WHEN TO GO
The best time to visit Jordan is between the summer and winter season in spring or autumn when the sun is no longer baking hot. Winters can be very cold in most parts of the country but Aqaba and the Red Sea area are still quite nice at this time of year.
The electrical system in Jordan is based on 220 AC volts, 50 cycles and requires two-pronged wall plugs. Visitors from North America will need an adapter, which is available at most hotels.
FOOD AND DRINKING
Eating is one of the most popular national pastimes. Traditional Jordanian cuisine leans heavily on fresh produce (we grow a lot, and availability is seasonal), chicken and lamb, yoghurt and rice. Most dishes are prepared from fresh ingredients. In Amman you’ll also find international restaurants of every stripe, including (horrors!) McDonald and the ubiquitous KFC. Now in Petra you can even learn to cook your own Levantine goodies at the Petra Kitchen. And you can buy beer, wine and spirits except during Ramadan, the holy month of Islam when alcoholic beverages are not widely available. Jordan wineries produce some outstanding table wines, mostly around Madaba and Ajlun but sold throughout the country. You should also try arak, the local anise-flavored fire water.
When traveling to any foreign country, U.S. health officials advise that you be careful about drinking water from an unknown source, since this may be disruptive to digestive systems used to North American sources of water. Most 5-star hotels in Jordan, which we are using , have their own private filtration plants, and should not cause any digestive problems. However, bottled water is readily available.
Weather will be warm in Amman (average Fahrenheit temperatures range from 60-70 during the day to 40’s at night) and it will be warmer at the Dead Sea and the Jordan Valley (70-80 degrees during the day). Possible rainfall occurrence in the northern regions.
Weather will be hot and quite dry in Amman (average Fahrenheit temperatures range from 70-90 during the day to 60’s at night) and it will be very hot at the Dead Sea and the Jordan Valley (80-100 degrees during the day).
Weather will be warm in Amman (average Fahrenheit temperatures range from 60-70 during the day to 40’s at night) and it will be warmer at the Dead Sea and the Jordan Valley (70-80 degrees during the day).
Weather will be cool in Amman (average Fahrenheit temperatures range from 40-60 during the day to 30’s at night) and it will be warmer at the Dead Sea and the Jordan Valley (60-70 degrees during the day). Sporadic rainfall can occur, with possible snow showers
Jordan is a primary a Muslim country, although the freedom of all religions is protected. Muslim women’s clothing often covers their arms, legs and hair. Western women are not subject to these customs, but very revealing clothing is never appropriate, and conservative dress is advisable for both men and women in the old part of Amman (Downtown), and outside the cities. Shorts are rarely worn by either sex, and would be out of place in downtown Amman area. Topless sunbathing is prohibited and one-piece swimsuits are preferred, although two-piece swimsuits are acceptable at hotels pools.
Even in summer, evenings can be cool, so sweater or shawl is advisable. Winters can be extremely cold, especially in Amman and the east; you will need a raincoat.
Walking shoes are advisable since Petra and most of the archeological sites are unpaved and sandy.
There will be many opportunities to shop during your trip. All major credit cards are accepted although some, not all, stores may charge you a 3-5% service fee if paying for your shopping with a credit card. ATM machines are available around Jordan should you need to use them.
The weekly days off is Friday and Saturday. The stores are generally closed except the large supermarkets and malls. The “souk” of the down town remain open.
The official Jordanian weekend is now Friday and Saturday. On these days, banks and most offices are closed. Post offices are open on Saturdays and also on Fridays until 12 noon. These days, many ordinary shops are open 7 days a week. They may close Friday mornings, and only open after mid-day Friday Prayers.
On Fridays, with the exception of the long distance services, buses usually run in the mornings only, and many buses not at all. You should check this if you are planning on traveling on a Friday.
Governmental offices: 08h00 – 15h00, from Sunday tot Thursday
During Ramadan: 09h00 – 14h00, from Sunday to Thursday
Banks : 08h00 – 15h00, from Sunday to Thursday
Trade organizations: 09h00 – 19h00, from Saturday to Thursday
Stores: 09h00 – end of the day.
Certain supermarkets are open 24h.
Police 191 – 192
Fire Department or civil protection 199
Ambulance and first aid 193
Complains concerning hotels’ services 06 4642311
Flights information Royal Jordanian 06 4453200
Air France 06 5666055
Tourist offices in Aqaba 03 2013633
Petra 03 2157020
Jerash 04 451272
Madaba 05 543376