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Jordan - 10 must-see sights

Jordan - 10 must-see sights

  • From Petra's magnificent rock architecture to the excruciatingly salty waters of the Dead Sea - Jordan offers experiences and sights in abundance. Here are the top ten sights that you must not miss!
Caravan of dromedaries with their attendant in the desert

The trip to Jordan was made on a press trip together with Jordan Tourism Board and Royal Jordanian Airlines, but all thoughts and opinions are, as usual, my own.

Jordan is a country full of world-class sights. Here you will find a colorful history, a rich culture and otherworldly beautiful desert landscapes. Explore the ancient Roman cities, sleep in glamping tents under the stars in the desert, snorkel in the Red Sea and experience one of the world's most beautiful and fascinating World Heritage Sites, Petra. Jordan is not just a destination, but a dream destination. Here are my top ten experiences and sights in Jordan that you should not miss in the land of fairy tales.

City of Amman sand colored houses in sunrise

1. Petra

Petra is Jordan's greatest attraction and undoubtedly one of the world's coolest World Heritage Sites. The rock city of Petra is enchanting, magnificent and insanely beautiful. Petra stretches over a large area with over 850 monuments where the Nabateans carved temples, tombs and settlements into the sandstone over 2000 years ago. Most famous is the facade of the iconic "The Treasury" (The Treasury), but they The Royal Tombs and the walk through the rock river”the Siq” is at least as impressive. Expect to need at least a full day here to scratch the surface of the area's secrets.

Read more here: The rose city of Petra - One of the modern wonders of the world - Jordan

The Treasury under Petra by Night is one of the attractions in Jordan
Al-Siq in Petra
Cliff houses in a row in stone

2. Wadi Rum

Wadi Rum is not just a barren desert. The golden sand, the otherworldly rock formations, the endless silence and the palpable proximity to the stars and space will take you on a real adventure. Explore nature on four wheels or on a dromedary. Drink tea in a Bedouin tent or walk all by yourself in the soft sand at sunrise. A visit to Wadi Rum is as much a mental journey as a desert adventure.

Read more here: Wadi Rum - Desert Adventure in an Otherworldly Landscape - Jordan

Car tracks in the sand in the desert and a car in the distance in Wadi Rum
Three capsule hotels in the form of igloos in the desert under steep cliffs in Wadi Rum

3. Jerash

The city Jerash in northern Jordan is one of the world's best-preserved Roman cities. The city's history began already in the 200nd century BC, when Alexander the Great founded the city. When the Romans then conquered the area in 63 BC, Jerash became an important provincial city for the trade of the Roman Empire. Here, your feet walk on historic cobbled shopping streets, lined with well-preserved Roman columns. The temples on the hills still watch over the city and most of the squares, fountains and amphitheaters can still be visited.

Although much of the city is in ruins, it is not difficult to imagine the city's former grandeur. Every single stone holds so much history that it is difficult to take in all the impressions from the vast area.

Read more about Jerash here: Jerash - The well-preserved Roman city - Jordan

The well-preserved Roman city of Jeras seen from above with lots of columns and ruins
Theater in Jerash

4. The Citadel of Amman

The Citadel of Amman is one of Amman's biggest attractions and a visit here should not be missed for those who love history. The citadel began to form already during the Bronze Age, when the 850 meter high kullen was built on. Over the years, the site has been covered by protective walls, temples, palaces, churches and bathhouses. Every new civilization that has taken over the city has left its mark on the place. The most interesting buildings on kullen are the Temple of Hercules and the Umayyad Palace.

Read more here: The Citadel of Amman - Among Romans and Ruins - Jordan

The Citadel of Amman has a large temple with columns

5. Mount Nebo

Regardless of faith, it's hard not to be fascinated by the biblical history that Jordan carries. One of the most famous biblical sites in Jordan is Mount Nebo. It was here from the top of the mountain that Moses stood and looked out over the Holy Land and then also the place where he died.

Mount Nebo offers beautiful views of the Jordan River and the West Bank. On clear days you should also be able to see all the way to Jerusalem.

View of the landscape at Mount Nebo
Mount Nebo marked with a modern cross

6. The Dead Sea

The Dead Sea is not only the world's lowest point, but also one of the world's saltiest lakes. In the Dead Sea you don't swim, you float like a cork. It is even difficult to swim, as your body floats too much on the surface to be able to make swimming strokes.

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The Treasury - Al-Khazneh - The Treasury

Bathing in the salt water of the Dead Sea is said to have health-giving effects and along the beaches on the Jordanian side you will find a large number of luxury hotels with large swimming facilities and spas. Even if it stings like a thousand needles in every little wound you have on your body, a dip in the Dead Sea is a must during a visit to Jordan.

7. Jesus' baptismal site

On the eastern edge of the Jordan River is the place where Jesus is said to have been baptized by John the Baptist - Bethany-Beyond-The-Jordan or Al-Maghtas. One of the Christian world's most important pilgrimage sites and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today, people from all over the world make pilgrimages to this historic site.

The Jordan River these days is only a fraction of the wide river described in the Bible, but the place has something special about it whether you are a believer or not.

8. The mosaic city of Madaba

In the church of Saint George in the city Madaba is one of the oldest and most interesting historical maps of the Holy Land. The Madaba map is not an ordinary map, but a beautiful mosaic floor from the 5th century that shows the area's historic cities, rivers, mountains and lakes in incredible detail. The map is facing according to the direction of reality, so it would be easy for the pilgrims to find the holy places.

Madaba's famous and beautiful mosaic map
Wall with mosaics in Madaba

9. Sunbathe and swim in Aqaba

Aqaba (Aqaba) is Jordan's only real city on the Red Sea, and if it weren't for a land border between Israel and Jordan, the city would almost have grown together with the much more famous Eilat. Aqaba is not a tourist resort, but a city where tourism has developed around the clear waters of the Red Sea. There are several fine hotel facilities and hotel beaches here, while you will find genuine Jordan just a stone's throw away. Visit the big market, snorkel on coral reefs or visit the old fort from the 16th century. Aqaba is also a good starting point for a visit to Wadi Rum.

You can find luxurious holidays with sunbeds and turquoise water in Aqaba
The old fort in Aqaba

10. Street life in Amman

A trip to Jordan is not complete without at least one day in the exuberant capital Amman. In addition to visiting the Citadel (see above) and the Roman amphitheater, Amman offers plenty of culture and gastronomy. Soak up the atmosphere and all the scents of the bustling markets, eat the best falafel you've ever eaten at Hashem, visit the King Abdullah Grand Mosque or stroll down bohemian Rainbow Street. Amman is a potpourri of good food and exciting experiences!

The large Roman amphitheater in Amman surrounded by buildings
Rainbow street in Amman
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Read comments (2)
  • We really liked Jordan, a different country full of experiences and memorable sights. I am happy that I can put a "check" on all of your tips, the only bummer in the record is that we never got to see the map. There was some worship life with ceremonies all day so church silver and thus the map was covered with thick carpets.

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