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Jordan

The climate in Jordan is characterized by long, hot, dry summers and short, cool winters. This is influenced by the country’s location between the subtropical aridity of the Arabian desert areas and the subtropical humidity of the eastern Mediterranean area.

Cold Weather

 

During the colder months (approx. November – March) there is rain, and in January and February potentially even snow. Despite comfortable temperatures on sunny days (15-20°C), it gets freezing cold outside, as well as inside houses once the weather is bad. So make sure to pack warm clothes for day and night!

 

If you plan to visit one of Jordan’s beautiful wadis (not Wadi Rum though!), also beware of flash floods. They most commonly happen in the beginning of winter with the first rains and can be life-threatening.

Warm Weather

 

In midsummer, temperatures can raise above 40°C during the day. From approximately April to October, it is therefore recommended to pack light and airy clothes, and sufficient sun protection. But don’t forget to take a warm jacket or jumper as well, it can get quite cool and windy at night (easily below 20°C)!

 

In summer, it is also very important to stay hydrated, especially when going for an outdoor adventures.
Tab water in Jordan is not recommended for drinking, and, at the moment, most hotels and tourist sights are not yet offering refill options for reusable water bottles. The only option you’re often left with, is to eventually buy bottled water. We as a company, however, are currently working with our suppliers and partners to seriously reduce the use of plastic on our tours. You can support us in that by bringing your own reusable water bottles in order to demonstrate a demand for refilling options..

Arabic is the official language of Jordan, but in most touristic places people understand and speak some English. However, it is usually very appreciated if you try using some Arabic, and you will for sure draw some smiles and friendly reactions. You can practice the phrases below, and ask your guide or driver to help you use these and other words and sentences appropriately.

Street signs are usually written in both Arabic and English.

Shukran. [shoe-kran]: Thank you.
Afuan. [af-wan]: You are welcome. (Used as an answer to Shukran.)
Ahlan Wasahlan! [ah-lan wa sah-lan]: Welcome!
Inshallah! [insha-llah]: God willing!
Keef halak? [keef haa-lak]: How are you?
Alhamdulillah. [al-hum-du-li-lah): Praise God. (Used as an answer to Keef halak?, or generally to comment on anything good.)
Yislamoo [yiis-la-moo]: Bless your hands. (Used when being served food etc.)

Religion

 

92% of Jordan’s population are Sunni Muslims, while 6% belong to different Christian denominations. The country’s approach is one of tolerance and peaceful coexistence, welcoming all religions. On your trip you will notice that the local culture is deeply influenced by Islam – a great opportunity to ask questions, and gain insights in a fascinating religion.

Interactions

 

Interactions with local people can be a great way to learn more about Jordanian culture, and make memorable experiences. Since hospitality is a very important tradition in the country, it might often happen that you are invited for a cup of tea or coffee (be careful however, in very touristic places the invitation may be followed by a hefty bill). If you don’t feel like it, it is also perfectly acceptable to decline an proposition. Place your right hand over your heart and politely make your excuses.

 

Especially in rural areas, families live in a traditional way. When greeting locals, it is easiest to wait for them to make the first step and determine the form of greeting. Out of religious or cultural reasons, women for example might not want to shake hand with men.
If you are welcomed into a local house, you may also notice a division between the sitting areas for men, and those for women. That being said, foreign women are also often treated as “honorary” men. But travelers who are making an effort to accommodate themselves to local customs, will undoubtedly be appreciated.

Holidays

Holidays in Jordan are often announced spontaneously. The reason for that is, that most holidays are Islamic holidays whose date is determined according to the moon (which might or might not be sighted at a certain point in time).
For non-religious holidays, it is also common for the government to change the day on which a holiday is supposed to be celebrated to another  day —  usually to prolong a weekend. It is highly recommended that you check upcoming holidays prior to planning your trip online.

Dress Code

Since Jordan is a predominantly Islamic nation and tends to be quite conservative, so you should dress accordingly. As a general guideline, shoulders and knees should be covered. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the predominantly hot summers. Long shorts can be worn during hiking, though we generally recommend lightweight hiking trousers to keep the sun off. A light water and windproof jacket is useful and a sun hat essential.

Smoking

 

People in Jordan generally smoke a lot of cigarettes and shisha (arguilah, hubbly-bubbly, water-pipe). While also many people smoke in restaurants and cars, it is recommended to ask for permission first before lighting a cigarette indoors.

Photography

 

We recommend that you bring all the photographic equipment you will need from home, including additional camera batteries. If you’re camera equipment is very valuable, you might want to consider getting it insured before you depart.

 

When  photographing people, always ask for permission first. The only exception to this is when you are taking a picture of a public scene with a lot of people in it, aiming at no one in particular. Always be considerate of anyone’s desire not to be photographed.

 

There are some places where photography is prohibited. Do not take photographs of military installations or airports. However, these areas are usually clearly marked. If you are  uncertain about whether or not photography is permitted, ask. Taking photographs when permission is  not  granted is inconsiderate at best and  may result in the confiscation of your camera.

Queen Alia international airport

 

Queen Alia International Airport is located 20 miles (30km) south of Amman, the capital city of Jordan. It is the home hub of Royal Jordanian Airlines, and is currently being used by over 40 airlines.

The airport has one terminal divided into 2 levels with free wifi throughout. After baggage  claim you will find a Duty Free section. Post arrivals, there is a convenience store, Starbucks, and an ice cream shop. No full restaurants can be found at arrivals, but in the departure level you will find several restaurants as well as a few duty free areas and another Starbucks.

Jordan VISA requirements

Many nationalities can get  a  visa for Jordan at the  airport or at the  Sheikh Hussein crossing. However, the Allenby/King Hussein Bridge  crossing and the Arava Boarder crossing do not issue visas. Visa  requirements for Jordan are shown on the Jordan Tourism Board Website. The entry  visa to Jordan is  40JD,  and can be paid in Jordanian Dinar or credit card. For detailed information about visa and passport issues see our Visa and Passport page.

There are  currency exchanges and an  ATM at the ports of entry. Please refer to your itinerary for questions about visas as this has already been  planned for by your travel specialist.
The Jordan  Pass  is  a  fantastic  sightseeing  package, tailor-made  for guests  visiting Jordan. It gives you the pleasure of visiting top sights and attractions whilst saving time, money, and stress. A onetime purchase  before entering the country gives you free access to many of the most  famous historical sites in the country. Learn more here.

 

Electricity

In Jordan electricity runs 220/240 volts.  If you do bring electrical appliances, take along international converter kit complete with a set of adapter plugs.

 

Shopping

Shops offer wide variety of merchandise, including jewelry, oriental carpets, fashionable clothing, leather goods, paintings and sculptures, ceramics, silverware, copperware, embroidered goods, and religious items. Jewellery and diamonds should be purchased at proper establishments only.

There are several shops and stalls selling hand-made arts and crafts at each tourist site, as well as the Down Town area of Amman.  Bargaining is expected in virtually all Arab markets.  While you should not be intimidated into buying something you don’t really want, neither should you encourage a merchant unless you really do plan to make a purchase.  Trading is enjoyable to merchants in bazaars, but they do expect (eventually) to arrive at a purchase price.

 

Laundry

Laundry service is usually available at larger hotels. However, remember to check the hotel’s individual laundry return policy and pricing schedule before choosing to have laundry done at a hotel.  It is also suggested that you request laundry service only when you have a sufficient length of stay remaining to ensure that your laundry is to you before depart.

Jordan is in general a safe country. (It really is, read more about it here).

However, like everywhere in the world, there are some things you might want to consider:

 

Valuables, Safety, & Travel Insurance:

Exercise the same safety precautions throughout your travels as you would at home. Be especially careful with your passport. It is a great idea to carry a photocopy of the informational pages of your passport (the pages containing your photograph and passport details, as well as any amendment pages and visas) and to leave a copy at home. Follow the security measures included with your travellers’ checks, and also leave an additional record of their numbers at home.

We recommend that all travellers purchase adequate trip cancellation/ interruption, medical, and baggage insurance and that they carry the details of their coverage with on tour.

 

Water

Some of the locals drink the tap water, it is generally recommended to drink bottled water. It is all right to shower and brush your teeth using tap water.

 

Medical cares & Health info

Travelers with physical disabilities and those who require frequent or ongoing medical attention should advise us of their health situation  at the  time of booking.

You should carry along an adequate supply of any prescribed medications you may require while traveling. Prescription medicines should always be carried in your hand luggage (not in checked baggage) in their original, labeled containers only.

Medical services are excellent in Jordan and most doctors are bilingual in Arabic and English. Larger hotels have a doctor on call and embassies can also suggest doctors and hospitals. If you need to go in hospital, you can find a list with contact details here.

 

Vaccinations

The following vaccinations are recommended for most travellers to Jordan, before traveling talk with your health care professional about the current information and requirements for vaccinations:

  • diphtheria& tetanus – single booster recommended if you’ve had none in  the previous 10  years
  • hepatitis A
  • hepatitis B
  • measles,
  • mumps & rubella
  • polio
  • typhoid
  • yellow fever– vaccination is required for entry into Jordan for all travellers over one year of age if coming from infected areas such as sub- Saharan Africa, and parts of South America.

 

Emergency Contacts

In case of emergency, dial 911.
If you need to contact your embassy, you can find a list with contact details here.

Currency and Money

The currency in Jordan is the Jordanian Dinar (JD) – known as the jay-dee, which is made up of 1000 fils. You will sometimes hear piastre or girsh, which are both 10 fils (10 qirsh equals 100 fils). Often when a price is quoted the unit will be omitted, so if you’re told that something is 25, it’s a matter of working out whether it’s 25 fils, 25 piastre or 25 dinars!

Coins are 10, 25, 50, 100, 250 and 500 fils. Notes come in denominations of JD1, 5, 10, 20 and 50. Try to change larger notes as often as possible at larger restaurants and when paying your hotel bill. Changing money is very easy in Jordan, and most major currencies are accepted in cash and travellers cheques. US dollars are the most accepted, followed by UK pounds and euros.

 

It is possible to survive in Jordan almost entirely on cash advances, and ATMs abound in all but the smaller towns. Visa is the most widely accepted card for cash advances and using ATMs, followed by MasterCard. Other cards, such as Cirrus and Plus, are also accepted by many ATMs (eg Jordan National Bank and HSBC).

Travellers’ checks and major credit cards are widely accepted.

Crossing Streets

Traffic in Jordan isn’t completely crazy, but still crazy and chaotic enough (especially during rush hours). If you want to cross a big street (meaning more than 1 or 2 lanes), look out for overhead pedestrian bridges that are usually present every 400 to 800m. If there is no other possibility, you can also cross directly. The more traffic, the easier that should be, since cars are going relatively slowly. If you make eye contact with the drivers they will usually stop or slow down for you (but give them enough time to react before jumping in front of their car).

 

Riding a car

Wear a seatbelt  (if there is one). Besides the fact that it is legally mandatory to wear a seatbelt in Jordan, it is also in your own interest in case of an accident.

 

Driving a car

Since the public transport system isn’t the greatest, renting a car can be very useful for getting around in Jordan. Most international car hire companies have branches in Amman, Aqaba and at the airport. Make sure that you and the car have sufficient insurance cover.
Also make sure to stay within the speed limits while driving – mobile speed traps are very common. Besides that, the roads aren’t always of the best quality, and sometimes you can even come across potholes in the middle a highway.
If you are new to driving a car in places where traffic rules aren’t taken too seriously, try to avoid driving in cities during rush hours.

 

Public Transport

If you flag down one of the yellow taxis in the street (green taxis in Aqaba), make sure the driver turns on the taximeter. During the day it should start at 0.25 JD, at night it starts at 0.30 JD and runs faster. If the driver says, the meter is broken, or doesn’t want to turn it on for some other reason, better get out of the car and take another taxi.
As a woman, it is recommended to sit in the back seat (especially if you’re traveling alone); men usually sit in the front.
There are also silver taxis. The difference to the yellow ones is the quality of the car (the silver ones are usually newer and fancier), and the price (the silver ones are more expensive).
Both Careem and Uber have become popular in Jordan during the last years. While Careem became more or less legal recently, Uber still isn’t (there generally is no trouble using it, but the driver might ask you to sit in the front, to make it look like a private car).

 

Service

Service are ‘shared taxis’. They are usually white, and run along a fixed route, which is written at the side of the car. Along this route, you can get in and out when/wherever you want to. While services are very cheap, it takes some local knowledge to know (from) where they are going.

 

Buses

There are different sizes of buses (large ones, and smaller mini buses). They don’t have fixed schedules, and usually wait at their starting point (mostly one of Amman’s larger bus stations) until they are relatively full. You can then hop on and off at pretty much every point along their route.
For longer distances, the JETT company is running relatively comfortable and inexpensive coaches at a fixed.

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