Safety Tips for Solo Female Travelers in Jordan

How safe is Jordan for female travelers? We take a look at some of the best tactics for avoiding harassment.

Shares

Jordanians have a peaceful and respectful etiquette, yet it remains true that women's rights in the Middle East haven't come as far as in many Western nations. 

To some, travel to the Middle East conjures up images of western women being kidnapped and sold into slavery. That really only happens in cheap airport novels these days, but what is it really like for women, especially solo travelers in Jordan?

First things first, women can get low-level harassment anywhere. I witnessed it on a busy city main street in Australia just last week. For the record the young woman gave the cat-calling dweebs a very swift "free personality assessment".

Amman, the capital, is a very cosmopolitan city and very used to seeing tourists on the streets. The Jordanian women here are dressed stylishly and many choose not to cover their heads. Jordanians are also acutley aware of the importance of tourism to their economy. Those who work in the industry recognise that mutual respect and tolerance is important. They're also suffering a downturn in the tourism industry, visitor numbers in 2016 were half what they were just 7 years previously, and the government is working with its people to put their best foot forward.

Away from the big towns and the haunts of tourists, some less tolerant attitudes may prevail.

Get Help

You can see from the comments section below that there have been a variety of experiences from female travelers. Some of those experiences must have been extremely distressing, and are not to be dismissed as inconsequential.

In fact, World Nomads policyholders who have been subjected to harassment – or worse, actual assault – have access to counseling services through their policy. Just call our Emergency Assistance number, and we'll do what we can to help.

Jordan is serious about trying to curb levels of violence against women, and urges any women who feel that they have been harassed or are in a dangerous situation to call the police (phone number 191 or 192). And it doesn't have to be a life-threatening situation; if you're feeling threatened or are just lost, they'll happily come and get you.

Tactics for Avoiding Harassment

Dressing Appropriately

It's pretty well known that Jordan is not the place to wear a bikini top and short-shorts. The experienced female travelers I've spoken to say you should also avoid tight clothing and tank tops. Not to say you should wear a sack, but fitted tops covering the shoulders, capri pants or a skirt and leggings are practical, comfortable and will not draw attention to you.

Yes, it's your right to dress however you wish, but taking a stand on the issue with a small town official will (unfortunately) not help your case. All travelers should respect local customs, regardless of how out-dated you might think they are.

By the way, male travelers don't get away without a few dress rules! Shorts are not always appropriate – instead, try some cool cotton chinos, and never go shirtless – except at the beach or pool.

Safe to say the dress code – for all genders – should always be respectful.

Safety Tips

All travelers, not just women, should avoid accepting rides from strangers (read the comments below). Ask the reception at your hotel for a reliable taxi driver, or extra information on the safest methods of transport. 

While you can get alcohol in Jordan at hotels, restaurants, and bars in tourist areas, you're expected to keep your wits about you. Staggering down the street arm-in-arm with your best friend, singing at the top of your lungs, will draw unwanted attention.

Get a travel insurance quote for Jordan

You can buy at home or while traveling, and claim online from anywhere in the world. With 150+ adventure activities covered and 24/7 emergency assistance.

5 Comments

  • Momo said

    Jordan has one of the most wonderful scenery and great hospitality. We went by bicycle from Amman to Aqaba. But that was no fun. In each village, we were pelted with stones. A game of the young people. For whatever reason, and before you turn it fancier, that we were dressed incorrectly identified, or whether we wonder since we are the rich, traveling in such a country. And, we were truley not the only once people were throwing stones at..... Forget it!. Jordan is NOT safe!

  • pamela said

    Ok- Jordonians are amazing people- very forward but generally very safe- if you are woman here travel with a friend. You may get hit on allot!! However most of the time it is harmless. In taxis make sure you are not alone. At night walk with a friend especially in the bigger cities. It's a man culture- most of the women stay home. It is pretty safe respect their customs and traditions. VERY nice people in the north.

  • sam said

    Jordon is unique gorgeous country. As a young female traveler - travel with a buddy all the time. Lots of terrific people. Travel with a friend men are out all the time. women often stay home. the arab hotel has safe decent taxi drivers that can take you anywhere in the country. check the violence level from syria boarder. Jordons men are nice but VERY traditional. Some women have up to 8-10 kids they do not like it if you ask about how many kids they have and why. Also in the mens shops - men only buy mens clothes. I found the Jordians to be extremely helpful - if I asked one person on the street five people would answer my request. Do be carefull of some seedy old men once and while. Also- lots of scams from traders. Some bedwin are amazing others are not. Goodluck and happy travels.

  • Prio said

    I (female, looks Chinese) travelled in Jordan solo in December 2014. I love my whole experience there. Of course, there were uncomfortable moments among many many beautiful and warm-hearted moments.

    What could be uncomfortable:
    - Staring, but they were harmless. I found a head clothe helped me slightly.
    - Young male shopkeepers called me like calling a cat. I took them as a background voice.
    - Young men such as taxi driver or restaurant waiters asked if I have a friend (which, I think, they mean "boyfriend"). I said yes politely and stopped talking to them, also for other questions.
    - Donkey handlers in Petra park. Don't let them talk you into their business.

    Warm-hearted moment:
    - A father and son picked me up from the petra park entrance up to wadi musa. Yes, I know, it is not recommended. But the boy insisted and the father in bedouin dress looks reliable. Maybe I am wrong.
    - My day-trip taxi driver took me to a restaurant, ordered and paid for me first so that I got a local price, without he had any food.
    - I took a shared taxi in Amman by chance. Even though we did not understand each other much, the driver and other passengers sent me to my destination.

    Jordanians are very peaceful and helpful. Be careful in Petra park though, there are people want to rip you off too.

  • Sarah said

    Hi there,

    Would it be appropriate for an Australian woman to travel/volunteer/stay in accommodation with a group of men from the US with no other women? Would this be offensive? Would it attract unwanted attention? Has anyone experienced anything like this?

    Thanks 😊
    Sarah

Add a Comment

Browse by country

Country list

Sign up for the latest news, deals & opportunities.