How to Cross the Israel Jordan Border Without Headaches – A Step by Step Guide for 2019/20

Crossing the Israel Jordan border Allenby Bridge
Crossing the Israel Jordan Border: Arriving at the Jordanian Capital of Amman

This Israel Jordan border guide was last updated on 26th September 2019. This site is updated regularly in order to reflect the current situation at Israel border crossings. 

Crossing the Israel-Jordan border is made easy with this comprehensive step-by-step guide that covers all border crossing points. 

The Israeli-Jordan border crossing is one of just a few Middle Eastern borders that can be crossed overland. This is great for local tourism, as many people are now visiting the two countries at the same time. 

This guide is comprehensive and provides you with detailed step-by-step information for each specific border that sits between Israel and Jordan. Feel free to use the Table of Contents menu below to navigate to the relevant sections. 

My Experience at the Borders

Jerusalem, Israel

I crossed the land borders between Israel and Jordan twice. First, I crossed from the Israeli side into Jordan via Sheikh Hussein bridge. On return, I came back from Jordan via the Allenby bridge crossing. I personally had no issues, but the experience can be different for everyone. 

Things to Know Before Reaching the Israel-Jordan Border Crossing

Crossing the Israel Jordan Border Crossing
Crossing the Israel Jordan Border Crossing

Before you start thinking about which Israel-Jordan border crossing is preferable for you to use, and the best way to cross the border, make sure that you have got all of your documentation and visas ready. Check the border opening times, and your local government travel advice before attempting to cross the border so as to ensure a smooth passage. 

Some important things to consider before you attempt to cross the Israel-Jordan border are detailed below. 

Be Informed About Your Israeli Visa Requirements

Many nationalities are entitled to a “visa upon arrival” when travelling to Israel. This includes British, American, and Australian citizens. That is not the case with everyone though so make sure you check your local government travel advice before jetting off to Israel, or consult your nearest Israeli embassy. 

I actually met a Chinese girl at the Israel-Jordan border who did not realise that her Israel visa did not allow multiple entries. She was advised to either go to the embassy in Amman upon arrival in Jordan, or to abandon the trip – so sadly she missed out on exploring Jordan and had to backtrack to Jerusalem

Clarify Whether You Need a Jordanian Visa

Most nationalities do not need a visa to enter Jordan. Instead, you can fill out a simple form and pay the fee on arrival. This includes British and American travellers. Consult your local government travel advice, or your nearest Jordanian consulate before travel to clarify your specific requirements. 

If you start your Middle Eastern adventure in Jordan, and plan to cross into Israel, keep in mind that the Jordanian visa that is issued on arrival at Amman airport permits a single entry only – don’t wait until you’ve booked a return flight to Amman and crossed into Israel to realise this! 

Think Twice About Crossing the Border with an Israeli Vehicle

If you travel across the Israel Jordan border by car, you need to be mindful of the vehicle that you are driving in.

If you hire a rental car in Israel, and drive across the Jordanian border with Israeli licence plates, you may draw attention to yourself at the other side, or wake up one day with smashed windows due to an anti-Israeli sentiment. Israelis generally switch out their license plates for Jordanian ones at the border so keep that in mind.

Double and Triple Check the Israel-Jordan Border Opening Times 

The borders between Israel and Jordan are generally always open, with the exception of on certain Jewish and Muslim public holidays. Check the timetable in advance of your trip, and perhaps double check with the hostel/hotel that you are staying at. 

Decide Upon How You Are Going to Transit at the Other Side 

You can reach the Israel-Jordan borders by public transport, or independently. Of course, at this point, your driver will leave you and you need to think about your onward travel at the other side. 

A collection of cab drivers are always available at the Jordanian border. If you hire your own private driver/guide, you can organise for them to meet you here. 

It should be noted that Jordan is a relatively expensive travel destination. Public transport across the country is limited – even in terms of services to touristic sites like Petra

Beware the Wrath of the Israeli Passport Stamp 

Israeli border control now kindly issue you with a little blue slip of paper when entering the country which acts as a substitute for a stamp in your passport. The reason for this being that many nations around the globe aren’t best pals with Israel so an Israeli passport stamp means that you will not be permitted to enter several countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Lebanon, Sudan, Saudi Arabia).

Potentially there may be questions or problems when entering other countries with an Israel passport stamp. Some travellers have reported being denied access to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Algeria, Kuwait, though these are not official areas which you cannot enter with an Israel stamp – I suppose it depends on the Immigration Official and the situation at the time of travel. 

The problem however is that if you enter or exit Israel via a land border crossing, then the immigration staff at the Jordan side of the border will still stamp your passport with a Jordan land entry/exit stamp which states “Allenby Bridge” or “Sheikh Hussein” thus acting as proof that you have been to Israel, and potentially causing issues should you wish to travel to the above countries. You can ask the Jordanian border staff not to stamp your passport, but ultimately there’s no guarantee.

(Of course, if you are a citizen of a country that requires an Israeli visa then all of this is null anyway since the visa will be printed in your passport)

Be Prepared for Questions at the Border 

When I crossed from Jordan into Israel, the Immigration Officer went through every individual page of my passport and checked each of the stamps in it. I had previously visited Morocco, Turkey, Egypt, and Malaysia – all of which raised some questions. When crossing from Israel into Jordan it was less of an issue. Admittedly the two countries do not have the best relationship in the world but they are at peace with each other.

If you have traveled to countries which have turbulent relations with Israel (Iraq, Iran, etc) then be prepared to be asked some questions. It is not uncommon that the Immigration Officer will ask to check through your phone, or have you turn on electrical devices and show previous emails.

As I said, it’s not worth getting yourself into a panic about it all. Even the long waits at border controls, and the visa admin is part of the travel experience, right? Everyone’s experience at the border is different, but keep in mind that all of these processes are in place for safety reasons. 

Changing Currency at the Border 

There is a currency exchange on both sides of the various borders between Israel and Jordan. While normally I would advise you not to exchange currency at places like airports and borders, I noticed that the rates here were generally not all that different to those offered at banks and kiosks in the cities. If you absolutely must get some currency, change a little here, and then do the rest later on. 

At certain borders you can pay by credit and debit card, however I’d advise you to always ensure that you have some cash with you. Not to mention, international bank charge fees can be extortionate! 

Navigating the Border Crossings Alone

I crossed the borders to and from Israel by myself. I understand if you’re travelling solo in Israel or in Jordan then this can seem intimidating. Honestly, if you poke around on the internet, you can find all kinds of stories from people and I did get quite anxious ahead of initially crossing. 

Remember that thousands of people cross the borders every day. Even though I was a western woman travelling solo, I didn’t arouse any suspicion or questioning (which was completely unlike my experience crossing from Oman into Dubai!) Solo travel, and indeed, solo female travel,  is a more common sight in these countries than you may realise.

Which Border Crossing Should You Use?

There are three different border crossings between Israel and Jordan. These are: Beit She’an/Sheikh Hussein, Allenby Bridge/King Hussein Bridge, and Eilat/Aquaba.

Confusingly, they don’t all follow the same rules: You can acquire a Jordanian visa on arrival from the Beit She’an/Sheikh Hussein and Eilat/Aqaba crossings only.

Unless you are hanging out in Eilat prior to crossing to Jordan, then I would strongly recommend that you use the Beit She’an/Sheikh Hussein crossing since it is both the closest to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and you can easily get a Jordanian visa on arrival from here.

Be Mindful of Which Sources of Information You Trust 

Obscurely, a lot of the “official” information that you can find online is out-of-date or just downright incorrect. As a matter of fact, a reader recently contacted me to let me know that the Jordanian tourism website specifies that since 2016, Americans must obtain visas in advance of travel to Jordan. In reality, this is not required. 

Of course, me saying this here does not really make you feel any more confident about crossing the Israel-Jordan border (sorry!), but it’s something to be aware of if you find that there is a lot of conflicting information roaming around on the internet. Your best source of information is from other travellers who have made the crossing recently – either via blogs like this one, or through travel forums. 

Crossing the Border from Israel to Jordan 

Jordan River Border Crossing
How to Cross the Israel Jordan Border Crossing

A step-by-step guide for each entry point from Israel to Jordan is provided below for your reference. 

Israel to Jordan:
Beit She’an/Sheikh Hussein Crossing (Jordan River Crossing)

This is the crossing that I used to cross into Jordan and the one which I would recommend.

Getting to Beit She’an

From Tel Aviv, you can travel to Beit She’an using an Egged bus, and then either take a cab for the remaining five miles to the crossing (be prepared to haggle), or the number #16 bus which takes five minutes for 7 shekels. The bus is infrequent however, so if there’s a few of you, a taxi might be the best option.

Alternatively, you can take a taxi from either Tel Aviv or Jerusalem all the way to the border but they are eye-wateringly expensive (£100-£150!)

Passing through Israeli Immigration

Upon arrival at the Israeli border, walk to the window on the right-hand side, and pay the 105 shekel departure tax (circa £23/$30). Then, walk through the turnstile to the windows on the left-hand side where the Israeli border control staff will check your passport. 

To avoid the stamp, make sure that you ask the guard to stamp your blue entry paper instead. 

Entering Jordan

Walk across to the Jordan side of the border. There is a shuttle bus that you can take for 5 shekels but to be fair, it is literally just a five-minute walk. Pay the 40 JOD (£45/$56) Jordanian visa fee and go through the airport-style security checks and enter The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

Travelling Onwards in Jordan 

Take a cab to your onward destination. According to the locals I spoke to in Jordan, it should only cost around 20-25 JOD from here to Amman. As with anywhere though, the can drivers might try and rip you off since they presume you don’t know the going rate. Be assertive and haggle! It takes just over an hour to get to Amman from here and around 90 minutes to Jerash.

Israel to Jordan:
Allenby Bridge/ King Hussein Bridge

You cannot get a Jordanian visa on arrival here. That means that to cross the border from Israel to Jordan at Allenby Bridge, you need to have received a pre-arranged Jordanian visa before departing your home country, OR you already have a Jordanian multiple entry visa.

If you find yourself in Israel, and then decide that you want to get a visa to travel to Jordan, you should head to the embassy in Ramallah (contact them in advance). 

Getting to Allenby Bridge from Jerusalem 

You can easily travel to the Allenby Bridge crossing from Jerusalem by taking one of the little yellow shared taxis from Damascus Gate in the Old City.

Crossing into the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

The process for crossing the border here is essentially the same as I listed above for the Beit She’An crossing, minus the Jordanian visa fee since it is assumed that you have this already. You must still pay the Israeli exit fee, however, it is slightly more expensive here and costs 170 shekels ($50), as compared to the 105 shekels ($30)  that I paid at Beit She’an. 

Once you arrive in Jordan via Allenby Bridge, you are just over an hour away from Amman so again, a taxi should cost you no more than around 20-25 JOD.

Israel to Jordan:
Eilat/Aqaba Crossing (Wadi Araba) 

If you are enjoying the sun, sea and sand in Eilat prior to heading over to Jordan then this is likely the most convenient border crossing to use for you. From Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, the journey to get here is too lengthy (4+ hours) and costly (70+ shekels) so if you’re in these cities, once again I’d recommend the Beit She’An crossing.

Free Jordanian Visas at Wadi Araba: A Myth? 

It was possible to get a free ASEZA sponsored Jordanian “visa on arrival” from this crossing point which should be free for tourists provided that they intend to stay in Jordan for a minimum of 2 nights and a maximum of 2 weeks, however, this seems like a bit of a hazy grey area. Many travellers have reported different things here.

Some travellers have received the visa with no problem, others have reported having to pay the 40 JOD visa fee, and others have reported that they were charged a 60 JOD exit fee when departing Jordan after travelling on this visa. 

Arriving at Wadi Araba

After crossing the border, you can take a cab to your destination, OR a cab to Aqaba (circa 10JOD) and then a public bus onward to your next stop. If you are headed towards Petra, you need to get to Wadi Musa. As always, haggle, haggle, haggle.

Crossing the Border from Jordan into Israel

Jordan River Crossing Jordan Israel Border Crossing
Al Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem

From here, I will tell you how to cross the borders in the opposite direction: From Jordan into Israel. This is super fun reading, eh? 

Jordan to Israel:
King Hussein/Allenby Bridge Crossing

This is the closest crossing to Amman and it’s pretty easy to get to Jerusalem from here. This is the crossing that I used. If you’re exploring Amman, this is the best option to use. 

Getting to King Hussein Bridge from Amman

From Amman central bus station, you can take a bus to the border for 8 JOD. A taxi should cost you around 25-30 JOD. If you’re tired of haggling and negotiations, I recommend asking a local at your hotel/hostel to organise it for you. No doubt you will get a better rate this way.

Crossing the Border at Jordan

Upon arrival at the border, enter the Jordanian border control office. A departure tax of 10 JOD is due if you have been in Jordan for longer than 2 days.

Entering Israel 

The final portion of the crossing is made via a shuttle across to the Israeli side of the border. Tickets are 7.5 JOD plus 1.5 JOD for each individual bag. Sometimes you’re waiting around a while here for other passengers. Enter the Israeli border control office and pass through the airport-style security. Be prepared for questioning and lines.

How to Travel to Jerusalem from Allenby Bridge

You can take the yellow shared taxi from the border into Damascus Gate, Jerusalem (45 shekels). If you’re travelling on to Tel Aviv, you can then take the light rail from Jerusalem.

Border Opening Times 

There is a range of conflicting information online about when this border crossing is actually open and sometimes the details on the Jordanian tourist website is not up to date.

The border is apparently open from 8 am until 8.30 pm every day, with the exception of Fridays and Saturdays during which time the border closes at 2.30 pm for religious celebrations.

I crossed the border at around 7.30pm on a Tuesday night so this seems correct, but double-check with your hotel prior to departing.

Jordan to Israel:
Sheikh Hussein/Beit She’an

Crossing from Jordan to Israel at Sheikh Hussein may be convenient if you end your Jordan itinerary with Jerash since that is the closest point to the crossing. I started with Jerash and ended with Amman which is why I did not return via this border. 

The process for crossing from Jordan to Israel is relatively similar at all crossing points. Once you arrive at Beit She’an on the Israeli side of the border, you can take the Egged bus to Tel Aviv, or share a sherut cab with other travellers (if there are any – this is not a common border to use from Jordan to Israel). Private cabs from Beit She’an to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem can cost between £100-£150.

Jordan to Israel:
Aqaba Crossing (Wadi Araba)/Eilat

The Wadi Araba crossing may be the most convenient way for you to get into Israel if you are relaxing in the Dead Sea resorts of Aqaba. 

Getting from Aqaba to the Wadi Araba Border

Unfortunately, there is no public transport that runs from Aqaba to Wadi Araba so you need to take a cab. 

Arriving in Israel 

The process for crossing the border into Israel here is more or less the same as above. Once you arrive at the Israeli side of the border, you can easily access the beautiful coastal region of Eilat by sherut, bus, or cab. From Eilat, you can take a bus onwards to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and other parts of Israel. 

Note: The exchange rate at the office here is abysmal. Trust me. Either ensure you have a few shekels before arriving or change the minimum that you need to get into Jerusalem. Exchange offices are everywhere in the old city so you can browse and find one with a rate that you are happy with.

I’ve tried to ensure that this is the most comprehensive Israeli-Jordan border crossing guide on the web. As I mentioned, this post was last updated on 26th September 2019, and I am constantly adding notes in accordance with the feedback I receive from other travellers. 

Do you have any questions about crossing the border from Israel to Jordan or vice versa? Alternatively, perhaps you have queries about solo travel in Israel, or solo female travel in Jordan? If you still have any queries that remain unanswered, you are free to pop me a comment below and I’ll get back to you ASAP. 

Safe Travels!

Melissa xo

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How to cross the Israel Jordan border


Melissa Douglas

Melissa Douglas is a British Travel Writer and Blogger based in Athens, Greece. She writes for numerous high profile travel publications across the globe - including Forbes Travel Guide, Matador Network, The Times of Israel and The Huffington Post.

7 thoughts on “How to Cross the Israel Jordan Border Without Headaches – A Step by Step Guide for 2019/20”

  1. for a group on 6 staying at tel-aviv with a rental car, is it cheaper to get a place in eilat for a night then cross in the morning? is there a place to leave our car at the border since rental cars are not allowed to cross the border

    Reply
  2. Hi Melissa
    Thanks for all the advice – really helpful!

    My husband and I live in the UAE and when we leave we plan driving our old Range Rover from Abu Dhabi to France and we’re looking for advice on how to negotiate the Saudi-Jordan-Israel route. Do you have any info on problems that might arise for a couple driving a private car with UAE number plates?

    Thanks!
    Maggie x

    Reply

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