The Middle Eastern nation of Jordan has fast become a big player in the tourism game, attracting millions of visitors every year. And those tourists have good reason to travel here because there are some truly spectacular places to visit in Jordan.
The country is famed for its wadis and desert landscapes, as well as iconic archaeological sites such as Petra and a long coastline that follows the Red Sea. There’s hiking, diving, four-wheel driving and much more to experience all over Jordan.
To inspire your next adventure, here are our favorite places to visit in Jordan.
Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet Jordan (Travel Guide)
15 Places to Visit in Jordan
Amman is the sprawling capital of Jordan, but hidden beneath the bustle of what is one of the largest cities in the Middle East, can be found a wealth of history and culture.
The Jordanian capital has been inhabited for thousands of years and was the site of thriving Roman and Byzantine cities, the ruins of which can still be found in Downtown.
Visit the imposing Citadel, where you can find the excellent archaeological museum, before visiting the even better Jordan Museum where incredible finds such as the Copper Dead Sea Scrolls are on display.
After taking in all that history, enjoy a stroll along Rainbow Street, one of the most eclectic places to visit in Jordan.
This historic street is where the old meets the new, where you can wind down in coffee shops, smoke shisha or enjoy a beer and some great falafel.
Tours you simply can not miss out on in Amman, Jordan:
- Full-Day Tour: Umm Qais, Jerash, and Ajloun from Amman
- Private Walking Tour in Amman with a local guide
- Amman City Tour & Food Tour Combo
The ancient city of Petra is easily one of the most iconic places to visit in Jordan.
This ancient city is known for its dramatic temples and buildings which were painstakingly carved from the red rock of the canyons where Petra has lain for centuries.
The entrance to Petra is made through a cavernous rock canyon which hides the city from the outside world.
Petra is thought to have been inhabited since at least 7000 BC, although most of the rock-hewn buildings were constructed around the end of the 1st century BC and the start of the 1st century AD.
Get here early to escape the crowds and the heat, as Petra gets busy. You can hike through the canyons and explore the ancient city, but make sure you also return at night time to the main temple.
Petra by night allows you to see the iconic ‘Treasury’ – the structure made famous in Indian Jones – lit up spectacularly in the darkness.
Tours you simply can not miss out on in Petra, Jordan:
- Private 3 Hours Inside Petra Tour: Treasury from the Top Off the Beaten Track
- Private Day Trip Amman Petra
- Bedouin Experience Petra
3. Little Petra
While Petra is a huge tourist draw, and it can be difficult to escape the crowds, you can take a side trip to Little Petra which is just a few miles up the road but much, much quieter.
Little Petra is much smaller, which is why it doesn’t receive as much attention, but the small city was constructed in the same era, by the same kingdom that created Petra.
You can find equally dramatic, rock-hewn temples and buildings cut into the red rock canyons.
Tours you simply can not miss on in Petra, Jordan:
- 3-Hour 4×4 Safari in Little Petra
- Traditional Bedouin Mandi in Little Petra
- The balcony of Petra : Explore Hidden Panoramic Views
4. Wadi Rum
After the ruins of Petra, the natural landscapes of Wadi Rum would be the second most visited destination in Jordan.
This is one of the best places to visit in Jordan because Wadi Rum is home to dramatic canyons and excellent adventure travel opportunities.
Wadi Rum is famed for its desert sands and tall red rocks, and it’s been a popular tourist destination since it first appeared in the iconic movie, Lawrence of Arabia.
In Wadi Rum, you can spend the night under the stars living with the Bedouin, you can off-road through sand dunes in four by fours, you can rock climb the tall, craggy canyons and much, much more.
Tours you simply can not miss on in Wadi Rum, Jordan:
- Wadi Rum 3 Hour Desert Tour | Wadi Rum Experience
- Half Day Desert Tour | Wadi Rum Desert
- Full Day Desert Tours | Wadi Rum Desert
If you’re a history lover, then one of the best places to visit in Jordan is the city of Jerash. This is where ancient history hits modern Jordan head-on, as an ancient Roman city lies in ruins next to the new city.
The Roman ruins are impressively well preserved, featuring wide boulevards and huge forums complete with colossal statues and columns.
Jerash is just an hour away from the capital Amman, making it the perfect day trip if you’re staying in the capital.
If you are visiting all of the popular sites in Jordan, you need to check out our travel guide where we highlight the Jordan Pass. This key can get into all of the popular sites in Jordan for half the price.
For divers and beach-goers, then one of the best places to visit in Jordan is always going to be Aqaba. This is the country’s famous Red Sea port city, where you can find dive shops and beachfront hotels and resorts.
The Red Sea here is brimming with coral, marine life and the wrecks of sunken ships which make for some of the best dive sites in the world. Aqaba is busiest from April through to June when the diving is at its best.
Tours you simply can not miss in Aqaba, Jordan:
- Coral Viewing Glass Boat Cruise
- Pharaoh Island Tour in Aqaba
- Full Day Jeep Tour with Overnight in beduin Camp Stay! (All Meals Included)
7. Mount Nebo
Mount Nebo sits on the border with the Palestinian Territories and is one of the most biblical places to visit in Jordan.
This legendary mountain rises to 800 meters in height and looks over the Dead Sea, the Jordan Valley and far into Palestine and Israel.
It’s thought that this was the location where Moses looked out over Palestine and decided that this was going to be the Holy Land for the Jewish people.
It’s a 15-minute drive from the nearby city of Madaba, followed by a short but steep hike to the summit.
Tours in Jordan that includes Mount Nebo: Private Tour Dead Sea – Ma’daba – Mount Nebo from Aqaba
The small city of Madaba is a unique stop on any Jordan travel itinerary. Madaba is as ancient as any other Jordanian city, but it’s popular for being home to some of the best-preserved mosaics in the Middle East.
In the city’s many old churches, you can find pristine mosaics artistically designed by the Romans and Byzantines many centuries ago.
Tours you simply can not miss in Madaba, Jordan:
- Six-Hour Private Madaba and Dead Sea Tour from Amman
- One Day Madaba, Mt Nebo, Bethany Beyond the Jordan and Dead Sea Tour from Amman
- Private Amman Airport Layover Tour to Madaba and Mount Nebo
9. Dead Sea
At 434 meters below sea level, the Dead Sea is not only a peculiar place, but it’s the lowest place you can visit on the entire planet.
This famous natural sight is split between Jordan and the Palestinian Territories and is known for its incredibly high salt and mineral content.
It’s been a favorite spa destination for thousands of years, and things are still the same today, as one of the best things to do in Jordan is to take a dip and to float in the Dead Sea.
Tours you simply can not miss that include the Dead Sea:
10. Wadi Mujib
If you’re looking for adventure rather than relaxation, then one of the best places to visit in Jordan is Wadi Mujib.
This impressive canyon system is one of the largest protected areas in the country, and the dense network of rivers and gorges makes for the perfect adventure playground.
The most popular way to explore is to join a wet and wild canyoneering tour through Wadi Mujib.
Tours you simply can not miss that include the Wadi Mujib:
- Kings Way Tour
- Wadi Al Mujib Adventures From Amman Or Madaba
- Private Wadi Mujib Siq Trail Hiking Experience from the Dead Sea
11. Dana Biosphere Reserve
The Dana Biosphere Reserve is the largest nature preserve in Jordan, and it’s the perfect place to search out the local wildlife.
Comprising over several hundred square kilometers of rugged, rocky scrubland, the desert-like landscapes hide a unique ecosystem that’s teeming with endangered species.
The rarest of which is the Nubian Ibex, of which there are only thought to be around 1000 left anywhere in the world.
Kerak is one of Jordan’s famed Crusader Castles, a huge fortification which was constructed to protect the Holy Land from the advancing Islamic Empire in the 12th century AD.
The castle withstood any attacks against it, and only submitted when it was starved out by the famed Muslim leader Saladin.
When you visit the dramatic fortress, starkly built in the middle of a desert, you’ll understand why this mighty Crusader Castle was seen to be impregnable.
Tours you simply can not miss that includes Kerak:
- Private Kerak Visit Kings Highway Tour from Amman
- Private Tour: Full-Day Jordan Castles Tour from Amman
There are many more Crusader-era castles to be found across Jordan, and one of the most impressive and most important is waiting to be explored at Shobak.
Shobak Castle is also known by its more French-sounding name Montreal Castle, for it was French Crusaders who constructed in the 12th century to defend the frontier of their newly carved-out kingdom from the Muslim armies looking to retake Jerusalem.
Although smaller than the nearby castle at Kerak, Shobak castle managed to hold out longer
Tours you simply can not miss that includes Shobak:
- Private Full-Day Crusader Castles of Shobak and Karak Trip via the Kings Highway from Amman
- Kings Way Private tour
North of Amman, you can find the castle of Aljoun, which was not built by the Crusaders, but by the conquering Muslim armies.
When the area was retaken by Islamic forces in the 12th century, the hilltop at Ajloun was seen as a particularly strategic location, given how it overlooked vital water sources and protected the entrance to the Jordan Valley.
The castle was constructed and still stands today in the same spot, overlooking the valleys below it.
It’s a unique piece of history and is often overlooked by tourists, particularly western tourists, who make straight for the much more infamous Crusader Castles to the south.
Tours you simply can not miss that includes Ajloun:
- Full-Day Tour: Umm Qais, Jerash, and Ajloun from Amman
- Jerash, Ajloun, and Umm Quais Full-Day Tour
- Private Day Trip to Jerash, Umm Qais and Ajloun Castle from Amman
15. Umm Qais
Umm Qais is a small town in the far north of Jordan, which is a popular tourist spot for those interested in exploring Roman ruins.
Outside the town, you can visit the ancient city of Gedara, which is thought to date back as far as 3000 BC, when Greeks first arrived in the area.
It went on to become part of the Roman Empire, and an important trading city in the Levant region. As well as a plethora of ruins to walk through, the surrounding hills offer uninterrupted views across to the Golan Heights and the Sea of Galilee.
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More on Jordan:
- Is Jordan Safe to Visit?
- Best Time to Visit Jordan: Month by Month Breakdown
- The Jordan Pass: Is It Worth It? Plus How to Maximize Your Ticket
- Swimming in the Dead Sea in Jordan
- Inside Petra Jordan: Everything You MUST Know Before Visiting
- Petra by Night is Pure Magic