Jordan, a captivating country in the heart of the Middle East, offers a wealth of historical sites, natural wonders, and warm hospitality. When planning your trip to Jordan, it’s essential to understand the transportation options available to ensure a smooth and efficient journey. From traditional modes of transportation to express travel, this article will guide you through the various ways to get around and explore the treasures of Jordan.
- Arrival and Departure:
Most international visitors arrive in Jordan through Queen Alia International Airport, situated near the capital city, Amman. The airport serves as a major hub and offers connections to numerous destinations worldwide. Upon arrival, you can easily access the city center by taxi, airport shuttle, or private transfer. For departures, make sure to allocate sufficient time for check-in and security procedures.
- Public Transportation:
a. Buses: Jordan has an extensive public bus network that connects major cities and towns. The JETT bus company operates comfortable, air-conditioned coaches, offering reliable transportation between popular tourist destinations like Amman, Petra, Aqaba, and Madaba.
b. Minibuses: Shared minibuses, known as “servees” or “service taxis,” are a common mode of transportation within cities. They follow specific routes and can be hailed along the street. While they can be crowded, they are an affordable option for short distances.
Taxis are a convenient and widely available form of transportation in Jordan. In cities like Amman, taxis are predominantly yellow, and you can either flag them down or find them at designated taxi stands. It’s recommended to negotiate the fare before starting your journey or ask the driver to use the meter. Private taxis can also be hired for longer distances or day trips, providing flexibility and comfort.
- Car Rental:
Renting a car in Jordan is a popular choice, especially for those planning to explore the country at their own pace. Several international car rental companies operate in Jordan, and they offer a range of vehicles to suit different needs. However, it’s important to familiarize yourself with local traffic regulations and driving customs before hitting the road.
- Express Transportation:
a. Domestic Flights: For those looking to cover long distances quickly, domestic flights are available between major cities like Amman, Aqaba, and Petra. Jordan’s national carrier, Royal Jordanian, and other airlines operate regular domestic flights, providing convenience and time efficiency.
b. Jordanian Railways: Currently, Jordan has a limited railway network, with a line connecting Amman to Zarqa. However, plans are underway to expand the railway system in the future, which will enhance connectivity across the country.
c. Private Transfers: If you prefer a more personalized and direct mode of transportation, private transfers offer convenience and comfort. You can arrange private cars or vans with drivers to take you to your desired destinations, whether it’s a hotel, historic site, or natural attraction.
With its rich cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, delicious cuisine, and warm hospitality, Jordan offers an alluring blend of experiences for travelers. From exploring ancient wonders to engaging in thrilling adventures, Jordan provides a tapestry of memories waiting to be woven by those who venture into its embrace.
additional details to enhance your understanding of travel and tourism in Jordan, including notable destinations and transportation tips:
- Amman – The Capital City:
Amman, the vibrant capital of Jordan, is a mix of modernity and rich history. It boasts numerous attractions, such as the Roman Theater, Amman Citadel, and the bustling downtown area known as Al-Balad. Exploring the city’s vibrant souks, sampling traditional Jordanian cuisine, and visiting museums like the Jordan Museum and the Royal Automobile Museum are popular activities for visitors.
- Petra – The Ancient Rose City:
Petra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, is an iconic destination in Jordan. This ancient city, carved into the red rock cliffs, showcases remarkable architectural feats, including the Treasury (Al-Khazneh), the Monastery (Ad-Deir), and the Siq, a narrow gorge leading to the main entrance. Exploring Petra’s archaeological wonders is an unforgettable experience.
- Wadi Rum – The Desert Wilderness:
Wadi Rum, also known as the Valley of the Moon, is a stunning desert landscape that has served as a backdrop for numerous films. Its towering sandstone mountains, vast sand dunes, and unique rock formations create a mesmerizing panorama. Visitors can embark on jeep or camel safaris, sleep under the starlit desert skies in Bedouin camps, and witness breathtaking sunrises and sunsets.
- Dead Sea – The Lowest Point on Earth:
The Dead Sea, located at the lowest point on Earth, is a remarkable natural wonder. Its hypersaline waters allow swimmers to effortlessly float on the surface. The mineral-rich mud found in the area is renowned for its therapeutic properties, attracting visitors who seek relaxation and rejuvenation. Resorts along the Dead Sea offer spa treatments and unique experiences, such as covering oneself in the mineral-rich mud.
- Aqaba – The Red Sea Gem:
Aqaba, Jordan’s only coastal city, is a popular destination for beach lovers and water enthusiasts. Its pristine beaches, warm turquoise waters, and vibrant coral reefs make it an ideal spot for snorkeling, diving, and other water sports. Aqaba also offers a range of resorts, restaurants, and shopping opportunities, making it a well-rounded destination for relaxation and recreation.
a. Visa Requirements: Before traveling to Jordan, ensure that you have the necessary visa. Many nationalities can obtain a visa on arrival, while others may require a pre-approved visa. Check with the Jordanian embassy or consulate in your home country for the most up-to-date visa information.
b. Currency: The official currency of Jordan is the Jordanian Dinar (JOD). ATMs and currency exchange services are widely available in major cities and tourist areas. Credit cards are accepted in most hotels, restaurants, and larger establishments.
c. Local Customs: Familiarize yourself with Jordanian customs and cultural norms. Dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites, and be respectful of local traditions and customs.
d. Safety: Jordan is generally considered safe for tourists, with a well-established tourism industry. However, it’s always advisable to take standard safety precautions, such as being aware of your surroundings, avoiding isolated areas at night, and following any travel advisories issued by your embassy or consulate.
e. Local Etiquette: Jordanians are known for their hospitality and warmth. It is customary to greet others with a handshake and to express gratitude for their hospitality. Respect local customs, such as removing your shoes when entering someone’s home, and be mindful of cultural sensitivities.
By exploring the historical wonders of Amman, Petra, and the natural beauty of Wadi Rum and the Dead Sea, while immersing yourself in the warm hospitality of the Jordanian people, you’ll create memories that will last a lifetime. Remember to plan your transportation options accordingly to make the most of your time and enjoy a seamless travel experience in Jordan.
some further details about travel and tourism in Jordan, including other notable destinations and transportation options:
- Jerash – The Roman Ruins:
Located north of Amman, Jerash is home to one of the best-preserved Roman cities in the world. The ancient ruins of Jerash showcase impressive structures like the Oval Plaza, Hadrian’s Arch, and the well-preserved Hippodrome. Exploring this archaeological gem offers visitors a glimpse into the grandeur of the Roman Empire.
- Madaba – The City of Mosaics:
Madaba is renowned for its stunning Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics. The highlight is the famous Madaba Map, a 6th-century mosaic map of the Holy Land displayed at the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George. Visitors can also explore other mosaic-laden churches and the Madaba Archaeological Park.
- Mount Nebo:
Mount Nebo holds significant biblical importance as the place where Moses is said to have seen the Promised Land before his death. The site offers panoramic views of the Jordan Valley, the Dead Sea, and, on clear days, even Jerusalem. A memorial church and an excavated Byzantine monastery can be visited at the site.
- Dana Biosphere Reserve:
Nature enthusiasts should not miss the Dana Biosphere Reserve, Jordan’s largest nature reserve. It encompasses diverse landscapes, including mountains, canyons, and desert. Visitors can embark on hiking trails, witness stunning wildlife, and stay in eco-lodges to experience the beauty of this protected area.
- Transportation Options (Continued):
f. Shared Taxis: Shared taxis, known as “service taxis” or “sherut,” operate on specific routes and are a cost-effective way to travel between towns and cities. These taxis depart when full, and passengers share the cost of the journey.
g. Uber and Careem: Uber and Careem, popular ride-hailing services, operate in major cities like Amman. They provide a convenient and reliable alternative to traditional taxis. You can easily book a ride through their smartphone apps.
h. Intercity Buses: In addition to the public bus network, several private bus companies operate intercity routes, connecting various destinations across the country. These buses generally provide comfortable travel options and are a suitable choice for longer distances.
i. Bicycle Rental: For the adventurous and eco-conscious travelers, some cities in Jordan offer bicycle rental services. Exploring Amman or other urban areas on a bike can be an enjoyable way to discover local neighborhoods and attractions.
j. Walking Tours: Many cities and towns in Jordan, especially those rich in historical sites, offer walking tours guided by knowledgeable locals. These tours provide a deeper understanding of the culture, history, and architecture of the area.
Remember to plan your itinerary in advance, allowing ample time to explore each destination. Take advantage of guided tours, both for convenience and to gain insights from local experts. Additionally, keep in mind that Jordanians are known for their warm hospitality, so don’t hesitate to seek assistance or strike up friendly conversations during your travels.
With its rich history, stunning landscapes, and welcoming locals, Jordan offers a myriad of experiences for travelers. Whether you’re exploring ancient ruins, floating in the Dead Sea, or wandering through vibrant markets, each moment in Jordan is bound to be filled with awe and wonder.
e some additional details to further enhance your knowledge about travel and tourism in Jordan:
- Ajloun – The Castle on the Hill:
Ajloun is home to the impressive Ajloun Castle, a 12th-century fortress built by the Ayyubid dynasty. The castle offers panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and is an excellent example of medieval Islamic architecture. Visitors can explore its towers, halls, and underground passages, and learn about the castle’s strategic significance in protecting the region.
- Umm Qais – The Ancient Decapolis City:
Umm Qais, located in the northwestern part of Jordan, was once a member of the Decapolis League, a group of ten cities in the Roman Empire. The site boasts extensive ruins, including a well-preserved theater, colonnaded streets, and ancient houses. From Umm Qais, visitors can also enjoy breathtaking views of the Golan Heights, the Sea of Galilee, and the Jordan Valley.
- Al-Karak – The Crusader Castle:
The city of Al-Karak is famous for its imposing Crusader castle, known as Karak Castle. This well-preserved fortress dates back to the 12th century and offers a fascinating glimpse into the era of the Crusades. Exploring the castle’s maze-like corridors, underground passages, and battlements reveals its rich history and strategic significance.
- Ma’in Hot Springs:
Located near the Dead Sea, the Ma’in Hot Springs are a natural oasis known for their therapeutic qualities. The hot mineral-rich waters cascade down a series of waterfalls, creating pools and providing a unique bathing experience. Visitors can indulge in relaxation and rejuvenation, enjoying the soothing properties of the springs in a tranquil setting.
- Aqaba Marine Park:
For diving and snorkeling enthusiasts, the Aqaba Marine Park is a must-visit destination. This marine park in the Red Sea is home to vibrant coral reefs, a diverse array of marine life, and several sunken shipwrecks. Scuba diving and snorkeling tours allow visitors to explore this underwater paradise and marvel at the beauty of the aquatic ecosystem.
- Jordanian Cuisine:
While exploring Jordan, be sure to indulge in the country’s delectable cuisine. Traditional dishes like Mansaf (a lamb and yogurt-based dish), Falafel (deep-fried chickpea balls), and Mezze (an assortment of small dishes) offer a delightful culinary experience. Don’t forget to try Jordanian tea and coffee, as well as the sweet treats like knafeh and baklava.
- Local Markets and Souks:
Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Jordan’s markets and souks. The bustling streets of Amman’s downtown area, Al-Balad, are filled with shops selling handicrafts, spices, textiles, and souvenirs. Other notable markets include the Madaba Souk and the Souk Al-Sukar in Salt. Exploring these markets provides an opportunity to engage with local vendors and experience the country’s vibrant street life.
- Festivals and Events:
Jordan hosts various cultural and religious festivals throughout the year. The Jerash Festival of Culture and Arts, held in July, is a renowned event featuring performances by local and international artists. The Jordan Rally, part of the FIA World Rally Championship, attracts motorsport enthusiasts. Additionally, religious celebrations like Eid-al-Fitr and Christmas offer a chance to witness local traditions and festivities.
Remember to check the opening hours and any entry requirements for the attractions you plan to visit. It’s also advisable to dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites, out of respect for local customs and traditions.
By exploring the diverse historical sites, natural wonders, and cultural experiences that Jordan has to offer, you’ll create unforgettable memories and gain a deeper appreciation for this remarkable country.
some additional details to further enrich your understanding of travel and tourism in Jordan:
- Wadi Mujib – The Grand Canyon of Jordan:
Wadi Mujib, often referred to as the “Grand Canyon of Jordan,” is a breathtaking nature reserve located along the eastern shore of the Dead Sea. This dramatic gorge offers hiking trails, canyoning adventures, and the opportunity to witness stunning waterfalls and unique biodiversity. Exploring Wadi Mujib is a thrilling experience for nature lovers and adventure seekers.
- Ajloun Forest Reserve:
The Ajloun Forest Reserve is a protected area in the Ajloun Governorate, known for its lush greenery and diverse wildlife. The reserve features hiking trails that lead through oak and pine forests, providing a serene escape into nature. It’s an ideal spot for birdwatching, as the reserve is home to various bird species, including the rare Syrian Serin.
- Shobak Castle – The Mountain Fortress:
Shobak Castle, also known as Montreal, is a medieval castle perched on a hilltop in southern Jordan. Constructed in the 12th century by the Crusaders, the castle offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Exploring its fortifications, towers, and underground chambers provides a glimpse into the region’s historical conflicts and architectural heritage.
- The Desert Castles:
Jordan is home to several desert castles, scattered across the eastern part of the country. These castles, built during the Umayyad period, served as palaces, hunting lodges, and agricultural centers. Notable examples include Qasr Amra, famous for its well-preserved frescoes, and Qasr Kharana, known for its unique architecture. Exploring the desert castles provides insights into the region’s history and architectural prowess.
- Jordan Trail:
The Jordan Trail is a long-distance hiking trail that spans approximately 650 kilometers (400 miles) from Um Qais in the north to Aqaba in the south, crossing diverse landscapes and showcasing Jordan’s natural beauty. Adventurous hikers can embark on multi-day treks along the trail, passing through archaeological sites, nature reserves, and picturesque landscapes.
- Bedouin Culture:
Jordan is home to Bedouin communities, known for their rich cultural heritage and hospitality. Engaging with Bedouin culture offers a unique experience, including the opportunity to stay in traditional Bedouin camps, ride camels, and partake in Bedouin-style meals. Learning about their traditions, listening to their stories, and experiencing their way of life provides a deeper understanding of Jordan’s nomadic heritage.
- Nature Reserves:
In addition to Dana Biosphere Reserve and Ajloun Forest Reserve mentioned earlier, Jordan is home to other nature reserves that offer unique ecosystems and outdoor activities. These include the Azraq Wetland Reserve, known for its diverse birdlife, and the Mujib Biosphere Reserve, which encompasses the lowest nature reserve in the world and offers adventurous water-based activities.
- Religious Sites:
Jordan is a land of religious significance, with several sites of importance to various faiths. Mount Nebo, as mentioned previously, holds biblical significance. The Baptism Site (Bethany Beyond the Jordan) is believed to be the location where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. The Cave of the Seven Sleepers in Amman is associated with a Christian legend. These sites offer spiritual experiences and attract pilgrims from around the world.
- Modern Architecture:
While Jordan is known for its historical sites, the country also boasts modern architectural marvels. The King Abdullah I Mosque in Amman, with its majestic blue dome and intricate design, is a prominent example. The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature headquarters in Amman showcases sustainable architecture, and the Jordan Gate Towers stand tall as a symbol of modernity.
Jordan’s blend of ancient history, natural wonders, cultural experiences, and warm hospitality creates a captivating destination for travelers. Whether you’re exploring ancient ruins, hiking through scenic landscapes, or immersing yourself in local traditions, Jordan offers a wealth of experiences that will leave a lasting impression.
some more intriguing details about travel and tourism in Jordan:
- Traditional Crafts and Souvenirs:
Jordan is known for its vibrant traditional crafts. While exploring the local markets and souks, you’ll find a variety of handmade items to take home as souvenirs. Look out for intricate handwoven rugs, colorful ceramics, embroidered textiles, and delicate glassware. Supporting local artisans by purchasing their crafts is a great way to take a piece of Jordan’s cultural heritage with you.
- Wadi Rum – The Desert Landscape:
Wadi Rum, also known as the Valley of the Moon, is a mesmerizing desert landscape that has captivated travelers for centuries. Its unique rock formations, vast sand dunes, and breathtaking sunsets make it a popular destination for adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts. Visitors can explore Wadi Rum on guided jeep tours, camel treks, or even by hot air balloon, experiencing the tranquility and beauty of the desert.
- Dead Sea:
The Dead Sea, located at the lowest point on Earth, is a remarkable natural wonder. Its high salt concentration allows swimmers to effortlessly float on its surface. The mineral-rich mud found along the shores is known for its therapeutic properties and is often used in spa treatments. Floating in the Dead Sea and indulging in a mud bath is a unique and rejuvenating experience.
- Aqaba – Red Sea Resort:
Aqaba is Jordan’s only coastal city, situated on the Red Sea. It boasts pristine beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and a wide array of water activities. Snorkeling and diving enthusiasts will be enchanted by the vibrant marine life and coral gardens in the Red Sea. Aqaba also offers luxury resorts, beachfront restaurants, and a lively atmosphere, making it an ideal destination for relaxation and seaside enjoyment.
- Local Festivals:
Jordan hosts various cultural festivals and events throughout the year, providing opportunities to immerse yourself in the country’s traditions and celebrations. The Jerash Festival, for example, showcases music, dance, and theater performances against the backdrop of the ancient ruins. Other festivals, such as the Jordan Festival in Amman and the Petra Opera Festival, feature international artists performing in unique settings.
- Traditional Music and Dance:
Jordanian music and dance reflect the country’s rich cultural heritage. The traditional music often incorporates instruments like the oud (stringed instrument) and the tabla (drum). You may have the chance to witness live performances of traditional Jordanian music and folk dances, such as the Dabke, a lively line dance performed at weddings and festive occasions.
- Wellness and Spa Experiences:
Jordan offers a range of wellness and spa experiences, combining the country’s natural resources with traditional healing practices. Besides the Dead Sea’s renowned mud and mineral-rich waters, there are numerous spas and wellness centers throughout the country that offer treatments like massages, hammams (Turkish baths), and aromatherapy, providing relaxation and rejuvenation.
- Film Locations:
Jordan’s unique landscapes and historical sites have attracted filmmakers from around the world. The country has served as the backdrop for several famous movies, including “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.” Exploring these film locations allows visitors to step into the scenes of iconic movies and appreciate the country’s cinematic allure.
- Responsible Tourism:
Jordan is committed to sustainable and responsible tourism practices. Many tour operators and accommodations in the country prioritize eco-friendly initiatives and community engagement. Responsible tourism activities, such as joining conservation projects, supporting local communities, and respecting the environment, contribute to the preservation of Jordan’s natural and cultural heritage.
By delving into the diverse array of experiences that Jordan offers, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for its history, natural wonders, and cultural richness. From ancient ruins to stunning landscapes, traditional crafts to immersive festivals, Jordan is a destination that leaves a lasting impression on every traveler.
some more captivating details about travel and tourism in Jordan:
- Jordanian Cuisine:
Jordanian cuisine is a delightful fusion of flavors influenced by Levantine, Mediterranean, and Arabian culinary traditions. Some popular dishes include Mansaf, the national dish of Jordan, which consists of tender lamb cooked in a tangy yogurt sauce and served with rice and pine nuts. Other notable dishes include Falafel, Hummus, Tabouleh, and Makloubeh, a flavorful rice dish with meat and vegetables. Exploring the local culinary scene and indulging in these mouthwatering dishes is a must for food enthusiasts.
- Local Markets and Souks:
Exploring the local markets and souks in Jordan is a treat for the senses. The bustling streets are filled with vibrant colors, fragrant spices, and the sounds of bargaining. You can wander through the lively markets of Amman, such as the famous Rainbow Street, or visit the Souk Jara in downtown Amman, where local artisans sell their crafts and handmade products. These markets offer a glimpse into everyday life in Jordan and provide an opportunity to purchase unique souvenirs and traditional goods.
- Royal Automobile Museum:
Car enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to the Royal Automobile Museum in Amman. This museum showcases a collection of rare and vintage cars that were owned by the Jordanian royal family throughout history. From classic Rolls-Royces to modern sports cars, the museum offers a fascinating display of automotive history and provides insight into the country’s royal heritage.
- Adventure Tourism:
Jordan is a haven for adventure seekers. Beyond the historical and cultural attractions, the country offers thrilling outdoor activities. Adventure enthusiasts can go rock climbing in Wadi Rum’s towering cliffs, embark on off-road jeep safaris through the desert, or try canyoning in the scenic canyons of Wadi Mujib or Wadi Hasa. These adrenaline-pumping experiences allow visitors to explore Jordan’s rugged landscapes from a different perspective.
- Petra by Night:
Petra, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, becomes even more magical during Petra by Night. On select evenings, the ancient city is illuminated by thousands of candles, creating a breathtaking ambiance. Visitors can walk through the narrow Siq, guided by the warm glow of the candles, and reach the Treasury (Al-Khazneh), where they can enjoy traditional music and storytelling under the starry sky. Petra by Night offers a unique and enchanting experience.
- Arabic Calligraphy and Henna Art:
Arabic calligraphy is an intricate art form that holds great cultural significance in Jordan and the Arab world. Visitors can explore calligraphy workshops and witness skilled calligraphers creating beautiful scripts. Additionally, henna art is a popular tradition in Jordan. Many local artists offer henna painting services, allowing visitors to adorn their hands with temporary, intricate designs.
- Medical Tourism:
Jordan has emerged as a popular destination for medical tourism due to its high-quality healthcare facilities and competitive prices. The country attracts patients from around the world seeking specialized medical treatments, including cosmetic surgery, dental procedures, and fertility treatments. Combining medical care with the opportunity to explore Jordan’s attractions makes it an appealing option for those seeking healthcare abroad.
- Amman Street Art:
Amman, the capital city of Jordan, is home to a vibrant street art scene. Local and international artists have adorned the city’s walls with colorful murals, graffiti, and thought-provoking artworks. Areas like Jabal Al-Weibdeh and Rainbow Street are known for their street art displays, turning the city into an open-air gallery. Exploring Amman’s street art offers a unique perspective on contemporary art and urban culture.
- Eco-Tourism and Nature Conservation:
Jordan places great importance on preserving its natural heritage through eco-tourism initiatives and nature conservation efforts. The country is home to several nature reserves, biosphere reserves, and protected areas that showcase its diverse ecosystems. These conservation areas offer opportunities for wildlife spotting, birdwatching, hiking, and camping, allowing visitors to appreciate Jordan’s natural beauty while supporting conservation efforts.
When visiting Jordan, understanding the transportation options available is crucial for a seamless travel experience. From public buses and taxis to car rentals and express transportation, there are various ways to navigate the country’s diverse landscapes and cultural treasures. Whether you choose to immerse yourself in the local culture on public transportation or opt for express travel to save time, Jordan’s transportation infrastructure ensures that you can explore its historical sites, natural wonders, and vibrant cities with ease. So, pack your bags, embark on an unforgettable journey, and let the wonders of Jordan unfold before you.