A tour to discover two of Israel’s most important cities and the main highlights of Jordan. If you only have one week available, this is the right guide for you! In order to have the chance to enjoy Petra by night and avoid Israel’s “festive days”, be sure to start this journey on Monday.
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Jump ahead to:
1. Where and how to start your journey
The itinerary we will present you is easily customizable, which means that you can choose if starting your trip from Israel or Jordan. In our case the most affordable option was definitely to take off from Milan and land in Tel Aviv. Flights to Amman or Aqaba were particularly expensive. And you know what? We were without a doubt happy with it because above all we also had the chance to taste a bit of Israel’s wonderful sights.
IMPORTANT VISA REMINDER: as a tourist you don’t need a Visa to enter to Israel (max touristic stay is 3 months); if arriving at Ben Gurion airport, instead of a stamp on your passport you will receive an entry card; be sure not to throw it away, it could be requested at your hotel or at the border. On the other hand, Jordan requires you to have it (Jordan pass: how to choose the right one for you -> coming soon!)
2. How to move around: key facts to know
At first we thought that was possibile to rent a car in Tel Aviv and drive directly to Jordan: WRONG. You cannot do it. If you want to explore the countries by driving yourself, keep in mind that you will have to get two different cars, in particular you can’t cross the border with the same vehicle, hired or not. Read How to cross the boarder from Israel to Jordan (coming soon!) for more information about it.
3. Our itinerary
Firstly, once arrived at Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport, we withdrew some local money (shekel) and took the train to Tel Aviv Center. The cost of the ticket is 16 ILS (around 4 euros / 5 dollars) and the trip will last approximately 20 minutes. Secondly, considering the position of your hotel/Airbnb, decide if you want to take a bus or a taxi. You can either stop cabs on the streets or you can download the app “Gett” and order yourself one. For the two of us it was late afternoon and due to difficulties by reading buses’s informations, we finally chose the second option.
The hotel where we stayed, The Drisco, is located very near to Jaffa and the stunning seaside promenade, which are 2 of the most visited points of interest in town. After having enjoyed a delicious breakfast, we subsequently started our tour. You can either move around by foot, electric scooter or bicycle (easy to find and to rent).
First stop? Jaffa’s old train station, then you can reach the promenade and walk direction south to Jaffa’s old city. There you can stroll around the port and its nearby narrow streets.
You feeling hungry?
Then let amaze yourself by the incredible amount of restaurants you will see around. For some inspiration, head to Our favorite vegan restaurants in Tel Aviv, Israel. If the season is right, we warmly suggest you to spend the afternoon at the beach.
In the late afternoon: pack your stuff, it will be time to leave Tel Aviv and approach Jerusalem, the last stop before crossing the King Hussein/Allenby Bridge to Jordan. At this time, you have to reach Tel Aviv’s New Central Bus Station (Bus number 405) and take the 50 minutes ride to Jerusalem (1 ticket will cost you 18 ILS).
!It should be noted that we chose to travel from Israel to Jordan late in the afternoon in order to avoid the high risk of remaining such in a never-ending queue at the border. The King Hussein Bridge is mainly used by commuters during the day. For further infos about the cross procedure, opening hours and closing days, read How to cross the border from Israel to Jordan (coming soon!).
Spend the first part of the day exploring Amman. A must see place is the famous Citadel, that along with being undoubtedly an important historical site, it guarantees an an amazing view over the entire city (tip: consider to have 1-2 hours to stroll around). In addition to this, if you have some time left, other important points of interest are the Roman theater and Rainbow street. If you are looking in particular for a local snack, don’t miss, for instance, Falafel, a delicious chickpea based favorite!
If you are reading our guide, you may have seen one of our most liked pics from Jordan, the one with all the unreal looking salt formations. Not only we can assure you that they exist, but also will show you the location of the exact place we visited by clicking here.
Subsequently, in the early afternoon, drive to Wadi Musa, the home of Petra’s city. Following, leave the luggages at your hotel and prepare yourself for Petra by night show. For more infos and pro tips read our Petra by night: everything you need to know before you go.
Take the entire day to visit Petra. In order to avoid the crowd, wake up early in the morning and be ready to enter the archeological site at 6AM (for more infos and our itinerary read The complete guide to Petra: Jordan’s ancient city (coming soon!).
In the late afternoon pack all of your things, is time to reach the Wadi Rum desert. Read The ultimate guide to Wadi Rum desert, Jordan (coming soon!) if you are interested in some other further informations.
take the day to explore the desert. You can book a 4WD tour (as we did) or bring a backpack with lots of water, a good sunscreen cream and walk around by yourselves. IMPORTANT: go around by your own only if you have GPS/maps available.
In the afternoon take your car and bring it back to Aqaba Airport, then grab a taxi and reach the border to Eliat.
Once on the other side, take another taxi and ask your driver to take you to the Americana Hotel, from there everyday at 6PM depart a shuttle bus to Jerusalem center.
booking in advance it is warmly suggested and you can do it by clicking here. You will arrive in Jerusalem at around 00.30AM. If you are looking a cheap and well positioned hotel read Where to stay in Jerusalem, Israel.
depending on your plane timetable, you can choose which part of Jerusalem you would love to visit. We suggest you to stroll around the Old City and take a look at The Dome of the rock.
Keep in mind to be ready to leave town at least 3 hours before your boarding time. For taking the fast train to Ben Gurion Airport, read The fastest way to travel from/to Jerusalem Ben Gurion Airport (coming soon!).
4. When it’s the best time to visit
Israel: Even though you could visit the country at anytime, because the weather is beautiful all year long, spring and autumn are indeed the best seasons. Moreover the temperatures are pleasant and you will find less tourists around.
Jordan: As well as Israel, the best seasons to travel to this magnificent country are represented by spring and autumn. In particular its fauna along with flora are giving their best. In addition to this this is the best time to hike in the nature reserves.