Jordan, a land of legend, history, & hospitality. Jordan offers its visitors a rich legacy of natural beauty, historical lore, and archeological intrigue
Approximate distances from the center of Amman [km]
Al-Mukhayba al-Fawqa (Al-Himma hot springs): 250
Bethany beyond the Jordan (Al-Maghtas in Wadi Kharrar): 45
Machaerus (Mukawir): 70
Al-Batra´ (Petra): 226
Queen `Alia International Airport: 34
Qasr `Amra: 75 (through Sahab)
Qasr al-Harrana (through Sahab): 60
As-Safawi: 144 (through Az-Zarqa´)
Ash-Shawmari: 114 (through Az-Zarqa´)
Ash-Shaykh Hussein Bridge: 94
Tabaqat Fahl: 78
Umm Qais: 101
Umm Ar-Rassas: 68 (through Madaba)
Khirbat Feinan: 217
Wadi Rum (Ramm): 311
How long does it take to get to . . . ?
The country's monetary unit is the Jordanian Dinar (JD); it is divided into 100 piasters or 1000 fils. Currency may be exchanged at any bank and most hotels, the exchange rate against the US dollar, steady throughout the 1990's, was JD 0.71 = US$1 (approximation based on exchange rates). There are no restrictions on the import and export of Jordanian or foreign currency
Banks are open from Sunday to Thursday, from 08:30 to 15:00.
A list of banks in Amman follows. There may be more than one branch, and larger banks have branches in cities and towns throughout the country.
Women in Jordan are not required to wear headscarves or face covers. It is up to the visitor's discretion to choose the appropriate attire keeping in mind the relative conservatism of Middle Eastern societies.
Swimming attire should only be worn around swimming pools or beaches and not in public places.
Even summer evenings can be quite cool, so one should be prepared to wear a shawl or sweater.
Winters are cold, windy and rainy. Heavy snow is not unusual.
Eating well and heartily is part of the Jordanian traditions, and there are many fine restaurants that offer a wide selection of authentic arabic food at reasonable prices.
Hotels offer a mixed menu of arabic and continental cuisine. Dishes to try are the national dish, Mansaf, a whole stewed lamb with cooked yoghurt sauce served on a bed of rice. Another dish which is Musakhan, chicken with onions, olive oil, pine seeds and seasoning. Cooked in an oven on a thick loaf of Arabic bread; Maglouba, a meat or fish and vegetable stew served with rice; and ofcource, the basic Shish Kabab, pieces of lamb, marinared chicken and patties of minced and spiced lamb meat all cooked over a charcoal fire with onions and tomatoes.
Locally produced beer,wine,and spirits are available throughout the country, as are imported drinks.
Bottled water is available, in addition to imported sparkling water.
They are widely available in hotels, restaurants, bars and some shops. Drinking is strictly prohibited on streets.
One hour developing is widely available. All sorts of films, cameras, disposable cameras, camcorders are available. Like in any country, it is advisable that one asks permission before photographing strangers.
Jordan local time is seven hours ahead of American Eastern Standard Time. From October through March, Jordan is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time. The rest of the year, Jordan is three hours ahead of GMT.
Most Jordanians work five days a week with Friday and Saturday off, but business and shopping hours are flexible. Some establishments are open from 9:30 - 13:30 and again from 15:30 to 18:00. Others may be open straight through the day, from 08:00 to 20:00
Government offices are open from 08:30 - 15:00. All businesses and most shops, other than those in the souqs, are closed on Fridays. During the Holy Month of Ramadan, working hours are more flexible and generally shorter.
The weather in Jordan is pleasurable for travel throughout the year. Amman is sunny and cloudless from May to October, with temperatures averaging approximately 25C (75 F). During the spring, the most beautiful season in Jordan, fields and mountains are coated with rich greenery and exquisite wildflowers. In autumn, the weather is mild and pleasant. July and August are hot and dry, but not restrictive of tourist activities. The valleys and Aqaba are ideal winter resorts, with temperatures averaging 16-22 C (66-72 F) between November and April. Rainfall is a rare occurrence in Aqaba as well as in the desert areas of Jordan.
The following Islamic holidays are based on the lunar calendar:
Water & electricity:
Potable water is a precious resource in Jordan. However, hotels rated three-star or better have their own water filtering systems (their water is considered safe to drink) and bottled water is cheap and readily available. As for electricity, 200V; 50 cycles; rounded two-prong plugs are used.
Transformers and adapters are widely available
(News Paper) The Jordan Times is the main daily English language newspaper; the Star is published every Thursday and has a French language supplement. Other foreign language newspapers are available in some hotels and shops.
(Radio & TV) The local Jordanian television station broadcasts in Arabic, English and French. CNN, BBC and offer foreign language satellite channels are available at most hotels.
Radio Jordan broadcasts at various times daily in English and French: The country is also served by the BBC's world service, Radio Monte Carlo and others.
(Telephones)Telephone services in Jordan are efficient and reliable; directories in Arabic and English can be found in the larger hotels. Jordan also has an international direct dialing with most countries.
Modern medical services are readily available in Jordan's larger cities and towns and the bigger hotels normally have a doctor on call. Most doctors speak English fluently.
Pharmacies can provide medication for minor aliments, but travelers should carry their own prescription medication.
Few specific facilities for those with special physical requirements exist in Jordan, although local people will do their best to assist people in need. Nevertheless, the accessibility of some tourist sites is very limited; it is advisable to call ahead to establish if special needs can be met. At Petra, for example, horse-drawn carriages to the main sites can be arranged in special cases.