Madaba is, for many, one of the most pleasant surprises in Jordan and a must-visit destination for those traveling with a Christian religious interest. Its proximity to Amman, its airport, and other points of interest in the country, such as the Dead Sea, make it a common stop on our Jordanian itineraries. On this page, we’ll tell you what to see in Madaba and provide other useful information, including its geographic location and how to get here.
Madaba is the main city of the Madaba Governorate. It is located in the Jordanian Highlands at an altitude of 760 meters above sea level, but it is very close to Amman, just 40 km away from the capital, making it easily accessible by road. It has a population of just over 120,000 inhabitants, making it one of the top 10 most populous cities in Jordan.
Undoubtedly, the most important thing to see in Madaba are its mosaics, most of which are preserved in situ in their original places. But there are also other interesting spaces related to them, which provide context and deserve a visit if you are going to spend a full day here. Here is a list of the main places to see in Madaba:
One of the great advantages of Madaba for tourists is its proximity to Amman’s Queen Alia International Airport, the main gateway for international travelers. It is only 15 km away, which can be covered by car in just 20 minutes. Therefore, it is possible to visit Madaba as soon as you arrive in the country, without the need to go to other cities first.
However, the most common way to get to Madaba is from Amman, the capital of Jordan, which is 40 km away and can be reached by car, taxi, minibus, and bus (JETT tourist service, which also includes the sacred sites of Mount Nebo and Bethany Beyond the Jordan).
Minibuses, however, can be inconvenient as they do not have a strict schedule (they only depart when they are full) and the JETT tourist service does not operate every day. Therefore, having a private vehicle will be the most convenient solution.
Madaba is also not far from the Dead Sea (30 km), so it is possible to organize a visit to Madaba on the way to that tourist destination, right after landing in the country, as it is on the way from Queen Alia International Airport.
Here is a list of alternative distances and durations from Madaba:
Given that there are many travelers who come here daily, there are several places where you can get more information about what to see in Madaba. First, the aforementioned Visitors Center, with informative panels, an introductory video about the city, and brochures for tourists.
The other informative space in Madaba is the office of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, where they provide materials to travelers and explain ongoing archaeological and restoration projects.