This dazzling country has been home to a myriad of communities and cultures for many millennia, and though times have changed, its dramatic desert scenery and breath-taking, yet tiny, coastline have drawn visitors over for holidays in Jordan for centuries. Whether you want to relax by the comfort of the sea, explore the deserts with the Bedouin, or discover all the archaeological sites of the country, Jordan will have you appeased.
You are spoilt for choice with things to do in Jordan. From the stunning Shobak Castle, built during the time of the Crusades, to the Dibeen Nature Reserve, there are plenty of gorgeous sights to behold. Of course, despite the myriad of attractions in the country, when you are on Jordan holidays you can’t miss Petra, the ancient capital and wonder of the world. Known as the Rose City, you can easily venture here from other parts of the country including Aqaba or Eilat in the south, or on a whirlwind tour of the Middle East from Israel or Egypt.
As a country founded in one of the most ancient regions of the world, there are plenty of cultural things to do in Jordan. From the rose-coloured city of Petra to enjoying a traditional Middle Eastern meal, this country has something to please all types of travellers. Take the kids to the theme parks of Amman or relax in the comfort of the saltiest sea in the world; the choice is yours. Whether you want to explore the Red Sea snorkelling or keep active touring the desert and deserted ancient ruins, Jordan has plenty of entertainment.
Jordanian food is some of the most delicious in the Middle East, and you can find many a familiar dish here if you enjoy Mediterranean-style meals. From fried haloumi cheese to fattahwith meat and pine nuts, there’s a dish to placate any palate. You can find several restaurants in the style of Jordan’s neighbours of Lebanon, Israel, and Egypt, as well as some surprising Asian eateries and Italian cafés. If you have the desire to learn how to cook the Middle Eastern highlights like hummus and vegetable soup, then Petra Kitchen in Wadi Musa is the place to go and one of the top Jordan attractions.
One of the most exciting things to do in Jordan is to take a dip in the brilliantly blue waters of the Red Sea. Aqaba on the coast has plenty of dive shops and schools to set you up with diving equipment so you can tour the shore and spy all the colourful marine life.
Head into the desert on a 4x4, jumping over sand dunes and racing across the land for a thrilling and sandy adventure. Travel around Wadi Rum on horseback or by the memorable and bouncy camel ride across the desert.
Amman Beach is a public facility in the capital with pools for swimming and a beach for topping up the tan, as well as basketball courts to shoot some hoops. If you feel the need to tee off, try the 9-hole Bisharat Golf Course in between Amman and Queen Alia Airport.
After a swim – er, float – in the Dead Sea, take the little ones to the Dead Sea Panorama Complex to learn more about the history of the body of water at the Dead Sea Museum, as well as stop for a picturesque lunch or dinner overlooking the sea. For a wet and wild day, take the whole family to the spectacular Amman Waves waterpark, while the Luna Park amusement part in the King Abdullah Gardens is a great dry alternative.
The Children’s Museum in Amman is perfect for kids of all ages, especially as it has been built for them in mind. With over 150 interactive exhibits, both parents and children rave about how much fun they can have in a museum! For kids with an interest in cars, or auto-enthusiast parents, the Royal Automobile Museum in Amman displays over 70 cool cars and motorbikes, all from King Hussein’s private collection.
Going to Petra is the top thing to do in Jordan, especially for those with a great interest in ancient cultures or a sense of adventure. Walk through the winding gorge before feasting your eyes on one of the most magnificent sites in the Middle East. However there is more to Jordan’s history than just this world-class site; there are plenty of sites of the Crusades and Roman cities to explore.
Jerash is home to some of the most impressive and well-preserved Roman ruins outside of Italy, and you can walk along paved streets past theatres, temples, and plazas that are in remarkable shape when you think that they were first built over 2,000 years ago! Karak Castle is an extensive Crusader castle built in the 12th century, and there are plenty of other medieval sites around the area.
Jordan is a modern Islamic country, and it would be a shame not to discover this part of its heritage; discover the vividly blue-domed King Abdullah Mosque, built in 1989, in the heart of Amman.
Aside from the wealth of archaeological sites and impressive cultural monuments, Jordan is also the perfect country to go to relax. Make the Dead Sea your number one destination if you want to fully sit back and enjoy life in paradise. You can swim in the lowest point on earth – on land – at this popular Middle Eastern retreat, known as one of the first health resorts in the world and established during Roman times. There is also the Hammamat Ma’in in the hills above this top Jordan attraction and the Madaba Turkish Bath to escape from the heat of the afternoon.