What To Buy In Jordan

what to buy in jordan
| 5 min read

Jordan is a pretty small country sandwiched between Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Israel, and the Palestinian West Bank. Jordan might be small, but it has a very interesting geostrategic location, being on the crossroads of Africa, Asia, and Europe. It has also seen its fair share of rulers since the Bronze Age. In the modern age, tourism is considered a staple to the economy in Jordan as there are over 100,000 different archaeological tourist sites, including the world-renowned Petra. If you’re taking a trip to the area and looking to do a little shopping, here’s a list of what to buy in Jordan.

1. Keffiyehs

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Florian Prischl used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Going by many names, the keffiyeh is a traditional Arab headdress, usually worn by men. Made out of a square scarf made from cotton, it is sometimes worn on the head as a means of keeping the sun, sand, and dust off the back of your neck. In Jordan, you’ll often see a red and white design. Not only is this version pretty, but the pattern is also of national importance to the country—the red color was introduced to the keffiyehs during British rule. Some Jordanian keffiyehs have tassels on the side that might indicate the importance and status of the wearer.

Visited this place?

2. Hand-painted ceramics

Source: Photo by user Dennis Jarvis used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Getting some hand-painted ceramics is a must when you’re around these parts of the world. They are easy to find at most bazaars and souks, but what makes Jordanian ceramics different from many others is that the clay is special, sometimes even made from water from the Dead Sea. The patterns and designs are always colorful and elaborate, with fascinating geometric spirals. Jordanians have been making these handicrafts for thousands of years, so why not bring a little bit of the culture back home with you.

Visited this place?

3. Locally made chocolate

Source: Pixabay

Everyone loves a little sweetness in their lives, so why not buy some locally produced treats. Often featuring local ingredients, Jordanian chocolate offer a lot of delicious options that are unique to different regions. Variations of locally made treats feature things like jellied fruit, dates, or nuts and are oftentimes made with goat’s milk instead of cow’s milk. Many local chocolatiers also use more natural sources for sweeteners instead of refined sugar.

Visited this place?

4. T-shirts and accessories from Jobedu and Mlabbas

Alaa Wardi
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Seena92 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Although it’s possible that they are pretty unknown in the West, Jobedu and Mlabbas are fan favorites in Jordan. These fun and quirky T-shirt shops are pretty ubiquitous around here, and although everything is in Arabic, the store employees will be more than willing to help you out. The store features funny shirts, sweaters, coasters, mugs, and posters. What the designers do is take existing sayings, pictures, and logos and reinterpret them for an Arabic audience. Make sure to ask someone to help you and explain the joke while you’re in the store if you don’t get it right away.

Visited this place?

5. Ajloun olive oil

Look for the cloudiness
Source: Pixabay

Although the Greeks and Italians might tell you that their olive is the best, Jordanian olive comes pretty close to being one of the best around. Indeed a bottle might fetch you a pretty penny, but once you try some Ajloun olive oil, you’ll understand why. Ajloun is an area in Northern Jordan known for its olives, and the freshly pressed stuff is what you’ll want. The olive harvest happens in the fall, and you’ll know the oil is freshly pressed by the cloudiness of the bottle.

Visited this place?

6. Local artwork

Darat Al Funun 72
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Tarawneh used under CC BY-SA 3.0

If you’re looking for a great idea for a souvenir, then checking out the local art scene is always a good option as you’re bound to find something, whether big or small, that will catch your eye. Amman, the capital, is a hub for artists in Jordan and even for other artists from other Middle Eastern countries. The neighborhood of Jabal Weibdeh is where you’ll find a lot of local artists as well as galleries. Note that while you can easily find galleries elsewhere in Amman, the area around Jabal Weibdeh offers more affordable works. As a tip, try to frequent cafes and studios as you’re also likely to find some really unique and inexpensive pieces there.

Visited this place?

7. Zalatimo Sweets

Making sweets
Source: Photo by user Empretec Worldwide used under CC BY-ND 2.0

Zalatimo Sweets makes a great gift to bring back home to loved ones—or maybe even as a little gift for yourself. Zalatimo Sweets is a local brand, and it has 11 shops around the city of Amman, including one in the airport. In case you need an emergency sweet snack or gift, pick one up before you hop on your flight. The great thing about Zalatimo Sweets is you get to choose the contents of your gift tin, and you can always come back to try something else.

Visited this place?

8. Jewelry

Tasbih of Silver
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Khalid Mahmood used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Jewelry always makes a great gift—either for a loved or even for yourself. If you’re looking for a unique gift that is emblematic of Jordan, do check out some of the local jewelers. Handmade options or more expensive ones are easy to find, depending on your budget. Find something unique like Bedouin-style costume jewelry that shows off elaborate designs and colors, a variety of metal pieces, and engravings.

Visited this place?

9. Spices

What to buy in Jordan
Source: Pixabay

Civilizations have come and gone in the name of the spice trade. Empires got rich because of spices, and Jordan was a place at the crossroads of all these great civilizations. Browse the markets and souks and take in all the amazing sights and smells of the local spices and, of course, bring some back with you. Sumac and za'atar are two quintessential spices you should pick up, and if you’re looking for a little something special for your dishes, try some salt harvested from the Dead Sea.

Visited this place?

10. Frankincense

Frankincense 2005-12-31
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user snotch used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

If you wish to go traditional in souvenir shopping, a great keepsake is Frankincense, popularized by the Nativity story in the Bible. Frankincense is known for strongly killing bacteria and mythically, a great ward off the evil eye. It’s said that Frankincense essential oil can treat dry skin and lessen the appearance of wrinkles and scars. It can also be bought in the form of perfumes, soaps, and other great beauty products, a great little token from Jordan to your favorite gal pals!

Visited this place?

11. Olive-oil soap

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Tommi Nummelin used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Beauty obsessed travelers, a great find for souvenirs, although a tad bit expensive is olive-oil soap. It’s said that olive oil made in Jordan has great quality and is commonly used in cooking and other beauty products. Many local beauty products sold in Jordan cosmetic stores and pharmacies sell olive oil soap as it is a popular beauty product among locals. Although it’s not exactly cheap, it’s a great find for those who are keen on trying new products that are organic. A few places to get yourself a bar or two is at Feynan Ecolodge or Wild Jordan shops across Jordan.

Visited this place?

12. Dead Sea Mud

Dead Sea mud_12IGD1156_Itamar Grinberg_IMOT
Source: Photo by user Israel_photo_gallery used under CC BY-ND 2.0

Another interesting find for those into skincare and beauty products is Jordan’s popular dead sea mud. Water from the Dead Sea is popular all over the world for its buoyancy, as well as its versatile skin healing properties. A popular ritual when visiting the Dead Sea is rubbing yourself with mud from the Dead Sea and washing it off with the buoyant waters. Worry not! Several souvenir shops in the area sell Dead Sea mud in bottles and are great skincare souvenirs for your friends and family to try out back home.

Visited this place?

Shopping in Jordan

Jordan is a very interesting place with a culture that is unique. The area geographically has made it so Jordan is on the crossroads of many ancient civilizations, which has certainly contributed to its longstanding culture. Whether you’re looking to splurge on yourself or pick up something more affordable as a gift for someone else, you’re bound to find something special and one of a kind here in Jordan.

Visited this place?
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.


Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our Privacy Policy for more information on how we use your data

Alex is a Canadian university graduate with degrees in English literature and History. He was born in Montreal and when he's not traveling he enjoys movies, video games, playing the drums and...Read more

 Want to contribute as a Local Expert?
Explore Jordan
Good things are meant to be shared!
Back to top
Visited any of these places? Click this button to activate our "Add a Tip" feature to share your experience.