What to Wear in Jordan • A Packing Guide

What to wear in Jordan is one of the final things to consider once you plan the basics of your trip. Packing for Jodan can be very simple. The climate is generally hot and dry during the day, and at night, temperatures drop. The weather was very comfortable and mild during our time in Jordan, with warm days and cool evenings.

Although a Middle Eastern and predominantly Muslim country, Jordan is the most liberal in the region. Western fashions have become popular here, and the dress code is not as strict as in other Middle Eastern countries. However, being respectful in conservative areas and religious sites is still important. Here’s our Jordan packing list with photos to prepare you for your first trip to the ancient ruins of Petra, the Dead Sea, the desert, and everywhere!


How Conservative is Jordan?

Man Praying In Wadi Rum, Jordan

There isn’t much reason to stress about travel in Jordan as the country is a wonderful introduction to Middle Eastern culture. Jordan is likely one of the most liberal countries in the Middle East, but it is still very conservative compared to the rest of the world. Cities like Amman and Aqaba are mixed, with many Jordanians forgoing traditional dress for Western clothes. Women may still wear a hijab but pair it with modest clothes. The photo below is from one of the city’s most popular restaurants, and you’ll see that it’s a nice mix of clothing styles.

Tourists are generally free to wear whatever they please. You’ll see shorts, tight pants, bikinis, high heels, and short dresses at tourist sites. However, as soon as you step out of these tourist sites and into the streets, you’ll see women in hijabs and beautiful dresses unique to Jordan, often called shirsh. Men in Jordan outside of the cities will also cover their heads and often wear a traditional thawb or dishdasha.

Hashem Restaurant On A Busy Night In Amman, Jordan

We recommend that you dress to match the culture as you are a guest in their country. We view it as a sign of respect. This means no shorts, tight short dresses, or cleavage showing. If you dress provocatively, you’ll likely feel more out of place than you didn’t.

It’s easy to dress cute, comfortably, and modestly without disrespecting or offending cultural norms. Covering your knees and shoulders is best as a sign of respect. The exception to this is at the beach or hotel pools. Here, it’s perfectly acceptable to wear bathing suits, cover-ups, and shorts. It’s a tourist spot, not entering locals’ everyday lives, and that’s how we see the difference.


What Should A Woman Wear?

Natasha On Top Of Mount Nebo

Although Jordan is more liberal than many other Middle Eastern countries, it is best to respect the local culture and cover up a bit. Most Jordanian women cover their legs, arms, and chest, and many locals also cover their hair with headscarves.

As a visitor, you aren’t expected to cover up your hair, though doing so may garner less attention from onlookers (particularly men). This is especially true if you are a blonde, as they are more of a rarity in Jordan. That being said, I am blonde and never covered up my hair. Traveling with a male made this easier as females traveling alone typically get more attention.

Generally, women should cover their legs with long skirts or pants and, at the very least, their chests. I love wearing flowy skirts, pants, and a loose white blouse. Pack plenty of scarves, as they can cover your head and shoulders and look great in photos! This combination is perfect for traveling to Jordan as a female.


Climate


Avg Weather Chart In Jordan

Jordan enjoys a mild climate for most of the year. It is an arid desert biome for most of the country, so temperature shifts throughout the day can be vast. Summers are long, hot, and dry, while winters are cool, short, and see mild precipitation. The climate mixes the Arabian desert’s subtropical aridity and the eastern Mediterranean’s subtropical humidity.

January is the coldest month, with temperatures from 5°C to 10°C. August is the hottest month, with temperatures from 20°C to 35°C. The summer can bring southern winds called Shirocco, raising temperatures past 40°C with strong sandstorms. We recommend you visit in the spring and fall. During this time, you’ll find pleasant daytime temperatures and cool evenings. You’ll want lightweight clothes for the day and a jacket to cover up at night. We have an article on the weather in Jordan throughout the year to give you an idea of what to expect.


What to Wear in Jordan


Lightweight Sneakers

Tourists On Camels Along Ancient Road In Petra, Jordan

When you think about what to wear in Jordan, start with a pair of breathable shoes. It shouldn’t be a surprise, but the heat during the day can be intense, so we recommend a shoe with good air circulation. These can be lightweight sneakers or a casual shoe. Our favorite shoe for hot weather is Allbird’s “Tree” line of shoes. It is sustainable and offers excellent ventilation for your feet as it utilizes eucalyptus fiber construction.

As city streets and tourist sites in Jordan can be a little dirty, dusty, and sandy, most travelers will appreciate the protection of shoes. Of course, you can wear sandals if you choose. While certain Western fashions are not as welcome in Jordan, locals wear sandals, too.

Breathable Travel Shoes


Sandals

Natasha Leans Against A Camel In Petra, Jordan

You’ll find many people wearing sandals in Jordan, and they are great for relaxing by the pool, Dead Sea, Aqaba, or on easy days. You don’t want to live in your shoes your whole trip, and sandals are perfect for letting your feet breathe.

We travel with leather sandals or hiking sandals. They get me through anything and are great for comfort while walking. If any women would like a cute travel sandal recommendation, we love the Sanuk Yoga Sling, as it’s comfy and affordable. We spend 75% of our time in a pair of sandals traveling around Jordan. We only opt for our shoes in certain city neighborhoods, long days hiking, or destinations like Petra.


Hiking Shoes

Aerial Photograph Of Wadi Rum With Cameron And Natasha On Top Of Outcropping

Of course, you can easily go to sites like Petra and get around with sandals. However, there is some great hiking and trekking around Jordan, and it would be a shame to miss out on the opportunity because you weren’t prepared with proper footwear. If you plan to hike for a few days, we suggest a pair of hiking shoes or boots, as the hiking terrain is pretty rugged.

They are also great for visiting other religious and cultural sites. Most of the sites and activities in Jordan are desert/outdoor-based, so a nice pair of dress shoes is unnecessary. We recommend you pack two pairs of footwear: sandals and hiking shoes or breathable sneakers.


Windbreaker

Ruins In Amman Jordan At Dusk

Since Jordan is a desert climate, temperature shifts here can be drastic. In the winter months, along with spring and fall temperatures, the weather can be cool, if not bone-chilling. Amman, the capital of Jordan, remains mild year-round and only reaches an average high of 26.5 °C in the summer months.

We suggest you pack a light windbreaker to help cut out the wind no matter the season. We love to travel with a lightweight windbreaker that can pack easily in a suitcase. We have several recommendations for travel jackets.


Warm Fleece/Down Jacket

Natasha Sits Around Fire In Wadi Rum Desert At Night With Bedouin Man

It can be pretty cool in Jordan, so given the season, it’s a good idea to pack some warm clothes. We visited Jordan in October, and the weather was pleasant. Days were warm, but nights were chilly, so a warm fleece or a down jacket was helpful. We suggest you check the seasonal weather before heading off on your trip to understand what to bring.

We love Patagonia’s Better Sweater as a comfortable fleece for travel. The fleece has a classic, relaxed cut and a timeless look, perfect for a walk or sitting around an evening bonfire. Pack a lightweight down jacket if you face cooler evenings in the middle of winter — desert nights can be near freezing!

See Our Recommendations


Linen Shirt or Tunic

Natasha At The Treasury In Petra, Jordan

Due to the cool mornings and hot sunny days, we found the protection of a long-sleeved shirt helpful. We wore them on desert walks in the Wadi Rum and Petra. We generally suggest traveling with a technical shirt or one made from organic materials like hemp, linen, or rapeseed. These are practical because they have antimicrobial properties and will stay fresh longer when you sweat. Linen is an excellent option because it has a timeless look for your trip.

Pair a linen shirt with sandals, shorts, chinos, jeans, or shoes. It will always work. Linen shirts are versatile clothing that looks good for both sexes and works at the beach, museum, archaeological site, or safari. It’s tough to find decent linen shirts online, but I love the quality of J. Crew’s or Everlane’s linen shirts. You can often score a deal, so it won’t be the end if you stain or snag the shirt.

Linen Shirt Recommendations

Women
Men

Short-Sleeve Shirts

Cameron At Viewpoint Over The Treasury In Petra Jordan

A classic tee will never go out of style. We suggest sticking with solid colors like white or grey. T-shirts are cheap, and we like to order a new pack before each trip, as old shirts look slobbish. Some regular cotton tees are great, but pack a few athletic shirts for a hot destination.


Sundress

Natasha In A Stylish Dress In Egypt

For a more feminine look in Jordan, wear a cute dress to walk around the Ancient sites and snap photos. I loved wearing light and flowy dresses in Jordan, but they needed not to be too revealing. I find it’s best to wear a dress that goes past the knee and shows no cleavage or shoulders. One of my favorites for this trip is the Scotch & Soda safari dress. It’s perfect for Jordan and all-around Africa travel! The photo is from a recent trip to Egypt, but it has a climate and culture similar to Jordan.

Sundress Recommendation


Loose Pants

Natasha On Rocky Viewpoint Next To Jordanian Flag

Jordan is a conservative country, and pants are more respectful than shorts. I walked around almost every day in one of my many pairs of loose pants. Best of all, the pants are lightweight and weigh nothing in a carry-on bag. They have a relaxed boho style, which works for Jordan but may not be everyone’s cup of tea. You’ll often walk along the city streets and sights, usually dusty. Harem or relaxed pants are fantastic, but if you want pants where the bottom won’t get filthy, wear cuffed pants.

Pant Recommendations

Women’s

Men’s


Scarf, shemagh, Or Bandana

Jordanian Man Sits Inside Tent Wearing A Keffiyeh

A shemagh or keffiyeh is the perfect travel accessory for men and women. It provides warmth, protects the face from the elements, covers the head, and even doubles as an eye mask. It’s a staple piece of the region’s wardrobe and super useful.

Women may want a headscarf for some religious sites. They are lightweight and easy to travel with, so there is no reason not to have one. Scarves or shawls are always good when you need to cover your head before walking into a Mosque. They also serve as a superb protection from desert winds and dust.

Scarf/Shemagh


Sports/Travel Underwear

Natasha Walks Towards Treasury Alone In Jordan

Pack several pairs of sports underwear. Generally, we’ll pack five to seven pairs of underwear for a typical trip. We recommend several pairs of underwear made from wool or synthetic material. These materials are antimicrobial, so they stay fresh longer and can dry quickly overnight if you hand wash them.

Check Out Our Recommendations


Swimsuit

Natasha Floats In The Dead Sea In Jordan

Just because you’re in a Muslim country doesn’t mean you can’t wear a bathing suit at a beach resort in Aqaba or the Dead Sea. I would recommend bringing a few different ones. You don’t care much about an old one ideal for the Dead Sea, as the dark minerals can stain and ruin a bathing suit. Seriously, we both wore an old one and threw it away after.

For women, Tasha’s favorite bathing suits lately have been made by Andie Swim. Cameron loves Quicksilver’s Amphibian shorts. The material looks like heavy cotton, but they’re lightweight and durable. Best of all, they look great on the beach or in town.


Sunglasses

Natasha With A Cat In The Desert Of Wadi Rum

Jordan has a lot of sunshine, and you’ll need sunglasses to protect your eyes. We’ve had our Smith Chromapop sunglasses for a while and can’t recommend them enough. The Chromopop lens technology is like seeing the world with fresh eyes. They enhance contrast, reduce glare, and reflect light for superb vision while driving, walking around town, or out on the water.


Sun Hat

travel in jordan - window cat

If you are considering what to pack for Jordan, we recommend picking a stylish sunhat! You’ll want a hat for walking around in the hot sun all day, and I recommend a hat with a wide brim. We’re both partial to a classic ball cap, but a large hat offers far more protection from the sun.


Accessories to Pack For Jordan


Daypack

Cameron In Petra With A Backpack

Our daypack was handy every day in Jordan. When traveling, you’ll need something to stash your photography gear, hand sanitizers, papers, phones, and anything else you need for a full day out.


Travel Camera

Natasha in Front Seat Takes Photo Out 
Wadi Rum Side Mirror

A high-quality camera is an essential packing item for Jordan if you want some great shots during your vacation. We travel with many cameras, but the one we recommend to everyone who wants to take their photography seriously is the Fujifilm X-T4.


Hand Sanitizer

Walking around and participating in everyday activities in Jordan can get pretty dirty. It was also a reoccurring theme to find hand soap nowhere. Traditional dining in Jordan is with your hands and bread. Although, you’ll find cutlery at most establishments that cater to tourists. You can’t go wrong with bringing some hand sanitizer and eco-friendly baby wipes in your bag.


Sunscreen

 A Horse In The Desert Of Jordan

Skin cancer is for real! Don’t forget your SPF when traveling around the Middle East, as you’re close to the Equator. We recommend ordering some online before leaving the house as you will need it underneath the desert sun, and it can be tough to find in grocery stores in Jordan (and when you do find it, the pricing will be insane).


Electrolyte Tablets

Camels In Desert Jordan

Dehydration in Jordan is a genuine concern. These tablets should have your body back to normal if you fall sick. You may not need a whole bottle, so take a few in a bag or pill holder to save luggage space.


Adapter

Jordan Desert

You’ll find that Jodan uses both the Europlug and the British three-prong plug. Ensure you find a good adapter like mine to keep you charged. Otherwise, you may be paying for a cheap one once you land.


Grayl Ultralight Water Purifier

Jordan historical site

We switched to the Grayl Ultralight Purifier as our top travel water bottle. It’s a simplistic design that is a purifier, not a filter. The Grayl water bottle system purifies water vs. filters, removing viruses and virtually all threats of waterborne illnesses.


Headlamp

Wadi Rum At Night

A headlamp is always in our suitcase as we never know when we will need it. It’s come in handy more than a few times. Especially in Jordan, where we walked to and from the bathroom in the Wadi Rum desert at night!

Headlamps


Plan For Your Trip

About Natasha Alden

Natasha is the co-founder of The World Pursuit. She is an expert in travel, budgeting, and finding unique experiences. She loves to be outside, hiking in the mountains, playing in the snow on her snowboard, and biking. She has been traveling for over 10 years, across 7 continents, experiencing unique cultures, new food, and meeting fantastic people. She strives to make travel planning and traveling easier for all. Her advice about international travel, outdoor sports, and African safari has been featured on Lonely Planet, Business Insider, and Reader’s Digest.

Learn more about Natasha Alden on The World Pursuit About Us Page.