Skip to Content

20 Fun Things To Do in Aqaba, Jordan

A Guide to the best things to see in Aqaba, Jordan: A Guide with Top Aqaba Tips

Are you looking to experience the unforgettable beauty of Aqaba, Jordan?

From snorkeling in the Red Sea to exploring historical ruins, there is something for everyone in Aqaba!

Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or just looking to relax and enjoy nature, Aqaba has much to offer its visitors.

In this blog post, I’ll take a look at some of the best things to do in Aqaba, which was actually the last city I visited when I travel Jordan.

Hey! Don’t forget to grab my free Aqaba Insider Checklist below!

Explore the best things to do in Aqaba, Jordan. Located at Red Sea, Jordan, Aqaba has some of the best beach resorts in Jordan, lovely diving sites and Aqaba beaches. Read more about the best food & shopping. #aqaba #redsea #jordan #visitjordan
Like it? Pin it!

You, dear reader, support this blog. When you purchase through a link, I may earn a small commission. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Pssst…!!?? You can’t get enough of beautiful Jordan? Have a look at my other articles:

Practical Information for travel to Jordan

✈ Book cheap flights to Jordan with Skyscanner 

✔ Book your tours in Jordan with GetYourGuide

➳ Find the best hotel deals in Jordan with Trivago

❖ Get the best car rental deals with DiscoverCars

☘ The best discounted outdoor gear (outlet) at

✎ Never leave without travel insurance. I get mine at HeyMondo. It’s easy to set up, cheap, and reliable.

$ I withdraw money without hidden fees and avoid exchange rates with Wise (you’ll get a free card on top)

⚘ Get a travel guide in order to prepare your trip. I used the Lonely Planet Guide – Jordan

Things to do in Aqaba, Jordan: What to See & Experience

1. Visit Aqaba Old Town

a closeup of a dome tower of a mosque, things to do in aqaba, jordan, red sea, wadi rum day trip, petra day tour, resorts, ayla oasis, souk, shopping, egypt, beaches, luxury
Sharif Al Hussein Bin Ali Mosque

Sometimes, the best things in life are for free! A stroll through Aqaba’s old town or Old Town Aqaba will give you plenty of impressions and experiences that won’t cost you a dime! Or a diner!

I loved wandering through the streets of Aqaba’s center, doing some window shopping in Aqaba, and exchanging a few words with the locals (“Welcome! Where do you come from?”)

However, I invite you to include shopping in its marketplace and small shops!

There are plenty of them, and it would be to spend 10 days in Jordan or any Middle East country without visiting a traditional “Aqaba souk.”

There is a wide variety ranging from spice and herbs shops to local Jordan souvenirs, clothes, or incense stalls.

Needless to say, I fueled up on tea, infusions (black cinnamon tea!), scarves, and jewelry.

As Aqaba is part of the special economic zone, prices are more competitive.

However, you should still try to negotiate prices. That’s part of the authentic souk experience. It’s a must of any shopping in Aqaba experience.

The main areas for shopping at the souk and strolling through Aqaba city center are the winding streets around Sharif Al Hussein Bin Ali Mosque. It’s one of the main things to do in Aqaba, Jordan.

Other Souks:

  • Raghadan Street: Fruit & vegetable markets
  • Zahran Street: Spice souk

Check Aqaba tours now.

2. Sweet Pastry Shopping

a closeup of pistachio baklava, things to do in aqaba, jordan, red sea, wadi rum day trip, petra day tour, resorts, ayla oasis, souk, shopping, egypt, beaches, luxury
Pistacho Baklava

Stocking up on local pastry is a must when visiting Aqaba! There are a few pastry and sweet shops. You’ll thus have a hard time choosing where to buy your Arab sweets.

Why don’t you try all the shops and decide afterward which was your favorite? Indeed, the recipes vary from shop to shop!

Some of the most coveted spots for traditional sweets are Abu Gharbiya Sweets and Pistachio Sweets & Café. I think in 3 days in Aqaba, I visited Pistachio 4 times. 🙂

It’s heaven for those among you who have a sweet tooth or for those who just want to try the local food.

From the moment you step in, you’ll be blown away by their colorful variety of Arab sweets!

And they prepare lovely smoothies too! For many, Pistachio Sweets & Café has the best sweets and is the best bakery in Aqaba.

It’s the perfect occasion to indulge in kunafeh (a popular pastry dessert made of fried cheese, drenched in syrup, and sprinkled with pistachios).

It’s very sweet! But still, you should also try some of the nut pastries.

I never saw so many pistachio cakes in my life! All of them are the perfect match with any tea you can buy at the souk! In my opinion, it is one of the best things to do in Jordan.

Pistachio Sweets & Café: Al Hammamet AL Tunisia St

3. Visit the old settlements

landscape view of a beach with palm trees on a sunset, jordan 10 day itinerary, what to do in jordan, things to do in jordan, petra, aqaba, jordan hotels amman, jerash, dead sea, spa, luxury hotels, wadi rum, diving, hiking, treasury, amman, jerash, dead sea, spa, wellness, luxury
Sunset in Aqaba

Aqaba is not all about shopping! If you are interested in history and architecture, Aqaba holds a few gems for you!

Unluckily, you really need to search for these historical gems, as much of Aqaba town is newly built.

The most important historic Aqaba places to visit are the following:


Ayla was the first settlement of Aqaba and was the first Islamic town built outside the Arabian peninsula. Unfortunately, it was destroyed by the Crusaders’ and Bedouin’s attacks.

The remains of the old settlement were only re-discovered in the 1980s and considered one of the best places to see in Aqaba.

Consequently, the ruins became one of the most popular of Aqaba’s attractions and one of the best things to do in Aqaba.

You can still spot the city gates, a mosque, marketplaces, and much more if you visit.

Located a stone’s throw from the Aqaba city center, Ayla ruins are a must of every Jordan holiday and are one of the main Aqaba attractions.

Mamluk Castle

Mamluk Castle is one of the most important historic sites in Aqaba and is also known as Aqaba Fort or Aqaba Castle.

The fortress was originally built by the Crusaders in the 12th century, and after its destruction, it was rebuilt by Mamluk Sultan.

The fort is located next to the huge flagpole close to the Corniche (beach walk).

The castle became once again the setting for historic events when it became the backdrop of the great victory in the Arab Revolt which was also depicted in Lawrence of Arabia.

The fort is close to the Aqaba Archaeological Museum, an Aqaba must-see, not only for history buffs.

4. Diving and Snorkeling in Aqaba

things to do in aqaba, jordan, best things to do in aqaba
Snorkeling in Aqaba

Aqaba is world-famous for its top diving and snorkeling sites. Located on the coast of the Red Sea, Aqaba attracts divers from around the world who want to enjoy its gorgeous underwater world.

Thus, make sure to add this to your Aqava to-do list and bring your action camera

Despite climate change and global warming, the corals and underwater life in the Aqaba Gulf are expanding and getting more diverse over the years.

However, the biggest threat to this precious underwater world still is human beings and pollution.

I was shocked by the number of motorboats in the gulf and the trash on the public beaches!

I hope that soon measures will be taken in order to preserve this treasury that attracts people from around the world.

Book here your “clean the ocean” snorkeling tour

The unique ecosystem of the Aqaba Gulf counts on more than 1000 fish species and 240 coral species. You’ll also be able to spot turtles or snappers.

Due to the clear and calm water conditions, many travel to Aqaba in order to get their PADI certificate in Scuba diving.

Many schools in Aqaba offer courses for beginner, intermediate, and advanced divers.

I heard really good things about the dive club at Berenice Beach Club! Book here your diving experience in Aqaba.

There are over 25 dive sites in Aqaba, and some have been enhanced artificially by introducing shipwrecks, tanks, or plane wrecks.

This makes diving in Aqaba even more enjoyable. Thus, make sure to bring your action camera!

Some of the most popular dive sites and the best snorkeling sites in Aqaba are:

  • Wreck of Cedar Pride is probably the most famous dive site in Aqaba. The 80-meter-long cargo ship is the highlight of this site!
  • Blue Coral in Tala Bay
  • The tank and Seven Sisters (with a sunken American tank)
  • Yellowstone Reef in Tala Bay
  • Rainbow Reef North

Book here your diving experience in Aqaba.

5. Beach Time in Berenice Beach Club

sunset by a beach club, things to do in aqaba, jordan, red sea, wadi rum day trip, petra day tour, resorts, ayla oasis, souk, shopping, egypt, beaches, luxury, snorkeling, diving
My Happy Place in Aqaba

The Berenice Beach Club was my favorite place to hang out in Aqaba.

This beach in Aqaba, is located only 15-min drive from Aqaba downtown, and it’s the perfect place to relax and spend some quality beach time.

Many consider it the best beach in Aqaba, offering a pristine and serene environment unlike any other.

Close by, the Souk by the Sea Aqaba adds to the area’s charm, providing a unique shopping and cultural experience.

So, why should you opt for a private beach club instead of public beaches in Aqaba?

First, I found the main beach of Aqaba quite dirty and loud. There were tons of people and countless motorboats.

On top, it is not recommended to wear a bikini. You should at least wear a T-shirt above your swimsuit.

Boasting warm temperatures even in winter, I’m sure you’ll want to spend some time on the beach. For a perfect beach day in Aqaba, I recommend the Berenice Beach Club.

I spent 3 days in a row here, as it’s the closest you can get to paradise: crystal-clear water and breathtaking views of Egypt’s mountains.

It’s great, tasty food, several swimming pools, a wide offer of water sports and animation…

The entry fee is 10 JOD (14$ or 12€) and includes a towel, sun loungers, and discounts on water sports.

For 5 JOD, you can rent a snorkel; the beach club even has its own diving center! Prices are thus really competitive! Berenice Beach Club is getting increasingly popular and is planning to expand.

The Berenice Beach Club has a shuttle that takes and brings you from Aqaba (15 min of a scenic drive).

There are several beach clubs in Tala Bay, 15 minutes from downtown Aqaba, but Berenice was the best regarding the services offered, the cleanliness of the beach, the tasty food, and the atmosphere.

Tala Bay itself is a coveted destination for its beaches. Located only 15 minutes from Aqaba, people love it for being calm and away from the buzz in Aqaba.

Check here the best Tala Bay Aqaba Hotels

6. What to do in Aqaba at Night and Souk by the Sea

a display of spices and herbs in a souk, things to do in aqaba, jordan, red sea, wadi rum day trip, petra day tour, resorts, ayla oasis, souk, shopping, egypt, beaches, luxury, snorkeling, diving, spices
Spice and Herbs Shop at the Souk

I loved Aqaba’s nightlife! That doesn’t mean that I spent my nights dancing out in the clubs… I cannot recommend any dance club in Aqaba because I haven’t visited any!

So what to do in Aqaba, Jordan at night, if you’re not a club kind of person?

It’s at night when the bars, the restaurants, and the terraces fill up.

The city gets very lively, especially in Aqaba downtown souk, and there is such a positive, young atmosphere in the streets.

Aqaba by night is a truly magical experience, with the city’s lights creating a vibrant ambiance.

You’ll smell tons of enchanting scents, music everywhere, and happy giggles. There are plenty of restaurants to choose from, and you’ll be tempted by a shisha after dinner.

Shops are open until late, so you should consider a shopping spree at night.

One of the highlights of things to do in Aqaba at night is the Souk by the Sea.

This lively market is a street event that takes place every Friday night in downtown Aqaba.

The market features over 50 local artisans, Jordanian food and drinks, music, and much more. This is thus a great occasion to support the local community.

I bought many souvenirs at the Souk by the Sea, such as jewelry, bags, scarves, and (more) tea.

The souk creates an opportunity for local artisans to show their products and manage their small businesses.

I found it also a great opportunity to get in touch with the locals, as most of the artisans spoke great English and were very interested in your background.

I don’t recommend bargaining as the prices at Souk by the Sea are fair, and the vendors have been coached on marketing and pricing.

You may end up staying longer in Souk by the Sea as there will be music, food, and an energetic atmosphere.

Jordan Travel GuideJordan Travel GuidePower Plug Adapter TravelPower Plug Adapter TravelThe Promised Land: A Spiritual Journey Through Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, and TurkeyThe Promised Land: A Spiritual Journey Through Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, and TurkeyNike Adult JordanNike Adult JordanSafe Sunscreen SPF 50Safe Sunscreen SPF 50Power Bank Wireless ChargerPower Bank Wireless Charger


7. Eat out in Aqaba, Jordan

cooked fish with lemon, fries, and vegetables on a plate, things to do in aqaba, jordan, red sea, wadi rum day trip, petra day tour, resorts, ayla oasis, souk, shopping, egypt, beaches, luxury, snorkeling, diving
Lunch in Aqaba

The restaurants in Aqaba are famous all over Jordan for its fish! Eating out is a must on every list of places to visit in Aqaba.

While eating out in one of Aqaba’s numerous restaurants, you should absolutely try the typical dish from Aqaba: Sayadieh Fish!

It’s a dish of grouper served in a tasty sauce with caramelized onions and peanuts. They usually serve rice with it.

The best places to eat Sayadieh are “Captain’s Tourist Restaurant” or the “Ocean Restaurant” in Aqaba.

Are you wondering where to eat in Aqaba or what the best restaurants in Aqaba are? Well, there are numerous restaurants, and here’s just a short list of the most popular ones:

  • Captain’s Tourist Restaurant: A Classic! A great place to eat out, informal, serving traditional Jordanian food and fresh seafood. 
  • Ali Baba Restaurant: The most popular place to eat out for tourists. The place is a classic for decades and serves seafood on its large terrace. Ali Baba Restaurant, Al-Raghadan Street, Aqaba,`Ammān, Jordan. +96232013901
  • Al Shami: This place is very popular among locals and offers traditional Jordanian food and tasty mezze platters. Al Shami, Al-Raghadan Street, Aqaba, Jordan. +96232016107
  • Ocean Restaurant: Famous for its fish and seafood platters! There is a wide range of dishes to choose from and everything was very tasty. This is a more formal place to eat, but still not too formal! 100 Manara Street, Aqaba Jordan
  • Baba Za’atar: one of my favorite places to eat in Aqaba! They serve a type of pizza (Zaatar naan) that is irresistible! On top, they have naan with Nutella… a killer dessert! Al-saada street, Aqaba 77110, Jordan

8. Have fun at Ayla Oasis

a woman on her back looking at a marina by the glass terrace, things to do in aqaba, jordan, red sea, wadi rum day trip, petra day tour, resorts, ayla oasis, souk, shopping, egypt, beaches, luxury, snorkeling, diving
Indulge in Aqaba

Ayla Oasis is one of the biggest projects in Aqaba and it will put Aqaba among the top (luxury) travel destinations in the Middle East.

Located on the border with Israel, the redevelopment project aims to add 17 kilometers of beachfront to Aqaba.

Ayla Island is also home to the prestigious Hyatt Regency Aqaba Ayla Resort, which is one of the best places to stay in Aqaba.

The scenic retreat is nestled amidst mountains and turquoise lagoons; the resort boasts a spa, a gorgeous infinity pool, a beach club, and much more. They even offer sunset yoga free of charge!

For all golf lovers, one of the best things to do in Aqaba is to visit the golf course in Ayla Oasis. The Ayla Oasis is home to a few beach clubs and Jordan’s first green golf course.

It’s supposed to be the most eco-friendly golf courses in the world. The marina will welcome the jet-set and in the marina village, you’ll enjoy a luxury shopping experience.

Ayla Oasis was still under construction during my visit. However, some of the beach clubs, the marina, and the golf course were already operating.

Ayla Oasis will be the place to enjoy some laid-back holidays in Aqaba with a luxury touch.

Book a stay at Hyatt Regency Aqaba Ayla Resort.

9. Walk the Aqaba Beach Promenade

palm trees lined by the beach with a town far away, things to do in aqaba, jordan, red sea, wadi rum day trip, petra day tour, resorts, ayla oasis, souk, shopping, egypt, beaches, luxury, snorkeling, diving
Al-Ghandour Beach, Aqaba

The Beach Promenade of Aqaba, known as the corniche should also be on your what to see in Aqaba, Jordan list.

It’s the perfect place for long strolls along the sea and for people-watching. Several merchants sell sweets and local goods.

Thus, walking the Aqaba beach promenade is really an activity to forget about time. At night, people bring music, and some might even dance.

Even though there are several beaches in Aqaba downtown, most of them belong to luxury hotels such as the Intercontinental, Kempinski, or Mövenpick.

The beach promenade of Aqaba stretches along the Al-Ghandour beach to Al-Hafayer Beach, parallel to King Hussein Street.

It will lead you to the Arab Revolt Plaza and the Al Hafayer Park, which hosts Aqaba Castle.

However, I don’t recommend taking a swim here as the water seems very polluted, and bikinis are not recommended on public beaches in Jordan.

Strolling along the Corniche is one of the top things to do in Aqaba, Jordan. It’s free, and it will be perfect to learn more about the daily grind in Aqaba.

On top, the sunset with tea from the Corniche was a memorable experience.

Aqaba Port Jordan, close to the Aqaba beach walk, is yet another highlight to visit on a walking tour in Aqaba. There is nothing more entertaining (for me, maybe?) than watching boats.

Check stays in Aqaba hotels.

10. A glass-bottom boat tour (or not!)

two boats anchored in the sea during a sunset, things to do in aqaba, jordan, red sea, wadi rum day trip, petra day tour, resorts, ayla oasis, souk, shopping, egypt, beaches, luxury, snorkeling, diving
The Glass-Bottom Boats Tours of Aqaba

The Corniche of Aqaba is also the place where most of the legendary glass-bottom boats depart.

Apparently, they are an institution in Aqaba, and it’s one of the most popular things to do in Aqaba. Also, among the local population!

If you wonder what to do in Aqaba, Jordan, a tour with a glass-bottom boat is on top of the list for one day in Aqaba!

I have to admit that I didn’t go on a glass-bottom boat tour from Aqaba downtown but from Tala Bay.

As the Berenice Beach Club hosts a wide range of water sports and it’s close to some of Aqaba’s most prestigious diving sites, I decided to take the ride from Tala Bay.

They even had snorkeling gear onboard!

Glass-bottom boats are a great opportunity to explore the beautiful underwater world of the Aqaba Red Sea if snorkeling or diving is not your thing.

There are different types of glass-bottom boats, and you should make sure that the glass surface is wide (and clean) enough to see anything.

The glass-bottom tour was a great experience to see the underwater world. However, it’s not eco-friendly at all!

Honestly, I was disgusted by how much fuel was pumped into the seawater and how other boat drivers raced carelessly…

If I’d known before, I don’t think I’d done it as it’s a major threat to Aqaba’s gorgeous underwater world.

Book here your diving experience in Aqaba.

11. Mingle with the locals on Asaba Street

things to do in aqaba, jordan, red sea, wadi rum day trip, petra day tour, resorts, ayla oasis, souk, shopping, egypt, beaches, luxury, snorkeling, diving, a hand holding a fruit juice infront of the camera with fruit displays at the back
Pistacho-banana-avocado smoothie

Somehow, the atmosphere in Aqaba was different from what I experienced doing things to do in Amman, Jerash, or Petra.

Being a coastal town and open to the waterways, a synonym for commerce, new influences, and cultures, Aqaba felt like any town in the Mediterranean.

As you might know, long walks at night and strolling through the streets at nightfall are one of the most established activities in Mediterranean towns. Well, the same happens in Aqaba!

At nightfall, tons of people from all generations gather in the street in order to enjoy milder temperatures. They meet up for a shisha, a snack, or for shopping.

So, where to go in Aqaba for people-watching? My favorite place to stroll around and pop into shops was Al-Saada Street. It was crowded, full of smells and music! Just my kind of place to be!

There are plenty of juice stands in the old town, and it will be hard to resist!

12. Visit Aqaba Fort

an old fort with a door and a tower

The Aqaba Fort in Jordan dates back to the 14th century and has been beautifully preserved, making it a must-visit destination for history buffs and cultural enthusiasts.

To get there, take a short stroll through the winding streets of the old town and prepare to be awestruck by the stunning architecture.

From atop the fort’s ramparts, visitors can take in breathtaking views of the Red Sea and the surrounding mountains.

Make sure to visit the museum exhibits that showcase artifacts and relics from Aqaba’s rich history.

Pro tip: If you’re looking to avoid the crowds, visit early in the morning or later in the day.

Check Aqaba tours now.

13. Explore the Aqaba Archaeological Museum

closeup of a person brushing an artifact doing archaelogy

If you’re looking to discover the rich cultural landscape of Aqaba, visiting the Aqaba Archaeological Museum should be at the top of your list!

This immersive museum showcases Jordan’s extensive historical legacy with fascinating artifacts and engaging exhibitions.

From ceramics and coins to weapons and mosaics, the collection explores the region’s diverse cultural heritage, including ancient Nabataean, Roman, and Islamic periods.

Visitors can even take part in guided tours and workshops, making it a must-visit for anyone eager to delve into Jordan’s rich past.

The interactive exhibits and educational displays keep visitors engaged, ensuring an unforgettable and informative experience.

Don’t miss your chance to learn more about Jordan’s rich cultural heritage.

Jordan Travel Guide 2024Jordan Travel Guide 2024vimate Green Travel Scarfvimate Green Travel ScarfSkechersSkechersQuiksilver Straw Sun HatQuiksilver Straw Sun HatTravel Neck PillowTravel Neck PillowBAGSMART Toiletry BagBAGSMART Toiletry Bag


14. Relax on the beach

things to do in jordan, hiking to wadi mujib near dead sea, jordan, a woman walking by the beach with a mountain on the background
Hiking near Wadi Mujib, Dead Sea, Jordan

If you love the sun, sand, and sea, Aqaba’s beaches are not to be missed!

With crystal-clear waters, a gorgeous sandy beach, and exciting coastal amenities, it’s easy to see why Aqaba’s beaches are a traveler’s favorite.

With a range of water sports available, from snorkeling and scuba diving to jet-skiing and parasailing, visitors of all ages can enjoy the water activities on offer.

Some of the most popular beaches in Aqaba are South Beach, Tala Bay Beach, Coral Beach, Al Raha Beach, and, of course, the Berenice Beach Club.

Don’t forget to indulge in the local cuisine, like freshly grilled fish and succulent kebabs, to complete your beach experience.

Pro tip: Ladies, be culturally respectful and avoid bikinis on Aqaba’s beaches. Keep them for the private beach clubs.

Book entrance to Berenice Beach Club.

15. Visit the Aqaba Islamic Ayla City

ruins of an old city on sand with houses at the back

A visit to the Aqaba Islamic Ayla City is a must! This ancient city dates back to the 7th century and is steeped in history and culture.

You’ll be transported back in time as you explore the city’s beautifully preserved architecture, which features stunning Islamic motifs and mosaic floors.

Don’t miss the chance to visit the city’s museum, which exhibits artifacts from Ayla’s rich past.

Take a stroll through the bazaar, where you can shop for souvenirs and trinkets and indulge in the local cuisine, like shakshuka or mansaf.

16. Aqaba Marine Park

blue fishes on the ocean swimming

If you’re into marine wonders, Aqaba Marine Park is your dream destination. 

So, imagine a place where vibrant coral reefs dance with an array of fish, creating an underwater spectacle that’s nothing short of magical.

That’s Aqaba Marine Park for you! It’s like stepping into a living, breathing aquarium.

Now, what sets Aqaba Marine Park apart is that it’s not just a random snorkeling spot.

It’s a protected area, carefully curated to ensure the health and sustainability of the underwater ecosystem. 

So, whether you’re a water baby or someone dipping their toes into the underwater world for the first time, Aqaba Marine Park – the ultimate souk in Aqaba – is an absolute must-visit.

Book here your “clean the ocean” snorkeling tour

17. Visit Lawrence’s Spring

Pick out what to wear in Wadi Rum for your next trip, large rock canyon with green bush in the foreground

Now, if you’re a history buff or just someone who loves a good hike with a side of tales from the past, these Aqaba activities make this spot a must-visit.

So, who’s Lawrence, you ask? Well, T.E. Lawrence, also known as Lawrence of Arabia, left his mark in these very mountains.

Head to the spot, and you’ll find a spring named after him – a cool touch of history in the middle of nature’s embrace.

The journey there is like a mini-adventure itself, offering a variety of exciting activities in Aqaba. As you hike up, you’ll be surrounded by stunning vistas of the Aqaba region.

Now, Lawrence’s Spring isn’t just any ol’ spring – it’s got a story. Legend has it that Lawrence used this very spot to water his troops during the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire.

And let me tell you, the vibe is serene. It’s not just a hike; it’s a journey through time. As you reach the spring, take a moment to soak it all in.

So, if you’re up for a bit of history, a bit of hiking, and a whole lot of natural beauty – activities in Aqaba that you can’t miss – Lawrence’s Spring should be on your checklist.

18. Take a Cooking Class

2 pans on with soup being cooked, with a woman holding a ladle on one hand and an ingredient on the other

Ditch the chef’s hat and spice up your trip with a Jordanian cooking class!

Think beyond hummus and learn to whip up makloubeh, a mind-blowing upside-down chicken and rice dish.

Roast peppers, blend spices and create the smoothest muhammara dip ever (perfect for pita-scooping fun!).

Local experts will guide you through these culinary adventures, and by the end, you’ll be devouring your creations with fellow food lovers.

It’s one of the best activities in Aqaba that you can’t miss!

19. Aqaba Bird Observatory

Close up shot of three small brown birds sitting among the thin branches of a tree with small green leaves

If you’re into feathered friends, this is your ticket to bird-watching paradise – Aqaba Bird Observatory, a prime location for Aqaba sightseeing and one of the top Aqaba tourist attractions.

Now, what makes this place extra special is the migratory birds. Depending on the season, you can witness flocks of these winged wonders making pit stops during their epic journeys.

The variety of birds is mind-blowing. From elegant flamingos to graceful herons, it’s a birdwatcher’s dream come true.

And guess what? You don’t need to be a pro birder to enjoy this spot.

The atmosphere is super chill, and there are usually some friendly locals or bird enthusiasts around who are more than happy to share their binoculars and birdy knowledge.

If you’re lucky, you might even catch a bird of prey making a majestic dive or witness some fluffy chicks taking their first flights.

20. Horseback Riding

horse back riding paulina travel blogger, a woman riding a white horse

I’ve got a horseback riding tale to share, and trust me, it’s a ride into the heart of Aqaba’s desert magic – one of the famous places in Aqaba.

It’s truly a must-visit among tourist attractions in Aqaba.

Whether you’re a seasoned rider or a total newbie (like me), there’s something truly special about exploring the desert on horseback. 

You feel this incredible connection with nature as you and your trusty steed navigate the sandy trails. It’s like you’re in sync with the rhythm of the desert wind.

Now, you’ve got options. You can join a guided tour, where the friendly guides will lead the way, sharing tales of the desert and pointing out hidden gems. 

Or, if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, you can rent horses and be the captain of your desert voyage. 

And let’s talk about the horses. These magnificent creatures are like the desert’s four-legged ambassadors. 

They know the terrain like the back of their hooves and add a whole new level of magic to the journey.

So, whether you’re a cowboy at heart or just seeking a unique adventure, saddle up and let the Aqaba desert be your playground. Trust me; it’s a ride you won’t forget.

Check Aqaba tours now.

More things to see in Aqaba, Jordan: Day Trips

1. Day Trip to Wadi Rum from Aqaba

things to do in wadi rum, best bedouin camp in wadi rum, desert camp, from petra to wadi rum, aqaba wadi rum, jeep tour, camel tour, hiking, climbing, a woman posing in the dessert
Wadi Rum Sights

Now, if you’re a history buff or just someone who loves a good hike with a side of tales from the past, these beautiful places in Aqaba make this spot a must-visit.

Spending your Jordan holidays in Aqaba has one considerable advantage!

You’re very close to some of the best attractions in Jordan. Indeed, Aqaba forms together with Petra and Wadi Rum the so-called “Golden Triangle”.

As Aqaba is not too big, you’ll have plenty of time to organize day trips to Wadi Rum and Petra.

Wadi Rum was one of the highlights of my 10 days in Jordan.

The landscapes are unlike anything I’d seen and the Bedouins, the local community were so warm-hearted that I didn’t want to leave.

Book here your tour from Aqaba to Wadi Rum

I highly recommend spending a night in a Bedouin desert camp as it will allow you to get a unique insight into Bedouin culture.

Some of the classical Wadi Rum tours are the Jeep tour, a camel trekking tour, or hiking in Wadi Rum. Indeed, Wadi Rum is home to some of the best hiking trails in Jordan!

Related: Things to do in Wadi Rum.

2. Day Trip from Aqaba to Petra

jordan 10 day itinerary, what to do in jordan, things to do in jordan, petra, aqaba, jordan hotels amman, jerash, dead sea, spa, luxury hotels, wadi rum, diving, hiking, treasury, a woman looking up exploring between large rocks
Spotting the Treasury of Petra for the first time

The ancient city of Petra is one of the highlights of any Jordan trip.

It is a must-do and I don’t think that your Jordan holiday is complete if you didn’t see the Pink City.

Visit Petra from Aqaba is thus one of the best things you can do to make your trip unforgettable.

Petra can easily be visited from Aqaba with an organized day tour.

Some operators even offer combined one-day tours from Aqaba to Wadi Rum and Petra.

However, I recommend, if possible, visiting one destination at a time. Petra and Wadi Rum are very different from each other and huge!

You can easily spend up to 2 days in Petra and 2-3 days in Wadi Rum.

Book here your tour from Aqaba to Petra.

It takes about 2 hours from Aqaba Jordan to Petra.

If you visit Petra, please consider the following tips:

  • Read about Petra before visiting. You’ll enjoy the visit more and the background of the Nabatean civilization is fascinating.
  • Consider visiting in low season (October – March) in order to avoid the crowds and unbearable heat.
  • Wear comfortable shoes: you’ll walk a lot! It takes 20 minutes to walk from the entrance to the Treasury and calculate 3 hours (including return) to visit the monastery accessible via 822 steps.
  • Bring food and enough water (min 2 l). There are great places for picnics, but please don’t litter! Some hotels offer lunch packages.
  • The viewpoints on the treasury are hard to reach and unless you’re a (very) independent traveler, they will be hard to find. We went without a guide following the steps to the High Place of Sacrifice. From here, up to the summit before hiking down a siq (canyon). The entire trail took us about 2 hours. There is a shortcut when you turn left from the Treasury. Many guides will offer their help to get to the viewpoint. As we went without and on a different trail, I cannot tell whether their services are useful or not.

Book here day tours from Aqaba to Wadi Rum and Petra.

Useful Travel Tips for things to do in Aqaba

Where to stay in Aqaba

things to do in aqaba, jordan, red sea, wadi rum day trip, petra day tour, resorts, ayla oasis, souk, shopping, egypt, beaches, luxury, snorkeling, diving, a woman in a dress facing the sea framed by walls
Hyatt Regency Aqaba Ayla Resort

Best Hotels in Aqaba, Jordan:

Budget Hotels in Aqaba

Taj Hotel ***
Yacht Hotel ***

Mid-Range Hotels in Aqaba

Lacosta Hotel ****
City Tower Hotel ****

Luxury hotels and resorts in Aqaba

Intercontinetal Aqaba *****
Kempinski Hotel Aqaba *****
Hyatt Regency Aqaba Ayla Resort *****
Mövenpick Resort & Residences Aqaba *****

You can either opt for a downtown hotel or a hotel close to the beach, thus more resort-style.

Aqaba is home to many luxury hotels and 5-star resorts that offer high-quality service and will make you feel like a queen or king.

I opted for the Hyatt Regency Aqaba Ayla Resort, which is located on the Ayla Oasis.

The scenic retreat is nestled amidst rolling hills and turquoise lagoons, the resort boasts a spa, a gorgeous infinity pool, a beach club and much more. They even offer sunset yoga free of charge! 

Read more about where to stay in Jordan and the best hotels in Jordan.

How to get to Aqaba:

Option 1

Aqaba has an international airport that was connected to Europe thanks to major low-cost airlines. Flights to Aqaba can thus be really cheap! Check the best prices to Aqaba airport here.

However, schedules and connections are subject to change. 

Option 2

Many visitors arrive in Amman, at Queen Alia International airport. From Amman to Aqaba, you can either opt for: 

Is Aqaba safe?

things to do in aqaba, jordan, red sea, wadi rum day trip, petra day tour, resorts, ayla oasis, souk, shopping, egypt, beaches, luxury, snorkeling, diving, things displayed in a counter with refrigerator display on what looks like a mall
Street Vendor in Aqaba

Yes! I didn’t feel unsafe for one single second during these 10 days in Jordan.

And Aqaba was no exception. Even though I was not traveling alone, I had some me-time where I was on my own and I didn’t feel uncomfortable at all.

That being said, we never went out of the town center. Okay, some Jordanians are flirty, but with a firm “No, thank you!” they get your point.

The extreme safety in Jordan, despite being surrounded by countries at war, is mostly due to the very severe penalties pending for those Jordanian citizens harming tourists.

So, yes, in retrospect, I would travel solo as a woman to Jordan and particularly to Aqaba.

Is Aqaba worth visiting?

things to do in aqaba, jordan, red sea, wadi rum day trip, petra day tour, resorts, ayla oasis, souk, shopping, egypt, beaches, luxury, snorkeling, diving, a tall building in a little by the desert
Port Tower of Aqaba

Besides being the only coastal city in Jordan, Aqaba has the largest population in the Gulf of Aqaba.

Located between the continents of Africa and Asia, Aqaba port has played a strategic role for centuries.

The city was ruled by the Byzantines, was under Latin Catholic rule, and was the setting of the Great Arab Revolt’s Battle of Aqaba, depicted in the film Lawrence of Arabia.

Aqaba has thus this bustling mix of cultures that characterizes many port towns.

However, many of its ancient monuments have been destroyed. I found that the main attractions of Aqaba were its beaches, the wonderful weather, its marine life, and nightlife.

It’s also interesting to note that Aqaba is a low-tax, duty-free town! You’ll find more liqueur shops here than anywhere else in Jordan!

Due to its status as Special Economic Zone, several mega projects have been built in the last years.

Some of them have the potential and intention to convert Aqaba into one of the top leisure travel destinations in the Middle East.

In total, I spent 3 days in Aqaba, which was perfect to develop a sense of the city. Due to its laid-back but still vibrant atmosphere, I ended up liking this place a lot!

Tours and Day tours from Aqaba

things to do in wadi rum, best bedouin camp in wadi rum, desert camp, from petra to wadi rum, aqaba wadi rum, jeep tour, camel tour, hiking, climbing, a mama camel and baby camel in the desert
Rakhabat Canyon

For activities, guided tours and day trips from Aqaba, I recommend GetYourGuide. Both have very competitive prices.

See below, the last point, for more day trips from Aqaba.

Aqaba City Map

map of aqaba jordan with attractions

Before You Go: Top Aqaba Tips for your Trip 

  • You’ll snap a ton of photos and I love to take my GoPro in order to shoot even in extreme situations. 
  • Make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and hiking sandals when traveling to warm countries. 
  • Sunscreen is key! I always take with me my eco-friendly sunscreen by Thinksport. 
  • I always carry a light rain jacket, just in case. 
  • Travel insurance is essential! If you haven’t already obtained travel insurance for your trip, travel protected against all odds with World Nomads.

To make the most of your Jordan trip, I recommend Lonely Planet Jordan

FAQ: Best Things to do in Aqaba Jordan

What are some of the best beaches in Aqaba, Jordan?

Some of the best beaches in Aqaba are Tala Bay, South Beach, Marsa Zayed,
Aqaba City Beach, Mövenpick Resort & Residence Aqaba and Aqaba Coral Beach.

What are some of the best restaurants in Aqaba, Jordan?

There are so many to choose from! Some of the best restaurants in Aqaba are
Al Fanar, Al Shatt Al Arab, Al Tawaheen Al Bahri, Al Wadi and Le Royal Aqaba.

What are some of the best hotels in Aqaba, Jordan?

In my opinion, some of the best hotels in Aqaba are InterContinental Aqaba Resort,
Movenpick Resort & Residence Aqaba, Aqaba Gulf Hotel, Mövenpick Resort Tala Bay Aqaba and Aqaba Hotel.

What are the best places to shop in Aqaba, Jordan?

Shopping in Aqaba is amazing! Here are some of the best places to shop in Aqaba: Aqaba Fort Souk, the Aqaba Mall, the Aqaba Special Economic Zone, the Aqaba Heritage Village and the Aqaba Port.

What are the best things to do in Aqaba at night?

Some of the best things in Aqaba at night are enjoying a sunset cruise on the Red Sea, visiting the Aqaba Castle, eating at a traditional restaurant, enjoying live music, relaxing at a beach and watch the sunset.

What to do in Aqaba for a day?

If you’re in Aqaba for a day, you might consider visiting the Aqaba Fort, snorkeling or diving in the Red Sea, exploring the Aqaba Heritage Village, visiting the Aqaba Marine Park, taking a boat ride on the Red Sea, visiting the Aqaba Museum and shopping in traditional souks.

What is Aqaba famous for?

Aqaba is famous for scuba diving and snorkeling, history and culture, relaxation, shopping, outdoor activities, and amazing sunsets!

What to visit in Aqaba?

In Aqaba, visit the Aqaba Fort, Aqaba Corniche, Aqaba Archaeological Museum, and Aqaba Marine Park for a historical, cultural, and marine exploration experience.

How many days in Aqaba?

The ideal duration for a visit to Aqaba is typically 2 to 3 days to explore its historical sites, enjoy water activities, and experience the desert landscapes.

What are the best tourist places in Aqaba?

The best tourist places in Aqaba include Aqaba Fort, Souk Aqaba, Aqaba Archaeological Museum, Aqaba Marine Park, and Wadi Rum for a diverse blend of history, culture, marine life, and desert landscapes.

samer bitar

Tuesday 5th of May 2020

Hello Paulina! Wonderfull overview of your trip to Jordan! Hope next time you will join trip with us. Have a good day!

Nina Atanasova

Wednesday 18th of September 2019

Hi there. First of all wonderful post and very helpful, many many thanks for sharing!!! Planning to visit Jordan end of October and wondering is it worth buying Jordan Pass if we book organised day trip to Petra? Once again thank you for sharing your experience!


Wednesday 18th of September 2019

Many thanks dear Nina for your kind comment. Yes, I absolutely recommend it as it also includes the visa fees to enter the country.

Karen R

Sunday 28th of July 2019

Hi there, Great article so thank you. Am thinking of going over Christmas - flight out on 24/12 return on 31/12 Will Tours/excursions to Wadi Rum and Petra be running do you think? Worth booking before I go orwhen I get there? Am a solo female traveller. Thanks for help


Saturday 3rd of August 2019

Hey! Many thanks for your kind comment. I don't see why tours shouldn't run... particularly as it is a Muslim country and the mentioned places are some of the most coveted places to see in Jordan :) I usually book upfront, I always get overwhelmed when everybody tries to sell me something when arriving to my destination. Enjoy a lot and let me know how it went.


Thursday 18th of July 2019

thank you sharing for this information its very helpful to me


Sunday 7th of July 2019

Question: You say you were 3 days in Aqaba. Was it during those days you went to Wadi Rum and Petra? Or could you fill your 3 days with other things in/around Aqaba? I'm wondering if 3 days is not to long when we would have already visited Petra and Wadi Rum earlier.


Monday 8th of July 2019

Dear Lucas, many thanks for your kind comment. I stayed 3 days in Aqaba as I really wanted to relax before heading home. I spent most of the time in the old town and in Berenice Beach Club. I also absolutely wanted to spend a night in Wadi Rum in a Bedouin camp. However, you can also use Aqaba as a base and explore Petra, Wadi Rum and Dead Sea from Aqaba. You'll find the tours recommended in the article. Let me know how it went!