What to wear in Jordan is one of the final things to consider once you plan the basics of your trip to Jordan. 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 Petra, the Dead Sea, the desert, and everywhere!
How Conservative is Jordan?
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 western clothes.
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.
We recommend you dress to match the culture as you are a guest in their country. We view it as a sign of respect. It means no short shorts, tight short dresses, or cleavage showing. If you decide to dress provocatively, you’ll likely feel more out of place than if you didn’t.
It’s straightforward to dress cute, comfortable, and modest without disrespecting cultural norms or offending them. It’s best to keep your knees and shoulders covered 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.
What Should A Woman Wear in Jordan?
Although Jordan is less conservative than other Middle Eastern countries, it’s best to visit and respect local culture and cover up a bit. Most Jordanian women cover their legs, arms and chest. Many locals also cover up 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.
In general, women should cover up their legs with long skirts or pants, and at the very least their chests. I love wearing flowy skirts, pants, and a white loose blouse. I found this perfect for traveling to Jordan as a female.
Pack plenty of scarves as they can be used for covering your head and shoulders, and look great in photos!
Climate 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 amounts of precipitation.
The climate mixes the Arabian desert’s subtropical aridity and the eastern Mediterranean’s subtropical humidity. The coldest month is January, with temperatures that range from rn Mediterranean area.
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 months can bring southernly winds called Shirocco that can raise temperatures past 40°C and cause strong sandstorms.
We recommend you visit Jordan in the spring and fall when temperatures are mild. 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.
What to Wear in Jordan
When you think about what to wear in Jordan, it’s good to 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.
This can be either lightweight sneakers or a casual shoe by one of our favorite brands, Allbirds. Allbird’s “Tree” line of shoes is sustainable and offers excellent ventilation for your feet as they utilize 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.
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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 from Rainbow or a pair of hiking sandals from Teva or Chaco. 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 they’re 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 and long days hiking or at destinations like Petra.
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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’re planning on spending two or three days in Petra to do some hiking, then sturdy hiking shoes are best. They are also great for other religious and cultural sites you’ll want to be walking around. At the end of the day, 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, a pair of sandals and hiking shoes or breathable sneakers.
See Our Hiking Shoe Recommendations
Since Jordan is a desert climate, temperatures 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 at least 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 in this post. We can recommend two awesome lightweight windbreakers from Cotopaxi and Arc’teryx.
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Warm Fleece/Down Jacket
It can be pretty cool in Jordan, so given the season, it’s a good idea to pack some warm clothes. In October, we visited Jordan and found the weather to be just about perfect. Days were warm, and nights were chilly, so a warm fleece or our down jackets saw use every night. Check the seasonal weather before heading off on your trip to get an idea of what you’ll need.
Consider a fleece a necessity on your Jordan packing list or at least something warm. Patagonia’s Synchilla Snap T Pullover fleece is the best fleece for travel, in our opinion. The fleece has a classic relaxed cut with a timeless look for a walk or sitting around an evening bonfire. If you face cooler evenings, grabbing a lightweight, packable down jacket may be a good idea.
See Our Recommendations
Linen Shirt or Tunic
I like to pack a technical long sleeve shirt for Jordan. Long sleeves are also great for sun protection, and we wore them on desert walks in the Wadi Rum or around Petra. The other option is organic materials like hemp, linen, or rapeseed. They’re practical as they have anti-microbial properties and will stay fresh longer when you sweat. Linen is an excellent option as 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. Check out these safari shirts that work for Jordan if you prefer a technical shirt.
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A classic tee will never go out of style. We suggest sticking with solid colors like white or grey. There’s also the option of a v-neck for a more stylish look, but it all depends on personal preference. T-shirts are cheap, and we like to order a new pack before each trip as old shirts look slobbish.
In foreign countries, it’s best to avoid graphic t-shirts. A handful of regular cotton tees are great but pack a few athletic shirts for a hot destination. Our absolute favorite technical shirts are the Echo line from Outdoor Research. They come in a wide range of cuts, including tank tops and long sleeves perfect for sun protection.
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For a more girly look in Jordan, try wearing 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. Dresses past the knee with no cleavage or shoulders showing are ideal.
One of my favorites for this trip is the Scotch & Soda Safari Dress. It’s perfect for Jordan and all-around Africa travel! What I love about these pieces are specifically made for travel and are anti-wrinkle. The photo is from a recent trip to Egypt, but it’s a similar climate and culture to Jordan.
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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. For women, prAna’s Summit Pants use hemp and recycled polyester to remain comfortable and offer 50+ UPF protection. They are perfect for Jordan as they’re comfortable and conservative.
Best of all, the pants are lightweight and weigh nothing in a carry-on bag. Men should check out the Vaha Pant, which is made from sustainable hemp and offers many comforts! Both pants have a relaxed boho style which works for Jordan but may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
You’ll walk along the city streets and sights a lot, and they are often dusty. Harem or relaxed pants are fantastic, but if you want pants where the bottom won’t get filthy, wear cuffed pants. We’re massive fans of Coalatree trailhead pants as they’re lightweight and comfortable.
Check Out The Pant Recommendations
Scarf, shemagh, Or Bandana
A shemagh or keffiyeh is the perfect travel accessory for men and women. It can provide warmth, protect your face from the elements, cover the head, and even double as an eye mask. It’s a staple piece of wardrobe from the region and super useful.
Jordan is a conservative country; 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 a scarf or shawl. They are always good to have when you need to cover your head before walking into a Mosque. It also serves as a superb form of protection from desert winds and dust.
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You should try to 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. For women, it’s best not to wear your typical cheap cotton undies. Women’s hygiene is important, so antimicrobial undies are a lifesaver when you’re active in the heat.
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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.
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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 now and can’t recommend them enough. The Chromopop lens technology is like seeing the world with a fresh set of our eyes.
They enhance contrast, reduce glare, and reflection for superb vision while driving, walking around town, or out on the water. We also love the style of the glasses for anyone who likes to live an active lifestyle. The only ding against these is the lightweight polymer used to construct the glasses leaves them feeling slightly cheap for a premium sunglass pair.
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If you are considering what to pack for Jordan, we recommend picking up a stylish sunhat! You’ll want some hats for walking around in the hot sun all day. I’d recommend a hat with a brim. We have some great recommendations on safari hats that serve many functions if you’re traveling around much of Africa.
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Accessories to Pack For Jordan
Our daypack was handy every day in Jordan. You’ll need something to stash your photography gear, hand sanitizers, papers, phones, and anything else you need for a full day out when traveling. Check out our favorite day packs here.
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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-T3. Here, you can read about our favorite cameras for travel blogging and vlogging.
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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 bringing some hand sanitizer and eco-friendly baby wipes in your bag.
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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).
We highly recommend getting an eco-friendly sun cream that does not contain harmful chemicals. They’re mineral-based and usually only cost a few dollars more to help protect our oceans. If you’re not going to swim in the sea, go with a reliable name brand.
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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.
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Pillow and Sheets
It is certainly not necessary when packing for Jordan, but it comes in handy when you get to a room and find the conditions less desirable. A sleeping bag liner or even a sleeping bag also does a great job! If you plan to visit a desert camp in Wadi Rum, it’s good to pack a set.
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While I love having a good real book when I travel, sometimes it’s not practical because of the weight. I’ve recently switched to a Kindle Paperwhite, which is small and compact, plus it has a backlight for reading at night without a harsh glare. I used this a lot in the Bedouin camps at night since there was no WiFi to work on.
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You’ll find that Jodan uses both the Europlug and British three-prong plug. Make sure you find a good adapter like I have to keep you charged. Otherwise, you may be paying for a cheap one once you land.
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Grayl Ultralight Water Purifier
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.
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A head torch 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 when we walked to and from the bathroom in the Wadi Rum desert at night!
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Plan For Your Trip
- Protect Your Trip: We don’t travel without travel insurance, nor should you. You never know what can happen while traveling, so it’s best to be prepared. HeyMondo provides excellent short-term and long-term travel insurance plans.
- Find Cheap Flights: Sign up for Scotts Cheap Flights to get notified when prices get ultra low.
- Travel Adapter: Make sure you find a good adapter to keep your personal electronics charged. Otherwise, you may be paying for a cheap one once you land. Purchase one here.
- Travel Backpack: We like the Nomatic Travel Backpack for our travels. Check the price here.
- Our Favorite Travel Shoes: Our answer to this question is always ALLBIRDS! Check them out on their site!
- Get a Travel Credit Card: We travel worldwide for free because we have leveraged our spending into points. See why you should get a travel credit card and how you can do the same with our favorite travel credit cards.