Jordan... where time travel is possible. A small yet modern Kingdom, Jordan is dense with historical, archaeological and biblical sites across different eras of history. It is also abundant with beautiful landscapes and adventure sites. In short, it is a land of everlasting beauty and antiquity, with a holy river that meanders through timeless terrain.
Official Name: Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
Form of Government: Parliamentary constitutional monarchy.
Head of State: His Majesty King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein.
Population: Approx. 11.5 million.
Area: 88,946 sq km.
Other Major Cities: Irbid, Zarqa, As-Salt, Karak, Ma’an and Aqaba.
Language: Arabic, with English used extensively in commerce and by many Jordanians as a second language.
Time: GMT+3 during the winter seasons, GMT+2 during the summer seasons.
Currency: The Jordanian Dinar (JD), equivalent to 100 piasters, or less commonly, 1,000 fils.
Credit Cards: Major credit cards are accepted at hotels, restaurants and larger shops, including American Express, Visa, Diners Club and Mastercard.
Religion: More than 92% of Jordanians are Sunni Muslims and approximately 3% are Christians. The majority of Christians belong to the Greek Orthodox Church, but there are also Greek Catholics, a small Roman Catholic community, Syrian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox and a few Protestant denominations. Several small Shi'a and Druze populations can also be found in Jordan.
A note when visiting mosques and churches: in a mosque you are required to take your shoes off. Men are expected to wear trousers and women to cover their arms, legs and hair. In a church men are expected to wear trousers and women to dress conservatively.
Climate: Sunny skies and warm dry weather most of the year. Rain falls between November and March, rarely lasting more than a few days at a time. Springtime brings optimal weather lush with greenery and autumn is equally mild. Summers are hot but pleasant and are cool during the evenings. Average temperatures from May to November range between 20°- 30°C and tend to be quite cool, so one should be prepared to wear a shawl or sweater. Winters are cold, windy and rainy. Heavy snow is not unusual.
Alcoholic Beverages: Alcohol is widely available in hotels, restaurants, bars and some shops. Drinking is prohibited on the streets.
Eating and Drinking: Hotels offer a diverse range of food and beverage outlets from coffee shops to fine dining and specialty outlets. Outside of the hotels, small and often inexpensive eating places are available. The enormous variety of restaurants ensures an equally wide range of prices. Traditional Arabic cuisine and a wide choice of international cuisine are available. The Jordanian cuisine's star dish is the mansaf; a traditional meal of lamb cooked in herbs and yogurt.
Photography: Like in any other country, it is advisable to asks permission before photographing strangers, especially women.
Tipping: Tipping is not compulsory but customary and always appreciated.
Weights and Measurements: Jordan uses the metric system for weights and measurements.
Dress Code: Jordan has a reasonably relaxed dress code but being an Islamic country, modest clothing is recommended, particularly in rural areas. Beachwear is acceptable at beach clubs, in the hotel, at the pool or on the beach.
Embassies: Most countries are represented in Amman by an embassy or consulate. Contact our representative for details on location, contact numbers and working hours.
Postal Service: Postal services are available at post offices found in the capital, Amman, and most other cities.
Taxis: Taxis are inexpensive and often the most convenient form of transportation in Jordan, even over substantial distances. Private taxis are yellow except for Aqaba taxis, which are green. They can be called on from outside larger hotels or hailed from the street. Taxis have meters, but they are not always used at night, so it is advisable to agree on the cost beforehand. The same applies for long journeys. Taxi drivers are friendly, know the city well, and usually speak English. The meter starts at JD 0.250 and a taxi ride is usually JD 2-3 in the city of Amman. Tipping is not required, but it is customary to pay the nearest round figure to the price on the meter.