and starry nights in the Wadi Rum desert . The desert which extends for 74,000 hectares and is composed of narrow canyons, sandstone arches, high cliffs and natural caves.

Wadi Rum is a desert valley known for its breathtaking scenery. Unlike the classic desert that we can imagine, like that of the Sahara so to speak, the characteristic of Wadi Rum are not the dunes, even if there are some and you can also do san boarding, but are instead the enormous sandstone mountains and the imposing granite cliffs.

Many of Wadi Rum’s main attractions are natural landmarks and rock formations sculpted by wind and water such as the Umm Fruth rock bridge , one of the symbols of the desert.

The characteristic red-orange colors that give the area an otherworldly quality have inspired famous directors, in fact the film The Martian was filmed here which found a perfect replica of the Red Planet in Wadi Rum. Lawrence of Arabia also spent time in Wadi Rum. Here you can visit the place where his house was located known as Lawrence’s Spring .

Even if you could visit Wadi Rum in one day from Aqaba, I recommend you sleep there at least one night. In recent years the camps have tripled compared to a few years ago, and you can find many camps with Bedouin tents at reasonable prices.

If you want to experience the thrill of sleeping in a dome tent , this is your chance, you can find them at Hasan Zawaideh Camp or at Orbit Camp .

All bivouacs organize jeep tours in the desert at extra costs (which obviously I recommend you book).

How to reach Wadi Rum

You can reach Wadi Rum with a bus from Wadi Musa , the city where you will base your visit to Petra. The buses leave at 6 in the morning but remember that you must ask the hotel staff to reserve a seat for you at least one day in advance. Alternatively you can drive or take a taxi which costs around 40 JD.

If you arrive by car when you arrive at the entrance to Wadi Rum you will need to leave your car at the main car park and the Bedouin where you will be staying overnight will organize transport to the camp.

brown and white concrete building on brown rocky mountain during daytime


Jordan has only 26 km of coastline on the Red Sea , but its clear waters, mild temperatures and the city’s historic attractions make little Aqaba the ideal place to end your trip to Jordan by the sea .

Here you can swim in the coral reef, look for turtles and tropical fish , relax in the sun, snorkel or even dive. The beaches are divided into private, owned by hotels for which you pay a small entrance fee, and public.

The most beautiful beaches are a little outside the city so you can choose whether to sleep in Aqaba or directly by the sea.

Personally I slept in both places and between the two I preferred to sleep in Aqaba and then reach the beach by car or taxi.

I write this because if you sleep by the sea in the evening you won’t find much in the surrounding area, while the city is very lively and full of cafes and restaurants.

If you want to sleep by the sea, the Adventure Divers Hotel is a nice, economical solution directly on the beach.

If instead you sleep in the city I recommend you take a look at the Double Tree Hilton which also has a beautiful panoramic terrace or, if you want to spend a little less, the Delara hotel which also has an indoor swimming pool. Remember that if you sleep in the city you will probably be woken up by the muezzin at 5 in the morning.

Castello Mamluk

The Mamluk Castle, also known as Aqaba Fortress or Aqaba Castle , is a sight not to be missed if you are in Aqaba. This fortress holds a rich history that spans hundreds of years and documents the city’s conquerors and rulers.

The castle served the role of a fortified caravanserai during the Mamluk and Ottoman periods, being strategically located along the pilgrimage route to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina . The known structure of this castle as we see it today mainly dates back to the 16th century.

Although it was a military bastion during the century leading up to the First World War, it is still an iconic attraction in Aqaba today. Every corner of Aqaba Castle tells a story, offering visitors a delightful glimpse into Jordan’s illustrious history.

How many days do you need to visit Jordan

Jordan is indeed a relatively small country but many people believe they can visit it entirely in 3 or 4 days. My advice is to spend at least 7 days, even 10 if you want to end with a few days at the seaside in Aqaba and swim with sea turtles.

What to see in Jordan in 7 days

If you have 7 days in Jordan you can visit the most important places in the country, reaching Wadi Rum and then returning to Amman in time to catch the flight back to Italy.

  1. Arrival in Amman and visit the capital of Jordan
  2. Madaba, Mount Nebo at and night in the Dead Sea
  3. Day in the Dead Sea and Wadi Mujib
  4. Wadi Musa driving through the Kings Highway with stop at Kerak Castle
  5. Petra visit (full day)
  6. Wadi Rum and night in the desert
  7. Return to Amman (consider at least 4 hours driving)

What to see in Jordan in 10 days

However, if you have 10 days you can afford extra detours and get to Aqaba.

  1. Arrival in Amman and visit the capital
  2. Jerash e Umm Qais ritorno ad Amman
  3. Madaba and night in the Dead Sea
  4. Dead Sea in Wadi Mujib
  5. Wadi Musa driving the Kings road
  6. Full day in Petra
  7. Wadi Rum and night in the desert
  8. Wadi Rum – Aqaba
  9. Aqaba
  10. Aqaba and return flight

When to go to Jordan

The best times to visit Jordan are spring – from March to May – and autumn – from September to November . In these months the days are warm and the nights are cool. It’s not too hot to explore the sites or hike in nature reserves and you can even swim.

In summer, however, it is really hot so perhaps it is not the ideal period. In winter you can find snow and the nights can get very cold, especially in the desert. In these months it could rain.

Traveling to Jordan – Frequently Asked Questions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *