how to plan a trip to jordan with kids
facts to know when visiting jordan with kids
Safety in Jordan with Kids
Overall, Jordan is safe and welcoming to tourists. Common sense goes a long way, whether home or abroad. Pickpocketing is rare and tourist scams are not common practice. Have a read of my post “Is Jordan Safe” so you are aware of local customs, culture and what you do want to watch out for.
This Jordan with kids travel guide will help you plan every aspect of your vacation, from visiting the red-rose city of Petra or you want to watch the sunset on the back of a camel in the desert of Wadi Rum, or float at the Dead Sea, or wander the ruins of Jerash, or dive into the blue waters of Aqaba, or wander the busy streets of Amman, or enjoy the sweet Bedouin tea next to a fire after hiking along the Jordan trail. I have spent months in Jordan and have plenty of posts on this site that can help you plan your epic vacation to Jordan with kids.
Top Sights in Jordan with Kids
Amman with Kids
Overall, there are kids in every city, so to a point, every city is kid-friendly. However, I do not find Amman to be overly kid-friendly, but that is mostly due to the infrastructure. Lots of sidewalks are impassible on local streets, meaning kids walk on the road. The city is ups and downs all over, as Amman is built on a series of over 20 “jebels” or hills. For young kids, this is not always easy. Traffic in downtown is crazy, the sidewalks can be crammed and it is almost impossible to use a stroller in Amman. I have a whole post dedicated to things to do in Amman with kids. It goes way beyond the tourist things to do and find local gems and parks for those who have more than a day in the city.
You will be happy to know, however, once you get out of the city, Jordan is overall extremely kid friendly with a plethora of outdoor activities, few places that they need to sit still and friendly locals on every corned who adore children!
Amman Citadel: The Amman Citadel is one of Amman’s most recognizable landmarks and stands in downtown Amman atop Jebel Al-Qala. You can walk up the hill or there are steps across the street from the Roman Theatre that will take you to the top, drive your rental car and park in the Amman Citadel parking lot, or take a taxi. If you do take a taxi, ask them to take you to Jebel Al-Qala as that is what the site is known to locals as. They do not call it the Citadel.
The cost to visit is JD2 (USD3) per person and is included in the Jordan Pass.
Expect to spend an hour at the site, longer if you like to take your time or are planning on taking a lot of photos. This is a great place for kids to run around and a perfect place for photos.
Roman Theatre – After seeing it from above at the Citadel, the Roman amphitheater deserves a visit. You can walk down a series of steps (past some beautiful graffiti) from the Citadel and cross the street to find the entrance of the theatre. The toughest part about the route from the Citadel to the Roman Theatre is actually getting across the street. Once holding thousands, you will likely have the place mostly to yourself where you can climb to the top, or preach from the bottom and hear the centuries-old acoustics fill the room as you can be heard in every seat in the house. My kids loved climbing to the top. Its a bit of a heart attach for parents, but if your children are sure-footed they will love exploring the theatre
The theatre was cut into the side of a rock cliff, likely to protect many of the 6000 spectators it could hold, from the sun. Built in the 2nd century AD, it is an impressive remnant and one of the most places to visit in Amman.
About 30 minutes is enough time to have a quick look around. Do not miss the Audium, a smaller theatre, once used for city meetings, to the right of the stage.
Jerash with Kids
About 1 hour’s drive north of Amman is Jerash, the best-preserved Roman ruins outside of Rome. The site is massive, for anyone who has to explore Ephesus or other Roman ruins, this site blows them all out of the water! From colonnaded streets to theatres to the massive Hadrian’s Gate, it can take a couple of hours to have a quick walk through the site. It was only in recent years that the beautiful oval was discovered. Soldiers were camping on the site, and after hitting hard ground, they began excavating, and what was discovered was the massive oval. Much of Jerash’s preservation is due to mud covering much of the site. There are still excavations going on, although most of the major structures have been found. What has not been uncovered is where the homes were of those who lived here.
This is another place that is great for kids to run around. It takes about an hour to drive here from Amman, so it is perfect for kids to burn off some energy.
Petra with Kids
Petra, the rock-cut capital of the Nabataens, is what seduces almost a million visitors to the kingdom each year. Lost for hundreds of years, this World Wonder is well worth its title. From its secret entrance down a narrow Siq, to the stunning Treasury views, every visitor leaves awe-inspired.
While some visitors only have half a day, it is well worth having two or three days to explore the hiking trails, take pictures from all angles and absorb the enormity of what was build by the Nabataens, almost 2000 years ago!
Beyond Petra is Petra by Night (click the link for more details) where 15 000 candles illuminate the Siq all the way to the Treasury. Sweet Bedouin tea, a starry night and a traditional Jordanian flute set the stage for a short performance. It occurs three times a week from 8:30-10:30pm. The timing can be a bit late for little ones, so gauge your own kids before you take this on.
Jordan’s Dead Sea with Kids
The lowest point on Earth lies at the border of Jordan and Israel. A bucket list moment, let your feet leave the ground as you float in the salty waters of the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is about 30 minutes from Amman. There are several ways to get there. Before your visit you should read these Dead Sea tips.
If you are planning a daytrip, you can find hotels that offer day passes to access the Dead Sea and also use their showers and pools. If you plan on spending the night, the Dead Sea Spa offers great value and for a Luxurious stay the Movenpick and Marriott will not disappoint.
Wadi Rum with Kids
Jordan’s desert, Wadi Rum offers 360 degree views of out-of-this-world landscape and a peek into bedouin cultures. From massive sandstone to miles of soft desert sand it is an outdoor paradise for adventure seekers! Start your visit to Wadi Rum with a Jeep tour from the visitors center.
While it is called a Jeep tour, expect a ride on the back of a pick up truck by a local bedouin. These expert guides will show you the time of your life! From natural rock bridges and ancient carvings to sunsets from the back of a camel, Wadi Rum exceeds almost everyone’s expectations!
After exploring the landscape, visit a Wadi Rum bedouin camp and enjoy traditional Jordanian foods before camping under the stars. Some camps offer evening entertainment, others have luxury bubble tents. Whether you visiting on a budget or want a full 5* experience, there is a camp for everyone.
Wadi Rum is my personal favorite part of visiting Jordan and I suggest everyone spend a night at a camp.