Travelling in Jordan by public transport

Jordan is quite an expensive country to travel in general. The Jordanian dinar is a really strong currency for some reason and prices for tourists can be high. However, public transport in Jordan is still less expensive than paying for tours and hitchhiking does also work quite well.

A few tips and tricks for public transport in Jordan

The public minibuses are called Service in Jordan. They leave when they are full and you have to pay the driver usually right before the ride or during the ride in cash in Jordanian dinar. To get off along the way you can get the attention of the driver by knocking on the window with a coin or simply shout out to the driver that you want to get off here. They usually stop wherever people want to get off and will also stop along the way to pick up more passengers. The bus drivers will most likely smoke during the trip, so if you mind the smoke, rather choose a seat towards the back. There is no A/C in Service, so bring enough water if you are travelling in the summer heat.

I crossed into Jordan by land from Dahab (Egypt) over Eilat (Israel). You can read more about it here. The Yitzhak Rabin-Wadi Araba border crossing is easy-going. On the Israel side you can reach the border by public bus, just on the Jordan border you have to take a taxi. The official price for the taxi ride to Aqaba was 11 JOD (~14,5€). Be careful with the taxi guys. Ours offered to stop and wait for us to go to an ATM, but then demanded more money for that, even though we didn’t get off the car in the end. I had to get change at a grocery store, so we could give him the agreed 11 JOD only as he was refusing to give us change.

Travelling from Aqaba to Wadi Rum by public transport

From what I have read, the public minibus from Aqaba to Wadi Rum runs two or three times a day, leaving Aqaba in the morning and in the early afternoon. There are no busses after 15.00 and none on Fridays. Because I travelled from Dahab, I arrived at the Aqaba bus station around 15.00 when the bus to Wadi Rum had already left. A taxi driver had offered me to drive me from the Wadi Araba border to Wadi Rum visitor centre for 35 Jordanian dinar (~46€). There was a public bus going to Wadi Musa (Petra) leaving around 15.15 and the bus driver agreed to take me for 4,5 JOD (~6€) to the junction with the road to Wadi Rum. From there, I hitchhiked to the Wadi Rum visitor’s centre for 2 JOD (~2,6€). It took me about half an hour to get a ride. The guy who took me was very nice, but did want some money for the ride. I had to haggle a little. Not sure if you can also hitchhike for free. My host came get me from the visitor’s centre and I think most of the camp managers will. Otherwise, Wadi Rum village is another couple of minutes’ drive from the visitor’s centre.

Getting out of Wadi Rum

In summer 2023 when I was there, the taxi from Wadi Rum visitor’s centre to downtown Aqaba was 25 JOD (~33€) and to Amman airport it was 100 JOD (~132€). This is clearly very expensive, so here are some other options:

Wadi Rum to Amman airport

A fellow traveller met a guy called Waheeb at the Wadi Rum visitor’s centre who seems to be some kind of bus ticket broker. He got her onto a public minibus that tourists wouldn’t know about. It left from the visitor’s centre around 9.20 and she paid 20 JOD (~26,4€) for the ride to the airport. Waheeb’s Whatsapp number is +962 7 7239 0577 – you can give it a try.

Wadi Rum to Aqaba

A fellow traveller told me that he’d gotten a public minibus from Disah to Aqaba in the early morning (around 6.30), which was much cheaper than a taxi. Disah is the next town to Wadi Rum. There is also public transport from Wadi Rum village. The minibus to Aqaba leaves between 6.00 and 6.30, depending on when it is full.

Wadi Rum to Petra (Wadi Musa)

The ‘public bus’ from Wadi Rum to Petra leaves from Wadi Rum village around 9.00 and from the visitor’s centre around 9.30 in the morning. I took that one from the visitor’s centre, but it felt a lot like a tourist bus. The bus did however stop to pick up passengers along the road, so I guess you can consider it a Service. I paid 10 JOD (~13,2€) to go from Wadi Rum to Petra. There is also a Jett bus – Jett bus is the main bus company for tourists in Jordan – which costs 15 JOD (~19,8€) from Wadi Rum to Petra.

Public transport from Petra to Amman

My timing was a little off, so I actually had to travel on a Friday. This is never a good idea in Jordan because on Fridays public transport is extremely limited and most businesses are closed. On normal weekdays, there are plenty of buses to choose from, all leaving from the public minibus station in Wadi Musa. Quick side note: the town where Petra is located is called Wadi Musa. Going from Petra to Amman on Friday, there are two options: a Jett bus at 17.00 in the afternoon or a public minibus (aka Service) at 7.00 in the morning. It cost me 10 JOD (~13,2€) to go to Amman. The Service will drop you at the South bus station in Amman from where you can either get a Taxi or an Uber. There are probably also Service going to many places in the city on normal weekdays but on Friday I had to take a taxi.

Going from Amman to the King Hussein Bridge border

In Amman, you can get a taxi or Uber to go to the Abdali Jett bus station. The Jett bus to the border leaves at 7.15 in the morning and costs 11 JOD (~14,5€). You should be at the station a little earlier, aim for 7.00. You can read more about the border crossing between Jordan and Palestine here.