How to Spend 48 hours in Jordan

by Aya Khoury

Spend the most unforgettable 48 hours of your life in Jordan! In partnership with the Jordan Tourism Board, we highlight some of our favorite spots in the mesmerizing country.

Day one

Start the day with a hearty breakfast at Shams El Balad, Amman. 

Shams El Balad (+962 6 465 1150) is the perfect place to start your adventure. Don’t be fooled by the modern decor of this historical home. The dishes are truly authentic and incorporate Palestinian, Lebanese and Jordanian cuisines. Don’t miss out on the cauliflower mshat fritters, sumac sunny-side-up eggs and the taboon bread with za’atar and olive oil.

Visit the spectacular Citadel

The Citadel is by far the most popular site in Amman. Perched atop the highest of the city’s 20 hills, the Citadel affords breathtaking views of the capital. The majority of the structures are from the Roman, Byzantine and Umayyad periods. Visitors can admire the Temple of Hercules, a Byzantine church and an Umayyad Palace. +962 6 463 8795

Take a tour of the Roman amphitheater

Amman’s Roman amphitheater was built during the reign of Roman emperor Antoninus Pius. The centerpiece of the city, the 6,000-seat amphitheater faces northward, keeping the sun off spectators. It is still used to this day to host certain cultural events. Although the monument is currently undergoing a massive 25-year restoration program, one that began in 2009, visitors can still marvel at the interior.

Enjoy lunch at Sufra restaurant

Established in 2011, Sufra (+962 6 461 1468) is the first restaurant to offer traditional Jordanian cuisine in an elegant yet homely setting. The restaurant serves local fare, but one stands out is the national dish of Jordan and Sufra’s signature item: mansef. Made with succulent chunks of lamb that are slowly cooked in a yogurt sauce and served on a bed of rice, this flavorsome meal will keep you powered up for the rest of your adventure.

Head to Wadi Rum

At around 4 pm, grab a taxi or a bus to head toward Wadi Rum to spend an unforgettable night under the stars. Note that it’s a four-hour trip but well worth the drive.

Also know as “Valley of the Moon,” Wadi Rum is Jordan’s most famous desert valley one of the country’s top destinations. It lies in the far south of Jordan, set on a high plateau at the western edge of the Arabian desert. Gargantuan rock formations, rippled sand dunes and clear night skies create an almost fairytale-like setting across an unpopulated area the size of New York City. This is truly the “reddest” part of Jordan, colored by iron oxide and by far the most dramatic in terms of scenery. Hike in the sand and camp under the stars with Bedouins. Local guides can be found in the village and will provide all the necessary equipment, food and transportation. Multi-day treks mimic the ancient caravan tradition and are well worth the time and effort.

Spend the night at Memories Aicha Luxury Camp

Combining modern comforts with an authentic desert experience, Memories Aicha (+962 7 7756 3472) offers guests an unparalleled experience. Gaze at the moon and stars from your bed and wake up in the most serene places in the world.

Day two

Head to Petra 

After breakfast in Wadi Rum, take a two-hour car ride to Petra.

Petra (+962 3 215 6060) became one of the new Seven Wonders of the World in 2008 and for great reason. It is half-built and half-carved into the rock. Surrounded by mountains riddled with passages and gorges, Petra’s sheer scale is hard to put into words. It is one of the most impressive and well-known archaeological sites in the world, where ancient Eastern traditions meet Hellenistic architecture.  

Either head to the Dead Sea or to Aqaba (both are within a two-hour drive of Petra).

Option 1: Dead Sea

We have all heard of this remarkable natural wonder, its beauty and healing properties. At 423 meters below sea level, the Dead Sea is officially the lowest place on Earth, making it an even more fascinating destination to visit. Also known as the Salt Sea, the Dead Sea is an ideal spot for rest and relaxation. Several high-end properties can be found along the coast, many of which offer day access.

Option 2: Aqaba

Make time for some blue therapy. Hop onboard a shared cruise on the Red Sea in a glass-bottomed boat. You’ll see coral, shoals of fish and even a sunken ship deep underwater. Tours include snorkeling gear and inflatable equipment for less-experienced swimmers. Lunch is often provided by the boat company. Alternatively, you can have a bite to eat once the boat trip ends.

For more reasons to make Jordan your next travel destination, head to


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