The Best Jordan Itinerary for Budget Travellers

Jordan Itinerary

Without question, Jordan is one of the safest, most stable and most delightful Middle Eastern countries to visit.

And for this reason, it’s an absolutely ideal country for first time or solo travellers in the region.

From sensational ruins to incredible desertscapes, the famous ancient city of Petra and some Red Sea coastline, along with some of the most amazing hospitality I’ve ever experienced, there’s no question the small country of Jordan packs a big travel punch.

So, if you’re a budget wanderer thinking of ticking this country off your list soon, here’s my perfect Jordan itinerary that’ll get you all fired up and ready to hit up this awesome destination before you can even utter the words Middle East adventure!


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1 Week Jordan Itinerary

My 1 week Jordan activity is for those on a truly tight timeframe.

7 days is going to give you just enough time to see the top highlights of this fabulous country, so on your marks, get set, go…

Day 1 : Amman

Jordan, Amman, Umbrella Street

Start your time in Jordan’s capital Amman – this is likely to be where you’ll enter the country and makes for the perfect introduction.

Indeed this super relaxed capital honestly feels more like a town than a city and is the perfect place to stroll around in order to get acquainted with this friendly and welcoming country.

From falafel tastings to mosque visits, roman ruins to bustling souks, there’s loads of great things to see and do in Amman that will keep you more than entertained for at least one day.

LEARN MORE: 10 Budget-Friendly Things to Do in Amman, Jordan

Day 2 : Jerash

Jordan, Jerash, Roman Street

One of the best preserved Roman cities in the world, there’s absolutely no question that Jerash is a total must on any budget travel itinerary of Jordan.

Easily accessible from the capital Amman, I’d actually just recommend taking a day trip to Jerash and then returning to the capital to spend the night.

Not only is this less stressful, but the level and price of accommodation is better in Amman compared to Jerash too.

Highly recommended is the hostel Jordan Towers, which boasts an amazing location in downtown Amman, some of the best free breakfasts I’ve ever tasted at a hostel and super fast, free wifi.

With a roof terrace, as well as spotlessly clean dorms and private rooms, it’s a great place to base yourself in the capital.

That said, you will need to allow a good few hours to see and experience everything at Jerash, because this place is seriously huge.

As such, I’d certainly recommend making it an early start for your day trip, not least because the public minivans that run there can take a while to fill up and start moving!

Welcome to the Middle East!

Once you do get to Jerash, you don’t need to take a guide, because wandering around the ruins here with your Jordan Lonely Planet will totally suffice when it comes to marvelling at this huge and ancient city.

And don’t be put off by the awful souvenir shops at the entrance either!

Honestly, once you get into the city itself and start wandering this beautifully preserved and tout-free Roman town, you’ll forget all about them!

Remember to take a hat, sunscreen and water for your Jerash adventure and when you’re finished, it’s an easy minivan ride back to Amman.

Day 3 : Dead Sea

Jordan, Dead Sea, Sign

On Day 3 in Jordan, it’s time for another day trip out of the capital, this time to the incredible floating water world of the Dead Sea.

Honestly I had no idea just how cool the sensation of being totally buoyant was going to be, so let me point out to you now that it’s actually way more fun than it sounds!

The downside about the Dead Sea in Jordan is the very limited public transport that goes there, but you can avoid taxi fees if you’re on a budget by taking one of Jordan Towers’ excellent backpacker-style tours.

These tours tend to run daily and generally bring 4 travellers together so that the cost of a driver and vehicle are shared.

In addition to the Dead Sea, the trip also includes panoramic lookouts, the Madaba Mosiacs (which just happen to include the earliest map of Palestine ever found) and Mount Nebo – where Moses is supposed to have spotted the Promised Land.

A full day itinerary with a local driver who, although not an official guide, will be able to offer you a great insight into life in Jordan, I highly recommend Jordan Towers trip to the Dead Sea, especially if you’re a solo traveller looking to meet other adventurers like I was.

LEARN MORE: 10 Unmissable Things to Do in Jordan

Day 4 : Kings Highway Tour

Jordan, Umm Ar-Rasas, Mosiacs

After returning to spend the night in Amman following your Dead Sea trip, it’s up early to begin your journey to Petra, Jordan’s star attraction.

While you can travel straight to Petra from Amman either via local minibus or the slightly more luxurious Jett Bus, Jordan Towers actually offer another top day trip to Petra, which allows you to see some stunning sights on the way, which are otherwise impossible to get to without your own transport.

These include the Roman ruins of Umm ar-Rasas, the Mujib Valley, Karak Castle, the Dana Valley and Shobak Castle, all of which sit along the Kings Highway – a road that provides some of Jordan’s most stunning scenery too.

As such, I’d highly recommend taking a day to experience the King’s Highway Tour – it makes for a far more exciting, scenic and interesting journey to Petra than the main road.

As a full day trip however, it does mean you won’t arrive into Wadi Musa – the town nearest to Petra – until about 6pm, so it’s a good idea to already have your accommodation here booked.

Highly recommended is Petra Gate Hostel, a well located budget option with free wifi and friendly staff.

Day 5 & 6 : Petra

Jordan, Petra, Treasury

And then, the piece de resistance, there’s no doubt Petra is worth 2 days of your Jordan itinerary.

The Red Rose City is far bigger and grander than every picture you’ve ever seen lets on, and from its walking trails to its monasteries, tombs, theatres and caves, you really will need a couple of days to get your head around the place… and you’ll need at least one empty memory card for your camera too!

An easy downhill walk from Petra Gate Hostel in Wadi Musa, the Visitor Centre of Petra is a great place to pick up a free map and plan your time in this ancient desert city.

Must sees at Petra include the famous Siq and Treasury, as well the Theatre, Royal Tombs, the Monastery and you can’t miss the trail of the High Place of Sacrifice either!

DISCOVER MORE: Top Tips for Visiting Petra on the Cheap

Day 7 : Wadi Rum

Jordan, Wadi Rum, Canyon

And with one last day in Jordan, there’s no question a night in the desert of Wadi Rum is the perfect way to end a jam-packed week in this country.

Easily accessible via public bus from Wadi Musa, Wadi Rum is a stunning desert landscape populated by the Bedouin People who offer incredible safari tours and camping under the stars in this remote and stark landscape.

I actually booked my Wadi Rum tour (because you have to take a tour) through Petra Gate Hostel and scored an excellent deal that included transport to and from Wadi Rum Village, a full day Safari Jeep Tour, a night in a beautiful Bedouin Camp, plus breakfast, lunch and dinner.

A definite highlight of my time in Jordan, Wadi Rum will give a you a very different, but still dazzling side of Jordan.

 

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10 Day Jordan Itinerary

If you’re lucky enough to have 10 days for your Jordan itinerary, then I’d highly recommend following the 7 Day Itinerary above, but giving yourself an extra night in Amman either at the start or end of your trip.

This will give you time to explore what is known as the country’s Desert Castles, which lie to the east of the capital via the town of Azraq.

Again, although they can be difficult to see without your own transport, Jordan Towers offers day trips for budget travellers to see around 5 of these castles by pairing you with other backpackers, a driver and a vehicle.

For history buffs, this is a must-do trip which takes you through the desert towards to the Iraqi border.

With 8 days of your Jordan itinerary then planned out, why not spend the remaining 2 days relaxing on the country’s coastline.

Aqaba is Jordan’s famous Red Sea resort and where the locals go to let their hair down.

From diving to partying, relaxing to snorkelling, there’s plenty to do here, almost all of which revolves around the sand, sea and sun.

As such, I’d actually avoid staying in the town of Aqaba itself, and instead book 2 nights at one of the many South Beach accommodation options instead.

Top of the list is Darna Village Beach Hostel, which continues to get rave reviews from travellers thanks to its top facilities, great location and friendly staff.

Jordan, Petra, Flag

 

5 PACKING ESSENTIALS FOR JORDAN

#1 Jordan Lonely Planet – An excellent resource when it comes to finding out the history of what you’re seeing in this country without the need for a guide, the Jordan Lonely Planet is a must for budget travellers.

#2 Head Lamp – Great for taking into Roman ruins to get an even better look at the amazing engravings and for any power cuts you may experience in Jordan, I love my Black Diamond Storm, which served me super well in this country.

#3 Sun Hat – Trips to Roman ruins, crusader castles and Petra will mean many hours in the hot sun of Jordan. Do yourself a favour and bring a wide-brimmed hat to protect you. I love this Hello Sunshine design.

#4 Long Thin Trousers – While Jordan isn’t a super strict Muslim country, you’re unlikely to feel comfortable walking around in anything too short. As such a pair of long, thin cotton or linen trousers provides the perfect attire for this hot country.

#5 Travel Insurance – A good idea whenever you travel in the Middle East, I love Travel Insurance from World Nomads and have used them throughout my time in Jordan and beyond.

 

2 Week Jordan Itinerary

For your 2 week Jordan Itinerary, I’d highly suggest following the 10 Day programme above and then combining this with an extra day in Petra.

With 3 full days in this ancient city you’re likely to be able to see it from every angle, as well as enjoy some very early morning and evening views after the crowds have dissipated.

The best and cheapest way to access Petra for 3 days is to invest in the Jordan Expert Pass. Learn more about this by checking out my article Everything You Need to Know about Backpacking Jordan.

And then finally, with 3 days of your 2 week Jordan itinerary still remaining, some incredible opportunities for hiking in the Dana or Mujib Reserves await you.

Probably the best way to get off the beaten track in Jordan, heading to one of these protected areas of natural beauty will provide you with some of Jordan’s best scenery and ecotourism experiences.

From the numerous trails you can explore with guides, to the hidden accommodation options that deliver solitude and seclusion, this is a Jordan experience you certainly won’t forget in a hurry.

Carrying On From Jordan?
Click here to learn everything you need to know about travelling from Amman to Jerusalem!

 

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Despite being a tiny country, I think this Jordan itinerary makes clear exactly how much there is to do in this beauty of a Middle Eastern spot.

Ideal for both a short break or as part of wider Middle Eastern tour, there’s no question Jordan is a top up-and-coming destination.

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About the Author

About the Author: Creator of Big World Small Pockets, Stephanie Parker is a budget travel addict! Originally from Jersey in the Channel Islands, Stephanie backpacks the world collecting tips, advice and stories, to share with a smile .

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There Are 2 Brilliant Comments

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  1. TT says:

    Hi there, including prices would help out a bunch!!!

    • Steph says:

      Hi Tien, thanks for your great suggestion – unfortunately prices change regularly and this makes it hard to keep posts accurate if I list amounts – especially as I blog about many different countries. Latest prices can always be found by going direct to the websites of the products I mention such as the Jordan pass, Jordan Visa, Accommodation Websites and Petra Visitor Website. If there is any prices you want in particular, please drop me a line and I will try my best to get the latest info for you. Thanks, Steph

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