Is Jordan a Safe Country to Visit?

Updated On October 10, 2023

So you’re thinking about touring to Petra from Israel?

I bet you’ve heard about Jordan‘s splendid desert landscapes, an ancient lost city carved out of rose-coloured rock, boasts a sea so salty that you can float in it, not to mention beaches where you can swim and sunbathe to your heart’s content…and all this sounds quite intriguing.

But before you book, you want to be sure that it’s safe to travel there.

Fair enough – safety is incredibly important and, after all, Jordan is situated in the Middle East, which does have a bit of a reputation for being a troubled region.

There’s good news though – Jordan is really a pretty safe country to travel in, and you can easily tour to Petra from Eilat, Israel‘s beach resort city.

In the last two decades, the Jordanian government has gone to great lengths to promote the country as a great travel destination and poured a great deal of time, effort and money into ensuring that the country feels safe for its visitors.

Of course, like anywhere in the world, things can go wrong but, as a rule of thumb, people who visit Jordan have a fantastic trip and often end up returning, because they’ve fallen in love with the place.

Here, we give you a bit of background on this beautiful country and a few pointers which we think will help allay any fears you have and get you ready for what is bound to be an incredible trip.

General Safety in Jordan

Nestled in the Levant, Jordan is home to a population of just over 11 million and, in true Middle Eastern style, the locals are extremely hospitable, warm and curious.

Many people speak at least a little English and in big cities and areas where many tourists visit, it’s not going to be hard to communicate requests and even chat with people you meet.

Crime rates are very low in Jordan – petty crime is uncommon and violent crime is rare.

Tourists are very much welcomed and wanted and particularly in areas like Petra, Wadi Rum and the Dead Sea, which are all popular spots for visitors, there will always be a constant presence from tourist police, who are there specially to make sure you are kept safe.

Of course, this doesn’t mean there’s no crime at all in Jordan – as with any country, you might encounter pickpockets or scams with taxi drivers and ‘local guides’ but, in general, local people are helpful and friendly.

As long as you are aware of your surroundings, and take into account cultural differences, there’s very little chance that anything bad will happen.

Can I Drink Tap Water in Jordan?

Opinions on this vary – in general, we would say that tap water is safe to drink in Jordan, especially in urban areas, but if you feel at all nervous, then stick to bottled water (which can be purchased on every street corner).

Particularly in the hotter months, you need to be drinking water regularly – failure to do so will leave you dehydrated and miserable.

Don’t forget to keep sipping…

Many hotels and campsites also provide water purifiers for tourists, so bring a reusable bottle with you – this means you can fill up for free, before you head out for the day.

It also helps cut down on pollution – single-use plastic is bad for the planet and recycling in Jordan still has some way to go.

And, yes, don’t worry if you forget and rinse your mouth out with tap water after brushing your teeth – it’s absolutely safe!

Family Safety

Like every other country in the Middle East, family is at the heart of this society and so it’s fair to say that you aren’t going to have too many issues travelling as a group.

Jordanians love children and it’s very common to see them out and about with their parents and relatives at all hours, even late into the evening in restaurants, when most North American or European kids would be in bed.

Children are doted on and fussed over and everyone goes to great lengths to make them comfortable.

The country is also full of attractions that are great for kids – jeep tours and camping in Wadi Rum, splashing around in the Dead Sea, exploring tombs and scrambling up cliffs in Petra – all good and safe fun.

Women’s Safety

Is Jordan a safe place for women to travel?

Without hesitation we would say yes.

Particularly compared to many of its Middle Eastern neighbours, it’s quite a comfortable place to explore.

Having said this, it’s important to remember that Jordan is still a muslim country, and in certain respects is socially conservative.

We’d say that the best way you can feel comfortable, if you’re a female traveller, is to wear clothing that’s modest – loose-fitting shirts and pants, elbows and cleavage covered (and don’t forget to carry a scarf in your bag with which you can cover your head, inside a mosque, and also protect yourself from the sun).

Use basic common sense when you’re out after dark – call a cab rather than walk in dimly-lit streets.

Public drunkenness and displays of affection are frowned upon in Jordan so act appropriately and if you are approached by men who offer you their services as a ‘private guide’ then politely decline.

Solo Safety

With the rise of cheap internet flights and easy-to-book accommodation, more and more people are choosing to travel independently and even solo in Jordan.

In general, we’d say that you’ll be fine if you go it alone but a good rule of thumb is to be prepared before you set off.

You can travel around easily by taxis or sheruts (minivans that carry 10 people travel on a designated route, and leave once the can is full) or hire a driver and book activities (in places like Amman and Wadi Rum) ahead of time.

Download Google maps and print them out, in case you’re stuck somewhere without an internet connection and try to plan your journey so you arrive at your destination before nightfall.

And, finally, if at any point you feel like you’ve had enough of being alone, join an organised trip, where company is built-in!

Travelling Around the Country Safely

If you’re travelling around Jordan, you’re going to have a few options at your disposal – public transport, taxis, private drivers or car rental.

Of all these possibilities, the one we’d say is least preferable is driving yourself.

It’s not that it’s enormously dangerous but a lot of tourists are taken aback at the chaotic driving style of people in the Middle East!

If you rent a car, you’ll have to navigate bumpy roads, desert highways and signs that aren’t always in English and if you break down, unless you have a good command of Arabic, you’re going to encounter a lot of hassle making yourself understood.

For this reason, many people choose to travel in Jordan as part of an organized tour – this means that not only do you have the services of a local, trained guide whilst you’re exploring the country, you can also sit back and let someone else get you from one place to another.

For more information, check out these recommended organized tours to Jordan.

Jordan Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Jordan Safety Review

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