Practical A to Z
Practical A to Z
- Eating out
- Getting around
- Opening times
Jordan is not renowned for gourmet cuisine. The tourist areas generally provide generous “buffet” meals.
A meal will cost from €5 in a working-class restaurant and between €10-20 in a smarter establishment. Falafel and shawarma sandwiches can be bought in the street from a host of little booths and stalls.
Alcohol can be bought in tourist and hotel restaurants. A few bars (particularly in Amman) can also be found in towns.
Tipping is not compulsory but always appreciated.
The voltage in Jordan is 220V (50Hz) and sockets are compatible with narrow pronged plugs.
British Embassy – PO Box 87 - Abdoun - Amman 11118 - t 06 590 9200 - http://ukinjordan.fco.gov.uk/en/
Honorary Consul of Ireland – No. 4 Mecca Street - Um Uthina - Amman 11118 - t 06 551 6807 - firstname.lastname@example.org
It is essential to organise your own private transport (taxi or car) to the isolated sites (desert castles, Umm al-Jimal, etc.).
Jordan’s road network is extremely well maintained. The network is very dense around Amman, although somewhat sparser in the south.
An international driving licence is mandatory to rent a car. Amman has no shortage of rental agencies. Rental cars cannot cross the border.
In towns, taxi rates are very competitive.
Rent a taxi for the day if you are planning an excursion to the desert castles or Dead Sea.
Shared taxis to predetermined destinations can be found at bus stations.
There is only one passenger line in Jordan that goes to Syria twice a week.
Coaches, the main means of transport, go to almost all of Jordan’s towns.
The national firm, Jett, is the most comfortable but only runs to the main sites (Aqabah, Petra, Amman).
Very cheap buses and mini buses offer more rudimentary comfort. There are several bus stations in Amman depending on the destination.
The tap water is supposed to be drinkable. Bottled mineral water can be purchased everywhere.
- Police: t 191
- Ambulance: t 199
Internet cafés are more and more widespread.
The currency of Jordan is the Jordanian Dinar (JD), often called the “djidi”.
There are two systems of subdivision of the JD:
1 JD = 100 piastres (or qirsh) = 1 000 fils.
Qirsh coins, more legible, will in the long term replace fils.
Money (euros, dollars, pounds) can be changed in the countless exchange offices or city centre banks (avoid the hotels whose commission rates are high).
Travellers’ cheques can be exchanged for cash in most banks, but are rarely accepted in payment of services.
Credit cards are accepted by medium category and luxury hotels and restaurants and by most tourist shops. Some smaller hotels and retailers also accept them, but the commission rate can reach 4%.
Cash can be withdrawn from automatic telling machines with a Visa card.
The cost of living is relatively cheap, particularly in terms of transport and food, if higher than in Syria.
Entrance charges for museums and sites are often between JD1 and 2 for foreigners (compared to JD0.15 for Jordanians), with the conspicuous exception of Jerash (JD8) and above all Petra, whose prices are even higher.
Friday is a day of rest in Syria, when the banks, public offices and most businesses are closed; some are even closed on Thursday afternoons.
During Ramadan, office-opening hours are generally shorter (9.30am-2pm).
Some museums are closed on Tuesday or Friday. The major sites are however open all year round.
In addition to a wealth of cheap souvenirs (tablecloths, perfume, copperware, etc.), Jordan has recently established a thriving craft industry of excellent quality, among which Bani Hamida carpets.
However, the choice and prices are more attractive in Syria.
All the towns have public phone booths.
Jordan has four area codes: 02 (Irbid, Umm Qais, Jerash, Ajloun), 03 (Aqabah, Petra, Ma’an, Karak, Wadi Rum), 05 (Salt, Dead Sea, Jordan Valley, Madaba) and 06 (Amman).
Jordanian mobile phone numbers start with 07.
To call Jordan from abroad
Dial 00 + 962 + area code (without the 0) + the number of the person.
To call home from Jordan
Dial 00 + country code (UK 44 and Ireland 353) + the number of the person.
Making calls inside Jordan
If you are in the same zone, dial the number of the person. Otherwise dial the area code and the number.