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About Jordan

Jordan is the young country with an ancient history - it is the bridge between the sea and the desert - between east and west. Many think of the ancient and mythical rocky town of Petra when they hear Jordan - which is not that strange. Petra is truly one of the most spectacular attractions in the Middle East – does it even compete against both Machu Picchu and Angkor Wat about the world's most fascinating, lost city?

When you are in Jordan, Petra is well worth a visit, but the country also has a lot more to offer. At well-known Wadi Rum you will encounter fascinating rock formations that stand out of the red desert sand, and this can be contrasted to the clear blue Aqaba Bay filled with beautiful corals. You will meet green areas lined with palm trees that are a stark contrast to the lifeless, salty Dead Sea - and everywhere you meet friendly people and experience the colorful Arab culture. The mild climate and warm waters of the country make it an excellent destination for divers as well as non-divers.

Jordan Travel info

  • Time: +2 GMT (standard), +3 GMT (April - September)
  • Currency: Jordanian Dinar (JD), US dollar or Euro. Try to change larger notes as often as possible at larger restaurants and when shopping. One JD is made up of 1000 fils. You will sometimes hear piastre or qirsh, which are both 10 fils (10 qirsh equals 100 fils). Often when a price is quoted the unit will be omitted, so if you're told that something is 25, it's a matter of working out whether it's 25 fils, 25 piastre or 25 dinars. Credit cards: Most major credit cards are accepted at restaurants, larger souvenir shops and bookshops. Be sure to ask if any commission is being added on top of your purchase price. This can sometimes be as much as 5%.
  • Language: Arabic and English.
  • Visa: Maximum 30 days for tourists. Visas are required by all foreigners entering Jordan. These are issued at the airport upon arrival (JD10). At the airport immigration counters, join the normal immigration lines to get your visa. There are moneychangers adjacent to the counters; ATMs are only available after immigration.
  • Water: Tap water in Jordan is generally safe to drink, but for a short trip it's better to stick to bottled water, or boil water for 10 minutes. Remember not to drink water from anything but an unopened bottle! The tap water in southern Jordan, particularly Wadi Rum, comes from natural springs at Diseh and so is extremely pure.
  • Health: Jordan has a good standard of health. Most towns have well-stocked pharmacies, but always make sure to check the expiry date of any medicine you buy in Jordan. It is better to bring any unusual or important medical items with you from home, and always bring a copy of a prescription. The telephone numbers for pharmacies (including those open at night) and for hospitals in Aqaba are listed in the two English-language newspapers.
  • Recompression chamber: Available in Aqaba.
  • Country code: +962
  • Electricity: The standard voltage is 230 V and the power sockets are of type C, D, F, G and J.
  • Tipping: Tipping: Tips of 10% are generally expected in better restaurants. Elsewhere, rounding up the bill to the nearest 250 fils or with loose change is appreciated by underpaid staff, including taxi drivers. Hotels and restaurants in the midrange and, especially, top-end categories generally add on an automatic 10% service charge.
  • Weather: For a small country, Jordan has an extraordinary range of climates. The best time to visit climate-wise is in spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November), when the daytime temperatures aren't too extreme. April is probably the best month, when temperatures are warm and wildflowers are in bloom. Aqaba's average daytime maximum temperatures in January is around 20°C.
  • Food: Street snacks like a felafel or shwarma sandwich are cheap and you can get a decent budget meal for JD1 to JD3. In any midrange restaurant, expect to pay JD1 for a starter and from JD1.500 to JD2.500 for most main courses.
  • Siteseeing: One of the biggest sightseeing expenses in Jordan is the entrance fee to Petra (up to JD31 for three days, depending on the season), but it's so worth it! Entry to other popular sights such as Jerash costs JD5 but most places are free or cost just a dinar or two.

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