Jordan travel guide
Jordan has an ancient history, breathtaking landscapes, and vibrant culture. From the lost city of Petra to the vast desert of Wadi Rum, Jordan has something for every traveler. But beyond its iconic landmarks, this country is also a food lover’s paradise, offering a range of mouth-watering dishes and unique spices. Join me on a journey to explore the wonders of Jordan and discover this destination’s many treasures.
Visa for Jordan
Are you planning a trip to Jordan? Make sure to check the visa requirements beforehand to avoid any last-minute surprises. For many nationalities, tourist visas can be obtained at the airport for 40 JD (around EUR 50) for a single entry. This way, you can start exploring this fascinating country and all it offers immediately.
Best time to visit Jordan
Choosing the right time of year is important if you’re planning a trip to Jordan. The best time to visit this beautiful country is spring and autumn. Temperature is ideal for outdoor activities and sightseeing from March to June and mid-September to late November. However, if you’re planning a trip to the Dead Sea or the Wadi Rum desert, be prepared for scorching hot temperatures during the summer months from July to September. Winter (from December to February) is also an excellent time to visit, although temperatures can be colder. So plan your trip according to the activities you want to do and the places you want to see, and enjoy your time in Jordan.
Ramadan in Jordan
Ramadan is a significant event in the Islamic calendar, and for Jordanians, it is a time of reflection, devotion, and community. During this month, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset and break their fast at sunset with an evening meal called iftar. It’s a time to strengthen relationships, seek forgiveness, and reflect on one’s spiritual journey.
If you’re planning a trip to Jordan during Ramadan, there are a few things you need to know. Many shops and restaurants will have reduced hours or be closed during the day. Planning is essential because this can make it challenging to find places to eat and drink. Moreover, some restaurants and shops may not serve alcohol during Ramadan.
It’s also important to be respectful of those who are fasting during this month. Avoid eating or drinking in public during the day, as it may be seen as insensitive. Jordanians are welcoming and hospitable people, and they will appreciate your consideration and respect.
If you’re invited to an iftar meal, it’s an excellent opportunity to experience Jordanian hospitality and culture. Traditional Jordanian dishes such as mansaf (a lamb and rice dish) and musakhan (a chicken and bread dish) are often served during Ramadan, along with sweets like qatayef (a sweet stuffed pastry) and baklava.
Ramadan is a special time to visit Jordan; experiencing it firsthand can be a memorable and meaningful experience. However, it’s essential to respect the country’s customs and traditions during this time and plan accordingly. By doing so, you can gain a deeper understanding of Jordanian culture and create lasting memories.
Safety in Jordan
Jordan is a safe and peaceful tourist country with a low crime rate. However, as with any other travel destination, taking some precautions is essential to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.
When exploring Jordan’s beautiful landscapes and historical sites, staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water, especially during the hot summer months, is essential. High-factor sunscreen is also necessary to protect your skin from the scorching sun. Additionally, wearing a hat or head protection is advisable to shield your head from the heat.
While crime incidents are rare in Jordan, it’s wise to be cautious and vigilant, especially in crowded markets and tourist sites. Be mindful of your surroundings and monitor your belongings, especially in busy public areas. It’s also recommended to avoid flashing expensive jewelry or carrying large sums of cash, as it may attract unwanted attention.
In the case of an emergency, the Jordanian police and healthcare services are generally reliable and responsive. It’s a good idea to keep their contact information on hand, just in case. Moreover, it’s always advisable to let someone know where you’re going and when you plan to return, especially if you’re traveling alone.
Overall, Jordan is a beautiful and welcoming country, and with a few simple precautions, you can have a safe and enjoyable trip.
Transport from airports
International airports in Jordan are the gateways to this beautiful country. The country has two international airports, Queen Alia International Airport (AMM) and King Hussein International Airport. These airports are well-equipped to cater to the needs of visitors from all over the world.
QUEEN ALIA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (AMM) IS the main airport in Jordan, 35 km south of Amman. It is the largest airport in the country and is well-connected to major cities worldwide. King Hussein International Airport, on the other hand, is located in Aqaba, less than 10 km from the city center. It is a gateway for tourists arriving in Aqaba, the Red Sea’s resort town.
If you are flying to Jordan and wondering how to get to your destination from the airport, don’t worry; several transportation options are available. Let’s take a look at the transportation options available from both airports.
Transportation from Queen Alia International Airport (AMM):
Airport Express Buses: If you are looking for an affordable option, the airport provides bus services from 6.00 am to midnight daily. The journey takes 45 to 60 minutes, depending on the traffic, and buses run every 30 minutes until 18.00, after which they run once every hour. The one-way fare is JOD 2.50, and tickets can be purchased at the official kiosks within the airport premises.
Airport taxis: The airport also offers taxi services that are available 24/7. A taxi ride from the airport to a hotel in the city center costs around 20 JOD (EUR 25), and the prices are displayed on the taxi boards at the airport.
Local buses: Another affordable option is to take the local buses between the city center and the airport. The buses are cheap, but they wait for the buses to become whole before departing.
TRANSPORTATION FROM KING HUSSEIN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT:
Airport shuttles: The airport offers shuttles from Aqaba Airport to Aqaba City Center Hotels, including hotel pickup and drop-off, for all Ryanair, Norwegian, and Royal Wings flights. A ride costs $5 per person, and this is the cheapest way to get to and from Aqaba Airport with door-to-door service.
Jordan is a safe country to visit, and the transportation options from the airports are convenient and affordable. So, whether you’re arriving in Amman or Aqaba, rest assured that you’ll have a hassle-free journey to your destination.
Traveling around Jordan
Roads in Jordan are modern and exceptionally well-maintained. Buses and minibusses are cheap and easy ways to get from town to town. There is an option of hiring long/distance taxis, although convenient, there are much more expensive. If you prefer to hire a car, you will need an International Driving Permit.
Say Marhaba (hello)!
Marhaba is a Jordanian greeting word. People here are amiable. Meeting foreigners, they see as an opportunity to practice the language. So, everybody will try to start a conversation with you.
Accommodation in Jordan
Jordan offers various accommodation options for travelers of all budgets and preferences. From cozy guesthouses to luxury resorts, the country has it all.
The Bedouin tents in Wadi Rum are an excellent option for those who want to experience the traditional nomadic lifestyle. These tents have basic amenities, but the real draw is the opportunity to stargaze at night and enjoy the stunning desert landscape during the day.
Plenty of five-star hotels in Jordan offer world-class amenities and services for those who prefer more luxurious accommodations. Many of these hotels are located in the capital city of Amman, but there are also options in other cities like Aqaba and Petra.
Plenty of affordable guesthouses and hostels nationwide exist if you’re traveling on a budget. These options are great for backpackers and solo travelers who want to meet new people and save money on accommodation.
Booking websites like Booking.com and Airbnb also has a wide range of options for travelers, ranging from apartments to villas and everything in between.
Regardless of where you choose to stay, it’s always a good idea to check the Jordan Hotels Association website (johotels.org) for ratings and reviews of hotels and accommodations. This website provides a comprehensive guide to all hotels in Jordan, grading them from one to five stars based on their facilities and services.
So, whether you’re looking for a traditional Bedouin tent or a luxury five-star hotel, Jordan has something for everyone. With so many options available, finding accommodation that suits your budget and preferences is easy.
Food in Jordan
Jordanian cuisine is a delightful blend of Middle Eastern flavors and spices, making it a treat for foodies worldwide. The country’s history and geography have influenced its culinary culture, resulting in a diverse range of delicious dishes that reflect Jordan’s heritage and traditions.
One of the most common dishes in Jordan is the Khubez, or the flatbread, which is the cornerstone of Jordanian cuisine. It’s served at every meal, and you can use it to soak up sauces or dip into hummus and other dips.
Another popular Jordanian food is Mezze, a shared appetizer platter. These dishes are usually small, and you can enjoy a variety of flavors and textures in one sitting. Some of the most common Mezze dishes include Falafel, Fattet hummus, Moutabel, and Manakish.
Galayet Bandora is an excellent option for vegetarians, a stewed tomato dish seasoned with spices. Tabbouleh is another must-try vegetarian dish with fresh parsley salad mixed with tomatoes, onion, and olive oil. And for stuffed vegetable lovers, Kousa Mahshi is a delicious dish made with stuffed zucchinis, which pairs well with Labneh, a strained yogurt.
For meat lovers, Jordan has many excellent dishes in every restaurant. Jordan’s most popular meat dishes are Shish kebabs, Shawarma, Maqluba, Mansaf, and a traditional Bedouin dish called Zaarb.
When it comes to desserts, Kanafeh is a Jordanian specialty that you must try. It’s a sweet pastry made with cheese and shredded phyllo dough soaked in a sugary syrup and topped with pistachios. It pairs well with a cup of thick Turkish coffee.
The price of a meal in Jordan ranges from 5 JOD for a simple dish to 20 JOD for a traditional dinner at a restaurant. But there are options for everyone, including street food and small local eateries that offer tasty food at affordable prices.
Jordan is a food lover’s paradise, and you’ll find a diverse range of delicious dishes to satisfy your taste buds. So, when in Jordan, try as many dishes as possible and explore the unique flavors of this Middle Eastern country.
Drink in Jordan
Jordan offers a variety of refreshing and delicious drinks that tourists should try during their visit to the country. Mint tea, also known as “shay bi nana,” is the most popular tea in Jordan. It is often served after meals by pouring black tea into a cup with a few fresh mint leaves. Jordanians love to add sugar or honey to their tea to give it a sweet and refreshing taste.Apart from the traditional Turkish coffee and mint tea, several other local drinks are worth sampling.
One of Jordan’s most popular and refreshing drinks is Jallab, made from dates, grape molasses, and rose water and topped with pine nuts. It is often served with ice and is perfect for hot summer days. Another popular drink is Qamar Al-Din, made from apricot juice and served coldly, especially during Ramadan.
Jordan is also famous for its wine; the country has produced wine for over 2000 years. Some favorite Jordanian wines include St. George, Haddad, and Zumot. There are several wineries in Jordan offering tours and wine tastings for visitors.
For those who prefer non-alcoholic drinks, Jordan also offers some unique and tasty options. One such drink is Tamarind juice, made from the pulp of tamarind fruit mixed with sugar and water. It is sweet and sour and a perfect thirst quencher.Pomegranate juice is also popular in Jordan, made by hand-pressing the fruit. Vendors sell it on the street for only 1JD – 2JD per glass. The best part is that the juice is made from seasonal fruits so the taste can vary throughout the year.However, if you are looking for a drink to beat the heat, look no further than Lemon mint, also known as lemonade. This drink is the perfect mix of tangy and sweet, made with fresh lemon (or lime) and mint leaves. It is a refreshing drink that can help you cool down during hot and sunny days in Jordan.
Another popular drink is Sahlab, a warm and creamy milk-based drink flavored with cinnamon and topped with nuts. It is usually consumed during the winter months and is known to have medicinal properties.
Lastly, tourists must try the Jordanian yogurt drink called Ayran, made from yogurt, water, and salt. It is a refreshing and healthy drink often served with meals and is perfect for those who want to cool down during hot summers.
Jordan has a variety of unique and refreshing drinks that tourists must try during their visit. There is something for everyone, from traditional coffee and tea to juices, wine, and yogurt drinks.
WHAT TO SEE IN JORDAN
Jordan is a beautiful country with a rich history and many unique sites to explore. From the bustling capital city of Amman to the breathtaking natural wonders of Wadi Rum and the Dead Sea, Jordan has something for everyone. Let’s take a closer look at some of Jordan’s top places to visit.
Amman is a vibrant city and the perfect place to start your Jordanian adventure. With a history dating back to ancient times, this city has fascinating sites to explore. Amman’s must-see attractions include the Al-Husseini Mosque, the Roman Citadel, and the Theatre. Make sure to visit the Gold Souq for some incredible jewelry.
Petra is undoubtedly one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world, and it’s not hard to see why. Built over 2000 years ago by the Nabataeans, this stunning city is nestled in a gorge with cliffs up to 80 meters high. Petra is home to over 800 carved tombs and is one of the World’s New Seven Wonders. It’s a must-visit when in Jordan.
Wadi Rum is a breathtaking desert that has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Surrounded by black granite mountains, this timeless “Valley of the Moon” offers some of the most spectacular sunsets and sunrises you will ever see. It’s the perfect place for a romantic getaway and a must-visit in Jordan.
The Dead Sea
The Dead Sea is one of the fascinating natural phenomena in the world. With a salinity nine times higher than seawater, most life can’t survive in this lake. However, the black, rich mud found at the Dead Sea is said to work miracles on your skin, making it a famous natural health spa. The shores of the Dead Sea sit 423 meters below sea level, making it the lowest spot on Earth.
Mount Nebo is a site of great importance for believers, as this was where Moses first saw the Promised Land and where he died at the age of 120. The site offers impressive viewpoints of Jericho, the Jordan River (where Jesus was baptized), and even Jerusalem can be seen on a clear day.
Madaba is a small city located just 30 km from Amman. It’s best known for the “Madaba Map,” a mosaic depiction of Jerusalem and parts of the Holy Land from the 6th century preserved on the floor of the Greek Orthodox Basilica of Saint George.
Aqaba is Jordan’s only coastal city and offers an excellent stopover for those exploring Jordan. With a fascinating history and excellent diving and snorkeling opportunities, Aqaba is the perfect base for short visits to Israel, Palestine, and Egypt.
The River Jordan
The River Jordan has a significant spiritual significance in Christianity and Judaism, as it was where Jesus of Nazareth was baptized, and the tribes of Israel crossed the river to enter the Promised Land. The Baptism Site of Jesus Christ is believed to be located in Jordan. It includes the remains of several churches, a prayer hall, baptismal pools, and a sophisticated water reticulation system.
Jerash is one of the world’s largest and most preserved sites of Roman architecture outside of Italy. This ancient city has a history of more than 6,500 years and was a favorite city of the Roman Emperor Hadrian.
Karak is an ancient city that lies inside the walls of the old town. It sits 900 meters above sea level and has been a fortress since biblical times. Today, it’s home to around 170,000 people and worth visiting.
Ma’in hot springs
Ma’in hot springs are located 58 km south of Amman and contain 63 hot springs with similar chemical properties to the Dead Sea. Stunning landscapes surround the hot springs and offer visitors a relaxing and therapeutic experience.
Jordan is a country that offers a wealth of experiences and attractions for travelers. From the rich history and culture to the stunning natural wonders, there is no shortage of things to see and do in this fascinating country. Whether you’re interested in ancient architecture, outdoor adventure, or spiritual sites, Jordan is a destination that should be on every traveler’s bucket list.
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