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Amman

Travel Guide Middle East Jordan Amman

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Introduction

Amman City Centre

Amman City Centre

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Amman (عمان), the capital of Jordan, is a fascinating city of contrasts – a unique blend of old and new, ideally situated on a hilly area between the desert and the fertile Jordan Valley. In the commercial heart of the city, ultra-modern buildings, hotels, smart restaurants, art galleries and boutiques rub shoulders comfortably with traditional coffee shops and tiny artisans' workshops. Everywhere there is evidence of the city’s much older past. Due to the city’s modern-day prosperity and temperate climate, almost half of Jordan’s population is concentrated in the Amman area. The residential suburbs consist of mainly tree-lined streets and avenues flanked by elegant, almost uniformly white houses in accordance with a municipal law, which states that all buildings must be faced with local stone. The downtown area is much older and more traditional with smaller businesses producing and selling everything from fabulous jewelry to everyday household items. The people of Amman are multi-cultural, multi-denominational, well-educated and extremely hospitable. They welcome visitors and take pride in showing them around their fascinating and vibrant city.

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Sights and Activities

  • Souq and medina
  • Roman theatre
  • King Abdullah I Mosque

There are a number of renovations and excavations taking place that have revealed remains from the Neolithic period, as well as from the Hellenistic and late Roman to Arab Islamic Ages. The site which is known as the Citadel includes many structures such as the Temple of Hercules, the Umayyad Palace and the Byzantine Church. At the foot of the Citadel lies the 6,000 seat Roman Theater, which is a deep-sided bowl carved into the hill and is still being used for cultural events. Another newly restored theater is the 500-seat Odeon that is used for concerts. The three museums found in the area offer a glimpse of history and culture; they are the Jordan Archaeological Museum, The Folklore Museum and the Museum of Popular Traditions.

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Weather

Amman is less hot than places more south in the country, mainly because of its elevation. In winter, frost and snow are not uncommon and in summer the dry heat is bearable. Best times to visit are probably spring and autumn, when temperatures are pleasantly warm and you avoid the wetter wintermonths as well. Summer is dry and usually warm to hot. Extremes have been recorded of 40 °C or more. Average highs are around 30 °C, while in winter most days are well above 10 °C.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max12.3 °C13.7 °C17.2 °C22.6 °C27.8 °C30.8 °C32 °C32.4 °C30.7 °C27.1 °C20.4 °C14.4 °C
Avg Min3.6 °C4.2 °C6.1 °C9.5 °C13.5 °C16.6 °C18.5 °C18.6 °C16.6 °C13.8 °C9.3 °C5.2 °C
Rainfall63.4 mm61.7 mm43.1 mm13.7 mm3.3 mm0 mm0 mm0 mm0.3 mm6.6 mm28 mm49.2 mm
Rain Days1110.9841.60.1000.12.35.38.4

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Getting There

By Plane

Royal Jordanian Airlines is the national airline with many destinations served from Queen Alia International Airport (AMM), 32 kilometres south of Amman. Destinations are as far away as New York, but most flights are to major cities in the Middle East and Europe. Asian destinations include Bangkok and Hong Kong. Dozens of other airlines (mostly regional) fly to the airport as well. Buses and taxis serve the airport all day, with buses operating every half hour to Amman. A new rail line is being constructed that will link Queen Alia International Airport with central and downtown Amman. Domestic flights are an option you don't really need with travelling times overland just a matter of several hours, but travelling between Amman and Aqaba could be done with Royal Jordanian Airlines.

Amman Civil Airport (ADJ) in the east of the city has flights to Dalaman (Turkey), Cairo, Baghdad, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Baku, Sharjah and even Stockholm, though some are seasonal.

By Train

A twice weekly train travel between the capital of Syria, Damascus, and Amman. The train leaves both places on Mondays and Thursdays at 8:00am and take 9 hours to complete the schedule. Although slower than buses and shared taxis, this train ride comes as a welcome alternative for train fanatics.

By Bus

Buses, minibuses and shared taxis ply the national routes and destinations include Madaba and Aqaba. International destinations include Damascus and even further away crossing Saudi Arabia to the United Arab Emirates.

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Getting Around

By Public Transport

Taxis are the mode of transport that are used the most to get around the city and are quite cheap and easily available. It is better to discuss the price at the outset if it is not a metered cab. Though the cab drivers are generally friendly, talkative and reasonable, it is better to have discussed the price beforehand. Taxi rides should cost between JD1 to JD3 within city limits. Also, it is better to have a map of the place and the area where you want to go marked out as it is easier to navigate if one knows the nearby landmarks of the place you want to go to. Especially when going into residential areas, it is quite difficult to know where you are as there are very limited street signs and the taxi drivers expect you to tell them where to go, at least to explain in Arabic what exactly you are looking for beyond the street name and number.

There are buses but information on the routes and times are not easily available for the first-time visitor.

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Eat

For a cheap meal, there are the KFCs, McDonalds and Burger Kings available in most places. Also, there are tiny kiosks selling burgers and kebabs on most roads. However, to experience the delicious local cuisine which is comparable to Lebanese cuisine, it is better to go to cafes and restaurants that serve such food.
Zalatimo Brothers is a great shop for buying some divinely delicious sweets.

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Drink

For the pub crawlers, Nai bar is a trendy bar and restaurant located in Shmeisani.

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Sleep

Budget

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Abbasi Palace HotelQuraish Str Down town - old cityHOTEL55
Bdeiwi Hostel & HotelDown Town, Al-Khyyam Street (Behand Orange Telecom)Hostel78
Cameo HotelAmman Forth CircleHotel-
Canary HotelJabal Al WeibdehHotel-
CaravanJabal Al WaibdehHotel70
Cliff HotelJordan- Amman - Down Town Prince Mohammed st-front off hashem restorantHotel80
Darotel5 Ibn Sayyeda Str. ShmeisaniHotel-
Farah HotelDown town cinema on Alhussein St behind Arab BankHostel80
Hotel HishamAbu Firas Al Hamadani, Jabal, 11183 AmmanHotel-
Mansour HotelAmman - Down Town King Faisal StHostel68
New Park HotelAmman King Hussein Str Opposit Old CourtHotel70
Palace HotelKing Faisal stHotel69
Sun Rise Hotelking hussein street abdali staHotel69
Sydney HostelAmman - Down town Prince Mohammad streetHotel78
Toledo HotelAl Razi Street Jabal Al Hussein,po box 927335Hotel83
Amman PalaceZraikat complex - Sakife al saHotel-
Hotel Bellevue Amman840385 AmmanHotel-
Hotel RegionDahiet AlrasheedHotel-
Alarz Hotel2 Al ZamakhshariHotel-
Arab Tower Hotel (Burj Al Arab)Downtown, Al Hashimi StreetHotel74
le vendome hotelShmeisani Issam Ajlouni StreetHotel-
Dove Hotel16 Riyad Al Mefleh Street. Jabbal Amman 4th CircleHOTEL-
Jordan Tower HostelHashmiyeh Street AmmanHostel84
Torwada HotelDowntown AL Reeda St AmmanHotel78
Asri HotelJordan - Amman Behind AL-Hussein MosqueHotel-
Asia HotelSaqf Al-Sail StHotel-
Nihal HotelTalal St. Near Al-Hannini RestaurantHotel-
MerryLand HotelAmman - Abdali - king hussein streetHotel65
Coral Sadeen Amman HotelWasfi Al-Tal (Gardens) St. - Amman - KhaldaHotel-
Normas HotelAmman-Downtown-King Faisal StreetHOTEL73
Mamaya HotelDowntown King Hussein StreetHotel70
Nefertiti Hotel26 Jahed ST.shmissani opposite Ambassador Hotel Amman Nearby Kimpinski HotelHOTEL-
AL-Houriat HotelQuraish St Amman Down TownHOTEL-
Roman Theatre Hotel AmmanAmman-Down Town- opposite the Roman Amphitheatre AmmanHOTEL76
AL Saleh HotelPrince Moh. StreetHOTEL-
Riviera Hotel AmmanKing Hussein Street Opposite Jerusalem RestaurantHOTEL75
Amman Pasha HotelShabsoug Street Building number 4HOTEL76
The Boutique Hotel AmmanAMMAN DOWN TOWN PRINCE MOHAMAD STREET NEAR POST OFFICE BUILDING 32 ,SECOUND FLOORHotel88
Almonzer Hotelalabdale amman-alabdale streetHotel-
Raghadan HotelHashmi Street DowntownHOTEL-
Orient Prince HotelAlhashimi Street 1118 DowntownHOTEL-
Amman House Hotel Apartment 2University StreetHOTEL-
Cairo Hotel AmmanDowntown - King Faisal Street opposite Arab BankHOTEL-
Sultan HotelSalah Eldeen St Amman Down Town Opposite Sabel AlhouriatHotel-
Corp Executive Hotel AmmanQueen Alia StreetHotel-
Kahramana HotelBehind Raghadan Tourist complex, Down TownHOTEL-

Upscale

  • Regency Palace Hotel is located on Queen Alya Street and close to the Jordanian Olympic Committee office and Sports City. The rooms look weathered but liveable and the restaurant is alright. Room service menu is quite good and the service fast. Some basic amenities such as tea/coffee making service in the room that one expects in a bigger hotel was missing and the request for a water heater was fulfilled by the hotel staff by providing a heating coil which had a loose wire at the end, instead of a plug, and the wire had to be inserted into the strange plugpoint to connect and sparks flew each time it was inserted. There is a business center in the lobby of the hotel and a semblance of a gym on the top floor. Hotel staff are quite friendly and helpful.
  • Amman Marriott Hotel which is located across the Regency Palace hotel looked much better maintained on the inside and quite grandiose.
  • The Four Seasons Hotel is supposedly the best hotel in Amman

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Keep Connected

Internet

Jordan is relatively well connected to the internet compared to many other countries in the Middle East. Internet cafes are all around Jordan and range from 1- 2 JD for half an hour. Wifi is getting more and more popular in Jordan, but is not very common everywhere. In larger places, you find free wifi and some coffee places and restaurants. Hotels tend to charge for wifi, but not always, so check beforehand.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

Jordan's international country code is 962. The emergency numbers include 112 and 911, you can use them both.

Most of Jordan has mobile coverage. There are three mobile operators: Zain - the first and largest mobile provider, Orange and Umniah. You can buy SIM cards at any of these providers and if you are planning to make international calls, use Umniah as they are the cheapeast. Otherwise Zain is the better choice of mostly domestic calls. Using your own SIM in Jordan can be expensive, especially for internet.

Card-based temporary numbers can be purchased at the airport or any mobile shop for JOD5. These numbers can be subsequently recharged with a prepaid card starting at only JOD1. Temporary "throw away" phones can be bought at many mobile phone shops across the country for around JOD20-30, but a Jordanian must buy the phone before possession can be transferred to you.

Post

Jordan Post runs the postal services in the country. It has fairly reliable and cheap services and international post usually takes several days up to a week or more for countries further away. Opening hours of post offices are mostly between 7:00am and 5:00pm Saturday to Thursday and 7:00am to 1:00pm on Friday, although this depends whether it's a main city or smaller villages. In summer, there might be slighty longer opening hours. For larger packages, it might work out cheaper and certainly faster to use international courier services, including DHL, FedEx, TNT or UPS for example.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 31.9394
  • Longitude: 35.9349

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This is version 32. Last edited at 18:12 on Jul 5, 14 by Utrecht. 44 articles link to this page.

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