Crossing from Israel / Jerusalem to Jordan when needing a visa on arrival

Nature
The wow factor for nature - does it show nature at its best? Doesn't need to be the wilder-beast migration or diving with hundreds of hammerheads. Rather make you pause as you realise just how awesome the natural world can be
N/A
Culture
How much does this experience showcase some of the better and finer things that us humans can offer? Sure, it can be ancient ruins and renaissance churches, but it can also be festivals or soaking up some of the great modern cities of the world
N/A
Fun factor/activity
Very simple - was it fun? This is usually linked in with doing some kind of activity - i mean, walking along some cliffs is nice, but paragliding from them, now that is fun. Its a vastly underrated factor in a truly great experience
N/A
Avoid the crowds
Big tour groups and being surrounded by loud fellow tourists can sap the life out of even the greatest of travel experiences. This score is to reflect just how much you can avoid this. But. . . The score also takes into account if the crowds actually add to the experience, such as with a party town or a bustling food market
N/A
World famous
How world famous is the experience?
N/A
unique
How hard is it to have a similar experience in other places round the world?
N/A
Overall Score
The highest score of nature or culture, + fun factor, + avoid the crowds, + the highest score of world famous or unique. Then turned into a score out of 100. More details at the bottom of the page
N/A *What the scores mean and where do they come from
continent
Asia / Middle East
country
Israel / Jordan
Length of time
1 day or less
Rough cost
Obviously people have different tastes, so this will depend on those tastes, but this is a rough idea of price of the whole experience based on 2 people able to split the accommodation costs and excluding travel there and back
$ 90
Time of year visited
January
Primary Tags
Click on any of the tags to see all travel experiences with the same tag
All Tags
RANKING
How this travel experience ranks compared to all the other experiences on this site
N/A/334 This travel experience's ranking compared to all the other experiences on this site
SUMMARY RATING:

Summary

  • There are three land border crossings between Israel and Jordan – one in the north (the Sheik Hussain Bridge crossing near Best Sha’an), one nearby Jerusalem (the King Hussain Bridge crossing) and one in the south (Wadi Araba crossing between Eilat and Aqaba)
  • Entering into Israel from any of these borders is super simple, although give yourself the extra time for the high levels of security
  • However, the problem is that Jordan do not grant visas on arrival at either the land crossing near Jerusalem (King Hussain Bridge) or the one in the south (Wadi Araba).  The only one you can get a visa on arrival at is the Sheik Hussain bridge, which means you have to do a bit of a detour if you’re trying to get from Jerusalem to Amman / Jordan King’s Highway / Petra / Wadi Rum etc
  • Fortunately, for many this detour isn’t too frustrating as you may be going that direction anyway to see the Roman Ruins of Jerash
  • Obviously if you have already arranged a Jordanian visa, then you can arrive via any of the land crossings
  • To get to the Sheik Hussein Bridge crossing from Jerusalem:
    • Get the 966 or 967 local bus from the Jerusalem Central Bus Station to Beit Sha’an.  They leave fairly regularly (like every 15mins or so), but have a look on google maps for all potential buses and timings – it was surprisingly accurate with timings.  Costs around 35 shekels and takes around 1.5 hours.  You can get the bus from some of the stops further north from the Central Bus Station (which we did), but you run the risk of not getting a seat – ours was full of Israeli military transiting so didn’t get a seat
    • From Beit Sha’an, there should be a taxi at the main stop (not a bus station, more just a stop).  40 shekels and around 10mins to the border with Jordan
    • If don’t fancy the bus, you can get a taxi from Jerusalem to the Sheik Hussain Bridge for around USD160.  Takes about an hour and a half
    • Give yourself around an hour to pass the border.  It should be straightforward but you need to get a bus to cross the 200m bridge and the Jordanian immigration is snail pace
    • As always in Israel, be aware of the sabbath (from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset) as no buses will be running then
  • There is very little on the Jordan side.  There is a foreign exchange counter but didn’t seem to be many local buses.  We arranged with one of the guys offerings tours in Jerusalem for a driver for USD180 for the day to take us from the border to Amman, via a day checking out Jerash, picking up food, stopping for photos etc.  Locals tell us can get it for USD150.  Well worth it considering the route to Jerash from the border will be quite indirect
  • Going to and fro between Jordan and Israel is fine re passport stamps etc.  The Israelis don’t stamp your passport, instead they give you a paper card which you must keep with you on your stay in Israel, which avoids any entry issues with places like Lebanon.  Jordan do stamp your passport, but Israel have no issues with this

Experiences nearby

The below map shows experiences nearby with a colour that reflect the Overall Score of those experiences

Score Detail

Background - how many times have you asked someone what a travel experience was like and the response was "amazing" or "awesome"?  That response is nice to know, but it makes it hard to differentiate that experience compared to others.  That is exactly what these scores are trying to do - differentiate the experience by giving a score out of 10 based on 6 categories and then giving an overall experience score

This overall experience score is calculated by:  take the highest of the "Culture" or "Nature" score (1-10) + "Fun factor" (1-10) + "Avoiding the crowds" (1-10) + highest of the "Unique" or "World Famous score" (1-10).  Then convert into a score out of 100

Extra detail - the logic being that I find all of the 6 individual scores important, but I don't want to mark an experience down just because it doesn't cover both "Culture" and "Nature", or because it isn't both "World Famous" and "Unique".  Take the examples of Safari in The Serengeti and walking through Rome - they both appeal at opposite ends of the nature / culture spectrum, and you can have a fantastic time without needing to appeal to both sides.  So, their overall scores aren't penalized for their lack of one or the other, and I've done the same for "World Famous" vs "Unique".  But . . . I do think that the "Fun factor" of an experience is important, irrelevant of other factors, and so is "Avoiding the Crowds" (or where there are crowds that add to the experience).  So, both of these scores are standalone