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GENERAL INFORMATION AND ADVICE

 

 

ENTRY INTO JORDAN

GETTING AROUND

ACCOMMODATION

DINING

CLIMATE

CLOTHING

CULTURAL CONSIDERATION

MONEY

POSTAL & COURIER SERVICES

TELECOMMUNICATIONS

MEDIA

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

RAMADAN

BUSINESS HOURS & THE WORKING WEEK

TIME

ELECTRICITY

SAFETY

SHOPPING

HEALTH

IMPORTANT TELEPHONE NUMBERS

DISTANCES

LANGUAGE

 


ENTRY INTO JORDAN:

Visa Requirements:

The cost of one entry visa for all nationalities is JD 40 (approximately $56) and for multiple entries it is JD 120(approximately $170).
 
Groups of five persons or more arriving through a designated Jordanian tour operator are exempted from all visa charges.
 
Certain nationalities require that any entry visa be obtained prior to travel. It is recommended that you check with the Jordanian diplomatic mission in your country prior to travel to ensure that you have all the necessary paperwork for travel.
 
 

By Road:

Syria:
Coming to Jordan by road from Syria, you can cross into Jaber or Ramtha. Jaber is 80 kms away from Amman and is most commonly used by visitors while Ramtha 90 kms away is mainly used for cargo transport. Both borders are open 24/7 throughout the year.
 
Israel:
There are three borders crossing between Jordan and Israel:
 
·         The Allenby/ King Hussein Bridge:
57 kms from Amman, located in the southern Jordan Valley, is open Sunday – Thursday 08:00hrs – 20:00hrs for arrivals and 08:00 to 14:00 for departures and Friday – Saturday 08:00hrs-13:00hrs.
 
·         Sheikh Hussein Crossing / North Border:
90 kms away from Amman, located in the north close to Lake Tiberias (Sea of Galilee), open 24/7 throughout the year.
 
·         Wadi Araba Crossing / South Border:
Located in the south, 324 kms away from Amman, connecting the two Red Sea resorts of Eilat and Aqaba. These are open Sunday – Thursday 06:30hrs – 22:00hrs and Friday – Saturday 08:00 hrs – 20:00hrs. At these crossings, visas for most nationalities can be obtained at the border; prior permits are not needed except for restricted nationalities. Wadi Araba Crossing closes on Islamic New Year day and Yom Kippur.
 
Iraq:
Coming to Jordan by road from Iraq through Al Karamah Border Crossing is 331 kms away from Amman and is open 24/7 throughout the year.
 
Saudi Arabia:
There are three borders crossing with Saudi Arabia from the east:
 
·         Umari Border Crossing:
155 kms away from Amman and is open 24/7 throughout the year.
 
·         Mudawara Border Crossing:
322 kms away from Amman and is open 24/7 throughout the year.
 
·         Durra Border Crossing:
Located in the south, 349 kms away from Amman and is open 24/7 throughout the year.
 

By Sea:

From Egypt, a car ferry service operates from Nuwiebah to Aqaba. Visas should be obtained in advance.

By Air:

Royal Jordanian our national carrier, is one of many international air carriers that fly regularly into Queen Alia International Airport located 35 kms south of Amman. The average flying time from the major European cities is four hours. The easiest way to get to downtown Amman from Airport is by taxi; the journey takes 30-45 minutes and the fare is about JD 15 which is equivalent to approximately $22. However, shuttle buses to the city centre bus station are also available, leaving the Airport every half-hour.
 
Please contact us for more information about entry to Jordan.
 
 

GETTING AROUND:

Amman and surrounding cities are relatively small and most places of interest, such as hotels and restaurants, are commonly known. Street addresses are rarely used (mail is delivered only to post office boxes located at neighborhood post office centres) and only the larger street names are well known. Therefore, when giving directions, it is customary to tell the driver the area or a nearby landmark (a large hotel, ministry building or supermarket, for example) and then proceed with instructions to your destination. This works more efficiently than it sounds!
 
Amman itself is built on seven "Jabals" or mountains, each of them more or less defining a neighborhood. Many Jabals have a traffic circle (roundabout) at their peak and they are numbered from east to west; i.e. 1st Circle, 2nd Circle…etc., all the way to 8th Circle. Other Amman neighborhoods that were once separate villages, have now merged into the fast-growing city of Amman.
 
One final word, if you're having trouble finding your way, don't hesitate to ask a passer-by! Most people will be delighted to help.
 

Taxis:

Taxis are inexpensive and often the most convenient form of transport in Jordan. The white-painted "service taxis" offer transportation between fixed routes and are  shared with other passengers. Private taxis are yellow; they can be taken from ranks outside larger hotels or hailed on the street. Taxis have meters, but there are typically not used after 23:00, so it is advisable to agree to cost beforehand. The same applies to long journeys. Taxi drivers are friendly and usually speak some English. Taxis in Aqaba are now green!
 
It is customary for the female passenger to sit in the back seat of the taxi; a male typically sits in the front passenger seat.
 
Tipping is not required, but it is customary to add about 200 fils (JD0.200) to the price of the meter price. Simply round it up.
 

Buses:

Several companies offer charter bus and regular tours in a fleet of modern, air-conditioned coaches.
 

Car Rental:

Jordan has an excellent and expanding road network, and renting a car can be a good way to see the country. A driving license valid in your country of origin is acceptable, provided it has been valid for at least on year. Driving is on the right. Road signs on the highways are in Arabic and English. Please note that brown signs indicate a tourist site. There are plenty of petrol stations in Amman and other cities, and on most highways (except the Dead Sea/Aqaba road), but it is strongly recommended to fill up before embarking on any long journey. Lead-free petrol is available in most petrol stations in Amman.
 
There are many car rental offices; many hotels have car rental offices on their premises.
 

Rail:

There is only one passenger train in Jordan, the Hejaz Railway, which runs twice a week between Amman and Damascus on the same track that was built by the Ottomans at the beginning of the 20th century. The train departs from Amman every Monday and Thursday at 08:00h. This historic railway makes a wonderful cultural experience, though the journey might take longer than expected.
 

ACCOMMODATION:

Plenty of accommodation is available in Jordan. From five-star hotels on the coast and in Amman to campsites in the desert.  For more site-specific information, please contact us at reservations@explorejordantours.com
 

DINING:

Jordanian cuisine, while unique, is part of the Arabic culinary heritage. Food in the Arab world, is more than simply a matter of nourishment. Feasting is a preoccupation and food is often the centerpiece of social activities. As a guest, be assured that vast platters of succulent and nutritious food will be made to honour your visit. Dishes will satisfy even the most health conscious person, as many of them are prepared with grain, cheese, yogurt, fresh and dried fruits and vegetables. Always ask about the ingredients if you have allergies as many dishes contain nuts and wheat.
 

CLIMATE:

Jordan boasts a Mediterranean climate ideal for year-round holidays and travel. Amman is sunny and cloudless from May to October, with average temperatures around 23°C (73°F). Springtime brings optimal weather, lush with greenery, while autumn is equally mild and pleasant. July and August are hot and dry but not oppressive. Aqaba and the Jordan Valley are ideal winter resorts, with temperatures averaging 16-22°C (61-72°F) between November and April. There is very little rain in the Aqaba area and in the desert. Visitors from northern climates should always be aware of the inherent risks involved from extended exposure to the sun and are advised to take appropriate precautions.
 

CLOTHING:

Even in summer, evenings can be cool, so a warm top is recommended at night. In winter, it is advisable to bring a warm coat and raincoat, since the weather can turn rather cold, especially in Amman and the east.
 

CULTURAL CONSIDERATIONS:

Public Appearance:

Jordan is primarily a Muslim country, although the freedom of all religions is protected. Muslim women's clothing often covers their legs, arms, and hair. Western women are not subject to these customs, but very revealing clothing is never appropriate, and conservative dress is advisable for both men and women in the old part of Amman and outside the cities. Shorts are rarely worn by either sex, and would be out of place in the downtown Amman area. Topless sunbathing is prohibited and one-piece swimsuits are preferred, although two-pieces swimsuits are acceptable at the hotel pools.
 

Smoking:

Smoking is common in Jordan, however smoke-free accommodation is available in larger hotels. Smoking a Nargileh, the traditional water pipe or hubbly-bubbly, is an interesting experience.
 

Tipping:

Tipping is never required but always appreciated. In hotels and restaurants, 10% may be added to the bill, but a small tip for the waiters is appropriate. For hotel bellmen and porters, 500 files or 1 JD or US$ 2 is customary; in taxis, add about 200 fils to the prices of the meter.
 

MONEY:

Currency & Money Exchange:

The local currency is the Jordanian Dinar (JD) which is often called the "jaydee". There are 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 JD notes. The Dinar divided into 100 piasters (pronounced "pee-aster") or 1000 fils. The piaster is the unit most commonly used and you will usually see prices written as 4,750 (which is 4 JD and 75 piaster or 4.75 JD).
 
Currency can be exchanged at major banks, exchange agencies, and most hotels. There are also currency exchange facilities at Queen Alia International Airport within the terminal building. Street money-changers should be avoided whenever possible. Exchange rates are set daily by the Jordanian Central Bank.
 

Credit Cards and Travellers Cheques:

Credit cards are accepted at hotels, restaurants, and larger shops, including American Express, VISA, Diners Club, and MasterCard. Traveller's cheques can be exchanged for cash at exchange shops, though you should expect to pay a commission of up to 5% for doing so. 
 
Please note that many smaller shops still prefer cash payment in the Jordanian currency, and it is essential for shopping in the local souqs. The number of automated teller machines (ATMs) are fast increasing in Jordan.

Banks:

Banks are open Sunday – Thursday. 08:30h – 15:00h. Most banks have branches in cities and towns throughout the kingdom.
 
 

POSTAL & COURIER SERVICES:

Post:

As well as post offices, most hotels offer postal services. Post office opening hours:
Saturday – Thursday 08:00h – 17:00h, closed on Fridays.
 

Couriers:

A variety of companies provide courier services. In most cases, they offer at-your-door pick up. International courier services represented here include DHL, FedEx, TNT International, UPS, and Aramex.
 
 

TELECOMMUNICATIONS:

Telephone Area Codes:

2 --- Ajloun, Jerash, Irbid, Mafraq, Umm Qays.
3 --- Karak, Wadi Musa (petra), Ma'an, Wadi Rum, Aqaba.
5 --- Azraq, As-Salt, Fujeis, Pella, Jordan Valley, Madaba, Hammamat Ma'in, The Dead Sea.
6 --- Amman.
 
The international country code for Jordan is 962. To call a number outside Jordan, dial 00, followed by the country code, area code and the number required. The network coverage for mobile phones is excellent throughout Jordan.
 

Directory Enquiries:

1212 for Jordan and 1213 or 1322 for international numbers.
 

Fax & Telegrams:

Fax services are available at the Amman central Post Office and in most major hotels. Telegrams can be sent from post offices.
 
Internet:
 
Internet access is widely available at the numerous internet cafes and large hotels.
 
 

MEDIA:

Television & Radio:
Jordan Television broadcasts in English and French on Channel 2. Daily programme listings can be found in the English daily newspaper, the Jordan Times. CNN, BBC World, Euro News, and other international channels are available via satellite at most hotels.
 
Newspapers:
The main English-Language daily newspaper is The Jordan Times. A weekly English-Language paper, The Star, is published on Thursdays and has a French supplement. Foreign newspapers are available at hotels and book shops.
 

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS:

Banks, business, government offices and many shops close all day for public holidays:
 
New Year's Day                                  : 01st January.
King Abdullah II's Birthday                   : 30th January.
Labour Day                                          : 01st May.
Independence Day                              : 25th May.
The Late King Hussein's Birthday       : 14th November.
Christmas Day                                    : 25th December.
 
A number of public holidays are not fixed. These include the following Islamic holidays, which are based on the lunar calendar:
 
Eid al-Fitr                                 : A 3-day feast marking the end of Ramadan.
Eid al-Adha                              : A 4-day feast at the end of Hajj, or month of  pilgrimage to Mecca.
First of Muharam                     : Islamic New Year.
Eid al-Isra'wal Mi'raj                 : Celebrating the visit of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) to heaven.
Al Mawled Al Nabawi               : The Birthday of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).
 
 

RAMADAN:

Ramadan is a holy month of fasting, the date of which varies according to the Islamic lunar calendar. During Ramadan, alcohol is not sold, except in larger hotels. Eating, drinking and smoking in public is discouraged during the hours of daylight. Most stores, banks and offices open late at 09:00, and close early at 14:00. Other businesses have limited hours.
 
 

BUSINESS HOURS & THE WORKING WEEK:

Friday is the weekly holiday. Banks, government offices and public service institutions are closed on Saturday as well. Many businesses also close on Thursday afternoon, although department stores and supermarkets remain open.
 
Banks                           : 08:30h – 15:00h.
Business offices           : 08:30h – 13:00h & 15:30h – 18:30h.
Government offices      : 08:00h – 15:00h.
Shopping Centers         : 10:00h – 22:00h.
 
 
Opening hours for historical sites and museums:
April – May:
Most historical sites and museums are open from 08:00 until 17:30. Petra opens from 06:00 until 18:00.
 
June – September:
Most historical sites and museums are open from 08:00 until 18:30. Petra opens from 06:00 until 18:30.
 
October – March:
Most historical sites and museums are open from 08:00 until 16:00. Petra opens from 07:00 until 16:00.
Shorter working hours apply during the month of Ramadan from 08:00 to 15:30.
 

TIME:

October – March                     : G.M.T +2 hours
April – September                   : G.M.T +3 hours.
 
Jordan is 7 hours ahead of US Eastern Time.
 

ELECTRICITY:

The electrical system is based on 220 AC volts, 50 cycles, and while most sockets are of the rounded two-pronged type, three-pin sockets are also common. Visitors from USA will need a transformer; most hotels provide one upon request.
 

SAFTEY:

Jordan is an extremely safe and friendly place to travel. People are very helpful especially in case of emergency. It is generally safe to walk around at any time of day or night. However, it is sensible to take obvious precautions: look after your belongings and keep valuables in the hotel safe. Lost belongings should be reported to the police.
 
 

SHOPPING:

Jordan is renowned as a shopping destination and presents an interesting blend of modern and traditional items. Browsing through souqs as well as big malls in Jordan can be a lot of fun and may turn into something of a social occasion. In small shops particularly, it is not unusual to be offered a cup of coffee or tea before getting down to business. The Souq is one of the remaining places where the tradition of bargaining or haggling over the price is still observed, so practise your negotiating skills and pick up a bargain!
 
Shopping hours are flexible. Some shops are open from 09:30 – 13:30 and 15:30 – 18:00. Others may be open longer hours, from 08:00 – 20:00. Many shops close on Friday, but the Souq does not. Please note that while Jordan has a sizable handicrafts industry, it also boasts many modern, high-tech shopping outlets, offering the very latest trends in fashion and technology.
 
 

HEALTH:

Water:
Water is a precious resource in Jordan and visitors are encouraged to conserve it. Hotels rated three stars and above have their own water filtering systems and their water is considered safe to drink. Elsewhere, bottled water is cheap and readily available.
 
Medical Care:
Medical services are excellent in the larger cities and towns and most doctors speak Arabic and English. Larger hotels have a doctor on call and embassies can also suggest suitable medical service providers. Any hotel concierge or taxi driver will be able to direct you to a doctor or hospital.
 
Pharmacies:
Pharmacies can provide medication for minor ailments; some of them are open 24 hours. However, travellers are advised to bring any special medication they normally take, in case it is not available in Jordan.
 
Special Needs:
Few specific facilities for the physically handicapped exist in Jordan. Although local people are as helpful as one could wish and will do their best to assist. Nevertheless, accessibility of some tourist sites in very limited and it is advisable to call ahead and inquire. The Jordanian parliament has passed a law requiring all new public constructions to provide wheelchair access, and many other improvements are also being made.
 

IMPORTANT TELEPHONE NUMBERS:

Emergency numbers: 199 and 191.
 
 

DISTANCES:

 
 
 

LANGUAGE:

WHILE Arabic is the official language in Jordan, English is also widely spoken.
 
When Arabic is written using the Latin alphabet, English spelling is applied. However, this spelling can be interpreted in various ways and the spelling of street addresses, for example, can vary widely.
 
Speaking Arabic is easier than you might think and attempting a few basic words will gain you respect from the locals and is a good way to break the ice. Jordanians are extremely understanding and will help you whenever they are able.
 
The following list of useful phrases should help you get started with your introduction to the Arabic language as it is spoken in Jordan, Good Luck!
 
                                    Hello                                        Marhaba
                                    Good-bye                                Ma'asalameh
                                    My name is                             Ismee
                                    What is your name?                Shoo ismak?
                                    Thank you                               Shukran
                                    You're Welcome                     Afwan
                                    Please                                     Law samaht / min fadlak
                                    Excuse me                              An iznak
                                    What time is it?                       Edesh el sa'aa?
                                    How much does this cost?     Bikaam hatha?
                                    Where is the restroom?          We nil hamaam?
                                    Money                                     Masari
                                    Where?                                   Wain?
                                    Left                                          Shmaal
                                    Right                                        Yameen
                                    Straight                                    Dughree
 
Numbers:
                                    One                                         Waahid
                                    Two                                         Tinain
                                    Three                                       Talaateh
                                    Four                                         Arba'a
                                    Five                                         Khamseh
                                    Six                                           Sitteh
                                    Seven                                      Sab'a
                                    Eight                                        Tamenyeh
                                    Nine                                         Tis'a
                                    Ten                                          Ashra
 
 
Arabic numbers are easy to read – in fact; the western numerical system was originally derived from the Arabic system. Unlike the words Arabic numerals are read from left to right the same as western numerals.
 
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 

 



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