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Are you planning to visit Jordan and wondering what to wear during your stay? You’re not alone. With Jordan being known for a blend of tradition and modernity, the question of appropriate clothing appears naturally.
You surely don’t want to attract people’s attention for being dressed inappropriately, nor regret your clothing choice during a hike in Petra.
In this article, I’ll explain to you all you need to know about the dress code in Jordan for men and women, broken down by location and season, written by a local expert.
How Do Jordanians Dress?
Before I explain to you the dress code for tourists in Jordan, let me tell you how the locals dress.
Jordan is a country in the Middle East with a predominantly Muslim population. One of the key values is modesty. This applies for men and women alike. However, modesty doesn’t at all mean that people shouldn’t dress up and look good. You’ll actually see quite the opposite in Jordan. Same as in other parts of the world, people in cities often wear Western clothing while people in villages and small towns tend to dress more traditionally.
Jordanian women like to wear beautiful clothes, often colorful and with patterns or embroidery. You can see a mix of traditional and Western styles on the streets. As for men, many adhere to Western casual chic clothing. A jeans with a long sleeved dress shirt is probably the most common choice with Jordanian men. Short sleeve shirts (tshirts) are also very common among men and women. Regardless of gender, most people will cover their shoulders, cleavage and knees.
What to Wear in Jordan (as a Visitor)
As I mentioned above, most Jordanians dress modern yet modest. That said, as a tourist you absolutely don’t have to shy away from wearing beautiful clothes when visiting Jordan. The perfect clothes depend on multiple factors:
- Location: Where in Jordan are you going? The dress code largely depends on the place you visit.
- Time of your visit: When do you visit? In many places in Jordan, the climate is very different between summer and winter.
- Activities: What are you planning to do? Are you planning to do a lot of hiking vs. beach vacation?
Dress Code in Jordan (By Location & Season)
Below is a summary of the clothing I recommend for each location depending on the season.
Dress Code for Petra
Petra is the famous rock city in Jordan. It’s by far the most popular and most frequented tourist site in Jordan. You’ll see more tourists here than locals. That said, you can wear whatever you like.
Be prepared to do a lot of walking here (several hours a day). Petra has many gravel paths and many of the hiking trails involve stairs. I personally recommend comfortable clothes for Petra, preferably sports clothes. Hiking is certainly more comfortable in pants with breathable fabric than in jeans! You can also wear a beautiful dress in Petra if you’d like to get some pretty photos of yours. Sports shoes (no heels or sandals) are a must for Petra.
From spring to autumn, the weather in Petra is warm to hot. Winters can get chilly and it often rains in December and January. That said, bring along a hoodie or a jacket if you visit Petra during winter.
Dress Code for Amman
Amman is the vibrant capital city of Jordan. Amman truly is a blend of modernity and tradition. You’ll see locals wearing modern and Western clothing, while others dress very traditionally.
As a tourist in Amman, you won’t stand out with Western clothing. Jeans and tshirt are the best choice for both men and women. Since you’ll also do quite some walking, I recommend that you wear comfortable shoes.
While the weather in Amman is warm to hot from spring to late autumn, it can get really cold here during winter months. In most years, there will even be snowfall in Amman. That said, you should definitely wear long pants and bring along a jacket if you visit in winter. In early spring and late autumn (March and late October/November), it might get a little chilly during evening hours. If you feel cold easily, I recommend that you bring a light jacket with you.
When visiting King Abdullah mosque, you’ll get a black dress that you can wear over your clothes. Women have to cover their hair (head scarfs are provided too).
Dress Code for the Dead Sea
The Dead Sea is a popular place for bathing and wellness for locals and internationals alike. Most Dead Sea beaches belong to private resorts. You can totally wear Western swimwear (bikini) at the beach and pools. When walking around the resort, a dress or shorts and a tank top are totally fine. You won’t have to worry about revealing clothes when visiting the Dead Sea.
Note that this only applies to the resorts. Many of the public beaches are more frequented by locals, some of which are from villages and aren’t used to (Western) holidaymakers. Depending on what beach you visit, you might get some curious looks when wearing a bikini.
Dress Code for Aqaba
One exception is when you visit the old town of Aqaba. I recommend slightly more modest clothing here (don’t visit the city center in beach clothes, but wear a long dress or jeans and tshirt instead).
Dress Code for Wadi Rum
Wadi Rum is a desert located in southern Jordan. Deserts are known for their long, dry and hot summers. It usually gets really hot in Wadi Rum during summer and the UV concentration is high. That said, I recommend that you wear long and loose clothing to protect yourself from the sun.
Most people will do a jeep tour (often combined with camel riding) in Wadi Rum. Your driver will drop you at different stops, and you can walk up the sand dunes or climb a rock. That said, there is not much walking involved in Wadi Rum (not even close to the amount of walking in Petra). However, you should definitely wear comfortable shoes, preferably sport’s shoes to walk in the sand. Make sure to wear socks (to protect your feet from getting in touch with the hot sand).
What might surprise you is that it can get pretty cold in Wadi Rum during winter months. In fact, I’ve even seen snow in Wadi Rum! If you visit Wadi Rum in December, January or February, I definitely recommend that you bring a hoodie and a jacket. In early spring (March) and in late autumn (November) it can get cold at night, so you should bring a light jacket with you.
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