Looking to plan a few day trips from Amman on your upcoming trip to the capital of Jordan? You’re in luck! I’ve put together inspiration for some of the best tours and day trips from Amman to help you plan your trip.

Amman, Jordan’s bustling capital, is an enchanting blend of traditional and modern. Sprawling across seven hills, the city presents a mix of ancient ruins and stylish urban districts. 

The heartbeat of Amman lies in its buzzing souks, aromatic culinary delights, and friendly locals. Its rich history is palpable in the remnants of Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic architectures that punctuate the cityscape. 

While there’s enough to see and do in Amman in a day or two, if you’re there for longer, you absolutely must get out of the city and see the incredible surrounding areas. 

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Best Tours From Amman

If you want to get out of Amman on a day trip but you’d rather not plan it yourself, here’s a list of the highest rated day tours you can take. 

  • Half Day Tour to Madaba and Mount Nebo: This highly rated half day tour takes you to visit the ancient mosaic city of Madaba and Mount Nebo, where Moses is said to have seen the promised land. 
  • Petra Private Tour: Visit the rock-carved city of Petra, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. This Petra tour includes transportation from Amman and a private guide once you get to Petra. It’s a 12 hour round trip so make sure you don’t have any other plans for the rest of the day if you choose this tour. 
  • Dead Sea, Mt Nebo, Madaba and Baptism Site: This fantastic tour will take you to visit the Dead Sea, where you can float in its salty waters and enjoy its healing properties. You’ll also get to see Mount Nebo, Madaba and the Baptism Site of Jesus Christ. 
  • Private Jerash, Aljoun Castle and Umm Qais Tour:  Explore ancient Roman ruins in the city of Jerash, visit the historical Aljoun Castle and take in stunning views at Umm Qais on this private tour. Perfect for history buffs and those looking to get off the beaten path.
  • Bethany Baptism Jordan River Site: Visit the site where it is believed that John the Baptist baptized Jesus in the Jordan River. See historical churches, caves and ruins on this religious tour perfect for those interested in biblical history.
  • Desert Castles and Eastern Jordan Tour: This is a 4-6 hour tour which takes you three of Jordan’s 7th and 8th century desert castles. You’ll hear tales of intrigue and mystery as you explore the ruins and learn about the Umayyad dynasty. After the tour, you’ll be dropped off in central Amman (same as pickup). 
  • Private Day Tour to Petra and Wadi Rum: Wadi Rum is often called the “Valley of the Moon” and was made famous by Lawrence of Arabia. This tour combines a visit to this stunning desert landscape with a trip to Petra. It’s a long day but definitely worth it if you don’t have much time in Jordan and want to see the best of the best. 

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Best Day Trips From Amman

Jordan is a truly fascinating country, filled with historical sites, natural wonders, and warm hospitality. While Amman is a must-visit destination on its own, it also serves as a great base for exploring the rest of the country. 

Here are some of the best day trips from Amman that you can easily add to your itinerary. 

1. Jerash

Distance from Amman: 52km / 32 miles

Just a short drive from Amman and you’ll find yourself in the enchanting city of Jerash. Known for its well-preserved Roman architecture, Jerash is like stepping into a time machine back to the grandeur of the Roman Empire. You’ll be blown away by the colonnaded streets, the hilltop temples, the theatres, and the incredible Hadrian’s Arch. It’s a place where history comes alive, allowing you to walk in the footsteps of Roman soldiers, charioteers, and citizens. 

Ancient Roman columns stand in a row against a clear blue sky in the historical city of Jerash, Jordan, showcasing the archaeological beauty and historical significance of the site.

Things to do in Jerash

  • Wonder at the 13 meter high Hadrian’s Arch, built in 129 AD to honor the visit of Emperor Hadrian  
  • Have a picnic at The Forum, a large oval shaped plaza surrounded by columns and temples
  • Step into the Hippodrome, where chariot races were once held for thousands of spectators
  • Be amazed at the Roman Ruins of Jerash
  • Stroll through the small Jerash museum 

How to get to Jerash from Amman

Option 1 is to drive yourself. It will take around 50 minutes from Amman to Jerash, although during Amman’s heavy traffic times, it may take you a little longer. As always, the earlier you head out, the better. 

Alternatively, you can catch at bus at the North Terminal Bus Station in Amman for as little as $1.50 one way. 

If you’d prefer not to take a bus but don’t have the use of a car or driver, you can hire a taxi to take you, wait a few hours and then bring you back to Amman. This is obviously the most costly option and you can expect to pay anything from $60. Be sure to agree a price before you set off! 

2. Dead Sea

Distance from Amman: 60km / 37 miles

Making your way to the Dead Sea, you’ll find yourself at the lowest point on Earth’s surface! It’s an odd sensation, floating in the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea’s mud and salt waters are legendary for their therapeutic properties. Packed full of minerals, slathering some of this natural goo on your skin can work wonders, helping to rejuvenate it, enhance its elasticity, and even combat skin disorders. It’s a day trip that your skin will thank you for!

I recommend bringing water shoes for your feet, as the beaches at the Dead Sea aren’t your typical white sandy beaches. Best to protect your feet! 

Effortlessly floating on my front in the buoyant waters of the Dead Sea in Jordan, with the calm sea extending to the hazy mountains in the distance and a clear sky above.

Things to do in the Dead Sea

  • Take a dip in the dense, salty water, where sinking is practically impossible
  • Rub mud from the Dead Sea on your skin for a natural spa experience
  • Visit one of the many resorts along the shoreline for a luxurious day of relaxation and pampering
  • Visit the Dead Sea Museum to learn about the history and geology of this unique body of water
  • Hike through Mujib Nature Reserve, home to waterfalls, wildlife, and stunning views of the Dead Sea 

How to get to the Dead Sea from Amman

You can reach the Dead Sea within an hour if you’re travelling from the capital city of Amman. The easiest and most convenient way to get there is by hiring a taxi or booking a private tour. This option allows you to customise your trip and have the convenience of transportation waiting for you at each stop.

If you’re on a budget, there are also public buses that run from the Mujaharin Bus Station in Amman to the Dead Sea for as little as $1.50. Once at the Dead Sea, you’ll just need to catch a taxi to the beach, which will likely cost you around $7-8. 

3. Petra

Distance from Amman: 230km / 143 miles

While Petra is a little further from Jordan’s capital,  it’s still one of those ‘cannot miss’ destinations in the country. This ancient city – sometimes known as the Pink City or the Rose City – is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. 

If by chance you have a night to spend in Petra, I recommend doing the entire thing again, but at night! Petra by night is a completely different experience – the entire path to the Treasury is lit up by candles and it’s truly magical. 

The ancient facade of Petra's Al-Khazneh illuminated in pink light during a 'Petra by Night' event, with the silhouette of a crowd gathered in front to witness the dramatic sight.

Things to do in Petra

  • Enter the Siq, a narrow gorge leading to the city’s entrance 
  • Visit the Treasury, Al Khazneh, one of the most iconic structures in Petra 
  • Hike up to the Monastery, Ad Deir, for stunning views and a less crowded experience
  • Explore the Royal Tombs and their intricate carvings and architecture
  • Experience Petra by night, when the entire site is illuminated with candles and stars above
  • Visit the nearby Little Petra, a smaller but equally impressive version of Petra itself

Of course, this is just scratching the surface of what Petra has to offer. But, if you only have time for a day trip to Petra from Amman, you’ll still be able to see some of the major highlights and get a taste of this incredible ancient city. 

How to get to Petra from Amman

The easiest way to get from Petra to Amman would be to join an organized tour. They’ll pick you up and drop you back in Amman after your trip. Because it’s a few hours from Amman, it’ll save you having to navigate back after a long day of exploration. 

Alternatively, you can take a bus from Amman’s Abdali Station to Petra directly, which will take approximately 3 hours. From there, you can take a taxi or shuttle to the entrance of Petra. 

is also an option. The drive from Amman takes approximately 3-4 hours and allows for more flexibility in your schedule. Plus, you’ll have the chance to stop at other sights along the way. If you choose this option, you’ll want to leave Amman pretty early in the morning. 

4. Wadi Rum

Distance from Amman: 308km / 191 miles

A day in Wadi Rum is an absolute treat. Often referred to as the ‘Valley of the Moon’, Wadi Rum is a fascinating stretch of ‘out of this world’ desert landscape in the southern part of Jordan. The experience here is almost Martian – with its towering red dunes, striking rock formations, and captivating canyons. Because of it’s red sand, this desert has been the backdrop for various Hollywood films, even doubling for Mars (remember The Martian?)! 

Tourists enjoying a desert safari, riding on top of a white SUV driving through the sandy trails of Wadi Rum, Jordan, with the vast expanse of red desert and towering cliffs in the background.

Things to do in Wadi Rum

  • Take a 4×4 desert tour to see the best of Wadi Rum’s unique landscape
  • Go rock climbing or hiking through the rugged terrain
  • Climb the highest sand dune at sunset
  • Experience traditional Bedouin hospitality and culture at a Bedouin camp
  • Spend a night camping under the stars in one of Wadi Rum’s many campsites
  • Visit the famous ‘Seven Pillars of Wisdom‘ rock formation, named after T.E. Lawrence’s book

How to get to Wadi Rum from Amman

The drive from Amman takes approximately 3-4 hours, depending on traffic. There are also Wadi Rum tours that offer day trips or overnight stays in Wadi Rum with transportation from Amman included. However, if you have the time and flexibility, renting a car is also an option. This allows for more freedom to explore Wadi Rum at your own pace and make stops along the way. 

5. Ajloun Castle

Distance from Amman: 68km / 42 miles

Perched atop a hill surrounded by olive groves and fruit trees, Aljoun Castle is a medieval gem steeped in history and mystery. Completed in the 12th century, this Islamic fortress was used to protect the trade routes from Damascas to Cairo and Mecca.

Stone ramparts of Ajloun Castle, a 12th-century Muslim castle in Jordan, standing against a dramatic sky with sweeping views of the rolling hills and green landscape in the distance.

Things to do at Ajloun Castle

  • Explore the maze-like fortress and imagine yourself as a brave knight or cunning queen
  • Climb to the top of the towers for stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape 
  • Take a cable car ride from Eshtafina forest to the Castle
  • Visit the nearby Ajloun Forest Reserve for a peaceful hike through oak and pine forests 
  • Buy souvenirs from local artisans selling handmade crafts, traditional garments, and delicious snacks

How to get to Ajloun Castle from Amman

Ajloun Castle will take around 1.5 hours to reach by car. Whether your driving or taking a taxi, car is the best way to get there. 

There is a circular bus which goes from Amman to Ajloun to Jerash, however this only runs from Thursday to Sunday and once daily each way. 

6. Madaba

Distance from Amman: 35km / 21 miles

Known as the “City of Mosaics,” Madaba offers a colourful journey into Jordan’s Byzantine past. This small, friendly city boasts one of the most artistic treasures of the ancient world – the Madaba Mosaic Map, a 6th-century floor mosaic in the apse of the Greek Orthodox Basilica of St. George. 

Panoramic view over the city of Madaba, Jordan, showcasing a dense tapestry of buildings and the prominent golden dome of the King Hussein Mosque against a blue sky with wispy clouds.

Things to do in Madaba

  • Marvel at the Madaba Mosaic Map, one of the oldest and most detailed maps of the Holy Land
  • Explore the lively marketplaces and bazaars – perfect for finding unique souvenirs and trying traditional Jordanian dishes 
  • Visit the Church of the Apostles, home to stunning Byzantine mosaics and an ancient well believed to have healing powers
  • Attend a cooking class or food tour, and learn how to make delicious traditional dishes like mansaf and maqluba 

How to get to Madaba from Amman

Madaba is just a 30-minute drive from Amman. You can take a taxi or use ride-hailing apps like Uber and Careem to get there comfortably. Buses also run frequently between the two cities, but may not be as reliable for timing. 

7. Mount Nebo

Distance from Amman: 34km / 21 miles

Mount Nebo is an absolute must-visit if you find yourself in Jordan, whether you’re religious or not. This historic site is said to be the final resting place of Moses and offers incredible views over the Dead Sea, the West Bank, and even Jerusalem on clear days!

Commemorative stone marker at Mount Nebo, Siyagha, with inscriptions in Arabic and English stating 'Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land, Mount Nebo Siyagha, Memorial of Moses, Christian Holy Place', set against a backdrop of trees and sky.

Things to do at Mount Nebo

  • Visit the La Storia Tourism Complex and learn about the history of Mount Nebo, Moses, and Christianity in Jordan
  • Take in the breathtaking views and imagine yourself standing where Moses once stood thousands of years ago 
  • Visit the Moses Memorial Church and admire the beautiful ancient mosaics that line its walls 
  • See the Brazen Serpent Monument, a bronze sculpture depicting the biblical story of Moses and the Israelites 
  • Attend a religious service at the Franciscan Chapel, which overlooks the Jordan Valley and Dead Sea 

How to get to Mount Nebo from Amman

Mount Nebo is about a 45-minute drive from Amman. You can take a taxi, use ride-hailing apps, or, my recommendation book with a tour group to get there easily. Most tours include a stop in Madaba also – I recommend this highly rated tour of both Madaba and Mount Nebo. It’s a private tour so you can tailor it to your own needs and wants. 

8. Bethany Beyond the Jordan

Distance from Amman: 52km / 32 miles

Bethany Beyond the Jordan, also known as Al-Maghtas, is steeped in historical significance as it’s believed to be the spot where Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this place will take you on a journey through time, with its ancient churches, monasteries and chapels. It’s peaceful stroll along the Jordan River in a serene location. Whether you’re religious or not, the spiritual atmosphere make Al-Maghtas one of the most worthwhile Amman day tours!

Mosaic depicting the baptism of Jesus at Bethany Beyond the Jordan, with John the Baptist and the Holy Spirit as a dove overhead, set within a stone arch on the pilgrimage site.

Things to do at Bethany Beyond the Jordan

  • Explore the archaeological site and ruins of ancient churches, monasteries and chapels that date back to the Byzantine period 
  • Get baptised in the Jordan River (if you’re accompanied by a priest)
  • Visit the Baptism Site Visitors Center to learn more about the history and significance of this holy site 

How to get to Bethany Beyond the Jordan from Amman

A little over an hour’s drive from Amman, you won’t be able to visit Bethany Beyond the Jordan via any public transport. Your best options are to either use a rental car or take this guided tour from Amman

9. Umm Qais (Gadara)

Distance from Amman: 120km / 75 miles

Umm Qais, also known as Gadara, is a site that’s rich in history and offers stunning views. Perched atop a hill overlooking the Jordan Valley and the Sea of Galilee, this ancient town is a treasure trove of Greco-Roman architecture. 

Tall, ancient Roman columns standing amidst ruins at Umm Qais, with fragments of stone scattered in the foreground and a clear blue sky in the background, indicating the historical grandeur of the site.

Things to do in Umm Qais

  • Explore the ruins of once grand theatres, bathhouses, and colonnaded street
  • Wander through the winding lanes of the Ottoman village
  • Take in the breathtaking views of the Jordan Valley and Sea of Galilee at sunset
  • Explore the Umm Qais Museum 

How to get to Umm Qais from Amman

Umm Qais is located in the northern part of Jordan, about a 2-hour drive from Amman. The best way to get there is by rental car or by taking a guided tour from Amman. You can also take a bus from Amman to Irbid and from there grab a taxi to Umm Qais (there is a further bus from Irbid, but you’ll need to transfer bus stations for this option). 

10. Dana Biosphere Reserve

Distance from Amman: 205km / 127 miles

One of Jordan’s best hidden secrets, Dana Biosphere Reserve is a magical spot that’ll absolutely take your breath away. Think rugged cliffs meeting rolling hills, all painted with a vibrant palette of nature’s hues. From rare wildlife to ancient archaeological sites, Dana will be a nice surprise on your Jordan trip. 

Remnants of an old stone doorway and wall with rough textures in Dana Village, Jordan, under a soft sky, evoking the historical essence of the abandoned settlement.

Things to do at Dana Biosphere Reserve

  • Spend the morning exploring Dana Village 
  • Hike one of the many trails through the reserve
  • Keep an eye out for diverse wildlife like mountain gazelles, Nubian ibex and Syrian serins 
  • Get a birdseye view of Dana Village from the Lookout at sunset

How to get to Dana Biosphere Reserve from Amman

The drive from Amman to Dana Biosphere Reserve takes approximately 2.5 hours. If you’re not driving yourself, you can get a taxi for around Another option is taking a bus from Amman’s south bus station to Tafilah’s north bus station. From there you can either walk 5 minutes to Tafilah’s north bus station and hopping on the bus to Al-Qadisiyya (ask the driver to drop you at the turnoff to Dana Village) or grab a taxi to take you straight to Dana Village. 

11. Pella (Tabagat Fahl)

Distance from Amman: 78km / 48 miles

Not far from Amman, Pella, just outside the town of Tabagat Fahl, is the perfect day trip for history buffs and curious explorers alike. With ancient ruins from the Bronze and Iron Ages, Roman and Byzantine periods, Pella offers a journey back in time. The entrance fee to Pella is JOD2 / USD2.80 (approximately). 

Things to do at Pella

  • Explore the Archaeological Ruins from different eras 
  • Visit the Odeon Theater and Great Church, both dating back to the Roman period 
  • Enjoy a picnic with stunning views of the surrounding landscape 
  • Take a stroll through the village of Tabagat Fahl and interact with locals

How to get to Pella from Amman

The drive from Amman to Pella takes approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. You can easily take a bus from Amman’s north bus station. It’ll drop you around 2km from the entrance to the site (it’s a nice walk). Alternatively, add Jerash and Umm Qais to your day trip with this organised tour. 

12. Kerak Castle / Karak Castle

Distance from Amman: 130km / 80 miles

Kerak Castle (also spelled Karak) is an absolute must-see for anyone with a penchant for history, architecture, or just plain awe-inspiring views! This 12th-century Crusader stronghold perched on the crest of a hill boasts an intriguing blend of West Asian and European styles over 7 levels. 

The impressive ruins of Karak Castle in Jordan, with its ancient stone arches and walls standing under the bright blue sky, showcasing the fortress's historical might and architectural complexity.

Things to do at Karak Castle

  • Wander through the mysterious tunnels 
  • Take in the views of the Dead Sea and surrounding countryside
  • Take a guided tour with a local guide (approximately JOD10 per group)
  • Explore the local museum showcasing artifacts from the Crusader period

How to get to Karak Castle from Amman

The easiest way to get to Karak Castle from Amman is by car or taxi, which takes approximately 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a local bus from the Amman’s south station and the bus will drop you close to the entrance with a short walk to the castle.  

13. Wadi Mujib Siq Hiking Trail

Distance from Amman: 82km / 50 miles

Wadi Mujib Siq trail, also known as Jordan’s Grand Canyon, is a genuine paradise for adventure for nature enthusiasts. Nestled just over 80km from Amman, this spectacular trail will have you meandering through towering sandstone cliffs, wading through the crystal clear waters of the Mujib River, and marvelling at the waterfalls. 

Natural beauty of the Wadi Mujib Siq hiking trail in Jordan, with sunlight illuminating the colorful striated rock formations and a serene turquoise stream flowing through the canyon.

Things to do at Wadi Mujib Siq Hiking Trail 

  • Hike through the challenging but rewarding trail
  • Enjoy a refreshing dip in the pools and waterfalls along the way (after climbing the waterfalls, that is!)
  • Spot various wildlife, including mountain goats and birds of prey

How to get to Wadi Mujib Siq trail 

Doing the Wadi Mujib Siq Trail, I recommend joining this guided tour as the hike involves swimming and climbing up waterfalls, etc. You can join this tour from Amman or drive to the Mujib Nature Reserve and join a guided tour there. 

Conclusion: Best Day Trips From Amman

That’s a big list, right? Don’t worry. This is just a guide to help you choose the best day trip from Amman for you. 

Of course, you can always squeeze in a couple of these locations in one day – like Wadi Rum with Petra, or The Dead Sea, Madaba and Mount Nebo

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