Travelers planning on spending more than 4 days in Jordan have the option of buying an all inclusive ticket which provides access to the majority of sites found around the country, including Petra, for a two week period. The biggest question for you: Is it worth it?
The short answer is YES!
The Jordan pass ends up paying for itself pretty quickly. In 2018, the pass costs between 70-88 Dinars ($99-$133) and waives fees for your visa which is 40 Dinars ($56) and entrance fees for most sites around Jordan. This includes Petra which costs between 50 -60 Dinars ($70-$84). So if you plan on visiting Petra, the Jordan Pass has already payed for itself when you consider what you also save in visa costs. After visiting a few other sites, you end up spending a lot less than if you opted to not purchase the Jordan Pass. In addition, the pass saves you a lot of hassle since you do not have to buy a ticket for every single site you want to visit.
Buy Before You Go
The Jordan Pass is valid for a 6 month period after you purchase the ticket. The ticket can be purchased online at the Government Run Jordan Pass website. Be sure to buy it before you leave for Jordan because, although you can buy it upon arrival, buying the pass in Jordan will not waive your visa fee. So by buying the pass in advance, you save yourself $56.
Jordan Pass Add-ons to Consider
The hardest part when buying the pass is deciding how many days you want to spend in Petra. When purchasing the pass, you will have to choose if the pass includes a one, two, or three day pass to Petra. This can be an anxious moment. How can you decide how long you want to spend there if you have never been there? That’s where our experience comes in. One day in Petra would be a shame as the national park is huge, and you will either find yourself seeing very little or too much in too little time. Two days will allow you to take in most of the monuments and natural scenery and was the perfect amount of time for Claire and I. While you can certainly spend three days in the park, we were pretty monument fatigued by the end of the second day and felt we wouldn’t have necessarily gained anything from a third day in the park. Don’t trust us? A third day costs only an extra 5 dinars so if you really think you might want that third day then go for it. For more information on Petra, take a look at our post on the Rose City here.
You will also have the option to add on a ticket to the privately run Bethany Beyond the Jordan site, which is not included in the basic Jordan Pass. This is the supposed baptismal site of Jesus along the heavily guarded Jordan River. If you plan on visiting here, add it on to the Jordan Pass as it will cost you 12 Dinars ($17) at the site itself.
How Does The Pass Work?
After purchasing the Jordan Pass, you will receive an email with an attachment containing your Jordan Pass. You will have to download the attachment and print it out before you leave. Besides your passport, this will be the most important document you carry while in Jordan. To make things easier, you can also download the QR code and information to your phone. While this is handy, we advise you to also have a printed copy in case your phone dies unexpectedly.
At most sites, ticket inspectors at the gate will often only give just a glancing look at your pass and wave you by, often accompanied with a joke and a smile (Jordanians have a wicked sense of humor). A few sites will actually want to scan your ticket (Jerash, Um Qaiss, and Petra). Whenever you’re out and about, carry a copy of the pass with you along with a copy of your passport in case they ask for ID (your information is on the ticket).
Note that the pass only works for sites that are operated by the government. It does not include sites that are privately owned. This includes Mount Nebo and the Dead Sea. The Jordan Pass Website lists all the sites that are covered. If you are not sure whether a site is included or not, check here.
Buy the Pass and Save Yourself A lot of Trouble and Money!
Buying the Jordan Pass, while it seems unusual, given that very few countries have anything of the sort, is 100% worth purchasing. It will save you time, money, and gives you the peace of mind knowing you essentially have the Golden Ticket for Jordan, opening most doors within the country for you. Buy it before you go and your trip to Jordan is all set!