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Jordan travel guide

About Jordan

It’s easy to see why Lawrence of Arabia was so taken with Jordan. Probably the most appealing destination in the Middle East, this ancient Arab kingdom is a hospitable land packed with epic scenery and momentous relics.

Many travellers visit Jordan with its history in mind, and understandably so. The country is steeped in stories from the distant past, with the ruins to prove it. There’s the 2,000-year-old “lost city” of Petra, carved from rose-red sandstone cliffs by the Nabateans, and the legendary Lawrence of Arabia trail, which takes visitors from his crumbling fort at Azraq to the magnificent deserts of Wadi Rum.

Important biblical sites abound; visitors can trek along pilgrimage routes mentioned in the Old Testament, take in views of the Promised Land revealed to Moses and visit Bethany-by-the-Jordan where John baptised Jesus.

If Jordan’s overwhelming historical sites begin to wear you out, take a restorative dip in the therapeutic waters of the Dead Sea, go scuba diving over coral reefs in the Red Sea or stay in the desert with Bedouins, who offer travellers a glimpse into their traditional way of life.

For all its history and natural beauty, though, Jordan looks forward. Its relatively stable economic and political position in the Middle East has fuelled modernisation, particularly in the capital Amman. With new upmarket hotels, restaurants and bars, the city is no longer just a base from which to explore the ancient sites, but a destination in its own right.

In Jordan, hospitality is king. Everywhere you visit you will hear heartfelt words of welcome, and will often be invited into shops or peoples’ homes for a glass of sweet tea and a conversation. In other places this might prelude a hard-sell campaign of carpet-flogging, but in Jordan, it’s almost always borne simply of an interest to engage with a visitor. As the Jordanians say; “Ahlan wa sahlan” – come in and make yourself at home.

Key facts

Area:

89,342 sq km (34,495 sq miles).

Population:

7,747,800 (UN estimate 2016).

Population density:

90.9 per sq km.

Capital:

Amman.

Government:

Constitutional monarchy.

Head of state:

King Abdullah II since 1999.

Head of government:

Prime Minister Bisher Al-Khasawneh since 2020.

Travel Advice

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises against all travel to:

  • Within 3km of Jordan’s border with Syria. See Border areas

Conflict in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories

The Israeli government has declared a state of emergency across the whole country. International borders (air and land) in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs) could close at short notice. As a result, the crossings between Jordan and Israel and the West Bank might be closed at short notice. Check with local authorities and the travel advice for Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories before trying to cross.

In response to events in Israel and the OPTs, a number of demonstrations have taken place in Jordan and more protests have been planned over the coming days, including after Friday prayers. Recent protests have taken place in the vicinity of the Israeli and US Embassies as well as downtown. Demonstrations can be spontaneous and there is a heavy security presence in place. You should avoid demonstrations and protests. See Safety and security

Before you travel, check the ‘Entry requirements’ section for Jordan’s current entry restrictions and requirements. These may change with little warning. Monitor this advice for the latest updates and stay in contact with your travel provider.

If you plan to pass through another country to return to the UK, check the travel advice for the country you’re transiting.

It is more important than ever to have travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. See the FCDO’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.

Around 25,967 British nationals visited Jordan in 2021. Most visits are trouble free.

The political situation in Jordan is stable. However, protests and demonstrations have taken place in response to the situation in Israel and the OPTs. A number of protests have been planned in the coming days. Some demonstrations have seen a significant number of people involved.  The majority of demonstrations are peaceful, but they can become confrontational. You should take sensible precautions and avoid all political gatherings and demonstrations. There may be heightened anti-Western sentiment. Follow the advice of local authorities and stay informed of the security situation through the media and this travel advice.

Terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in Jordan. There have been a number of incidents since 2016, some serious. Attacks could be indiscriminate including in places visited by foreigners, particularly hotels, shopping malls and tourist sites. You should take extra care, and in the event of an incident, follow the advice of the Jordanian authorities. See Terrorism

You can contact the emergency services by calling 911.

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. Consular support is limited in the border areas of Jordan where the FCDO advise against all but essential travel, as set out above.

Coronavirus travel health

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Jordan on the TravelHealthPro website.

See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Entry and borders

See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do when you arrive in Jordan.

Be prepared for your plans to change

No travel is risk-free during COVID-19. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you may need to stay where you are until you test negative. You may also need to seek treatment there.

Plan ahead and make sure you:

  • can access money
  • understand what your insurance will cover
  • can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned

Travel in Jordan

For information on entry to Jordan, see Entry requirements

The Government of Jordan introduced and enforced measures to tackle the spread of COVID-19. Measures are regularly reviewed and updated. Follow the instructions of the local authorities.

On 1 September 2021, the Government of Jordan ended all curfew restrictions and reopened all sectors and recreational facilities. However you should monitor official announcements.

Face masks are not required in open places and businesses. Social distancing rules and capacity limits in places of worship, restaurants, cafes and wedding venues have been lifted. Worshippers however are still required to wear masks.

Failure to comply with these rules is punishable by a fine.

Accommodation

Hotels and private rentals are open and available to book. Many public places have hygiene measures in place, including taking a temperature check and sanitising hands upon entry. Wearing a face mask in public places is mandatory.

Healthcare in Jordan

Several hospitals in Jordan have been designated to treat patients with coronavirus.

The Ministry of Health has a dedicated call centre (111) available 24/7 for residents and citizens to utilise in case of any enquiries regarding coronavirus. In an emergency you can also dial 911.

If you have tested positive but have no COVID symptoms you should isolate for 7 days.

If you have symptoms you should take a test immediately and – if positive - you should remain in self-isolation for 10 days.

If you continue to feel unwell after Day 10 you should continue to self-isolate and seek medical advice. See our list of medical practitioners in Amman.

The legal status of your medication may be different outside the UK. UK medical prescriptions are not valid in Jordan.

View Health for further details on healthcare in Jordan.

Finance

For information on financial support you can access whilst abroad, visit our financial assistance guidance.

Further information

For information on coronavirus in Jordan, visit Ministry of Health website.

Military activity in the Red Sea area       

Military activity is currently underway in response to attempts by Houthi militants to prevent movement of international shipping in the Red Sea. While the area of activity is limited to the Red Sea and Yemen, there is a possibility that Travel Advice for nearby countries could change at short notice. You should continue to monitor Travel Advice and follow any relevant instructions from local authorities.

Political situation

The political situation in Jordan is stable. However, protests do sometimes occur in Amman and other cities. The majority of such protests are peaceful but you should take sensible precautions, follow news reports and avoid all political gatherings and demonstrations.

In response to events in Israel and the OPTs, daily demonstrations have taken place in Jordan including after Friday prayers. Some can be spontaneous and involve large numbers of people. You should avoid demonstrations and protests.

In Amman, protests most often take place on Thursday evenings, near the Prime Ministry at 4th Circle, and on Fridays after midday prayers near the Husseini mosque in downtown Amman. Recent protests have also taken place in the vicinity of the Israeli and US Embassies. You should take particular care if near these areas at these times. You should also take care when travelling outside Amman, especially at night, and be aware of the possibility of spontaneous demonstrations and road blockages occurring.

Conflict in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories

On 31 October, an unidentified UAV fell in an uninhabited area east of al-Mudawwara in southern Jordan (approx 150km east of Aqaba).  No casualties have been reported.  The local authorities have concluded their investigation.

Local travel

Border areas

On 28 January, three US military personnel were killed, and others were injured, in a drone attack against a US military location on the Jordan-Syria border. The Islamic Resistance of Iraq (IRI), an umbrella grouping of Iranian-Aligned Militia Groups, has claimed the attack.

Following the attack, the FCDO advises against all travel to within 3km of Jordan’s border with Syria. The situation in southern Syria is fragile and security threats in the form of instability or terrorist activity could arise with little or no notice.

The FCDO advises against all travel to Syria. For more information, see our Syria travel advice.

The FCDO also advises against all travel to the provinces in Iraq bordering Jordan. For more information, see our Iraq Travel Advice.

Due to recent events in Israel and the OPTs several Jordanian organisations have called for protests to head towards the border with Israel and the OPTs, particularly on Fridays. You should exercise particular caution in areas close to the border.

You should take particular care at all border areas and if crossing into any neighbouring country.

Jordanian army and police units patrol the entire border area with both Syria and Iraq. They have been known to engage vehicles and people in the border area and will continue to monitor traffic.

Terrorist groups are present in Syria and Iraq, including those like Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL) who routinely use kidnapping as a tactic.

Landmines may be located near military installations and borders. Minefields are usually fenced off and marked with a skull and crossbones sign, but fences and signs may be in a poor state of repair.

Petra

Petra is one of the world’s most treasured UNESCO Heritage Sites and it attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors annually. It has strict opening and closing hours which all visitors should adhere to. There have been incidents of tourists being locked in Petra overnight. The ancient site and visitor centre are open to visitors daily from 6am to 6pm during the summer and 6am to 4pm in winter. Remaining within Petra outside of these hours is not permitted and could lead to arrest and prosecution. Ticket prices are displayed and anyone needing clarification should ask the tourist office staff before agreeing any additional charges.

Crime

Crime levels are generally low: most crime is limited to pick-pocketing, occasional bag snatching and theft from cars. Be vigilant and keep your money, passport and valuables secure.

Whilst large numbers of foreigners enjoy visiting Amman and hiking in some of Jordan’s more remote areas, women travellers often receive unwanted attention in the form of verbal and physical harassment by individuals or groups of men. On occasion this can escalate and in recent years there has been an increase in reports of cases of sexual assault. Female visitors and residents should take care when walking or travelling alone even during daylight hours. You should maintain at least the same level of personal security awareness as you would in the UK. See these tips for women travellers.

Jordanian police advise anyone who finds themselves stranded - even in daytime - to call the police on 911.

Tribal violence

Disputes between tribes, families, or other social disputes may develop without notice and sometimes involve violence and the use of firearms. You should follow news reports and, if caught in an incident, leave the area and follow any police instructions given.

Road travel

Don’t accept lifts from strangers. If you have to use a taxi ask your hotel to recommend a reliable driver. Women shouldn’t ride in the front seat of a taxi, particularly when travelling alone.

Always keep your ID documents with you. You can drive in Jordan using an International Driving Permit. Make sure you have third party insurance. If you are involved in any Road Traffic Collision (RTC), you should remain at the scene until the Police arrive.  The Police will investigate the majority of traffic incidents on Jordanian roads.

In the rainy season (approx. November-March), the Government of Jordan sometimes issues flood alerts, particularly along the Jordan valley. These could impact on drivers and those hiking. You should be alert to potential advisories which can result in diversions and road closures. In the event of an alert affecting you, you should co-operate fully with the authorities.

According to the latest available World Health Organization data, Jordan ranks 48th in the world for the number of deaths per population as a result of road traffic accidents. There have been a number of fatalities recently on the Desert Highway. You should drive with care, especially at night, and avoid driving on unlit roads. Stray animals, broken-down vehicles and unmarked road works are common. If you have an accident, don’t leave the scene before the police have arrived and taken a statement. You can contact the police by calling 911.

The police carry out random security checks. Keep identification documents with you to present at these checkpoints. The police also strictly enforce the speed limit with fixed and hand-held speed traps. The speed limit in urban areas is 40km/h; 80km/h on rural roads; and 120km/h on highways. The police issue on-the-spot fines of between 15 to 150 Jordanian Dinars.

Front seatbelts are required by law. Failure to wear one can result in a fine. All cars must carry a fire extinguisher and warning triangle. Using a mobile phone while driving is illegal.

Cars and coaches can become trapped by occasional heavy snowfalls in winter and roads in mountain areas, including Petra and the surrounding area, can become blocked.

Roads may also occasionally be blocked by political protests and demonstrations. If you encounter such an incident, cooperate fully with the police and authorities.

Adventure travel

Many organisations offer trips across Jordan to take advantage of the outdoor activities on offer. The quality of these tour operators varies greatly. You should ensure you are well prepared for any outdoor activities in Jordan with appropriate clothing and sufficient food and water for what can be extreme temperatures.

There are around 80 wadis (valleys) in Jordan. During the rainy season (November to March) there’s a risk of flash floods in these valleys. Before travelling to a wadi check the weather forecast and don’t travel to places where heavy rain is expected for at least one day afterwards. If you’re caught in a flash flood go to a high point and don’t attempt to cross the water. If you’re in a vehicle try to drive to a dry spot. Contact the Civil Defence on 911 if the situation continues.

If you’re considering diving or snorkelling in Aqaba, be aware that safety standards of diving operators can vary considerably. Never dive or snorkel unaccompanied. Where possible make bookings through your tour representative and make sure the operator is accredited with an internationally recognised scheme such as PADI.

Terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in Jordan. Attacks could be indiscriminate including in places visited by foreigners, particularly hotels, shopping malls, restaurants and tourist sites.

UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out how to reduce your risk from terrorism while abroad.

There have been a number of incidents in recent years. The most high profile of these included:

  • On 6 November 2019, an individual armed with a knife carried out an attack in the Roman site in Jerash, which is a popular tourist site. The attack resulted in injuries to 8 people before the police intervened to arrest the perpetrator

  • On 10 August 2018, an explosive device destroyed a gendarmerie vehicle in Fuheis, killing 2 officers and injuring several others

The authorities in Jordan have successfully disrupted a number of planned attacks and made a number of arrests.

You should be vigilant at all times and keep updated on the situation in the country through local media and travel reports, and by subscribing for updates to this travel advice.

There is a high threat of terrorist attack globally affecting UK interests and British nationals, including from groups and individuals who view the UK and British nationals as targets. You should remain vigilant at all times.

Local laws reflect the fact that Jordan is a predominantly Islamic country. You should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times and ensure your actions don’t offend.

During Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to dusk. Many restaurants remain open in Amman and at major tourist sites and hotels but during this period be aware that eating or drinking in public is likely to cause upset and offence. Some establishments may restrict the sale of alcohol and off licences (liquor stores) will be closed. See travelling during Ramadan.

The Jordanian government doesn’t interfere with the practice of Christianity but encouraging conversion to the Christian faith is illegal.

Jordan is a conservative society. You should dress modestly and behave courteously.

It’s illegal to drink alcohol on the street but permissible in bars, clubs, hotels and private homes. There are strict alcohol limits for drivers, similar to those of the UK. If you’re found guilty of drink driving you could face a driving ban, a fine or even imprisonment.

Possession, use or trafficking in illegal drugs is a serious offence and can result in a lengthy prison sentence and a heavy fine.

Although co-habitation for unmarried foreign couples isn’t illegal, it may be frowned upon. Some landlords may ask if you are married or ask for a marriage certificate. Under local legislation, children with a Jordanian passport are not permitted to travel outside the country without their father’s consent, even if they enter the country on a British passport.

While Jordanian law does not explicitly prohibit homosexual acts, public displays of affection between homosexual couples are not generally tolerated. You could be arrested under other Jordanian laws. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.

We strongly advise against bringing drones to Jordan. Ownership of drones is licensed and gaining a licence is a lengthy process. Any drones brought to Jordan without prior permission will be confiscated by the Jordanian authorities on arrival in the country and stored until the owner’s departure.

This page has information on travelling to Jordan.

This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport, for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in Jordan set and enforce entry rules. If you’re unsure how Jordan’s entry requirements apply to you, contact its UK embassy, high commission or consulate.

All travellers

You will need a visa to enter or travel through Jordan as a visitor. This can be acquired on arrival.

For more information on visa requirements, see Visas section.

There are no COVID-19 testing or vaccination requirements for passengers entering Jordan. You do not need to complete any pre-departure declaration.

If you’re transiting through Jordan

Transiting passengers refers to passengers who land between the starting point and final destination of their journey and require to board a connecting flight with either the same airline or a different airline to their final destination.

International Transfer Passengers are permitted through Jordanian airports.

Passengers who transit through Jordan on their way to another country must stay within the airport airside areas, follow signs for transfer passengers, and comply with any airport security screening procedures before connecting onto your next flight.

If you are transiting through Jordan on your way to another country and will be passing through immigration (sometimes known as a layover), for example to stay in a hotel outside of the airport for a flight the next day, you need to check-in again and go through immigration.

Exemptions

Medical tourists are exempt from the health insurance requirement.

Check your passport and travel documents before you travel

Passport validity

If you are visiting Jordan, your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the time you arrive.

Dual nationals

If you are a British/Jordanian national, you are allowed to use your British passport on arrival, but will need to show your Jordanian passport on departure.

Visas

You can buy a single entry visit visa valid for one month on arrival at the airports or the Sheikh Hussein/North Border crossing at the Jordan/Israel border. The cost is 40 Jordanian Dinars. Some airlines may require passengers to submit a health declaration at the check-in counters.

An exit tax, currently 10 Jordanian Dinars, is payable at all border crossings, except the airports.

If you’re entering for tourism you can get a combination of a visa and reduced cost entry to the major tourism sites by applying for a Jordan Pass online.

You can extend your visa after you arrive in Jordan up to a maximum period of 6 months. If you overstay your visa you will be fined. You can apply to extend your visa using the following website. Payment is accepted online.

Land crossings

Land crossings are operating between Israel and Jordan and between the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Jordan. The crossings may be subject to restrictions due to the large-scale conflict happening in areas of southern Israel close to the border with Gaza.  Before crossing from Jordan into Israel or the Occupied Palestinian Territories, you should check our travel advice for those places.  If you wish to combine travel to Jordan with a visit to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, you can obtain a multiple entry visa before you travel from the Jordanian embassy in London.

Previous travel to Israel

Evidence of a previous visit to Israel like an Israeli entry/exit stamp in your passport does not normally cause any difficulties when entering Jordan. It is, however, for the Jordanian authorities to determine the right of entry into the country. If you have any concerns, you should contact the Consulate of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in London.

Yellow fever certificate requirements

Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.

HIV test

You must undergo an HIV test if you intend to stay in Jordan for more than 30 days, either as a resident or as a long-term visitor. The fee to obtain the health certificate is currently 20 Jordanian Dinars.

Dual nationals

If you are a British/Jordanian national, you are allowed to use your British passport on arrival, but will need to show your Jordanian passport on departure.

If you have a health condition, or you are pregnant, you may need specialist healthcare abroad. Check whether your destination country can provide the healthcare you may need and ensure you have appropriate travel insurance for unexpected medical evacuation or local treatment.

See the Coronavirus travel health and Healthcare sections in the Coronavirus page for COVID-19 health information.

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.

General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you should contact the British Embassy in Amman of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

While travel can be enjoyable, it can sometimes be challenging. There are clear links between mental and physical health, so looking after yourself during travel and when abroad is important. Information on travelling with mental health conditions is available in our guidance page. Further information is also available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).

Other health risks

Cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus in patients from Jordan have been reported to the World Health Organization. You can find more information on this virus on the website of the National Travel Health Network and Centre.

Temperatures in summer months can be very high. Drink plenty of water and use high factor sun-block.

Local medical care

Medical facilities outside Amman are basic. In an emergency you should seek treatment in Amman. Emergency treatment is also available in Aqaba. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation. A list of medical facilities and practitioners is available online.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 911 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Cash machines are available throughout Amman and in other major towns and cities. ATMs are less widely available in rural areas, though most petrol stations on major roads offer ATMs.

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the FCDO in London on 020 7008 5000 (24 hours).

Foreign travel checklist

Read our foreign travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you’re there.

Travel safety

The FCDO travel advice helps you make your own decisions about foreign travel. Your safety is our main concern, but we can’t provide tailored advice for individual trips. If you’re concerned about whether or not it’s safe for you to travel, you should read the travel advice for the country or territory you’re travelling to, together with information from other sources you’ve identified, before making your own decision on whether to travel. Only you can decide whether it’s safe for you to travel.

When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we’ll state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCDO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice.

Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.

Refunds and cancellations

If you wish to cancel or change a holiday that you’ve booked, you should contact your travel company. The question of refunds and cancellations is a matter for you and your travel company. Travel companies make their own decisions about whether or not to offer customers a refund. Many of them use our travel advice to help them reach these decisions, but we do not instruct travel companies on when they can or can’t offer a refund to their customers.

For more information about your rights if you wish to cancel a holiday, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you’re not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Registering your travel details with us

We’re no longer asking people to register with us before travel. Our foreign travel checklist and crisis overseas page suggest things you can do before and during foreign travel to plan your trip and stay safe.

Previous versions of FCDO travel advice

If you’re looking for a previous version of the FCDO travel advice, visit the National Archives website. Versions prior to 2 September 2020 will be archived as FCO travel advice. If you can’t find the page you’re looking for there, send the Travel Advice Team a request.

Further help

If you’re a British national and you have a question about travelling abroad that isn’t covered in our foreign travel advice or elsewhere on GOV.UK, you can submit an enquiry, or contact us on Twitter or Facebook. We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.

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