Mobile phones
Getting around

Part 1: Introduction

19.12: Munich -> Amman
20.12: Amman
21.12: Amman -> Jerash -> Ajloun -> Amman
22.12: Amman
23.12: Amman -> Desert castle loop -> Amman
24.12: Amman -> Dead Sea
25.12: Dead Sea
26.12: Dead Sea -> Mt Nebo -> Madaba -> Petra
27.12: Petra
28.12: Petra
29.12: Petra -> Aqaba
30.12: Aqaba
31.12: Aqaba
01.01: Aqaba -> Nuweiba
08.01: Amman
09.01: Amman -> Munich

Overview and overall impression
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 everywhere.

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.

Money  / Exchange rate (December 2009)
1 Euro = 1.02 JOD
1 Euro = 1.45 USD
For current exchange rates check the Universal Currency Converter.

ATMs are everywhere, so that you can easily get cash with a Cirrus/Maestro ATM card. You won't need traveller cheques.

Mobile 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.


Internet access
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.

Health / Vaccinations
None required for Jordan.

VISA / Entry requirements
Visa on arrival available at the airport in Amman for a fee of JOD 10 per person.

No issues here. Jordan is a safe country to travel.

Recommended things
  • 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).

Getting around
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 around.

Copyright 2010 Alfred Molon