Top 10 Must-Visit Historical Sites in Jordan

Posted On : 28/05/2024 Egypt Travel Blogger 50
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Jordan, a country steeped in history and culture, is home to some of the most fascinating historical sites in the world. From ancient cities carved into rock to Roman ruins and medieval castles, Jordan offers a rich tapestry of historical landmarks that reflect its diverse past. Here are the top 10 must-visit historical sites in Jordan that every traveler should include in their itinerary.


1. Petra



Petra, often referred to as the "Rose Citydue to the pink sandstone from which it is carved, is undoubtedly Jordan's most famous historical site. This ancient Nabatean city, established around the 6th century BC, was a significant trading hub and is now one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.



- The Treasury (Al-Khazneh: The iconic façade carved into the cliff face is the first major monument visitors see as they enter through the Siq, a narrow gorge.

- The Monastery (Ad Deir: A monumental structure similar to the Treasury but larger and located high above the city, offering breathtaking views.

- The Royal Tombs: A series of grand tombs carved into the mountainside, showcasing impressive Nabatean architecture.



- Best Time to Visit: Early morning or late afternoon to avoid crowds and heat.

- Petra by Night: A magical experience where the Siq and Treasury are illuminated by candlelight.

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2. Jerash



Jerash is one of the best-preserved Roman cities in the world, offering a glimpse into the grandeur of the Roman Empire. Located north of Amman, this ancient city was known as Gerasa during its peak in the 3rd century AD.



- The Oval Plaza: A unique, oval-shaped forum surrounded by colonnades.

- Hadrian’s Arch: A triumphal arch built to honor Emperor Hadrian’s visit.

- The Hippodrome: An ancient stadium that once hosted chariot races.

- The Theaters: Two large amphitheaters – the North and South Theaters – which are still used for performances today.



- Guided Tours: Highly recommended to fully appreciate the historical context and significance of the ruins.

- Annual Festival: Visit the Jerash Festival of Culture and Arts for live performances amidst the ruins.


3. The Dead Sea



While not a historical site in the traditional sense, the Dead Sea is a significant location due to its biblical history and unique natural properties. This salt lake, located at the lowest point on Earth, has been attracting visitors for thousands of years.



- Historical Significance: Associated with biblical events and ancient civilizations.

- Natural Wonders: Float effortlessly in the buoyant waters and experience the therapeutic benefits of the mineral-rich mud.



- Safety: Avoid submerging your head in the water to prevent irritation.

- Best Time to Visit: Cooler months from October to April.

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4. The Citadel in Amman



The Citadel, located on one of Amman’s seven hills, is an ancient site that offers a fascinating glimpse into Jordan’s diverse historical periods, from the Bronze Age to the Islamic era.



- The Temple of Hercules: Roman-era ruins that include the remains of a large hand, believed to be part of a giant statue of Hercules.

- The Umayyad Palace: A large complex from the Umayyad period, showcasing early Islamic architecture.

- The Archaeological Museum: Houses artifacts from various periods of Jordan’s history, including the Dead Sea Scrolls.



- Panoramic Views: The Citadel offers stunning views of downtown Amman.

- Combine Visits: Pair your visit with a trip to the nearby Roman Theater.


5. Wadi Rum



Wadi Rum, also known as the Valley of the Moon, is a desert landscape that has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Its dramatic sandstone mountains and ancient petroglyphs make it a must-visit site.

 Wadi Rum


- Lawrence’s Spring: Named after T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), who described Wadi Rum in his writings.

- Khazali Canyon: Contains ancient inscriptions and petroglyphs.

- Rock Formations: Unique formations like the Seven Pillars of Wisdom and the Burdah Rock Bridge.



- Desert Camps: Stay overnight in a Bedouin camp to experience traditional hospitality.

- Guided Tours: Jeep and camel tours are the best ways to explore the area.


6. Madaba



Madaba, known as the "City of Mosaics,is renowned for its Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics, particularly the famous Madaba Map, a 6th-century mosaic map of the Holy Land.



- St. George’s Church: Home to the Madaba Map, which depicts Jerusalem and surrounding regions.

- Archaeological Park: Contains remains of several ancient churches with stunning mosaics.

- Burnt Palace: A Byzantine villa with well-preserved mosaic floors.



- Exploring: Spend time walking around the town to discover various mosaics in situ.

- Nearby Sites: Visit Mount Nebo, where Moses is said to have seen the Promised Land.


7. Aqaba



Aqaba, Jordan’s only coastal city, has a rich history dating back to biblical times and beyond. It has served as a crucial port city for various civilizations over millennia.

 Aqaba Castle


- Aqaba Castle: Originally a Crusader fortress, later rebuilt by the Mamluks.

- Ayla (Elat): The site of ancient ruins from the early Islamic period.

- Marine Life: While not historical, the Red Sea’s coral reefs are an added attraction for divers.



- Water Activities: Combine historical exploration with diving or snorkeling.

- Winter Visits: Best time for pleasant weather and clear waters.


8. Ajloun Castle



Ajloun Castle, also known as Qala'at ar-Rabad, was built in the 12th century by the forces of Saladin to protect against Crusader attacks and control the iron mines of Ajloun.

 Ajloun Castle


- Medieval Architecture: Well-preserved fortress with impressive towers and chambers.

- Strategic Location: Offers stunning views of the Jordan Valley and surrounding area.



- Combine Visits: Pair with a visit to the Ajloun Forest Reserve for a nature and history combo.

- Cultural Insight: Learn about the Islamic military architecture and history of the region.


9. Mount Nebo



Mount Nebo is a biblical site where Moses is said to have viewed the Promised Land before his death. It offers sweeping views over the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea.

 mount nebo


- Moses Memorial Church: A basilica with stunning mosaics, built to commemorate Moses.

- Panoramic Views: On a clear day, you can see Jerusalem and Bethlehem.



- Historical Context: Visit the nearby Madaba to complement your understanding of the area’s biblical significance.

- Best Time to Visit: Early morning or late afternoon for the best views and lighting.


10. Umm Qais



Umm Qais, ancient Gadara, is a Greco-Roman city that offers impressive ruins and panoramic views of the Sea of Galilee, the Golan Heights, and the Yarmouk River Valley.



- Roman Theater: An intact basalt theater with stunning acoustics.

- Ottoman Village: Explore the old houses and streets of the Ottoman period.

- Museums: Artifacts and historical exhibits that tell the story of the region.



- Guided Tours: Consider a guided tour to fully appreciate the historical significance.

- Nearby Sites: Visit the nearby hot springs of Al-Himma for a relaxing end to your day.




Jordan is a treasure trove of historical sites that offer a deep dive into the past. From the ancient Nabatean city of Petra to the Roman ruins of Jerash and the biblical significance of Mount Nebo, each site tells a unique story. Whether you are a history enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or a cultural explorer, Jordan's historical landmarks promise a rich and unforgettable experience. By exploring these top 10 must-visit historical sites, you'll gain a profound appreciation for Jordan's heritage and its role in the tapestry of human history.


In my opinion, I believe a good writer makes content easy to read, and entertains the reader, making comprehension effortless. Egypt is a country that truly has it all. Its rich history, stunning landscapes, and friendly people make it a must-visit destination for any traveler. I hope you'll have the opportunity to experience it for yourself.

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