A visit to Petra, Jordan, is on many people’s bucket list. Most people know that they want to come here to see this amazing place that was made famous in the Indiana Jones movies. But what are some other places to see when you visit Jordan? Here I will help to answer this question with this itinerary for 2 weeks in Jordan.
- 1 2 Weeks in Jordan
- 2 Day One – Arrive in Jordan
- 3 Day Two – Amman Sightseeing
- 4 Day Three – Day Trip to Jerash
- 5 Day Four – Mount Nebo and the Dead Sea
- 6 Day Five – Travel to Wadi Musa
- 7 Day Six – Petra
- 8 Day Seven – Petra
- 9 Day Eight – Wadi Rum
- 10 Day Nine – Wadi Rum to Aqaba
- 11 Day Ten – Snorkelling in the Red Sea
- 12 Day Eleven – Aqaba to Feynan Ecolodge
- 13 Day Twelve – Feynan Ecolodge
- 14 Day Thirteen – Back to Amman
- 15 Day Fourteen – Going home
- 16 Other Jordan Itinerary Ideas
- 17 Only 4 Days in Jordan?
2 Weeks in Jordan
Two weeks in Jordan may seem like a lot of time to spend in this tiny country, but you have travelled all the way here, so why not take your time and really immerse yourself in the experience? This 14 day Jordan itinerary reflects my travels around the country. Even with this amount of time, I felt like there were more things I would have liked to have done. I will include a few more suggestions at the bottom of things to see in Jordan that I missed.
Day One – Arrive in Jordan
Almost everyone who comes to Jordan will arrive by plane into Queen Alia International Airport, Amman. It is also possible to come overland from other countries, and some people do that by combining their holidays in Jordan with a visit to Israel.
Remember BEFORE you come to Jordan to check out the Jordan Pass and work out if it is worth it for you (Click here to see how it worked out for me). It’s important to look at it early in your planning process because under many circumstances it will cover your Jordan Visa cost too.
Once you have made your way into the city, spend the rest of the day relaxing to recover from your travels, or explore the local area around your Amman accommodation. Ask the people where you are staying for any good local restaurants to eat at.
If you would like an activity for the evening, perhaps try this JR Wine Experience. Wine is not usually associated with the Middle East so this is a unique opportunity to try some local wines. Click here to see the details.
Where to Stay in Amman
When we visited Jordan we were mostly travelling on a budget and stayed at the Amman Pasha Hotel. This is a small budget hotel that feels a lot like a hostel, with communal areas such as a roof terrace and a cafe that are great fro meeting other travellers. They will arrange tours and drivers for you if required, and run free walking tours around Amman. I highly recommend then if you are looking for budget accommodation.
Here are some more suggestions that may also suit
- Shams Alweibdah Hotel Apartments – perfect for travelling with family
- The Cabin – budget double rooms or dorm accommodation in a great location
- By the Lemon Tree – local guest house with double rooms and private bathrooms. Also pet friendly
- Rayshan Hotel – good mid-range, local hotel
- Grand Hyatt Amman – luxury western hotel
Day Two – Amman Sightseeing
Spend the rest of the day visiting the popular Amman attractions that appeal to you. Some suggestions for what to see in Amman are:
- Citadel (try to visit at sunset for amazing views)
- Roman Theatre
- King Abdullah Mosque
- Royal Automobile Museum
- Amman Museum
- The Souks
For dinner visit the famed Hashem restaurant. It is likely that everyone you meet will recommend this place to you, and point you in the right direction. It really is worth a visit. For just a few dollars you will get a huge Middle Eastern meal of falafels and hommus, served with pita bread and salad. Wash it all down with some tea. It’s absolutely delicious, I think I’d even go so far as to say the best hommus I’ve had anywhere.
After dinner walk just a little further down to Habibah and join the inevitable line to pick up some knafeh. This little hole-in-the-wall is said to have the best version of this local dessert, loved by the locals as well as visitors. Knafeh is a cheese dessert, topped with pistachios and dripping with a super sweet syrup. I liken it a little to baklava stuffed with cheese.
Day Three – Day Trip to Jerash
Today it’s time for a day trip. Take a trip to the north of Amman and visit Umm Qais, Ajloun and Jerash.
Here you will learn a lot about the history of the area. In Umm Qais you will see the ruins of the ancient city of Gadara and enjoy views of the Sea of Galilee in the distance. Ajloun is a well preserved castle sitting atop a hill built by the ruler Saladin and Jerash contains some of the best preserved Roman ruins anywhere.
On returning, head to Rainbow Street to have dinner, and enjoy the atmosphere of this busy area in the evening. Every few steps you will find another ice cream shop, so treat yourself after your long day. Just be aware of your surroundings as while I did not hear personally of any issues, muggings are sometimes said to occur here.
Day Four – Mount Nebo and the Dead Sea
It’s time to leave Amman, and now is the time to decide how to travel in Jordan. During my trip we chose to use a combination of public buses and private transfers. This worked, but if I was to visit again I would instead hire a car and do a road trip. Driving in Jordan seemed to be relatively easy, but I would suggest picking up and returning the car from the airport and therefore not driving into the centre of Amman which can be quite busy.
For this leg we hired a private driver and our destination was the Dead Sea. We wanted to see Mt Nebo along the way. This was where Moses stood and saw the Promised Land. You will find a new church built over the top of the old one with some lovely mosaics inside. There is also a small museum with information on the site and surrounding area.
Our driver also suggested we make a short stop first in the town of Madaba, where there is an Orthodox church with the oldest known mosaic map of the Middle East. You may like to do this too.
Plan to arrive at your Dead Sea resort around lunch time, then spend the rest of the day experiencing the incredibly salty water. This is absolutely one of the top things to do in Jordan, do not miss it! Floating in the water was totally surreal. Make sure you pamper yourself by smearing yourself with the mud for a full body mudpack before rinsing off in the Dead Sea too.
Note: Even if you are visiting Jordan in winter, where the Amman weather can include snow, at the Dead Sea is will be much warmer, so you should still be able to take a quick dip in the water.
Where to stay at the Dead Sea
Unfortunately the Dead Sea is not very condusive to budget travel. Staying anywhere is expensive, so why not consider truely indulging in some luxury and staying at the spectacular Hilton Dead Sea Resort. We were really wowed by this property, staying there only a few months after it was opened. Note that most of the places to stay are quite isolated, they are simply on the edge of the Dead Sea not in a town.
Here are some more ideas:
- Thara Real Estate – apartment accommodation. Not right on the Dead Sea, but at a cheaper price
- Samarah Resort – family apartments up to eight people on the shores of the Dead Sea
- Dead Sea Hills – mid range hotel located further along the shore than many other places.
- Dead Sea Spa Hotel – located right amongst the big name places with a much smaller price tag
- Holiday Inn Resort Dead Sea – another western option that is on the cheaper end of the scale
Day Five – Travel to Wadi Musa
Today is the day to travel to Wadi Musa, the town where UNESCO world heritage listed Petra is found. We again did this leg by private driver arranged by our hotel in Wadi Musa. The drive will take around three hours.
By now you will have decided how much time you want to spend looking at the amazing city of Petra. I recommend two days, and you can read my detailed post on how I spent my time here.
Travelling to Wadi Musa though could depend on what day of the week it is. If you are keen to do the Petra at Night tour, it’s important to note which nights it is available during your visit. If your first night in Wadi Musa is the one day you can do this walk, then you will need to travel earlier in the day to ensure you are there in time to prepare for the tour.
If you are not planning to enter Petra until tomorrow, spend the morning relaxing at the Dead Sea and travel to Petra in the afternoon.
Another alternative is to travel via Kerak on the way, and visit Kerak Castle, an impressive crusader castle built in the twelfth century.
Where to Stay in Wadi Musa
After our splurge at the Dead Sea we were back to budget for our stay in Wadi Musa. We chose the Petra Gate Hotel. It was basic, but did have everything that we needed. The only down side was that it was a reasonable distance from the entrance to Petra. The up side – it was very cheap.
Here are some more accommodation ideas I like the look of:
- Petra Capsule Hotel – for the super budget solo traveller, this could be a great option
- Petra Guest House Hotel – located right at the entrance to Petra
- Petra Bubble Luxotel – for the true bucket list experience, stay stay here in the city of Little Petra
- The Siq House – Well-rated self-contained house
- Mars Inn House – sleep in luxury tents in the desert of Petra
Day Six – Petra
Today you will get your first glimpse of the famous Treasury of Petra, Jordan! Get up early – truely, you will thank me later! Petra opens at 6am and it really is worth making the effort to get there as soon as you can after that. We visited in late October, and even then by late morning temperatures were very warm because there is little shade. Visiting early will also mean you avoid the crowds. Many people do day trips to Petra from other places in the region and mostly they do not arrive until around 10am.
By early afternoon you can be back at your accommodation relaxing and recovering from all the walking, especially if you plan to do the Petra by Night tour in the evening.
Day Seven – Petra
Spend a second day exploring Petra. Ensure you do some of the lesser hikes as that is where I found the most beautiful and interesting things. Again return to your hotel when the day gets too warm, and rest. Perhaps it is tonight you will do the Petra by Night tour.
It may seem like I have left a lot of time for Petra, but you will do a lot of walking (we did 42km!) and it will be hot. It is a place you will need time to rest and is so stunning you will want more time to explore.
Day Eight – Wadi Rum
Spend the morning transferring to Wadi Rum to meet your guide for an overnight stay in a Bedouin camp in the middle of the desert. We did this leg by local bus which meant another very early morning. Ask your accommodation to arrange this for you the day before.
The afternoon will be spent exploring the desert. Wadi Rum is another one of those places that is simply breathtaking.
Your bedouin camp will provide a tasty traditional meal, and you will probably want an early bedtime after some busy days.
We used Bedouin Roads for our visit and were pleased with what we were offered. The staff were good, food tasty and the bed in the tent was comfortable.
For some more suggestions, try these
- Wadi Rum UFO Luxotel – Sleep in a dome tent under the open sky of Wadi Rum
- Real Bedouin Experience Tours and Camp – Well rated camp
- Wadi Rum Memories Bedouin Camp – Also well rated
- Wadi Rum Ecco – a cheaper option
Day Nine – Wadi Rum to Aqaba
Another early morning, this time to experience a camel ride through the desert back to the township of Wadi Rum. We had asked our Wadi Rum tour company to organise a driver to take us to Aqaba. The drive took about an hour.
Once checked in to your hotel, you will probably want to freshen up after a night in the desert. Spend the rest of the afternoon and evening exploring Aqaba, or simply relaxing.
Where to stay in Aqaba
In Aqaba we stayed at the Golden Rose Hotel. This was your standard three-star hotel, a decent room with private bathroom, tv, etc. Location was right near the bus station so we could continue our trip.
For some more options try:
- hotel Sauna Massage Bath Castle Aqaba – apartment style hotel with many spa options
- F.R.I.E.N.D.S home – hostel accommodation
- Doubletree by Hilton Aqaba – decent western style hotel
- Kempinski Hotel Aqaba – luxury western hotel
Day Ten – Snorkelling in the Red Sea
Spend today enjoying the amazing underwater reefs of the Red Sea. These are some of the best in the world and you will find many companies offering great deals for a full day on the water.
If you are a really keen scuba diver, this part of the trip can be extended to spend more time diving.
Day Eleven – Aqaba to Feynan Ecolodge
Today travel to Feynan Ecolodge in the Dana Biosphere Reserve. We caught a local bus, and this really was an experience, but it did take almost all day. It was by far the most economical option and we got to meet some of the local people on our trip.
Feynan Ecolodge is an environmentally friendly accommodation option in the middle of a national park. It is run mostly by the local Bedouin people, providing jobs and teaching locals and visitors alike about environmental issues. There is very little electricity, so the lodge is primarily lit by candles. Food is entirely vegetarian so that meat does not have to be stored – again because the few solar panels cannot run big freezers. There are many activities provided including hikes, star gazing and astrological talks, bedouin coffee making and other traditional bedouin activities.
If you are only planning a ten day itinerary for Jordan then this is the part of the trip I would skip. Having said that, I felt this visit, while not cheap, really rounded out our experience and was fun to boot. We got to spend a lot of time with Jordanian people and speak to them freely about life and their culture.
Day Twelve – Feynan Ecolodge
Spend today hiking, relaxing, and experiencing the Bedouin culture of the area. Different programs are offered each day so you can choose in advance what you would like to take part in.
Day Thirteen – Back to Amman
Go for another hike in the morning to enjoy a different part of the Dana Biosphere Reserve, then after lunch travel back to Amman.
If you missed it in Amman earlier, go to the Citadel to enjoy the sunset over the city for your last night in Jordan. Grab dinner at a local restaurant, or if you can’t resist, head back to Hashem for yet another serving of that delicious hommus.
Day Fourteen – Going home
It’s time to make your way back to the airport for your flight out.
If you have an evening flight and have time to squeeze in one more activity, perhaps try this cooking class to learn some of the tricks to cooking all of the delicious foods you have eaten in te last two weeks once you get home.
Other Jordan Itinerary Ideas
If my Jordan 2 week itinerary does not exactly match what you would like to see, here are some more suggestions or parts of the country you may like to investigate further
- Visit Bethany Beyond the Jordan (Al-Maghtas) to see the site of the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist
- Visit Wadi Mujib, to either hike to the waterfall or get your adventure on for half a day of canyoning to get there instead.
- Head to the east of Amman to the Azraq Wetlands for hiking and bird watching
- While in the east, check out some of the numerous desert castles scattered across the plains
- Drive the Kings Highway from Amman to Petra calling in to Shobak Castle and Kerak Castle on the way
- If you have extra time in Madaba, relax in the Ma’in Hot Springs
- For more history, visit the Umm Ar-Rasas ruins near Madaba
Only 4 Days in Jordan?
Sometimes it is not possible to spend two weeks in Jordan, so here is a brief 4 days in Jordan itinerary to help with a shorter trip. This is almost a “best of Jourdan” tour. Check out the details of each activity in the extended itinerary above. This assumes you are flying into Amman and then leaving from Aqaba, which can either be by air or, commonly, by travelling over the border to Israel.
Day 1 – spent the morning exploring Amman, then in the afternoon transfer to the Dead Sea via Madaba and Mt Nebo. Take a late afternoon swim then stay at one of the many accommodation options.
Day 2 – travel early to Wadi Musa and spend the rest of the day exploring Petra. If you can time it with one of the days that Petra at Night runs, do that too. Stay overnight in Wadi Musa
Day 3 – another early morning transfer to Wadi Rum. Spend the day doing a tour of the desert then stay overnight in one of the many Bedouin camps.
Day 4 – enjoy waking up in the desert, then make your way to Aqaba. Spend the afternoon snorkelling in the Red Sea before enjoying a beautiful sunset.
If you are looking for a Jordan 5 day itinerary, I would include an extra day in Amman, spending it either exploring the city further, or taking a day trip up to Jerash.
For a Jordan one week itinerary, I would include two extra days in Amman – one to explore the city and one to do a day trip to Jerash, and extend your visit to Petra by a day so you have two days there. This will almost guarantee you can do Petra by Night, and it will mean you can explore more of the huge Petra site without rushing. With Petra being such an iconic attraction, it’s worth taking the extra time.
Still looking for more options? Not sure you want to travel Jordan independently? How about these Jordan tours
- 9-Night, 10-Day Tour to the Holy Land and Jordan
- 6-Days 5-Night: Jordan in Brief Tour
- Treasures of Jordan Tour-7 Days Discover Petra & Dead Sea & Wadi Rum with Hotels
- 8-Nights Best of Jordan Including 1 Night Aqaba and 1 Night Dead Sea
Pick up one of my favourite travel guides before your trip
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Josie is a forty-something budget traveller. She only discovered travel in her late thirties, but since then has travelled extensively including taking an adult gap year. She is now based in Australia and loves sharing all she has learned about travelling on a budget but with the comforts a Gen Xer requires.