Jordan is a country of many wonders: the lost city of Petra, the Martian-like landscape of Wadi Rum, and the otherworldly Dead Sea are chief among them. And if you can believe it, you can fit all of these incredible sights into an itinerary for 4 days in Jordan. In this post, I’ll share how to fit it all in.
I’ll be honest: four days is a really short amount of time in Jordan. To visit the top sights, you’re going to have to pack a lot in each day, and spend a lot of time traveling between them. But don’t worry – it is possible! I recommend renting a car and driving yourself in Jordan to help make the most of your short time.
So since you’re short on time, let’s get right to it. Here’s my suggested four-day itinerary for Jordan!
Day 1: Amman & Petra
This is your first full day in Jordan! As you can imagine, spending only 4 days in Jordan is not enough to discover the wonders of this Middle Eastern country. Nonetheless, we’ll make each of these days count!
Start with a hearty breakfast at your hotel. Then, drive or walk to your first stop, Amman Citadel. Perched on the top of Jebel Al Qala’a, a hill in Amman, is Citadel, a complex of Roman ruins dating back to the Bronze Age. The place is quite compact and offers several sites to visit. The most famous ones are The Temple of Hercules and Umayyad Palace, whose ancient buildings are the best-preserved structure at the Amman Citadel. You’ll see there are plenty of information boards around, so you won’t need a guide.
Admission to the Citadel is 2JOD, and it’s open daily. It takes most people 2-3 hours to explore the site, so you’ll finish in time for lunch. The best place to grab a bite is Jabal Amman, the historic neighborhood.
Now that your belly is full again is time to head to our next landmark in this 4-day Jordan itinerary: Petra.
To go from Amman to Petra, you’ll have to drive almost three hours south to the town of Petra, the ancient capital of the Nabataean Kingdom. The Rose City is located west of the town of Petra, where there are several high-quality hotels you can stay in.
In the evening, head to the Petra visitor center and book a ticket for the Petra-by-Night experience as it is not included in your Jordan Pass, in case you have one, or your Petra entrance ticket. As soon as the night hits, you’ll walk along the candle-lit Siq – a natural chasm–and enter the magical Rose City, where you’ll be welcomed by the stunning beauty of the Treasury building. There, Jordanian guides will teach you the history of this city and the Nabateans as you take in the beauty of the stars and candlelight-filled space.
What a way to finish the first day of this Jordan itinerary for 4 days! Now it’s time to head back to your hotel and get some good rest.
Resources for Day 1:
- You don’t need to purchase Petra-by-Night tickets in advance, but be sure to purchase a two-day ticket to access Petra so you can go in for the night event and again tomorrow morning.
- You need to arrange one night in Wadi Musa. Here’s where I recommend:
- Petra Moon Hotel has a rooftop pool and nicely sized rooms; this is where I stayed on my first trip. Rooms start from $54/night; book on Booking.com or Hotels.com.
- Petra Guest House is another great option, even closer to the entrance of the Petra site; we’re staying here on our 2022 tour. Rooms start from $93/night; book on Booking.com or Hotels.com.
Day 2: Petra & Wadi Rum
I hope you’ve had a good night of sleep because on your second day you’ll have to rise early and do lots of walking.
Today, you’ll head up to Petra again to explore the city. The best way to know the sites comprising Petra is to hike. There are several trails you can follow, each taking you to different sites. The first trail starts in the visitors center and is a 1.3-mile walk to The Treasury. From there, you can choose where to go next; some popular options are The Monastery, Temple of Dushares, and Renaissance Tomb. Bring comfortable shoes and a bottle of water, for the heat and the sun, are unforgiving to those who visit Petra.
Once you’ve explored Petra, return to your hotel and check out. Try to have lunch in Wadi Musa before hitting the road again. Wadi Rum is a two-hour drive away, and there’s no need to arrive too early.
After arriving in Wadi Rum, head to your camp and check in. If you arrive early in the afternoon, you can enjoy a cup of tea in the common area. When you see the sunset is approaching, take a 4×4 Wadi Rum tour. Your guide will show you the dramatic landscape full of rock formations, canyons, and valleys. Then, he’ll choose a beautiful spot to enjoy the sunset.
Back at your camp, it’s time to grab something to eat. Many camps offer a traditional Bedouin Zarb dinner; it’s an underground barbecue featuring lamb, vegetables, and rice. After enjoying dinner, if you still have some energy, you can enjoy a little stargazing before calling it a day.
Resources for Day 2:
- Be sure to bring lots of water for your Petra hike!
- Book your sunset 4×4 tour in advance with your Wadi Rum camp.
- Speaking of Wadi Rum camps, my top recommendation is Sun City Camp. They have traditional Bedouin tents with modern amenities inside plus ~*Martian Domes*~ (this is also where we’re staying for my 2022 tour!). Rooms start from $129/night; book on Booking.com or Hotels.com.
Day 3: Wadi Rum & Dead Sea
Yes, today you’ll have to get up early, too. In fact, you’ll start day 3 by getting up before sunrise to take a camel ride out into the Wadi Rum desert. But hey, we already said we’d make each of the 4 days in Jordan count!
You can arrange camel tours through your Wadi Rum accommodation since most camps offer this as another tour excursion (in addition to the sunset 4×4 tour you did yesterday). Camel rides take roughly 60-90 minutes, so once you’re back at your camp in Wadi Rum, you’ll still have time to enjoy breakfast before packing up.
A drive from Wadi Rum to the Dead Sea takes roughly 4.5 hours, so it’s important you’re en route to the Dead Sea as early as possible. There are two routes you can take:
- Desert Highway/Route 15 – an inland route that’s a little bit shorter but offers scenic views
- Jordan Valley Highway/Route 36 – a route that works northbound through the Jordan Valley and along the shores of the Dead Sea
Once you reach the Dead Sea, head to your resort and check in. Most resorts in the Dead Sea fall on the high end, with spas, private beaches, spacious rooms, balconies, on-site restaurants, bars, pools, and more. So, once you’ve left your luggage in the room, head out to explore the amenities your resort offers, or get ahead and float in the salty waters of the Dead Sea.
Resources for Day 3:
- Book your sunrise camel tour in advance with your Wadi Rum camp.
- For lunch, you may want to stop at a roadside stand or small restaurant between Wadi Rum and the Dead Sea. There are lots of options as I don’t have a specific recommendation and it depends on your route.
- At the Dead Sea, you have tons of options for where to stay. Here are my two top recommendations:
- Holiday Inn Resort Dead Sea has a private beach and tons of ammenities; this is where we’re staying for my 2022 tour! Rooms start from $90/night; book on Booking.com or Hotels.com.
- Ramada Resort by Wyndham Dead Sea is where I stayed on my first trip to Jordan. It has beach access (that’s a bit of a walk) and a nice on-site pool. Rooms start from $62/night; book on Booking.com or Hotels.com.
Day 4: Dead Sea & Departure
On your final day, how much time you have to spend at the Dead Sea depends on the time for your departure flight.
It’s best if you rise early to soak up in the waters of the Dead Sea one last time. This way, you’ll also be able to start the day enjoying sunrise views while floating on the salty waters.
After your last dip, it’s time to get going. Head back to your hotel to pack your suitcase, check out, and drive back to Amman. The estimated drive time to get from the Dead Sea to Amman is only 56 minutes. However, schedule your drive so that you have at least two hours to make it from your resort to the capital. Traffic can often be a bit chaotic in Jordan.
Once you’ve reached Amman, it’s time to make it to the airport and return home.
While 4 days in Jordan isn’t enough to explore all the wonders this Kingdom has to offer, it is still enough time to visit the main landmarks (mostly, in a fast-paced way, as you can see.) If there’s something on this itinerary you would like to change, make sure to explore different options. Jordan has gorgeous sites all over the country. All you have to do is pick one that suits your interests.
But one thing is for certain: as soon as you leave Jordan, you’ll already be planning your second trip!
Resources for Day 4:
- Arrange a late check out at your Day 4 hotel if needed.
- No hotels needed tonight due to departure.
- Use my guide for getting between Amman and the Dead Sea to see your trasport options.
While it’s a short time, your four days in Jordan will be unforgettable. Have any questions about this four-day Jordan itinerary? Let me know in the comments!