Jordan Travel Tips
Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and UAE
Visa on arrival
Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, UK, France, Canada, USA, etc.
Prior visa clearance required
African countries except Egypt, Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa, Zimbabwe, etc.Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Iran, Laos, etc.
Europe: Albania and Moldova
North America: Belize and Cuba
South America: Colombia
Note: The fee for visas on arrival: JOD 40 for a single entry with a maximum stay of 2 months; JOD 60 for a 3-month double-entry visa; and JOD 120 for a 6-month multi-entry visa.
Travel CostThe official currency is JOD. Tourists can exchange money at airports, while it is not recommended for the unfavorable exchange rate. Banks and authorized agencies provide foreign currency exchange service in downtown Amman and most hotels engage in the business as well. ATMs can be seen everywhere, and tourists had better withdraw money in Housing Bank and ABC Bank, where handling fee is waived, and other banks charge JOD 2.5.
The consumption level is relatively high and a set meal of Kebab including salty yogurt, vegetable salad and two pieces of chewy cakes costs JOD 5. Hotels, restaurants, and large shopping malls accept payment by credit cards such as American Express, VISA, Diners Club and MasterCard, while some small shops only accept local currency. Tourists need to pay 16% consumption tax in hotels, restaurants and shopping malls and tip 10% for the service unless it is included in the bill.
AccommodationInterContinental Jordan in Amman is highly-acclaimed by its staff’s friendliness and hospitality. It has everything that tourists may expect including free Wifi, parking lot, airport shuttle, swimming pool, spa, fitness center, etc. A variety of rooms are offered such as single rooms, double rooms, presidential suites, etc. Cliff Hotel, opposite to Hashem Restaurant, is well-known in Amman. It provides clean rooms, satisfactory beds, bathrooms and free Wifi from 7:00 to 24:00. A single room costs JOD 11 and a double room costs JOD 16. The charge of a bed is JOD 5. Cliff Hotel also provides one-day itineraries to top attractions like Jerash and the Dead Sea. The Boutique Hotel Amman in downtown is cost-efficient. The charge of a bed is JOD 6. A room has a capacity of five persons with a public bathroom and breakfast needs an extra charge of JOD 3.
Valentine Inn is well-known in Petra and the hotel cars usually pick up tourists from the town bus station. A double room costs JOD 20, and one bed charges JOD 4 or JOD 6 depending on the quality. A buffet dinner is prepared for tourists with a charge of JOD 5 per person. Tourists can reserve bus tickets to Amman, Aqaba and Wadi Rum at the reception desk and buses pick up tourists at the hotel in the morning. Saba’a Hotel is also a good choice, which helps tourists buy tickets for Petra night tour and bus tickets to Wadi Rum (JOD 7).
FoodThe staple food is leavened pancakes and hoecakes and local people are especially fond of meat pies. They usually eat beef and mutton and drink yogurt and tea.
Most restaurants first serve tourists with appetizers consisting of khobs, eish, hummus, etc.
Then the entrees come such as Mansaf, Kebabs and Farooj. Mansaf can be counted as the national dish, similar to hand pilaf. Mutton is put on rice and pine nuts and coated with cheese sauce. People usually wrap them up with a piece of pancake to eat. Kebabs, similar to charcoal grill, usually adopts boneless chicken, mutton, and beef. Farooj is like roasted chicken and usually is eaten with bread and salad.
Snacks like Shawarma and Falafel are worth tasting. Shawarma is Arabic sandwiches with beef and mutton in bread. Falafel is fried dough made of chickpea, onion, celery and pepper. Sweet foods are also popular such as Baklawa, Kunafeh, Atayef, Ma’moul, etc.
Tea and coffee are common beverages. Tea tastes sweet and sometimes with fresh mint. Local people usually show their friendliness by offering coffee to guests. Alcohols, especially liquor are forbidden for Muslims but most hotels and bars supply alcohols for tourists.
Hashem Restaurant is famous for hummus and falafel. Lamb chops in Zorba Tourist Seafood Restaurant are great. Habibah Sweets is also popular for its desserts.
ShoppingIn Jordan, unique mosaic techniques are applied to decorative paintings, picture frames, wall papers, ground tiles. Mosaic patterns can also be found in ceramic wares such as vases and storage tanks. Glasswares in traditional or peculiar styles may make tourists’ eyes brightened. Various handicrafts such as hand-made rugs and colored flasks as well as skin care products from the Dead Sea are also popular souvenirs.
FestivalsMawlid al-Nabi on 8th February is an important festival for Islam in memory of Muhammad’s birth. Eid al-Fitr on 18th August is a peaceful and joyous festival at the end of Ramadan. Muslims thank Allah for strengthening their belief. They wear new clothes and slaughter draught animals on Eid ul-Adha. The meat is shared with the poor to ensure every Muslim have food.
Do’s and Don’ts
Do’sIt’s expected to stand up while greeting people and to shake hands with people except women wearing a veil. Arabs tend to stand close to each other while talking and eye contact is considered as respectful. Tourists had better accept the invitation of coffee for it is a cultural sign of hospitality and should shake cups if you don’t want more. It is normal to bargain when shopping and enough change should be prepared.
Don’tsWomen shouldn’t dress scantily and wear jewelries with religious connotations. It is rude to pass things with the left hand, touch children’s head and point others with feet. Don’t bother or walk in front of a Muslim when he or she is praying. Do not drink alcohols in public. During Ramadan, tourists should avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public and according to traffic rules, honking is banned.
Power SupplyThe voltage is 220V and most plugs are with double round pins, so adapters may come in handy.
Internet and TelephoneWifi is universalized and tourists can surf the internet in coffee shops and hotels. If tourists need to buy a SIM card, there are telecommunication outlets at the shopping area in the airport like Orange and Zain. If you use the Orange, a card costs JOD 5 with JOD 3 as the balance. The data package is relatively expensive, 250 MB costing JOD 3 a month.
Useful NumbersCalling Code: +962