Top 25 Things To Do In Aqaba, Jordan - Updated 2024

things to do in aqaba
Mathew
Mathew 
Contributing Writer
Updated
| 11 min read

Aqaba is a scenic port city on the Gulf of Aqaba, where it was first inhabited in 4000 B.C, and it is home to the Islamic-era Aqaba Fort and the adjacent Aqaba Archaeological Museum. It has since then been a haven for tourists, featuring beach resorts popular for water sports such as windsurfing and scuba diving. Apart from water sports, there are other recreational activities while visiting this city that will give you a perfect unwinding experience. And to have a more immersive and local experience, nothing quite gets parallel to the experience offered by the Airbnb vacation rentals in Aqaba. They are also strategically placed and serve as great gateways to attractions and adventures. For your next holiday, check out this list of the top things to do in Aqaba, Jordan.

1. Dive at Aqaba Marine Park

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Jordanian waters teem with marine life, featuring hundreds of species of fish and types of coral formations. If you wish to immerse in the country’s captivating underwater wonders, you must visit Aqaba Marine Park. With a deep commitment to preserving the marine biosphere for future generations, this sanctuary invites you to indulge in the warm and crystal-clear waters of Aqaba’s southern coast.

Spanning 7 kilometers (4.35 miles) in length, the park boasts 19 diving sites, each fully equipped with facilities to facilitate any diving pursuits. Guests can enjoy the free beach entrance, camp under the stars, or embark on thrilling adventures like snorkeling, swimming, and glass boat trips.

Aqaba Marine Park

Address: Aqaba 77110, Jordan

Website: Aqaba Marine Park

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

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2. Explore the Aqaba Archeological Museum

Aqaba-Museum Tall Hujayrat 06
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ana al'ain used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Discover the rich history of Jordan at Aqaba Archaeological Museum. Housed in the former residence of Sharif Hussein bin Ali, adjacent to the majestic Aqaba fortress, this museum holds a significant place in the nation’s history as a site where Jordan’s independence was negotiated.

Once the hub of government departments, it transformed into an archaeological museum in 1990. Delve into the captivating exhibits showcasing artifacts from excavated sites in the Aqaba district, spanning from the mid-7th millennium BC to the start of the 12th century AD. Among the items on display, of notable significance are the ceramic and steatite vessels unearthed from Islamic Ayla.

Aqaba Archeological Museum

Address: (AlHafayer Park) G2C2+JHG, Aqaba, Jordan

Website: Aqaba Archeological Museum

Opening hours: Summer Time, Sun - Thu: 8am - 5pm; Fri - Sat: 10am - 5pm / Winter Time, Sun - Thu: 8am - 4pm; Fri - Sat: 10am - 4pm

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3. Visit the historic Aqaba Church

Early church of Aqaba03
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Utilisateur:Bel A... used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Take a trip down memory lane with a scenic tour of Aqaba Church, which is a historic third-century church located in Aqaba, Jordan. It was discovered in 1998 by a group of archaeologists and it is considered to be the world’s oldest-known purpose-built Christian church. Tag your partner, family or friends for this exciting tour which will leave you mesmerized by the discoveries you will see!

Aqaba Church

Address: Ar-Rashid St., Aqaba, Jordan

Opening hours: 8am - 6pm (daily)

Price: 10 USD

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4. Marvel at the stunning architecture of Sherif al-Hussein bin Ali Mosque

Sharif Hussein Bin Ali Mosque
Source: Photo by user David Stanley used under CC BY 2.0

This is a gorgeous and beautiful gleaming white mosque named after the great grandfather of the emir of Mecca who proclaimed the Arab Revolt. It underlines the Hashemite lineage of the current king directly back to the Prophet Mohammed who is a great Icon.

Visiting this site is one of the best things to do in Aqaba at night as the building looks really impressive when illuminated with glowing lights. The outer courtyard is usually used for socializing after prayers, which is such an amazing place to relax.

Sherif al-Hussein bin Ali Mosque

Address:Mosque in Aqaba, Jordan

Opening hours: 5am - 10pm (daily)

Price: 7 USD

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5. Awaken the history buff in you at the Ruins of Ayla

Ayla06
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user fr:Bel Adone used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

The expectations of what to see in Aqaba in terms of historic sites are high since it comes with a storied past. And Ayala City is a great showcase of this immemorial significance. The city was the first Islamic city outside the Arabian peninsula and it was built around 4000 BC. The early Muslims built a special mosque and the governor’s home, and also the tribal residence! You will be blown away by seeing the remains of the city towers, gates, and the ruins of the mosque among other buildings.

This historical site has a lot of secrets that will leave you speechless. Walk down memory lane in these ruins and discover the ancient Arab life and the architectural designs that were used to erect these buildings. Enjoy a great tale of the rise and fall of this city as part of understanding the history of Jordan.

Ruins of Ayla

Address: K. Hussein St. 26, Aqaba, Jordan

Opening hours: 8am - 6pm (daily)

Price: 10 USD

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6. Savour some superb seafood at Red Sea Grill


Perfectly situated in the heart of Aqaba, overlooking the Red Sea, this restaurant gives you the perfect seaside unwinding experience. It boasts a mix of continental and local cuisines which will leave your taste buds yearning for more. The ambiance of this restaurant is a perfect haven to hold a romantic dinner or even an evening wind down with your friends after a long day of touring. Even better, the seafood in this place is to die for, with an amazing array of great selections from the house chef who keeps the kitchen alive! You will also get to experience the unmatched scenic sunsets of Aqaba, which you will all enjoy from the comfort of your table. Make sure to sample the various types of grilled goat meat which you will absolutely love!

Red Sea Grill

Address: K. Hussein St., Aqaba, Jordan

Website: Red Sea Grill

Opening hours: 7pm - 12am (daily)

Price: 10 - 60 USD

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7. Explore a wide variety of birds

Black winged Stilt..... ابو المغازل في مرصد طيور العقبة

Posted by ‎Aqaba Bird Observatory مرصد طيور العقبة‎ on Saturday, September 15, 2018

This bird sanctuary is an artificially created haven for a variety of species that use the area as a stopover on their way to the great bird migrations between Africa, Europe, and Asia. Birds usually form a majestic walking trail around the cluster of lakes, and in the winter, it is adorned with ducks and waders.

The most amazing thing about the bird crowds is complimented by the warm weather of this amazing place which attracts several varieties, some of which are rare to find. On a good holiday, you will come across the finest bird breeds that will put you in a frenzy.

Aqaba Bird Observatory

Address: Aqaba, Jordan

Website: Aqaba Bird Observatory

Opening hours: Sun - Thur: 8:30am - 3pm (closed on Fri & Sat)

Price: 7 USD

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8. Treat your eyes to a pleasant sunset at Palm beach Aqaba

A beach in Aqaba during sunset
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Makeandtoss used under CC0

There is something so majestic about this unmatched seaside destination. Get a picnic chair, stretch out and enjoy watching the ocean’s ever-changing moods at the Palm Beach. You’ll be spoilt for choice in and around this destination as you breathe in the fresh air and marvel at the birds at the Coral Beach Nature Reserve. Spending a few hours near water can be wonderfully relaxing as you enjoy the dolphin views and the scenic sunsets which will give you a great unwinding experience!

Palm Beach

Address: P.O.Box 111 Aqaba 77110, Jordan، Aqaba, Jordan

Opening hours: 9am - 6pm (daily)

Price: free

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9. Learn the art of making sea glass jewelry (from USD 71.0)

Learn about the pieces of jewelry which you can take home, the wire wrap pendant necklace. You will be taught how to use the various equipment and then the participants will choose the piece of glass to use. A craftswoman will demonstrate how a wire wrap pendant is made while the participants watch. You will be taught by the craftswoman on the skill of wrapping the wire using the tools available. The participants will practice doing the wire wrap on the practice glass and wire.

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Sea Glass Jewelry Making Experience

Duration: 60 to 90 minutes

1 review

10. Volunteer in a non-profit cause (from USD 68.0)

This is your chance to volunteer to work with a nonprofit organization, established for the sole purpose of generating compassionate love towards nature and animals and to provide the necessary services aimed at improving the local community. Aqaba dog shelter is always looking for volunteers to clean the local dogs rescued from the caves in the mountains. You will also have a great chance to adopt a pet if you are a pet lover.

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Aqaba Dog Shelter Conservation Experience

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

1 review

11. Sunbathe at Berenice Beach


Berenice Beach is situated in some of the most attractive snorkeling and diving areas of Aqaba, where it offers nature lovers access to the coral and marine reefs. This place truly captures the essence of the beauty of the Red Sea and it is perfect for sunbathing, beach sports, sea cruises, and coral reef snorkeling. Even better, this beach offers a perfect place to enjoy a great unwinding time with your family, friends or partners. This place is the epitome of a luxury holiday and unforgettable holiday memories which will make you want to come back again to relive them.

Berenice Beach

Address: P.o. Box 111 Aqaba 77110, Jordan، Aqaba, Jordan

Website: Berenice Beach

Opening hours: 9am - 6pm (daily)

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12. Learn more about the significance of marine life


Discover Marine Science Station Aquarium, Aqaba, and enjoy a live marine experience which will blow your mind away! Marine Science Station Aqaba is an Inter-university Research Institute located on the Gulf of Aqaba, founded in 1975, and it consists of researchers in the marine fields and they keep a fantastic array of sea life that you will be surprised to know their secrets. You will get to enjoy a great selection of marine life from sea urchins, goldfish, sardines, octopuses and various types of sharks that will blow your mind!

Aqaba Marine Science Station

Address: S Beach Hwy, Street, Jordan

Website: Aqaba Marine Science Station

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 8am - 4pm (closed on Sat & Sun)

Price: 10 USD

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13. Master a unique type of art (from USD 64.0)

This art is considered a very old form of art around the world. The city of Aqaba has been home to this unique art, since the early 1930s, and it has housed dozens of shops. While here, you will learn how the bottle sand art is made where you will get the chance to create your own bottle design guided by a local professional sand artist.

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Bottled Sand Art Experience

Duration: 60 to 70 minutes

14. Venture on a superb sightseeing tour

Aqaba castle - panoramio
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Alexey Komarov used under CC BY 3.0

Check out this amazing gem with a ton of secrets that will blow your mind away! Mamluk Castle was originally built by Crusaders in the 12th century and named Helim, and it was later recaptured by Salah Al-Din in 1187 where the fortress was destroyed. The friendly guards will be ready to help with information and direction that will help you maneuver the place as you learn more about this ancient gem. This is a trip you don’t want to miss out on, especially if you are a person who loves checking out historical sites.

Aqaba Castle

Address: Aqaba, Jordan

Website: Aqaba Castle

Opening hours: 8am - 6pm (daily)

Price: 7 USD

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15. Enroll in a cooking class (from USD 49.0)

If you’re eyeing to embark on enriching activities in Aqaba, why not join a cooking class? Learn how to make some local cuisines with the help of a local chef. You’ll get to know the secret of their ingredients and how to make them. Even better, you will be welcomed with an Arabian coffee and be briefed about the guide and lead the process of making the Sayadia or Bokhari.

You will finally get to test the final meals with the chefs as you engage in some great conversations which you will absolutely enjoy.

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Sayiadya local food Making Experience

Duration: 2 hours

2 reviews

16. Go on an Aqaba shore excursion (from USD 239.0)

Take a private full-day shore excursion to Petra, traveling past Wadi Rum and the Sharah Mountains by air-conditioned car or minivan. Arrive at this rose-red city, carved by the Nabataeans some 2,000 years ago. With the help of a local guide, you will walk through the Siq canyon to witness the Treasury, tombs, amphitheater and Roman street and learn about Petra’s history. Afterward, you will have the chance to enjoy lunch at a local restaurant as you unwind and relax.

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Aqaba Shore Excursion: Private Petra Sightseeing Tour with Lunch

Duration: 8 to 12 hours

53 reviews

17. Enjoy a majestic snorkeling experience (from USD 65.0)

Aqaba is a warm and inviting place to enjoy a perfect beach holiday adorned with palm trees and crystal clear waters of the Gulf. Enjoy a great Snorkeling tour, windsurfing, and a variety of other water sports as just some of the popular activities to enjoy while staying here. You will have a great experience of the dazzling undersea world which has some of the most spectacular coral reefs you’ll ever come across. The reef is made up of many-hued corals among which live schools of amazingly-colored fish.

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From Dead To Red Sea One Day Tour

Duration: Wheelchair accessible

18. Learn about an ancient art form (from USD 62.0)

learn about an ancient art form
Source: www.viator.com

Philography is an old Islamic Ottoman art which originated from Turkey to Jordan. It was common during the Ottoman era in this region, where they left behind many of the types of artwork that their descendants still seek to preserve. This art includes the skill of knitting with wires and nails, which some may think is a men’s art because of its tools, which consist of wood, hammers, Nails and colored fabric or copper wires. There are exhibitions all over the world, especially in the Arab and Islamic countries, where some of the traces left by the Ottomans are still found.

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Philography Islamic Art Experience

Duration: 60 to 90 minutes

19. Experiment fishing with the local fishermen (from USD 457.0)

experiment fishing with the local fishermen
Source: www.viator.com

Experience a fun-filled fishing trip which will take place in the southern shore where you will be able to do fishing using the traction method. After that, the boat will go to the beach where you may enjoy a dip and eat a local meal of the fish that was caught, and enjoy the golden sun and sand on the beach. You will also get to enjoy the King Abdullah marine reserve and swim over the cedar pride wreck ship and then head back to Aqaba.

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Fishing with a local fisherman

20. Pamper your taste buds with a delicious meal

pamper your taste buds with a delicious meal
Source: www.viator.com

Ramadan Iftar is the evening meal with which Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast at sunset at the time of the call to prayer for the evening prayer. This is their second meal of the day during which you will be taken to a local family to cook and experience Iftar, where you can enjoy the evening meal. Each year during Ramadhan, there are several types of special meals which you will really love, from the mixed platters to great meat stews which will treat your taste buds. Make sure to plan a trip to this city during Ramadhan and have an experience like no other as you observe the holy month full of treats and blessings.

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Ramadan Iftar with a Local Family

21. Get an adrenaline rush on a diving expedition (from USD 60.0)

get an adrenaline rush on a diving expedition
Source: www.viator.com

Have a mind-blowing diving session with a well-guided instructor who will ensure that you have the time of your life in Aqaba. This is one of the finest ways to observe sea life in this place, which is a great attraction to marvel at. From sea turtles to coral reefs, you will absolutely be mesmerized by the wonders you’ll see here. You will be picked up from the hotel straight to the beach, where you will get a pre-diving class before jumping into the sea. Make sure to carry your camera because this will be an epic trip to take some memorable pictures.

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Diving in Aqaba - Red Sea

22. Have an exciting buggy ride (from USD 60.0)

have an exciting buggy ride
Source: www.viator.com

Enjoy a scenic buggy ride in the neighborhood surrounds of Aqaba, with Aqaba Friends desert safari service which will facilitate the entire experience. There are various types of buggies available, powered by engines that provide thrilling speeds that will give you the ultimate scenic tour as you roam around the surrounding mountains and the canyons. You will have a great time learning more about the various trails as you enjoy the flora and fauna of this incredible town. Make sure to come with a camera because you will definitely want to take some great pictures to reminisce after the holiday.

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ATVs and Buggies

23. Embark on a thrilling hike on Wadi Araba Trail (from USD 303.0)

embark on a thrilling hike on wadi araba trail
Source: www.viator.com

Wander off to the natural wonders of Wadi Araba, located 70 km (43.5 miles) north of the city of Aqaba. It is characterized by a variety of rocks of different shapes and sizes, fantastic for hiking. This valley consists of colored rocks in the form of slopes, similar to the course of a dry river, which has been channeled into the mountains after hundreds of years of flow. The name of the Rainbow Valley is due to the color shades of its walls, with the mineral salts that draw lines on its sandy, limestone stones forming colors like orange, silver, gold, purple, red and yellow.

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Wadi Araba Hiking Trail

24. Indulge in the art of making traditional sweets (from USD 71.0)

Aqaba’s Hooh sweet dish consists of several layers of dough interspersed with nuts, butter, honey, condensed milk, molasses or cream. Here, you will go through an experience of making the original sweets of Aqaba even better, and you will have the chance to bake and eat it fresh. This is a plan you don’t want to miss if you are a sweet tooth!

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Aqaba Hooh Sweets Making Experience

Duration: 2 hours

25. Learn an amazing art of local baking (from USD 90.0)

You will be welcomed with an Arabian coffee and be briefed about the local cookie soon after, which you will go ahead to set up the kitchen and start the experience. The local chef will guide and lead the process of making the local cookies as you perform the process which is a very engaging and exciting art. You will get to make treats like the Arabian holiday cookies, which are one of the most important recipes in Jordan. There is hardly any celebration without local cookies, and this will be one of the great chances to learn how to make the perfect cookies once you go back home.

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Arabian bread and Aqabawi cookies baking Experience

Duration: 90 to 110 minutes

Explore Aqaba for a delightful vacation

If you are a traveler who is skeptical and wondering about what is there to do in Aqaba, Jordan, make sure to check out this list of activities for a truly fantastic holiday break away from the hustles and bustles of the city.

While in the country, why not extend the getaway to a nearby location? There are glamping spots in Wadi Rum, which is a protected desert wilderness just an hour away from central Aqaba, that can provide you with equally one-for-the-books experiences.

Frequently asked questions about the things to do in Aqaba, Jordan


Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Mathew Mulinge is a trained project developer and a mentor who loves traveling. In addition, he is an experienced outdoor adventurer who loves the thrill of venturing into mountains and outdoor...Read more

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