48 Hours in Jordan: Petra, Dead Sea and Falafel!

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48 Hours in Jordan

We got lucky enough to visit a little bit of the country during a weekend last December - we literally spent 48 hours in Jordan - but we have so much more to see in Jordan and can't wait to go back to see more of it.

From the beautiful wonder of the world Petra, to Amman’s most famous falafel joint, through Wadis and the Dead sea, here’s our full guide to 48 Hours in Jordan.

Highlights

  • Visit of Petra, part of the Modern Wonders of the World

  • Amman's most famous falafel joint

  • Wadi Mujib
  • The Dead Sea
  • Jordan Road Trip

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48 Hours in Jordan | Day 1: Petra and Amman

As you guys know, we both work full time, so we had to adapt this itinerary to fit in exactly 48 hours - from Thursday evening after work to Sunday morning back to work.

We left the office and headed straight to DXB Airport, where we boarded the Royal Jordanian flight at 9.30 direction Amman.


Useful information

  • Currency: Jordanian Dinar (JOD) 

  • Language: Arabic (English spoken in touristy places)

  • Time change: UTC/GMT +3 hours
  • SIM Card provider: Zain
  • Rental Car: Sixt at the airport
  • Best time to visit: March - May
  • Dresscode: Fairly conservative

Arrived in Jordan at 11.40pm, we picked up SIM Cards as we planned to drive and we needed directions at all times (and to post Insta Stories, let’s be honest).

Grab a SIM card at the Zain stand by the Starbucks when you land, it’s cheap, easy and reliable 4G!  Once done, we swang by Sixt to pick up our rental car and got going - no time to waste!

If you’re confident in your driving skills, we really recommend you to do this. The roads are well lit and safe, and the drive is just short of 3 hours, so make sure to drink plenty of coffee and prepare your best road trip hits!

 Once we arrived in Petra, we had a couple hours to get a snooze (in the car, but there’s also a Movenpick right by the entrance of Petra if you feel like taking a longer sleep!).

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The best tip we can give you however, is to be right there at 6am at the opening of Petra. Be the first there, and avoid the crowd of tourists coming later in the day. This is really the best piece of advice we’ve received, and we reeeeally recommend you do the same!

Once in Petra, we started the short 2km walk to the Treasury. The Treasury is the iconic facade you imagine when thinking about Petra. That feeling when you see it appear at a corner is incredible - especially if the sun is just rising!

We hung around the Treasury for a little bit, but shortly began our hike towards the Monastery, which is the highest point in Petra. Walking through Petra made us realise how little knowledge we had about it - who built Petra? When was it build? What IS IT?

After a quick Google search (oops), we continued on our way to the Monastery, stopping here and there to drink tea with our new best friend Rosa, and buy a couple things on the rise of the road. Once we arrived to the top, what a sight this was! The Monastery was absolutely empty, so again, make sure to be the first up there - really worth walking a little bit faster (though please don’t use the donkeys!!!).

Tip: Get to Petra at the opening at 6am!

After drinking a coffee and sharing a few moments in the calm with the cutest stray dog, we decided to explore around and finally, head back down. It’s only when we arrived back at the Treasury that we realized how coming in at 6am was the best idea ever - the place was crawling with tourists and selfie sticks.

 By then, it was about 12pm and we were starving - so we stopped for lunch at the Movenpick next door to Petra’s entrance, and had FALAFELS (in case you didn’t know, we LOVE falafels. More on them later).

Now full, we decided to get back on the road, direction AMMAN! We had heard so much about it, and yet had so little time to discover it.

After checking in to the Art Hotel Downtown (which was the cutest place ever), and headed straight out to the Rainbow Street.

We walked through the most magical staircase, covered in artsy graffiti and colourful umbrellas, and arrived to Canteloupe, a rooftop bar/restaurant we heard so much about.

After a couple Carakale local beers, we headed out to our next favourite thing - FALAFEL. We HAD to check out the Hashem restaurant - we heard it’s the most amazing falafel in Jordan. And guys, we were not disappointed! The 50 years old joint is always busy with both locals and tourists (always a good sign!) and the service is quick but efficient, and the food… Let’s just say that you really haven't tried falafel until you go to Hashem!

Tip: Go to Hashem for falafel!

Aaaaand finally, time for bed, after a whooping 40 hours without sleeping - needless to say we started to be a little delirious! If you do have more time in Amman, try and check the Citadel, sitting on the highest hill in Amman, and the Roman Theatre.

 

48 Hours in Jordan | Day 2: Wadi Mujib and Dead Sea

After an early start, we drove to - what we thought was - Wadi Mujib for a few hours of wadi exploring and canyoning.

Now guys, we had some issues with our navigation and, long story short, wasted quite some time trying to find the place. Keeping it real, right?

So for all of you who want to experience canyoning and hiking in the beautiful Wadi Mujib, HERE is the only place to go (save it somewhere, because if you type “Wadi Mujib” on Google Maps, you might also get lost!)

Plan to have cash on hand as well, as we - again - messed up and only had a card. With the closest ATM more than one hour drive away, we decided to skip it as we didn’t have enough time to then go see the Dead Sea if we decided to do it.

Tip: Bring enough cash (about 20 Dh per person) - Also don’t forget the GoPro!

After this slight disappointment, we kept on driving along the coast, and man the view was absolutely gorgeous! To check out the Dead Sea and get a moment to relax, we stopped at the Oh Beach Club. We were now at the lowest point on Earth, about 400 meters below sea level!

There is an entrance fee to the beach club, but it’s also a good way to really enjoy the Dead Sea, as opposed to stopping on the side of the road to take a dip- and you get to post this on the ‘Gram!

 

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Tip: Don’t get the lunch included, it’s not worth it! We’d recommend grabbing lunch somewhere else as we were super disappointed with the buffet (for the price we paid).  
Once we were all muddy, we took a bath in the saltiest water on Earth, and what a feeling it is to just be able to float!
Tip: Don’t lick the salty rocks. Just don’t. It’s gross.

After bathing in the Dead Sea and relaxing for a while, we had to get going and headed back to Amman Airport to give the rental car back and catch our flight back to Dubai at 11.30pm.

Tip: Give the car with a full tank, or you’ll be charged a lot more than the normal petrol price!

Following a painful 3.30am landing back in DXB, we made it back to our desks on Sunday at 8am!

 

 

 

Jordan facts

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  • Jordan is home to the ancient city of Petra. Known as “The Rose City” it is famous for its unique architecture carved directly into the rock face. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New 7 Wonders of the World.
  • Petra is though to have been built during the Byzantine Era of the 5th and 6th AD when Petra became an important Christian center.
  • Alongside Egypt, Jordan is one of only two Arab nations to have made peace with Israel. In 1994, Jordan signed a peace treaty with Israel, ending the 46-year official state of war.
  • The lowest point on Earth in terms of dry land is the shore of the Dead Sea in Jordan. It lies at 1,378ft (420m) beneath sea level.
  • The waters of the Dead Sea are extremely saline which keeps bathers buoyant. With 34.2% salinity it is 9.6 times as salty as the ocean.

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