Enter the dry, dusty country of Jordan…
Wait, I’m starting again, because that does not sound very appealing!
Enter the amazing country of Jordan (it honestly is)… home to one of the seven wonders of the world, one heck of a captivating desert, the saltiest sea in the world and an enormous collection of ancient ruins.
This country sure does pack a lot into its tiny borders and it’s no surprise therefore it’s a destination many dream about visiting.
When it comes to knowing what to wear in Jordan however, it can be a tricky business, especially for women.
As an Islamic country, knowing what is and isn’t acceptable to pack, can be something of a dilemma.
How conservative is the country? Do I need to wear a headscarf? How cold does it get?
These are all regular questions I get asked by those looking to travel here.
And my answer is, don’t worry!
For while Jordan is a conservative Muslim country, it does not practice Sharia law and locals here are very welcoming and friendly to travellers, making it the perfect introductory country to adventuring in this part of the world.
That’s not, however, to say you can abandon all cultural sensitivity when you come to Jordan, as there certainly are some rules you still need to be aware of when packing for a trip here, but because I’ve been to Jordan (and loved it), I’ve perfected my packing for this Middle Eastern country, so you can sit back and relax!
Read on to learn everything I advise wearing (and the things I don’t) for an amazing (and safe) trip to Jordan…
- 10 Best Places to See in Jordan
- Solo Female Travel in the Middle East: What To Expect
- 13 Top Things to Do in Amman
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Layers are Key!
The great thing about Jordan is that the climate is pretty stable the whole year round – it’s largely warm and dry every day!
This means it doesn’t really matter hugely when you visit (it will get hotter in the summer and colder in the winter) but at all times, it’s best to be pretty covered – be this to protect you from the sun, to keep warm, or to remain culturally sensitive.
The biggest variation in temperature in this country will often be between the day and night instead of between seasons.
As such, the general rule for female travellers when it comes to what to wear in Jordan is… wear layers!
The changes in temperatures across the country (it can get really cold in the desert at sunset for example) mean thin layers, which can easily be taken on and off, are the best option here.
It’s also worth bringing at least one warm layer with you (plus a windproof jacket) even if that doesn’t at first seem like a good idea!
Trust me, you’ll be glad of it when the night descends or you get up before sunrise to see Petra!
The other thing to remember when deciding what to wear in Jordan is the Islamic culture of the country.
While no way near as conservative as other Muslim-majority countries I’ve visited, such as Sudan, Jordan is not as liberal as parts of Lebanon or Turkey either.
Lying somewhere in the middle, female travellers in Jordan do not have to cover their heads (as most local women do), but I’d certainly advise only packing clothes that extend below the knee and that cover the shoulders and cleavage well.
Having your lower arms exposed is ok (as long as your shoulders and chest are covered), but you may still feel more comfortable with your forearms covered too.
Sarongs or thin scarves are a great option when travelling in Jordan as well, because they are so versatile, compact and light and can usually be used to layer up in cold temp or to throw over your head if entering any religious buildings.
Watch the Heat!
Sarongs (or headscarves) are also good for protecting your face and neck from the sun – which can get mighty strong in Jordan.
Sunglasses with UV protection and sunscreen are also musts for this country.
A reliable day pack is another top item to ensure you’re sightsee-ready in the heat – it will allow you to carry water, a hat and sunscreen with you!
In terms of shoes when it comes to Jordan travel, I really do think you can limit yourself to just 2 pairs – 1 comfy set of trainers / runners that can be used for any hikes, active days or long sightseeing trips and 1 pair of good support sandals like Birkenstocks that will keep your feet cool at the beach or in cities.
Evening wear can largely be forgotten from your Jordan packing list in my opinion.
As a largely alcohol-free country (although it’s not illegal, few people here drink it and it’s very expensive), you’re unlikely to be going out at night or needing many smart clothes in Jordan… so that’s one thing you don’t have to worry about when packing!
Ditto heavy make-up, which is not common here and will be a nightmare in the heat.
In my opinion, pumps, dress sandals, evening footwear or anything with a heel, are definitely not required when travelling in this country.
If you are going out for dinner in Jordan, then trousers and a blouse or long-sleeved top will do the job just fine – most people don’t get dressed up.
For more specific ideas for exactly what to wear in Jordan, check out my packing checklist below.
You can also download your own copy by entering your details in the subscription box below …
Clothes to Pack for Jordan
1 Thin Waterproof / Windproof Jacket
While Jordan is certainly warm for most of the year, during the autumn / winter months it can get a bit fresh here, even in the capital Amman.
As such, I definitely advise bringing a thin rain jacket with you, ideally one that is windproof too, as this will come in handy at any time of the year in the desert areas of Wadi Rum and Petra, when it can be pretty chilly and blustery at night.
Something compact and practical is best when considering what to wear in Jordan and this North Face Venture 2 light waterproof jacket is perfect for the job.
It comes in black too, meaning it goes with anything!
1 Thick Hoodie / Sweater
Ditto a thin sweater or hoodie when it comes to keeping warm in those desert regions of Jordan.
Here, temperatures can drop significantly at night (during any time of year FYI) and if you’re heading to Wadi Rum especially, camping out there at night can call for some thick layers!
A thermal travel fleece like this one from Columbia would be a great lightweight packing solution.
3 Cotton Long-Sleeved Tops
Jordan is a conservative country and while women travellers aren’t expected to wear a headscarf (it’s not that conservative), I’d definitely advise at least taking a few tops that cover your upper arms down to the elbow.
I did occasionally wear T-shirts when I was travelling here, especially in the more touristy areas such as the coast or Petra, but generally always felt more comfortable with longer-sleeved tops in city and town areas.
Longer-sleeved tops are also a must if visiting any religious buildings.
Given the warm climate in most parts of Jordan, thin long-sleeved tops are best and cotton (or other natural fibres) are a great way to go if you want to stay cool and sweat-free.
Make sure none of the tops your pack for Jordan expose your cleavage or stomach area, or are too tight-fitting.
5-10 Singlets / T-Shirts
Choose a range of T-shirt colours and styles that match the trousers you’ve selected, including plenty of T-shirts which cover your shoulders and your cleavage.
Generally, I didn’t feel comfortable wearing sleeveless singlets in Jordan, except under a longer-sleeved top as an extra layer.
5-10 singlets or T-shirts is a good number if you’re travelling in Jordan for 5 to 10 days.
1-2 Pairs of Leggings
One of my travel essentials, leggings are especially ideal when you’re exploring the beautiful nature of Jordan, such as hiking around Petra or in the Dana Biosphere Reserve.
Leggings are also good for female travellers in the Middle East because they can be worn under a casual dress, which is a great option when sightseeing or taking any long bus rides.
A thin, black pair of bamboo leggings will easily match most things and keep you cool.
I can’t get enough of mine!
3 Pairs of Jeans / Trousers
While T-shirts may be ok to wear in Jordan, I certainly didn’t feel comfortable wearing anything above the knee and, as such, I recommend bringing 2-3 pairs of trousers when considering what to wear in Jordan.
I’d suggest 1 pair of jeans for the evening and 2 other pairs of more loose-fitting trousers, which are thinner and cooler, for the day.
Steer clear of skinny jeans or any trousers that are thick or heavy – they’ll be a nightmare in the heat.
1 Thin Summer Dress / Tunic
A great item if you choose to go to the coastal area of Aqaba in Jordan, I suggest packing 1 thin, knee-length dress for your travels in Jordan because it can be worn over the leggings I recommend above in towns and cities too.
You should never travel anywhere without a sarong in my opinion, especially in Jordan!
Light and versatile, perfect for using as a beach towel in Aqaba or the Dead Sea, a scarf in the desert, or a headwrap if entering any religious buildings… the list for sarong uses when you travel goes on and on!
Check out my post about the 20 reasons why you should always take a sarong travelling for more ideas about why a sarong is certainly on my list of what to wear in Jordan.
Consider bringing 2 sarongs if you have the space, or swapping 1 out for a scarf that can be worn around the neck or on the head to cover your hair.
Small and compact, 7-10 pairs of underwear is a good number if you want to save on washing duties during your trip.
Bras + Sports Bra
I’d advise a sports bra for any hiking you may be doing on more active days, or for any bumpy jeep rides in Wadi Rum or Petra.
Bikini / Swimwear
Swimwear is a must – well you need something to enjoy while diving in Aqaba or floating on the Dead Sea!
2 normal-length pairs of socks are a good idea for outdoors stuff, 4 ankle-length pairs will do for city / sightseeing days.
You can always double up on your daywear instead of taking nightwear to save room when packing if needs be!
See, those leggings are coming into their own again!
Whether you want to bring a cap or a floppy, large number, the choice is yours.
Just make sure you bring a sun hat of some description to Jordan, because walking all day in cities or ruins in the heat here can be tough!
This black cap from Nike makes for a good, versatile choice when thinking about what to wear in Jordan.
If you’re visiting this country during the cooler months, then a warm hat for early morning visits to Petra or for any camping would definitely be my advice too.
Shoes to Pack
1 Pair of Trainers / Runners
Versatile, comfortable and essential if you want to see all the sights in this epic country, a pair of comfortable shoes is a must for your Jordan travels.
I highly recommend New Balance, who create stylish city runners that you can still wear when doing your outdoors stuff too.
1 Pair of Sandals
Personally I love my Arizona Birkenstocks, which I basically lived in during my time in this country.
The support they offer means you can sightsee to your heart’s content in them and never get sore soles – hoorah!
Toiletries & First Aid
Thin Toiletries Bag
To hook or not to hook, that is the question!
Either way, just make sure your toiletries bag is light and thin.
This one is a great, cheap option.
Shampoo & Conditioner Bars
I also go for shampoo and conditioner bars when I travel to save the plastic and keep the space down!
Although they are a bit pricey, they last for ages and are better for the environment.
Say goodbye to mid-travel spillages and bulky bottles, this is the future!
I always pack a natural crystal deodorant as they last forever (great if you’re travelling for a few months) and are free from many nasty chemicals.
Keep your soap in a ziplock bag to prevent soap slime getting on everything you own!
I suggest an anti-bacterial soap bar for Jordan, as they are great for keeping you clean in warmer climates where you’re likely to be sweating a bit!
Face Cleanser, Toner, Serum & Moisturiser
Great for bringing your skin back to life after days in the desert, don’t skimp on the skincare!
The climate in Jordan is unbelievable dry, so slap on the moisturiser like no tomorrow!
Choose a 30 SPF or higher for those super-strong summer rays in Jordan and go natural if you can to keep the chemicals out of your skin.
SPF Lip Salve
Very important for those UV conditions and dry, desert conditions.Burt Bees are always my go-to as they never dry out my lips.
An ideal remedy for headaches, sore muscles and insect bites, tiger balm is super versatile.
Paracetamol, Antiseptic Cream & Band-Aids
The only medicine you need to take!
There’s so many pharmacies in Jordan that you’ll be able to get almost anything you need here!
The best way to deal with your time of the month when travelling ladies, check out the best prices for menstrual cups here.
Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Floss
Razor & Spare Blades
Nail Scissors & Nail File
Cotton Buds / Pads
Hair Bands, Hair Brush
Safety Pins & Tweezers
Glasses / Contact Lenses if you wear them
Electricals to Pack
Smartphone & Bluetooth Headphones
Taking your smartphone to stay in touch with those at home, check maps, book accommodation and upload some pics while you’re in Jordan, is a great idea.
I also recommend downloading some audiobooks and music onto your phone before you leave home – it’s good to be prepared if the wifi isn’t very strong in your accommodation.
As always, my picks are Amazon Audible and Spotify Premium – I wouldn’t travel without either these days.
Portable chargers are great when travelling without a solidly reliable charging source, like in Jordan where power cuts can be a thing!
Portable chargers are also good if you’re out sightseeing all day and worried about your phone or camera battery not lasting.
I recommend the Anker Powercore, it’s light and can charge my iPhone 12Pro around 3 times!
Camera, Lens, Spare Battery & Charger
I love my Sony A600 mirrorless camera, which I’ve used across Jordan and beyond.
Light, compact and sturdy, it’s perfect for travelling.
A GoPro Hero is also a great idea to help capture the more active adventures you might have in Jordan such as hiking or snorkelling.
64 GB / 128GB Memory Card
Take a large memory card if possible – like this 64GB one.
In fact, it might not be a bad idea to double up in case you lose it or fill it up either.
High-speed memory cards are good for better processing times.
Euro / World Adapter
How are you going to charge your electronics without an adapter?!
Jordan has the same type of plugs as Europe, so get a Skross adapter that won’t fail you!
Headlamp & Spare Batteries
I never travel without a headlamp and always choose a product that uses commonly found batteries and has a red night light function.
I love my Black Diamond Storm, which served me very well during Jordan’s power cuts!
Documents to Take
Passport & Photocopies
Definitely take a colour copy of your passport with you to Jordan and keep it with you at all times.
Taking a photo of your passport and storing it safely on your phone is also a good idea.
World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while travelling and claim online from anywhere in the world.
Alternatively, if you’re a long-term traveller, digital nomad or frequent remote worker seeking travel health cover, check out Safetywing’s Nomad Insurance policies.
Debit & Credit Cards
When it comes to getting paying for things in Jordan, you want to ensure you’re not being charged overseas transaction fees or getting poor exchange rates when using your card abroad, which is why I always take my Wise Card away with me wherever I travel.
The easy way to spend abroad with real exchange rates, no markups and no sneaky transaction fees, you can use your Wise card just like a debit card in Jordan… and it links easily with Google and Apple pay – sold! Get yours here.
USD Cash in Small Thin Purse
And Don’t Forget…
40l Osprey Backpack
This whole packing list for what to wear in Jordan should fit easily into a 40l backpack – I never travel with anything bigger and love this great option from Osprey.
I recommend Latrek when it comes to the best travel towel because they are cheap, compact, soft and don’t smell.
Great for using at the beach or if you’re staying in hostels or budget hotels that don’t always provide towels.
Love, love, love mine! Read the full review here.
Good for hiking and sightseeing days, this day pack from Osprey is perfect for the Jordan job.
Eye Mask & Earplugs
Key for sleeping in hostels or on buses, this eye mask from Alaska Bear is super comfy.
Don’t forget earplugs too if you don’t want to wake up for the morning call to prayer!
Very useful for locking up bags and valuables when staying in hostels, these don’t have to be expensive, just reliable!
Best to get TSA-approved ones in case of any hassle at the airport.
A must for those strong Jordan sunny rays… ahhh I can feel them now!
Make sure any sunglasses you take have UV protection to keep your eyes safe.
Filter Water Bottle
Try to get a filter water bottle so you don’t have to keep buying bottled water in Jordan and can safely drink the tap water instead.
Saving your pockets and the planet – double win!
Great for doing emergency washing, such as underwear in a sink or removing hummus stains (voice of experience!), travel handwash is always a must when I go anywhere and definitely deserves a spot on this Jordan packing list.
A great travel accessory for long flights and bus rides in the Middle East.
I love this high-neck support product, which I never travel anywhere without these days!
Mini Travel Guide to Jordan
When to Visit Jordan?
No question in my mind that you should definitely visit Jordan during the spring and autumn seasons i.e. during the months of April and May or September and November.
This will allow you to get the most from the country’s lovely historical and natural sites without being either too hot or too cold!
Learn more in this article I wrote about the best time to visit Jordan.
How to Get There?
Most people access Jordan by flying into the international airport in the capital Amman.
As always, I use Skyscanner to find the best prices – Royal Jordanian are a safe airline I’ve used many times, otherwise British Airways and Air France have regular flights too.
If you are crossing into Amman overland from Jerusalem, check out this post which details all the ins and outs of crossing this border.
How Long to Visit Jordan For?
I think 7-10 days is the perfect amount of time to visit Jordan.
This will allow you to see all the main sights at a casual pace, or throw in some of the less travelled parts too if you like to travel fast!
Learn more in my perfect Jordan itinerary post.
Recommended Jordan Tours
If you don’t fancy travelling Jordan by yourself (although it is perfectly safe to do so), then taking a tour can be a great way to connect with other travellers and learn loads from experienced guides.
Check out these brilliant options and compare their itineraries, prices and dates to find your perfect trip.
SAVE THIS TO PINTEREST!
So that’s my guide for what to wear in Jordan and what to pack for a top trip to this country.
Have any questions about my list?
Then please drop them into the comments box below…