Jordan has to offer a lot. They have an amazing dessert, a lot of green oases, the mountains, the two amazing seas: the Dead Sea and the Red Sea. This amazing country has an amazing history and its location is a strategic one. People of Jordan are famous for their hospitality, they are very nice and kind people.
- The official name of Jordan is the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. (Source: BBC)
- Jordan emerged from the post-World War I division made by Britain and France. The official name was Transjordan (from 1922), recognized only in 1946 by the UN as an independent sovereign kingdom. (Source: BBC)
- E. Lawrence, known as Lawrence of Arabia, advised his leaders of the Great Arab Revolt in Jordan (in World War I). The revolt culminated in the surprise attack and defeat of the Turkish forces at the Battle of Aqaba. (Source: CNN)
- Jordan is known for a very long time for accepting refugees. The country has an estimated 2 million Palestinians and 1.4 million Syrian refugees residing in the country. That represents over a third of the population (total population is: 9.5 million people). (Source: Telegraph)
- Home to the ancient city of Petra, known as “The Rose City”, part of UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. (Source: UNESCO)
- Jordan has no oil of its own. (Source: BBC)
- The Palestinian territory of the West Bank was once part of Jordan. Following the Arab-Israeli conflict in 1948-49, the country annexed the West Bank – but lost it to Israel in the 1967 war. (Source: BBC)
- Together with Egypt, Jordan has made peace with Israel in 1994, ending the 46-year official state of war. (Source: BBC)
- The lowest point on Earth with dry land is at the Dead Sea in Jordan. It lies at 1,378ft (420m) beneath sea level. (Source: Britannica)
- Waters of the Dead Sea are so saline, with 34.2% salinity, it represents 9.6 times more salty as the ocean. (Source: Britannica)
Useful tips about Jordan:
• Visa: you can obtain directly from the airport and the costs are 50 dinars (63 EUR) per person. At the airport, there is just one exchange that has a bad course, you’ll pay about 75 euros. (50 dinars = 63 euros).
• Hotels: They are very affordable if you choose 3 or more stars (it’s up to 30 euro double room). Big attention to conditions, they all look great on Booking.com with good notes but in reality, they did not look too promising.
• Safety: Jordan is known for extremely welcoming people, police or army filters are always on national roads and open to help you whenever you need.
• Organized tours: You can find at every corner of the city or you can ask at the reception of hotels. My experience is that these tours are too expensive so my suggestion is to rent a car from the airport. The only exception is at Petra where a local guide will be nice to explain to you all the hidden secrets.
• ATMs card payments are accepted by hotels and restaurants, especially if you will stay at more than 3 stars. You will need cash to buy souvenirs from small local shops and for street food.
• How to dress – the country is Muslim, so avoid going in a bikini on the street. Shorts are accepted and ok. On the beach, whether it’s the Red Sea or the Dead Sea, you can swim in a bathing suit, topless is totally forbidden.
The best and easiest way to visit the country is by renting a car. My advice is to rent a car from the Airport, you will have the freedom to travel via Desert Highway from Amman to ancient Petra, Wadi Rum desert, Aqaba Red Sea port to the Dead Sea and to The Baptismal Site of Jesus Christ.
Amman, the main city of Jordan, a modern city with so many ancient ruins. You can take a walking tour via the center, the main attractions are close to each other. For the best falafel in the word, I recommend you to try Al Quds Falafel, it’s a small family business on the beautiful Rainbow St.
For fun, and cafes, turn right on the famous Rainbow Street. The street is a kind of Jordanian Lipscani, lately being rehabilitated. Old buildings have been upgraded, new terraces have sprung up and with them and the interest of locals, tourists or ex-pats in Amman.
History and culture – The Roman Theater is among the best preserved in the world and is right in the center of the city, on Al-Hashemi Street. It has a history of more than 1,800 years and has opened its doors for gladiators, war refugees, and cultural shows. The ticket to take a tour costs 2 JODs (3 EUR) and the program is from 08:00 – 19:00 daily or 09:00 – 16:00 (Friday).
View over the city and history – the Citadel of Amman. The Citadel, or Jebel al-Qala’a in Arabic, is the symbol of the city. Try to go at sunset! An entrance ticket costs 2 JODs (3 EUR) and the program is between 10:00 and 19:00.
Interactive Museum – or Jordan Museum. The modern museum takes you on a journey in time to understand the past of the East Middle, from the Bronze Age to the old nomadic tribes. An access ticket costs 5 JODs (6 EUR) and the program is from 10:00 to 14:00 daily.
And a traditional coffee, spiced with live Arabian music: I spent the evening at the traditional Jafra restaurant. With authentic decoration, live music, coffee on the kettle, we have declared ourselves fully satisfied.
The Petra Trail: For anyone who first arrives at Petra, it is recommended to get an idea of the city on Main Trail, where are the main points of interest (The Treasury, the Amphitheater, stone-carved houses or most of the royal tombs) from below picture:
My recommendation is to buy the pickets in the evening and also the guide (extra cost of 50 EUR that you can split in your group). Try to go as earlier in the morning as you can if you want to enjoy the silence of Petra, after 10:00 it will get crowded. Also, the guide will try to sell you extra trails but with the map from the reception – you can do that by yourself after finishing the main tour.
Don’t miss the Monastery. You will have to take a million steps to get there (please don’t by the monkeys – it will hurt the animal to carry you). Once up, there is a nice boutique restaurant where you can buy local tea and sit in front of the Monastery. That moment will be the best one 🙂
Petra by night
Petra by Night runs every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday of each week, starts at 20:30 from Petra Visitor Centre and delivers you back by licensed guide to the Visitor Centre around 22.30pm. The entrance fee for Petra by Night is 17 JD (21 EUR), children under 10 years are admitted free of charge.
I totally recommend you Petra by Night event. You will hear a small history about the place, drink the local tea and enjoy the live local music. You will need only 2 hours 🙂
Wadi Rum Desert
Normally, you can not drive in sand dunes, so all tourists park in front of the Wadi Rum Tourist Center. You can book a tour at the reception and enjoy the desert from a Jeep and a guide (they can all speak English).
The guide will act the same as in Petra, after leaving the entrance, he will sell you some additional tours. We took two additional stops and it was beautiful. Also, you will hear the story of Bedouins and how they migrated to Jordan.
Aqaba is a Jordanian port city on the Red Sea’s Gulf of Aqaba. Inhabited since 4000 B.C., it’s an Islamic hub. It’s popular for windsurfing and other water sports. The area is a top destination for scuba divers, the notable dive sites including the Yamanieh coral reef in the Aqaba Marine Park.
There are not many things to do in the city but you can take boat trips to Egypt or Israel. It’s fun.
The Dead Sea is considered to be the first SPA in the world, the place where even Cleopatra’s queen of Egypt treated with mud and salt 😀. Another superlative of the seashore that year-to-year has dried out due to excessive irrigation and global warming is the fact that this is the lowest point on earth – minus 430 meters below sea level.
Sadly enough, there are only a few places with a public beach. The rest of the beach is both by big hotels that offer private exclusivity. We went to Dead Sea Beach.
Ma’in Hot Springs
The famous thermal spring above the Dead Sea is Hammamat Ma’in. Here the water, it’s from 45°C to 60°C, with beautiful waterfalls that are collected in a variety of pools for public bathing. The water contains potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
You can spoil yourself at Ma’In Hot Springs Hotel Spa, a 5-star resort that offers incredible services, a big pool and amazing view on the one waterfall.
Traditional food and drink in Jordan
Arabian culinary style, as expected, it’s the predominant food in Jordan. The traditional dish is mansaf. Do not forget to order the famous lamb dish made with rice and fermented dried yogurt at the restaurant.
As for alcoholic beverages, Jordan is one of the most normal Arab countries, so you will not be left without a beer with alcohol after a sunny day.
Jordan is a very safe country to visit and, even though there are several issues such as Iraqi immigration, the Syrian refugee, big unemployment rate, it’s still important to venture out there and experience what the Jordan has to offer you – you will not regret it!
You can check out the most cool things to do in Israel here.