Having spent an amazing week sightseeing in Jerusalem it was time to cross the border to Amman to start our Jordan road trip adventure! With our Jordan visas in order (a whole other story involving a last minute trip to Ramallah in the West Bank!) we decided to cross from Israel to Jordan at the King Hussein/Allenby Bridge border crossing, the closest crossing between Jerusalem and Amman.
Here’s our step by step guide to travelling from Jerusalem to Amman using a mix of shared vans, border buses and taxis for less than $50 per person for transport and $45 per person for an Israel exit stamp.
NOTE: A Jordan visa cannot be bought at the King Hussein/Allenby border. The visa must be obtained prior to this or a valid Jordan visa must be held from a previous crossing into Israel. Entry is not allowed with an Israeli passport at this crossing. Please be sure to use this article in conjunction with official government websites to ensure you are fully prepared for the border crossing.
Where to stay in Jerusalem
Visiting Jerusalem is an incredible experience but due to the layout of the city and the narrow streets the only real way to explore the city is to walk. We found visiting the Old City early in the morning and later in the evening when crowds were quieter to be the best experience. To allow you to do this we recommend staying as close to the Old City walls as possible. The best hotels we recommend are:
- Harmony Hotel: Where we stayed and a short 5 minute walk from the Jaffa Gate entrance to the Old City. This stunning boutique hotel really made our stay in Jerusalem special. A delicious breakfast each morning, afternoon drinks on the sun filled terrace and a perfect location make this our top pick for staying beside the Old City of Jerusalem. The local area is lively with a great atmosphere and lots of great restaurants and bars. The hotel also has free parking which was great when we rented a car for a day trip to Massada – Click here for best prices!
- Sephardic House Hotel: located within the Old City itself in the Jewish Quarter (close to the Zion Gate), this hotel is a short walking distance from all of the sights, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Temple Mount and the Western Wall to name a few nearby). Perfect if you want to stay in the Old City itself – Click here for best prices!
- Bezalel Hotel: A fantastic value hotel located 10 minutes walk from the Jaffa Gate. A sister hotel of the Harmony hotel, the Bezalel is a great alternative if the Harmony Hotel is booked out! – Click here for best prices!
1 | Shared van to King Hussein/Allenby Bridge
Shared Van Cost: 42 Israeli Shekels per person
There are two options to get to the border – a private taxi or a shared van from Jerusalem to the King Hussein/Allenby bridge. We opted for the shared van at a cost of 42 ILS per person and joined 10 other passengers for the journey. The van leaves when full and we were on the road within about 15 minutes.
Private Taxi: We were quoted prices between 180 and 300 ILS for a private taxi as we wandered around with our backpacks but we didn’t stop to discuss as we had decided on the shared van options.
Shared vans location: The shared vans leave from behind the Golden Walls Hotel which is straight down the street from the Damascus Gate on the opposite side of the road.
The walls of the Golden Walls Hotel! The buses are located through the tiny entrance:
En route to the bridge we passed through a checkpoint manned by Israeli soldiers. Our driver collected our passports and they were checked by the officials. Make sure to have your Israel visas received on entry for this check and the border crossing.
2 | Arrive at Israel terminal and check bags
Bag Check cost: JOR 1.50 per bag
Luggage is checked in on arriving at the Israel exit terminal at the King Hussein/Allenby Bridge. The staff collect the luggage outside the terminal and in return give a luggage tag. It’s a bit daunting handing over luggage but the system works well and the staff only load bags onto the bus when you pass through the other side of the Israel terminal.
3 | Exit Israel
Cost: 179 Shekels per person
The Israel exit fee is paid at kiosk on the right hand side so ensure you have paid this before joining the queue to go through the exit checkpoint. Credit cards were accepted when we passed through the terminal.
Having paid the exit fee take the payment receipt and join the queue to exit Israel. Make sure to queue in a single line as the border staff are strict and vocal! Our passports were not stamped on on entry/exit and we were granted loose leaf visas on arrival in Israel. Do ask the staff not to stamp if it is important to you but it is at their discretion.
4 | Bus
Cost: 7 JOD + 1.50 JOD per bag payable on bus at end
After passing through the exit terminal we were ready to board the bus for the 5km journey between the Jordan and Israel border terminals. Before getting on the bus it’s necessary to show the luggage staff your tag so the correct bags are loaded onto the bus.
Opening Hours: The first bus leaves the Israeli side around 9am but you need to allow time to pass through the terminal prior to this. The last bus leaves at 10pm from Sunday to Thursday and 1:30pm on Friday, Saturday and the eve/day of Jewish holidays. Again, it’s necessary to allow time to pass through the terminal.
5 | Arrive at Jordan terminal and collect passport
On arrival at the Jordan terminal the bus driver collected the fee for our bags and bus ride and we were reunited with our luggage. Our passports were collected and handed to the authorities for us to collect in the terminal. Passports are not stamped upon entry at the King Hussein bridge.
6 | Taxi to Amman
Cost: 35 JOD including drop of to hotel
After passing through the terminal we emerged into the Jordan sunlight and started work on securing a taxi for the ride to Amman. We’d read that a taxi to Amman should cost around 30 JOD but our driver was fixed on 35 JOD and we didn’t want to walk any further for another taxi! The taxi ride was a great introduction to driving in Jordan and I kept my eyes closed for considerable parts of the journey!
We were dropped off at our hotel in Amman and celebrated the successful journey with a nice cool dip in the pool! From leaving our hotel in Jerusalem the trip took us about 4 hours door to door at a total cost of US $90 for transport for the two of us and an additional $90 for Israel exit stamps. The adventure is just a bonus!