Visiting Jordan and looking for the best recommendations? You’re in the right place! In this article, I will share the best Jordan 10-day itinerary to help you get the most out of your trip.
From deserts that look like the surface of Mars to one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, Jordan’s jaw-dropping beauty and fascinating history make it easily one of my favourite countries.
The formidable Petra carved into rose-coloured rock reveals a glimpse into the ancient Nabatean civilization while the country’s crusader castles and Roman relics capture the imagination.
Add in floating in the Dead Sea, doing a desert safari in Wadi Rum, welcoming homestays and eating your fill of Levantine food and this Middle Eastern country will take your breath away (like it did mine).
In this 10-day Jordan itinerary, discover the best things to do, budgeting tips, where to stay and when to visit all in one handy travel guide. So, here’s how to spend 10 days in Jordan.
How to get around Jordan
Before you get into the exciting stuff, you have to first figure out how to get around Jordan as it’s not that easy. Here are your options:
Jordan has a bus network but it doesn’t go to the main tourist places. Buses don’t seem to follow a set timetable either. They leave when they’re full.
If you miss the bus day, you have to try again tomorrow. On the plus side, fares tend to be low, about JOD1.
Buses are not a reliable way to get around Jordan, so I would avoid using public transport altogether as you will spend most of your precious 10-day Jordan itinerary trying to figure out where and when they arrive.
Taxis or transfers
While private taxis and transfers are a useful and inexpensive way to get around Amman, fares double in price if you want to leave the city.
You will have to negotiate prices with your driver and expect to pay JOD28-47 a day.
Renting a car
Renting a car in Jordan gives you more travel flexibility but make sure you use a reputable company. You would likely pay around JOD26 a day for your Jordan road trip itinerary.
It’s a good idea to know some Arabic too as phone signals can be patchy in the desert.
The easiest ways to get around Jordan are guided day trips, private tours and small group tours. Both GetYourGuide and Viator offer one-day and multi-day excursions around Jordan.
Tailor-made holiday provider, Original Travel creates bespoke itineraries with a driver included.
If you’re looking for something in between a day trip and a private tour, both G Adventures and Intrepid Travel run small group tours in Jordan.
I travelled with G Adventures and this itinerary is based on their Highlights of Jordan tour which covers all the best places to visit in the country.
The tour is eight days but you can pad out an extra two days on either side to explore Amman, like I’ve done with this Jordan 10-day itinerary.
If you have a horrifying vision of large 50-seater buses, don’t worry it’s not the case! There is a maximum of 16 travellers per tour and you travel around in a small, air-conditioned minibus.
Editor’s tip: The best way to save money on Intrepid Travel and G Adventures tours is to book them during their Black Friday and January sales. I’ve never paid full price for a tour!
How many days to spend in Jordan
I recommend spending 10 days in Jordan. That gives you enough time to see the main attractions without rushing and you have some downtime in between.
How many days in Jordan if you’re short on time? You could slim this itinerary down to a week in Jordan – maybe five days at a push – but you will want at least a full day each in Petra, Wadi Rum, Amman and the Dead Sea.
For longer itineraries up to 2 weeks in Jordan (lucky you!), you can spend at least two days in Petra and add another day in Wadi Rum.
Jordan itinerary map and overview
10-day Jordan itinerary:
- Days 1 & 2: Arrive & Amman
- Day 3: Jerash & Dead Sea
- Day 4: Mount Nebo & Kerak Castle & Little Petra
- Day 5: Petra
- Day 6: Wadi Rum
- Day 7: Aqaba & Red Sea
- Day 8: Gawr as Safi
- Days 9 &10: Amman & Depart
Sustainable travel tips for Jordan
Have a lighter impact as a traveller by following these sustainable travel tips:
- Support small, local businesses when dining out and buying souvenirs.
- Always ask permission when taking photos, especially of children.
- Choose activities that use local tour guides. It’s a much more authentic way of getting around Jordan.
- Bring a water filter bottle rather than buying single-use plastic. I use Water-to-Go as it gives me safe drinking water wherever I go.
- Where possible, eat at restaurants which use fresh, local ingredients in their menus.
- Wear mineral-based sunscreen so as not to damage fragile coral reefs when swimming in the sea.
- Leave only footprints and dispose of all rubbish in the appropriate bins.
Animal tourism is prevalent in Jordan, particularly in Petra where it’s common to see donkey, horse, mule and camel rides.
The problem is these animals are forced to carry tourists around in the scorching desert heat. They’re beaten, denied water and suffer painful wounds. I strongly advise staying well clear.
There’s one place I did feel comfortable riding a camel in Jordan (at the recommendation of my tour guide). I’ll dive more into that later!
Jordan 10-day itinerary: What to see and do in Jordan
From Amman to the Red Sea, here’s what to see in Jordan.
Days 1 & 2: Arrive & Amman
I’ve left the first day open on your Jordan travel itinerary as it all depends on when you arrive in Amman and how much energy you have for exploring.
As for day two? Start with getting to know the food! I’ve added more things to do in Amman at the end of this itinerary so you could swap them around depending on how much time you have.
You will likely fly into Queen Alia International Airport as it’s the main airport in Jordan. It’s about a 30-minute drive from the centre of Amman so I recommend booking a taxi.
I booked my taxi through Booking.com. I’ve found it to be reliable when you’ve just landed in a place you don’t know – particularly late at night.
You can book your taxi a few days before and your driver will meet you at the airport when you arrive.
I like to do a walking tour when I first arrive as it helps me get my bearings and teaches me how to navigate streets like a local.
GuruWalks offers free walking tours of Amman with a local guide. They last about two hours and it’s a great mix of culture, sightseeing and history. They’re in English too.
Time for food
The best way to get to know a culture is through food! Discover Jodan’s Levantine cuisine mixed with Bedouin influences on a food tour of Amman with a local.
This small-group three-hour Amman food tour includes over 10 tastings. You’ll sample the national dish (mansaf), Jordanian coffee culture, juices, street food, desserts and treats from some of Amman’s oldest restaurants.
If you would prefer somewhere to sit down, I recommend stopping by JADAL for Knowledge and Culture. It’s a cafe which is more like a community centre and it’s located in a quiet courtyard away from the bustle of the city.
I ate dinner here but I think it’s something you have to arrange in advance. You can still rock up and enjoy a hot or cold drink before eating somewhere else.
On my first night, I went to Books@cafe which is just 11 minutes from JADAL. This very cool establishment is a cafe, restaurant, bookshop and art gallery combined.
It also has a terrace with a spectacular view of Amman. You can even pick up English books here!
Day 3: Jerash & Dead Sea
Where to stay: Your hotel in Amman OR Dead Sea Spa Resort
Today you’re leaving Amman and going back in time to the Greco-Roman city of Jerash. Bring your swimwear as afterwards, you’ll head to the Dead Sea.
It’s possible to do both activities as a day trip from Amman or you could stay in a resort by the Dead Sea. I stayed in Amman as it was cheaper.
Explore the ancient city of Jerash
Jerash is an ancient city north of Amman. It’s been inhabited since the Neolithic times but it’s most famous for its Greco-Roman ruins which have given it the nickname “Pompeii of the Middle East.”
This site is recognised as one of the largest and best-preserved Greek and Roman sites outside Italy. Here, you can walk along a colonnaded street, stand in two grand theatres and see temples, an oval plaza, Hadrian’s Arch and more.
I had a surreal moment when I encountered a Jordanian man playing a Scottish tune on the bagpipes in one of the ancient theatres.
Unlike their Scottish association, bagpipes are believed to originate in Egypt – the more you know!
The entrance fee for Jerash is JOD10 and it includes both the ruins and the museum.
Take a dip in the Dead Sea
The Dead Sea is just under a two-hour drive south of Jerash and Amman. It’s a salt lake which is split down the middle by Jordan to the east and Palestine’s West Bank and Israel to the west.
The shores of the Dead Sea are located at the bottom of the Jordan Rift Valley which is 400m below sea level, making it the lowest land point on Earth. You might notice your ears popping as you descend towards it!
Another cool thing about the Dead Sea? It has a salinity of 34.2% making it the fourth saltiest water in the world. It’s impossible to sink because you just float on the top.
For my visit, I booked a day pass at one of the resorts on the Dead Sea. I recommend doing the same as you get access to their changing rooms, beaches, pools, restaurants and a lifeguard.
My day pass was through Dead Sea Spa Resort, a four-star hotel with the largest beach on the Dead Sea. It cost JOD20.
Editor’s tip: The shores of the Dead Sea have mineral-rich mud which is great for your skin. Cover yourself in mud and then wash it off in the sea. Never put your head underwater as the salt burns.
Day 4: Mount Nebo & Kerak Castle & Little Petra
Where to stay: Seven Wonders Hotel
Today is a busy driving day. If you don’t want to do quite as many stops, you could miss one out or add it to the journey back up to Amman at the end of your trip.
Definitely visit Little Petra though as it gives you a taste of what’s to come the next day.
I visited Mount Nebo, Kerak Castle and Little Petra in one day with G Adventures so it’s doable. We even stopped to look at some mosaics in St George’s Church in Madaba.
Admire the view from Mount Nebo
Your first stop of the day is Mount Nebo, a mountain which stands around 700m above sea level.
It’s mentioned in the Bible as the place where Moses was granted a view of the Promised Land – and the views here are certainly spectacular.
From the summit, you can look down over the Dead Sea and catch a glimpse of Bethlehem and Jerusalem in the distance. You’ll also find the Memorial Church of Moses here as well as a museum with Byzantine mosaics.
The entrance fee for Mount Nebo is JOD3. Get there early as it gets busy. Afterwards, stop by Mosaic House for handmade mosaics. It’s the best place to pick up authentic souvenirs in Jordan as you’re supporting local artisans.
Visit the medieval Kerak Castle
Next, it’s time to head south to Kerak Castle which is just under two hours by road from Mount Nebo.
The medieval castle was constructed in the 1140s by the Crusaders as a stronghold against Muslim forces. It was one of the largest castles in the Levant (although not as big as Krak des Chevaliers in Syria).
Today the fortress lies in ruins but it still commands an impressive station inside the walls of the old city 900m above sea level.
Inside, the castle is a maze of stone passageways, vaulted halls and underground tunnels.
You can explore them freely but be careful as they can be hazardous – particularly in the pitch-black passages. I suggest using the torch on your phone!
The Kerak Castle entrance fee is JOD2.
Explore Little Petra
Back on the road south for a couple of hours and you’ll come to the last stop of the day before a well-earned rest at your hotel.
Little Petra (otherwise known as Siq al-Barid) is an ancient Nabatean site carved into a sandstone canyon like its much bigger cousin nearby. It’s part of the Petra Archaeological Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s also free AND less crowded to visit!
Archaeologists believe Little Petra was established in the 1st Century CE. It’s unclear exactly what it was used for but it’s thought to be a suburb of Petra about five miles away.
The entrance to Little Petra leads you from the car park through the high, narrow walls of a canyon. The walls widen out and you come to the famous Nabatean building with colonnades carved into the stone.
You can carry on walking through the canyon and you’ll come to stalls selling trinkets and a set of steps which will take you up to a viewpoint with panoramic views.
By the way, there’s a small bathroom by the car park.
Day 5: Petra
Where to stay: Seven Wonders Hotel
At last, the day you’ve been waiting for. Petra! I recommend staying overnight in Wadi Musa as it’s the closest town to the entrance.
Petra is so much more than the world-famous Treasury carved out of the sandstone cliffs. It’s a Nabatean city which covers an area of over 100 square miles. The best Jordan itinerary will factor in at least a full day in Petra at the minimum.
Unsurprisingly, it’s the most visited landmark in Jordan so get there at 6 a.m. when it opens as it will give you the best chance of admiring the view without the crowds.
You can buy water and food inside but it’s still a good idea to have plenty of your own as it gets very hot.
Wear comfortable shoes to walk in too. The Treasury alone is a 30-minute walk from the entrance.
Yes, there are toilets in Petra!
Hike through Petra
One of the New Seven Wonders of the World, Petra was established by the Nabateans some 2,000 years ago. Many of its iconic buildings were carved by hand out of orange sandstone cliffs, giving it the nickname ‘Rose City.’
The first main site after entering is the Obelisk Tomb. Then you’ll follow a narrow gorge called the Siq which was the main entrance to the city. Look out for the Dam which was built in 1964 to protect the city against flooding.
After about half an hour you’ll come to the Treasury. A fab photo spot here is on a ledge jutting out of the cliffs opposite. It’s tricky to find without a local guide who will be happy to show you if you give them some money.
As you continue into the heart of the city, you’ll see an ancient theatre, tombs, streets, a pond and garden complex, temples, churches and palaces.
Petra has around nine established hiking trails ranging from easy to challenging. I did two of them during my one-day Petra itinerary.
The first one was a moderate trail up to the Monastery which is another grand building carved into the rock. From there, you have some incredible panoramic views of the valley on the other side.
Another trail I did was up to the High Place of Sacrifice. It starts from across the Tomb of Unayshu and there are steps for a good portion of the trail.
It’s not for those who suffer from vertigo as at the top, there are some sheer drops down.
Once again, you’re treated to some formidable views and not many people go up there so it’s a good place to go to escape the crowds.
Petra’s entrance fee is JOD50 if you stay more than one night in Jordan.
See Petra by night
Petra by Night is an evening event which runs every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. It starts at 20:30 and finishes at 22:30 and tickets cost JOD17.
The Siq and Treasury are lit up by candlelight. The show is accompanied by music and stories.
It’s pretty but I recommend bringing a good camera with a lens for night photography as my phone camera wasn’t at all up for the job.
Day 6: Wadi Rum
Where to stay: Harb Eco Camp
No itinerary for Jordan is complete without some desert adventures! Wadi Rum was one of my favourite places in Jordan because the scenery is so spectacular.
Referred to as the Valley of the Moon, the sandstone desert valley has a protected area which is approximately two hours south of Petra.
The desert scenery looks otherworldly. In fact, it’s been the popular filming location for the likes of The Martian, Star Wars, Dune, Prometheus and more.
The Wadi Rum desert is the home of the Zalabieh Bedouins who arrived there in the 1980s. Tourism helps them continue to earn a living here and helps protect the land.
I stayed at Harb Eco Camp, a traditional Bedouin camp sheltered by sandstone cliffs. They provided excursions such as desert safaris, traditional meals and camel rides (the only place I recommend doing this).
Bring cash with you for Wadi Rum. The camp I stayed at didn’t have WiFi and there are no ATMs in the desert…
Do a desert safari
The desert safari is an excursion offered by the camp. It lasts about four hours and you sit on the back of an open-top 4×4 which is covered by a cloth roof to keep you out of direct sunlight.
It’s SUCH a fun experience bumping over sand dunes and travelling past otherworldly rock formations.
We stopped at a Bedouin tent for traditional tea and music before jumping back in the jeep and finding a spot to watch the sunset over the desert. Absolutely magical.
Editor’s tip: Wear sunglasses and use a lightweight scarf to cover your nose and mouth while you’re on the 4×4 Jeep tour. It will reduce the amount of sand blowing into your face!
Eat a traditional Bedouin feast
A perk of staying in a Bedouin camp is that you’re treated to a traditional Bedouin feast. It consists of meat and vegetables which are slow roasted in a hot stone oven buried in the ground. Vegan and vegetarian options are also available.
The meal is accompanied by a bonfire, music and dancing.
Finish your evening by finding a spot away from light pollution to gaze up at the stars. It’s usually spectacular (I was sadly there on a hazy night).
Ride a camel at sunrise
As I said, this camp is the only place I trust to ride camels. Camels are an important livelihood for the Zalabieh Bedouins and they’re well looked after.
They take a few tourists for a ride and then spend the rest of the day roaming the desert. It’s a very different setup to Petra.
The sunrise camel ride starts early in the morning but it’s so worth it.
You’re helped onto the back of a camel and the whole caravan plods a short way into the desert to watch the sun come up over the desert. Then it’s back to camp for breakfast before you depart.
Day 7: Aqaba & Red Sea
Where to stay: My Luxury Hotel (it has an outdoor pool on the roof and it’s fairly budget-friendly!)
It’s now time to leave the desert and head for the Red Sea. Aqaba is a port city on the Red Sea’s Gulf of Aqaba about an hour’s drive from Wadi Rum.
Its beach resorts, marine park, scuba diving sites and watersports are popular with Jordanians and international visitors alike.
Sail in the Red Sea
One of my most memorable experiences in Jordan was sailing in the Red Sea. It was a yacht trip with lunch included and optional snorkelling.
Aqaba is right on the Israeli border so as you leave the marina, you can look straight over the fence into Israel.
You’re not allowed to take any photos as you risk getting arrested. The boat captain advised not even having your phone out just to be extra safe.
As you sail farther into the gulf, Israel falls behind and is replaced by Egypt. On the other side of you, Jordan gives way to the looming rocky mountains of Saudi Arabia in the distance.
It was quite an amazing experience being surrounded by four countries in the Middle East on such a short boat trip.
The boat takes you to a couple of nice snorkelling spots which you can explore if you feel like it (snorkelling isn’t really my thing!).
Day 8: Gawr as Safi
Where to stay: Safi Kitchen Hostel
I’ve kept today fairly minimal as you will spend a good portion of it driving back up from Aqaba to Amman which takes about four hours in total.
Safi Kitchen is about halfway between Aqaba and Amman. You could either stop there for lunch and then carry on driving up to Amman in the afternoon or you could stay the night at their hostel and finish your journey the next day.
Stay with a local host
Safi Kitchen is a non-profit agrotourism project which provides employment opportunities for women and young people in their local community. They work to promote the southern region of the Jordan Valley through farm-to-table food experiences and walking tours.
Most ingredients are grown on their farm and guests can sit down to home-cooked, family-style meals with some of the most delicious food I had on my trip.
Safi Kitchen also has a hostel which is more of a homestay-style experience. Choose between twin or double rooms, enjoy a sun terrace with mountain views and tuck into food from the farm.
Breakfast is available every morning too. It’s a wonderful way to experience authentic Jordanian hospitality!
Explore Wadi Al Hasa
If you have a bit of time and energy spare, Safi Kitchen can help you book a hiking tour through nearby Wadi Al Hasa.
The excursion takes you through one of the longest valleys in Jordan and treats you to a scenery of stunning canyons and lush green riverbanks. Lunch is included in the tour.
Days 9 &10: Amman & Depart
Where to stay: The Cabin Hostel
Once you arrive back in Amman, it’s time to do the last few bits of sightseeing on a self-guided walking tour before your flight home the next day.
Downtown Amman is very walkable so you don’t need to worry about public transport. If you stay at The Cabin Hostel, you’re right in the midst of it all. They can also book your taxi to the airport.
If you’re starting from The Cabin, your first stop should be the Roman Theatre which is an 11-minute walk away.
The original theatre was built around the 2nd century AD and it’s a magnificent structure cut into the side of a hill. It has a seating capacity of 6,000 and it sometimes holds concerts even today.
If you get there early in the morning, the soft light gives you a beautiful photo.
The entrance fee is about JOD2 and it includes both the Roman Theatre and the small museum to the side of it which showcases Jordan’s culture and fashion through the ages.
The next stop is the Amman Citadel which is about 25 minutes up a hill but trust me, it’s worth the effort!
The Citadel is a historic site which includes a 1,700m Bronze Age wall, Umayyad Palace and ancient Roman ruins like the famous Temple of Hercules which command panoramic views of Downtown Amman.
High atop Jebel Al Qala’a hill, the entire complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most popular landmarks in Jordan. The entrance fee is JOD3.
Descend from Amman Citadel in time for lunch. Rainbow Street is one of the best places to go as it’s lined with places to dine, drink and shop.
Here are a few great places I visited on Rainbow Street:
- Nabteh O Fatteh – this restaurant has a lovely terrace. I had a refreshing soft drink here
- Old View Restaurant and Cafe – located just off Rainbow Street, it has a spectacular view of Downtown Amman
Rainbow Street is about 30 minutes from the Citadel so if you want a cheap, delicious bite somewhere closer, I recommend Hashem.
This restaurant in Downtown has gained a cult following for its tasty falafel. It’s essentially a hole in the wall with a few tables dotted around outside but it does get busy.
The Jordan Museum
After lunch, jump back on the culture trail and head to The Jordan Museum which is just under 20 minutes from Rainbow Street.
Located in the New Downtown area, you can find artefacts from Jordan’s most important archaeological findings.
Don’t miss the 9000-year-old ʿAin Ghazal statues which are some of the oldest human statues ever made. The entrance fee is JOD2.
King Abdullah I Mosque
This is the one landmark you will need to get an Uber for as it’s fairly out of the way if you’re based Downtown. It’s just a 10-minute drive from The Jordan Museum.
My taxi driver actually took me here on my ride back to the airport as he was appalled that I hadn’t seen it. Built in 1989 as a memorial to King Abdullah I, this beautiful blue-domed mosque can house up to 7,000 worshippers.
This is the only mosque in Amman that welcomes non-Muslim visitors. Women are required to cover their heads or wear an abaya and they have some available to put on before you go inside. Shoes must be removed.
Afterwards, you can have a look around the gift shop for last-minute souvenirs. They’ll even serve you coffee to sweeten the deal.
And that’s a wrap on your 10-day Jordan itinerary!
Have longer in Jordan or want to switch things up?
- Head to Dana Biosphere Reserve and stay at Feynan Ecolodge
- Go scuba diving in the Red Sea and look for shipwrecks
- Spend an extra day in Petra and explore every inch of it
- Visit Wadi Mujib Biosphere Reserve near the Dead Sea
Things to know when planning a trip to Jordan
Here are some more frequently asked questions to help you when planning a trip to Jordan:
Is Jordan safe for solo female travellers?
Yes, I would say Jordan is generally safe for solo female travellers. I did attract some attention from curious bystanders as they could see I was a tourist. Some men called out to me but they left me alone when I ignored them.
The biggest challenge for solo female travellers is getting around as public transport barely exists. I found Uber to be safe, cheap and reliable and I also asked my accommodation to arrange a trusted taxi to the airport.
Doing a tour with G Adventures helped as I didn’t have to worry about my safety too much. I was also able to meet people so I had some friends to explore Amman with afterwards.
Jordan is a Muslim country so the women typically wear modest clothing. The same custom isn’t expected of tourists.
There are no strict rules about what you can and can’t wear but I made a point of covering up so as not to draw unnecessary attention to myself. You can read more about exactly what I wore in Jordan in my packing list.
As always, be careful of pickpockets, don’t go out at night on your own, stay in crowded areas and be wary of people you don’t know.
What is the best time to visit Jordan?
The best time to visit Jordan is either spring (March to May) or autumn (September to November). These seasons are cooler than the scorching heat of summer.
Of course, the best weather brings more crowds so they’re also peak seasons.
Despite being in the desert, winter in Jordan is surprisingly cool. Temperatures can range between 5°C to 15°C on average and you might experience snow and rain!
I visited Jordan in early May and temperatures were hot but not unbearably so.
Do you need to buy the Jordan Pass?
When planning your Jordan itinerary for 10 days, you might want to invest in a Jordan Pass. It’s a prepaid entry ticket to more than 40 key attractions in Jordan. Prices start from JOD70 and it includes Petra.
If you buy it in advance, it includes the Jordan border tourist entry fee (JOD40) as long as you stay more than three nights in the country.
It’s worth it if you want to make the most of your time in Jordan unless you’re doing a tour like G Adventures. Some experiences are included in the tour and sometimes you can get group discounts.
Don’t forget travel insurance!
It’s always a good idea to stay protected when you travel in case anything were to happen. If you’re looking for health coverage, check out SafetyWing.
I also use MoneySupermarket as I can compare different insurance providers based on my budget and needs.
Jordan 10-day itinerary: Final thoughts
This Jordan 10-day itinerary covers all the best highlights of Jordan without being too hectic.
The bulk of my Jordan road trip outside of Amman was facilitated by G Adventures. The small group tour was the easiest way for me to get around as public transport is virtually non-existent and I don’t drive.
The days I spent in Amman were easy enough to do without a tour as I could just use Uber or walk.
If you don’t feel like doing a tour, renting a car is your next best bet. If you have any questions about this 10 days in Jordan itinerary, feel free to drop them in the comments below.
Looking for more sustainable travel tips?
- The Best Jordan Packing List: All The Essentials You Need in 2023
- An Easy Slow Travel Guide to Mastering the Art of Experiencing More
- A Complete Petra Itinerary: How To Spend A Day In Jordan’s World Wonder
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