Tips For What You Should Do in Jordan

Cailin O Neil May 8, 2013 9

Jordan – also known as the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan – is a country in the Middle East which I recently had the chance to explore on a G Adventures Highlights of Jordan tour. Before visiting Jordan, I had dreamed of visiting the ancient city of Petra (its number-one tourist spot) and I had hoped to float in the Dead Sea, but aside from that I wasn’t too sure what to see and do there. Now fresh off my tour, I can tell you that Jordan is whole lot more than Petra and the Dead Sea, and there is so much to see and do.

Snorkel or Scuba Dive in the Red Sea

Photo by Cailin

Photo by Cailin

A small piece of Jordan is on the Gulf of Aqaba, which is an arm of the Red Sea. This Gulf is actually shared by Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Egypt, and is known for its awesome coral reefs and shipwrecks including a submerged tank. It’s also a great spot for snorkeling and scuba diving. Also, where else can you lay on the beach and see three other countries within 270 degrees?

Eat falafels and hummus

Photo by Cailin

Photo by Cailin

While in Jordan I literally had the BEST hummus of my life, and the best falafels as well, but that might be in part to the fact that it was my first time ever eating falafels. I was told that I picked a great place to try them for the first time. My favorite place to enjoy them both was at a popular restaurant in downtown Amman called Hashem. One of the only restaurants open 24/7 in the city, it is also a favorite place of the Kings.

Visit the ancient city of Jerash

Photo by Cailin

Photo by Cailin

Located north of Amman, this ancient Roman city was destroyed by earthquakes and wars and wasn’t found again until 1806. It is now home to a modern city that was largely built upon the ruins; because of this, only 20% of the ancient city has been excavated, but that is still an extremely large area. Here you can visit the ancient forum and theater, and walk down streets flanked with ancient Roman columns. Jerash is best seen with a tour guide that can tell you every amazing detail about this ancient city.

Spend the night in Wadi Rum

Photo by Cailin

Photo by Cailin

While on my G Adventures Highlights of Jordan tour, we got to spend a night in the famous Wadi Rum desert at a Bedouin camp. We took a 4×4 excursion through the desert, rode camels, had a bonfire, did some amazing stargazing, ate traditional Bedouin food and probably had one too many delicious Bedouin teas. At night we slept in our own tents at our private fully-equipped G Adventures Camp, and it was definitely an experience I’ll remember forever.

Spend at least one day at Petra

Photo by Cailin

Photo by Cailin

Petra is simply beautiful and amazing – no wonder it is the number one tourist destination in the country. If you visit, make sure you plan on spending one or even two days there so you have enough time to explore the city. Many people think of Petra and think of the iconic Treasury, and don’t realize that there is so much more to it. Petra was originally carved with 500 tombs and only 100 of those are visible from excavations today. You can climb over the rocks and get amazing 360 views of the area, ride camels and donkeys or “Bedouin Safaris,” and just be in awe of this masterpiece. The treasury alone took 50 years to be carved from stone from top to bottom, so I can hardly begin to imagine how much time and effort went into making this ancient city what it is today.

Float in the Dead Sea


The Dead Sea is one of the oddest phenomenons in the world. At 37% salinity, it is eight times saltier than the ocean, and because of this no living things are able to survive – and everything floats. It is literally impossible to swim in the Dead Sea, although you can certainly try. My two big tips would be to avoid getting the water in your mouth or eyes, and definitely go for the Dead Sea mud and cover yourself in it. Your skin will definitely thank you after.

To learn more about things to do in Jordan watch my newest video Jordan in a Minute.


  1. Ellis Shuman May 9, 2013 at 1:26 am - Reply

    I’m glad you wrote “spend at least one day in Petra” = because that place is so amazing that in most cases, one day is not enough. I’ve visited Petra twice and I could easily go back again. And Wadi Rum is so beautiful!

    • cailin May 11, 2013 at 4:56 am - Reply

      I could of spent waaaaay more time in both Petra and Wadi Rum! Loved them and the people :)

  2. Sam @ May 9, 2013 at 9:46 pm - Reply

    Great article! Would love to visit Jordan one day! Petra is just beautiful and red and dead sea would be cool swim in!

    • cailin May 11, 2013 at 4:57 am - Reply

      @Sam the Dead Sea was one of the craziest experiences I’ve ever had! You definitely need to visit and see and do everything :)

  3. Nasser May 16, 2013 at 10:01 am - Reply

    Great article, I’m glad you had fun here in Jordan and welcome again anytime :)

    • cailin June 2, 2013 at 11:26 pm - Reply

      Thanks Nasser!! :)

  4. Netta April 11, 2014 at 2:36 pm - Reply

    I’ll be going to Jordan in a little over 3 weeks. This blog post was perfectly timed! Sitting at my desk at work is SO hard while daydreaming about diving in Aqaba and and floating in the Dead Sea…

  5. jasmina May 15, 2014 at 10:09 pm - Reply

    i’ve done all those things – and all i can say is, it was amazing fun. another great thing to do is visit one of the crusaders castles.. excellent history.
    Can i suggest after all the exploring – do the Dead Sea last. 3-5 days, book into a hotel on the Dead Sea at the end, and enjoy some SERIOUS relaxation. The air there is very high in oxygen and you will experience a feeling of relaxation like no other. Zennnn!

  6. Bruce May 16, 2014 at 9:01 am - Reply

    Cailin – Reading your journey through Jordan was like reading the journey my wife and I took last March. We found Jordan to be a wonderful country to visit. When during a walk from our hotel a group of school girls said to us, “Welcome to Jordan”, as foreigners we immediately felt accepted. All this is due in part to the people themselves and the guiding influence of King Abdullah II who is clearly loved by everyone with whom we came in contact.

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