The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is an amazing nation with great food and incredible people. Here are five things that you should not miss during your visit.
Petra almost goes without saying, but it is even more stunning in-person and easily the top attraction in Jordan. I made Petra a day trip, driving down from Amman on Route 15, which took about three hours. Give yourself at last 2-3 hours here and ensure you walk all the way up to the monastery.
2. Mount Nebo
According to the Book of Deuteronomy, Mount Nebo is the spot in which Moses was shown the Promised Land. At 2,330 feet, you can see Jehrico on most days and Jerusalem on a clear day.
3. Jesus’ Baptism Site
The Jordan River divides Israel and Jordan and is also thought to be the site where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. While visiting, you may notice pilgrims being baptized on both sides of the water.
One of the best meals of my life was in a small kitchen in Irbid, a northern city near the Syrian border. While your meal may not be as authentic, make sure you try mansaf while you are in Jordan. Mansaf is lamb cooked in fermented dried yogurt with spices and served with rice and toasted nuts. It is one of my favorite dishes in the world. Try it.
5. Kanafeh at Habibah in Amman
If you read my Middle East Airlines trip report, you know how much I love kanefeh, a traditional Arab dish made with layers of cheese and dough, topped in pistachios and drenched in rose water syrup. The most famous (for good reason) kanafeh is served at a place called Habibah in central Amman. Seek this place out for the best kanefeh in the world. Be prepared to wait in line.
I’ll be the first to admit that the list above is highly subjective and limited as well to what I experienced. The country is full of biblical and Roman ruins that I did not see in places like Jerash and Aqaba. Nevertheless, trust me on the five things above: they are all worth checking out. Check out Tiffany’s amazing trip report through Jordan for other ideas.
Have you visited Jordan before? What tops your list?
How safe did you feel there in terms of theft, petty crime towards yourself? Any other safety concerns you had? I’ve heard stories of white males being targeted for these things. Did you have to wear certain attire there? I’m very interested in going but the data points I’ve read and heard from others have been mostly negative. Would love your perspective on this.
Had a taxi driver who screwed us big time, but that was my fault. Felt very safe overall.
@ Matthew — Wow, the number of people in your Petra photos is low. What’s with that — low season, low tourism due to the war in Syria, or what?
I’ve been to Jordan several times. That particular picture was from October 2011.
Jordan is an amazing country to visit. It’s safe as houses (almost no crime). I worked around Amman at night and felt completely safe. Lots of women walking around too. It’s considered to be the safest country in the Middle East.
I would put jerash in my top 5. Absolutely spectacular. And almost no one there.
When my kids are older I’ll definigely be back with the whole fam. Did a lot in five days
How crazy was the driving (I imagine easier outside of Amman)? I’ve driven in about a dozen countries (and am used to driving in NYC) so I’m interested in it but haven’t rented a car in the middle East yet.
Amazing photos. i always wish to visit such places. I don’t know either you like it or not but would like to suggest you to also visit Pakistan. A lot of old places are here. you will definitely love them.
I visited Jordan last year. No doubt it is an amazing place to get unforgotten memories. My uncle is from Jordan. Soon i will visit again with my wife.