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Ramadan in Jordan: Information, Dates & Travel Tips
Many international visitors wonder whether it’s a good idea to visit Jordan during Ramadan. The truth is that traveling to a Muslim country such as Jordan during Ramadan can be both beneficial as well as inconvenient.
I have gathered the most important things to know about Ramadan in Jordan to take into consideration when planning your trip.
What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is the holy month in Islam. There are ritual obligations called the Five Pillars of Islam which are the foundation of Muslim life. Fasting is one of those Five Pillars. For this reason, Muslims refrain from eating and drinking during daytime. Additionally, shorter working hours are common to allow worshippers to dedicate more time to religious activities and their families.
Non-Muslim tourists in Jordan are not expected to fast. However, there are certain restrictions that might impact your vacation. More on that below.
Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about the traditions, check out my complete guide on Ramadan.
When is Ramadan in Jordan?
The dates of Ramadan are based on the Islamic calendar, which is a lunar calendar of 12 lunar months consisting of only 354 days. With lunar calendars being shorter than the Gregorian calendar (365 days), Islamic holidays such as Ramadan and Eid (the subsequent festivals) vary from year to year. The same principle applies to the Christian holidays such as Easter where dates are also based on a lunar calendar.
|Year||Ramadan in Jordan (Dates*)|
|2022||Friday, 1st April 2022 – Saturday, 30th April 2022|
|2023||Wednesday, 22nd March 2023 – Thursday, 20th April 2023|
|2024||Sunday, 10th March 2024 – Monday, 8th April 2024|
|2025||Friday, 28th February 2025 – Saturday, 29th March 2025|
|2026||Tuesday, 17th February 2026 – Wednesday, 18th March 2026|
* Please note that the dates of Ramadan in Jordan depend on the crescent moon. Slight variations (usually not more than a day) are possible. The first day of Ramadan is usually confirmed 1-2 days prior to the anticipated start date.
Visiting Jordan during Ramadan
Depending on the year, it can happen that the best time to visit Jordan overlaps with the dates of Ramadan. Is it a good idea to visit Jordan during Ramadan? Yes and no. There are advantages and drawbacks when it comes to visiting Jordan during Ramadan.
Traveling to a muslim country such as Jordan during Ramadan can be a memorable cultural experience. However, it also involves some restrictions such as shorter hours of operation. Read below the main advantages and drawbacks of visiting an Islamic country during Ramadan. The following tips apply not only to Jordan, but to most Islamic countries.
The main reason why visiting Jordan during Ramadan is the unique cultural experience that this involves. Muslims don’t consider Ramadan a punishment (although refraining from eating and drinking during the day might sound challenging). In fact, Ramadan is considered the holy month in which people dedicate their time to prayer and reflection. Fasting is a sign of faith which teaches sacrifice.
As such, the atmosphere during Ramadan is very positive and certainly feels different from other times of the year. The evening meal at the end of the daily Ramadan fast (known as Iftar), has a special significance. Family and friends get together to share a meal which consists of several courses. If you have friends or family in Jordan, it’s a great moment to pay them a visit.
Additionally, there is a more active nightlife during Ramadan. While many (not all) restaurants and cafés are closed during the day, most of them are open until late night during Ramadan (even on weekdays). For tourists this means that you can explore the sights during the day, and enjoy a late-night dinner and shopping after sunset.
The atmosphere in the country is festive (especially with Eid, the end of Ramadan, approaching). It’s broadly comparable to the atmosphere before Christmas in Europe or the US.
The truth is that traveling to Jordan during Ramadan also involves some restrictions.
As I mentioned above, non-Muslim visitors don’t have to fast when in Jordan! However, people are expected to refrain from eating and drinking in public during the day.
But don’t worry. In Jordan, it’s not as black and white as it might sound. First of all, tourist sites like Petra are well frequented by tourists. In fact, the large majority of all visitors are international tourists. During Ramadan, there are significantly less local visitors in Petra and other sites in Jordan, so it’s a little quieter than usual.
Many tourist sites (be it Petra, Jerash or Amman citadel) are huge in size. You can perfectly carry your own water bottle and food and eat and drink while you explore those sites. As a sign of respect for the local customs, be sure to not eat/drink in public in front of locals during the hours of daylight.
In terms of restaurants, most restaurants in Jordan are closed during the day. However, restaurants and cafés in malls and near tourist sites generally remain open. You should perfectly be able to find a place to eat/drink during the day.
Another factor to take into account are the opening hours. During Ramadan opening hours of most sights are shorter than usual and there are less tourist guides available. Guided tours that require heavy physical activity (such as guided Wadi Mujib trails, hiking in Dana etc) are generally not available during Ramadan.
It’s best to visit Jordan outside Ramadan if you are planning physically challenging activities as part of a guided tour, such as a guided hike in Wadi Mujib or another nature reserve. That’s because such tours are generally not available during Ramadan. Besides, you won’t have to worry about not eating or drinking during daylight if you travel before or after Ramadan.
On the other hand, visiting Jordan in Ramadan can be convenient if you’d like to explore the major sites by yourself (Petra, Jerash…). You’ll see hardly any local visitors going for hikes during Ramadan. You don’t have to fast yourself, but all you should do is being a little tactful with your eating/drinking habits (not drink/eat in front of locals). With many restaurants closed during the day, you’ll be able to experience an active nightlife (restaurants and malls open until late) during Ramadan.
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