- Stroll along the Public Beach. Head towards the public beach and simply enjoy seeing the locals having fun. Walk along the public beach from the Royal Yacht club until the Jordanian flag. Take a seat at one of the many local cafe’s, order a lemon and mint drink or sisha and watch the show. Not only you’ll find lots of families enjoying the beach and attempting a swim, you’ll also see young Arabs trying to show off in their boats, going incredibly fast with the latest Arabic hits on full blast from their sub-woofers.
2. Take a picture at the Arab Revolt Square to proof that you were there. There’s a big #LoveAqaba sign. From this square, below the big Jordanian Flag, you’ll find locals hanging out, children playing football or other games and fisherman along the coastal line. From here you also are next to the Aqaba Castle which is another ‘what to do in Aqaba”.
3. Eat fish like the locals do. Continue your stroll along the beach (facing the beach just continue to your left) to find a really local piece of Aqaba than not many know. Take a seat at the Aqaba House, a local restaurant serving nice fish-dishes. Sit down in relaxing chairs and beautiful tents, literally on the beach.
4. Visit Souk By the Sea. On Friday Evenings you can find Souk By the Sea in the touristic area of Aqaba. What to do in Aqaba? Shopping for numerous of hand-made items such as olive oil soaps, jewelry and local produce. Great souvenirs to take home!
5. Hang out on a private beach. Next to the 5* hotels and resorts that are directly located at the beach, there are 3 private beaches in Aqaba. The closest beach to the city center is Ayla. Here you’ll find the B12 beach-club, with soft sandy beaches, lazy chairs, hammocks, cabana’s and even a track to go water-skiing or wake-boarding. They regularly organize events in the weekends – check out their Facebook page for more information. The second option is Tala Bay. It’s nice but doesn’t offer that much facilities as the other two. Another option is to visit Berenice Beachclub. Here you’ll find pools, beach, a jetty from where different boat-trips depart, a dive center and other water sports. You can arrange shuttles and entry tickets at the reception of your hotel in Aqaba.
6. Get lost down town. On the opposite side of the public beach area you’ll find many souvenirshops. Buy your sisha for at home, eat knafa’a or baklava at one from one of the bakeries, visit the mosque and buy spices you can only find in the Middle East such as Sumac or the delicious Za’tar.
7. Play golf at Ayla Oasis. A beautiful golf course includes an 18-hole par-72 championship course, a nine-hole par-three practice course. It’s running on waste water from the city of Aqaba. At their Golf Academy you can also take lessons to know the fine art of playing golf. The 18-hole course, designed by the legendary Greg Norman, is the largest in the Levant region and one of the finest in the Middle East!
8. Help out in the morning at the Local animal shelter. Their small team is completely depending on donations and volunteers. With over 100 dogs to feed and take care for, they have not enough time on their hands. They don’t have enough people to get the jobs done and are in desperate need of people who want help out and give some love to the dogs in the Animal shelter. Another great “What to do in Aqaba”!
9. Visit the Aqaba Aquarium if you’re not keen on going into the water yourself, or if you just want to see what’s swimming in the Red Sea. The renovated Aquarium is located in the direction of Tala Bay and just behind the harbor. It’s not huge but has beautiful aquariums full of fish. They also have numerous projects in regrowing corals. It’s a very nice excursion with small children.
10. Go on a boat trip. Go local on a glass bottom boat from the public beach area and use it as a water taxi to get yourself dropped of at the south beach area. Take a ride in the Neptune glass bottom boat. Experience an all out and loud Arab disco party and delicious food on the Sun and fun boat or go on the Aladin Yacht during a sunset dinner cruise.
11. Go diving or snorkeling. One of the most relaxing, meditative and yet exciting things you can do in Aqaba. Most of the dive and snorkel sites of Aqaba are in relative shallow waters and accessible by beach. The dive sites are concentrated around the South beach area, which is on about a 20-30 minute drive from the town. Local dive centers will take you on either a boat trip or by car to directly access the dive sites. Jordan is unknown as a dive destination yet has so many to offer when it comes to underwater life and dive possibilities. Find out more on what to look out for when going diving in this separate blogpost here.