TRAVEL TIPS

To plan your trip, here are some of the practical details you should know about Jordan

Entry Visa to Jordan

> Visitors with a valid passport may obtain a visa at any Jordanian embassy, consulate, or legation abroad.

> A visa can also be obtained at Amman International Airport or at any other border crossing except King Hussein Bridge for the current rate of US.D 29.00 per person for individual travelers and free of charge for groups of 5 people or more with Visa List

> Visas are valid for two weeks, but can be extended at any police station.

> Some visa restrictions may still apply for some nationalities, please ask us for an updated list.

Departure Tax

The departure tax from Jordan is to be paid at the three land borders of Sheikh Hussein Border, King Hussein Bridge, and Aqaba Border. In addition, to the departure tax from Aqaba port for those travelling by sea to Egypt. The current rate is US.D 15.00 per person. The departure tax from Amman airport should be included in the airline ticket.

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Business Hours

Friday is the weekly holiday. Banks, government offices and most businesses are closed on Saturdays as well. Many businesses, including airline offices, travel agencies and some shops also close on Thursday afternoon, although department stores and supermarkets remain open.

Business Type    

Banks: 08.30-15.00

Government Offices: 08.00-15.00

Business Offices: 08.30-13.00 & 15.30-18.30

Shops: 09.30-13.30 & 15.30-20.00

Please note that earlier closing times apply during the month of Ramadan

Opening & Closing Hours of Sites
Site Name Winter April & May  Summer Ramadan Friday & Official Holidays
Petra 6AM-4PM 6AM-6PM 7AM – 4PM No Change
Amman Citadel 8AM-5PM 8AM – 6PM 8AM-7PM 8AM – 3PM 9AM – 4PM
Jerash 8AM-4PM 8AM – 6PM 8AM-7PM 8AM – 3PM 9AM – 4PM
Ajloun 8AM-5PM 8AM – 6PM 8AM-7PM 8AM – 3PM 9AM – 4PM
Umm Qais 8AM-4PM 8AM – 6PM 8AM-7PM 8AM – 3PM 9AM – 4PM
Desert Castles 8AM-5PM 8AM – 6PM 8AM-7PM 8AM – 3PM 9AM – 4PM
RSCN Nature Reserve 8AM-5PM 8AM-7PM No Change
Bethany, Baptism site 8AM 4PM 8AM – 5PM No Change 8AM – 3PM
The museums in Amman close on Tuesday.

Public Holidays

Banks, businesses, government offices and many shops close all day for public holidays.

Fixed public holidays include

New Year’s Day January 1st
Labor Day May 1st
Independence Day May 25th
Christmas Day December 25th

A number of public holidays are not fixed. These include Easter and the following Islamic Holidays, which are based on the lunar calendar:

> Eid al-Fitr: 3 or 4-day feast marking the end of Ramadan.

> Eid al-Adha: 4 day feast at the end of the Hajj, or month of pilgrimage to Mecca.

> First of Muharam: Islamic New Year.

> The Birthday of Prophet Mohammed

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Language

The official language of Jordan is Arabic, but English is widely spoken especially in the cities. Many Jordanians have vast experience dealing with tourists so French, German, Italian and Spanish are also spoken especially in the touristic sites, but to a lesser extent.

Speaking Arabic is easier than you might think; attempting a few basic words will gain you respect from the locals and is a good way to break the ice. The Jordanian people are extremely understanding and will help you whenever they are able. Here are a few words to get you started:

English Arabic
Yes Na’am
No Laa
Thank You Shukran
You’re welcome Afwan
Hello Marhaba
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Attire

Jordan is a primarily Muslim country, although the freedom of all religions is protected. Muslim women’s clothing often covers their arms, legs 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 (downtown), and outside the cities. Topless sunbathing is prohibited and one-piece swimsuits are preferred, although two-piece swimsuits are acceptable at hotel pools.

Currency

The local currency is the Jordanian Dinar, symbol JD. There are 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 JD notes. The dinar is divided into 100 piasters and 1000 fils The fils is the unit most commonly used and you will usually see prices written as 4,750 (which is 4 JD and 750 fils). Currency can be exchanged at major banks, exchange booths and at most hotels. Street money-changers are best avoided. Exchange rates are set daily by the Jordanian Central Bank, and the Jordanian Dinar is fixed to the US Dollar where 1 US.D = 0.708 JD

Tipping

Most hotels and restaurants include a service charge in their bill, in which case it is not
obligatory to tip waiters, but you can always add a little extra. If service charge is not
included, waiters should be tipped around 10% of the bill.

Television

Jordan television broadcasts in English and French on Channel 2. Daily programme listings can be found in The Jordan Times. All other international stations are available via satellite at all hotels.

Electrical Current

220 – 240 AC volts, 50 cycles, requiring rounded two-prong wall plugs. Visitors from North America will need a transformer, which most hotels can provide.

Medical Care

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.

Shopping

Wherever you go in Jordan you will find plenty of opportunities to shop. For visitors there is a wide range of locally made handicrafts and other goods available at all the popular sites, as well as within the boutiques of the leading hotels and at the various visitors’ centers. There you will find hand-woven rugs and cushions, beautifully embroidered items and clothing, traditional pottery, glassware, silver jewelry embedded with semi-precious stones, Bedouin knives, coffee pots, Arghiles (hubble bubble), marquetry work, antiques and other artifacts. The list is endless and about as varied as you can imagine.

Both Amman and Aqaba offer sophisticated shops and boutiques selling the very latest fashions in jewelry, clothing, accessories, leather and electronic goods.

When in Amman, don’t forget to visit Al-Wakalat Street, Mecca Mall, City Mall and Taj Mall to find all the European and North American brand stores offering their latest collections. Also, Rainbow Street is a great tourist area, where many handicraft stores, coffee shops, and lounges overlook the paved lanes.

Almost everywhere in Jordan you can find the world-famous Dead Sea spa products. All are of excellent quality and produced under strict clinical conditions. They are also very reasonably priced.

Food and Drinks

Eating well and heartily is part of the Jordanian tradition, and there are many fine
restaurants that offer a wide selection of authentic Arabic food such as Fakhreddine Restaurant, Kan Zaman Village and Tawaheen Al Hawa Restaurant.

Dishes to try: The national dish, Mansaf, a whole stewed lamb with cooked yogurt sauce served on a bed of rice and bread. Also the Musakhan dish, which is chicken with onions, olive oil and pine seeds cooked in an oven; in addition, to the classic Middle Eastern barbeque dishes.

All sorts of other international cuisines restaurants can also be found in the capital city of Amman.

Coffee is concentrated and black usually flavored with cardamom, but tea is even more popular in Jordan. Local and International beer, wine and spirits are available throughout the country. The local alcoholic drink that is popular with Arabic dishes is Arak, a nice flavored liquor that is mixed with water and ice.

Population

The population of Jordan has grown rapidly over the last fifty years or so to 6,113,000 million people. Around 82.6% of the population lives in urban areas, with 2,367,000 million living in the capital, Amman.

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Newspapers

The main English-language daily is The Jordan Times. Foreign newspapers are available at hotels and some shops.

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Radio

Many radio stations broadcast in English including Radio Jordan and many other privately owned channels.

Weights & Measures

Jordan operates on the metric system. Length is counted in meters, distances in kilometers, weight in kilograms and volume in liters. You may come across the measurement for land: the dunum. One dunum is equivalent to approximately 1000 square meters (10,760 square feet).

Communications

Telephone services within Jordan are efficient and reliable. Directories in Arabic and English are widely available and international calls can be made from public and private phones. Country Code: +962. Fax services are available at most hotels while telegrams can be sent from post offices. Internet access is widespread via Internet cafes and hotels.

National Telephone Codes

City Dialing Code
Jerash & Ajloun 02
Amman 06
Karak, Petra, Aqaba and Wadi Rum 03
Dead Sea, Madaba, Salt and Zarqa 05
Mobile Zain 079
Mobile Orange 077
Mobile Omnia 078

Climate

You’ll enjoy the mildest weather in autumn and especially the spring, when wild flowers are in bloom. Summer is long, from May to September and intensely hot & dry, though evenings are much cooler. Rain falls from November to March in the North, but Aqaba on the Red Sea is a warm and sunny winter resort. Winter is an ideal time for Aqaba – Mellow days and warm seawater. Winter can be cold especially in Amman and in the east, temperatures in Amman average 5 oC (41 oF), in Aqaba 16 oC (61 oF). Summer temperatures in Amman average 28 oC (82 oF), in Aqaba 35 oC (95 oF).

Hotels and Resorts

Jordan is well equipped with 5*,4*,3* hotels throughout the country. Hotel and
restaurants prices are controlled by the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Supply. 5* Hotels are operated by local groups and well known International chains such us Mövenpick, Intercontinental, Kempinski, Four Seasons, Marriott, Crowne Plaza, etc.

Credit Cards


Credit cards are accepted at hotels, restaurants and larger shops, including American Express, Visa, Diners Club, and MasterCard. Please note that many smaller shops still prefer cash payment in the Jordanian currency, and it’s essential for shopping in the local souks.

Postal Services

As well as post offices, most 4- and 5-star hotels offer postal services.

Post office opening hours are:

Summer: Sat-Thurs 07.00-19.00 / Fri 07.00-13.00.

Winter: Sat-Thurs 07.00-17.00 / Fri 07.00-13.00.

There are also a number of international courier services, including DHL, FedEx, TNT International, UPS, etc.

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Water

Water is a precious resource in Jordan and visitors are encouraged not to waste it. Hotels rated 3 stars and up have their own water filtering systems and their water is considered safe to drink. Elsewhere, bottled water is inexpensive and readily available.

Education

Jordan’s has 10 public universities, 18 private universities, 52 community colleges, and 50 vocational training centers that houses more than 140,000 students from around the globe and the Arab world, with the numbers of foreign students growing at a rate of 9% per annum.

Useful Numbers

First Aid and Ambulance 199
Police 191 or 911
Fire Brigade 199
Rescue Police 192
Traffic Police 190
Highway Police +962 6 534 3402
Hotel Complaints +962 6 461 3103
Price Complaints +962 6 566 1176
Public Transport Complaints +962 6 506 3554
Royal Jordanian Flight Information +962 6 445 3200
Amman International Airport +962 6 445 2700

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