2 Days in Jordan: Ways to Explore from Amman & Aqaba
While I want everyone to explore Jordan a lot, I get that we don’t all have unlimited vacation time, and many of us want to see as much of the world as possible. To that end, some travelers – like you – might not have as much time to visit Jordan as other sites recommend, but that doesn’t mean you should skip Jordan entirely just because you don’t have five, seven, or 10 days to spend there.
I’ve been fortunate: all of my Jordan trips have been 7-8 days long, giving me plenty of time to see different parts of the country and sights. This means that I can look at different options and trim them down to fit in as much as possible into a two-day Jordan itineray, if that’s all you have.
Don’t fret though: as in all my other Jordan itineraries, I’ve got you. Below you’ll find a variety of options for how to spend just 2 days in Jordan; all you need to do is read through each one, decide where to start, end, and what you want to see, and you’ll be set!
Four Options for 2 Days in Jordan
As you might guess, a post like this about spending just 2 days in Jordan is necessarily short… it won’t run long as you don’t have much time! Neveretheless, I decided to approach my two-day Jordan itinerary four ways:
- one option starting and ending in Amman (maybe as a stopover as part of another trip or before/after a tour)
- one option starting and ending in Aqaba (which is typically a short flight from Amman),
- two more options starting in Amman and ending in Aqaba – one focused on the cities and another focused on the sights outside the cities (you can also reverse these, starting in Aqaba and ending in Amman)
In any case, you’ll see: you can pack a lot in with only two days in Jordan. Let’s get right to it!
Option A: Amman as Your Base
Not everyone is lucky enough to have numerous days in Jordan, and you happen to be in that group. Fear not, my fellow traveler!, for 2 days in Jordan still gives you the chance to explore some of the country’s jewels. Below you’ll find a Jordan 2-day itinerary with Amman as a base.
Day 1: Exploring Amman
Set your alarm early in the morning, indulge in a hearty breakfast, and hit the winding streets of Amman. Your first day is all about exploring the country’s capital.
Amman has tons of attractions, from historic ruins to art museums. The first landmarks you stop by should be the Amman Citadel and Roman Amphitheatre. These sites give you a sense of the history in Amman.
After lunch, head out and explore the city’s downtown. Rainbow Street is Amman’s most happening street, with quirky cafés, delicious restaurants, and colorful decorations. Make sure to explore the souks. These markets are a symbol of the Arab world and you’ll get one of the most authentic looks into the locals’ lives.
Day 2: Day Trip from Amman
The last of your 2 days in Jordan you’ll take a bus, or flight, to one of the country’s landmarks. When planning a day trip, it helps knowing that Jordan isn’t a big country. This means you won’t spend endless hours on the road to get somewhere.
Luckily, Jordan’s size isn’t indicative of the amount of things you can see in the country. Quite the opposite. Depending on your interests, you have many destinations worth checking out on your second day; I have a list of day trips from Amman that’s worth checking to see all of your options. Most travelers will want to get a glimpse of the big attractions, like Petra or Wadi Rum, however, there are other day trips, like visiting the Dead Sea or heading up to the ancient Roman ruins in Jerash.
Option B: Aqaba as Your Base
Aqaba is another popular base for travelers. Jordan’s only port city is close to many of the country’s landmarks, making it an excellent location to organize day trips. Below you’ll find a suggested Jordan 2-day itinerary with Aqaba as a base.
Day 1: Exploring Aqaba
Let’s start with the obvious. Most people associate Aqaba with sandy beaches and scuba diving. And they do it for a reason. Aqaba’s coastline is home to a stunning coral reef system, where hundreds of species of fish navigate through the turquoise waters.
Sure, lazing on the beaches and scuba diving are a must of any itinerary. But the truth is that Aqaba has more to offer than that. You can explore part of the country’s history in Mamluk Castle or Aqaba Archaeological Museum. If you have any interest in religion, you can see the Sherif al-Hussein bin Ali Mosque. At night, head out and explore Aqaba’s delightful gastronomic scene – you’ll be up for a treat if you love seafood.
Day 2: Day Trip from Aqaba
In this Aqaba itinerary, you’ll also use the second of your 2 days in Jordan to make a day trip – many of the same destinations you can visit from Amman are actually easier to reach from Aqaba.
The perks of organizing a day trip from Aqaba are that, one, that the city is super close to Jordan’s most famous destinations, Wadi Rum and Petra; two, that it is close to Israel’s and Egypt’s borders, so you could potentially visit a new country (with a bit of advance planning and research into the visa situation, especially for Israel).
You can check out my list of day trips from Aqaba to help you get an idea of what destinations are worth visiting; my top recommendations are Petra and/or Wadi Rum if you only have two days in Jordan. There are some Petra tours from Aqaba, as well as tours that add-on Wadi Rum.
Option C: Amman to Aqaba – City Focus
If you love the idea of city-hopping to see as much of Jordan’s cities as possible, here’s a good itinerary for you. As I’ve already covered both cities and what to do in them, I won’t go into detail again, but here’s the basics of this itinerary:
- Day 1: Arrive in Amman, spend the day exploring the city, then travel to Aqaba in the evening (as of writing, there’s a 10:55 pm flight from Amman to Aqaba on Royal Jordanian)
- Day 2: Explore Aqaba before flying back to Amman in the evening, to depart Jordan for your next destination
Don’t forget – you can reverse these days: you might instead fly straight to Aqaba, spend one day there, then fly to Amman for your second day.
Option D: Amman to Aqaba – Sights Focus
Lastly, I promised a two-city sights focused two-day Jordan itinerary, so here we go:
- Day 1: Arrive into Amman, and immediately travel to Petra for the day; stay in Petra overnight.
- Day 2: Rise early, take a ride over to Wadi Rum and spend most of the day touring there; drive to Aqaba to fly back to Amman or on to your next destination.
Again, you can reverse these options. In any case, the best way to do this itinerary is by hiring a private driver; this will give you the freedom and flexbility to explore these sights outside Jordan’s cities but still pack as much in as possible during your short Jordan trip.
Have any questions about these four itinerary options for spending just 2 days in Jordan? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for the info! Is there an easy way to hire a private driver?
There is! I recommend reaching out to Experience Jordan: https://www.experiencejordan.com/ They work a lot with international travelers and make it easy to book.