Jordan is a land steeped in history. It has been home to some of humankind’s earliest settlements and villages, and relics of many of the world’s great civilizations can still be seen today. As the crossroads of the Middle East, the lands of Jordan and Palestine have served as a strategic nexus connecting Asia, Africa, and Europe. Thus, since the dawn of civilization, Jordan’s geography has given it an important role to play as a conduit for trade and communications, connecting east and west, north and south. Jordan continues to play this role today.
Evidence of Jordan’s history dates as far back as 7,000 years before Christ. Humans have inhabited this land since the Paleolithic era. Three steady kingdoms united to rule the country at the end of the Bronze Age: Ammon, Moab and Edom. Later, Jordan has been a part of the Nabataean Kingdom, the Roman Empire, and the Ottoman Empirem until the Great Arab Revolt occurred against the Ottomans in 1916 during World War I. After the division of the Ottman Empire between France and England, Jordan had become a British colony.
In 1920, Prince Abdullah bin Hussein arrived in the southern city of Maan and stayed there for four months, where he met with the Jordanian tribes to make the necessary arrangements to establish the Jordanian state, and then moved to Amman, where he arrived on March 2, 1921. Since the day when Prince Abdullah arrived in Amman, he started to establish the Jordanian state, he declared the establishment of Emirate of Jordan (Emirate of East Jordan) on March 30, 1921, and he chose Amman to be its capital.
The first Jordanian government was established in the east of Jordan on April 11, 1921. It was known as the Consultative Council, which started with the establishment of army (the Arab Army). It was collected from officers and soldiers who served in the Great Arab Revolutionary Army. The emirate remained under the British Mandate. The population of eastern Jordan in 1921 reached 400 thousand people.
In 1946, Jordan became officially an independent state, known as the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan. However, it was renamed to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan post the country took over the West Bank during the Arab–Israeli War of 1948. Jordan officially announced its official territory in 1988, and it was one of two Arab countries to sign the peace treaty with Israel in 1994. As well, Jordan has a great role in founding the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation.
Jordan is about the same size as Portugal or Indiana. Archaeological evidence indicates that the area of Jordan was occupied by settlers as early as 7000 BC, which makes it home to captivating historical and biblical sites. Jordan offers a variety of wonders, from vast desert, to the Dead Sea, to the ancient city of Petra.
Jordanians typically respect those who are kind, friendly, and hospitable. They are generally socially conservative; family values and honor are fiercely protected. Jordanians are proud of their rich cultural heritage.
• 200 cigarettes or
• 25 cigars or
• 200 grammes pipe tobacco
• 1 litre alcoholic beverages
• 2 bottles of perfume
• Legal personal goods up to JOD 50
• An unlimited amount of local currency can be imported into the country providing it is not converted into foreign money when leaving the country. No limit on the amount of foreign currency that can enter the country providing that it is declared upon arrival although Israeli currency is illegal.
• Local currency equal to JOD 300 can be exported out of the country. Sums of foreign money equal to the amount declared when entering can freely leave the country.
• Illegal drugs
• Knives, Weapons and ammunition – unless permission has been obtained
• Plant and plant products – unless permission has been obtained
• Fresh fruit and vegetables – unless permission has been obtained
• Meat and animal products – unless permission has been obtained
• Israeli currency
• Counterfeit money and goods
• Pornographic material
• All weapons and ammunition being imported into the country will require permission from the Ministry of the Interior/Public security directorate.
• Fresh meat and milk products will need a permit from the Ministry of Agriculture.
• Any fresh fruit and vegetables entering the country will need permission from Agricultural Marketing Corporation
• All dogs and cats being imported into the country will need to be accompanied by a veterinarian health and rabies inoculation certificate. Birds can only enter the country if granted permission to do so by the Jordanian Ministry of Agriculture.
While the media often depicts tension across the entire Middle East, know that Jordan is a very safe country. According to a World Economic Forum Report, it’s even safer than Germany or Great Britain. Stealing from or harming tourists is strongly frowned upon by locals and harsh punishments exist for offenders. As a result, travelers can explore the country confidently.
You may observe a strong security presence and metal detectors at hotels and public buildings, tourist police at major sites, and military checkpoints around border zones. This security presence is not in response to crime, it’s in place in order to prevent it.
Although some locals drink the tap water, it is recommended to avoid drinking tap water, instead drinking purified, boiled water or bring a water filtering bottle. It is completely safe to shower and brush your teeth using tap water.
Middle Eastern food is world famous for good reason. Many of the most popular dishes are plant based – falafel, hummus, baba ganouj – and tend to fare better sitting at room temperature for extended periods.
Street food enthusiasts should avoid ordering meat that looks like it’s been out for a while. Fruits and vegetables are safe to eat, but remember to wash all produce bought in open-air markets before eating.
Jordan is absolutely safe at night and you can move about in the city without worry. As a majority Muslim country, alcohol is not as commonplace as it is elsewhere, but drinking is not a taboo. Foreigners are welcome to drink alcohol but should exercise the same caution they would in other countries. Avoid getting drunk and take a cab home if you’ve had too much. The capital city Amman’s traffic is heavy and chaotic and can be unsafe for pedestrians under the influence.
Female solo travelers should feel confident in visiting Jordan on vacation. Despite this, it is always best to gain an understanding of Jordan’s culture, religion, and traditions prior to arrival. This will put you in good stead for meeting local people and understanding the Jordanian way of life. It is also important to be aware of the dress codes, attitudes to women, and potential challenges that you may face whilst traveling through Jordan.
Jordan can be regarded for a typically Arab country for its people are very warm, friendly and hospitable. Jordanians are typically happy to forgive foreigners who break the rules of etiquette. However, visitors seen to be making an effort to observe local customs will undoubtedly win favour.
Joining local people for a cup of tea or coffee can be a wonderful way to learn more about local culture. If you are invited yet are unable to attend, then it is perfectly acceptable to decline. Place your right hand over your heart and politely make your excuses.
Many families, particularly in rural areas, are very traditional and, if you visit their house, you may well find it is divided between the men and women. Foreign women are often treated as “honorary” men.
Local women in Jordan enjoy considerable freedom when compared with many other countries in the region. Women are entitled to a full education, they can vote, they can drive cars, and they often play significant roles in business and politics. Arranged marriages and dowries are still common.
Conveniently located within 50 minutes of Amman’s downtown, Queen Alia International Airport (QAIA) is considered to be the main airport in Jordan and is serviced by many global airline carriers.
Taxis are readily available outside the terminals. Shuttle buses also link QAIA with Amman’s South terminal (and back) every half-hour between 06.00 and 16:30, every hour between 17:00- 00.00, and every hour between 00:00 – 03:00am only Airport – Amman. The cost of the ticket is JOD3.00 .
Tel: 06 4453200
Fax: 06 4451136
As Jordan’s gateway to the Red Sea region of Aqaba, King Hussein International Airport (KHIA) is approximately a 45-minute flight from either of Amman’s airports. Serviced by national and international carriers, KHIA is quickly growing to be a regional hub for both the holiday and business traveler alike.
Tel: 03 2012111
Fax: 03 2012397
Taxis are inexpensive and often the most convenient form of transportation in Jordan, even over substantial distances, such as the trip between Amman and Aqaba. The white-painted “service taxis” ride fixed routes and are shared.
Private taxis are painted yellow “in Amman” and green “in Aqaba“; they can be taken from ranks outside larger hotels, or hailed in the street. Taxis have metres, but these are not always used at night, so it is advisable to agree on the cost beforehand. The same applies to long journeys. Taxi drivers are friendly, know the city well, and usually speak English. It is considered appropriate for a woman to sit in the back of the taxi. Tipping isn’t compulsory, but it is customary to add about 200 fils (20 piasters) to the price of the metre.
Road trips are the equivalent of human wings. Ask me to go on one, anywhere. We’ll stop in every small town and learn the history and stories, feel the ground, and capture the spirit. Then we’ll turn it into our own story that will live inside our history to carry with us, always. Because stories are more important than things.
Jordan has an excellent and expanding road network, and renting a car can be a good way to see the country. A driving license valid in your country of origin is acceptable, provided you have held it for at least one year. Driving is on the right. Road signs on the highways are in Arabic and English. Brown signs are designed for tourists. There are plenty of petrol stations in Amman and other cities, and on most highways (except the Dead Sea/Aqaba road), but it makes sense to fill up before embarking on any long journey.
Whether you are coming to Jordan for business or pleasure, on your own or with family, friends and colleagues, our large fleet of rental cars, campers and 4x4s allows you to choose the right vehicle for your needs. We are known in the rental industry for providing reliable rental cars at affordable prices.
To find how much car hire with Wonders will cost you, use our free quote tool at the end of the page. If you have any questions about car rentals, please contact our office, or Choose already one
Friday is the weekly holiday. Banks, government offices and most businesses are closed on Saturdays as well. Many businesses, including airline offices, travel agencies and some shops also close on Thursday afternoon, although department stores and supermarkets remain open. A few businesses and shops close for some of Sunday as well.
Ramadan is a holy month of fasting, the date of which varies according to the Islamic lunar calendar. During Ramadan, alcohol is not sold, except to non-Muslims in larger hotels. Smoking, eating and drinking in public is prohibited during the hours of daylight. As a sign of respect, visitors are kindly requested to refrain from these activities in public during fasting hours. During Ramadan, many stores, banks and offices open late at 09:00 and close early at 15: 00.
Don’t feel that you are required to tip your taxi driver, as tipping in such a scenario is not necessary, but is certainly appreciated, Restaurant tips are approximately 10% gratuity in addition to the bill (unless a service charge is included in the total bill).
Jordan is destination for shopping; you can buy as modern products and traditional handicrafts as well. Walking through the bazaars and shops in Jordan – is not only a great Pleasure but also a great way to communicate with Locals; For example, in small shops they might offer you a cup of tea or coffee before going to bargain.
Souk (market) – one of the places where the tradition of bargaining is preserved.
Although the main advantage of the Jordanian market – is handmade products, the country has a lot of modern shops offering the latest fashions and high technology stuff.
The supply in Jordan is 220V AC, 50Hz – the same as in Europe. Most new buildings and big hotels have British-style square three-pin sockets. Older buildings tend to have two-pin sockets for European-style thick-pronged, round plugs.
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Airmail letters and postcards can take a week or two to Western Europe, up to a month to North America or Australasia. Asking someone to write the destination country in Arabic can help avoid things going astray. It’s safest to ignore the street postboxes and instead send your mail from larger post offices, all of which have a box for airmail (barid jowwy). Stamps (tawabe’a) cost pennies, but parcels are expensive (JD10–15 for 1kg). International courier firms are well represented in Amman and Aqaba.
Ginin Dunia Rifai
Born in Germany, raised in Jordan and grew up with a head full of dreams. Ginin Dunia, or simply Ginin, is an admirer of wonders and passion towards everything. Her ambition in writing began at a very young age when she started documenting her life in a form of a novel, with the characters living only in her head, and the memories in her heart. She finds it extraordinary how much words can explore a persona of the writer, no matter what he decides to write. Ginin also is pursuing photography as a career. Where in a small country like Jordan, dreams are hard to achieve, and harder to be supported. Yet, her little home-based studio is eventually coming to the light despite everything. When not on the laptop or in her studio, Ginin will be probably searching for the most inspiring movies to watch, or pampering her two street-rescued black cats, Siyah and Roux.