Jordan is a bucket list destination for many, but it comes with a pretty hefty price tag. We knew that it wouldn't be cheap before arriving, but we were surprised by just how expensive it really was outside of the capital city.
Despite it being an expensive destination, Jordan was worth every penny and we highly recommend a visit to this incredible country.
Here's our guide to the cost of a trip to Jordan and the approximate budget you would need according to your travel taste.
Spending money per day in Jordan
The budgets below are for a room and then costs for food etc for one person. If you are a couple, the cost per person will be less as you can share a room etc
Budget Traveller - $100 USD per day
$100 USD a day will even out to a very basic room (be prepared for a bit of dirt), minimal meals in cities, transportation and activities. You'll need $99 USD for the visa & Jordan Pass as a part of your budget.
Mid-range Traveller - $150 USD per day
Mid-range in Jordan isn't quite like anywhere else! Your hotels and guesthouses will be basic, but clean and comfortable. The mid-range budget will get you meals just about anywhere and also afford your own small car and entry to the major attractions.
Top End - $300 USD per day
The Top End in Jordan comes with a bit of a sting. In many major tourist areas, the top end hotels aren't exactly 5 star quality, but come with a 5 star price tag! $300 a day will easily enable you to go, stay and eat anywhere in the most comfortable accommodation.
The Visa & The Jordan Pass
The best thing to do before arriving in Jordan (and the one thing we didn't do!) is to buy the Jordan Pass online. This waives the visa fee and gets you into 40 major sights (including Petra, Wadi Rum and Jerash) as a part of the cost.
The cheapest option is $99 USD and allows you entry to Petra for one day. The most expensive is $113 USD for the pass which gives 3 days in Petra. Neither include entrance to Petra By Night (17 JD or $24 USD).
If you choose not to buy the Jordan Pass, then you'll have to pay 40 JD ($60 USD) per person for a visa.
Getting from the Airport to Amman
If you choose to go from the airport to Amman by taxi, then you'll have to pay a set fee of 22 JD ($30 USD). There is a bus option, but it takes a loooooot longer (at least an hour to get to the bus station in Amman) but only costs 2.5 JD (about $3.50 USD). It goes every half an hour between 6am and 6pm. After that it goes only once per hour according to the internet. However, in reality when we went to buy a bus ticket they said it wasn't departing for another hour and a half.
We wouldn't recommend driving a hire car in Amman, unless you are a supremely confident driver in hectic cities. The city is a myriad of one way streets and the drivers are a bit crazy. Then you can add the lack of parking and you'll realise that it is more hassle than it's worth.
The cheaper alternative
The cheaper alternative to a taxi to Amman is to grab your hire car and head for Madaba. It is closer to the airport than Amman and you won't have a problem driving here. The roads are reasonably quiet and you can get parking with your hotel or on a nearby street.
Madaba has a couple of things to do (like the St George Church) and is half way to the Dead Sea from the airport. If the capital city doesn't interest you this is a great option for saving time and money.
Read more - Unmissable things to do in Jordan
Cost of Accommodation in Jordan
Accommodation in Amman and major tourist sights
Accommodation in Jordan will eat up a significant amount of your budget. Although you can get a room for as little as $15 USD, it won't be pretty or clean. The bottom end of Jordan's accommodation is pretty grim, so if living on the cheap is your mission you'll need to at least bring your own sleep sheet.
In Amman you can get a decent, clean room in a guesthouse for $45 USD per night (Gallery Guesthouse - check the latest prices by clicking here) but outside the capital things get more expensive. We've detailed costs for the Dead Sea hotels in the experience section below.
In Petra there are actually a few reasonable choices that won't cost an arm and a leg. We spent one night in a dated but clean hotel for 44 JD or $62 USD (Petra Palace - check the latest prices by clicking here). If you want a more modern option you can double that price (Petra Moon hotel - check the latest prices by clicking here) and for a luxury hotel treble or quadruple that cost (Movenpick hotel - check latest prices by clicking here).
Accommodation in rural areas
In the more remote areas, accommodation options can become very limited. For instance, if you want to stay close to the Siq Trail at Wadi Mujib, then there's only one place to stay that charges 80 JD ($120 USD) a night for a tired room (Mujib Chalets - check the latest prices by clicking here). The views are stunning, but it is not a $120 per night room, if you don't have a car or don't want to drive half an hour to the nearest restaurant you will also have to eat their very poor dinner for 14 JD or $20 USD per person.
Whilst places like Dana have a few options, the budget options are probably some of the worst hotels we have ever seen and are still not cheap. Hotels like the Dana Hotel looked worse than sleeping on the ground in the middle of a building site (and still cost $40 USD a night!). The only good option is the beautiful Dana Guesthouse which costs over $100 USD per night (check the latest prices by clicking here). After seeing the Dana Hotel we thought the Dana Guesthouse was worth every penny.
Read more - Dana: one of Jordan's best kept secrets
Cost of food in Jordan
The cost of food varies throughout Jordan. The food in Amman is cheap and delicious. A large meal of gorgeous hummus, falafel, salad, aubergine dip, fries and more bread than you could possibly eat in the city will only set you back 3.5 JD or $5.25 USD (including water and a soft drink). However start making your way to the rural areas such as Dana, Mujib and Wadi Rum and a meal of chicken, rice, veg and bread will cost a staggering 14 JD or $21 USD per person.
The cost of food in resorts will be around the same cost (21 JD) for a main. Sadly outside Amman we struggled to find street eats. We were travelling in Ramandan so there may be more options outside this time but after sunset the dinners were still as priced above.
Cost of transport in Jordan
We decided to hire the cheapest car we could find online in Amman, which cost us 15 JD or $20 USD per day. The car (a Hyundai Eon) wasn't in great nick and the gear box was frighteningly bad but it got us around.
Better cars were around 25 JD or $35 USD per day. If you have the budget we'd recommend spending slightly more for a more comfortable experience but if not the cheapo will get you around too.
The only place we didn't drive was Amman. Taxis around the city tended to cost around 2 JD per trip, maybe slightly less once or twice. A taxi from the airport to the city was a set price of 22 JD or just over $30 USD.
Average costs that we have been told (but obviously didn't need to use ourselves)
Petra to Wadi Rum - 35 JD (approx 2 hours)
Amman to Aqaba - 50 JD (approx 4 hours)
Aqaba to Wadi Rum - 25 JD (approx 1 hour)
Feynan Eco Lodge - Dana 40 JD (approx 3 hours) This was the only taxi we used as the hike we did to Feynan was one way and we needed to get back to our car.
Bus is definitely the cheapest way to get around but by far the most inconvenient. Unless you have a lot of time to spare you are probably best of using the JETT bus services rather than a local bus. JETT should get you around most of the places you are interested in. A sample fare between Amman and Petra is 11 JD for adults and 7.70 JD for children.
Cost of major attractions in Jordan
The major attractions in Jordan are unfortunately as expensive as they are unmissable. Spending a few days in Petra and Wadi Rum can really rack up, but they are so so worth it.
Petra becomes better value the more time you spend there. We were lucky enough to spend four days here (Petra is way bigger than you think it is)
One day pass - 50 JD or $71 USD
Two day pass - 55 JD or $78 USD
Three day pass - 60 JD or $85 USD
The fourth day is free - this is little advertised - so don't pay for a fourth day. We highly recommend doing the Little Petra to Petra Walk. You can do this for free (but will have a hard time finding the turnings!) or you can hire a guide to take you there and take you through the history. We paid 45 JD for a guide and this included pick up and a half day of hiking.
Read more - Why does everyone have it in for Petra By Night?
Wadi Rum is a very expensive must for your itinerary. Unless you have excellent sand dune driving skills and top notch navigational ability you will need to take a guide. The fee to get into the reserve is very small (only 5 JD or $7 USD) per person but the guide and jeep are where it really adds up.
You can take a day trip in a jeep for around 55 JD or $78 USD but we would definitely advise that you spend at least one night in the desert. Watching the sunset, sunrise and star gazing were our favourite parts of the Wadi Rum experience and we would have missed them all if we only did a day trip.
We paid 230 JD or $324 USD (for two people) for a two full days / two nights plus sunset, tented camp, all food and sunrise the next morning. If you can find a camp which has a sunset and sunrise view from the camp itself you can save money. We were charged 30 JD or $42 USD to add this in. Despite being expensive it was a once in a life time trip to Wadi Rum for us and watching the sunset and sunrise really made the trip for us.
It is imperative that you do some research for your Wadi Rum trip, we paid extra for a hiking trip that was absolutely not what we thought it would be. We have outlined our experience plus loads of tips for you to make sure that your Wadi Rum trip is everything you hoped it would be and more.
Read more - Instragrammable spots in Jordan
The cost of a self guided trip into Wadi Mujib is 21 JD or just under $30 USD. We thought this was pretty expensive for a natural attraction with no guide but it was worth every cent.
Read More - The Siq Trail at Wadi Mujib
Now you can do the Dead Sea on a budget, paying the small entrance fee to the public beach and staying a little bit out of the main hotel area. However, most people choose to visit the Dead Sea in a little bit of luxury. If you choose this option hotels will set you back somewhere between $150 and $300 a night.
You will then get private beach access to the Dead Sea and the Dead Sea mud to give yourself a DIY spa session. The cheapest hotel we found in this area was $75 but didn't have any good reviews to speak of. In the end we decided to stay in the Movenpick Dead Sea and Spa Resort (check the latest prices by clicking here), which was a beautiful place to spend a few days.
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Are you planning a trip to Jordan? Have you been and thought it was as pricey as we did? Let us know in the comments!
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