First Time in Jordan: Visitor’s Guide

If it’s your first time in Jordan, then this visitor’s guide to the magical Middle Eastern kingdom has you covered. From visiting the ancient capital of Amman and the world-famous ruins of Petra to the natural spectacle that is Wadi Rum, Jordan will amaze and delight you. Traveling to Jordan is an immensely rewarding experience. Below you’ll learn all about the best places to visit, how to get around, and a little about the lifestyle and local cuisine.

We’ve put together this useful beginner’s guide to Jordan to help you get the best out of your enchanting trip.

1) Getting to Jordan & Getting Around

The main airport in Jordan is Queen Alia International Airport and this is how most first-time visitors fly to Jordan. The airport is located just 16 miles from Amman and it’s easy to book an airport transfer to take you into the city or to one of Jordan’s many attractions.

Furthermore, it’s also possible to visit Jordan overland from Israel, Syria, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. With daily Red Sea ferry crossings from Egypt, access to Jordan is easier than ever. Once you’ve arrived, Amman makes a great base from which to explore all of Jordan’s best destinations, such as Petra and Wadi Rum.

Check out this guide to the best hotels in Amman, or read more about getting around Jordan.

2) Jordan’s Historic & Cultural Sights

Below you’ll find some of the top tourist destinations in Jordan and guided tours for first-time visitors. From the ancient citadel of Amman and the Greco-Roman ruins of Jerash to the incomparable Petra, one of the marvels of the ancient world, Jordan’s got it all.


The ancient Nabatean city of Petra is one of Jordan’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites and an ancient Wonder of the World. This is one of the must-see sights in Jordan for first-time travelers. See the famous Treasury Building and hike one of the many trails through the sandstone rock with this day tour. Browse more Petra tours to find the most perfect excursion for you.

Amman, Jerash & Madaba

When you visit Jordan, you should definitely add the ancient city sites to your itinerary. These are mainly found in Jordan’s capital city of Amman, like the citadel as well Jerash’s Roman remnants. However, the country is teeming with influences from past empires including Greek, Roman, and Byzantine. Explore these brilliant ruins and more with our 3-day or 4-day tour, taking you to all of the highlights.

Additionally, check out the historic treasures of Madaba, adorned with mosaics of former empires and a rich cultural past. Explore Madaba and other Jordan gems with our northern tours.

3) See Wadi Rum’s Natural Wonders

A wadi – meaning canyon – is a great place to connect to a desert region’s surroundings. Wadi Rum is one of the most famous places to see in Jordan. This desolate landscape is only inhabited by a few Bedouin tribes and is the perfect playground for intrepid explorers. See ancient inscriptions carved into the rocks, visit a Nabatean Temple, and follow in the footsteps of famous movie settings while enjoying the sublime desert landscape.

Climb the red sand dunes for the best views, or take a fun trip in a 4×4 across the desert on this Jeep tour. However, one of the best ways to see Wadi Rum is to combine it with a Petra tour, like Wadi Rum and Petrar tour from Aqaba.

4) Taste Jordanian Cuisine

The food in Jordan is an absolute treat. Foodies will love the diversity of the cuisine, which shares similarities with Mediterranean cooking. Mansaf is one of the main dishes in Jordan, made with flatbread, rice, and chunks of seasoned lamb. There are many excellent restaurants around the capital and elsewhere serving up traditional regional foods. However, the best way to really dive into the local cuisine is to take part in an experience like this cooking class in Aqaba where you’ll get to create and taste local specialties.

5) Jordanian Lifestyle

Along with Israel, Jordan is one of the most laid-back and liberal countries in the Middle East. On your trip, you’ll get to learn all about Jordanian culture and customs, including the local hospitality of bedouin tribes. Keep in mind that Jordan is a Muslim country so attitudes toward a modest dress code are still appreciated and required in certain areas.

However, don’t let this deter you from traveling all over the magnificent country. On our 3-day highlights tour, you’ll see all the rich and exciting sites without the hassle of working out your own itinerary.

6) Understanding Jordan’s Borders

With easy access to other Middle Eastern countries, Jordan makes a great base for exploring neighboring destinations, such as Saudi Arabia. These Saudi tours are a great way to take advantage of your region’s location.

So too, Israel is another fantastic country to visit, but knowing the border regulations will earn you a hassle-free crossing. Read up on these two border crossings to better understand the requirements: Yitzhak Rabin Terminal or via King Hussein Crossing.

Start Exploring Jordan Now

Now you know what to do in Jordan, the only question is: which of these magnificent sights will you see first? And, what better way to explore this intriguing country and its magnificent spots than with a guided expert? Browse here to find your perfect Jordan tour.

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