| Part 1: Introduction
This was our first trip to Jordan. Here are some random impressions:
- Jordan seems to be a relatively well-off country.
Everybody seems to have a car.
- Except for Petra, Jordan is not too touristy.
- Jordanians are friendly and like children.
- You notice that you are in Asia, because there are
big Asian-style shopping malls with food courts and the same mix of
fast food restaurants as you can find in southeast Asia.
- Amman only has very few sites worth visiting. It's
mainly a place suitable for shopping and can be used as a basis to
explore the region.
- Lots of very cheap Chinese-made stuff in the malls in
Aqaba. You can buy cheap toys and other cheap items, but have to check
the quality carefully.
The price level is almost on European levels for many items. Hotels and
stuff in shops and supermarkets costs the same as in Europe, while
restaurants and taxis are cheaper. Petrol for the car costs 57 cents,
about 40% of what it costs in Germany.
We frequently went to Chinese restaurants and only tried a couple of
times the local Jordanian cuisine, which is not bad. Freshly baked flat
bread (pancake-like) is excellent. Lots of fast food restaurants
We stayed mostly in medium to upper level places and only stayed in a
budget hotel in Aqaba. Prices were JOD 60 for the good value Ibis hotel
in Amman, 102 Euro for the Dead Sea Marriott hotel and JOD 45 for the
overpriced Darna Village resort. The Amra Palace hotel in Petra was
unimpressive and overpriced at JOD 64. We didn't have any problems with
none of the hotel where we stayed.
/ Exchange rate (December 2009)
1 Euro = 1.02 JOD
1 Euro = 1.45 USD
the Universal Currency
ATMs are everywhere, so that you can easily get cash with a
Cirrus/Maestro ATM card. You won't need traveller cheques.
phones and prepaid cards
We bought Zain prepaid SIM cards for our mobile phones. We spent JOD 7
if I remember correctly and never recharged the cards during our stay
(the airtime on the cards was sufficient for the two weeks we spent in
Jordan). For some reason I was unable to make international calls with
the Zain card - probably it required some activation which I didn't do.
It was also complicated to access the Internet with this card. Possibly
I didn't have the right settings for the phone.
I haven't seen Internet cafes in Jordan, but then I also didn't look
actively for them, since I relied on Internet access in the hotel. This
was free, except for the Dead Sea Marriott hotel which charged for it.
The temperatures in Jordan were warm enough to walk around without a
jacket (up to 20°C during daytime in the north of Jordan). It was
warmer on the Dead Sea and in Aqaba, where it was possible to swim in
the sea. Initially some overcast skies in Amman, then the sky was
always blue. Perfect weather for sightseeing: warm enough and at the
same time fresh enough to comfortably walk around the whole day.
None required for Jordan.
VISA / Entry
Visa on arrival available at the airport in Amman for a fee of JOD 10
No issues here. Jordan is a safe country to travel.
- Petra is amazing. Two days are the minimum, more are
necessary if you want to visit all sites.
- The Dead Sea is a very cool place to be. Spend a few
days there relaxing in a wellness hotel.
- Also Jerash is quite interesting.
Things to avoid
- The boat from Aqaba to Nuweiba if you have too much
luggage (no luggage service).
We rented a car to get around, paying 425 Euro for a
mid-size car (Citroen C5) with enough boots space for all our luggage.
We didn't use the car in Amman, where taxis are very cheap (typical
taxi ride is 1-3 JOD). Since distances in Jordan are not too big, but
public transportation is complicated, a car was the perfect way to get