Resources

Jordan Tourism Board (www.visitjordan.com) Excellent official website.

Lonely Planet (www.lonelyplanet.com/jordan) Destination information, hotel bookings, traveller forum and more.

RSCN (www.rscn.org.jo) Online booking for accommodation and eco-adventures in nature reserves.

Bible Places (www.bibleplaces.com) Biblical sights in Jordan.

Top Tips

  • Buy a Jordan Pass before entering Jordan. This excellent money-saving promotion represents a substantial saving on the cost of a visa and gives free entry into more than 40 sites of interest, including Petra.
  • Hire a car. Jordan has a reasonable public-transport system, but it's designed, naturally, with local communities in mind and does not map too well between sites of interest for the visitor. Car hire is available at the airport, and driving conditions are reasonable, making this the best way of seeing a lot of Jordan in a little time.
  • Stay the first night in Madaba instead of Amman. A destination in its own right, this traveller-friendly town is just a 15-minute drive along a rural road from the airport. For those hiring a car, it offers a gentle immersion into Jordanian driving before attempting the capital.

What to Take

  • Strong walking shoes – Petra alone involves a day's hiking.
  • Sunscreen and hat as many key sites have little shade.
  • Reusable water bottle to avoid adding to the litter problem.
  • Heavy coat for freezing winter nights.
  • Single notes (JD1) for ad hoc tea and souvenirs.

What to Wear

Although Jordanians are highly tolerant of other people's customs and manners, they still represent a conservative society and appreciate a bit of decorum from visitors. Covering shoulders and knees everywhere except the beach (and including on hikes) is a good rule of thumb for men and women, but note that female travellers do not need to cover their hair. Ideally, clothing should be loose rather than close-fitting – which generally suits the climate better too.

Jordanians may not have much cash to spare in the current climate, but they still enjoy dressing up for a night out. Visitors should do the same, where possible, particularly in smart restaurants and nightclubs where scruffy jeans and trainers are largely frowned upon.

Pre-Departure Checklist

  • Consider obtaining a Jordan Pass (www.jordanpass.jo) that waives the visa fee.
  • Check the security situation in neighbouring countries if planning to cross any of Jordan's borders.
  • Plan any onward travel carefully if including Israel and the Palestinian Territories in an itinerary that covers other Arab countries.
  • Hire a car online for the best deals.