Jordan is a fascinating country for any kind of tourist to visit.
From the ancient historic sites to the magnificent desert, the unique Dead Sea and the bustling cities, Jordan is a country that’s full of life, experiences, and sights to enjoy. It’s also a unique destination, which is why keeping up to date with all the latest Jordan travel tips is a good idea.
Before you hop on a plane and head to the desert, here are some important Jordan travel tips you should keep in mind.
1. Visa Requirements
Research and understand the visa requirements specific to your nationality.
Jordan offers visas on arrivalfor citizens of many countries, typically granting 30-day visas that can be extended. However, some nationalities might need to obtain a visa in advance.
Check the Jordanian government's official website or contact the embassy or consulate for the latest visa regulations.
Try to get a plan that covers medical emergencies, trip cancellations, lost belongings, and emergency evacuation.
Quality healthcare is available in Jordan's cities, but remote areas, like the Wadi Rum desert,might have limited medical facilities. Having travel insurance can provide financial security and assistance during unforeseen circumstances.
When looking for Jordan travel tips, one of the biggest things people want to learn about is the country’s weather. As it’s a mostly desert country, the weather can be extremely harsh if you don't choose the best time to visit Jordan.
Jordan's climate varies across regions. Summers are hot and dry, especially in desert areas like Wadi Rum, while winters can be chilly with occasional rainfall.
Pack lightweight, breathable clothing for summer, including sunscreen and a hat. For winter, layer up with warm clothing, a waterproof jacket, and sturdy footwear, especially if exploring Petra or other archaeological sites. Dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites or rural areas, by covering shoulders and knees, and avoid tight or revealing clothing.
If you’re well prepared for harsh weather conditions, such as Wadi Rum weather during the hot months, then your trip to Jordan will be a lot more enjoyable.
4. Respect Local Customs
Jordan is predominantly Islamic, and conservative customs prevail. Dressing modestly is a sign of respect.
While Jordan is relatively more liberal than some neighbouring countries, it's advisable to wear long pants or skirts, cover shoulders, and avoid excessively tight or revealing clothing, especially in religious places.
Women might consider carrying a scarf to cover their heads when entering mosques or other religious sites. Although you don’t have to worry too much about this, having the right outfits available will make your travels to Jordan a lot more comfortable.
Arabic is the official language, but English is widely spoken, especially in tourist areas, hotels, and restaurants.
Learning a few basic Arabic phrases such as greetings ("As-salamu alaykum" for "Peace be upon you") or simple phrases like "Shukran" ("Thank you") can facilitate communication and show appreciation for the local culture.
After all, immersing yourself in a new culture is half the reason to explore different countries.
The Jordanian Dinar (JOD) is the official currency. Credit cards are accepted in major cities and tourist areas, but it's advisable to carry some cash for smaller establishments or markets.
ATMs are widely available in urban areas for cash withdrawal. Be aware that some places might prefer cash transactions, especially in rural areas or smaller towns. So, if you plan to explore more remote areas, like if you do the Petra to Wadi Rum hike, then being prepared with enough cash is a good idea.
Bargaining or negotiating prices is common, particularly in local markets or souks. Engaging in friendly haggling is part of the culture but do so respectfully.
Start by suggesting a lower price than what's offered and negotiate to reach a fair agreement. Always maintain a friendly and polite demeanour during the bargaining process.
Jordan is generally safe for tourists, with low crime rates compared to many Western countries. However, it's wise to exercise standard safety precautions.
Avoid displaying valuable items openly, be cautious in crowded places, and stay aware of your surroundings. Respect local customs and laws, and be mindful of cultural sensitivities to ensure a trouble-free trip.
9. Local Transportation
Taxis and ride-sharing apps like Uber are available in cities like Amman. Always negotiate the fare before getting into a taxi, as meters might not always be used.
Shared taxis or "service taxis" are common for shorter trips within cities or towns, offering a more affordable means of transportation.
10. Public Transport
Opt for the reliable public transport system, including buses and coaches, for intercity travel.
Companies like JETT and Trust International Transport offer comfortable and affordable services connecting major cities. Buses are a great way to explore different regions of Jordan and interact with locals.
It’s also important to note that while there’s a lot to do and see in Jordan, it’s still a relatively small country. This makes it pretty easy to get around and visit a wide range of different destinations across the country.
Experience the stunning desert landscapes of Wadi Rum.
Take a jeep tour to witness the vast expanses of sandstone and granite rock formations. Spend a night at a Bedouin camp to immerse yourself in traditional Jordanian hospitality, enjoy local cuisine, and stargaze, and engage in activities like camel rides or hiking.
This fascinating desert is one of the absolute highlights of any trip to Jordan, and it should certainly be on any traveller's list.
Remember that the water can cause discomfort if it enters your eyes or any open wounds. Avoid shaving or having cuts before entering the water. Enjoy the therapeutic mud found along the shoreline, known for its beneficial effects on the skin.
Delight in Jordanian cuisine, a delicious fusion of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavours.
Sample dishes like mansaf (a traditional Jordanian dish of lamb cooked in fermented yoghurt), falafel, hummus, and mezze platters with an assortment of appetizers.
Don't miss trying Jordanian tea or strong Arabic coffee, often served with cardamom.
Carry a refillable water bottle and stay hydrated, especially in the arid desert climate.
Drink plenty of water, especially when engaging in outdoor activities like exploring Petra or hiking in Wadi Rum. Consider using electrolyte packets to replenish essential minerals lost through sweating.
Respect local customs and seek permission before taking photos of locals, particularly in rural areas or when capturing individuals.
Some people might decline, so always respect their wishes. In historical or religious sites, follow any guidelines regarding photography and be mindful of sensitive areas where photography might not be allowed.
While tipping is not mandatory in Jordan, it's appreciated for good service.
In restaurants, a service charge might be included in the bill, but leaving a small tip, typically around 10%, is customary for exceptional service.
When shopping in markets or receiving assistance from guides, offering a small gratuity is a polite gesture.
18. Time Zone
Jordan operates in the Eastern European Time Zone (EET), which is UTC+2. Adjust your schedule accordingly, especially if you have planned activities or appointments.
19. Internet Access
Wi-Fi is readily available in most hotels, cafes, and restaurants in urban areas. However, in more remote locations or rural areas, internet connectivity might be limited.
Consider purchasing a local SIM card with a data plan to ensure continuous internet access during your travels.
20. Cultural Sensitivity
Embrace and respect local customs and traditions. Jordanians are generally warm and welcoming, but being mindful of cultural differences is essential.
Avoid public displays of affection, especially in conservative areas, and refrain from discussing sensitive topics like religion or politics unless invited to do so. Always greet people with a smile and be polite when interacting with locals.
These Jordan travel tips are all pretty straightforward and will help you have a far more enjoyable time when you travel to Jordan.
Of all the travel tips for Jordan, the most important one is to be well-prepared for your trip to this country.
There are loads of things to do in Jordan, and so many amazing sights to see with us at Skyhook Adventure. Planning out your itinerary carefully will help you make the most of your trip and experience everything you want to when you visit.
Once you’ve visited Jordan, you’ll be planning your next trip straight away.