Jordan, officially known as the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, is a captivating country located in the heart of the Middle East. Rich in history, culture, and natural beauty, Jordan has been a cradle of ancient civilizations for millennia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south, Iraq to the northeast, Syria to the north, Israel and Palestine to the west, and shares a small coastline with the Red Sea to the southwest.
The country’s historical significance can be traced back to the ancient Nabateans, who carved the magnificent city of Petra into rose-colored rock over 2,000 years ago. Today, Petra stands as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, attracting visitors from all corners of the globe.
Apart from Petra, Jordan boasts an array of other remarkable historical sites, such as the Roman ruins at Jerash and the crusader castle of Ajloun, each offering a glimpse into the country’s diverse and illustrious past.
Beyond its historical wonders, Jordan also offers breathtaking landscapes, from the dramatic deserts of Wadi Rum, famously known as the “Valley of the Moon,” to the mineral-rich waters of the Dead Sea, one of the Earth’s lowest points.
Jordan’s hospitality is renowned, and its people are known for their warmth and welcoming nature. The vibrant culture, traditional music, and delicious cuisine further enhance the country’s allure, making it a delightful destination for travelers seeking an authentic Middle Eastern experience.
In addition to its cultural treasures and natural marvels, Jordan’s strategic location has played a pivotal role in regional affairs, contributing to its geopolitical significance.
Overall, Jordan stands as a captivating tapestry of history, culture, and beauty, offering visitors an unforgettable journey through time and a chance to immerse themselves in a unique and enchanting corner of the Middle East.
LANGUAGE: Arabic is the official language of Jordan, with Jordanian Arabic being the most commonly spoken dialect. English is widely understood, especially in urban areas and tourist destinations. In addition, some communities speak Circassian, Chechen, and Armenian, among others. For travelers visiting Jordan, having basic Arabic phrases can be beneficial in enhancing interactions with locals and showcasing cultural appreciation.
VISA POLICY: Jordan allows citizens of many countries to obtain a visa on arrival at the airport or border crossings. The visa on arrival typically grants a stay of up to 30 days for tourism purposes. Additionally, certain nationalities may be eligible for a visa exemption, allowing them to stay in Jordan for a limited period without needing a visa.
However, visa policies can change over time, and it is essential for travelers to verify the latest visa requirements before their trip to Jordan. The best resource for up-to-date information is the official website of the Embassy or Consulate of Jordan in their home country.
CURRENCY: The currency in Jordan is the Jordanian Dinar, denoted by the symbol “JD” or “د.ا”. It is further divided into 1000 fils. As a stable currency, the Jordanian Dinar is widely accepted throughout the country, and travelers can exchange their foreign currency at banks, exchange offices, or even withdraw cash from ATMs. Major credit cards are generally accepted in hotels, restaurants, and larger establishments, but it’s advisable to carry some cash, especially when traveling to remote areas or smaller towns where card acceptance might be limited.
BANKS AND ATMS: Banking operations in Jordan are well-developed and reliable, offering various services to both locals and travelers. Major cities and tourist destinations have numerous banks and branches, making it easy for travelers to access banking facilities. ATMs are widely available throughout the country, particularly in urban areas and popular tourist spots. Withdrawing cash from ATMs using major international debit and credit cards is generally convenient and offers competitive exchange rates.
However, it’s advisable to inform your home bank about your travel plans to ensure a smooth withdrawal process without any unexpected card issues. Additionally, most banks in Jordan operate from Sunday to Thursday, with Friday and Saturday being the weekend. Travelers should also be aware of local holidays that may affect bank operating hours.
For travelers visiting Jordan, it is recommended to carry some cash in addition to relying on cards, especially when exploring more remote or less touristy regions where ATMs might be scarce. Always keep an eye on your belongings and practice general safety precautions while using ATMs, just as you would in any other country. As with any international travel, it’s essential to stay informed about the latest travel advisories and security guidelines to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip to Jordan.
SOCKETS AND ADAPTERS: Jordan uses the Type C and Type F electrical outlets, commonly known as the Europlug and Schuko plug, respectively. The standard voltage is 230V, and the frequency is 50Hz. Travelers from countries using different plug types (e.g., Type A, Type B, Type G) will need a suitable adapter to connect their electronic devices to Jordan’s power outlets. It’s essential for travelers to bring the appropriate adapter or universal travel adapter to ensure their devices can be charged and used seamlessly during their stay in Jordan.
Additionally, it’s advisable to check the voltage compatibility of electronic devices before plugging them in to avoid damage. Having a reliable adapter on hand will help travelers stay connected and make the most of their visit to this captivating Middle Eastern destination.
CONNECTIVITY: As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, the most widely used mobile network in Jordan is Zain. Zain is a major telecommunications provider in the country and offers extensive coverage across urban and rural areas. They provide 2G, 3G, and 4G/LTE services, allowing travelers to stay connected with reliable mobile data and voice services throughout their visit to Jordan. Other mobile networks like Umniah and Orange also operate in the country and offer competitive services.
For travelers visiting Jordan, purchasing a local SIM card from one of these major providers is a practical and cost-effective way to access data, make calls, and use messaging apps while exploring the country. Make sure your mobile phone is unlocked and compatible with the frequencies used in Jordan to use the local SIM card seamlessly. Having mobile internet access can enhance your travel experience, enabling you to navigate, communicate, and share your adventures effortlessly during your time in this beautiful and hospitable nation.
TRANSPORTATION: Transportation in Jordan offers various options for travelers to explore the country comfortably and efficiently. The most common modes of transportation include buses, taxis, and rental cars. The country’s well-developed bus network connects major cities and towns, providing an affordable and convenient way to travel between different regions. Taxis are readily available in urban areas and can be hailed on the street or arranged through ride-hailing apps. Shared taxis, known as “service” taxis, are a popular choice for short-distance travel within cities. For more flexibility and independence, renting a car is a viable option, especially for exploring remote areas or off-the-beaten-path destinations. However, driving in Jordan may be challenging for those unfamiliar with local traffic customs and road conditions.
For travelers visiting Jordan, it’s advisable to plan transportation ahead of time, especially if you have specific destinations or attractions in mind. Utilize reputable taxi services or ride-hailing apps for safe and transparent pricing. When using public transportation, be prepared for potential language barriers and consider bringing a map or translation app to assist with communication. Additionally, familiarize yourself with local customs and etiquette when using transportation services. For instance, it’s customary to greet the driver with a friendly “Salam” (hello) before stating your destination in a taxi. Staying informed about local transportation schedules, travel times, and any potential changes will ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey in this captivating Middle Eastern destination.
WEATHER: The weather in Jordan varies significantly depending on the region and the time of year. Generally, the country experiences a Mediterranean climate in the western part, characterized by hot and dry summers and mild, rainy winters. In contrast, the eastern part, including the desert region, has a more arid climate with hot summers and cold winters, and occasional snowfall.
Spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) are considered the best times to visit Jordan, as the weather is pleasant and ideal for exploring the country’s stunning landscapes and historical sites. Summer (June to August) can be scorching, especially in the desert areas, making outdoor activities challenging during the peak of the day. Winter (December to February) can be cold, particularly in higher elevations, and some tourist attractions may close due to weather conditions.