The hardest part of any trip is the planning. For Jordan, the planning process was particularly hard because there is SOOOO much to do and there isn’t a ton of great online content besides what the tourism board provides. To plan my trip, I relied on the recommendations of friends as well as resources from Visit Jordan. For my trip to Jordan, I wanted to it all (or as much as I could manage in a week). I was set on experiencing and learning about the culture, seeing some of the natural wonders Jordan has to offer, and supporting local & sustainable businesses as often as possible.
Day 1: Explore Amman
For your first full day in Jordan, I recommend getting acquainted with the capital, Amman. Start your day off early with falafel from Al Quds (many argue this is the best falafel in Amman). Next, explore the downtown souq area and the Roman Theatre. I recommend spending 2 hours in this area.
Next head to the Amman Citadel just in time to hear the midday call of prayer echo around the city below you. To get to the Citadel you can walk (it’s mostly uphill), take a cab, or Uber from the Roman Theatre. The Citadel has the most incredible views of the city, and the buildings are interesting to explore. I recommend spending 1-2 hours there.
After you are worn out from exploring head to Shams el Balad for lunch. Shams el Balad has the most incredible food and is a farm to table restaurant that supports local sustainable farmers & artists. Once you are done with lunch explore Rainbow Street. Don’t miss Souk Jara, a market off of Rainbow street. It’s a great place to find unique souvenirs from local artists.
End your day with dinner at Levant. Levant is an upscale restaurant featuring cuisine from Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine. All of the food I tried was amazing, and I recommend ordering multiple plates to share.
Day 2: Dead Sea
After a jam-packed day of exploring bustling Amman, there is no better way to relax than at the Dead Sea. Spend a day at one of the many beautiful Dead Sea resorts floating on the sea, soaking up rays, and relaxing.
For tips on which resort to pick and how to get there check out my Dead Sea guide.
When you return to Amman, I recommend grabbing dinner at Romero Restaurant. Romero has the cutest outdoor dining space and serves terrific Italian food.
Day 3 Petra/ Wadi Rum Night Camp
Petra is an ancient city and arguably Jordan’s most famous site and is a can’t miss on your trip to Jordan. I recommend getting up very early and heading to the site so you are not exploring in the midday heat (there is virtually no shade). I recommend spending 6-8 hours here. For more information on what to see in Petra check out my Petra guide.
Instead of going back to Amman after Petra, head to the Wadi Rum desert. There are a number of night camps (most are glamping) that you can stay at. Many are run by Bedouin families. I recommend booking Beyond Wadi Rum (where I stayed). The camp was clean, the food was great, and a great price (around 35 USD for 2 people).
Day 4: Wadi Rum
The Wadi Rum desert which is hands down one of the most incredible places that I’ve been to. After a night of glamping wake up to watch the sunrise across the entire desert. Gazing at such an expanse paired with absolute silence is surreal. It’s so quiet that little birds flying above sound like airplanes.
After breakfast at your camp, I cannot recommend enough doing one of the day excursions your camp offers. We hired a jeep & driver for the morning a hiked through canyons, saw ancient cave drawings, drank tea in Bedouin tents, and even came across some mountain goats during a hike.
It takes about four hours to get back to Amman from Wadi Rum, so I recommend hitting the road in the early afternoon to avoid driving in the dark.
Day 5: Iraq al-Amir/Jerash
One of my favorite things to do when I travel is to support local businesses and meet locals. Iraq al-Amir is a town on the outskirts of Amman and is home to an old castle and a Women’s Cooperative. The Cooperative is run by local women and provides training and jobs for many local women. The cooperative was established by Queen Noor’s foundation. I recommend calling ahead and eating lunch at the Cooperative (your hotel can help with this). The women that run the cooperative are warm and kind. Spend time learning about the pottery, paper, and other crafts they make. I promise you it will be a truly amazing experience. Because the cooperative is outside of Amman I advise against Ubering here (it will be hard to get a ride home). We used our hotel’s driver, but you can also rent a car to get here.
After you have lunch at Iraq al-Amir head to Jerash, Jerash is a town North of Amman and has well preserved Greco-Roman ruins. Spend half a day here exploring the city and learning about the ruins.
Days 6 and 7:
There are so many things to do in Jordan, that it is hard to fit them all into one week. Here are some ideas of other ways you can spend your remaining time in Jordan.
One day is not enough to truly experience Amman. Since the primary purpose of my Jordan trip was to attend a wedding I spent a lot of time in the capital city and grew to love it.
Um Qais is in Northern Jordan and is known for great hiking if you are looking to try something a little different head north and hike. There is a tour operator called Baraka that I’ve heard great things about.
Spend a day kayaking or canoeing in Wadi Mujib Canyon.
One option I looked at for my trip was spending a night in Aqaba and diving/snorkeling in the Red Sea. Aqaba is near the Wadi Rum desert and is an easy place to visit after Wadi Rum.
Happy trip planning!