Travel to Jordan on Budget with this 6-Days Itinerary

Jordan – An Arab nation which is characterized by exclusive natural reserves, ancient monuments and vast desert valleys, has been welcoming tourists with genuine warmth for so many years now.

This land of diverse natural beauty and a precious historical past is one of a kind in the whole wide world, and there’s no soul who hasn’t been floored by its magnificence.

Jordan is for everyone, but this incredible land is often overlooked by many. There is also this popular notion that Jordan is expensive to travel, but that’s not the case.

Rather, you can travel on a low budget and get all the significant sites covered in a 6-day long journey across this beautiful nation. Dive in to know why you need to visit this gorgeous land at least once in a lifetime.

1. Why Jordan?

This middle-eastern country oozes natural, untouched beauty, waiting to be explored. Here are some top reasons why Jordan ought to be on every budget traveller’s list.

  • Age-old ruins and so much history: Some ruins date back to the 1st and 2nd century and are yet preserved so well.
  • Warmest locals and a charming culture: Jordan’s people are quite liberal, and the culture shows an amalgamation of modern practices with the vintage vibes.
  • Mouth-watering delicacies: A widespread of Arabic and Lebanese cuisine can be enjoyed in Jordan like hummus, falafel, kebabs, etc.
  •  A heaven for adventure lovers: The country offers a plethora of vistas for adventure activities, some being exclusive to this region like treks, hikes, valley-crossing, offbeat desert trails, deep-sea diving and much more.
  • Budget traveller’s paradise: The internal transport, food, accommodation, sightseeing and activities are all budget-friendly, offering great value for money.

2. Best time to visit Jordan

First things first, Jordan is a year-round travel destination. However, the seasons are divided as peak and non-peak.

  • Peak season is March-May & September-November: Best climatic conditions, often crowded; therefore, prior bookings of accommodation is a must.
  • Non-peak – Ramadan: It is a fasting season for locals for about 30 days. The tourist sites, however, remain open.

3. Visa requirements

Understand and apply for a visa as per your requirement. The various types are-

  • Single Entry, One month – 40 JOD (4,069 INR)
  • Double Entry, Three months – 60 JOD (6,102 INR)
  • Multiple Entries, Six months – 120 JOD (12,205 INR)

Also, there is a special provision of free visa if tourists enter and leave from the Gulf of Aqaba (conditions apply)

People from most countries can avail Visa On Arrival (VOA) and those who can’t, can apply through the nearest Jordan embassy or online. Here’s the list of countries as specified by the Tourism Board of Jordan.

4. Currency & Language barrier in Jordan

The national currency of Jordan is the Jordanian Dinar (JOD) which roughly converts to 102 INR as of Feb 2020. Most cities in Jordan have plenty of ATMs to withdraw cash.

Notes are available in 1, 5, 10, 20, and 50 dinar denominations. However, ATMs usually dispense 20, and 50 dinar notes so be sure to get enough change of lower denominations.When travelling to the desert areas, it is recommended that you carry adequate cash with you.

As for the language, Arabic is the official language and widely spoken in Jordan. The younger generation and those in the hospitality industry speak English as well.

It is recommended to learn certain daily-used Arabic phrases for ease of getting to know the locals and asking for recommendations or directions. Here are some easy ones to keep in handy-

  • Shukran: Thank you
  •  Äafwan: You’re welcome
  • min faDlik: Please
  • Ismii… : My name is…
  • Naäam: Yes
  • Laa: No
  • Hal tataHaddath al’ingiliiziyya?:  Do you speak English?

5. What to wear and etiquettes/Tips to remember

Jordan is a middle-eastern Muslim country but with relaxed rules and a rather modern outlook. It is, however, imperative that you should be sensitive towards their culture and refrain from actions that would hurt local sentiments.

So overall, these are some basic things you could remember in terms of clothing and etiquettes. You should-

  • Dress modestly and in an elegant manner, especially when going to religious sites and the rural areas. It is recommended to cover the head and skin while entering sacred sites.
  • Even though the Jordanian culture is liberal, you should still respect it.
  • A handshake is welcomed. People often greet tourists with lots of love, and it’s a nice gesture to return their greetings.
  • During Ramadan, be sensitive and avoid eating in public during the day.
  • Refrain from any political debates and/or remarks about the same.

6. 6 days itinerary

Day 1 | Arrive and explore the capital city of Amman

Day 2 | Day tour to Jerash ruins

Day 3 | Wadi Rum desert

Day 4 | Explore one of the new 7 wonders of the world – Petra

Day 5 | Relax, heal, rejuvenate in the Dead Sea 

Day 6 | Follow the ancient route of Moses right to Madaba

7. Map of Jordan

Jordan is surrounded by Saudi Arabia to its southeast and south, Israel to the west, Syria to the north & Iraq to the east. All the borders are well manned and secured. Getting around is easy and quick in Jordan as internal transport is quite well connected and readily available in the form of public and private buses and taxis.

8. A detailed breakdown from Day 1 to Day 6

Most trips in Jordan start from Amman, the capital city of Jordan. At the Queen Alia International Airport, Amman is where most of the tourists fly into Jordan. Getting to Amman city from the airport is easily doable by

– Hiring a taxi costs (20 JOD/2,034 INR) or
– Taking the Airport Express bus – (3.5 JD/356 INR) plies every 30 minutes

1. DAY 1 – Arrive in Amman and explore the beautiful capital city of Jordan

Amman, the capital as well as the largest city of Jordan, is contemporary and yet has safeguarded its legacy and heritage, thus subsequently offering tourists the best of both worlds.

While the downtown is beaming with industries and high rises, with people accepting western influences, it is noteworthy to see how the city has managed to preserve its history.

Around 40% of Jordan’s population lives and thrives here. Most of the locals understand and speak English and are always ready to help.

Things to do in Amman

– Visit the Roman Amphitheatre

Built in around 138-161 AD, this phenomenal Roman structure could accommodate up to 6,000 people at a time. (Entry fees – 2 JOD/ 203 INR, also includes entry to two adjacent museums)

– Catch a glorious sunset at the Citadel

Perched on a hill, this place provides a stunning 360-degree view of the city and is unquestionably the best place to catch a sunset in Amman (Entry fees – 3 JOD/305 INR)

– Shop for souvenirs at the Rainbow street

The street has a bohemian vibe to it, along with plenty of shops, cafes and restaurants that are available here.

What to eat and where

The food in Jordan is abundant and so homely that you won’t feel you are far from home. You can enjoy a wholesome meal for about 5 JOD/509 INR in most places.

1. Hashem Al Balad – Get a taste of local Jordanian cuisine
2. Sufra Restaurant – Enjoy the best of Falafels & Hummus
3. Head to various cafes on the rainbow street for coffee, tea and other snacks

Where to stay

1. Nomads Hostel – Situated on the rainbow street, it is famous for its friendly staff and clean rooms. A dorm-bed can cost about 10 JOD/1,017 INR (Breakfast can be availed by paying extra). 

2. Sydney Hotel – Best place to stay in Amman. It is an excellent spot downtown that has breakfast included (except for dorms). Outside food and drinks are also allowed within the hotel. Get a dorm-bed here for as low as 7 JOD/712 INR & single bed at 19JOD/1,932 INR

3. Nishan Hotel – This one offers complimentary buffet breakfast and features TV, kettle and en-suite bathroom in its rooms. Double room rates start from 22 JOD/2,238 INR

Transport options within the city

1. Amman can be covered on foot if you are tight on a budget

2. Hiring a taxi to certain places is a good option and well in budget too (2-3 JOD)

Total Budget in Amman – 25 JOD (2,543 INR)

2. DAY 2 – Day tour to Jerash ruins

Jerash is about 40-60 minutes away from Amman city and can easily be covered in a day tour. It prides itself in having one of the most extensive and best-preserved Roman ruins in the middle-eastern region.

Jerash is a popular tourist visit centre due to the ruins of the Greco-Roman city of Gerasa, and it is also referred to as ‘Antioch on the Golden River’.

Things to do

Explore the Jerash ruins – Go back in time and marvel at the unspoiled ruins dating back to 63 BC! The ruins are in excellent condition and give an incredible insight into the empire that once was! (Entry fees – 10 JOD/1,017 INR) Some prominent structures here are-

1. Hadrian’s Arch – Built in 129 AD and named after Emperor Hadrian
2. Hippodrome – Roman-era stadium
3. Forum (Oval Plaza) – Unusually wide and asymmetrical entrance
4. Temple of Artemis – Temple ruins dedicated to goddess Artemis
5. South Theater – An amphitheatre that is functional even today, seats up to 3000
6. The Cardo – A 600m collonaded street
7. Jerash Archaeological Museum – Visit the excavated ruins

What to eat and where

1. The Resthouse – For a quick meal of kebab+fries (6 JOD/610 INR)
2. Old Roman – A restaurant with a pretty garden and serves buffet meals (8 JOD/814 INR)
3. Artemis – The BBQ here is highly recommended

Where to stay

Though there are a few stay options here, it is recommended to stay in Amman, given that it’s just about an hour away. 

Transport options within the city

1. Public bus to Jerash & back (2-3 JOD)
2. Rent a taxi (10 JOD/1,017INR one way, may charge extra on the return trip so bargain hard)
3. Sign up for day tours from Amman (expensive and depend on duration/places)

Total Budget in Jerash – 25 JOD (2,543 INR)

3. DAY 3 – Wadi Rum desert

This day is all about exploring the scenic desert valley and home of the Bedouin nomads. The ride here encompasses vast and isolated scenic lands, lined with granite cliffs and the desert sand.

This stunning landscape is unique to Jordan and gives way to lots of adventure activities that can be enjoyed exclusively in this region. It is home to the traditional Bedouin nomads, and they are the ones who run this place, ever so welcomingly.

It is a protected area, and private tourist vehicles are only allowed up to a certain check-point. (Entrance fees – 5 JOD/509 INR)

Things to do

1. Ride a camel
2. Enjoy a 4X4 Jeep Safari
3. Go hiking on some off-beat desert trails
4. Catch the breath-taking desert sunset

Where to stay and what to eat

– Camp, glamp or simply lay under the stars and relish the famous buffet spreads of traditional Bedouin specialities in one of the numerous stay options here. 

– Zarb (meat cook underneath the soil) & the Bedouin tea are not to be missed.

There are two stay options that provide traditional camp settings with excellent views and modern facilities. The prices include the stay, meals and a few activities like hiking, camel ride, jeep safari, etc.

1. Arabian Nights Bedouin Camp – (25 JOD/2,543 INR)
2. Wadi Rum Camp – (30 JOD/3,051 INR)

Transport options within the city

There is no direct bus to Wadi Rum from Amman and so here are a couple of alternatives to arrive-

1. The Jett bus from Amman to Aqaba (10 JOD/1,017 INR) and from Aqaba, a private taxi to Wadi Rum (25 JOD/2,543 JOD)

2. Hiring a self-drive car/tour guide from Amman (convenient but expensive) 

Total Budget in Wadi Rum – (65 JOD/6,611 INR)

4. DAY 4 – Explore one of the 7 wonders of the new world – Petra

Petra is an ancient city carved out of sandstone and is part of the esteemed New 7 Wonders of the World. Also known as Rose-Red city, it got its name from the whimsically coloured ruins.

Petra is also known as the capital of the ancient Nabataean city dating back to 6th century BC. It gained the UNESCO World Heritage status in 1985 for the magnificent grandeur of the ancient ruins.

Entry fees

– 90 JOD/9,153 INR for day visitors
– 50 JOD/5,085 INR for 1-day access (staying overnight in Petra)
– 55 JOD/5,594 INR for 2 days
– 60 JOD/6,102 INR for 3 days
– 17 JOD/2,441 INR for Petra at night (need to have a valid day pass and available only on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Mondays)

Things to do

1. Visit the Treasury (Al-Khazneh)
2. Trek up to the Monastery
3. Spend time at the Roman Theatre and Roman Tombs
4. Walk the Street of Facades
5. Hike all the way to Little Petra 

Where to stay & what to eat

Petra Gate Hotel – One of the best places to stay here. Breakfast is included, and so are the tickets to Petra night. They also arrange day tours to Aqaba, Wadi Rum, etc. (11 JOD/1,119 INR) 

Valentine Inn – Quite a popular hostel in this region. Visitors can enjoy free Wifi and transport to the Petra site. (A dorm-bed for 12.5 JOD/1,271 INR including breakfast and buffet dinner)

Transport options within the city

1. Local Minibus from Wadi rum visitor centre to Petra – (10 JOD/1,017 INR)
2. Jett Bus – (18 JOD/1,831 INR)
3. Private taxi – (45JOD/4,577 INR)

Total Budget in Petra – 71 JOD/7,221 INR (for 1 night/ 2 days)

5. DAY 5 – Relax, heal, rejuvenate in the Dead Sea 

Get ready for the most fun activity of the trip. All this while you’ve walked, toiled and trekked, and this is the time to relax and rejuvenate! Visiting the Dead Sea is on every traveller’s bucket list and also one of the most popular to-do on the Jordan Itinerary.

The water at the Dead Sea is extremely salty, which makes one effortlessly float on it and you can almost never sink. Clicking a picture while reading a newspaper and floating on the surface is a popular activity here.

Things to do

1. Take a dip, float and relax in the Dead sea, the lowest point on earth. Its medicinal properties can be experienced by putting on some mudpack on your body.
Entrance Fees – 20 JOD/2,034 INR

2. Visit the Baptism Site of Jesus Christ at the Jordan River, 10 minutes away

Where to stay & what to eat

– Staying near the Dead Sea is a costly affair, so take it as a day tour and head to Madaba for the night.
– Most restaurants here serve a lunch buffet (starting around 12 JOD/1,220 INR) but tourists can opt to have a little picnic of their own by carrying packed food, to keep the costs down.

Transport options within the city

1. Taxi (no public buses available on Petra-Dead sea route) – 50-80 JOD
2. Hitch-hike – Quite a popular way of backpacking through this region

Total Budget for the Dead Sea – 70 JOD/7,119 INR

*Optional – Take the king’s highway to reach Madaba and en-route stop at Al-Kerak Castle and Mt. Nebo

6. DAY 6 – Follow the ancient route of Moses right to Madaba

Welcome to the ‘city of mosaics’ that is popular for its 6th-century ‘Mosaic Madaba Map’ of the Byzantine-era depicting Jerusalem and parts of the Holy Land.

The city was discovered in 1896 and has been a prominent tourist spot ever since. Madaba is where most of the catholic population of Jordan resides, due to which one comes across cozy churches, cafes and the likes, in abundance here. There are many Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics to be discovered in Madaba.

Things to do

1. Marvel at the Madaba map in St. George Church
2. Visit the Shrine of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist (1 JD/102 INR)
3. If time permits, get to know the history of Madaba at the Madaba Museum and visit the site of Dolmens at Al-Fayha (optional) 

What to eat and where

1. Mariam Hotel Restaurant – Rooftop buffet dining with a poolside bar and lovely views (8 JOD/814 INR)
2. Ayola’s – A great coffee place, which also offers sheesha
3. Chilly ways – Head here if craving for Hamburgers and fast food.

Where to stay

1. Black Iris Hotel: Decent place with free Wifi, inhouse restaurant and breakfast included (35 JOD/3,560 INR)

2. Moab Land Hotel: Provides dorm-beds, is right across the Map Church and centrally located (7 JOD/712 INR)

3. Tell Madaba Hotel: Just a kilometre away from the city centre, this is an excellent choice if a single room with all amenities is required. (18 JOD/1,831 INR)

Transport options within the city

1. Walk around the town as everything is pretty close
2. For surrounding areas, hire a metered taxi at 1 JOD per trip
3. Take a taxi/cab to Amman/Airport – 40 JOD/4,068 INR  

Total Budget in Madaba – 60 JOD/6,102 INR

9. The total budget

The total pricing of the 6 days itinerary comes around320 JOD/32,545 INR

The other alternatives in case tourists want to extend their journeys by a few days could be-

– Gulf of Aqaba: Snorkelling, deep-sea diving in the Red Sea
– Wadi Mujib: Valley trekking
– Dana reservoir
– Day tour to Umm Qais: Viewpoint of Galilee Sea

10. Some final thoughts

Here’s how exploring the land of Jordan is possible on a low budget. This detailed pocket guide for budget travellers with all the prices mentioned will help you throughout your journey.

The optional tours can be taken as per the availability of time and flexibility of budgets. So, it’s time to strike off the city of Petra and the Dead Sea from the travel bucket list and explore the other untouched places in Jordan while going easy on the pockets. So plan a visit to Jordan soon as thrilling experiences await!

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