Home to the famous city of Petra, Wadi Rum desert, the Dead Sea, and historical ruins, Jordan is one of the most fascinating countries in the Middle East. But, just how much does it cost to go to Jordan? Well, you may be surprised.
Compared to neighbouring Middle Eastern countries, such as Egypt, Jordan is actually quite expensive. However, there is a reason for it. Jordan is not a rich country; there is no fresh water, no oil, and limited natural resources. However, it is in the middle of the Middle East which, as we all know, can be an area of conflict. In the interest of keeping things as stable as possible, larger nations such as the USA actually funnel money into the country. For this reason, the local currency (the Jordanian dinar) fluctuates based on the US dollar and for many things, prices are similar to what you may find in North America.
That being said, Jordan is still worth every penny and there are ways to travel through this country and be budget friendly. In this guide on how much does it cost to go to Jordan, I’ll be breaking down the costs and show you where your best chances are at saving.
For the purpose of this article, I’m going to suggest a 7-day, 6-night itinerary in Jordan. If you are travelling as a couple, make sure to double these estimates (except for hotels).
Local transportation $75
Food and drink $210
Attractions $500 (includes guides)
Random spending $100
Total $2,365 USD
The above estimate is in American Dollars, so please use xe.com to find out the average costs in your home country.
Jordan is quite a distance from North America and the capital, Amman, is not a main hub for travel. For this reason, airfare to Jordan can be quite pricey. Average flights from North America cost around $1,000 return. The Royal Jordanian airline offers direct routes from select cities in the west coast which some travellers may want to keep in mind.
If you’re Canadian, you may want to consider applying for one of the best travel credit cards in Canada to help offset your costs by collecting points. For example, the American Express Platinum Card gives you a signup bonus of up to 85,000 American Express Membership Rewards points which have a minimum value of $850 (potentially more if you transfer your points to Aeroplan or Marriott Bonvoy). There’s also the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card that has no foreign transaction fees and it comes with airport lounge access.
Getting around Jordan isn’t exactly easy if you are travelling on your own without a tour and without a car. While public transportation does exist, it’s not the easiest to navigate. Main cities like Amman have two types of taxis- private taxis or shared taxis that you can flag down in the street.
If you plan on being in Jordan for a while, it may be worthwhile to rent a car and drive yourself. This is an especially good idea if you are travelling as part of a group. A car rental will cost approximately $25/day but you also need to then consider insurance and fuel.
Another option is to take the shuttle-type buses between cities and sites. For example, the JETT coach from Amman to Wadi Musa (closest city to Petra). They run on limited schedules and book up quite quickly so be sure to book in advance. Relying on these types of shuttles will probably cost around $15 per day.
Finally, if none of the above options sound appealing you can also book day trips that cover transportation as well as site-seeing. While you probably won’t want to from Amman to Wadi Rum by this method, it’s handy for shorter distances such as Amman to Jerash.
Accommodation in Jordan ranges depending on location and what your standards are. There’s a good mix of hotels, hostels, and even campsites in the desert which truly are a must-do. For the budget set in this article, I averaged costs based on mid-range accommodation choices, however, with a bit of research and flexibility you can reduce this cost. Or, if you want a more upscale experience, you can also increase it.
Here are some of my top recommendations:
In Wadi Rum
My preferred booking site is Booking.com since you can search hotels, apartments, B&B’s, vacation homes and inns at the same time. They also price match and you’re not required to pay until after your stay for almost all accommodations.
If you have the right credit card, you can save a fair amount of money on hotels. Americans should strongly consider the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card since you can earn up to 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy points and $200 back at U.S. restaurants as a welcome bonus.
Canadians should consider the Marriott Bonvoy American Express which gives you up to 51,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. That’s enough points for up to five free nights at some hotels which could easily have a value of over $500. There’s also the BMO World Elite™* Mastercard®* since it typically has a sign up bonus worth more than $200 and the annual fee is normally waived for the first year.
Before you head to Jordan, make sure you purchase the Jordan Pass as it offers incredible value for tourists. As long as you’re staying a minimum of three nights in Jordan, you’ll be able to purchase the pass for 70JD or $99 USD. The pass gives you access to prepaid entry to over 40 attractions in Jordan and includes one night in Petra. If you want to stay 2 or 3 nights in Petra, it’ll cost you $106 USD and $113 USD respectively. This pass also waives the cost of your entry visa which normally costs $57 USD.
As you can imagine, the real highlight of Jordan are the attractions, primarily Petra (any Indiana Jones fans out there?), Wadi Rum desert, and the Dead Sea. Other worthwhile stops include Jerash, which has fantastic Roman ruins, and Amman, the capital, which has an interesting citadel.
While it is entirely possible to visit these places on your own, I do recommend hiring a guide or taking a guided tour of the more historical site. The reason being that there is so much to learn and know that, should you chose to visit them on your own, you will likely miss out. Since some of these attractions are quite pricey on their own, make sure you buy that Jordan Pass. For example, as of December 2018, a Petra 1-day ticket costs $100 USD if you’re not staying overnight. I think it’s worth adding a little more for a guide to get the full experience and to see as much as you can.
Food and drink
Jordanian food is very similar to other cuisines in the Middle East. It’s quite vegetarian-friendly with lots of dishes made with chickpeas, cucumbers, and tomatoes. Chicken and rice dishes also tend to be a staple and throughout the year you can find fresh olives and, during the summer months, pomegranate. Plenty of restaurants that cater to tourists, especially around the tourist sites, offer buffet type meals (though drinks will cost extra). The average cost for a meal at one of these types of places is about $15-$20. Alternatively, you can also take advantage of the street food; falafel and shawarma being two of the most popular picks, which are significantly cheaper; around: $7. Breakfast is often included in your accommodation.
When it comes to drinking, it’s important to keep in mind that Jordan is a Muslim country and as such, alcohol isn’t readily available at most places (unless you are staying at a resort or a nicer hotel). With that in mind, you will still need to budget for drinking water and any juices or sodas. Drinks are always double or even triple the price at tourist attraction spots such as Petra or the ruins of Jerash, so do yourself a favour and try to stock up at a grocery store instead. You can get a pack of 6 large water bottles for 2 dinar (about $3) at the grocery store or pay the same amount for 1 bottle from a vendor at a tourist site.
With that in mind, your daily food and drink costs will average around $30 per person.
Jordan isn’t exactly a shopping destination, but you will want to carry extra money on you for a couple of reasons. First off, tipping is an important part of Jordanian culture; from tour guides, to drivers, and even bathroom attendants, everyone will expect you to leave them a little something in return for the service they have provided. So, when you get the small 1 dinar notes or coins, hang onto them for this purpose.
If you are looking for souvenirs, there are plenty of shops and vendors all over hoping to sell you their wares. The red and white Bedouin scarves are a popular pick and good quality ones can be purchased for about 7 dinar, or $11 dollars. There are also the usual souvenirs such as shot glasses, magnets, along with some jewelry and pottery items. Remember, Jordan is a haggling country so be sure to barter for your goods! A handy tip is to start at 50% of their first offer. For example: If they ask for 20 dinar, offer 10.
So, how much does it cost to go to Jordan? For one week in Jordan, I estimate that you will need about $2,365 USD to cover all of your costs; airfare, transportation, accommodation, food and drink, and activities. This can easily be cut down especially if you eat more street food, stay in budget accommodation, and pass on guides for the attractions.
Jordan is an incredible county filled with amazing history and fascinating landscapes. For those who dream of being like Indiana Jones, or just want to visit a friendly and safe part of the Middle East, Jordan is a great pick. For more destination inspiration, check out my how much does it cost guides to Dubai, Egypt, Iceland, Croatia, and Hawaii.