Set on the ancient crossroads between Arabia and the Mediterranean Sea, Jordan is full of historic sites. Crusaders’ forts along old trade routes and ancient cities carved from stone will captivate anyone in search of the past. Although the land might be ancient, Jordan’s cities offer the modern conveniences that help make your trip to the past a little less demanding.
Small Group Tours
Uncover thousands of years of ancient history in three of the world’s oldest and most interesting countries.
Take an in-depth journey back in time to the ageless and ancient worlds of Egypt & Jordan.
Discover the iconic age-old wonders and mesmerising history of Egypt and Jordan.
Discover the iconic age-old wonders and mesmerising history of Egypt and Jordan.
Jordan is full of treasures just waiting to be explored. Discover the incredible Lost City of Petra and marvel at the wonders of the ancient Nabataean civilisation, and head into the desert to camp overnight in breathtaking Wadi Rum. Explore ancient Roman ruins and float in the Dead Sea.
Jordan Facts & Tips
Did you know?
- Jordan's official name is the “Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan”
- Jordan is bounded to the north by Syria, to the east by Iraq, to the southeast and south by Saudi Arabia, and to the west by Israel and the West Bank.
- The lowest point of dry land in the world is the shore of the Dead Sea in Jordan at 420 metres beneath sea level.
- Traces of human activity in Jordan have been found dating back all the way to the Paleolithic period (500,000 BC to 17,000 BC)
- Jordan is a constitutional monarchy. The current monarch, King Abdullah II ibn Al-Hussein, is Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
Visas & Passports
Australian passport holders travelling to Jordan need a visa at this time. Usually a visa needs to be purchased on arrival, however when travelling with Bunnik Tours, our local Jordanian operator has the ability to organise free tourist visas. All passengers will receive a visa free of charge on arrival as long as they have booked arrival and departure transfers with Bunnik Tours.
We require that your passport is valid for travel for at least six months from the date you are planning to return to Australia. Your passport must be valid to travel internationally and must be machine-readable. You also need to carry a valid return ticket on you.
Whether travelling on an Australian passport or the passport of another country, all travellers require visas for a number of countries, and it is your responsibility to secure what may be required before departing Australia. You can consult with your travel agent, but it is also recommended that you check the foreign embassy website for your respective destination as it can also provide you with useful information.
Australian Embassy in Jordan:
41 Kayed Al Armouti Street
Abdoun Al Janoubi, Amman
Ph. +962 6 580 7000
Fax. +962 6 580 7001
The official currency of Jordan is the Jordanian Dinar. Notes come in denominations of JD50, 20, 10, 5 and 1. Ensure you change a small amount into small denominations.
Advise your bank of your travel plans so that they can make a note of it, otherwise they may cancel your credit card as a safety measure due to the overseas transactions. Also make a note of the 24-hour emergency contact number of the bank or building society which issued your credit card in the unlikely event that your card is lost or stolen.
Whenever possible use ATMs when the banks are open (Mon – Fri) so that if a machine ‘eats’ your card you can then deal with it straight away. It is always advisable to carry a supply of cash in addition to your credit card.
If you don’t have Jordanian Dinar’s with you on arrival, we advise you to exchange some money into the local currency at the airport even if the exchange rate is not the best, this way you’ll have money to get a drink, snack or give a tip during those first few hours of arrival. Your guide will be able to advise you on the best places to exchange money.
Small change is also useful for paying for toilets while on tour which is customary in many places outside of Australia.
- The price of a cappuccino in Amman is approximately 3 JOD
- The price of an inexpensive lunch is approximately 5 JOD
- The price dinner in a moderate restaurant is approximately 15 JOD
- The price of a beer in a local pub is approximately 5 JOD
Jordan offers an amazing array of Middle Eastern dishes; try the ubiquitous kebabs and shawarma, musakham (a chicken dish that is baked on Arabic bread), yogurt, mensaf (the national dish, consisting of yogurt, rice and lamb), fabulous unleavened breads, maglouba (a fish/meat stew) and very fine desserts. There’s a lot of open-pit cooking. The figs and apricots are a real treat. Turkish coffee and mint tea are available everywhere. A limited variety of international cuisine is available at the more deluxe hotels and resorts
Eating or feasting, a popular pastime in this part of the world remains at the centre of cultural celebrations, and the daily cycle of life. Water should be drunk from bottles only, however, please ensure that bottle top seals are not broken. Soft drinks and alcohol are not a problem, but ice should be avoided. Eating at local restaurants is generally fine and it can be a great, fun experience. Choose restaurants that are busy as the turnover of food is likely to be higher. Take care with seafood and avoid undercooked meat. Only eat fruit you have peeled yourself and give salads a miss.
Important: When dining at buffets (i.e. breakfast) please refrain from taking food away with you to ‘save’ for later! If you feel that you’ll need snacks between meals, pack some dried fruit, nuts, muesli bars etc.
If you have specific food allergies and/or preferences, we highly recommend you take every precaution before your tour, including carrying a small card with your food allergy listed in each language of every country you are travelling to show to table staff when ordering. Whilst we take all dietary requirements seriously, due to the serious nature of potential allergic reactions, it is your responsibility to be as prepared as possible.
Summers are very warm, with temperatures running 32-44C. Rain falls most frequently from November to March. Winters can be very drizzly, damp, and cool and snow even makes an appearance in Amman and the mountains. A thin jumper can be useful even during the summer, as the contrast between the day and night temperatures are quite dramatic. Aqaba and Wadi Rum are usually a few degrees warmer than the rest of the country during the day, however the temperature can plummet during the night.
Want to get out and explore on your own?
In Jordan, public transport is somewhat limited to local buses and can be difficult to navigate, so the easiest way to get around in Jordanian cities and towns is by taxi. However, walking around the city centre is also a wonderful way of soaking up the local atmosphere.
When catching taxis, make sure you have small change on you and choose one with a meter, if it doesn’t have one then negotiate the price before getting in. We recommend you ask your guide or hotel staff the names of reputable taxi companies.
So, you’d love to bring home a special souvenir from Jordan…
Among the most popular things to buy in Jordan are the decorated sand bottles, often with highly intricate designs made with the aid of a knitting needle and funnel! Petra is a good place to buy these, as the sand used is almost always the natural sand of the rock and salesmen will often refer to them as “Petra’s Treasure”. Jordan is also popular for Madaba rugs, leatherwork, silver work, jewellery, Dead Sea products and Hebron glass. There are many gold and silver shops to be found in the souks of Amman, where prices are determined by weight. Bargaining is acceptable in the souks, but it’s not widely used in the more upmarket shops.
- Criticising the King or Royal Family is a serious legal offence!
- In Jordan, it's considered polite to refuse a meal three times before accepting it.
It is common for Arabs to greet each other by giving a small kiss on both cheeks. This is a sign of warmth, affection and is giving to both men and women. It is not expected by foreign visitors, however, it is a sign of warmth, and best not to be caught off guard if greeted with a small kiss on both cheeks.
- Don't eat, drink or smoke in public during the day while travelling within the holy month of Ramadan. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is a time of fasting for the Islamic people. Each day during this month, Muslims all over the world abstain from eating, drinking, smoking, as well as participating in anything that is ill-natured or excessive, from dawn until the sun sets. Fasting is intended to educate the Muslim in spirituality, humility, and patience. The precise time of Ramadan will at times vary from place to place because some depend a great deal on moon sightings, while others rely on science.
Celebrations & Public Holidays
Jordan has many festivals and celebrations running throughout the year. The most important for Muslims (in fact, Muslims all over the world) is the holy month of Ramadan. Dates vary each year depending on the cycles of the moon. During this month, Muslims avoid food and drinking from sunrise to sunset, but after this time, the streets come alive with people celebrating with family and friends.
Muharram is the beginning of the Islamic New Year. It takes its name first month of the Islamic calendar and just like Ramadan the dates vary each year depending on the cycles of the moon. Muharram is celebrated in many towns across Jordan with food, dances, and traditions.
Other national public holidays to be aware of include:
- New Year’s Day
- Good Friday
- Holy Saturday (Easter Saturday)
- Labour Day (01 May)
- Independence Day (25 May)
- Eid al-Fitr (multi-day holiday to celebrate the end of Ramadan – dates vary)
- Eid al-Adha (two-day holiday in the Summer months – dates vary)
Arafah (dates vary)
- Muharram (dates vary)
- Prophet's Birthday (dates vary)
- Christmas Day
- Boxing Day
This expansive protected nature area has some of the most dramatic scenery in Jordan – you may even recognise its vistas from the film Lawrence of Arabia. The scenery is spectacular – dry riverbeds, a natural rock bridge, mountains of sandstone and granite, sandy deserts and wind-sculpted black hills accented by pastel-coloured sand. Photo credit: Victoria Hearn
Although much has been written about Petra, nothing really prepares you for this amazing place. It must be seen to be believed. It is a vast, unique city, carved directly from the sheer rock face of red sandstone, and was an important junction for the silk, spice and other trade routes that linked China, India and Southern Arabia with Egypt, Syria, Rome, and Greece. The Nabateans constructed the beautiful city as their capital around 100BC, and it remained unknown to the western world until around 1812. This ancient rose-coloured city is one of the Middle East’s greatest historical and architectural treasures and a must-see sight in Jordan. Photo credit: Dennis Bunnik
Straddling the border between Israel and Jordan, the Dead Sea is the lowest spot on the Earth’s surface. The mineral content of this 75 kilometre long and 10 kilometre wide saltwater lake tops out at 33%. The Dead Sea should be seen (and floated on) at least once in every person’s life – as it is impossible to sink! Dead Sea mud is popular for its natural treatments and in recent years the area has become a health, rehabilitation, recreation, and beauty spa hotspot. Photo credit: Dennis Bunnik
Known during antiquity as Philadelphia, Jordan’s capital and largest city lies just a short drive from the country’s border with Syria and Israel (and about 70 kilometres northeast of Jerusalem). The area has been continuously inhabited since 6,000BC, though few ancient buildings remain. This relatively drab, modern, and sprawling city was not much more than a village when it became the seat of government in the 1920s – since then, it has grown dramatically. Nowadays, Amman has little of the atmosphere or medieval architecture one might describe as typically Middle Eastern. Tour the Forum and the hilltop Citadel area to see the remaining ruins (including a Roman temple of Hercules). The hill affords a sweeping view of Amman and is a tranquil escape from the rest of the crowded city. Photo credit: Victoria Hearn
Egypt & Middle East Destinations
Synonymous with ancient civilisations, travellers have been marvelling at Egypt’s wondrous antiquities, pyramids and temples for thousands of years.
A small and diverse country, Israel is one of the world's oldest travel destinations, with the land spiritually sacred for the three great monotheistic religions.