best things to do in Istanbul in 2 days, itinerary


To find out about the best things to do in 2 days in Istanbul, read on because I am happy to share my travel tips. 

Istanbul is one of the most unique cities globally – what other city is spread over two continents? But that is not the only reason to visit this fun city.

Istanbul is a city that offers many historical and religious sites – but is also rich in modern sights and has the cutest cafes and restaurants, which also translates into a fun nightlife.

It offers all that to its visitors. Of course, I do not want to forget to mention the extremely delicious food (that also caters to vegetarians and vegans) – no, you cannot go wrong with booking a trip to Istanbul for a weekend.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means, I might earn a small commission when you buy a product (at no extra cost to you) after clicking on my link. More about it here.


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Istanbul itinerary for 2 days

How to get to the City Center From the Airport

If you arrive at the Istanbul Airport – the main one, the Atatürk Airport, closed and the new main airport just opened in 2019 – you can easily take the Airport Shuttle to get to the city center.

  • Whichever of the two main tourist areas – Sultanahmet or Taksim – you choose, the shuttle bus gets you there for around 3€ one way. The buses are modern, clean, and the ride is quite comfortable. Once you arrive at the bus station, you might have to walk to your accommodations, or you can then take a taxi.
  • Some taxis are waiting just outside, or you can book a private pick-up service in advance.
  • You could rent a car at the airport and drive yourself. However, for this 2-day Istanbul itinerary, driving will not be the best option for getting around.

Getting Around Istanbul in Two Days

Getting to/from the airport is easy via the shuttle bus. However, what is the best way to get around in Istanbul itself if you stay for 2 days?

  • Well, most of the time, walking is the best option. I walked a lot – but I am also very used to walking long distances. Wearing comfortable shoes is just the most important thing when I walk a lot. 
  • The tram and metro is affordable and reliable and are good options if you get tired or do not want to walk that much. For this itinerary, you will not need them often but only if you get from one neighborhood to the other.
  • I normally avoid taxis but I just took a taxi for 2km because this itinerary is quite busy and walking can get exhausting. If you use a taxi, here are some tips to avoid scams: Only take official taxis, they are painted yellow and are named “Taksi ” and make sure that the counter is on once you are in the taxi. I showed the taxi driver my location on Google maps on my phone and also could see if he uses the shortest way possible. However, you can avoid taxis, and will be fine to get around on foot, and public transportation.
  • Renting a car is – in my opinion – a bad idea. There is traffic, the city center is crazy and most places can easily be reached on foot so you avoid headaches if you do not drive yourself.
  • Boat cruises in Istanbul are also a good mode of transportation to see the city – and it is part of this itinerary so you will find out more about it later on.

Where to Stay in Istanbul for 2 Days

I recommend staying in Sultanahmet, which is the old part of Istanbul. I booked two different hotels, and both of them were close to Sultan Ahmad Square.

  • My tip: Hotel Poem is a small but lovely boutique hotel with friendly staff and a great breakfast! Check out rates here and book before it is fully booked (it is quite small).
  • Hotel Spectra Sultanahmad is another option. I booked it just for the views from the breakfast room, and those views did not disappoint. Find out more about this hotel here.
  • However, I liked Hotel Poem a bit more, and if prices are similar, I suggest staying at Hotel Poem (despite the smaller rooms).
  • If you are looking for something more luxurious, check out Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet.
  • If you are a hostel person and are looking for a good hostel in Istanbul, this place might be a perfect fit for you.

Blue Musque view

Best Time to Visit Istanbul For 2 Days

Istanbul is a popular travel destination all year round. Expect a lot of crowds in the summer months. If you can, pick spring or fall for your trip to Istanbul though winter in Istanbul might also be a fun time to visit.

Solo Female Travel Tips For Istanbul

  • I traveled to Istanbul by myself. My Turkish Airlines flight – without any explanation – arrived more than 2 hours late in Istanbul, so I arrived in the middle of the night. I took the airport shuttle and just had to walk a few hundred meters to my hotel – at that moment, it felt uncomfortable. It was raining, it was cold, and it was dark, and there were not many people around.
  • BUT that was the only short moment I felt uncomfortable. I think Istanbul is a safe place to visit as a solo female traveler. So many people visit Istanbul that you don’t stand out from the crowds when traveling alone. If you exercise common sense, there is no reason not to travel alone in Istanbul.
  • Be aware of your political statements, democracy is going downhill in the country. But there are no particular precautions to take as a solo female traveler. People are friendly and nice, and it is easy to do small talking to locals (if they speak English).
  • There is so much to do – even solo – that I did not have time to feel bored.


Without further ado, here is how to spend 2 days in Istanbul.

TIP: You might want to check out the Museum Card if you plan to visit many attractions as it could save some money. However, you normally will not be able to skip the lines, and with two days, you might not want to stand in lines forever.


I recommend exploring Sultanahmet – the old town – only and visit the main attractions here for the first day. 

Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya)

One of the top places to visit in Istanbul is the Hagia Sophia. Hagia Sophia was a Christian Cathedral commissioned by Emperor Justinian in the 6th century and converted to a mosque by the Ottomans. But it did not stay a mosque for long.

After 1935 it was converted to a museum (on Atatrürk´s order). But guess what? It has become a mosque again in late 2020. So, even loud protests by many could not stop the religious and conservative Turkish government from converting it. Especially, because Hagia Sophia been a Unesco World Heritage site since 1985 and UNESCO must be given prior notice of any modifications. So, the status of the World Heritage Site is now evaluated and we´ll have to wait for the result.

So, as a museum, it was one of the busiest places in the city – long queues were the result. I haven’t seen what the situation is like since it was converted. So, I recommend visiting as it is a beautiful example of Byzantine architecture.

Hagia Sophia, view from the upper gallery is one of the best things to do in 48 hours in Istanbul


  • Entry is free now
  • Open every day – 24 hours a day
  • Open to Muslims and Non-Muslims
  • Remove your shoes before entering the mosque
  • Dress moderately (scarves for women, cover your arms and legs for men and women)
  • If possible avoid weekends & Friday prayer at noon because as it will be more crowded with the locals
  • Tours available (for a fee)
  • You will probably need around 60-90 minutes for Hagia Sophia

Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Mosque)

Another must-see is the Blue Mosque – which is free to enter and is still used as a mosque (to avoid the busiest times, don’t visit during prayers).

Blue Mosque, (Sultanahmet Camii), Istanbul one of the most beautiful places

The Blue Mosque was completed in 1616 and is beautiful inside and out. While it actually is not really blue from the outside, it has 20,000 handmade mosaic blue tiles surrounding the walls of the interior, which is where it derives its name.

Interior of the Blue Mosque, Istanbul is a must-see in 2 days

The Blue Mosque was built to rival Hagia Sophia, and I must say, from the outside, it is surely more impressive and stunning than the neighboring building.

Visit the Blue Mosque website and check the prayer times.


  • Entry is free now
  • Open every day – 24 hours a day
  • Open to Muslims and Non-Muslims (it’s closed to non worshippers for a half hour or so during the five daily prayers)
  • Remove your shoes before entering the mosque
  • Dress moderately (scarves for women, cover your arms and legs for men and women)
  • If possible avoid weekends & Friday prayer at noon because as it will be more crowded with the locals
  • You will probably need around 20-60 minutes for the Blue Mosque

Sultan Ahmet Square

2 days in Istanbul will most likely be quite stressful, so plan in enough breaks. After visiting the Blue Mosque, it is time for such a break.Snacks in Istanbul

Hagia Sophia and Sultanahmed Square in Istanbul is a must for a 2-day itinerary

The two main attractions mentioned earlier are located on Sultanahmet Square – one of the major public areas in Istanbul. I loved Sultanahmet Square! As busy as it is, it is also pretty and a great place to sit down and watch people.

Also, the little snack stalls that offer delicious snacks, like corncobs and chestnuts, are amazing.

I could have snacked all day (and did), so after the sightseeing, it is time to buy those snacks that are also quite affordable.

Topkapi Palace

Topkapı Palace is the next major attraction to visit.

Topkapi-Palasce is one of the best things to see in 2 days in Istanbul

It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985 and was built in the 15th century of the Ottoman period. It was used for the longest time as a royal palace and was the residence of Ottoman sultans and the center of state management and education.

The palace covers around 700,000 square meters, most of which are actually the Royal Gardens (Hasbahçe). 

It is now a museum and one of the best places to learn about its history as you’ll find many weapons, porcelain, Islamic manuscripts, Ottoman treasures and jewelry, and more that date back to those times. There is also an extra section with the Harem – it is where the wives and concubines of the sultans lived.

Given its size and importance, it can take several hours to go through the palace.


  • Open every day except Tuesdays
  • The museum pass is accepted
  • An admission ticket without a Museum Pass is 100 TL – but you can buy skip-the-line tickets for this one as well. Check them out here
  • To see the Harem you have to pay an extra fee of about 70 TL.
  • Plan in between 2-4 hours for visiting Topkapi Palace

Basilica Cistern

This attraction is not just a great way to escape the heat in the summer months: visiting the Basilica Cistern is a popular activity in Istanbul and close to the main attractions mentioned above.

The Basilica Cistern, (Yerebatan), Istanbul, Turkey is one of the best places to see in 2 days

Cisterns were built all around the city to meet the population’s water requirement – in the case of a siege, and the Basilica Cistern was the largest in Istanbul, providing water to the Tokpaki Palace and other buildings in the area. Check out skip-the-line tickets here.


  • The entrance fee is 20 TL
  • Open 7 days a week between 09.00 – 5.30 pm
  • You will need about 30-90 minutes to see the Basilica Cistern

If you visit all places mentioned above, you will have a busy first day in Istanbul and you might want to have dinner and end your day. There are more attractions are located on Ahmed Sultan Square. It is easy to see them on the first day, and it does not take much time, so you will probably more or less pass them.

The Fountain of Ahmed III

One of the other things to see in Istanbul – without much effort – is the Fountain of Ahmed III located on the Ahmed Sultan Square.Fountain in Istanbul in 2 days

It was built in the 18th century and is known as one of the most beautiful samples of Turkish rococo styles.

Mausoleum of Sultan Ahmed

You can also visit the Mausoleum of Sultan Ahmed – the construction of the Mausoleum started shortly after his death in the 17th century. It is free to visit (but dress accordingly and be respectful when visiting).

Bosphorus Cruise

Depending on how fast you have been, you could then end your day at the Bosphorus on day one or start your second day here. Bospherus in Istanbul itineraryI loved this area in particular – it is busy, and it was here that I first got a feel for how big Istanbul actually is. Sultanahmet is beautiful, but it felt like a smaller city on its own.

I am all about boat tours and ferry rides. If you are like me, hop on a boat/ferry and see Istanbul from a different perspective. Those Bosporus boat cruises take a couple of hours and so it is nothing to squeeze in quickly.

  • You can buy tickets on the spot if you like or check out prices here and book in advance.
  • If you want to book a Bosphorus boat cruise with dinner and entertainment, click here.

Extra: Sulemaniye Mosque 

Other than the Blue Mosque, the Süleymaniye Mosque is another well-known mosque in Istanbul and is actually the largest mosque in the city.

It is located on the Third Hill of the city, near Istanbul University, and if you have some free time on your hands, then check out this mosque, too.


After a busy day 1 in Istanbul, it is time to continue your 2-day Istanbul trip.

Grand Bazaar

Of course, you have to visit the Grand Bazaar. But a word of warning: if you visit at the wrong time, it is crazy and hectic and crowded. After checking out the Grand Bazaar, I needed to sit down and take a looooong break.

Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the best places to visit in 2 daysBut given its size, it is one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world, with around 30,700 square meters with 61 covered streets, and over 4,000 shops and restaurants. It is great for buying souvenirs and little presents – and gold and other jewelry. You can basically shop till you drop.


  • Open every day from 9 am to 7 pm, except Sundays
  • Depending on which streets you visit, you might have to pass a security check
  • Definitely haggle and do not accept prices immediately (you might get “discounts” of 30-50%)
  • Plan in between 1-4 hours for the Grand Bazar

Galata Bridge

After the Grand Bazar, it is time to visit another area of Istanbul. It is time to cross the Galata Bridge – and on your way to Beyoglu, look back because the views are gorgeous!Istanbul from Galata Bridge view_However, I suggest spending some time at the Bosporus River as well. I already suggested a Bosporus cruise for day 1 and now, it is about relaxing and watching people before crossing the bridge. 

You could take the tram (or do a boat ride), but I recommend walking towards Beyoglu from the Old Town. You will arrive in a hipster area of Istanbul – Beyoglu.

Galata Tower

The Galata Tower is one of the main landmarks in Istanbul and Beyoglu, and it is a great place for great views (I did not get up there myself).Gelata Tower, Istanbul in 2 days, ARZO TRAVELS The lines are probably always long (that was the case when I visited in October), so I skipped it. The 66-meter-high medieval stone tower – sitting on a hill about 38 meters above sea level – offers panoramic views over Istanbul. 

The tower was built in the 14th century as an addition to the Galata Wall for defense purposes and was the Galata Walls’ main tower. It also served as a dungeon for slaves before converted to a depot for the boatyard. There was such a fun and relaxed vibe here that you should not miss out on this area – Even if you don’t climb the stairs to enjoy the views.


  • Entrance Fee: 30 TL
  • Opening hours: 1 April – 1 November from 8:30 am until midnight and from 1 November – 1 April from 10:00 am to 8 pm
  • Two elevators take you to the top – or you climb the 146 stairs
  • There is also a cafe and restaurant at the top


This is the place to sit down and have lunch or just a coffee – food and drinks are reasonably priced, and the cafes are the cutest I have seen in Istanbul (indoor and outdoor cafes).Cute cafe in Istanbul is one of the top things to see in 2 days It has a bit of a hipster feel, but it still felt authentic, and I would make sure to plan in enough time to spend some here. Plus, you might get lucky and have some great live music playing somewhere nearby.Fruits in Istanbul


There is an old red tram – similar to the ones in San Francisco – that you can use for a small amount (less than 1€), which will take you all the way up to Taksim Square and back (you need a separate ticket for each ride). Iconic red tram in Istanbul

I hopped on it, but it was so busy that I did not find a seat and was squeezed in with many others. So, my tip is to make sure to wait for the tram and be on time, so you can be one of the first to get in, grabbing a seat and better views.

It will be almost impossible on a busy day to take a picture of the tram without tons of people standing in front of it! They all want a souvenir picture.

Istiklal Street

As I was visiting Istiklal Street on a Saturday, I experienced the busiest shopping street I have ever seen – probably. This long shopping street, pedestrian and tram only, is a hectic and bustling place with many international shops. 

Personally, it was not my favorite place in Istanbul – if you are into shopping, then this is the place to see. If you aren’t, you could skip it.

Taksim Square

Taksim is the heart of modern Istanbul and probably best known at the moment for the place where the demonstrations against the current president, Erdogan, started. Still, it is generally known as a place for political protests.

However, it is also where all the fancier restaurants, shops, and hotels are, but apart from that, there are not that many interesting sights or attractions. It is not really a must-see place with only 48 hours (or a bit less) in the city in terms of attractions, but due to the place’s importance, I have still added it to this 2 days in Istanbul itinerary.

From there, you can either take the tram back to Beyoglu and end your day there, or you can take the underground and go back to Gelata Bridge, and then either walk back to Sultanahmad or end your day at the Bosporus.

I loved the numerous cafes and restaurants in Sultanahmet. So, if you had lunch in Beyuglou already, then I suggest having dinner in one of the many cafes or restaurants in the old town of the city.


Extra: If you have time and want to relax, I definitely suggest visiting a Turkish Hamman.

While I have not visited any in Istanbul, I did so on other Turkey trips and highly recommended them. Because 2 days in Istanbul can be crazy and hectic, what better way is there to relax and enjoy than in a Turkish bath where you can end your day with a relaxing massage? 


I think 48 hours in Istanbul is a good amount (and the minimum) to spend. Whether you are a solo traveler, travel with your partner, friends, or family, Istanbul will not be boring.

2 days in Istanbul will be fun and exciting – the city is so vibrant and interesting. You will not be able to see all of the highlights, but you will get a good idea and cover the main attractions.Safe Travels, Arzo


Best places to visit and things to do in Lebanon in 5 days, itinerary


Are you planning your Lebanon itinerary and wondering about the best places to visit in Lebanon in a few days? Then this post will help you find out about the top Lebanon attractions to visit + more travel tips.

An often overlooked but definitely great travel destination in the Middle East is the small country of Lebanon. It is a beautiful, small country with friendly people, ancient sights, modern cities, cute villages, pretty landscapes, and wild nightlife – that is what you can expect in Lebanon.

Since I am from Germany, I have always been around Lebanese people, but the country was never really high on my bucket list. Eventually, though, I added it to the list and went for about a week, and before, I then went to Jordan.

And what can I say? Lebanon was a fun place to visit and exceeded my expectations. I did not know what to expect as a solo female traveler. But it turned out to be fine, and there is no reason to worry. Lebanon is, in general, a safe travel destination – even for solo female travelers. But of course, for other kinds of travelers, too.

Was everything perfect? No, for sure not. Was it still fun? Yes, definitely. 

A bit crazy, hectic, and chaotic – here is what to expect when visiting Lebanon. Find out where to go and what to see in only 5 days in Lebanon. While I wished that I had two more days in Lebanon (I think that 7 days in Lebanon would be awesome), I got a good glimpse of the country and got to see some wonderful places – and so can you with less than one week.

Lebanon’s political situation is tense at the moment, but it is also a quite liberal and modern country. Especially Beirut reminded me of Southern France. Different religions coexist and, thus, has a different feeling from many other Arab countries.


So, before talking about the very best places to visit in Lebanon, here are some travel tips for your itinerary.Lebanon with Arzo Travels


Before talking about the best places to visit in Lebanon in 5 days (or so), here are some travel tips.

How to Get to Lebanon

I suggest flying into Beirut. There are many flights from Istanbul and other countries in the Middle East, and it allows you to combine your trip easily with a trip to Jordan, Istanbul, or other nearby destinations.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product (at no extra cost to you) after clicking on my link. More about it here.

How to Get Around in Lebanon


  • If you are brave, you can rent a car and explore Lebanon on your own.
  • However, driving in Lebanon seems very crazy because I experienced it as crazy, hectic, and wild, where drivers make their own rules.
  • This did not only apply to Beirut but also to many other places. Streets are always crowded, and an extra car would only add to the pollution (which is a big problem in the country).

However, the alternatives are not perfect, but there are some fun other ways to get around.


I mostly used the minibusses to get around.

  • There are some newer ones (as you can see in the picture) and some which were really old.
  • In general, they are for sure not fancy, and the drives were insane in some parts, but they were fun.
  • Yes, there were times, I was, legitimately, scared for my life – even though I was just a passenger – but in the end, it all went well.
  • And in the end, I did not have to worry about driving myself.
  •  Whether I went to Baalbeck, Byblos, or Tyre, it was possible to go in the small buses to many destinations in Lebanon and get around for very little money.


  • There are also Uber and taxis available, but I suggest only using Ubers in Lebanon if needed.  My first time using Uber was in Lebanon, actually. I did not use them often, but I liked Uber. There are plenty of Ubers available, and you do not have to worry about being ripped off.
  • Taxis can be tricky – I used them twice. Once from the airport to the city center (not a pleasant experience) and once I got on a very old Mercedes with an older taxi driver. We discussed the fare in advance and that was a good deal (you should be aware of the distances).

Where to Stay in Lebanon

For this itinerary, I suggest staying in Beirut most of the time. Lebanon is small but stretched, and Beirut is quite centrally located.

I did only day trips (using minibusses for most of the day tours). Getting around in Lebanon is time-consuming, and even an 80-km drive can take up to 3 hours. Still, you will also get to see different landscapes and do not have to worry about checking in and checking out all the time.

However, if you stay for more than 5 days in Lebanon, it might make sense to book one or two nights near Byblos and do a few trips from there, so you avoid too much driving.

  • I stayed in a hostel/hotel in Hamra – a popular district in Beirut. There are dorms, but you can also book private rooms. The great thing about this hostel is that it has a pool on the rooftop and that you, especially if you travel as a solo traveler, easily meet other people. Check out rates at Hamra Urban Gardens.
  • If you are looking for luxury accommodation, you might want to check out Four Seasons Hotel Beirut. It comes with a great location, and the views from the rooftop are great!

What to Eat in Lebanon

The good news: Lebanon is foodie heaven!

Whether you are a meat-lover or a vegan, this country has amazing cuisine. So, as someone who eats veganish (and strictly vegetarian), I was in heaven. All the delicious food was to dream off. Of course, there are falafel & hummus and the fresh Fattoush salad, but there was so much more to eat and enjoy.

It is more diverse than in many other countries in the Middle East. Though I love Arabic food in general, Lebanon has probably one of the best cuisines in the world, so plan in enough time for good food and fresh juices.

Safety in Lebanon

I am generally cautious but did not feel the need to take extra precautions. Despite its very complicated history (and present), it is a safe destination to visit (INFO: SITUATION MIGHT HAVE CHANGED IN 2021)

However, if you visit these days, there might be some demonstrations and problems. 

  • Also, not all public services function properly, like the waste collection. I must say that Lebanon is – unfortunately – very dirty in many parts, and you will see tons of trash everywhere. However, I doubt that this is the result of the irregular waste collection, but more from people just littering wherever they go.
  • If you stay in a hotel/hostel, you will not be strongly affected by regular blackouts (even though there are many).


Let´s start with the capital of the country: Beirut.

Beirut – 2 Days

My tip is to spend 1.5 or two days in Beirut and explore the gems of the city. While Beirut is the capital, it is still quite small, and with 2 days, you will have time to see the main attractions and places. I love Beirut sign in LebanonAlso, while Beirut is small, it is not so small that you could see everything in less than one day – especially if you plan on only  (or mostly) walking.

My tip for the first day (especially if you do not have a full day) is to visit the American University first and explore this area for an hour or so before heading to the Rauche Rocks (for the sunset), and then having dinner/drinks there before strolling the promenade. Start this day slowly and prepare for a busy day 2.

If you have more time on your hands, visit Hamra – a popular busy area with many cafes and shops. This is also a good place to visit in the evening.  

Beirut attractions
Sursock Museum

Day 2 in Beirut will be busier. Start at the Sursock Museum and then walk down and visit the St. Nicolas Stairs, the St. Elian & Gregory Cathedral, and Beirut Souks, and stroll the Gemayzeh area – this is also a lovely area to have lunch or dinner.

Then, make sure to visit Zaitunay Bay and stroll Beirut´s Marina, where you will find – besides yachts – a lot of restaurants, too.

The most stunning building in Beirut is the Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque.

  • Make sure to not only admire the architecture from outside but also pay a visit inside.
  • The entrance is free,
  • and you do get something to cover yourself up with if you are not dressed appropriately. 

Mohammad Am Amin Mosque in Beirut

Lebanon mosque in BeirutThere are also a few churches in the area that you can visit. Next to the mosque, you will also find the Roman Baths Gardens that you can visit (it does not take much time, though).

Beirut is one of the very best places to go out – even I went to a club. Okay, it was during the week, and there was not that much going on, but if you want to experience the infamous nightlife in Beirut, visit during the weekends. There are many rooftop bars and clubs where you can dance the night away.

Balbeeck – 1 Day

Plan one day for visiting Baalbeck – and a must-see place in Lebanon.  

Getting there is time-consuming but worth it. Baalbeck is Lebanon‘s greatest Roman treasure. Actually, it is the largest Roman temple ever built and still very well-preserved, even though it has suffered from theft, war, and earthquakes.

Thanks to the efforts of archaeologists, it is still in great condition. So it does not surprise that it is actually quite busy as many people come here to visit this exquisite place. 

There are quite a few sights, including Jupiter Temple, Bacchus Temple, and Venus Temple, so make sure to plan some time to explore them. Yes, we all know the Acropolis in Athens. Still, Balbeeck is actually way more impressive.

  • Either take a minibus (we had to change buses once, and it took me than 2.5 hours in total, but it was an interesting ride), join an organized group, or hire a car and get there yourself. 
  • In early July through August, there is an international festival held in Balbeeck.

Jeita Grotto – Harissa – Byblos – 1 Day

My favorite day was when I visited these three spots in one day because they are some of the best places to visit in Lebanon.

Many tour operators offer tours to these places in one day, and it is definitely doable. 

One of the girls I met at the hostel where I stayed and mostly used minibusses to get around (but also Uber and a taxi). It saved us tons of money this way, and we saw all three beautiful places – and it was fun!

Jeita Grotto

The first stop is probably Jeita Grotto, which is less than 20 km north of Beirut. I am surely no expert on visiting caves, but I have seen a few over the years – and these were my favorites.

The best EVER. Unfortunately, it is not allowed to take pictures. I am repeating myself – it one of the best places to visit in Lebanon.Cable Cars in Jeita Grotto in Lebanon

This limestone cave is imposing, and it exceeded my expectations. The grotto was discovered in 1836 by an American and opened in 1958 (Lower Grotto) and 1969 (Upper Grotto).

After a scenic drive (Uber) from Beirut, you can get out at the funicular station and buy your ticket (cash only) for a bit more than 11€, and then you can use the funicular to go up.

It is a very short ride up, and once there, you can explore the Upper Grotto. 

Over a distance of 700 meters (the total length of the cave is more than 2 km), you’ll find many lime formations, which come in all kinds of sizes and shapes. 

If you look closely, you’ll find many different “animals,“ “vegetables,“ and more.

You cannot take pictures inside, but I can assure you that it is well worth it. It did not take us too long to go through, and after probably less than 30 minutes, we were walking out and walking down to the Lower Grotto.

At the Lower Grotto, you can do a short boat ride over a distance of 400 meters. Don´t worry – you don’t have to row yourself. Just sit down and enjoy the short electro ride. 

It is quite chilly inside, so bring a pullover with you (around 16 degrees Celsius).

All those activities are included in the ticket price (funicular, Lower and Upper Grotto, and a ride on the mini train, which I did not use).

A documentary is also shown in different languages. We missed the English version and would have had to wait for a few hours for the next one. So, if you want to watch it, ask for the times beforehand.

The whole tour took less than one hour, and on the way to the car park, we also spent time in the pretty gardens on the property.

Jounieh / Harissa – Téléférique 

At the car park, we took a taxi. We were approached by many people and ended up with an older driver in a very ancient but cool taxi that brought us to Harissa – Téléférique. Old Taxi in LebanonWe paid around 12€, but you could probably haggle and get a better price (but I did not feel the need to haggle with this older man).

One of the best tourist attractions in Lebanon is going up via the Téléférique.

The Téléférique leaves a few kilometers north of the old center of Jounieh, and you have beautiful views already on the cable car ride up. The views get even better once you have arrived in Harissa. I have never seen cable cars riding so close to house buildings (and I am an expert in cable car riding). View from Harissa TeleferiqueYou could hike up or drive up, but why not take the cable car and enjoy the ride? Especially given the affordable prices for the cable car (less than 7€ for a 2-way ticket) and the views along the way, I do recommend hopping on a capsule. 

I am all about the views, and here you can probably experience some of the country’s best views.

Also, you’ll find the Our Lady of Lebanon here – a bronze, white-painted, 13-ton statue of the Virgin Lady that has become a popular place for religious people to visit. Our Lady in Lebanon StatuOnce you get out of the cable car, you need to walk a few minutes and then climb a few steps to enjoy the views.Harissa from above

There are several cafes/restaurants with good views and also playgrounds if you visit Lebanon.


From Harissa, we took a minibus and headed to Byblos, which is surely one of the best places to visit in Lebanon. Byblos old town in Lebanon is a must-see in 5 daysThe minibusses leave from the highway, so you need to get there to take them. Unfortunately, I did not save the exact location, but if you ask for the minibus to Byblos, locals might help you.

Byblos was another of my favorite places to visit in Lebanon. It is a charming little village with a long history.

Located about 40 kilometers north of Beirut, it is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world – with over 7,000 years of history. It received UNESCO World Heritage Status in the 1980s. Vegan food in Lebanon

  • I am all about cute cafes, narrow streets, and pretty views, and I found all of that in Byblos.
  • The village is small, and we strolled Byblos for around 2 or 3 hours before having an early dinner. 

Byblos old town is one of the most beautiful places to seeHowever, I would not have minded staying longer. Not because I felt that I missed out on something, but because I liked the relaxed vibe… and because Byblos is so over-the-top cute!

Check out the ancient fishing harbor, the small but pretty historical center with its narrow streets and small shops. Make sure to stroll the side streets for the cute cafes.

Visit the archaeological sites, like Crusader Castle, where you can find out more about its history and have lovely views, or St. John the Baptist Church (Eglise St. Jean-Marc).Byblos views

If you‘re in Lebanon for just 5 days – or something like that – 1 day is definitely enough to see the before-mentioned 3 places in one day.

Yes, it might be a busy day (whether you join guided tours or organize it yourself), but it is worth the hassle. This day was my favorite day in Lebanon.

You should add at least one day in the south of the country to your Lebanon itinerary in less than a week.

Tyre – 1 Day

I opted for Tyre (Sour) and wanted to experience a lesser-known place on my itinerary in the south of Lebanon. 

Colorful Tyre in Southern Lebanon is one of the best places to visitAgain, one of the girls from the hostel joined me, and again, the minibus was our best friend that brought us to our destination.

The drive was interesting because it was my only time going to the south, and I loved to see the numerous banana plantations along the way. Again, we visited one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. 

It is a small town (but busier than Byblos) with several Roman and Byzantine archaeological sites, colorful buildings, and a busy town center.Shopping in Tyre, South Lebanon

Colorful town in Tyre, Sour in LebanonThere is also a beach area. If you are into beaches, check out the public beach in the Tyre Coastal Nature Reserve.

The watercolor looks lovely, but unfortunately, there is a lot of trash everywhere, which was sad to see. Beach in Tyre, Sour LebanonTyre suffered a lot during the war, and there are still UN soldiers and jeeps deployed in Tyre, but I also remember the overly friendly people here, so it was another must-see in Lebanon.


With five days in Lebanon, I got a good idea of the country. I wish I had two more days to hike in the mountains because Lebanon is known for some pretty mountain areas, like Qadisha Valley. 

Qadisha Valley

It is great for hiking in the summer and good for winter sports in the winter. If I had 7 days in Lebanon, I would have stayed a night in Byblos, and on my way back to Beirut, I would have stopped at some villages and towns along the way.

Looking back now, I am pretty happy with how I created my 5-day Lebanon itinerary and didn’t regret the way I planned my trip at all.

So, this is why I hope this Lebanon itinerary helps you to plan your trip as well (and if Lebanon isn’t on your bucket list yet, then make sure to add it now) – it is a beautiful country that has deserved much more recognition.

Hopefully, these tips on the best places to visit in Lebanon will help you plan your Lebanon trip!


Save this pin on Pinterest for your Lebanon trip!

Where to go Lebanon itinerary, Arzo TravelsSafe Travels, Arzo

What to Do in 3 or 4 Days in Dubai

Best things to do and see in Dubai in 3 or 4 days


Are you heading to Dubai soon and wondering about the best things to do in Dubai in 3 or 4 days? Then this post is for you. Whether you stay 3 or 4 days in Dubai, this post is a great itinerary that will help you plan your trip, if I may say so.

While you surely could see the main tourist attractions in only two days, three days in Dubai is a good amount of time to see a bit more of the city. And four days in Dubai is actually even better.

If you are wondering what to do in Dubai in three days, this post will give you the answer. You will find out where to go and what to see in three days. If you are lucky enough to stay four days, you will also find out about a great Dubai 4-day itinerary.

The tips are a mix of my own personal favorite places and places that any Dubai visitor has to see at least once in the city.

I have four different day plans for you. You can skip around and change the dates, but I clustered the activities together to minimize the driving and time spent in the car.


In this Dubai itinerary for 3 or 4 days, you will find out:

  • How to Get to Dubai
  • How to Get Around in 3 or 4 Days in Dubai
  • Accommodations for 3 or 4 Nights / Days in Dubai
  • Money in Dubai
  • Best Time to Visit Dubai
  • More Travel Tips for Dubai in 3 or 4 Days
  • 3-Day and 4-Day Dubai Itinerary With Places to Visit in 3 or 4 Days


Before you find out about the best 3-day and 4-day itineraries for Dubai, there are also some travel tips for you – important things you should know before visiting Dubai.

How to Get to Dubai

Dubai has two airports. Most likely, you will fly into Dubai International Airport (DXB International). The smaller one is hardly used.

  • From there, it takes about 10-15 minutes drive (taxi) to get to the old town of Dubai and about 20 minutes to get to Burj Khalifa. Don’t be surprised to be stuck in traffic even at night – Dubai is always busy. 
  • My most favorite airline ever is Emirates Airlines – a Dubai-based airline. Check out their prices here, and if you can, book via them (they are amazing!).

Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) is the second biggest airport in the United Arab Emirates.

  • If you fly with Etihad Airways, you will most likely fly over Abu Dhabi.
  • It takes about an hour’s drive to get to Dubai (about 50-60€ taxi fare). 
  • I have never flown with Etihad yet but heard about their great services, too. Click here to check out prices for Etihad Airlines.

How to Get Around in 3 or 4 Days in Dubai


  • If you are in Dubai for five days, you could actually rent a car. But I do not recommend it.
  • You should know that driving there, from my perspective, is a bit crazy. There is traffic almost all the time (even at night, the streets are busy), and the people drive fast, like to honk their horns, and are a bit impatient.
  • You should have nerves of steel if you decide to drive, particularly around Downtown Dubai.


  • If you like to use public transportation, I recommend getting an NOL card for public transportation. There is a one-time fee for it, but you can then recharge it. Public transpiration fees are cheaper this way than if you buy single tickets each time. A ticket costs a bit more than 1€ with the NOL card (about 1.60€ without).
  • However, public transportation is not perfect. You can avoid the crazy traffic by taking the metro, which is great, but a) the metro lacks metro stops, so each stop is rather far from the last, b) the buses are not always well-connected for us travelers, so it is not easy to get from one popular station to another, and c) the metros can be stuffed with people.
  • While the air conditioning always works perfectly in the metro and the metro station, it is not the best feeling to be with so many people in such a small area, especially at peak times. I am, admittedly, a little claustrophobic, so if you are not, it should be fine.
  • I mostly take the metro for long distances. Especially for downtown. There is a lot of traffic, and getting around by cab can mean being stuck in it forever, so a metro ride can help you save time. Then I jump into a taxi for the shorter rides if there is no direct bus connection.


  • Hop-on and hop-off buses are a great way to get from one popular tourist attraction to another – at least for some places (the ones I tested). They will not stop at each tourist attraction but at most.
  • There are two main sightseeing companies. They offer similar services, and there are just some minor differences.
  • The pass also includes a few cool attractions, so it saves money in addition to getting you from Point A to Point B.

Check out Prices for Sightseeing Bus Tours in Dubai

Accommodations for 3 or 4 Nights / Days in Dubai

Accommodations in Dubai are not cheap, but the standard is quite high. If you are wondering where to stay in Dubai for 3 or 4 days, I suggest staying close to Dubai Downtown or Marina. If you are a beach person, choose a hotel close to JBR – Walk. However, these areas are also some of the most expensive ones. For more budget-friendly options, you can check out hotels in Dubai Deira (old town).

You can check out rates for accommodations in Dubai here, and if you are looking for my personal recommendations for all budgets and areas, click here.

Money Tips For Your Dubai Trip

  • Currency: Dirham, though € and $ are often accepted, I mostly used credit cards and had some change for smaller amounts and tips in Dirham.
  • Tip: If you dine, the tip is often included in the bill (10%), have a look at the bill. If it is not included, I always tip about 10%  (I always make sure to tip taxi drivers and hotel housekeeping, too)
  • Dubai is expensive. Accommodation, for example, is costly – however, you can buy food and do affordable activities. Here is my full budget travel guide to Dubai

Best Time to Visit Dubai for 3 or 4 Days

  • I do not recommend visiting during the summer (May – September). It gets really hot and unpleasant in the summer months. If you enjoy the heat, if you really, really enjoy the heat, visit Dubai between May and September. If you enjoy some warm months without the heat, then visit between late November and February.
  • Check also for the fasting time (Ramadan) because life is different during Ramadan many activities cannot be done (also, alcohol is less available).

More Travel Tips for Dubai in 3 or 4 Days


Here are the best places to visit in 3 or 4 days in Dubai.

Day 1: Downtown Dubai and La Mer

Many of the places I mention for this day are actually the main tourist attractions and must-see places for a stay of 3 or 4 days.

Let´s start with the 3-day Dubai itinerary.

La Mer – Around 10 am

La Mer is a popular place in Dubai and is located in the Jumeirah area. It is a beachfront with many retail stores, stylish restaurants and cafes, the coolest bathhouses, and friendly and fun street art.

Fun day at the beach

It is a great way to get adjusted to Dubai. 

  • With only 3 days in Dubai, I suggest staying in La Mer for just 2-3 hours.
  • There are sooooo many restaurants that you will definitely find something to your tastes.
  • To see some amazing street art, walk along the rail stores and bring your camera.
  • HOW TO GET TO LA MER: You can get to La Mer via RTA Buses 9 and 88. Taking a taxi/uber is another way to get here. If you arrive there by car, you have free underground parking. If you have a City Sightseeing hop-on and hop-off ticket, you can get off at Jumeirah Mosque and only have to walk two minutes to arrive at La Mer.
  • OPENING HOURS/PRICES: La Mer is open every day, and there is no entrance fee. The shops are normally open between 10 am to 10, 11 or 12 pm.
  • Click here to read more about this fun part of Dubai.

Burj Khalifa – Around 1 pm

It doesn’t matter where you are in Dubai – you will always see it. The highest building in the world: Burj Khalifa.  Dubai in 2 daysThe very uniquely shaped building is one of the main tourist magnets of the city. And while you might think it is enough to see it from a distance, I recommend getting very close to it. Actually, I recommend getting to the top of Burj Khalifa.

But let‘s focus on the main attractions here. As mentioned, the highest building in the world is a must-see. 7 days in Dubai - best vintage pointsFrom the top (level 124 & 125, and level 148), you have the most unique views. On the one hand, you will see Dubai Fountain and Dubai Mall underneath you. On the other hand, the view will remind you that Dubai is surrounded by desert – actually, a long time ago, Dubai was a desert itself.

While I truly recommend visiting the top of Burj Khalifa, I also suggest buying tickets in advance. I went to the top several times and was happy that I had bought my tickets online beforehand. 

The lines were crazy. Even with a ticket, you have to stand in line for some time, but nothing compared to how long you have to wait if you buy tickets that day, which may sell out during the busy times of the high season.

  • You have to enter Burj Khalifa via Dubai Mall.
  • the trip should take between 2-3 hours.

Get your tickets here (I normally buy tickets via GYG because of their generous cancellation policy).

Dubai Mall – Around 4 PM

I am not that into shopping, but Dubai Mall is really something. You should add this mall to your 3-day Dubai itinerary. It is crazy, it is unreal, and it is busy. What attractions in Dubai MallIf you are brave and enjoy crowds, you can visit on a Friday. But don’t worry, it is never really empty here so that you will experience crowds on other days, too. 

My favorite area: Fashion Avenue, the luxury department section of the mall. It is less crowded, very fancy, and the public restrooms are the most luxurious I have ever seen. I’m not talking about restrooms in luxury hotels, these are public toilets for anyone to use.

If you prefer more casual toilets and shops, there are also more affordable shops and stores (and restaurants). The food court has the cheapest food options.

  • You can get to Burj Khalifa’s entrance and other sights from the mall, like Dubai Ice Rink or Dubai Aquarium.
  • And you can get to another main place you should add to your Dubai itinerary: Dubai Fountain.
  • Yes, the mall is fun but I would not spend more than 2-3 hours inside the mall.
  • Try to avoid Dubai Mall on a Friday. Especially in the afternoons, it gets busy.
  • HOW TO GET TO DUBAI MALL: You can get to Dubai Mall by metro/bus, and it is also a popular drop-off point for sightseeing buses. If you get off at “Dubai Mall Metro Station,” either take another bus that drops you off at the mall or walk about one more kilometer to get into Dubai Mall.
  • OPENING HOURS DUBAI MALL / PRICES: Dubai Mall is open from 10 am to 1 am, restaurants and the food court are open to 2 am. There is no entrance fee for the mall itself, but you have to pay for the ice-skating rink, etc.

Dubai Fountain – Around 6 pm

The Dubai Fountain is located just next to the mall and in front of Burj Khalifa. It looks like a giant pool with water that I´d like to jump into – but laws are strict in Dubai, so it’s better to only look.

Water Fountain Show in front of Dubai Mall @shutterstock

There are free dancing water shows daily for you to enjoy. It is one of the most popular things to do for free in Dubai, especially in the evenings. There are always crowds.

If you can, try to get a good view from the Apple Store in Dubai Mall (which is a popular spot and, thus, many want to enjoy the view from there, but not everyone is allowed on the balcony). Be prepared to wait in line.

The bridge to the souk is another popular spot to watch the dancing water show, but you can also stand next to the mall or see it from one of the numerous cafes and restaurants.

You can also book an abra ride (water taxi) and enjoy the water show without all the crowds.

In the evenings, there are often LED shows on Burj Khalifa. THIS is spectacular. However, I haven’t found a reliable schedule for the light shows, but you will be amazed if you are lucky and get to witness one.

  • Each show just takes about 2-4 minutes. Shows take place every 30 minutes after 6 pm. Check out the times here.
  • That being said, my main advice is to NOT visit on a Friday. Friday is the Sunday of the Islamic world. But people get out and get crazy. Seriously, the mall is crowded, and so is everything else. For Fridays, I would suggest a day out.
  • HOW TO GET TO DUBAI FOUNTAIN: There is a metro station (Dubai Mall station), and many buses go there. You could reach the fountain even without entering Dubai Mall (e.g., coming from Dubai Opera), but if you are at Dubai Mall, you will see signs that lead you to the fountain as well.

Stroll Dubai Downtown – After 9 pm

But there is also more to do and see, so here are my tips for the afternoon in Downtown Dubai.

Downtown Dubai is a busy district with a lot of (luxury) shops, (luxury) hotels, and weird little things I have never really understood, like the bananas and other statues (however, I will gladly bring my little nephew here).

Day 2 in Dubai- Souk and Dubai Desert Safari

This day is the perfect day to get a complete picture of Dubai as you visit the old part of Dubai. Dubai Deira is the ideal place to explore souks (markets), and thus, it is a must-see in 3 days in Dubai.

Gold and Spice Souk – Around 10 am

You might have heard of the gold souks? You will find them here, and yes, it is true: There is gold…a lot of gold! Gold Souk in Dubai points of interest

Which place to visit - Abu Dhabi or DubaiBut you can buy souvenirs, (traditional) clothes, rugs, and more in this part of Dubai for a much lower price than in the malls.Where to buy cheap things in Dubai You should also take the opportunity to ride an abra – a typical water taxi that gets you from one side of the creek to the other (for just 0.25€). This is a traditional and local way of exploring the city. 

  • Catch a metro and get to Burjuman and then change metro lines and get to Al Ras, and then you just have to walk for a few minutes.
  • You can also take a taxi/Uber or use the hop-on and hop-off sightseeing buses, which drop you off at the souks.
  • It is free to visit the souks and you could visit at any time. However, most shops are open every day from around 9:30-10 am to 9:30 pm. On Fridays, the shops open after 4 pm and are open until around 9:30 pm.
  • EXTRA TIP: DUBAI MUSEUM. If you want to learn more about Dubai and its history, I recommend visiting Dubai Museum.
  • It is an interesting but often crowded museum in Deira that illustrates Dubai’s history in an engaging way.
  • Entrance fees are just about 1€, and it is probably the best museum in Dubai.
  • From the souks, it just an abra ride away.

This is a fun but stressful first few hours of the day. So, I recommend heading back to your hotel to get ready for another Dubai highlight! A desert safari.

Desert Safari – Around 3 pm

A desert safari is an amazing way to discover the desert. This part is one of my favorites, and I am sure you will enjoy it, too, because it is one of the best activities for your 3-day Dubai itinerary. If you book the evening safari tour, you will be picked up around 3 am from your hotel before heading out to the desert.

The tours vary slightly, but most include wild dune-bashing in the desert, then heading to a recreated, traditional camp.

Dining in the desert while watching the stars and a belly dancing show is one of the most unique and one of Dubai’s best experiences. If someone told me they stayed in Dubai for three or four days and did not take such a tour, I would assume they were crazy (if you are on a budget and only spend money on one activity, I would spend it here). 

This is probably the best way to spend time away from all the modern parts of Dubai.

Find the best desert safari tour for your trip.

Day 3 in Dubai- Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai Marina, and JBR Walk 

This day (whether it is your first, second, third, or fourth day) can be all about the new and modern parts of Dubai. This is the beautiful thing about Dubai: there are so many different areas and neighborhoods that you will not get bored in 3 days in Dubai.

Here are three entertaining and beautiful areas that are just waiting to be explored. If you only have time to see one for whatever reason, I suggest visiting Dubai Marina. However, you can visit all three of them even better.

Madinat Jumeirah – Around 10 am

You can start with Madinat Jumeirah. It is a popular and luxurious recreational area in the souks. You cannot compare it with the old town of Dubai and its souks – this one is way fancier and less authentic. However, I still love it. If you stroll the souk and then the canal, you will have a view of Burj al-Arab, the most famous luxury hotel in the world. What to do in Dubai on a layoverYou will then see the souk and the luxury hotel (getting into the hotel is difficult if you aren’t an overnight guest or have a written reservation for one of the restaurants).

  • HOW TO GET TO MADINAT JUMEIRAH: You can take a bus from several places in Dubai Downtown.  Sightseeing buses also stop here. There is no metro stop near Madinat Jumeirah.
  • OPENING HOURS: Shops are open from 10:00 am to 11 pm, and restaurants are open from 08:00 am to 02:00 am.

JBR Walk – Around 12 pm

In between Madinat Jumeirah and Dubai Marina lies JBR The Walk. This is a fun place, especially for beach lovers and families.JBR Walk - The Beach Dubai--3 The free, public beach is perfect for water activities – so it will be loved by adults and kids alike. Also, there are some activities, like the Flying Cup and playgrounds. This is actually a great place for the daytime – it is busy, fun, and interesting.

You can bring your own picnic or enjoy lunch/dinner in one of the numerous restaurants or cafes. 

  • HOW TO GET TO JBR: Take the metro – JLT Metro Station or Dubai Marina Metro Station are the closest metro stations. From there, either walk or take the tram to get to JBR.
  • OPENING HOURS / PRICES: Shops and restaurants normally open around 10 am and are open until 10 pm. Restaurants usually close later. 

So, personally, all three places are good to visit either in the day or night, so I can‘t make the final decision which one to visit when, but this might be a great solution.

Morning in Madinat Jumeirah. Later that day at JBR Walk. And the evening in Dubai Marina.

Dubai Marina – Around 6 pm

As mentioned, if you don’t have time to explore all of these areas, don’t skip the Marina. This is a wonderful example of the modern part of Dubai.Dubai Marina at nigt from Pier 7 The density of skyscrapers is insane. Walk along the promenade, and you might have neck pain after a while because you will have to look up all the time. If you enjoy fancy yacht trips, this is also the place to be. Though I have never been to Florida, the Marina reminds me of it.

There are a ton of restaurants and bars. For a great view, I recommend having dinner/lunch in one of the restaurants on Pier 7.

  • HOW TO GET TO DUBAI MARINA: Take the metro – Dubai Marina Metro Station is the closest metro station. 
  • OPENING HOURS / PRICES: It is open 24/7, but shops and restaurants normally open around 10 am and are open until 10 pm. Restaurants normally close later. 

What to Do in Dubai in 4 Days – 4-Day Itinerary

Here are more places to see in Dubai in 4 days – for the first 3 days you can visit the suggestions above. With the following ideas, you really have an answer to “what to see in Dubai in 4 days” and the “best things to do in Dubai in 4 days”.

Day 4 in Dubai: Abu Dhabi, Oman, or Theme Park

If you are wondering what to do in 4 days in Dubai, I suggest a day trip to one of the places. Of course, you could also squeeze it into your 3-day itinerary, but if you have 4 days in Dubai, it will be more relaxed to do so.

TIP: If you leave on day 4, do the day trip on day 2 or 3. It can always happen that you will be stuck for some unforeseeable reasons. Especially if your plane leaves, you want to be 100% to be on time at the airport.

Abu Dhabi – Start around 7:30 – 8 am

For a 4-day Dubai itinerary, I recommend doing a day trip outside of Dubai.

I have a few ideas, and the first is to visit the beautiful capital of the United Arab Emirates: Abu Dhabimost beautiful place in Abu DhabiThe city is located about 100km from Dubai and makes a great day trip. You can get there by bus (though it is tricky and complicated to use this mode of transportation), taxi, rent your own car, or take a guided tour.

In Abu Dhabi, there are quite a few places to see. One of the most beautiful places is the Grand Zayed Mosque. This mosque is synonymous with beauty, symmetry, and perfection. I have never seen an artificial structure more beautiful than this.

The mosque is free to visit, and it is open to non-Muslims. For non-Muslims, though Fridays are not a good day to visit, and neither are Islamic bank holidays. You have to dress very conservatively. Women should wear a scarf over their heads and bodies fully covered, men with their legs and shoulders covered. You can rent clothes for free if you forgot yours.

After a visit, you will have time to head to the Emirates Palace or the Corniche, the beautiful promenade in Abu Dhabi with beach access.

For the city’s best views, head to the Emirates Towers and see Abu Dhabi from above. This will be a fun day trip from Dubai, and you will have a great third or fourth day in the Emirates. Check out my more detailed guide on what to do in Abu Dhabi in one day.

Oman – Start around 7 am

Oman is also a great day trip from Dubai. While I enjoyed my trip, I want to say, in all honesty, that getting from Dubai to Oman was really stressful.Arzo Travels in OmanYou might end up sitting on a bus (of course, you could do an independent tour as well), and you need to be patient (crossing borders is not difficult but time-consuming). If you are patient, then a day trip to Musandam-Oman is a great way to spend a day.

You will get a good first glimpse of Oman (which might make you hungry for more). While it was stressful, I loved seeing Oman at least for a day. Check out my guide on a day trip from Dubai.

Theme Parks – Start around 9 am

Dubai is home to many theme parks. Personally, I would opt for a day trip to Abu Dhabi or Oman, but of course, taste differs, especially if you visit with younger ones – or if you love theme parks and roller costs yourself, the theme parks might be better.


As you can see, there are many different things to do and see. So, whether you stay 3 or 4 days in Dubai, hopefully, this post has helped planning your 3- or 4-day Dubai itinerary.

Dubai is a good destination for solo travelers, couples, families, and a friend´s getaway. It offers a nice mix of modernity and tradition. You can make it as luxurious as you want but also travel on a budget to Dubai.

I hope, you will have a wonderful trip!Safe Travels, Arzo


Jordan road trip, cover


A Jordan road trip is one of the best trips you can take in the Middle East. Even as a solo female traveler in Jordan I had a blast and congratulated myself for discovering Jordan by car.

This country, the people, the sights, nature, the food… It was an absolutely amazing experience, and luckily, Jordan is also a very safe destination to visit, and the conditions are great for an unforgettable Jordan road trip.

I came to Jordan right after spending time in Lebanon, and I admit, I was worried that Jordanians would drive like Lebanese people. Luckily, they do not. I did not drive myself in Lebanon, and I could not have driven in Jordan if this had been the case. Actually, this Jordan road trip was so relaxed and fun, that I feel I have to recommend it to anyone.

Joran road trip


Here is some information about driving in Jordan. While I think, that driving in Jordan is/was quite easy and straightforward you should probably be aware of these things before starting your Jordan road trip.

Driving tips for Jordan

Rules For Driving in Jordan

  • Drive on the right side.
  • You have to wear a seat belt.
  • Driving age: 18. If you want to rent a car: 25 years old.
  • Bring a driver‘s license when renting a car and a credit card (a deposit is charged most times, but you will get refunded if everything is okay).
  • You are not allowed to throw things out of a car – and compared to many other countries in the Middle East, it actually is quite clean.
  • GPS – I had Google Maps and Here We Go. However, sometimes they did not get me where I wanted to go. Since there are some new streets, both apps had problems guiding me. Overall, they worked well, but not perfectly. Make sure to download an offline map before your trip.
  • Signs are in Arabic and English, so you should be fine understanding directions.
  • You will most likely need to rent a car for the road trip and not drive with your own one. When you rent a car, you will get a paper – and if the police give you a fine, it has to be written on that paper, which you have to hand into the rental company when you drop off the car.
  • There are a lot of police stops throughout the country. You could be pulled over at any time, but normally it is fine, and you have to present your papers.
  • P.S. I was pulled over and, apparently, one paper was missing. The rental company did not give it to me. The police charged a fine – I did not have to pay on the spot – and wrote a note on the paper. When I handed that over to the rental company, they said that it would not be a problem and would pay for it… Apparently, they do not always hand over that particular certificate, and so they accept the consequences.
  • Just double-check all the papers when you pick up the car, so you avoid any – unnecessary – problems.
  • Speed limits: Many speed signs will tell you the exact speed limit, but in general: 60 km in cities, 80 km in rural areas, and 120 km on highways.
  • There are speed humps. A lot of them. Many, many of them. They are everywhere. So, always watch out for them because they sometimes even appear out of nowhere – and even if you stick to the speed limit, you very quickly have to sharply reduce your speed if you don’t want your car to be damaged. While speeding in Jordan is less of a problem than in other countries, it sometimes even cause some danger. Anyhow, don’t be surprised by allllll the speed humps.
  • Sometimes, animals are on the street. And sometimes humans are on the street. In the town center near Petra, people sat on the curb (with their legs and feet in the street)… smoking shisha. Some people in groups don’t like to walk behind each other but would rather walk next to each other – even if that means that people walk in the street. So, always watch out.
  • Compared to other countries in the Middle East, driving in Jordan was easy – people mostly stick to their side of the lane. However, never believe that drivers will follow all the rules and drive carefully.
  • Don‘t drink and drive. Unfortunately, this isn’t a global rule (some countries do allow drivers to have a few drinks), but you can’t drive in Jordan if you have had a drink.
  • I saw plenty of petrol/gas stations – however, this does not mean you will find one every 50km. So, whenever you have a longer distance to drive, make sure you refuel your petrol/gas. There is always service, and you can wait in the car while it gets refueled – you have to pay in cash. 
  • Petrol/gas prices are quite affordable – and unlike in Germany, where prices change many times over the course of the day, the prices are more stable and cost about 1€ for 1 liter.
  • One of the reasons I loved Jordan was because of the friendly locals. When I drove through villages and towns, many kids waved at me and were smiling – however, some teenage boys did throw stones at me and my car. My tip: ignore and continue driving when you encounter those teemagers and wave back at the cuties.
  • If you drive at night, double-check your lights as there aren’t many street lights.
  • The King’s Highway: In ancient times, the King’s Highway was a trade route that linked Africa with Mesopotamia. It ran from Egypt to Aqaba, then to Damascus and the Euphrates River. Today, you can still travel along this ancient 280-kilometer-long roadway, passing through tiny villages and mountain towns. Popular attractions include St. George’s Church, the ruins of Mukawir, the site of Umm ar-Rasas, the Crusader castle of Kerak, and Shobak Castle, among many others. This road will also take you from Amman and pass through other popular destinations in Jordan, like Wadi Mujib, Dana National Park, and Petra.
  • Jordan Pass: Most nationalities have to pay for a visa: The Jordan Pass is a pass that you can buy (online or when you arrive in Jordan) and which includes the visa and entry to most attractions in the country. Financially, it makes sense to buy the Jordan Pass if you stay in Jordan for a few days and visit places like Petra or Jerash.
  • Jordan is a very safe country and as a solo female traveler in Jordan, I never had to worry about my security – exercise common sense whether you travel alone or not.

10-Day Jordan road trip

What Car to Rent for Your Road Trip in Jordan

Renting a car in Jordan is quite straightforward. I used RentalCars to find a car – I picked the smaller car available, which was fine. Later in the mountains, I realized that it was challenging for the small car to drive up the mountains, but it did a good job after all. From what I know now, I suggest not renting a smaller car but probably a medium-sized car.

Unless you have a lot of luggage or you are a group of 5 people, you will not need a big car. Street conditions are good – and a medium-sized car should be fine. A 4wheel car is not needed – for a trip to the desert, I highly suggest, to book a tour.

When renting a car, make sure all damages are well recorded when you pick up the car. You do not to get blamed for damages you did not cause when dropping off the car.

TIP: Get full insurance. I always do that – it is a bit more expensive, but it is less stressful in case anything happens to your car (whether it is your fault or not) and make sure all papers are complete when picking up the car.

With the above driving tips, you should be fine to drive in Jordan. 

Where to Stay – Road Tripping Jordan

While I have hotel recommendations under each stop, you can also check out my Jordan accommodation guide to find the best areas and hotels in Jordan.

Find more general travel tips for Jordan here.


So, for this Jordan road trip itinerary, you will need a minimum of 5 days. However, 7 or 10 days in Jordan would be much better as you could actually see all places mentioned here. The places mentioned here, can “easily” be explored in 7-10 days.

If you plan a two-week road trip, you will actually have enough time also to rest and relax and spend time at the beach (or in the desert). So, if you can visit Jordan for 2 weeks, then go for it.

With a 5-day Jordan road trip, you have to skip two or three places mentioned here. 

Anyway, here we go. Here are places not to miss when road tripping Jordan.

Jordan Road Trip

Road Trip Stop 1: Amman

Amman is the capital of Jordan and a hectic and exciting place to visit. It is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world and well-populated as half of the people in Jordan live here.

I really enjoyed my time in Amman, and I think visiting Amman is one of the best things to do in Jordan. While the city is ancient, there is a mix of both ancient and modern architecture.

View from Citadel in Amman

Amman is teeming with shops, restaurants, an active nightlife and has a hectic feel as everything always feels like it’s in motion. There are several attractions offered within the city, such as the Roman Amphitheater, downtown Amman with its souks, and the Citadel’s views. 

Entry to most attractions is free with your Jordan Pass.

Tip: I recommend spending one or two days in Amman – and discover the city WITHOUT a car. It is hectic and busy and parking in the city center is probably a pain. Unless you enjoy driving in busy places, then Amman is a good place to drive.

But for all others: Make Amman your starting point of the road trip and pick up the car after your time in Amman (or make it the endpoint of the trip). Then head from Amman to Jerash – it takes about 1 hour to get to Jerash and is about 50km (depending on where you pick up your rental car).

You can get around on foot, take a bus or an Uber if needed in Amman.


  • I stayed in Nomads Hostel Hotel (and another place that isn’t worth mentioning). It was very conveniently located near Rainbow Street and made it easy for me to connect with other female travelers. The hostel is fun, modern, and clean, with a great location. Check it out here because it surely is a perfect budget accommodation.
  • For a mid-range hotel option, I suggest Albasem Hotel, because it is well-rated and centrally located. Check out rates and availabilities here.
  • For a luxury hotel, try The House Boutique Suites, which is also near Rainbow Street (which is probably one of the best places to stay) and offers lots of amenities.  Find out more about the hotel here.

Road Trip Stop 2: Jerash

Dating back almost 6,500 years, Jerash is located just north of Amman and in the northwest part of Jordan. I think there is no way to skip Jerash when you do this road trip.

Jerash Theater in Jordan

It is one of the best-preserved cities from the Roman Empire’s rule and is really amazing. It was rediscovered about 70 years ago and got restored. You can explore many attractions in Jerash, including the 2nd-century Hadrian’s Arch (aka Triumphal Arch), the South Gate, the forum, the hippodrome, the Corinthian columns of the Temple of Artemis, and the Temple of Zeus, among others. The Jerash Archaeological Museum also exhibits its finds for viewing.

Tip: I recommend renting a car now and getting to Jerash after a day or two in Amman. Driving from Amman to Jerash is hasslefree. Plan half a day for a trip to Jerash (max. one day if you are really into history) and then head to the Dead Sea. Entry is free with your Jordan Pass.

After a few hours or a full day in Jerash head to the Dead Sea, which is a 1,5 – 2 hours drive (95km).

Road Trip Stop 3: Dead Sea

The Dead Sea is located along the western border of Jordan and is the lowest point on the planet (it is more than 400 meters below sea level). It surely is a must-see for any Jordan road trip.

Dead Sea, Mövenpick pool with a view
It is so salty that you cannot swim in it because you only float. And even though you cannot swim there, it is fun to float and also, the mud from the Dead Sea can be used to soften your skin. Even Cleopatra was known to do it. You do not have to believe Cleopatra´s word but I tell you: it really works.

So, the minerals in the mud make it a natural spa destination, and the beaches are also popular.

Most of the access to the beach (Dead Sea) is private and belongs to the resorts in the area – but there is a public beach to enjoy.

Tip: Many people visit the Dead Sea on their way back to Amman – because this is the place to chill and relax. I did not wait until the end – I was ready for a day in luxury accommodation and wanted to get pampered.

If you plan a 5-day road trip, I would probably just visit for a few hours, but if you road tip Jordan in 7 days, stay a night here and chill before you get to experience some adventure. I would continue my journey around 10 am and visit a real highlight in Jordan, which is quite close.


  • I stayed at the Mövenpick Resort & Spa. My room was nice but a little outdated, especially in the bathroom, but the bed was comfortable (I had an amazing sleep), and the staff is amiable. The hotel was done in the Arabic style, and breakfast and dinner were included. But you can also book it without any dinner/breakfast/lunch. I would say it was definitely worth the money and my first choice for staying at the Dead Sea. Check out rates here.
  • The Ma’in Hot Springs Resort & Spa is also a good place to stay, situated among beautiful mountain landscapes and offering relaxing spa amenities. It is a bit more expensive than Mövenpick Hotel – find out more about this luxury hotel here.
  • For a budget option, try the Dead Sea Spa Hotel, a well-rated 4-star hotel with great amenities and private beach access. Find the rates here.

Driving around the Dead Sea is easy and hotels normally offer free parking. Then it is time to visit Wadi Mujib. It takes about 90 minutes to get there (depending on where you stay at the Dead Sea) and is about 75km.

Road Trip Stop 4: Wadi Mujib

Wadi Mujib is a river canyon where the Mujib River empties into the Dead Sea, making the area the lowest nature reserve in the world at 420 meters below sea level.

Wadi Mujib in Jordan is one of the fun places to go in Jordan

The Wadi Mujib Gorge is a stunning place and a fun and exciting destination while in Jordan. You can hike the area, climb stairs under waterfalls, cross through the water, and float in between the gorge. The water is filled with the little fish often used for “pedicures.”

This is a very adventurous place to visit and was one of the highlights during my road trip.

Tip: It is closed in the winter months (exact times depend on the actual weather conditions, but it might close mid-October for a few months). You can get there from your way from the Dead Sea to Dana, and it will take a few hours (or up to a day, depending on which tour you want to do).

There is an entrance fee (not covered by the Jordan Pass) that is about 25€ – you can only pay in cash – and then you can rent a guide. I did hire a personal guide for another 25€, and it was absolutely amazing. I did the shortest – yet not easiest – hike through the gorge, and it was just better than expected.

I am an active person, though not very sporty, and it was not always easy but definitely doable with the help of a guide (and if you are active and fit, you can do it yourself!). Bring suitable shoes with you! I would try to leave Wadi Mujib at around 3 pm so you can experience the sunset at this gorgeous place that I am talking about now.

From Wadi Mujib head south towards to Dana Nature Reserve. It takes about 2 hours (150km).

Road Trip Stop 5: Dana

Located between Petra and the Dead Sea, Dana is a lesser-known stop, and many don’t add it to a Jordan road trip but features stunning sights.

Dana Nature Reserve at sunset

The Dana Nature Reserve encompasses about 300km around Dana Village and Wadi Dana.

It is inhabited by the Al Atata Tribe, who have been living there for 6,000 years. Popular among hikers, Dana offers many hiking trails. Wadi Dana, a canyon, is also visited for its natural beauty and views. The town of Dana is about 500 years old, and you can see many aspects from the 19th century well-preserved and still present today. 

Tip: This place is a bit more off-the-beaten-path. But if you are into hiking or hidden gems, you should not miss out. I am not a hiking fan, but I did a short hike. But most of all, I loved the sunset in Dana. Accommodation here is mostly very basic, yet it is a great place for any Jordan road trip itinerary.


  • I stayed at Al Nawatef Bedouin Camp – it is an elementary camp. You have shared toilets, and mattresses were not great. However, I still recommend it because the views are great (and sunset from here is top!), and the food was great. They also offer guided hiking tours (from a few hours to a 2-day hiking trip). So, I definitely recommend staying here (plus it is very budget-friendly). Check out their rates here.
  • If you are looking for a bit more comfort, you will probably find it at Mount Dana Hotel. You can check out their rates and amenities.

From Dana, it is time to head even further south. It takes about 1 hour to get to Petra from Al Nawatef Bedouin Camp (50km).

Road Trip Stop 6: Petra

Petra is perhaps the most visited place in Jordan and one of the best stops for your road trip. Located in the southwestern part of the country, it was the Nabatean kingdom’s prosperous capital around 1 BC.

Petra, Treasury_

It flourished under Roman rule but was then destroyed by an earthquake in 4 AD.

Only the Bedouins remained after that until a Swiss explorer re-discovered it in the 19th century. Some attractions in Petra are the Siq, the Theater, the Treasury (Al Khazna), the Monastery (Ad Deir), the Royal Tombs, and Colonnade Street. You can also visit a nearby Nabatean site that was built around the same time as Petra.

Tip: Petra is huge…I am serious. You can’t see it in a few hours. You will be able to the Siq and the Treasury, but you won’t see the main attractions. You would need more than a day for all that. I booked a 3-day pass with my Jordan Pass, but I only visited on two days because I somehow felt it gets repetitive (apps, yes, I said it), and some places looked similar.

There is a lot of walking, and some hiking included – wear comfy shoes and never, never ride a donkey.

There are terribly treated (from what I saw), and if you need a ride, you can take an electric minibus for some parts. Even though they don’t take you up all the way to mountain peaks, I guess it is not an option to ride a donkey, so bring enough drinks and snacks (though there are stalls where you can buy all that) and prepare for some nice walks.

Petra By Night was a little disappointing – too many people, too loud, and too short. It wasn’t worth the money, in my opinion (and it is not covered with the Jordan Pass).


  • The Mövenpick Resort is a very nice luxury hotel located just next to Petra (so perfectly located). But it is very popular and fills up fast, so if you want to stay there, then I suggest you book early. Check out rates here.
  • Another beautiful place to stay near Petra is the Hyatt Zaman – while it is rated as a 3-star hotel, it actually is a beautiful luxury hotel about 15 minutes drive from Petra. It was my favorite place to stay in Jordan, and I definitely recommend staying there. It is a great choice if you don’t have to watch your budget closely. Check out the hotel here.
  • You can stay in Wadi Musa at the Cleopatra Hotel for a cheaper option, which is only 2 km away from Petra. It is a simple place to stay but was fine for the 2 nights I stayed there as it is close to the main attractions. Read more about the hotel here.

From Petra, head to the next stunning place in Jordan – Wadi Rum. It takes about 90minutes (100km) to get to Wadi Rum (Visitor Center).

Road Trip Stop 7: Wadi Rum

There is absolutely no way to skip Wadi Rum on your Jordan road trip. Wadi Rum, also known as Valley of the Moon, was named a UNESCO World Heritage site for its cultural and natural significance.

Wadi Rum on Jordan itinerary

Inhabited by the Nabataeans in prehistoric times, this area has a unique landscape and stunning views. It is also the largest wadi in Jordan. It is famous for its red-pink desert sands, natural arches, mountains, and prehistoric rock engravings.

Wadi Rum also became well-known as a filming location for movies, such as Lawrence of Arabia. Other attractions include the Burdah Rock Bridge, Al Hasany Dunes, and the Khazali Siq.

Tip: I suggest staying at least one night in Wadi Rum. Most other visitors only come for a day (for few hours), but they miss out on a magical night. There are several camps (unfortunately, the one I stayed in is closed atm) and it was amazing. Basically, all camps offer tours for the day. And do have dinner/breakfast and lunch if you stay with them overnight and book a tour.

You should not drive with your own car in the desert. The desert is huge, and you would need a 4 wheel drive and should have at least some experience driving in sand. You can leave your car at the visitor center and then pick it up from the company you booked the tour/accommodation with. It sounds complicated but is quite easy if you book in advance.


  • I stayed in an excellent camp, but it seems the owner has some troubles with the police and it was closed?! I am not sure, but you cannot book it anymore, and the last review looked like this. Anyhow, you should not worry.
  • Make sure that you ask about the tours once you have your accommodation booked. This camp looks pretty similar to the camp I stayed at, and they also offer tours, so once you have your night booked, then email them and ask about tours.
  • Check out this luxury camp that offers beautiful rooms with great views.

From Wadi Rum you could either head back to Amman or get to Aqaba. Aqaba is in the very south and it takes about 1 hour (60km) to get there from Wadi Rum Visitor Center. 

Road Trip Stop 8: Aqaba

Located in the southern part of Jordan, Aqaba is the only coastal city in the country. This port city is situated off the Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea.

It is a popular destination for those who enjoy diving, windsurfing, snorkeling, and other water sports. It also has a rich history, dating back to 4,000 BC when it was first inhabited. Some attractions to see here are the Yamanieh coral reef and the Aqaba Fort. There are many beach resorts here as well, but this city generally attracts lovers of water sports.

Since I, personally, had not added Aqaba to my road trip, I actually can’t say much as I am not into diving and am also not a beach person. However, it is very popular with people who like to dive. Aqaba is probably one of the best places to chill and rest – so, if you road trip Jordan for more than 7 days, then you will have time to do so here.


For accommodations, you can stay at Al Manara Hotel in Aqaba, a luxury resort highly rated for its location, service, and amenities.

A more mid-range hotel would be the Lacosta Hotel, close to the beach and other attractions and often includes breakfast.

A budget option would be the Amir Palace Hotel, a charming boutique hotel in the city center.

Tip: This could be your last stop – and from here, you could head back to Amman or continue your journey (many visit Israel afterward). If you go back straight to Amman it will take around 5-6 hours (330km). 

Road Trip Stop 9: Amman

Aqaba – or Wadi Rum – is quite far from Amman. If your flight is from Amman, it is time to head back north. It takes time, so make sure to leave early – or better, book your last night in Amman, so you don’t have to stress.

As great as driving in Jordan is, it always can happen that something happens with your car or streets are closed, so plan in enough time for the drive back.


Though I mentioned it above, here are three places that are probably great fits for all budgets.

  • Nomads Hostel Hotel: Check it out here because it surely is a perfect budget accommodation.
  • Albasem Hotel is well-rated and centrally located. Check out rates and availabilities here.
  • The House Boutique Suites is also near Rainbow Street (which is probably one of the best places to stay) and offers lots of amenities.  Find out more about the hotel here.


Jordan is such an amazing country. Unfortunately, public transportation is not great, and so the best way to experience Jordia is on a road trip. As mentioned, I traveled as a solo female traveler and I loved it! So, whether you plan a road trip in Jordan by yourself, with friends or family, or alone – just do it.

Jordanians are very relaxed, friendly, and always happy to help and I am sure you will have a great time!

Stay safe and great travels!

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Safe Travels, Arzo

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