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Camel in front of the Treasury, Petra, Jordan © Colin Tsoi / Flickr
Camel in front of the Treasury, Petra, Jordan © Colin Tsoi / Flickr
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A Solo Traveler’s Guide to Jordan

Picture of Ginin Dunia Rifai
Updated: 30 April 2017

Jordan is a highly desirable Middle Eastern country for travelers, where dreamed-of adventures come to life. Read on to find out how to travel solo successfully in Jordan.

About Jordan

Jordan is an Arabian country, located in the fertile Levantine region. It is home to one of the 7 New Wonders of the World, the rose city of Petra, as well as the lowest point of dry land in the world, the Dead Sea. Jordan is defined by its timeless monuments, archaeological sights, and nature reserves. Amman is the flourishing capital of Jordan, and is itself a great attraction. Amman is rapidly evolving, in terms of technology and lifestyle.

WADI MUSA - JORDAN / 08.05.2016: Portrait pf the an old bedouin from Jordan in his traditional tent © akturer

Portrait of the an old Bedouin from Jordan in his traditional tent © akturer/Shutterstock

Where to Stay

When visiting Jordan, it is best to consider staying in Amman, as the city offers a lot of sighting and adventures. It’s also possible to see many places in Jordan on day trips from the capital.

Amman has a wide variety of hotel types, catering to various budgets and in different locations. If you are looking for a memorable location and 5-star luxury, look up one of Amman’s best hotels. Renting a furnished apartment, whether shared or not, can be cheaper, and may be ideal for solo travelers on a budget. Neighborhoods to look out for include Jabal Al Lweibdeh, Jabal Amman, and Abdoun.

Where to Eat & Drink

Food is an exciting part of travel in Jordan. Jordan’s traditional dish is Mansaf (lamb cooked in yoghurt sauce and served with rice), so make sure to try this. Traditional cuisines and restaurant are found in every city, but the most diverse food venues are found in Irbid, Aqaba and, of course, the capital Amman. The other cities offer more down-to-earth food ventures that usually specialize in traditional dishes only.

Since Amman is used as a base by most people visiting Jordan, and is filled with all sorts of restaurants, coffee shops, bars and pubs, to suit everyone’s taste, this guide will take you from there.

Breakfast

Falafel, hummus, fatteh and mutabbal are traditional Jordanian breakfast foods. Excellent breakfast joints include the famous Hashem Restaurant in the Downtown are, Rakwet Arab in Jabal Al Lweidbeh, and Al Kalha in Abdoun (serving the most delicious falafel in Amman).

Hashem Restaurant, Mamdouh Al Sarayrah St. 6, Amman, +962 6 585 8101

Rakwet Arab, Al-Baouneyah St., Amman, +962 6 461 15598

Al Kalha, Royal Center, King Abdullah II St A168, Amman, +962 6 541 1699

Lunch

For lunch, try Jordan’s national dish, Mansaf, at Sufra Restaurant in Jabal Amman, while dining on the terrace. Restaurants serving all types of cuisine can be found throughout Amman, from local food to Italian, Chinese, Spanish, Armenian, and contemporary sushi.

Sufra Restaurant, Rainbow St. 26, Amman, +962 6 461 1468

Dinner

Almost everywhere in Amman serves dinner, so a better tactic when trying to narrow down the choice is to consider the venue rather than just the menu. Dining in Amman can be breathtaking if you find the right place.

Combine a fancy dinner with alcoholic drinks at one of the best bars and pubs in Amman, O Six Gastro Lounge, all while enjoying a breathtaking view across Amman at night.

A great dining option is Little Italy. This restaurant is a rare Italian restaurant in Jordan that serves genuine Italian cuisine. The pasta and ice-cream are handmade in-house, not imported. The night views over Amman are also dazzling.

Our terrace at dusk ❤️ #littleitalyjo #figtreeventures #tajlifestyle #jordan #amman #beamman #italian #italianfood #terrace

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O Six Gastro Lounge, Canyon Boutique Hotel, Shakib Abu Hamdan St. 32, Amman, +962 6 566 9110

Little Italy, Taj Lifestyle,  Amman, +962 6 593 1070

What to Do in Jordan

Jordan is especially beautiful in spring, and it’s best to visit between March and May, or from the end of August until October, to avoid the vicious heat. Jordan is home to numerous archaeological sights, glorious mountains, and vast deserts.

It takes about a week to explore Jordan from north to south, and a moderate budget is required to cover transportation, snacks, water, gas, and souvenirs. If you are planning to take day trips from Amman, you won’t need to stay in alternative hotels. If you’d like to stay outside the city, you can plan a non-stop trip to visit all of Jordan’s iconic sights, such as Petra, with its must-see attractions like The Treasury and Al-Siq, Wadi Rum, The Colonnaded Street of Jerash, Ajlun’s Castle and many more. A larger budget should be factored for this.

Most road and sightseeing trips around Jordan are group trips. Solo travelers can easily sign up to one of these groups either by asking on Facebook groups that specifically help visitors, or by visiting one of the many travel agencies in Jordan, such as Jordan Tours & Travel or Experience Jordan. Solo travelers will be able to meet locals and tourists with the same passion for exploring Jordan.

A lot of Jordan’s scenery has featured in famous films. The red sands of Wadi Rum may provoke dejá vu, as it appeared in the 2015 sci-fi movie, The Martian. Jordan’s desert was the perfect stand-in for the red planet. As for Petra, the treasury was featured in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. It’s definitely one of Jordan’s most prized monuments.

Amman itself, although a rather small city, is home to many historical monuments. Visit the magnificent Roman Theatre while strolling Downtown, then head up to the hill of Jabal Al Qala’a. There you will find some of Amman’s oldest Roman ruins, The Citadel and The Temple of Hercules.

Amman_Roman Theater © krebsmaus07

Amman_Roman Theater © krebsmaus07/Flickr

There is so much to see and do in Jordan. Hiking, biking, and jogging are popular, and you can find out more about the best hiking trails in Jordan by visiting the official website for the Jordan Trail.

The Jordan Trail is a long-distance hiking trail extending from the north to the south, ending at Aqaba Port. It takes 40 days to finish the whole trail, but you can always sign up for shorter distances. Walking the Jordan Trail is walking the history of Jordan; you will pass 52 villages and town, breathtaking landscapes, iconic archeological sights, timeless deserts, mountains, dunes, rugged valleys and cliffs.

Jordan Tours & Travel, Ibn Al Fared St. 10, Amman, +962 6 566 6604

Experience Jordan,  Ali Nasouh St. 44, Amman, +962 7 7041 7711

Meeting People

Solo travelers often worry about being lonely, but forming bonds with the people of Jordan is easy. Locals are very welcoming and yearn to connect with outsiders. There are also many expatriates living in the hills of Amman, and you can easily find them in Jabal Al Lweibdeh and Jabal Amman, areas popular with foreigners visiting Jordan. Regular meet-ups for expatriates and tourists are often held in these areas, so keep an eye out on social media.

One of the nicest ways to both eat and make new friends is a place called Beit Sitti. Located at the end of long staircase running down from Jabal Al Lweibdeh, this place offers daily cooking classes. You get to meet food-loving people cooking and cook a meal together, sharing food and laughter.

أهلا وسهلاً فيكم ببيت ستي، تفضلوا عنا على الفطور، أو الغداء أو العشاء عشان تتعلموا تطبخوا الأكل العربي. كلوا أكلكم الطيب على بلكونتنا في أحلى منطقة بعمان. ما تنسوا تحجزوا، إحنا بس بنفتح على الحجز. اتصل ٠٧٧٧٥٥٧٧٤٤ او شوف شو منقدم اكل على www.beitsitti.com Beit Sitti literally translates to my Grandmothers House. Welcome to our grandmothers home. Book your session for either breakfast, lunch, or dinner and come learn how to prepare a four course arabic meal using seasonal vegetables picked by our local women. Then dine in our home to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Book your session in advance as we only open upon reservation Call us on 07 7755 7744 Check our menu at www.beitsitti.com #Amman #BeAmman_Jo #Jo #Jordan #Food #Arabic

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Teaching the best way to make Middle Eastern food is our speciality at Beit Sitti

A post shared by Beit Sitti (@beitsitti) on

Beit Sitti, Mohammad Ali Al Saadi Str. 16, Amman, +962 7 7755 7744

Getting Around

Taxis are the main way of getting around Jordan, and there are two types, yellow and white. White automobiles are called service, and are much cheaper than taxis as they take several passengers at once. Service vehicles have a fixed lane on which they drive. They can be a bit complicated to figure out as no maps or written directions are available, but asking locals for help and directions will set you on track.

Unfortunately, some taxi drivers take advantage of non-Arabic speakers, so be sure to always check the meter (next to the driver) for the amount you should pay at the end of the trip. Ask for the meter to be turned on at the beginning of the trip as well.

Public buses are also common in Jordan, but trains are not. A main advantage of public transportation is the very low cost, barely exceeding a few cents. Taxis are a bit more expensive. This form of transportation is widely used within the same city or when planning to go from one city to another, maintaining a cheap cost as well.

In Amman, the most common ways of getting around are taxis. Recently, Apps like Uber and Careem, two ride-sharing services, are becoming widely used as an alternative.

Other Things to Keep in Mind

Like every country, Jordan has its own rules, regulations, and customs. Jordan is an Islamic Arabian country, and traditions are taken seriously and sensitively. Before visiting Jordan, be sure to take note of the conservative culture and dress code. Exposing clothing is a no-no for both genders, and public displays of affection are not made. However, as strict as some of these customs might sound, the people of Jordan are some of the most generous, helpful and warmhearted people in the Middle Eastern region.