Even though we usually try to spend more time in our destinations, our trip to Jordan was a short one – this is why we only decided to concentate on the country’s highlights. For this kind of trips we usually rent a car but in this case the last-minute rental prices defeated us. Eventually we decided to try if it is possible to travel around Jordan without a rental car. During our amazing trip we managed to see the capital, the breathtaking World Wonder of Petra and Wadi Rum desert – the last one being the absolute highlight of this trip.
Googling “Jordan with public transport” you will find many stories about it being uncomfortable, unreliable and generally not a good way of travelling. On the contrary – we had a totally different experience! Moreover, we managed to save some money because the amount we ended up paying was lower than what we would have paid for car rental plus petrol. Jordan isn’t the cheapest of destinations so we valued every penny we managed to save! If you also try staying on low-budget or if you just don’t feel comfortable renting a car in Jordan – this short guide is for you! Find out how to easily travel between main attractions when you only have a few days in this middle-eastern country.
The exchange rate is 1 JOD – 1.3 euro.
Table of Contents
How to get from the airport to the center of Amman?
The biggest issue with any airport is how far they usually are from the city center – and the Amman airport is no exception. The airport is situated around 40 km from Amman and you can cover this distance in two ways.
- Taxi – this is obviously the fastest, the most comfortable and, of course, the most expensive option. On the other hand if you are travelling with a group this option may end up being the most cost-effective. The amount you will be asked to pay starts at 15 JOD.
- Bus – this option is definitely slower and slightly less comfortable but it is also quite cheap. It costs 3,5 JOD per person and you can buy the tickets at the counter located right in front of the airport exit. Only cash is accepted and the journey takes around 45 minutes. The bus leaves every half hour between 6 am and 5 pm and every hour between 5 pm throughout the night. Unfortunately this bus doesn’t go to the city center – the last stop is the Tabarbour Bus Station. You can get off the bus a little earlier but remember to ask the driver first and then remind him again so he doesn’t miss your stop.
Wherever your bus journey ends, there will for sure be lots of taxi drivers waiting for you. They are all very eager and very loud and they will take you wherever you want. From our side we recommend you to walk at least 100 m further from the group and catch a taxi from there – it will be cheaper. We managed to go from the Tabarbour Bus Station to the center for 3 JOD.
How to get from the Amman city center to the airport?
- Taxi – again, the amount should start at 15JOD but in the city you can probably negotiate something lower. Side note – UBER can’t pick you up from the city center!
- Bus – the bus leaves the North Station every half hour between 6 am and 5 pm and every hour from 5 pm until midnight.
You can find more information on the company’s website: sariyahexpress.com.
How to get from Amman to Petra? How to get from Amman to Wadi Musa village?
- Taxi – this way is usually the most expensive, however if you are travelling with a group of friends and can split the cost it might be the most reasonable option. For instance, the deal we got was 40 JOD one way but the final price of course depends on your nagotiating skills. Obviously this option is the most comfortable and the most flexible one.
- Bus – there is only one bus company on this route and it is JETT. The bus leaves at 6:30 am every morning from the Abdali Bus Station. The journey takes around 3-4 hours and the ticket’s price is 11 JOD (or 18 JOD both ways). Even though we usually book everything last minute, in this particular case we recommend you to book your tickets in advance via the company’s website jett.com, because they sell out quickly, especially in high season.
How to get from Petra to Amman? How to get to Amman from Wadi Musa village?
- Taxi – technically, the price should be similar to the one you would pay going from Amman to Petra. In reality the closer to Petra the more expensive everything gets. This means you may need to negotiate harder!
- Autobus – the only bus, operated by JETT, leaves at 4 pm from the Visitor’s Center parking lot. The journey should take no more than 4 hours and the ticket costs 11 JOD. If you are going both ways, buy the round ticket in Amman so you pay 18 JOD instead of 22 JOD.
How to get from Petra to Wadi Rum? How to get to Wadi Rum from Wadi Musa?
The time has come for the absolute highlight of the trip – the one and only Wadi Rum desert. We spent two nights on the desert and had the magical time.
The public transport between Wadi Musa and Wadi Rum is scarce, however it is totally possible to travel this way.
- Taxi – again this might prove to be the best option if you are travelling in a larger group. The deal we have been offered was 40-45 JOD one way. Who knows, maybe you can find a better offer!
- Bus – the only bus leaves very early in the morning – some time between 6 am and 7 am. You have to ask your host at your hotel, hostel or guesthouse to call and book the ticket on your behalf. The journey takes around 2 hours and the ticket price can be either 7 or 8 JOD – apparently it depends on the day and on the driver. The bus leaves from the bus station but we got picked up right from our guesthouse. It was a comfortable and fun journey during which the driver shared some pita and falafel with us.
How to get from Wadi Rum to Petra? How to get from Wadi Rum village to Wadi Musa village?
- Taxi – similar situation here, the price shouldn’t be higher than 40-45 JOD.
- Bus – the only bus leaves the Wadi Rum village between 8:30 am and 9 am and the price should be around 7 JOD. Ask your host!
How to get from Wadi Rum to Aqaba? How to get from Wadi Rum to the israeli border?
- Taxi – the price should be around 25 JOD. You can try splitting the costs with other tourists staying at your desert camp.
- Bus – it leaves the Wadi Rum village everyday between 6 and 7am. And don’t let anyone tell you the bus doesn’t exist because it does! The journey should take no longer than one hour and the price is 3 JOD.
How to get from Aqaba to Wadi Rum? How to get to Wadi Rum from the israeli border?
- Taxi – you can take a taxi either from the city center or directly from the border. The price shouldn’t be higher than 25-30 JOD.
- Bus – the bus leaves the Aqaba Bus Station everyday at 1pm. Be there earlier because it onlu goes once a day! The price should be 3 JOD.
Getting from the border to the Aqaba center
Even though the Aqaba center is located only a few kilometers from the Eilat/Aqaba border there are no buses. The only way is to either walk or take a taxi for a few dinars. From the border you can also take a taxi directly to the Wadi Rum village and it should cost no more than 30 JOD.
How to get from Aqaba to Amman?
This line is operated again by the JETT company. You can buy the tickets in advance on their website jett.com. The bus leaves at 8 am, 10 am, 12 pm, 2:30 pm 17 and 6:30 pm from the front of the company office. The journey shouldn’t take more than 6 hours.
We know that a lot of people divide their trip between Israel and Jordan so below we have prepared a handful of information about the Eilat/Aqaba border crossing.
Eilat/Aqaba border crossing - practical information
Sunday – Thursday 6:30 am – 8:00 pm
Friday – Saturday 8:00 am – 8:00 pm
Closed on the Jom Kipur holiday (27.09) and first day of a Muslim New Year.
While leaving Israel you need to pay an exit fee of 112 NIS. While leaving Jordan the exit fee only stands if you stayed in the country less than 3 nights and it is 10 JOD.
Most travellers know that an israeli stamp in your passport may ban you from entering some countries – such as Lebanon or Iran. Luckily the israeli officials know it too so they never stamp your passport. However you will still have a stamp from the jordanian side with the border crossing name which is a clear trace of your israeli trip. You may try asking the jordanian officials to leave a stamp on some extra paper instead of your passport.
When you cross the jordanian border on foot you don’t have to pay for a 30-day visa. The only demand is that you are going to stay in the country the minimum of two nights. If your stay is supposed to be shorter than that, you need to pay 60 JOD. If you want to visit Petra during this short stay, the cost of visa is 40 JOD. You will get the 20 JOD difference back while exiting the country – just remember to keep the Petra ticket!
We hope this little guide convinced you that you don’t need to rent a car to travel around Jordan – you can do it well with public transport. Remember that even though we try to post information that are up-to-date, such things as ticket prices or bus timetables may change so be sure to double-check them. Have an amazing trip!