If you're planning a trip to Jordan you're probably wondering what to pack. Now, while you might be looking for a list of specific items to bring (i.e. a wide-brimmed sun hat, sunglasses, comfortable walking shoes, etc.), Jordan is a predominantly Muslim country and you might also be wondering what type of clothing is culturally acceptable to wear.
What should I wear in Jordan?
Although Jordan is known as one of the more progressive countries in the Middle East, it's still a mostly Muslim country and conservative clothing is the norm. You don't need to cover yourself from head to toe, but the dress code is on the stricter side when compared to western countries like those in Europe and the United States. Dressing conservatively acts as a sign of cultural respect, which means walking around in a short dress or shorts above the knee generally wouldn't be acceptable.
When you're out in public, you should aim to cover your shoulders and knees at the very least, and midriffs and cleavage should never be on show. Tops that don't cover the shoulders are classed as underwear in Jordan, not so much in the capital city of Amman and other tourist hubs, but it's better to be on the safe side anyway. Remember to dress modestly when visiting sites of religious significance or else you may be denied entry.
As well as being culturally appropriate, you'll soon find that covering up with long, loose-fitting and lightweight layers is not only a great way to keep cool but also to stay protected from the sun and insect bites – it's warm and sunny all year round in Jordan and the sun can be intense. Wearing shorts can also be seen as disrespectful, so opt for long pants instead.
Dress codes are generally stricter for women than men, and many female travelers choose to wear a headscarf like the local women. Jordanian women who don't wear a headscarf usually tie their hair up instead, so you may wish to do this as well, particularly when visiting religious sites.
Overall, Jordanian people are extremely friendly and hospitable and if you respect the local culture and customs, you'll be welcomed with open arms (and plenty of Bedouin tea!).
Packing list for Jordan
As a desert region, Jordan can have extreme weather. Temperatures are generally hot with little rain and this can become extreme during the summer months between June and August. From December through March it can be very cold, particularly out in the desert where night temperatures can plunge to sub-zero. Even in the hot months, it can get cold in the desert at night. Consider bringing a sleeping bag, thermals, scarf, woolly hat, gloves and a warm jacket for travel in this period, especially on itineraries that include camping in Wadi Rum.
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