6 Best Things to Do in Jordan
Published on: October 16th, 2023
Last modified: October 16th, 2023
Delve into ancient history, explore the desolate desert, dine under the sparkling stars, savour traditional delicacies, dive into crystalline waters or float peacefully on the surface of the sea. These are just a few of the best things to do in Jordan – one of the most alluring destinations in the Middle East.
Whether you’re seeking solitude, an adrenaline rush or complete cultural immersion, there’s something here for you. To help you imagine your ideal itinerary, we’ve put together a list of the best activities this captivating country has to offer. Here are the top things to do in Jordan.
1. Admire the Remarkable Architecture of Petra
Of all the places to visit in Jordan, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Petra is probably the most iconic. It’s famous for a reason – there’s something undeniably special about gazing up at the intricate facades carved into the rocky hillsides. It’s hard to imagine how they were constructed by hand over 2,000 years ago, or what life was like in this ancient city.
Luckily, there are people who can bring the story of this site to life. Explore Petra alongside an expert archaeologist who will explain everything you could ever want to know. In the evening, enjoy a candle-lit private dinner at nearby Little Petra for exclusive views of this equally enchanting monument. If you’re interested in arts, culture and history, this is an essential stop.
2. Sleep Under the Sparkling Stars of Wadi Rum
To escape the bustling crowds and constant noise of modern life, set out into the seemingly infinite expanse of Wadi Rum. This vast desert valley is full of striking scenery, intriguing history and some of the most exhilarating activities in Jordan. Traverse it in a jeep to see the dramatic rock formations and deep red dunes that define this otherworldly landscape.
To fully experience the magic of Wadi Rum, stay overnight at a remote luxury camp like Hayat Rum. Here you can enjoy authentic Bedouin hospitality – not to mention cuisine – and some of the world’s most spectacular stargazing. The sheer silence and utter darkness of the desert make this the perfect place for an unforgettable honeymoon or romantic getaway.
3. Savour the Authentic Local Flavours of Amman
Amman is the capital and largest city of Jordan – and it’s also the best place to dig into the country’s culinary culture. In this buzzing metropolis you’ll find markets overflowing with local ingredients, restaurants catering to every possible taste and street food stalls where you can sample the most authentic versions of Jordan’s signature specialties.
One of the best things to do in Jordan is to take a cooking class with a local. You’ll be invited into their home to learn the secrets of traditional cuisine, giving you deeper insight into the identity of this country through its food and wine. Whether you’re biting into a perfectly fried falafel or a sugar-soaked spoonful of kanafeh (melted cheese with a crispy crust), you’ll get a true taste of Jordanian culture.
4. Float in the Healing Waters of the Dead Sea
Of all the tempting reasons to visit Jordan, swimming in the Dead Sea has to be near the top of the list. This is one of the saltiest bodies of water on earth, which makes it unusually buoyant. Just sit back and let the sea cradle you at its surface – an incredibly relaxing sensation that’s further amplified by the healing properties of the mineral-rich water.
The natural characteristics of the Dead Sea make it an ideal destination for a wellness retreat. Stay at the Kempinski Ishtar Dead Sea resort to take full advantage of the splendid surroundings. You can enjoy one of the Middle East’s largest luxury spas, and swim in any of its nine swimming pools when you want a break from the exceptionally salty waters nearby.
5. Explore the Underwater World of Aqaba
While desert landscapes and historical sites are certainly among the best things to see in Jordan, the country’s only coastal city shouldn’t be overlooked. Aqaba is a seaside paradise of golden sand and shimmering water, providing a welcome respite from the hot sun and dry terrain that you’ll find elsewhere. It’s also a world-class spot for snorkelling and diving.
Aqaba boasts vibrant coral reefs that are home to all kinds of amazing marine life, as well as several wreck dive sites where you can swim among the ruins of sunken ships. It’s also where you’ll find the first underwater military museum in the world. And if you’d rather stay above the sea’s surface, there are plenty of exhilarating water sports to enjoy.
6. Go Canyoning in the Wilderness of Wadi Mujib
In the centre of Jordan you’ll find the Mujib Biosphere Reserve, where the Wadi Mujib river snakes through jagged mountains on its way to the Dead Sea. This is one of the country’s top spots for outdoor adventures. Here you can navigate jaw-dropping canyons, making your way to rushing waterfalls hidden among the steep and brightly coloured cliffs.
If you want to enjoy Jordan’s attractions in optimal conditions, try to avoid the searing heat of the summer months. The best time to visit Jordan is generally spring or autumn, when milder temperatures make outdoor activities more pleasant. That said, canyoning in Wadi Mujib requires specific conditions, so make sure to plan your trip for April–October if this is a priority.
Our Team's Favourite Trips to Jordan
Where to Stay in Jordan
Mövenpick PetraThe Mövenpick Petra is a majestic resort style property just steps away from the ancient city of Petra, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. The hotel decor is contemporary with a distinct nod to levant and oriental design - with many of the social areas featuring mosaics, marble and ornate artefacts.