The following guide is updated as of 2019. If you have any more updated information, kindly, let me know and I will update it accordingly.
The Israeli – Jordan border crossing is one of the few overland borders in the Middle East which can be crossed. Jordan and Israel are not the best friends in the world but both countries signed a peace agreement some decades ago so, surprisingly, travel to Jordan from Israel (and vice-versa) is pretty easy and straightforward.
However, this is the Middle East, which means that there is a bunch of confusing rules you should know before crossing such a border.
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Things to know before crossing the border
Don’t trust any information coming from an official source – If there is something I learned after 3 years of living in the Middle East is that, when it comes to bureaucracy stuff, you can’t trust the local authorities. The Middle East is the most chaotic, changing and flexible region, I have ever been. This means that you should always take any information coming from any authority, including embassies, with a grain of salt.
For example, the Official Jordan Tourism board says that the Wadi Araba border doesn’t issue visas since January 2016. Well, this information is totally wrong, as I got a visa on arrival in April 2017. With this, I am not saying that my information is right and theirs is wrong but, at least, I try to keep this post updated based on information from travelers who crossed the border recently.
Border timings – All borders are open every day, except during some specific Jewish holidays. You can find a very detailed schedule here.
Israeli stamps – Israelis doesn’t stamp your passport anymore but, if you enter Jordan overland, the stamp says that you came from Israel. I strongly recommend you read my very updated post: Avoid Israeli stamps – FAQ.
Crossing with your own vehicle – Entering Jordan from Israel (and vice-versa) in your own vehicle is possible but, if you plan to do a road trip in Jordan with an Israeli car, you might find your windows broken on the next day, so it’s definitely not a good idea. Israeli people change their license plate to Jordanian one at the border.
Israeli visa – Most high GDP countries, including EU countries, the USA, Canada and Australia can get a free visa on arrival for Israel via any port of entry. If you are not sure about your passport, contact the Israeli embassy.
Jordanian visa – Like for Israel, most people can get their visa on arrival EXCEPT if you try to enter via King Hussein bridge, the only border that requires having a pre-arranged visa.
Being interrogated by the Israeli authorities – When you cross from Israel to Jordan, the Israeli authorities are pretty friendly and they don’t give you too much hassle. It’s when you enter Israel from Jordan that you may be interrogated for some time.
However, there’s nothing to worry about. Just answer their questions and you won’t have any trouble. Once, I entered Israel with stamps and visas from UAE, Lebanon, Iraq, Oman and Iran and nothing happened. However, some travelers have reported different experiences. Read more about it: Avoid Israeli stamps – FAQ.
Getting from the different borders to the cities – At all the borders, there will be taxis waiting for you. At the Wadi Araba / Yitzhak Rabin border, you are not allowed to go to Aqaba City by foot (3km). They claim it’s a military road but, in my opinion, they just say that, so you are forced to take a taxi.
Normally, the taxi fares are set at all the borders and you should find a signboard, saying the price of each destination, including Wadi Rum, Petra and places like that. However, one piece of advice: border taxi fares are fairly expensive. If you are on a budget, you should take a taxi to the nearest city and take a bus from there.
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You can pay by card at the border – According to two different travelers, it’s possible today to pay by credit or debit card at the different borders, at least at both Allenby and Wadi Araba borders.
Remember to have proper travel insurance for both Israel and Jordan. For this, I recommend you read: How to find the best travel insurance
Israel – Jordan border crossing: The rules in each border
For crossing from Israel to Jordan (and vice-versa) there are three open borders.
Which one should you go through? Well, each border has its own specific rules, so it will all depend on your time, money and final destination.
Jordan – Israel border crossing Map
1 – The Israel-Jordan border crossing at Allenby / King Hussein Bridge
This is the border located in Jericho, which is also very close to Amman.
How to cross from Israel into Jordan
- Very convenient if you are planning to go Amman and you are in Jerusalem or Jericho.
- Jordanian visa is not available on arrival, which means that you’d have to apply for it at the Jordanian Embassy in Ramallah. According to a German traveler who applied for it in March 2017, it costs 100USD and you get it at the moment.
- The Israeli exit fee is more expensive than any other border: 176ISL (50USD) vs 105ISL (29USD).
- It’s 220 kilometers from Petra and 320km from Wadi Rum, which means that it’s not the most convenient one if you’re going in this direction.
Important! If you fly into Jordan, enter Israel overland (from Jordan) and plan to re-enter Jordan again, you need to know that the visas issued at Queen Aila airport are only valid for one single entry.
However, one exception applies. You’ll be allowed to re-enter Jordan on the same visa ONLY if: you exit and re-enter from Allenby / King Hussein Bridge.
How to get to Allenby / King Hussein Bridge border (from Israel)
From Damascus Gate in Jerusalem, there are direct minibusses.
Price: 40ISL (1USD1) + 5ISL (1.40USD) for luggage.
Alternatively, you can travel to Jericho (Palestine) on a local bus (it’s only a couple of kilometers from the border) and stay there for 1 or 2 days.
How to cross from Israel into Jordan
- If you are planning to go to Jerusalem or Tel Aviv and you are in Amman, this border is really convenient.
- Unlike when you come from Israel to Jordan, the Israeli visa is available on arrival.
- If you spent more than 2 nights in Jordan, you will have to pay a departure tax of 10JD (14USD).
- If you are in Petra or Wadi Rum, this border is very, very far.
How to get to Allenby / King Hussein Bridge border (from Jordan)
A bus to the border costs 8JD (11.30USD) but be aware that the station is a bit far and a taxi costs 5JD (7.50USD).
Therefore, if you travel with someone else, it is more convenient to go directly by taxi the border, as the local price for a taxi is 26JD (36USD). Ask your hotel/hostel to arrange it for you.
Once you crossed the border successfully, the shuttle bus to Jerusalem costs 7.50JD per person plus 1.50JD per bag.
Read: A travel guide to Beirut
Where to stay in Jerusalem
Budget Hostel – Abraham Hostel – The most famous hostel in Israel is a massive building located at the heart of the Old City of Jerusalem. The owners are great and they organize all sort of activities: from endless tours to pub crawls and much more. This is one of the greatest hostels I have ever been.
Mid-range Hotel – Hotel Hashimi – A pretty cool hotel in the heart of the Old City with stunning views to the Dome of the Rock.
If you are looking for more fancy options, check this post: Where to stay in Jerusalem
Where to stay in Amman
Backpacker Hostel – Jordan Tower Hotel – Good for both backpackers and people who like to stay in a private room, this hotel has become a classic in Amman. Great staff, good breakfast and awesome location (in Downtown) are the reason why you should stay here.
Mid-range hotel – 7 Boys Hotel – A really good mid-range option that has hosted travelers from all over the world.
2 – The Jordan – Israel border crossing at Wadi Araba / Yitzhak Rabin border
This is the southern border, shared between the Israeli city of Eilat and the Jordanian city of Aqaba.
How to cross from Israel into Jordan
- At this border, there’s a FREE VISA available on arrival, with some exceptions (see below). They will give you the Independent Travelers’ Entry Manifest through South Wadi Araba Crossing Border”, which you need to keep upon your departure. It’s very important not to lose it.
- The Israeli exit fee is only 105ISL.
- Very convenient if you are going to Petra (130km) and also Wadi Rum (64km).
- It’s very far from Jerusalem and Amman (300km and 340km, respectively).
- There’s a FREE VISA but, if you are one of the exceptions, it can be really expensive.
Important information – You may have read from different sources (including the official Jordanian website) that they are not giving free visas anymore at this border. The truth is that they have been saying this since May 2017 but there is not a single traveler I know who has paid for their visa since then. As I told you at the beginning, you shouldn’t trust any official source but just facts from travelers. Further updates regarding this topic are more than welcome.
Exceptions: The visa is free but only if you plan to stay in Jordan for more than 2 nights.
This is what would happen if you stayed less than 3 nights:
- If you spend 1 night or less in Jordan and come back to Israel through the same border (Wadi Araba), you’ll have to pay a 60JD fee upon your exit.
- If you stay 2 nights and you also come back to Israel through the same border (Wadi Araba), you’ll just pay a 10JD fee.
- If you exit through a different border than Wadi Araba, you will always pay a flat fee of 10JD, regardless of the visa type and length of your stay in Jordan.
- Furthermore, if you leave Jordan by plane, you won’t have to pay any extra fee, regardless of how many nights you stayed there.
How to get to Wadi Araba / Yitzhak Rabin border (from Israel)
There are direct buses from Jerusalem Central Bus station to the Israeli city called Eilat.
I’m not sure about the price as I traveled there from Jericho but, from Jericho, I paid 60ISL.
Read: Lebanon 2-week itinerary
How to cross from Jordan into Israel
- Very convenient if you are already in Petra (130km) or Wadi Rum (64km).
- If you had entered Jordan through this border and spent more than 2 nights, you won’t have to pay any exit fee.
- If you had previously entered Jordan through this border and only stayed 1 or 2 nights, you may end up paying a lot of money.
- If you are in Amman, don’t use this border
How to get to Wadi Araba / Yitzhak Rabin border (from Jordan)
From Aqaba, you can take a taxi the border and, from Eilat, there are buses to many places around Israel.
Where to stay in Eilat
Backpacker Hostel – Almog Eilat Backpacker’s Inn – One of the most budget options in Eilat is a pretty cool, modern hostel.
Nicer – Palm Diving resort – Not a resort but a cool house with a garden that has really decent budget rooms. In fact, this is one of Eilat’s favorites.
Where to stay in Aqaba
Aqaba has great accommodation but it’s a little bit pricey and the cool places are meant to relax and stay, at least, for a few days, as they are right next to the beach. However, I do recommend staying in Aqaba for a few days and go snorkeling (or diving) in the Red Sea.
Beach Hostel – Darna Village Beach Hostel – One of the best-rated hostels in Aqaba and the most backpacker friendly. Darna is just 50 meters from the beach and the coral reefs.
Budget Hotel – Aqaba Roza – A very decent budget hotel located in a very central location. I would say this is a very functional place for those just transiting in Aqaba.
3 – Israel – Jordan border crossing at Beit She’an / Sheikh Hussein
This is the least transited border, located in the north.
How to cross from Israel to Jordan
- Visa is available on arrival.
- It’s very close to the Roman ruins of Jerash (50km).
- The Israeli exit fee is 105ISL.
- If your destination is Amman and you don’t have a visa, you should use this border, instead of Wadi Araba.
- You have to pay for the Jordanian visa, which costs 40JD.
- It’s so far away from both Petra and Wadi Rum. If these are your destinations, you shouldn’t enter through this border.
How to get to Beit She’an / Sheikh Hussein border (from Israel)
From Jerusalem Central bus station, there are daily buses (except for Shabbat) to Beit She’an (7km away from the border). Price: 42ISL. From here to the border, you will have to take a taxi.
The nearest city is called Irbid and taxis charge around 20JD. From there, you will easily find a public bus to anywhere in Jordan.
How to cross from Jordan to Israel
- Good if you are in Jerash
- To be honest, unless you are already in Jerash or somewhere in the north, there is no reason to use this border for entering Israel, as King Hussein bridge is much faster and more convenient.
These are the rules that apply on each border. I entered Jordan through Wadi Araba / Yitzhak Rabin border because it was visa-free. It was not the most convenient one for me, as my final destination was Amman (I had my flight to Pakistan on the next day) but, for 6JD ($9), I took a bus from Aqaba to Amman (5-6h). If you have any more up-to-date information or you think there is something wrong, let me know! Safe travels!
Don’t forget to read my travel guide to Palestine
As well as my guides to Lebanon
Would you like to travel to Syria? Read how to travel to Syria (Tips + Visa)
And here you can check all my guides to the Middle East
Going to from Israel to Egypt instead? Egypt – Israel border crossing
Also read: Things to do in Jordan