Jordan




Jordan is my top three favourite countries to visit. Although Jordan is a small country in the middle east, it is packed with so many unique impressive attractions for tourists to explore: 
- Lost City - Petra (New Seven Wonders of the World and UNESCO World Heritage Site), Dead Sea (the lowest point of the earth)
- Jerash (thousand years old Greco-Roman city)
- Madaba (the oldest floor mosaic map cartographic depiction of Holy Land)
- Aqaba (beautiful red sea coastal city)
- Baptism Site of Jesus Christ (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
- Quseir Amra (1200 years old desert castle with beautiful colour painting on the wall which is UNESCO World Heritage Site)
- Wadi Musa (UNESCO World Heritage Site for both Cultural and Natural, landscape on earth most similar to Mars). 
Numerous movies filmed in this beautiful country, including Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade in Petra, Lawrence of Arabia and The Last Days on Mars in Wadi Rum, Transformers: Revenger of the Fallen and many other movies.


1. Is it Safe to Visit Jordan?

Yes, Jordan is a very safe country to visit. It is a peaceful land surrounding by war zone countries. Jordan is a middle east country, but no oil production.  Tourism is the main economy sector. Local people are very friendly to tourists. Jordan is a strong ally of the United States. The only areas in Jordan that the travelers should avoid are the borders with Syria and Iraq. Please note all major attractions in Jordan are far away from the country’s borders.

2. Entry Visa to Jordan

Landing visa is 40 JD (regardless the age of the tourists) and it can be purchased from Jordan custom at the time of entry. Please note Jordan Custom accepts an international credit). I strongly recommend tourists to purchase Jordan Pass (Tip: Must Purchase Item) because it includes the admission ticket to Petra, most other attractions in Jordan and as well as Jordan entry visa. The charge of Jordan Pass is based the number of days visiting Petra (1 day for 50 JD, 2 days for 55 JD and 3 days for 60 JD). Here is link for Jordan Pass purchase website: https://www.jordanpass.jo/ Some tourists did not know this deal until they visited Petra. They will have to pay admission for Petra and other attractions again on top of previously paid entry visa fee to Jordan.


3. Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Jordan is during the spring (March to May) and fall (September to November). At these times of year. the temperatures are cool enough to enjoy exploring Jordan’s iconic sites. The coldest months of the year are December and January, where the temperatures 5  - 10 °C. I traveled to Jordan in February 2019. The temperature varied crossed the Country (Amman: 12 °C, Dead Sea: 21°C, Petra: 14°C, Wadi Rum: 15°C and Aqaba: 27 °C). 


4. Travel Budget

Travel expense in Jordan is high amongst developing countries. However, it is still cheaper than most developed countries. The local currency is Jordanian Dinar is very strong (1 JD = 1.25 EURO =1.4 USD = 2 CAD). I recommend tourists to have minimum 60 JD per day for daily travel expenses. 


5. Flights

The flight fare is very expensive from North America, usually around $1400 CAD/$1000 USD). From China and other Eastern Asian countries to Jordan is expensive as well ($750 USD) with transfer in Hong Kong. The good news for North America and European tourists is the European budget airlines easyJet and Ryan Air started their route services from multiple European cities to Amman and Aqaba in 2018. The one-way flight fare is as low as 10 Euros for 5 hours from Southern or Eastern Europe.  I took advantage of this deal and did double dipping trip to visit both Europe and Jordan in 2019. I paid 43 Euros from Bologna, Italy to Amman and returned flight only paid 11 Euros from Aqaba to Berlin, Germany.  


6. Hotels

You may stay at hotels or Airbnb properties in the Bahamas. Book Airbnb from the link below will save you $62 CAD/$43 USD/41 Euros instantly for your first stay anywhere around the world: 

https://www.airbnb.ca/c/weic3807?currency=CAD

Hotels are not expensive in Amman (Approximately 33 – 50 JD for a 2.5 star hotel). Hotels are expensive in Petra which double the price than anywhere else in Jordan. 


7. Credit Card vs. Foreign Currencies

Credit cards are not well-accepted in Jordan, except the only two international airports. Please prepared cash from your home country or find local currency exchange places in Jordan. 


8. Transportation Within Jordan

Jordan has no train services. No Uber service in Jordan (limited illegal vehicles running this service and Jordan police will ask you to walk back to the airport terminal when it is caught). Long distance bus, local mini-bus, car rental or hire private taxi drivers are the popular way to travel in Jordan. Jett is the main coach bus service provider in Jordan. You may travel from Amman city center to Aqaba or Petra with the local transporter Jett bus which provides very reliable ser­vices: https://www.jett.com.jo/en  Bus ticket can be purchased online to pay with an international credit card. If you hire a taxi or private driver, you may negotiate the price with the driver. The charge really depends your negotiation skills and distance traveled. The daily price (including gas, mileage, driver’s time and other cost) varies from 60 JD to 110 JD depends on the car conditions. I managed to find a reliable taxi driver prior to my Jordan trip so I can see more attractions in Jordan during my 8 day trip. You may also find local taxi drivers when you are in Jordan. Many drivers will approach you for offers. Make sure to ask questions and confirm what is included and how much per day. Your hotels have designated drivers which usually charge very high price.

The following common routes for tourists to consider:

1) Amman Airport to Amman City Center: Airport Shuttle 3.5 JD (2019)

2) Within Amman City: tourist taxi 2 – 3 JD. Local people about 1 JD.

3) Amman City Center to Petra: Jett Bus 7.7 JD (as of 2020), only one departure at 6:30 am per day, so manage your schedule.

4). Amman City Center to Aqaba: Jett Bus 9.8 JD (as of 2020)

5). Amman to Jerash: local mini-bus 1 JD. Not easy to find the departure location. Ask hotel or Airbnb to write Arabic on the paper to show the taxi drivers.

6). Petra to Wadi Rum: local mini-bus 7 JD (no negotiation, the mini-bus is  usually packed with tourists). Ask your hotel or Airbnb to call the mini-bus for free pick up the day before your travel.

7). Wadi Rum to Aqaba: local mini-bus for 5 JD for tourists. Local people only pay 3 JD. Australian tourists and I negotiated with the bus driver and we finally paid 4 JD per person. A taxi driver offered us 20 JD per car for all of us, but we have four adults and one child, so we refused the offer.  

8) Amman to Dead Sea: Jett Bus for 10 JD. Kids under 2 years old free. Some taxi drivers are willing to take 20 JD for one-way trip. Booking taxi via hotels is expensive.

9) Amman to Madaba: mini-bus for 1.2 JD (2019)


9. Length of Visit in Jordan

A minimum of 7 days would be needed to see most major attractions for Jordan trip and save 1 - 2 days for Petra. I planned two day for Petra just in case it rains or sand storm occurs. One full day would be adequate to see the whole site of Petra. Please note: Jordan Pass Holders are required to stay for minimum 3 nights in Jordan. 

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Trip Highlights (2019)

Bologna to Amman by Ryanair


Madaba: world earliest mosaic map cartographic depiction of Holy Land


The Church with mosaic map. It was packed with a large group of university researchers and professors at the time of visit. 2JD for admission. 


Mount Nebo: the most revered holy site in Jordan


Baptism Site of Jesus Christ (UNESCO World Heritage Site), 8JD discount admission ticket as an add-on item at the time of purchase Jordan Pass online. It is a very popular site because Pope Jon Pail II visited in 2000. 


Beautiful Sunset at Dead Sea


Dead Sea in the Morning


The best Embassy Suites I have ever stayed at Dead Sea Resort. 91 JD per night in February. The hotel is very fancy with nice swimming pools and gym. It was so quiet in February which is low season for tourists. The hotel has private beach for guests to explore the Dead Sea. You have an opportunity to try Dead Sea black mud on you for free.  I redeemed IHG points for free stay. The hotel has wonderful welcome surprise: dessert, snacks and drinks on the first night.


Amman Roman Theatre at the city Center is very impressive. Free admission with Jordan Pass. Numerous hotels and Airbnb close to the theatre. 


Folklore Museum (inside the Roman Theatre)


Jerash Roman City is extremely impressive. Must visit site in Jordan. 



Well-reserved Roman Theatre Inside Jerash Ruins


Amazing View of Jerash Roman City 


Nymphaeum in Jerash Ruins


The Temple of Artemis in Jerash


Impressive Aljoun Castle: Inside View. It is quite large inside with many rooms


Amman Citadel in the Early Morning


1200 years old Colourful Painting Inside Quseir Amra (UNESCO World Heritage Site). Numerous paintings on the walls which are very neat and impressive. 


Desert Castle Qasr Kharana, free admission with Jordan Pass


Inside View of Qasr Kharana


Umm Ar - Rasas (UNESCO World Heritage Site): 1500 years history. Floor mosaics in the church was built in 5th Century Byzantine period. The location is inconvenient for tourists, so not many people on the site at the time of my visit.


Umm Ar - Rasas, several large floor area. Here is one of them. 


Kerak Castle is a large Crusader castle located in al-Karak. It was built in 1142 by Ottoman Empire. When I arrived at there after 5 pm, it was closed already for the day (closed early during the winter months). I was very lucky that the guy looked after the gate let me in, so I gave him 2 JD tips. If you travel to see Kerak Castle on the way to Petra, please make sure to manage you time to visit there.


Defense system in Kerak Castle. It's large inside the castle with defense structures both indoors and outdoors. The view is amazing above the hill.


Inside the Kerak Castle. I recommend tourists to visit at least one castle in Jordan.. The admission is free with Jordan Pass. 


The Treasury as seen from Al-Siq right before the passage ends.


Petra is the most well-know attraction in Jordan. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985 and it attracts over 1 million tourists every year. When I walked through the narrow siq, suddenly a massive impressive appeared in front of me. It is almost like the scene in the move of Indiana Jones The Last Crusade.


A close look of Al-Khazneh of Petra built in 1st Century AD. 



The Theatre was carved into the side of the mountain at the foot of High Palace of Sacrifice. It can accommodate about 4000 spectators, truly amazing structure.



A close look of Ad-Deir (The Monastery) where The Transformers filmed there.


The Urn Tomb (The Court) was constructed around 70 AD. High up in the facede there are 3 niches which give on to small curial chambers, but which has adapted in 446 AD to serve as a Byzantine church. 


The Silk Tomb is located to the north of the Urn Tomb. The tower dates back to the first half of the 1st century AD. It is one of the most dramatically colored tomb


The beauty of Wadi Rum can not expressed by words. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site for both natural and cultural, it is truly a must see attraction in Jordan. The landscape is very similar to the Mars, so numerous movies were filmed. 


Beautiful Landscape of Wadi Rum



The Rock (Cow) in Wadi Rum


Am I on the Mars? - Beautiful Wadi Rum in Jordan 


Beautiful Wadi Rum


The Bridge of Wadi Rum


Aqaba Public Beach - Beautiful Red Sea

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