My Jordan Pass Review
I had the wonderful opportunity to make a quick trip to Jordan this summer using the Jordan Pass. For those who do not know, the Jordan pass is an effort by the Jordan Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities to give independent travelers a hassle-free way to enter into Jordan and experience its most popular tourist sites.
The prices range from $100 to $113 dollars and the pass includes admission to Petra in addition to 40 of the other most popular tourist attractions in Jordan. Among these are archaeological sites and ruins, museums, and natural places like Wadi Rum. If you stay in Jordan for more than three nights with the Jordan Pass, then you don’t pay visa fees!
Is the Jordan Pass a good deal?
I will do the math for you. A one day ticket to Petra normally costs $70, and, depending on your nationality and where you get it, a single entrance visa will cost around $50. If you want to see or do anything in addition to Petra in Jordan then you will have to pay anywhere from $1 to $15 for tickets or entrance fees. So the Jordan Pass is a great deal!
Not going to Petra? There are some other ways to travel to Jordan without having to pay for a visa. Here is the Jordan Tourism Board’s website where they have up to date information about tourist visas.
I decided to travel with the Jordan Pass for a few reasons:
1. No stamps or visas in my passport
The Jordan Pass is either just on your phone or on a printed piece of paper. The border guards stamped my pass and put a little bar code to scan in my passport.
Why did I not want a Jordan stamp or visa in my passport? It’s because I was entering and exiting Jordan through borders with Israel and the West Bank (Palestine). Some countries recognize this stamp as evidence for having been in Israel and will deny entry to travelers with it in their passports.
Most normal travelers won’t care about this, but a travel addict like myself needs to keep my options open!
Plus, I am running out of passport pages…
2. No need to visit the embassy or consulate and wait in line
You don’t need to fill out applications or take passport photos. No early morning appointments or weird pickup times. Just get online and buy it!
3. Flexibility with entry and exit
You are not restricted to using only one border crossing with the Jordan Pass. I used the Allenby Bridge to enter and left via the Wadi Araba crossing in the south. Some other free visa schemes require you to only use one specific border.
4. Fewer trips to the ATM
Anybody with a foreign debit card in Jordan will know that taking money out of an ATM can get pretty expensive there. At one point I was charged something like 5 Dinars to use an ATM… and one Dinar was worth about $1.40 when I was there. The Jordan Pass covers all the entry tickets you will need in the country so you can spend your money on stuffing your face with delicious Jordanian food.
How to get the Jordan Pass
You can buy the Jordan Pass here.
I literally bought my pass, printed it, and then headed straight to the border. You don’t even need to print it out. I just was worried that my phone would die.
Be aware that it says on the site that it expires after two weeks of travel.
My experience using the Jordan Pass
A few years ago there were complaints that tourist and historical sites were not equipped to process the Jordan Pass. Nowadays those growing pains seem to be over and we had absolutely no problem. They usually just glanced at our printouts and waved us on at most places. The only place where they actually scanned the bar code on the paper was in Petra.
By the way, if you’re curious about visiting Petra independently you can check out my post about it here.
If you are considering traveling to Jordan I really recommend traveling with the Jordan Pass!
My only criticism about traveling with the Jordan Pass relates to the website and the checkout process. The website took my card no problem but my friend had a lot more trouble. When the credit card payment does not go through, sometimes there is no message saying it wasn’t accepted and you are just redirected to the homepage. If you try again the website will tell you to wait an hour to be sure the charge didn’t go through.
After some Googling I ran into a few horror stories of how people tried checking out multiple times and ended up being charged hundreds of dollars for several Jordan Passes a week later. All these people ended up having to go through a lengthy process of fighting the charges with their banks and the Jordan Tourism Board. So that left my friend and I feeling pretty freaked out. She felt bad for delaying our departure, and I felt bad about how the trip I planned for us may accidentally cost her hundreds of dollars and a lot of wasted time!
We emailed the Jordan Pass folks and they got back to us within minutes. I can’t say their responses were very helpful, but it was nice to know that there was someone on the other side. In the end the problem was from my friend’s bank and we got it sorted. Just be careful with the glitchy website!
Enjoy your time in Jordan!
P.S….just in case you’re looking for a place to stay in Jordan…
In Amman we stayed at the Jordan Tower Hotel, which is THE place to stay in Amman if you are an independent traveler!
And near Petra we stayed at the Seven Wonders Bedouin Camp for a lovely night and then had a fancy splurge night in the Mariott. You can check out my reviews of the Bedouin Camp and the Mariott and everything about traveling to Petra independently here!
You can also check out the top rated hotels in Jordan here.