There are only a few different ways to get from Aqaba to Amman so do not feel overwhelmed with the choices. Since the country has no light rail, you can get from Aqaba to Amman by plane, bus, rental car, taxi or by taking a tour. Each of these options has pros and cons, but most are straightforward.
Aqaba to Amman is about 4 hours, all highway driving. Besides the customs checkpoint outside of Aqaba and the many speed bumps as you approach small towns along the highway, it is a double lane highway for the drive. Whether you choose to go by bus or car is up to you! You also have the option of a daily flight on Royal Jordanian.
Keep reading to find out the best way to travel to Amman from Aqaba, depending on the type of traveler that you are!
Aqaba to Amman Bus
JETT Bus offers almost hourly service to travel by coach bus from Aqaba to Amman. The Aqaba Amman bus schedule is on their website. I find it a hassle to try and book online. You are better off to stop into their office (beside Movenpick Hotel in Aqaba or call them in advance) to book. I suggest one day in advance so you are not waiting when the bus is full!
Adults cost JD8.60 and children JD6.60 for a one-way fare. It is worth it for most travelers to pay for the comfort of a large coach bus compared to a cramped minibus (with no air-conditioning).
When looking at the schedule check into Aqaba to Abdali and also Aqaba to 7th Circle. Both are in Amman. About 15 minutes’ drive from eachother. Abdali is much closer to downtown. 7th Circle is the exit that will head towards the airport.
If you are determined to use the local transport and save a few dinars, there are also local coaster busses that will take you from Aqaba to Amman. The coaster busses will leave from the main Aqaba bus station in town.
Flying from Aqaba to Amman
Royal Jordanian offers flights from Aqaba to Amman on a daily basis. Flights are just under an hour and it is probably the quickest way to get from Aqaba to Amman, but by the time you check in and board and actually depart, it really only saves a few hours when compared to taking the bus. However, if the idea of 4 hours on a coach bus or driving a bumpy highway does not appeal to you, you can take a flight. Book in advance as last minute flights can be expensive.
Aqaba to Amman Taxi
Taxis can range in price and the best fare is going to be from a driver who is returning home to Amman or Madaba. While it is impossible to know, you can always ask your hotel if they know anyone in town who is headed that way. Otherwise you will pay at least USD100 for a taxi to take you to Amman.
Rental Car from Aqaba to Amman
Renting a car in Jordan is one of the most convenient ways to get around the country at your own pace. There are several rental car agencies in Aqaba, both big and small. Expect to pay 25-40 JD for a typical rental car. Expect to pay a drop fee if you plan on leaving the car in Amman or at Queen Alia International Airport.
If you are driving, the distance from Aqaba to Amman can be covered in about 4 hours.
Consider getting a local Jordan Sim Card so you have GPS, while there are signs on the highway to Amman, you will most likely need one to get to your hotel!
Best Way to Get from Aqaba to Amman
The best way to get from Aqaba to Amman depends on your travel style, and your itinerary. If you are on a shoestring budget, you can take a minibus to Amman for a very small fee. They do not operate on and set schedule and are probably the least comfortable way to get around Jordan.
If you are a solo traveller and want to visit on a comfortable air-conditioned coach, then JETT bus is likely the most economical.
If you are a couple or a family then a rental car might be cheaper than the bus, or at least more convenient. You can leave Aqaba when you like and set your schedule to include Petra, Feynan, the Dead Sea or Wadi Rum!
If you are not comfortable driving, then a one way or round trip taxi is an option as is a local transport or flying.
If you want someone else to take care of all of the logistics, then booking a guided tour is the best way to see not just Petra but Jordan as a whole. The guides in Jordan are extremely knowledgeable and they provide so many insights that you cannot read from a guide book. There are several local companies that can arrange a private tour based on your desired itinerary or even provide transportation for you from Aqaba to Petra and back.
If you thinking you might want to plan more day trips from Aqaba, check out my post on the best daytrips from Aqaba. Other getting around posts include Aqaba to Petra, Aqaba to Wadi Rum, Aqaba to the Dead Sea, Aqaba Jordan to Egypt.
More Useful Jordan Resources
Travel Insurance for Jordan
There are a few other things to think about when it comes to travel. The first thing is travel insurance. Whether it is an emergency room visit for something as simple as strep throat, or an emergency appendix surgery, or an unfortunate moped incident things do go wrong when people travel everyday.
I highly suggest travel insurance and a good policy. I personally never travel without it, and I even checked into my policy about care for my children if I am ever in an accident or hospitalized. There are just too many things to think about.
You can find out more information and buy your travel insurance here.
5 Things to Bring with You to Jordan
I have always been a guide book person and physically having that book in your hand as you plan your day, in addition to blogs like this one, can help immensely. Pick up a Lonely Planet Guide to Jordan (or the kindle version) before your trip to Jordan.
Whether you want to keep the sun off your head or want to show a little modesty, a scarf goes a long way in Jordan any time of the year. You can bring one with you or pick up one when you arrive, but don’t leave your hotel in the morning without it! It can serve as a hat to keep the sun off your head and neck in the summer and can add some warmth in winder and can offer modesty to cover shoulders for women.
A Grayl Water Bottle is something I recommend for every traveller, not just those going to the Middle East. Some people say the water is safe to drink from the tap, others say it is not; it is not something I am going to chance. And Jordan has a HUGE garbage problem. The streets, the forests and even the desert are littered with plastic bottles.
If you consider drinking at least 1-2 big water bottles a day while you are there, think of how much plastic that creates when every visitor and the population’s 9 million people do the same. With a Grayl, you can filter any tap water (or actually any water source) and have clean drinking water in seconds. Since most people travel with water bottles already, consider one like this with a filter so that you are not just pouring from big water bottles to small. It might sound expensive, but when you compare it to spending a few dollars per day on water while you travel (and do not forget how expensive the water is inside airports), you will pay for this very quickly.
An inexpensive Universal Travel Adapter is another must for Jordan. You will find an assortment of 220V plugs, from European 2 pin, another style of 2 pin and UK Plugs. While European 2 pin is most common, it is best to carry one of these adapters with you. With a handy USB input, you do not need to bring your plugs from home.
Kleenex or Wipes are another thing to put on your list. Jordan’s public washrooms (and even restraint or hotel lobby washrooms can often be unstocked. Unless you are good with a bidet sprayer, bring yourself some kleenex or wipes just in case! You will find that most washrooms in tourist sites and rest stops have an attendant that will give you toilet paper and paper towel for a small tip. Usually, half a dinar is fine.
In Jordan, the plumbing is not set up to handle toilet paper. Every bathroom (even hotels) you should use the garbage can beside the toilet for your toilet paper and any sanitary products.
Motion Sickness Pills might be needed if you are prone to motion sickness and plan on traveling by bus or in the back of the car. There are many windy, hilly and bumpy roads in Jordan. Sea Bands might work for you if you are prone to motion sickness.