When thinking of the Middle East, people automatically assume that everything here is cheap. And where that holds true in countries like Egypt, Lebanon and Syria, in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan that’s a different story. Jordan is an almost entirely landlocked country with few natural resources and where many is imported. Its national currency is the Jordanian Dinar (JOD). The JOD is pegged to the United States Dollar (USD) at 0.709 JOD = 1 USD. This means that certain items in Jordan may be more expensive than you may expect. How much exactly does travel cost in Jordan? We’ll help you by breaking down the costs of traveling through Jordan so that you can travel to the region well-prepared.
Traveling to Jordan from Europe and the Middle East is very easy due to the high number of direct flights. Both low cost carriers such as Ryanair, EasyJet and Transavia and full service carriers such as Royal Jordanian, KLM and Emirates have weekly if not daily flights to the Jordanian capital. Flights from Europe sell for as little as 50 USD roundtrip with Ryanair. From the Lebanese capital, Beirut, flights can be purchased starting from 220 USD roundtrip.
Flights from North America are generally higher priced as Jordan is not a major hub for international air traffic. These flights usually include transfers in either Europe (Germany, France or The Netherlands) or in the Middle East (Cairo, Dubai or Doha). One of the only direct connections between Jordan and North America is a codeshare Royal Jordanian flight with prices starting from 450 USD one way.
Jordanian visa and entrance fees
Each traveler to Jordan needs to obtain a visa. European and most North American and Asian travellers can obtain a visa upon arrival. We recommend that those who are not eligible for a visa on arrival visit the nearest Jordanian Embassy. A visa on arrival costs approximately 57 USD and is stamped in your passport. However, for those travellers who want to save money there is the Jordan Pass. The Jordan Pass can be purchased online. There are three different options: the Jordan Wanderer, Explorer and Expert pass. Which pass you decide to purchase depends on the amount of days you would like to spend exploring the site of Petra.
The Jordan Pass covers your Jordanian visa and entrance fees to most tourism sites throughout the country. The exceptions are a few privately owned sites such as Mount Nebo and Bethany beyond the Jordan. Purchasing the Jordan Pass can save you a lot of money. The entrance fee to Petra alone costs 71 USD. Combined with the visa fee you will already have spent more money than when you purchase the Jordan Pass. Additionally, when purchasing the Jordan Pass you will be able to add a so-called “Bethany Extension” to your pass for 11 USD. This extension allows you to visit Bethany beyond the Jordan for a discounted price.
Accommodation will undoubtedly be the most expensive part of your trip. Depending on your travel style and budget there is always something that is right for you. In larger cities such as Amman, Aqaba and Wadi Musa (Petra) you’ll find a wide variety of accommodations. You have the choice to stay at a hostel, resort, homestay or hotel. However, choices are limited outside of larger cities. The price you pay for your accommodation greatly depends on the region you’re staying in. Please click here for tailor-made advice regarding the best accommodation for your budget.
Budget travellers can find accommodation for as little as 8 USD per person for a hostel dorm or 25 to 30 USD for a private (single) room in a budget hotel. On the other hand, mid-range travellers can find decent three and four star hotel rooms for as little as 25 USD per person per night (including breakfast) going up to approximately 90 USD per person per night. Five star hotels are a little pricier with prices starting at 90 USD and upwards, depending on the season.
In rural areas there are fewer options available. Prices in places such as Ajloun, Dana and the Dead Sea differ greatly. An overnight stay in a locally owned homestay, offering guests the opportunity to experience Jordanian culture and hospitality from up close, costs approximately 40 USD per person. However, lodges, cabins and guest houses owned by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) can be a bit pricier. Here you will pay between 60 USD up to 100 USD per person per night.
There are several ways to get around in Jordan: public transportation, rental cars and a private driver. The most comfortable option is to hire a private driver for the full duration of your trip. Your driver will bring you from point A to point B. He can tell you about the history and culture of the country along the way and will wait for you while you are visiting tourism sites. The price of a private driver depends on where you are going, how long the drive is and how long he has to wait for you.
The best way to keep your travel cost in Jordan low is by using public transportation. At the same time, this is the most complicated way to travel around as well. Local busses do not run on a set schedule. They depart whenever they are full. A ride to different cities can cost as little as 1.25 USD. An easier option is Jordan Express Tourist Transport (JETT) bus. They operate in most major cities in Jordan. You can purchase your bus tickets beforehand. Busses leave on schedule so it’s easy to plan your trip around this mode of transportation. However, your options are fairly limited as their bus lines do not cover the whole country.
Renting a car in Jordan is extremely easy and very cheap. You can rent a car from as little as 30 USD per day. Fuel in Jordan is quite cheap to compared to other countries, making this a very affordable option. However, keep in mind that traffic in Jordan is significantly different from other places in the world. Driving in Amman is not for the fainthearted and can be quite the challenge. The highways are on constant construction and when driving yourself you need to keep your eyes on the road, instead of the beautiful landscape you’re driving through. Therefore, be prepared when renting a car in Jordan.
Food and beverages
Meals will be a significant part of the travel cost in Jordan. The price of prepared food greatly varies throughout Jordan. There is a large range of restaurants in Jordan with different price ranges. Restaurants in downtown Amman, such as Hashem, provide incredible local food for low prices. For as little as 5.5 USD you will receive hummus, falafel, beans, bread and vegetables on the side. If you’re looking for a higher end restaurant then there are places such as Sufra in Rainbow Street. Here they prepare local foods in a classy setting. Ideal for a family dinner or a romantic night out.
In remote areas there are often more limited options available. Most camps in Wadi Rum prepare a local dish named Zarb for their guests. This traditional dish is prepared on burning hot coals under the ground. It consists of chicken or lamb and vegetables. Oftentimes it comes with a side of rice, bread and salad. Depending on the camp you book you will have to pay extra for dinner.
There are no local restaurants at the Dead Sea other than the ones provided by the luxury hotels. This means that you have to eat at one of their buffets. This can start cutting into your budget if you don’t prepare for this. Dinner at the Dead Sea starts from 25 USD. It is not allowed to bring your own food and beverages inside the resorts.
Entrance fees and activities
The most impressive tourism sites in Jordan are unfortunately also the most expensive ones. Additional activities can rack up the price of your trip quite significantly. Take these into account when estimating the travel cost in Jordan.
You will have to purchase a day ticket for Petra if you have not purchased a Jordan Pass. This can add up quite significantly. However, the longer you spend in Petra, the better value you get for your money. One day in Petra costs 71 USD, two days cost 78 USD and three days cost 85 USD. The fourth day is free of charge. You can hire a guide at the entrance. Depending on the tour you choose to do you will pay 71 USD to 140 USD.
The price you pay for the backroad hike depends on the supplier you choose. If you like to save money then you could do the backroad hike independently. We recommend you hire a guide if you are scared of getting lost. A guide for the backroad hike costs approximately 70 USD.
Entry fees to best known nature reserves – travel costs in Jordan
Each visitor to Wadi Rum has to pay a 7 USD conservation fee before entering the reserve. The Jordan Pass waives this fee if you have purchased it. There are a lot of things you can do in Wadi Rum: jeep tours, hiking, camel riding, sand boarding, riding a hot air balloon and much more. Depending on the number of days you spend in Wadi Rum and the supplier you choose, you can end up spending a lot of money. However, the average price for a 4 hour jeep tour is 90-100 USD per jeep (max. 6 people).
Wadi Mujib is one of the most famous natural trails in Jordan. It’s located near the Dead Sea and allows you to independently hike through the water, climb waterfalls and enjoy nature. The entrance fee is 30 USD which goes towards the conservation of the area. There are guides along the way that can help you if needed.
There are two options for the Dead Sea depending on your budget. People that are on a low budget can head to the beach just like that. It might involve climbing through a fence and walking down a hill after which you have free access to the Dead Sea. After you are done swimming you can wash yourself in a small waterfall. However, keep in mind that a lot of locals come here during the weekend. Wearing more conservative swimwear is advised. And that without the waterfall, remember that you’ll be itchy from the salty waters all over.
If your budget allows it you can buy a day pass for one of the many private beaches at the larger hotel chains. Prices are generally quite high here, starting at 20 USD for a day pass excluding lunch. Sometimes, when just showing up at the resorts, they will charge you higher than when pre-booked. Remember that hotels prohibit bringing your own food and beverages.
Last but not least, tipping is customary in Jordan. Include gratuities for your drivers, hotel workers, guides and other service providers when budgeting your travel cost in Jordan. Most people working in tourism in Jordan are dependent on the extra money they earn through tips.
As a rough guide you can round up the amount and let taxi drivers keep the change, but for private drivers we recommend at least 5 JOD per person per day. In restaurants, tip 10% (sometimes included in your bill). Restaurants do not always share the service fee with their employees. Therefore, we recommend you round up the bill and let the employees keep the change. At hotels the following is a good guideline: bellboys (1-2 JOD per bag), room service (2-5 JOD) and maids (3-5 JOD per night). Tip your guide at least 5 JOD per person per day or discuss an amount with your tour leader if you are on a group tour.
Here’s a table that summarizes what travel costs in Jordan (besides what you’ve booked already):
Average travel costs in Jordan
Prices will be lower or higher depending on the outlet you go. Please note that this are average prices, it might be higher or lower at times as some days you won’t need it (for example tipping or transfers)
|Bottled water for one day||3.35 JOD per person|
|Meals for one day||14 JOD per person|
|Alcohol for one day||8 JOD per person|
|Local transportation (taxi’s, busses) for one day||10 JOD per person|
|Intercity transportation for one day (taxi’s and private cars)||35 JOD per person|
|Tips and Handouts for one day||3.5 JOD per person|