How to Travel Around Jordan: Planes, Camels, and Automobiles, Oh My!
By air, sea, or land, there’s no place in the world like Jordan. As you plan your Jordan itinerary, you might wonder how to travel around Jordan. In most of my posts, I share information about what I recommend to get from point A to B, but there are lots of options if you want to change your plans from my advice.
Having visited Jordan several times, I’ve had a chance to try many different forms of transportation. As you’ll see, there are plenty of options – it’s just about finding the one that connects the places you want to visit, fits your travel style, and doesn’t blow your budget.
Unlike many of my other Jordan posts, this one doesn’t give you a ton of actionable advice as you plan – but it likely answers many questions you have. So read on to discover all the different ways of getting around Jordan… except by camel, which I won’t cover in this post (despite what the title says!).
4 Main Ways to Travel Around Jordan
Unlike other countries, Jordan doesn’t have a ton of alternatives to get around for travelers.
Still, the ones it does have are more than enough to get you to your destination in a timely and safe manner. Also, there are options for every budget. Below I have detailed the 4 ways I find are the best to get around Jordan during your trip.
Getting Around Jordan by Car
Despite what people may think, Jordan has an excellent road network and its pretty good conditions, too! There are different ways of traveling by car, though. Here you’ll find three ways in which you can travel around Jordan by car, whether that is by renting one, hiring a private driver, or taking a taxi.
Those with a more adventurous spirit may opt to rent a car. If I’m being honest, this is the best way to get around Jordan. It’s practical, you have the freedom to organize your itinerary as you see fit, and it’s affordable.
Also, Jordan is a small country, and during your trip, you’ll be a max of five hours on the road. For example, it’s only a 4-hour drive between Amman and Wadi Rum. But, local drivers and pedestrians in Amman can make things a tad difficult as they’re not exactly the biggest rule followers. Drivers tend to be aggressive, people walk in the middle of the street and pass on both sides… you get the idea.
The major rental agencies operate in Amman at Queen Alia International Airport, so your best bet is to hire one as soon as you arrive. I also use Kayak to browse car rental options.
By the way, I have a whole article with my best tips for driving in Jordan. Check it out if renting a car is your preferred alternative.
Booking a private driver is one of the most common Jordan travel options. This alternative is suitable for people who want a smooth ride to their destination. Private drivers speak English and know in advance when and where you’re going to a place. They are also flexible and willing to make pit stops along the journey. It’s also a safe option provided you book with a reputable agency or through a good website.
There are tons of companies online offering private vehicles for travelers; Viator is a good option to start your planning. You can also ask your hotel to suggest and book a reputable company in case you don’t feel comfortable booking a service online. As a general rule, companies set the price depending on the number of passengers and the destination they want to reach.
Taxis are an extremely popular way to travel around Jordan for both locals and travelers. It may not be the most convenient option, depending on where you’re going. For example, a one-way trip from Amman to Petra costs around 85JD ($120); it’s quite expensive. Also, taxis are mainly available in big cities like Amman and not so much in remote places, like Wadi Rum. Bear this in mind when taking a taxi. If you’re traveling from Amman to isolated locations, like Wadi Rum, Petra, or the Dead Sea, always arrange a round trip in advance.
Another piece of info worth knowing, there are two types of taxis in Amman: service and regular taxis. Service taxis are white and drive a specific route with a set price, whereas regular taxis are yellow and work with a meter. Should you go with the latter, I highly recommend negotiating a fare in advance to avoid future hassle.
Getting Around Jordan by Bus
If you’re traveling on a budget, you can also explore Jordan by bus. Just like taxis, there are two types of buses travelers can take: JETT buses and public buses. Below I’ve shared all the info you need about these two alternatives.
JETT Bus is a company offering public transportation and touristic bus services. Since the company is oriented toward travelers, their buses are in excellent condition. They have a schedule, offer clean, comfortable seats, air conditioners, and English-speaking guides.
The company has routes to all major Jordan landmarks at affordable prices. Tickets to the main landmarks, like Wadi Rum and Petra, cost 10JD for adults and children alike. You can buy the tickets at the JETT Bus Office located in Amman or also book them in advance through their website.
Public transportation is Jordan’s weak point. While there are public buses, they are far from reliable and their mode of operation can be chaotic for western travelers.
Jordan’s public buses don’t work on a schedule. As soon as you arrive at the station, you’ll notice there are no fixed timetables and the buses depart once they’ve reached their full capacity. Also, communication will be far from smooth. Almost all signs are in Arabic, and the staff doesn’t normally speak English.
If you want to fully immerse yourself in the locals’ life, definitely go for it. Just remember you’re doing it for the adventure rather than the convenience.
Getting Around Jordan by Plane
Domestic flights are another alternative travelers consider when visiting a country. However, not all cities in Jordan have their own airport, so it’s not possible to consider this option. This is why I’m focusing this section on Aqaba, Jordan’s only port city and only destination with its own airport, King Hussein International Airport.
Aqaba is in the southern region of Jordan, sitting 207 miles (334km) from Amman. Time-wise, flying between these cities is the best alternative as it takes only 51 minutes to cover that distance. Most flights are operated by Royal Jordanian and the average price for one-way flights from Amman to Aqaba is 67JD.
Getting Around Jordan with a Tour
Last but not least, tours are a fantastic way for traveling in Jordan. You can choose between day tours and multi-day tours depending on how much time you have in Jordan and your itinerary. The tour’s main perk is that everything is settled. You do not need to organize the itinerary and avoid thinking about how, when, and what to do. All you have to do is sit in the hotel lobby and wait for the guide to pick you up. However, everything is already planned; hence, there’s no flexibility.
Below, I have detailed all the info you need about day tours and multi-day tours.
Day tours in Jordan focus on one landmark only. They are a great alternative if you have many days in Jordan and want to pick the specific destinations you want to visit. Most companies offer day tours for Jordan’s biggest attractions, those being Petra, Wadi Rum, and the Dead Sea. Their itineraries are pretty similar and cover the same. Although they may vary in length, depending on how much “free time” they give travelers to explore the site on their own.
Given some of Jordan’s most important landmarks stand close to each other, tour companies also offer multi-day tours. Multi-day tours have access to further locations and they commonly include a visit to Petra, Aqaba, and Wadi Rum. If you’re short on time, multi-day tours are your savior, giving you the chance to cover many more places in an organized way.
The Best Way to Travel around Jordan
Time to answer the million-dollar question: what’s the best way to travel around Jordan? Well, that will vary depending on your budget, itinerary, preferences, and travel style. Each mode of transportation I’ve covered in this article has its pros and cons.
Renting a car is a fantastic alternative from every point of view. However, if you don’t feel comfortable driving in a foreign country, you won’t enjoy the experience. In that case, private drivers and tours are excellent options if you want to relax in the back seat and enjoy the landscape while someone drives you to your destination. Budget travelers can book a JETT bus and travel around Jordan without crushing their wallets.
My biggest advice is that, first, you detect your needs and not get carried away by what other travelers may suggest. You’re the only one who can decide on what’s the best way to travel around Jordan during your trip.
Have any other questions about how to travel around Jordan? Let me know in the comments!
so we are 3 girls planning to go to Jordan, Acaba and Amman, so you would say it is ok for us to travel with no male friends to Jordan? and would it be ok for us to rent a car?
ps. great info on your web site.
Thanks so much for your comment, Diana. I think you will be fine as a group; Jordanians are very welcoming even to solo female travelers. You should have no problem renting a car if you go through an international car agency.
Hi Valerie -Chris Gray again – just found out Dead Sea hotel is 60 kms from Aman – yes i am a Jordan novice – so will spend one day touring Aman – will probably get the Jetbus in and out -but advice on day tour and touring company from dead sea hotel still most welcome
Chris, hi, I’m sorry I don’t see any other comments from you. Are you looking for a day tour TO or FROM the Dead Sea? And where to?
Hi Valerie- not sure why first message did not get through- apologies for that
We are (my wife and I) are visiting Jordan for the first time and our travel agent has booked us into the Holiday Inn at the Dead Sea for three nights but with nothing planned for Days 2 and 3 (Friday 13 Jan and Saturday 14 – we fly out early from Amman on Sunday 15 Jan
Her advice was for us to relax and enjoy the Dead Sea lifestyle- that is not us
So i was wondering if you could provide advice on two fronts
Is there a company or companies you could recommend that we could organise a full day tour through / could be private vehicle or small tour that works out of the Dead Sea region?
Is there an area or places you would recommend we try to visit on that full day or days tour / we would have been to Petra and spent half a day in Amman by that stage
If you think it could be too late for us to organise something at this stage what do you think of the ifea of just jumping on the Jetbus into Amman for the day and just soak up the ‘energy’ of the city for a day and spend the other day doing the Dead Sea thing
If you have made it this far thank you for your persistence