To cut a long story short, yes!
Jordan is a safe place to visit, a lot safer than some of the media will have you believe. While some of the more remote regions of the country have been a target of ISIL, Jordan is still regarded as a stable and safe country to travel to. In fact, it is sometimes referred to as the Kingdom of Peace.
So yes, if you’re heading to the main tourist sites, you’ll be fine – however, stray off to the border regions for a bit of an “adventure” and you could be in for one heck of a hair-raising experience…
The country is one of the most progressive Arab states, and has a highly developed infrastructure, cosmopolitan cities, and offers a host of world renowned attractions like Petra and Wadi Rum. The government of Jordan takes the safety of tourists very seriously, with special security measures to guard against any type of threat.
Security is at hand at all the major tourist attractions, and security at public spaces, such as shopping malls, is high, as well as at World Heritage Sites, and in hotels. The last known attack that involved tourists was in December 2016, but the security response was swift.
Again, the only parts of Jordan that are not safe are the border areas with Syria and Iraq, which are conflict regions, and therefore areas that should be left to hardcore reporters with their bullet-proof vests and “Press” labeled cars.
Is it safe to walk through the cities of Jordan?
Walking through the streets of cities, at all hours of the night, is safe. Stealing and breaking the law is heavily frowned upon in Jordan. Traveling in a group to Jordan is a popular option, but it is safe for the independent traveler too.
Of course, it is generally advised to be vigilant. If there are any local protests or unrest, it is best to avoid the downtown areas of the main cities, especially after Friday prayers. Generally, though, it is safe to walk through the cities and enjoy the sights.
Will I get harassed? Are women tourists in any danger in Jordan?
No. Women are generally going to be very safe in Jordan. You will not be followed and harassed, or be in any danger. Having said that, it is always a good idea to be cautious and to use your noddle. For example, it’s never a good idea to go wandering off on your own, without letting someone know where you are going.
If you’re part of a tour group or staying at a hotel, it’s a good idea to inform staff of your plans. You’re not in any danger; it’s just a good idea to let someone know your whereabouts. The only place you may be approached is at a local market, by an enthusiastic trader, hoping to sell you some of his goods. Perhaps you might even enjoy the haggling for that beautiful rug!
Is it safe to drive in Jordan?
We’d recommend you get a local driver, or at least use the local gray or yellow taxis. The streets can be congested – camels and cars can be a daunting combination. Remember to negotiate with your taxi driver, and get a quote for your journey. Check the currency on the meter.
Also be aware that Jordan has a good road network (and strangely enough, the madness on the roads seems to work, in a strange flowing-like manner!), and you can use buses to travel. It is safe to use public transport. There are also often tour buses to popular attractions.
Is it safe to visit the Jordan border areas?
I think we’ve covered this one already. But just in case you missed it, WE DO NOT RECOMMEND that you visit these areas. Syria and Iraq and border conflicts make these areas no-go zones.
Is it safe to carry my valuables?
It is safe to carry your belongings, but it’s a good idea to keep a separate coin purse for taxi fares, etc. Keep your main cash separate. It’s always a good idea to keep your passport in a safe place, and to keep a digital copy.
Is it safe to wear Western clothes in Jordan?
Respecting the local culture is important, and, as a result, it is recommended that you dress more conservatively. Showing too much and wearing tight clothing is disrespectful. Women should avoid short clothing and revealing clothes, while men should also dress a little more smartly. While casual clothing is acceptable, such as shorts and shirts, tank tops are not.
What should I do if I need help in Jordan, or have questions about my safety?
It’s a good idea to contact your local consulate when you arrive. You can register with them as a visitor and contact them, should you need assistance.
Will people try to scam me in Jordan?
No, people will not be trying to scam you all the time. It’s a good idea to be vigilant though. If you’re visiting the Dead Sea, which is famous for its health tourism, you may be approached with goods that miraculously promise to heal any or all of your ailments.
Similarly, when you’re buying antique souvenirs you must check their authenticity. Nobody is out to scam you, but it’s a good idea to do some research before investing in anything, especially antiques. And to agree on the price – use your haggling skills to find the best price for your holiday souvenirs!
The one place where you might feel a little harassed and in danger of being scammed is at the entrance to Petra, with the huge numbers of horses and donkeys for rent, and horse-driven carriages for hire. Be careful there, and do not even engage in any conversation – some sellers are known to harass visitors because they politely refused their services with a “Maybe”, even following them and demanding payment further on down the trail…