At YPT we do lots of tours throughout the Middle-East, always respecting the cultural norms of where we are, such as to drink, or not to drink. Can you though drink in Jordan?
Can you drink in Jordan?
So, can you drink in Jordan? Yes you can legally buy alcohol in both bars and the numerous liquor stores of the country without prejudice. Generally speaking Jordan is considered the most liberal country in the region in this respects and you can certainly have a night out here.
That though is far from saying that everyone drinks and indeed that every area of the country is the same, for indeed they are not, with the reasons of which we shall delve into!
Are there liquor stores in Jordan?
Much to many peoples surprise far from being dry there are liquor stores almost everywhere, particularly in Amman, although this changes drastically deepening on where you are.
Essentially 6 percent of Jordanians are Christian with them being technically the only ones allowed to produce and sell alcohol, with the joke being they produce and sell it for the Muslims!
Price wise booze starts really cheap here with a bottle of local vodka setting you back less than $20, with similar prices on rum and brandy thrown into the mix – these are locally made by the Christians and are cheap. Do not expect high-end here…
There is imported stuff too though, with me falling in love, but not buying a $70 bottle of coffee Jager. They also have small bottles of Vodka and Vimto!!!
You can also drink non-alcoholic beer – which you can see here!
Different cities though have very much different vibes with there not being any liquor stores in Petra, but lots in the party coastal town of Aqaba – which was where we also encountered SOFEX.
To read about SOFEX 2022 click here.
The Jordanian Bar Scene
The bar scene in Amman is extremely eclectic featuring everything from English pubs to upscale hotel bars, as well as those of a more sleazy variety that attract richer gentleman from the Arab world.
This in itself is another fact that sets Jordan apart a little bit from the region, with sexual relations tending to much more liberal, with couples seen out and about and streets where people can “pick up”.
We ourselves found two great bars in Amman, namely the Rovers Return Pub near our hotel, and Amigos Bar.
Petra was a different story having but one bar, while Aqaba had not just pubs and liquor stores, but a vibrant beach scene which felt like you could have been anywhere, well maybe not anywhere, but comparable at least to Egypt and Israel, both of which are a stone throw away.
In fact SOFEX in Aqaba even had a bar, quite funny when you consider that people were also firing guns….
Eating and drinking in Amman
This is another anomaly, while pubs will serve western food, restaurants tend to be Muslim run and dry, although some will allow you to bring your own.
To read about the cuisine of Jordan click here.
Generally speaking though expect to eat dinner and then go to a bar afterwards if you are gonna have a night out.
So, you can get drunk on the streets in Jordan
OK, so this is where a keen understanding of Muslim countries that allow drink should be understood. Most people in Jordan follow Islam and many do not drink. Drinking should be scene more through the sense of being tolerated rather than a huge deal and indeed there are far from bars everywhere.
So, while you can drink and indeed get drink, do not open carry on the street, do not be drunk on the streets of Jordan and respect the norms of being in a different country.
Wanna see SOFEX with YPT? Come join us in 2024.