The quick answer to what is Jordan famous for is likely going to be the red rose city of Petra, the capital of the Nabateans. You can see Petra in films like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and it is constantly at the top of “must-see” travel lists from the likes of Lonely Planet.
But there is so much more than just this architectural wonder to see in Jordan. Below are many more Jordan famous places that should be explored for anyone who wants to know more about this small Middle Eastern gem.
Famous Jordan Sites: Wadi Rum Jordan’s Desert
Wadi Rum is not known to many but it is as close to any Mars-like landsccape that any of us earthings will ever experience. It was the backdrop for the movie The Martian and visitors all agree, that it is as other-worldly as one can get on earth!
Jordan is also featured in the latest Star Wars films, The Rise of Skywalker and Rogue One where Wadi Rum, the Jordan desert takes centre stage in many scenes.
The Lowest Point on Earth, The Dead Sea
Jordan is also home to the lowest point on earth, the Dead Sea, where visitors can float in its mineral-rich waters, at 400m below sea level.
So what is Petra famous for?
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!
Famous Jordan Landmarks: The Roman City of Jerash
About 1 hour’s drive north of Amman, Jordan’s capital city, 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.
Diving in Jordan
Experience diving in the Red Sea on the southern tip of Jordan. the Gulf of Aqaba is world-famous for divers who flock to the jewel blue waters. Natural reefs as well as man-made ones are just off shore in most places and easily accessible by a short boat trip. This, along with the Red Sea resorts, is what makes Aqaba famous and diving is one of the most popular things to do in Jordan’s southern city of Aqaba.
Bedouin Hospitality is the Most Unexpected thing Jordan is Famous For
While architectural wonders, wonderful cuisine and other-worldly landscapes might seduce visitors to plan a trip to Jordan the biggest suprise and what makes most people fall in love with the country is the hospitality that comes from its people.
Treating guests with respect and extending kindness is something that comes naturally to Jordanians, and they are proud of it. Tourists will not go a day without a “Welcome to Jordan” from not just shopkeepers and tour guides, but from locals on the street, happy that their country is being experienced by foreigners.
The biggest thing that I will ever learn from the people of Jordan is that giving without remembering is a way of life for them. Something that we all could probably do a little more of.
Jordan is more than Petra.
Jordan is more than visually stunning.
Jordan is more than a mecca of religious sites, important to Christians, Muslims and Jews.
Jordan is a place where hospitality comes naturally. Where visitors are treated as guests (and not just in the hospitality industry).
Where strangers share a cup of sweet tea with foreigners.
Where giving without remembering is a way of life.
What is Jordan Known For Conclusions
Jordan has something for everyone. Whether you are an adventure traveller who wants to trek, or bike, or scramble up rocks. Whether you want to follow the footsteps of T. E. Lawrence of Arabia across the desert. Whether you want to explore everything that this country has to offer for your family. Whether you want to see for yourself the Holy Land that was shown to Moses. Maybe you want to know what shopping is like in the Middle East when you can visit the souq and a 6 story mall in the same day. Maybe spending a day with a bedouin will help you see how small we are in a world with 6 billion others.
Lindsay fell in love with Jordan when she first visited in 2016. She now goes back every year to explore more of this special place. Lindsay is also the owner of Amman Food Tours, a social enterprise that is women-owned and hires local female guides. This project provides meaningful employment for women in Amman.