Most of our trips to Jordan are mainly for one purpose: To experience the fusion between the past and the present. Almost all the cities in Jordan have been around since the beginning of time, including Amman, Petra, Wadi Rum, and Jerash, among others.
While many cities have been upgraded according to modern times, some have been preserved due to their unique architecture to promote tourism. One such city is Jerash.
The ancient city of Gerasa – modern day Jerash – is located in the north of Amman, and dates back to the Bronze Age, around 6500 years ago.
Unlike many of the key historical attractions of Jordan that lie in southern Jordan, such as Petra, Wadi Rum and the Red Sea, Jerash is a bit of a stand-alone attraction in the north. Because of its geographic location, it is often missed by tourists only making a short trip to Jordan.
So why should you plan a day trip to Jerash from Amman? What’s so important about it?
Histrocial Signficance of Jerash
If you’re travelling around Jordan, a trip to Jerash is something you wouldn’t want to miss at any cost. And the best way to get to Jerash is via Amman. But before we tell you how to travel to Jerash from Amman, let us tell you a little about this ancient city.
Jerash (Gerasa) was once a thriving city with a population of almost 20,000. But a few years down the 3rd century, it was invaded by the Persians and then the Muslims, after which it began to decline. The final blow was an earthquake that destroyed most of the city.
The abandoned city got buried under the sand as the years went on. It wasn’t until 1806 that a German traveller discovered part of the ruins. In 1925, the ruins were excavated, and the buried city of Jerash was rediscovered.
It has stunning collonaded streets, public squares, theatres, baths and fountains, and hilltop temples that have been well-preserved and reflect the extravagant lifestyle of the people who once inhabited this city. It is one of the largest and best-preserved Decapolis cities in the Middle East.
So, plan a day trip to Jerash from Amman if you want to take a sneak peek into history!
Distance from Amman to Jerash
Jerash is located towards the north of Amman and is at a distance of almost 50 kilometres if you take Route 35. However, if you go via Al-Urdon Street, the distance increases by a couple of kilometres to 52 kilometres.
It takes almost 45 minutes to go from Amman to Jerash and vice versa (but this is very traffic dependent). This short distance makes a day trip to Jerash possible, as you have ample time to get there, visit all the important sites, and return to your accommodation in Amman.
But how to travel to Jerash from Amman? Let’s have a look at all the possible options.
Transport Options for Visiting Jerash from Amman
If you’re looking for a day trip to Jerash from Amman, below are the various transport options to help you get there and back.
Amman to Jerash via Taxi
Two types of taxis operate in Amman: Yellow cabs and white cabs.
If you take a yellow cab, you will have to hail them from the street or order one via your hotel. These cabs take you to Jerash and back and cost around 40 JD for the whole trip (make sure they turn the meter on!!)
On the other hand, if you take a white cab to Jerash, you’ll have to wait for it to fill up. The white cab takes a maximum of 4 passengers from one place to another; therefore, it’s a good idea to take this cab if you’re travelling with friends and are on a budget.
Amman to Jerash via Bus
One of the cheapest options to get to Jerash from Amman is via bus. It costs only 1 JD per person for a one-way ride and takes around 45 minutes. You can get a bus from the North Terminal Bus Station (Tarbarbour) in Amman – noting though this is not in the centre of the city, you may need a taxi or Careem to get to your starting point still.
However, the Amman to Jerash bus timetable is quite random, as there is no specific timetable! The bus waits for the passengers to fill in and leaves once the capacity is full.
Note you do not need to go all the way to the terminal in Jerash; you can get out at Hadrian’s Arch to make a shortcut to the ticket office.
Likewise, for your return journey, also 1 JD per person one way, but when will it actually leave? Your guess is as good as ours!
Amman to Jerash via Private Driver
If you’re visiting Amman for the first time, and budget is not an issue, hiring a private driver to visit Jerash is a good idea. With this option, you can choose a vehicle of your preference based on the number of people. You can get well-maintained, air-conditioned cars with professional drivers who know their way around the city.
Self Drive to Jerash from Amman
If you love travelling, most importantly road trips, self-driving to Jerash from Amman is also a good choice. You can rent a car from one of Amman’s hundreds of international and local rental companies.
It costs around JD 25 to 30 per day; however, as it’s only a day trip, it is a pocket-friendly option. But, the cost can go up a few JDs if you rent a large vehicle that can accommodate more than 4 passengers.
Make sure to read all our tips for self-driving in Jordan before deciding on this option; you will need a fair degree of patience and driving skills to tackle the traffic in Amman!
Amman to Jerash Tours
Another great option to visit Jerash from Amman is joining a tour group. You will find many tour groups that take you to Jerash and guide you about the famous ruins. However, as the trip is relatively short, most tours also include other nearby sites.
For instance, they will take you from Amman to Jerash, then onward to Aljoun Castle and Umm Qais. The prices for group tours are highly variable depending on whether its a private or open group tour and the number of stops you will be making.
Entrance to Jerash
At the time of writing, entrance to Jerash is JOD10 for foreigners or included with your Jordan Pass.
Staying in Jerash
While Jerash is perfect for day trips, you can also stay overnight if you’d like to extend your stay in the area and avoid travelling back through Amman peak hour traffic. Here are some family-friendly options in the area:
1. Jerash Hills
Jerash Hills are family-friendly apartment units situated just 2.7 km from the ruins. They offer free Wi-Fi, parking, a garden, and a terrace with a view. You can also get a unit equipped with a kitchen on request.
2. Jasmine’s House
Jasmine’s House is a family-friendly apartment with 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, and a living room. It is centrally air-conditioned and has a fully-equipped kitchen. It is located 2.5 km from the Jerash ruins.
3. Moon Valley Site
If you’re travelling with your family, including kids, and are looking for self-catering accommodation, the Moon Valley Site is a good option. It is situated just 1.7 km from the ruins, and each room has a fully-functional kitchen, dining table, and a flat-screen TV.
Frequently Asked Questions Travelling Amman to Jerash
Exploring the ancient city of Jerash takes around 3 to 4 hours. Therefore, 6 hours in Jerash are more than enough to walk around, grab a bite, and take amazing pictures amidst the Roman ruins.
The entrance fee for the Jerash ruins is 10 JD. This includes the entrance to the archaeological museum too.
In April and May, the operating hours of Jerash are 8 am to 5:30 pm. From June through October, the hours are 8 am to 6:30 pm, while from November to March, the timings are from 8 am to 4 pm.
The early inhabitants of Jerash were Christians. That’s why we can find the ruins of at least 14 different churches in the city, built between the 4th and 7th centuries.
More Reading Planning Your Trip to Jordan
When you’re planning a family trip to Jordan, you may also be interested in:
- Our classic 5-day Jordan road trip itinerary – tackle all of the highlights of Jordan in a circular trip from Amman
- Best Wadi Rum Desert Camps for families – where to stay in Wadi Rum for the best family-friendly experience
- Tips for Taking Kids Floating in The Dead Sea – trust us, you’ll want to know these important points before taking your kids to the lowest pint on earth!
- When is the best time to visit Jordan? – Ideally time your Jordan trip for the best weather and events during the year and understand the impact of religious holidays.
- What is appropriate to wear in Jordan? – Dress code advice for men, women and children with our suggested packing list
Jordan Guide Book
For a first-timer looking to visit Jordan, we can highly recommend you download the Step Into Jordan Guide & Itineraries.
This handy digital guide is just $19.99USD and includes:
- An interactive downloadable map
- 36 detailed pages of planning guidance
- Multiple suggested itineraries (10, 7 and 3 days)
- Tips from an expert
- Accommodation recommendations
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