If your family is looking for a unique travel experience, head to Jordan. Located in the Middle East, the country borders the Red Sea, Israel, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, and Iraq. The country offers a mix of religion and cultures, historic sites, and fabulous food. We’re sure you will find plenty to do in Jordan with teens.
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Family travel in Jordan with Teens
Start in Amman
Amman is a popular starting point for an epic adventure in Jordan. It is a sprawling city full of hills and well, traffic. It can be a pain to get around, but isn’t traffic an issue in most big cities? Before you begin an adventure in Jordan, spend one day in Amman and explore these things to do with teenagers.
Explore Ancient Sites
For those who like ancient history, the Amman Citadel is the perfect place to start. For those that are interested in the local vibe, head to Rainbow Street at night and enjoy endless cups of tea and shisha like the locals.
The Amman Citadel is one of Amman’s most recognizable landmarks and stands in downtown Amman atop Jebel Al-Qala. It is the perfect spot to start your day in Amman. The Amman Citadel is home to the remnants of Hercules Temple, a museum, the Ummayad Palace, and a Byzantine Church.
The cost to visit is JD2 (USD3) per person. Expect to spend an hour at the site if you wander slowly or hire a guide.
If you have a taxi drop your family at the entrance of the Citadel, after you visit, you can walk down the steps and end up across the street from the Roman Theatre.
The Roman Amphitheater in Amman is physically cut into the side of the hill as you will have seen from the citadel above. The large and steep structure could seat about 6,000 people. It was designed in such a way that the spectators were largely protected from the sun.
The theatre was restored in the 1950s. Take the time to pop into the small museums, the Folklore Museum & the Museum of Popular Traditions located on site. The cost for the Roman Amphitheater is JD2 (USD3) per person.
Take a Jordan Food Tour with teens
Jordan has delicious cuisine and what better way to learn all about it than by taking a food tour! Amman food tours have a couple of tour options in downtown Amman.
One includes the Citadel and Roman Theatre before walking to the old downtown and the other one is an evening food tour.
Whichever you choose, come hungry as you will be treated to 10 drinks, snacks and dishes including a visit to Jordan’s most famous restaurant and your fill of popular street food dishes!
Shopping in the Old Downtown
If you choose not to take the food tour, make sure you spend some time wandering downtown. The old part of the city has a fruit and vegetable market where many locals still shop today. They prefer the personal interaction of small vendors to the grocery store feel.
There is also a gold souq which is the perfect place to shop for engraved necklaces. A popular Jordanian souvenir is a necklace with your name written in gold.
Visit the Jordan Museum
Lonely Planet describes the Jordan Museum as one of the best museums in the Middle East. The museum shows Jordan’s history from the first people to the famous Nabateans who built Petra to modern Jordan.
Inside the museum is the oldest-known human statue and some of the Dead Sea scrolls. Entrance fees are JD5 per person.
See New Amman
Amman is a contrast of old and new. It boasts Samsung phone shops all over town but still has a feel of old culture and tradition. However, in Al-Abdali, beautiful highrise hotels and a modern open-air mall are part of a large project known as Abdali Boulevard.
It is the largest mixed use urban development in Jordan. If shopping in Jordan is something your teens would enjoy, stop in at the mall.
There are also other large malls in Amman including City Mall and Taj Mall. These multi-floor shopping centers have a mix of shopping and entertainment. They are popular with young people who enjoy going out to eat and socializing with their friends.
Stay up Late in Amman
Amman has a late-night vibe that is perfect when traveling with teens. Sweet shops and coffee shops are typically open past midnight with families milling about (even with young children). This evening social activity is central to life in Amman.
Coffeeshops see groups of young people drinking cup after cup of tea and enjoying shisha late into the night. While you do not often see groups of older women out late, you will see men out having coffee and tea with friends.
For the younger crowd friendship groups are a common way to socialize. Dating is not part of the culture in Amman so going out in groups is the way the make bonds and friendships that often lead to engagement and marriages.
When you visit Jordan with teens, it is interesting for them to see how other young people interact and how there are so many similarities, but also differences.
Rainbow street is one of the popular places to see the Amman nightlife. Whether it is enjoying tea from a roadside vendor or dinner in a local restaurant, you will find the streets full of locals and tourists, late into the night.
It is full of souvenir shops by day and bustling coffee houses at night. If you wander the neighboring streets you can still find some old villas.
Cars, Trucks, and Mars Rovers at the Royal Automobile Museum
Teens who like cars will love a stop at the Royal Automobile Museum. It houses 70 classic cars and motorcycles from the personal collection of King Hussein. It also includes the Martian Rover from the movie “The Martian” starring Matt Damon, which was filmed in Wadi Rum.
Day trip to the Dead Sea
A Dead Sea Day trip is a must when you are in Jordan. Just 45 minutes away from Amman by car, it can easily be done in a day. You can rent a car and drive, or go by taxi, or on a tour. While traffic in Amman is very busy, driving in Jordan is the best way to see the rest of the country
The Dead Sea is 420 meters below sea level and is the saltiest body of water in the world. It is known for its healing properties and is also a lot of fun! But beware, splashing the salty water in your eyes can be a very painful experience! My son went under the water and his eyes were burning!
To have the best experience in the Dead Sea spend a night at one of the beachfront hotels. This allows you to enjoy the sea as much as you want, and use their pools and shower facilities! If you are short on time, a lot of hotels offer day passes.
Want to make planning your trip to Jordan as stress-free as possible? This Itinerary for Jordan and Guide Book offers multiple itineraries and tips from an expert on where to go, how long to stay there and what you should not miss when you visit Jordan (including Petra and Wadi Rum).
When to go to Amman Jordan
Spring and Fall are the best time to go to Jordan overall. Even though it can be difficult to visit Jordan with teens during the school year, try for spring break or Thanksgiving week.
The weather in Jordan is quite pleasant but might be hotter or colder than you think. Make sure you pack layers as mornings and evenings can be cool but the sunny days quickly get warm.
Where to stay in Amman Jordan
Amman has all kinds of accommodations from small hostels to five-star hotels. Taxis are cheap and the easiest way to get around. Choose a hotel with a pool to give kids some downtime.
Ready to plan your trip to Jordan? Be sure to grab your Jordan Itinerary!
About the author: Whether you are looking for inspiration or education, you are sure to find it here on Carpe Diem OUR Way. With her boys in tow, Lindsay Nieminen, creator of Carpe Diem OUR Way, shows off the best family holidays, whether close to home or a non-traditional family travel destination!