Best attractions in Jordan: Top 25

The sights of Jordan are architectural monuments, beautiful landscapes, rich cultural heritage and countless stories of all kinds. A vacation is not enough to see them. Consider what to see in Jordan, if you come to the country for the first time.

What to see first in Jordan

When determining how to spend your vacation in this ancient country, note that tours in Jordan may involve traveling to other countries. In addition, some tourist sites (mostly religious sites) have certain rules for tourist visits that must be adhered to.

1. Ajlun Castle (Ajlun)

Ajlun Castle on top of a mountain

An interesting example of a historical landmark in Jordan is Ajlun Castle. It is said that once there was a monastery on the site of the castle, and the monk Ajlun lived in it, whose name gave the structure its name. In appearance, it resembles a square and has several architectural elements reminiscent of its military purpose:

  • a large moat;
  • an elevating bridge;
  • massive walls;
  • gates;
  • four large towers.

Inside, the castle is a labyrinth of endless staircases, corridors and huge rooms. There are also over a dozen water storage tanks and a stone bath for the owner.

Climbing up the walls of the castle, one can see the vast expanses of Jordan. It is there that the guards gazed into, trying to determine whether danger awaits them or not. Tourists can also see the Dead Sea and Jordan. To get to the castle you can use the preserved bridge.

During the recent excavations, archaeologists found a church under the structure. This means that the legend of the monk and the monastery where he lived may be true.

2. King Abdullah I Mosque (Amman)

King Abdullah I Mosque

Excursions to Amman usually include a visit to King Abdullah I Mosque, erected in the capital in the eighties of the last century. In Amman it is the only Islamic temple where not only Muslims can enter.

The temple is peculiar in that at its base is a polygon and the top is topped by a dome with a huge diameter of 35 metres. The design of the domes uses the color blue, which symbolizes the heavenly blue, and the golden rays of the sun illuminate the 99 names of the Muslim god.

Inside, the structure is also beautiful. In the central hall, tourists see a magnificent crystal chandelier with inscriptions from the Quran.

The section where women can pray is on the right side of the main mosque and holds half a thousand people.

In memory of King Abdullah I, a museum is set up in the mosque, where one can see the ruler’s personal belongings, his photographs, as well as various ceramics, coins, and engravings on stone.

3. Dead Sea

The Dead Sea

Amazing and offbeat nature is what everyone should definitely see in Jordan. Many people know about the Dead Sea, a very salty and healing body of water. What is so special about it?

It is also called the Salt Sea or the Sea of Asphalt. The reservoir is located in a valley that stretches between the Moaf and Judean mountains. Because of a deep break in the earth, the sea seems to have “sunk” more than 400 meters below sea level. In fact, it is not even a sea, but a large lake that has no outlet to the ocean. It is fed by the Jordan River and mineral springs located underground.

The Dead Sea coast is very popular among tourists. And no wonder, because it has curative properties:

  • Mineral waters improve blood circulation, smooth the skin, saturate the body with beneficial substances.
  • Air masses coming from the Indian Ocean soothe the nervous system and fill the body with oxygen.
  • Even the sun at the Dead Sea has an extremely beneficial effect on humans. Doctors recommend sunbathing here for up to 8 hours a day.
  • The therapeutic muds are unparalleled on the planet. They rejuvenate the body and extend the life cycle of every cell.

The Dead Sea should definitely be part of your Jordanian itinerary.

4. Amman Citadel (Amman)

Amman Citadel

The sights of Jordan are first and foremost the history of the state, its mysteries and riddles. One of them is the Citadel of Amman or the Fortress Mountain. Tourists who have already visited this place believe that it should definitely become part of the itinerary. This applies even to those who do not like history, because the citadel is a unique opportunity to become at least for a few minutes a part of the past, which is incomprehensibly intertwined with reality.

The structure, rightly called the heart of Amman, consists of three parts:

  • The ruins of the Temple of Hercules;
  • Byzantine Church;
  • The ruins of the Umayyad Palace.

But the most important attraction is the archaeological museum. It attracts not only historians and scientists, but travelers from all over the world. It is in this place you can see the Qumran Scrolls, which contain texts from the Bible.

In the rest of the citadel for tourists to see are mosaics and Corinthian columns. All of them were found and restored by scientists. When you climb the Fortress Mountain, you should pay attention to the huge amphitheater. Up to 6,000 people used to gather there to watch gladiatorial fights.

The Amman Citadel is a part of Jordanian history that has played a major role in shaping modern life.

5. The ancient city of Petra (Wadi Musa Valley)

The ancient impregnable fortress city of Petra

Guides in Petra highly recommend visiting the remains of the ancient city of Petra, lost in the sandy mountains near the Moses Valley. The city of Petra can safely be included in list of the most beautiful places in the world. Why is it so attractive to travelers?

According to scholars, Petra was carved into the rocks about 2,000 years before the birth of Christ. It took more than five centuries to build. During this time the city was able to become an important trading center. The fact that it was located at the crossroads of several trade routes contributed to this.

Petra is surrounded by rocks, and you can get here only through a small ruin. It is this ruin that can be seen in one of the Indiana Jones movies. According to legend, Moses passed through this land when he led his people away from Egyptian slavery. Here he struck his staff, which led to the formation of the gorge.

There is a lot to see in the city. Tourists are waiting for about 800 sights: temples, tombs, columns, amphitheater, palaces, canals and more. And all this is carved out of stone.

One of the clergymen said that Petra is a city of red roses, that it is as ancient as time. That is why to visit the ramparts of the city of Petra is like taking a trip back in time. Only rare sights in Jordan offer such an opportunity.

Official site:

Check out Jordan's beautiful places in this great video!

6. The ancient city of Jerash (north of Jordan)

The Oval Forum in the Ancient City of Jerash

What to visit in Jordan to better understand the history and way of life of its people? Jerash is the second most popular city after Petra. And it’s not surprising, because people have been living here for 6,500 years.

In 63 BC the city was conquered by Pompey and became part of the Roman Tithegrid. Its heyday was during the years under Roman rule. At that time Jerash was called Gerasa. Until the beginning of the twentieth century, it was hidden in the sands. The archeologists managed not only to find the town, but also to reconstruct its streets paved with stone, temples situated on the hills, amphitheatres, baths, splendid fountains, etc.

Jerash is a harmonious blend of two cultures: Eastern and Western. This is reflected in all aspects of city life: in architecture, in the religious views of the inhabitants and in the local linguistic diversity.

Tourists who decide to visit Jerash in July, will be able to get to the annual festival. There are all kinds of performances going on around the clock. The most popular are dances, performances of opera singers, musical compositions. In addition, everyone has the opportunity to watch the competitions of speakers and poets, as well as to see the products of local craftsmen and artists.

Jerash and other attractions of Jordan are a part of the historical heritage of all inhabitants of the earth. Therefore, they deserve attention and respect.

7. The Wadi Rum Desert (Aqaba)

Wadi Rum Desert

If you want to visit the natural attractions of Jordan, head to the Wadi Rum Desert in the south of the country. This place is known for its unique Martian-like landscapes. Here at the beginning of the last century there was an Arab revolt against the Turks, and today the desert is where Hollywood blockbusters (The Martian, Transformers) are filmed.

At the entrance to the desert, visitors are greeted by a stone ridge called the Seven Pillars of Wisdom. It is about them that a book was written by Thomas Lawrence, a Briton who fought in the war with the Bedouins. Nearby is the Khazali Canyon with its cave paintings.

No less impressive objects in the desert are natural arches. Their bizarre forms were formed under the influence of rain and wind. In the spring of Ain Shellala you can draw clean water, which always remains cool.

There are several Bedouin villages in Wadi Rum. The natives accompany tourists and introduce them to their culture and way of life. In the Bedouin camp you can take a break from the heat, try the national dishes, and listen to the local music.

You can get to the desert by camel or off-road vehicle. Climbing and pitching tents require a permit.

8. The Archaeological Museum (Amman)

The Archaeological Museum in Amman

To see the historical sights of Jordan, you must visit the Archaeological Museum located in the capital of Jordan. Under the roof of the museum, the cultural heritage of the country for several millennia has been collected.

Before you decide what to visit in Jordan, you should learn about the history and culture of the country. The museum features artifacts that have been preserved since the Paleolithic era. The most valuable are the plaster statues of Ain Ghazal, made 6,000 years ago. They depict ancient people with tattoos on their bodies.

In the museum you can see unique ancient scrolls. The artifacts were found by shepherds in the middle of the last century near the Dead Sea. They contain the text of the Bible and descriptions of underground vaults in Hebrew and other ancient languages. The writings were made two thousand years ago.

The Archaeological Museum offers a dive into history all the way back to the 16th century. There are household items made of glass, stone and metal, statues and jewelry. Especially interesting is the collection of coins from different periods.

The museum is open every day except Sunday. Children are entitled to free admission, students get a discount.

9. Qasr Amr Palace in the Jordan Desert (Amman)

Qasr Amr Palace in the Jordan Desert

Historical sites in Jordan attract tourists from all over the world. One of them is Qasr Amr Palace, located in the Jordanian desert. It is the former residence of caliph Walid I, built in the VIII century for hunting and entertainment.

All that remains of the huge complex of buildings, including the fort and the watch post, is the foundation. Rather well preserved is the bathing complex, which is called the Caliph’s palace. In the courtyard there is a deep well, the water from which was raised with a clever device.

The building has a special room for audiences and numerous halls. On its walls are medieval frescoes with images of noble and ordinary people, animals, scenes of hunting and everyday life. The uniqueness of the frescoes is that in Islam it is actually forbidden to depict pictures with animals and people on the walls. In Qasr Amr there are entire series of images that are subject to the same subject matter. A special wall was erected to protect the baths from floods.

Qasr Amr Palace is one of the main points on the list of things to see in Jordan. This unique cultural monument is proof that even in strict rules there are exceptions.

10. Ma’in Hot Springs (Madaba)

Water Cascade at Ma'in Hot Springs

The thermal springs of Ma’in near the Dead Sea have been known since Roman times. According to biblical legends, King Herod of the Jews bathed there.

The springs of Ma’in are located 264 meters below sea level. You can reach them by a serpentine road descending deep into the canyon. From the top you have an unforgettable view of the Dead Sea, and as you descend you will be guided by waterfalls falling from basalt rocks. Due to its geographical location, the resort has a unique microclimate. The temperature here is always 10°C higher than in other parts of Jordan. Recreation and treatment is therefore possible here all year round.

At the bottom of the canyon there are a great many hot springs rich in minerals. Water from these springs has a rejuvenating effect on the body.

For the convenience of tourists here is built a posh five-star hotel with its own medical and health center. Highly qualified specialists will help you enjoy the whole range of services: massage, baths, swimming pools, beauty salons and much more.

The springs of Ma’in, as well as other attractions of Jordan, are a national treasure.

Official website:

Sightseeing in Jordan: what else to visit while in Jordan

There are many more places to visit when you come to this amazing land. It is safer and more comfortable if you always have guides in Jordan with you, who will not only tell you about the history of the country and take care of transportation and payment for entrance to museums, but also advise you how to behave properly, taking into account the local traditions.

11. The Roman Amphitheater (Amman)

Roman Amphitheater in Amman

Some sights in Jordan can give you a better idea of times gone by than any book. The Roman Amphitheater in Amman belongs to this category. The grandeur of this building is amazing. One is in awe at the sight of it, imagining the events that once took place here in the arena.

The uniqueness of the amphitheater is that it is carved in a monolithic rock and has 44 rows of seats. The theater can seat 6,000 people at a time, which is surprising for a town as small as Amman. Even today, there are a variety of entertainment events and the theater can easily accommodate all comers.

The amphitheater was built during the reign of Antony Pius in 138-161 AD to commemorate the Roman Emperor Hadrian’s visit to Amman. The ancient architects designed the amphitheater so that it faced north, so that the sun never interfered with the spectators’ view of the performance. Under the ground there is a system of tunnels leading to the main fortress of the city, which allowed local rulers to attend performances unhindered.

Anyone who has been here would recommend that when traveling in the Middle East, you should definitely visit the Roman Amphitheater in Jordan.

12. The Mujib reserve (Dead Sea)

Lovely gorge of Mujib Nature Reserve

What to see in Jordan while traveling around the Dead Sea? A must-see is the Mujib Nature Reserve, set in a spectacular gorge that skirts the Dead Sea on the west and ends in the Madaba and Karakah mountains on the east. Throughout the entire area, the difference in elevation varies up to 1300 meters. Thanks to this factor, and the presence of numerous water sources, a unique ecosystem has developed here.

This nature reserve was created in 1987 and despite its relatively small area, it amazes with the variety of flora and fauna: more than 100 species of birds, over 400 species of plants and 10 species of animals. Such representatives of the Red Book as ibexes, red foxes and caracals live here.

In order to fully appreciate the beauty of this Jordanian attraction, five walking and cycling routes have been developed for guided tours of the park. Permission to visit the reserve is granted by the Royal Society for the Protection of Nature, which organizes tours and increases the population of animals living there.

13. El Karak Castle

The wall of the western facade of El Karak Fortress 900 meters above sea level in western Jordan

When planning where to vacation and what to see in Jordan, pay attention to El Karak Fortress, located 1 km above sea level. From the top of the castle walls you have a great view of the picturesque valley leading to the Dead Sea.

The history of this Jordanian landmark begins in 1142, when the Crusaders captured the city of Karak. In order to gain a firmer foothold in the conquered city, it was decided to build a fortress here. This place was not chosen by chance. The main trade route from Syria to Arabia passed here. It took 20 years to build the castle, and in 1161 it was decided to make the city the capital of the kingdom of Transjordan.

Since then the fortress has changed many owners and undergone some changes. The fortress of El Karak is not renowned for its beauty and elegance. It is an interesting example of Crusader military architecture. The fortress has many huge halls with stone vaults, long corridors and a system of tunnels several stories below.

In 1980, the Karak Archaeological Museum was established here, among the exhibits of which are items belonging to different periods of Karak’s history. Some fragments date back to the sixth millennium BC.

14. Royal Automobile Museum (Amman)

Exhibits at the Royal Automobile Museum in Amman Ankur P
Swanky cars from the collection of the Royal Automobile Museum in Amman Ankur P

The Royal Automobile Museum in Amman is one of the most interesting museums in the country where Jordan is being re-discovered through the lens of the automobile industry. It is one of the world’s finest displays of motorcycles and automobiles and was founded by King Abdullah as a tribute to the past King Hussein after his death, and today, looking at the historic and rare models, one can appreciate the former monarch’s passion. Car enthusiasts are especially fascinated by this place, because there are dozens of the rarest cars, which are produced in limited editions since the beginning of the last century. Here you can find the royal Lincoln Capri, in which Hussein came for the coronation, and the Cadillac, once presented to the king, and numerous Ferraris and Porsches. The journey through time begins with accurate replicas of the first invented car and motorcycle, attention is drawn to the design of the unique amphibious car and the shining models of Harley Davidson motorcycles.

15. National Gallery of Fine Arts (Amman)

Entrance to the National Gallery of Fine Arts in the Jordanian city of Amman Rami Tarawneh

The small but impressive building of the 1979 Gallery of Fine Arts is rightly respected and popular among tourists because it is the place to get a glimpse of Jordanian art, paintings, ceramics and sculpture. Once a small collection of 50 pieces over the years, it has grown into a huge exhibit with more than 2,000 works of art from around the Middle East. The National Gallery promotes the development of contemporary art in Jordan and other developing countries, so it has the practice of showing works by young and as yet unknown artists, which opens the door to the world of art to new talents. Exhibitions are often exchanged with galleries in other countries, local works are shown abroad and seminars on national culture and art are held here. There is a cozy art-cafe at the gallery, which allows to diversify the received impressions and have a rest during the excursion.

16. Dana Biosphere Reserve (Jordan)

Landscape of the largest Dana Biosphere Reserve in Jordan

There are many picturesque nature preserves in the Middle East, and one of them is the Dana Biosphere Reserve, the largest in Jordan. It is a veritable treasure trove of natural rarities found in an area of alternating valleys and mountains, ranging from the high landscapes of the Rift Valley to the low-lying desert of Wadi Arab. This unique place concentrates four geographical zones - Mediterranean, Sudanese, Iranian and Sahara-Arabic. On the lands of the reserve about eight hundred plant species grow, there live about three hundred species of animals and two hundred species of birds, discovered about a hundred archaeological monuments. Among other things, Dana is also a great place for hiking, so there is a network of various routes, from small, taking a few hours, to long, for a couple of days, including overnight stays in the tourist camps and campsites equipped here.

17. Montreal Castle (Schobach) (35 km from Petra)

Ruins of Montreal (Shobak) Castle on the slope of a rocky conical mountain in valley Bernard Gagnon

The Jordanian lands are extremely rich in ancient forts, castles, and caravanserais, and most of these structures were built during the Crusade era. Christian knights built castles on conquered lands from Muslims, which today have one name - Crusader castles, and today their visit is one of the most interesting destinations for tourists who are interested in Jordan. Petra in its vicinity keeps one of these treasures - at a proud height of one kilometer rises the castle Shobak. It was built in the 12th century in a strategic point on the route of traders and pilgrims. Even today, centuries later, visitors are amazed by the might of this majestic machine, its giant triple walls and huge gates. But even these mighty fortifications fell to the onslaught of the famous sultan of Syria and Egypt, Saladin, a few decades later. Then the castle was abandoned by the Crusaders, and later rebuilt by the Mamelukes, and it was only at the end of the last century that archaeological research began on these territories.

18. The city of Aqaba, Jordan

Flag pole on the waterfront of the resort town of Aqaba on the Red Sea in Jordan

The very south of the country has its own attractive places to see in Jordan, Aqaba being one of them. This resort town on the coast of the Gulf of Aqaba is often referred to as Jordan’s window to the sea. After a lot of travelling around the Jordanian desert, Aqaba is literally a breath of fresh air: clean sea air will have a salutary effect on the body, and the Red Sea will plunge into the warmth of its emerald waters. Aqaba is especially popular among fans of diving - an amazingly beautiful underwater world of the Gulf attracts thousands of people wishing to not only improve their health, but also to engage in active recreation. October to April is considered the most suitable time to visit Aqaba, as these months offer the best opportunities for recreation, as Jordan’s weather is optimal in adapting to the new climate. Among the attractions of Aqaba are the Mamluk fortress, the monastery complex in the cave of Lot and the reserve Mujib.

19. Umm Qais (Ghadarah) (north of Jordan)

Terrace with columns in the ancient city of Ghadara in northern Jordan Ankur P
The 2nd century AD western theater of the ancient city of Umm Qais (Ghadarah) in northern Jordan

Hundreds of miles north of Amman on a high promontory lies the town of Umm Qais, which is especially famous for its views. From here you have unique panoramas of the Dutch Heights, the Yarmouk River and the Biblical Lake Tiberias, where Jesus Christ cast demons out of two possessed men by casting an unclean spirit into a herd of pigs. From antiquity, Umm Cayce was strategically important, famous for its fertile lands, and during the reign of Augustus it was a cosmopolitan center where famous poets, artists, scientists and philosophers gathered. Today, no description can convey the charm and attraction of the former Gadara - despite the many destructions caused by the earthquake, many interesting objects have survived: remains of a Byzantine church from the 6th century, remains of amphitheatres, the main street framed by the colonnade, the forum, the fountain, the underground mausoleum and the hippodrome. In one of the ancient houses there is an archaeological museum.

20. The ruins of Umm al-Jamal (north-east Jordan)

The remains of the black basalt buildings of the Greco-Roman city of Umm al-Jimal in Northeast Jordan

“The Black Pearl” is called Umm al-Jimal, a large-scale monument in the form of an entire Greco-Roman city, all the structures of which are made of black basalt. It was once the main stopping point of a caravan road that went through the Syrian desert. Today the ruins of this once flourishing city are many and countless, dating back to the 2nd century BC. - Remains of churches, city gates, barracks and stone tombs can be discerned here and around the ruins stretches a modern settlement that exists, in spite of the aridity of the local soil, thanks to agriculture. The village itself emerged as a suburb of the ancient capital of Nabatia, Bostra. In the 8th century AD there was a major earthquake that destroyed Bostra and all the nearby towns and villages, and the ruins remained untouched for over a millennium, until last century, when a community for the protection of the ancient city and the study of the area arose.

21. Khalifa Palaces of the Desert (Jordan)

Kasr Harranah is one of thirty Caliph palaces in the eastern part of the desert in Jordan

Sandy landscapes and bizarre scenery reveals eastern Jordan. The photos here are not without the characteristic views of the Caliph’s palaces, composed of multicolored sandstone. The palaces of the desert - the name unites the complex of fortifications located east of Amman along the roads leading to the borders with Iraq and Saudi Arabia. About thirty residences decorated with ancient mosaics and frescoes have survived here - once the palaces were buried in green gardens, which were irrigated by irrigation facilities, and some elements of these systems have survived to this day. In fact, the Palaces are a generalized concept of a complex of forts, farms, trade centers and resting places for trading caravans built in the 7th-8th centuries AD. All these structures were erected during the Umayyad era, which, by the way, was distinguished by its harsh methods of rule, so they were not respected either in the Middle East or in Europe. As a result, this dynasty was subdued, and the most important monuments of their era were partly destroyed.

22. Royal Tank Museum (Amman)

Visitors to the Royal Tank Museum in the Jordanian capital Amman Freedom's Falcon
American and British-made tanks at the Royal Tank Museum Freedom's Falcon
A large exhibition hall at the Royal Tank Museum in Amman Freedom's Falcon

Another museum in the Jordanian capital is of great interest both to tourists and to anyone interested in Jordan’s military history over the past century, namely its technical side. It is the Royal Tank Museum, which can be called the only one of its kind in the Arab world, presenting one of the largest displays of tanks in the world. It opened very recently - at the beginning of 2018 - and its huge area of 20,000 square meters houses 110 tank and armored vehicles used over the last century in Jordan and the surrounding regions. For example, here you can see vehicles that were used in the Iran-Iraq war and in a number of armed conflicts between Arab states and Israel. There are vehicles provided by Azerbaijan - they were used during the Karabakh war. Of separate interest is the machinery of World War II, which was used by Nazi Germany.

Official site: http://rtm.

23. Children’s Museum of Jordan (Amman)

Part of the Children's Museum in Amman's interactive outdoor exhibits Freedom's Falcon

The Children’s Museum was created in 2007 at the initiative of the wife of the King of Jordan. It is a very fascinating exhibit of one hundred and fifty exhibits divided into age categories and located both indoors and outdoors in the museum. There is, for example, a miniature model of a city, departments for the study of ancient times, the human body, space, optics, light, as well as other interesting places. Younger visitors are given the opportunity to make interesting discoveries through play, with various experiments and investigations. A wide variety of educational games, fascinating objects and interactive programs allow for creative play through construction, crafts, science and other areas of learning, while the museum library will encourage children to engage in educational reading. A visit to the souvenir store will not leave any questions about what to bring from Jordan - here the little guests will be able to choose memorabilia for themselves.

Official website: http://www.cmj.

24. Diving in Aqaba, Jordan

Diving is one of the main attractions for tourists in the city of Aqaba
The Red Sea is rich with inhabitants and picturesque reefs

Aqaba has warm water and excellent visibility year-round. With a wide variety of diving sites, it’s a great place for beginners and advanced divers alike. In the diving centers of Aqaba you can make dives with experienced instructors and look at strange marine life, as well as enjoy the picturesque reefs of the Red Sea.

25. Bethawara (Jordan River)

The supposed site of the Baptism of Jesus Christ on the east bank of the Jordan River in Jordan Jan Smith

As you know, most of the historical sites associated with the life and preaching of Jesus Christ are located in Israel. But there are such places in Jordan as well - according to the Gospel, it was on the shores of Jordan that John the Baptist performed the rite of baptism of the Son of God. More precisely, it took place near Bethany of Zayordan, and today there are several villages with that name. However, Christians have already confirmed long-standing scholarly arguments that the true place of baptism is in Bethany - today it is revered by Catholics and Orthodox alike. Bethany is a site on the Jordan River, which runs exactly along the border between the states of Israel and Jordan. The sea is only 8 kilometers away, and at the point where the Jordan flows into it, there was a river crossing with which the Gospel story of Baptism is associated. Over the millennia, the Jordan has changed its course many times, so there is a separate artificial pond with marble steps for baptism - the ruins of the 20 ancient temples around it testify to the holiness of the place. Next to Jordan is the “Holy Land” - the country of Israel. While staying in Jordan, consider visiting this country as well. Read about Landmarks of Israel and be inspired for your future journey to the Middle East!