Many people hop over the border for a day or two to catch a glimpse of the revered ancient city of Petra. This world heritage site carved into the red sandstone is undeniably worth the trek. However, there are several other places to see in Jordan that are also worth a visit besides Petra. If you’re curious about visiting this stunning Middle Eastern country, our travel experts have got you covered on the best things to do in Jordan. Read on and start planning your dream trip!
Marvel at Magical Petra
It goes without saying that if there was ever a “must-see” spot in Jordan, it’s obviously Petra. It is the main draw for tourists to Jordan, and with good reason. This stunning UNESCO world heritage site will appeal to travellers of many tastes. Dating back centuries, this site was originally used by the Nabateans as a trading hub. Today it is one of the most recognizable tourist destinations in the Middle East. In the day time, visitors can enjoy desert hikes, exploring the different temples and structures carved into the rocks, mingling with locals Bedouins, or indulging in a camel trek. At night, Petra lights up with hundreds of candles and lights, making this already-spectacular site even more magical. It goes without saying that Petra is usually number one on the list of things to do in Jordan.
Explore the Desert in Wadi Rum
Visiting Wadi Rum is another one of the more popular things to do in Jordan. This picturesque desert is home to many Bedouin communities. Many travellers love staying in Bedouin camps to get the full Jordanian experience, including learning about local traditions and experiencing a typical Bedouin meal. In Wadi Rum itself, visitors can enjoy a number of exciting activities, including hiking, exploring the stunning canyons, snapping pictures on the sand dunes, going on a jeep safaris, and viewing the clear night sky dotted with thousands of visible stars. Additionally, Wadi Rum is notable as being the home of the famous T.E. Lawrence, otherwise known as Lawrence of Arabia. Therefore, there are many monuments and sites in his honour, including his former home and rock formations named for his legacy.
Discover Historic Jerash
Jerash is known as being home to some of the best and most well-preserved Roman ruins. In fact, it is believed to be one of the greatest examples of Roman architecture outside of Rome. Excavations of the site began in the 1920s, and the ruins that were discovered are amazing. Some of the main points to see here include the massive hippodrome, cardio maximus, as well as Hadrian’s Arch. The beauty of Jerash is that the site is so well maintained that visitors can really appreciate the size and magic of this ancient city and its history.
Float on the Dead Sea
One of the best things to do in Jordan is to visit the Dead Sea. Known as the lowest place on earth, the Dead Sea draws tons of visitors every year for its healing qualities. Many people visit The Dead Sea to take advantage of the natural spa treatment. The water and the surrounding mud contains minerals that are meant to be very good for your skin. Due to the water’s high salinity content, it’s actually impossible for swimmers here to sink! Upon entering the Dead Sea, you’ll feel the incredible sensation weightlessness as you effortlessly float on the surface of the water.
Go Canyoneering in Wadi Mujib
Recognized as Jordan’s Grand Canyon, Wadi Mujib is great for the more adventurous travelers. Visitors to Wadi Mujib love trekking through the canyons and rappelling down a towering waterfall into the white water. You can swim through natural pools, explore the water canyons, ride down natural slides, and enjoy a day of cooling off in this water canyon.
Hike in Dana Biosphere Reserve
Explore the town of Dana, which sits in the Dana Biosphere Reserve. The reserve cuts through the great Rift Valley, which extends all the way to the middle of Africa. Explore the quaint town, which is now an artists and farming community. Or, enjoy a scenic hike through the natural reserve. With stunning landscapes and gorgeous valleys, hiking in the Dana Biosphere Reserve is one of the best things to do in Jordan if you’re looking to get off the beaten path and enjoy nature.
Wander Around Amman
Most travellers to Jordan will pass through the country’s capital at some point. Whether it’s to catch a flight or a bus to another point in the country, it’s almost impossible to avoid. However, many people will only visit Amman as a point of transportation, but it is worth visiting for its own merit. The city itself feels both laid back and bustling, but most importantly: safe. Visitors will love wandering through the Souk (market), visiting the many museums, or the historical sites such as the citadel or Roman Theatre. Definitely don’t miss strolling around the city and admiring the sweeping views from the top of the hills.
Get Spiritual at Mount Nebo
If you’re looking for things to do in Jordan that have more of a spiritual impact, look no further then Mount Nebo. Said to be the place where Moses saw the promised land, Mount Nebo is now a popular spot for religious pilgrimage. On site, you’ll now find an active Byzantium church and monastery. From the top, you can catch a glimpse of both The Holy Land and The Jordan Valley, which is sure to make your visit here unforgettable!
Drive Down King’s Highway
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can rent a car or join a tour and drive the breathtaking King’s Highway. Stretching 280km, The King’s Highway is the long yet definitely more scenic route that connects Petra to Amman. Visitors love driving through the winding roads, originally an ancient trade route, and admiring the beautiful passing desert scenery. It is absolutely one of the more scenic drives in The Middle East. On the way, you can stop at some Crusader Castles to learn about their history and snap some incredible photos with sweeping views.
Relax and Unwind in Aqaba
If you’re feeling the need for some R&R after touring your way through Jordan, Aqaba is definitely the right place. Perched on the Red Sea, Aqaba is the perfect destination for lounging in the sun and unwinding. The Red Sea itself is beautiful and rich in marine life. Those wishing to go snorkelling or diving will have ample opportunity to do that in Aqaba.
There is clearly no shortage of things to do in Jordan. Many visitors will simply go to Petra without exploring anywhere else in the country. However, we definitely recommend staying for a couple extra days to enjoy the other historic and natural sites the country has to offer. If you found a few things to do in Jordan on this list that you’d love to do, we suggest contacting our travel experts so that we can help you create a customized itinerary based on your preferences. Send us a message today and we’ll be glad to help you plan your next adventure!