Having considered Jordan as a great destination to visit for its history, beautiful landmarks and incredible food. The next question you might have is can I drink alcohol in Jordan?
We have written a comprehensive guide to drinking alcohol in Jordan.
Things to know about drinking in Jordan
Alcohol is more expensive in Jordan – alcohol prices in Jordan
Alcohol prices in Jordan are more expensive than in the west. Jordanian wine will cost at least $14 a bottle from a liquor store. A large beer 500ml of around 8% will cost $6. Spirits like a generic vodka or rum 750ml will cost around $15. Branded alcohol like Smirnoff is upwards of $30 a bottle. However this option is your cheapest if you want to drink alcohol in Jordan.
Alcohol can only be purchased from liquor stores in Jordan
Liquor stores look like small corner shops located on main streets. (They are not tucked away or anything like that). They have green signage with a Heineken advert splashed across them. The staff inside are normally friendly and speak English well, but best to ask for prices first as we found there are a few rogue shops where the price was double what it should have been. Best way to find them is type liquor store into google and they’ll pop up. They accept card payments so no need for lots of cash.
You can’t drink alcohol out on the streets in Jordan
I know this might seem obvious to U.S readers where drinking on the street is not the norm. And in Jordan the same rules apply. Drinking outside in a public area is not tolerated and will be punished with a fine. I talk later in this article about bars with terraces later in this article.
Does Jordan have bars and pubs?
Jordan does have pubs and bars but they are only in certain areas. The largest collection in the country can be found on Amman’s famous Rainbow street. This long street has around 30 bars. Interested? You can read more about Amman here.
Other areas of the country do not have many bars and pubs away from the tourist sites. The vast majority of restaurants will not have alcohol on their menus, best to ask before sitting down if you can drink alcohol.
Jordanian alcohol – local beer Petra is strong and delicious
Petra the local beer in Jordan comes in various strengths. 8%, 10% and 12%. Yes the weakest is 8%! After spending several weeks drinking the stuff you’ll wonder how you will ever go back to drinking 5% stuff back home.
We also tried Jordanian wine which is produced in the north of the country. It’s a shame it is as expensive as foreign imported because it is good stuff. Hopefully it will become more popular in future.
Would Jordan make a good stag/bucks destination?
Alcohol seems expensive so would a stag/bucks party be out of the question? It’s a good question and we have written a whole article here if you are planning on coming with your party.
Does Jordan have any vineyards or breweries?
Jordan has two large vineyards Jordan Valley and St George’s. Trips from Amman can be booked where they will pick you up. More info can be found here. However they are quite pricey. For a cheaper option why not visit Jordan’s premier brewery Carakale, brewing unique beers such a Deadsearious.
Wine is sunlight, held together by waterGalileo
Which areas on Jordan can I drink alcohol?
Which areas on Jordan can you drink easily. The rules are different for each area. See below our thoughts across Jordan.
Amman – hit up Rainbow Street for the best bars
Can you drink alcohol in the capital or Jordan? Rainbow street is the best drinking spot in the city and the country. Bars line the street, although no actual drinking of alcohol will be visible from the street as you walk along. Although not comparable to the streets in Europe it will entertain for an evening. We tried a few bars but the two we would recommend are C.ling with its views and The Corner’s Pub with its minimalist design and private feel. Drinking in bars in Amman does not come cheap compared to Europe. A bottle a Jordanian wine will cost $35 and a beer $10.
Worth mentioning that some places on Rainbow street do happy hours, two for one up to 8pm. Can be a good money saver.
Aqaba – Jordan’s beach city and tax free alcohol zone
Aqaba city located in the far south of the Jordan on the coast operates in a tax free zone. Alcohol is typically 40 % cheaper here in liquors stores and bars than the rest of the country. Typically a Petra beer 500ml will cost $2 and a bottle of spirit $9.
Where are the good bars? You have two options, you could go to private beach club such as Berenice beach resort. Beers 500ml here cost around $6. Can you drink alcohol in the evening? You could head to the Yacht Club Marina where there are numerous bars and restaurants selling alcohol. A bottle of Jordanian wine will set you back $23.
Planning on buying and stocking up on alcohol here for the rest of Jordan? Be careful! In and out of Aqaba there are custom checks that will search your vehicle. We got stung by having too much alcohol and resulted us in throwing it into a bin.
The rules on Jordanian government website states that 6 small beers and a bottle of liquor per person is what is allowed. Not much right? Don’t get stung like we did, it was heartbreaking.
Interested in what do in Aqaba? We’ve written an article to help here.
Petra/Wasi Musa – relax at an Irish bar
After spending all day seeing one of the ancient wonders of the world you will want to kick back with a cold beer and reflect. We spent several nights at Kilkenny Bar located 200 meters from the entrance of Petra here:
This bar is one of two in the town, the other Cave Bar which is much more expensive. Kilkenny Bar has a good atmosphere and how you would imagine a Irish bar to look.
The beers are not cheap here at $8 a pop. However this is one of the few places to us that felt like a real drinking hole so the price was justified. They also allow you to do takeaway drinks, a novel concept if you want to drink back at your room.
Wadi Rum – a beer under the stars
The Wadi Rum national park is beautiful for its Bedouin camps and nights under the stars. However there will be no alcohol available to buy for miles around. Not even in the Wadi Village before the camps. Your best idea is to stock up with drinks in Aqaba before heading here. You are absolutely allowed to drink your own alcohol around the fire and many people do.
Interested in where to stay and what to do in Wadi Rum? We’ve written a comprehensive guide to see this wonderful place here.
North Jordan – Madaba, Jerash and surrounding areas
If you are heading to northern Jordan to places such as Madaba and Jerash. You may be wondering whether you can drink alcohol in these parts of Jordan.
Staying in Madaba we found that there were many more liquor stores than other parts of Jordan. Especially compared to the middle part. This may be partly due to the Christian communities that live in the area.
Prices were uniform across the liquor stores. A Petra beer costing $4. However there doesn’t appear to be any bars in the area. Interestingly our restaurant allowed us to buy alcohol at a liquor store and bring it in and drink. A BYOB situation, this surprised us as we hadn’t encountered it before anywhere else in Jordan.
Can I drink alcohol in Jordan? Hope this guide helped navigate you in this beautiful country with a cold refreshment at your side.
Beer, if drunk with moderation, softens the temper, cheers the spirit, and promotes healthThomas Jefferson
Have any experiences with drinking alcohol in Jordan? Please let us know in the comments below!