Getting Around

How to Get from Amman to Madaba: A Complete Guide

While Jordan might not be a big country on the map, it packs a lot in: there’s the world wonder of Petra, the otherworldly landscape of Wadi Rum, and the unique experience of floating on the Dead Sea – and those are just the big three items that top most traveler’s bucket lists!

Jordan has a lot more to offer too, and as you work on planning your Jordan itinerary, you might hear about Madaba. This small community is relatively close to Amman – geographically speaking, on the scale of Jordan – but has a unique offering, since it is known as the City of Mosaics. Here you can find both modern mosaic art for sale and Byzantine relics that mark an important chapter in Jordanian (and world) history.

Amman to Madaba Hero

If you want to see Madaba’s famous mosaics, you might wonder how to get from Amman to Madaba. In this post, I’ll cover your main options for traveling between the capital city of Amman to Madaba – including some fascinating tours if part of your interest in the region is also tied to religious history.

Short on time? The best way to get from Amman to Madaba is by private driver – unless you want the freedom to explore more, in which case you should rent a car.

If you want more detail on your best options for traveling from Amman to Madaba (or back), read on to learn about each one and make the best choice for your Jordan itinerary.

How Far is it from Amman to Madaba?

Fellow travelers will be happy to hear that going from Amman to Madaba is actually quite easy. The distance between Amman and Madaba is approximately 19 miles (30 kilometers) and takes about 40 minutes to complete by car via ‫Maadaba Al Gharbi‬‎.

This relatively short distance makes Madaba an ideal destination for a day trip from Amman, allowing travelers to explore more historical and cultural attractions within a short travel time. 

Madaba Tours from Amman

Since Madaba is so close to Amman, it’s no surprise that there’s no shortage of tours from travel agencies and online resources. The advantage of tours is that everything is already organized. 

There’s a fixed schedule, they pick you up, there’s a tour guide explaining to you all the historical facts, and all you have to do is just sit on the bus and enjoy. There are plenty of options depending on how you want to explore the historical sites. Here are the best Madaba tours:

  • Private Half-Day Tour to Madaba and Mount Nebo: This half-day private tour spans approximately 5 hours and takes you to the heart of Madaba’s mosaics and the breathtaking views from Mount Nebo. You’ll be in the company of a professional guide and all the entrance fees are covered by the ticket.
  • Amman Private Tour to Madaba, Mount Nebo, and Baptism Site: This full-day private tour is longer – it lasts 8 hours – and offers a deep exploration of Madaba’s mosaics, the significance of Mount Nebo, and the Baptism Site along the Jordan River. The tour includes a knowledgeable guide, an English-speaking driver, and entrance fees.
  • Amman Private Tour to Mount Nebo, Baptism Site, and Dead Sea:  If you prefer a bit of diversity in your day trip, this tour is for you. This tour takes 8 hours and combines history and relaxation. You will visit Mount Nebo, the Baptism Site, and a refreshing dip in the Dead Sea. It includes a guide, transportation, entrance fees, and lunch.
  • Amman Private Tour to Mount Nebo, Baptism Site, and Dead Sea: This 8-hour tour also combines history and relaxation. Besides experiencing Mount Nebo and the Baptism Site, you’ll also enjoy a refreshing dip in the Dead Sea.
  • Madaba, Mount Nebo, The Dead Sea Private Day Tour by Car: This private day tour, spanning around 8 hours, offers comfort and flexibility. You will explore Madaba’s artistry, enjoy the vistas from Mount Nebo, and relax at the Dead Sea. The service includes a guide, transportation, and entrance fees, ensuring a seamless journey.
  • Dead Sea and Madaba Tour with Hotel Pickup: This private day tour, spanning around 8 hours, offers comfort and flexibility. It’s pretty much the same as the one above. You get to see Madaba, enjoy panoramic vistas from Mount Nebo, and relax at the Dead Sea. 
  • Day trip Madaba, Mount Nebo, Baptism Site, and Ma’In Hot Spring: This day tour lasts 10 hours and offers a rich blend of experiences. You get to explore Madaba’s mosaics, visit Mount Nebo and the Baptism Site, and relax at the Ma’In Hot Springs. The service includes a guide, transportation, entrance fees, and the chance to unwind in the healing thermal waters. 

Amman to Madaba Bus Options

If you’ve read my other guides, you know that Jordan’s public transportation isn’t exactly the best. But here’s a great alternative to get from Amman to Madaba by bus: Jett Bus. 

JETT (Jordan Express Tourist Transportation) is a well-known bus company in Jordan that provides transportation services for tourists and locals. These buses are a super popular choice for travelers looking for comfortable and efficient transportation options within the country.

My best advice is that you check the platform Busbud. This online platform has great prices and it’s easier to use for us travelers. Ticket prices are around $15 USD for a one way ticket and the journey takes approximately one hour and thirty minutes.

Amman to Madaba Taxi Options 

Amman to Dead Sea - Jordan Taxi Sign

First things first: there are two types of taxis in Amman: service and regular taxis. Regular taxis are yellow and work with a meter, whereas service taxis are white and drive a specific route with a set price. If you choose the former, don’t get in the car without negotiating a fare in advance to avoid future hassle.

Taxis are another convenient and quick way to travel from Madaba to Amman. It’s right in the middle, offering a private and somehow more flexible mode of transportation. On average, a taxi from Amman to Madaba costs between $110 and $130 (35 JOD) for a one-way ride and the journey takes approximately 40 minutes, depending on traffic conditions.

Private Driver from Amman to Madaba

Hiring a private driver to travel from Amman to Madaba is one of the most convenient ways for those who are looking for comfort and a personalized travel experience. 

The main advantage of hiring a private driver is that they are familiar with the best routes and traffic conditions, which can help you reach your destination in a timely manner. Also, drivers are familiar with the region and can provide interesting insights, recommendations, and information about the area.

You can arrange for a private driver through various means. Some hotels and accommodations may offer this service, or you can use local tour operators or transportation companies. Online platforms or travel agencies also offer these services. 

The journey takes about 40 minutes and booking a private driver costs around 40 USD depending on the vehicle you choose. 

Car Rental for Visiting Madaba

So, this isn’t for everyone. But, more adventurous travelers can consider renting a car to get around Jordan; I have a whole post of tips for driving in Jordan if you are considering this option.

In fact, renting a car is one of the most convenient ways to explore the country. Most rental companies are in Amman at Queen Alia International Airport. So I suggest you save and rent your car as soon as you arrive at the airport. 

Renting a car costs around 25-30 JD (35-40 USD) per day for a new model with air conditioning and insurance –I always use Kayak to browse car rental options. 

Note: Travelers don’t need an International Driver’s License to rent a car in Jordan; however, they must be 25 years old to rent a car and need to show their driver’s license and passport as part of the rental process.

The Best Way from Amman to Madaba

It’s never easy to say which is the best way to travel and get around in a country. Here’s my best try, though. 

If you want comfort above all things, hiring a private driver sounds like the best option. It’s a bit more expensive but you get to tailor your experience to your needs from both a comfort and interest perspective.  

If utmost flexibility and adventure are at the top of your list, then renting a car is your best alternative. Also, cost-wise, renting a car is very affordable even for those on a budget. 

Have any other questions about how to get from Amman to Madaba? Let me know in the comments!

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I fell in love with Jordan after my first visit in 2016; now I love returning to explore more – and writing guides to help you do the same.

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