Itinerary and Places to Visit in Jordan If You Have Only Three Days

Ever since I saw Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade at an impressionable age, I have wanted to go to visit Petra in Jordan.  Of course, there is more to Jordan than Petra.  My friend Dianna, who will become an occasional contributor for this blog, had the chance to visit Jordan for a few days this May. We plan on visiting Jordan ourselves in April as part of a longer trip to Israel.  As is the case with many people, Dianna only had a limited time to visit. She picked the must-see places to visit in Jordan as well as a fewer lesser known sights. I know that my family and I will have a minimum of three days to visit but I am hoping to extend our visit to at least seven days in Jordan because there is just so much to see and do. Here’s a three day itinerary which creates a brief but memorable jaunt to Jordan.

A 3 Day Jordan Itinerary

This itinerary takes in the three must see places in Jordan that everyone recommends – Petra, Wadi Rum and the Dead Sea.  It also adds some cool places that will give you an insight into Jordan, both historical and contemporary.

Day 1 Petra

The distance from Amman to Petra is 210 km (130 miles).  The driver stopped off at Al-Beidha, known as Little Petra, where the Nabateans established a trading post in the 1st Century AD. It is really essential to have a good tour in Petra so that you can understand (and appreciate) it for the marvel it is.

Must see places to visit in Jordan
Wadi Musa is at the main entrance to Petra.

Petra, the capitol of the Nabatean kingdom from about 600 B.C., is a UNESCO world heritage site.  Many people don’t spend the night at Petra which is probably a mistake.  If you stay the night, you can also take the 2 hour candle-lit night tour of Petra which sets off from the Petra Visitor’s Center three times a week.

Must see places to visit in Jordan
The Petra treasury all lit up night.
Must see places to visit in Jordan
The candle lit glow of Petra at night.

Places to Visit in Petra

  • You need to enter Petra through a crevice in the rocks called the Siq.  You have a choice of walking or on horseback. Obviously it’s cooler to go on horseback!
  • Monuments include the Treasury, the Temple of the Winged Lions, the Palace Tomb and smaller tombs.

Day 2 Dead Sea

The distance from Petra to the Dead Sea is 275 km (171 miles). I spent the morning checking out Petra by daylight as well. Unless you want to go hiking, you probably only need a few hours to visit Petra.  By staying overnight though, you avoid the day-trippers who flock to the site by the early afternoon.

Along the way to the Dead Sea, you pass Bethany Beyond The Jordan where John the Baptist lived and baptised people.  This place is also where Jesus was also supposed to have been baptised.

Must see places to visit in Jordan
Bethany where John the Baptist baptised people including Jesus

The Wadi Rum is about an hour and a half from Petra on the way to the Dead Sea.  It is a beautiful desert valley famous as the setting for the classic movie, Lawrence of Arabia.

Note from Shobha:  You can arrange for Wadi Rum tours that last for several days.  For our trip to Jordan in April, we would like to arrange an overnight in the desert and are planning on using Bedouins of Wadi Rum).

Although the Movenpick Resort at the Dead Sea was beautiful, Dianna wasn’t entirely convinced by the whole floating in the Dead Sea experience though. As she said, swimming in the Dead Sea is something to cross off the bucket list.

Must see places to visit in Jordan
The Dead Sea on the Jordan side is the lowest place on Earth at 420 metres below sea level.
Must see places to visit in Jordan
From the Jordan side of the Dead Sea, you can see Israel across the way.
Must see places to visit in Jordan
The Movenpick Resort at the Dead Sea is perfect for relaxation.

Day 3 Amman

The distance from the Dead Sea to Amman is 135 km (84 miles).

On the way to Amman, the driver stopped at Jerash.  Even though the area has been settled since Neolithic times, Jerash was supposedly founded by Alexander the Great.  Today it is known for its well-preserved Roman ruins.

Amman is a young city with an ancient history.  Although it became the capitol of Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan only in 1946, it was once the capitol of the Iron Age kingdom of Ammon.  The city definitely has a few places worth visiting.

Places to visit in Amman

There are many places to visit in Amman and you should factor in a visit to the city even if only for one day.  Here are some of the cool things to do in Amman:

Must see places to visit in Jordan
A 3 day itinerary for Jordan

Tips for Visiting Jordan

You can rent a car at Queen Alia International Airport.  Driving in Jordan is pretty easy with well-maintained highways. Dianna arranged for a private driver.

If you have more than three days, there are many more places in Jordan to visit.  For example, a lot of visitors head to Aqaba which is great for snorkelling and diving.

Like we are planning on doing, Jordan is a popular place to visit in combination with another country in the Middle East, whether Israel or Egypt.  I hope this 3 day itinerary shows you that even a short visit to Jordan will be a worthwhile experience.

Practical Info To Know Before You Go

In Petra, Dianna stayed at the Movenpick Resort Petra.  At the Dead Sea, she stayed at the Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea. Dianna’s final hotel in Jordan was the Le Meridien Amman. The Wagar family who visited Aqaba in Jordan recommend the Radisson Blu Tala Bay Resort.

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A 3 day itinerary for Jordan
Jordan is such a beautiful country! But what if you have limited time? Discover the 12 best things to do in Jordan if you only have 3 days. A list of the 12 best places to visit in Jordan which includes Petra, Amman, and the Dead Sea in a 3 days Jordan itinerary. #Jordan #middleeast #itinerary #petra
Jordan is such a beautiful country! But what if you have limited time? Discover the
12 best things to do in Jordan if you only have 3 days. A list of the 12 best places to
visit in Jordan which includes Petra, Amman, and the Dead Sea in a 3 days Jordan
itinerary. #Jordan #middleeast #itinerary #petra
Jordan is an incredible country to visit, even if you have limited time? Discover the 12 best things to do in Jordan if you only have 3 days in Jordan. In your 3 days Jordan itinerary you need to include the best places to visit in Jordan - Petra, Amman, the Dead Sea, and more...check them out! #Jordan #middleeast #itinerary #petra #travelitinerary
Jordan is an incredible country to visit, even if you have limited time? Discover the 12 best
things to do in Jordan if you only have 3 days in Jordan. In your 3 days Jordan itinerary you
need to include the best places to visit in Jordan – Petra, Amman, the Dead Sea, and
more…check them out! #Jordan #middleeast #itinerary #petra #travelitinerary

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34 thoughts on “Itinerary and Places to Visit in Jordan If You Have Only Three Days”

  1. I wander how many travel adventures Indiana Jones has actually inspired! Seriously though, Petra looks like an absolutely enchanting place and witnessing it at night would be particularly special. Great post and wonderful photographs

  2. I’ve been dying to go to Jordan. Hopefully I’ll make it there next year. This is a great itinerary if you’re limited on time, which often times I am. I will be saving this for later!

  3. I believe most people only visit Jordan for a few days so this is really helpful, especially to those who don’t know what else there is to see & do apart from Petra. I hope to visit Jordan next year, so I’m saving this, thanks!

  4. Jordan is a lovely country to visit! I thoroughly enjoyed my time there.

    Petra, Dead Sea, and Amman are probably the most popular but if you can, stay an extra day in Petra, check the amazing Wadi Rum desert, the Red Sea, and Jerash!

  5. So many amazing historical/cultural treasures to see and visit, Petra has been on my list of Unesco sites for quite awhile. I really want to visit and hope 2017 will be the right time.

  6. I’ve been dreaming about visiting this part of the world for a while now and I feel like it’s catching on. So much inspiration around for Jordan at the moment. Great itinerary. Did you find three days enough? I think I would need more time. It looks amazing.

    1. I don’t three days is enough BUT if that’s all you have…. Some people only go to Petra for one day (as a day trip from Eilat for example) and that’s really not enough.

  7. Very good tip to stay overnight in Petra. I think the candlelit viewing at night would be really unique and fun. Jordan is somewhere I’d definitely like to visit. Such a small place, but so many great things to do there!

  8. Three days is way to short for a visit to Jordan! I spend 8 days and couldn’t get enough of it. Unfortunately, I only had a day in Petra and would definitely schedule at least two days there next time.

  9. I like this itinerary because it gives you a good opportunity to enjoy the country. I know a lot of people go to Jordan only to see Petra (and I know this is worth it) but I would see a bit more of the country. The distances included in the post helped me to get a sense of the distances between places. #WeekendWanderlust

    1. It’s a small country (at least relative to others) – I don’t think a 3 or 4 hour drive is that big a deal. But then it can take me 3-4 hours just to exit London on a Friday night in rush hour traffic!

  10. Never really considered the Middle East but Petra looks amazing. How long would travellers normally spend here? Is it somewhere they would spend weeks or is the 3-4 days a bit more normal?

    1. Lots of people spend only 3-5 days but like anywhere, you can hang out and do slow travel. I’d love to spend time in the desert in a bedouin camp personally but can see that would be difficult with the children wailing about sand/lack of WiFi.

  11. Thanks for this! I’m holding out on traveling to Jordan until I can plan a proper holiday with a lot of time to explore. Because I really want to experience the country and not have to rush it. But if I only had a couple of days I would definitely take it – Petra would be #1 on my list too 🙂

  12. So many wonderful tips for visiting Jordan. That candle-lit night tour of Petra sounds fantastic and I would love to experience snorkelling and diving in Aqaba. Will have to get myself there, thanks for the inspiration.

  13. Ah, such good timing! I am heading to Jordan in Feb. I will probably spend a good week here, there are so many things I want to see! I have heard that it’s very popular to hire a car and drive around Jordan so I may give that a go!

  14. Hey there,

    This is the first post I’ve read from you and I loved it! I really like your writing style on *JUSTGOPLACESBLOG* Open Web. As always, you provide such useful, to-the-point tips and techniques regarding Places To Visit In Jordan. Thank you and can’t wait to read more from you!

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