The Treasures of Jordan

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Advisor - Anne Bisgaard
Curated By

Anne Bisgaard

  • Active Travel

  • Adventure Travel

  • Arts & Culture

  • Local Culture

  • Local Food

  • Sightseeing

An ancient building picture from a cave
Curator’s statement

Traveling to Jordan offers a unique and enriching experience due to its diverse blend of historical sites, natural wonders, warm hospitality, and cultural richness. Here are some compelling reasons to consider visiting Jordan:

Historical Marvels: Jordan boasts some of the world's most well-preserved historical sites. Petra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, is a mesmerizing ancient city carved into rose-red cliffs. The Roman ruins of Jerash showcase the grandeur of a once-thriving city, while the Crusader castle of Kerak stands as a testament to Jordan's historical importance.

Unique Landscapes: Jordan's landscapes are incredibly diverse. From the stark beauty of Wadi Rum's desert landscapes, often referred to as the "Valley of the Moon," to the serene waters of the Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth, you'll find a range of natural wonders to explore.

Cultural Richness: Jordan is a crossroads of civilizations and cultures, offering a harmonious blend of traditions. You'll find a mix of Arab, Bedouin, and other ethnic influences, creating a vibrant and open society. The local cuisine, music, and art reflect this rich cultural tapestry.

Warm Hospitality: Jordanians are known for their warmth and hospitality towards visitors. You'll likely experience the traditional Bedouin value of welcoming strangers, making your stay even more enjoyable.

Adventure Opportunities: If you're an adventure enthusiast, Jordan offers a variety of outdoor activities. You can hike, bike, or even go on a 4x4 tour through the otherworldly landscapes of Wadi Rum. The country also offers opportunities for diving in the Red Sea, trekking in Dana Biosphere Reserve, and more.

Spiritual Sites: For those interested in religious and spiritual sites, Jordan is home to significant places. Mount Nebo, believed to be where Moses saw the Promised Land, and Bethany Beyond the Jordan, the baptism site of Jesus Christ, hold deep religious significance. Safety: Jordan is considered one of the safest countries in the Middle East for travelers. Its stable political environment and welcoming atmosphere make it a great destination for both solo and group travelers.

Film and Pop Culture: Jordan's striking landscapes have been featured in numerous films and TV shows, adding to its allure. Scenes from movies like "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" were shot in iconic Jordanian locations.

Local Handicrafts: Jordan is known for its traditional handicrafts, including intricate mosaics, pottery, and woven rugs. Exploring local markets provides an opportunity to take home unique souvenirs.

Community-Based Tourism: Initiatives like homestays and community-based tourism projects provide visitors with a chance to engage with local communities, learn about their way of life, and contribute to sustainable tourism practices. In essence, traveling to Jordan offers an opportunity to step back in time, immerse yourself in different cultures, explore stunning landscapes, and create unforgettable memories. Whether you're an avid history buff, an adventure seeker, or someone who appreciates diverse cultures, Jordan has something to offer for everyone.

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Where to stay in Jordan

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Things to do in Jordan

desert rocks

Jordan offers a wide range of activities and experiences for travelers. Here are some of the top things to do in Jordan:

Explore Petra

Visit the awe-inspiring ancient city of Petra, renowned for its intricate rock-carved architecture. The Treasury and the Monastery are iconic structures within Petra that should not be missed.

Wadi Rum Adventure

Embark on a desert adventure in Wadi Rum, also known as the "Valley of the Moon." Enjoy jeep tours, camel rides, rock climbing, and camping amidst the stunning desert landscapes.

Float in the Dead Sea

Experience the buoyancy of the Dead Sea's salt-laden waters, and indulge in the therapeutic mud believed to have healing properties.

Discover Jerash

Wander through the exceptionally well-preserved Roman ruins of Jerash, offering insights into the grandeur of ancient times.

Baptism Site of Jesus

Visit Bethany Beyond the Jordan, the believed baptism site of Jesus, and explore its religious significance and archaeological remains.

Amman Exploration

Explore Jordan's capital city, Amman, and discover its vibrant markets, historic sites like the Roman Theater, and modern cultural attractions.

Hike in Dana Biosphere Reserve

Trek through the diverse landscapes of Dana Biosphere Reserve, home to unique flora and fauna, picturesque canyons, and traditional villages.

Relax in Aqaba

Enjoy the Red Sea resort town of Aqaba, offering opportunities for diving, snorkeling, and relaxing by the beach.

Visit Madaba

Explore Madaba, known for its Byzantine mosaics, including the famous Madaba Map, which depicts the Holy Land.

Experience Local Cuisine

Indulge in Jordanian cuisine, including dishes like falafel, shawarma, mansaf (a traditional rice and lamb dish), and various mezze.

Mount Nebo: Journey to Mount Nebo, where Moses is believed to have seen the Promised Land. Enjoy stunning views of the Jordan Valley, the Dead Sea, and the West Bank.

Traditional Experiences

Engage in local activities like Bedouin-style camping, participating in workshops on traditional crafts, and experiencing Bedouin hospitality.

Cultural Festivals

Check the local calendar for cultural festivals and events, such as the Jerash Festival, showcasing traditional music, dance, and arts.

Local Markets

Shop for traditional handicrafts, spices, and souvenirs in local markets like the Souk Jara in Amman.

Remember that Jordan's offerings cater to a variety of interests, from history and culture to nature and adventure. Tailor your itinerary based on your preferences to make the most of your experience in this captivating country.

Day Trips

When you visit Wadi Rum, and you definitely don't want to miss this. You initially go out in jeeps but along the way you're also offered to ride on camels. Do! I also highly suggest that you spend a night in one of the beduin camps here.

When in Aqaba, I suggest spending a day cruising on the Red Sea. From the boat you'll actually see the coasts of four countries at the same time: Jordan, Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The snorkeling in the Red Sea is amazing! It's like being in an aquarium full of fish of all colors. A piece of practical advice. When you go to float in the Dead Sea, do not try to jump or dive off the floating piers that they have some places. Your body will just be bouncing along the surface. And...ladies. Do not shave your legs that same day, or even the day before going in the water in the Dead Sea. It stings intensely because of the high salt content in the water!

Places to eat & drink in Jordan

A halal food dish served on a plate

Jordan offers a diverse culinary scene that reflects its rich cultural heritage. From traditional Jordanian dishes to international cuisines, you'll find a variety of options for eating and drinking. Here are some places to consider:


Hashem Restaurant: A legendary spot in downtown Amman, Hashem is famous for its delicious falafel, hummus, and other traditional Jordanian dishes.

Al Quds Restaurant: Known for its exceptional Jordanian and Palestinian cuisine, Al Quds offers a wide range of flavorful dishes.

Books@Cafe: A cozy café in Rainbow Street, it offers a mix of international and Jordanian dishes along with a wide selection of books.

Sufra Restaurant: Experience authentic Jordanian cuisine in a traditional setting at Sufra, offering dishes like mansaf and maqluba.


Al Qantarah Restaurant: Located near Petra, this restaurant serves a mix of traditional Jordanian and Middle Eastern dishes. The rooftop terrace offers great views.


Fish Market Restaurant: As Aqaba is by the Red Sea, you can enjoy freshly caught seafood at this market-style restaurant.

Ali Baba Restaurant: Offering a fusion of Middle Eastern and international cuisines, Ali Baba is a popular choice for both locals and tourists.


Haret Jdoudna: This restaurant is set in a historic stone house and serves a mix of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes.

Wadi Rum

Sun City Camp: If you're camping in Wadi Rum, many camps provide traditional Bedouin-style meals and experiences.

Local Cafes and Street Food

Shawarma Stands: You'll find shawarma stands all over Jordan, offering delicious wraps of roasted meat and vegetables.

Falafel Stalls: Try street-side falafel stalls for a quick and tasty bite.

Juice Bars: Look for local juice bars serving fresh fruit juices and smoothies.

Sweet Shops: Don't miss trying traditional Jordanian sweets like knafeh and baklava from local sweet shops.

Note: Always check for updated information and reviews before visiting any establishment, as the dining scene can change over time.

Additionally, Jordan has a culture of drinking tea and coffee. Enjoy traditional mint tea or strong Arabic coffee in cafes or local markets. If you're looking for alcoholic beverages, keep in mind that Jordan is a predominantly Muslim country, and alcohol may not be as widely available as in some other places. However, many higher-end restaurants and hotels do offer alcoholic beverages.

Exploring local eateries and trying traditional dishes is an integral part of experiencing Jordan's culture, so don't hesitate to venture out and savor the flavors of this captivating country.

Need to Know

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, The Heart of Africa: Malawi.

Advisor - Anne Bisgaard

Travel Advisor

Anne Bisgaard

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Jordan.