Jordan, an Arab country on the east bank of the Jordan River, is defined by ancient monuments, nature reserves, and seaside resorts. Plan your vacation to the Middle East and see the best places to visit with our list of the top tourist attractions in Jordan.
- Al-Siq, Petra
The ancient rose-hued city of Petra is Jordan’s most famous tourist attraction and one of the world’s most spectacular UNESCO World Heritage sites. One of the new Seven Wonders of the World, it was once inhabited by the Nabateans, Edomites, and the Romans. Rediscovered in the 19th century by explorer Jean Louis Burckhardt, the 1.2km (0.75mi) Siq is the city’s jaw-dropping ancient main entrance which leads from the Dam to the Treasury.
- Dead Sea
The Dead Sea is the lowest point of dry land on earth at 431m (1,414ft) below sea level, making for a fascinating natural wonder that no visitor to Jordan should miss. Known for its exceptionally salty but soothing waters, the mineral-rich mud has attracted visitors including the famous Egyptian queen, Cleopatra. Tourists can still float on their back on the therapeutic waters.
- Wadi Rum
With its endless golden sands, rugged canyons, and sweeping star-studded skies, Wadi Rum is an adventurer’s paradise. Ideal for hiking, camel tours, and even overnight stays in desert camps, this mystical land of shifting dunes and reddened sandstone has been inhabited since prehistoric times and is home to nomadic Bedouin tribes.
- Jerash Ruins
Jordan’s largest and most compelling Roman site, the ancient city of Jerash is a must for history buffs. It is now considered one of the best-preserved sites of Roman architecture outside Italy and visitors can take in its public baths, squares, and temples.
Close enough for day trips to the ancient wonders at Petra and the desert landscapes of Wadi Rum, Aqaba also offers action-packed watersports, lively markets, and local restaurants serving Jordanian cuisine and fresh seafood.
- Roman Theatre, Amman
Jordan’s very own Colosseum, the mighty Roman Theatre is Amman’s most famous archaeological treasure, located in the heart of the busy downtown district. The theatre was built in the 2nd century CE in the reign of Emperor Antoninus Pius and seated 6,000 people over three tiers. Restoration started on the ruins of the theatre in 1957 and the site is now open to visitors, even hosting sporadic musical performances.
- Wadi Mujib
Wadi Mujib is a spellbinding canyon that towers above the Mujib River and stretches along 70 kilometers. The Mujib River in Jordan flows into the Dead Sea which is the lowest place on earth. A trip to Wadi Mujib is a canyoning adventure like no other and it is arguably one of the best ways to enjoy Jordan’s Dead Sea.
Amman is a great place to feel the beating pulse of Arabia and get a sense of the deep histories and cultural strands that inform Jordan as a whole. Head to the warren of streets that weave and wind through the hectic center of the capital to see the mosaic of frenetic souks and echoing mosque minarets that make up the famous area of Balad.
The old, old city of Madaba can be found clinging to the edge of the famous King’s Highway that weaves through the dusty desert hills and the very historic heart of Jordan. Dominated by its glorious, gold-gilded mosque and collection of spiked minarets, the town also hides some awesome ancient mosaics that date from the Umayyad era.
Irbid has thrived thanks to its hugely prestigious university – the acclaimed Yarmouk University – and a whole host of other well-known higher education facilities besides. The folk of this bustling northern city is proud of their forward-thinking, more off-the-wall reputation.