Islamic feast days, marked with a * are not fixed dates and will
only be definitively determined a few days beforehand, according
to the sighting of the moon. Usually the two Eids and also New
Year's Day and Labour Day are followed by a couple more days
holiday for banks and offices, etc. The ATMs are very much used
then, so draw out money beforehand, they will "go dry"
before the banks reopen.
These feat days would
begin at sunset of the date before the one given here, so be careful about
on these dates at the Jordan Tourist Board site at http://www.see-Jordan.com
http://members.cox.net/ahmedheissa/icdates.html for Islamic dates
For information on
travelling during Ramadan see the FAQ section
The official Jordanian
weekend is now Friday and Saturday. On these days, banks and most offices are
shut. Post offices are open on Saturdays ; large shops in Amman
(except supermarkets) will certainly be closed on Fridays, but
are probably open on Saturdays. The big supermarket "Safeway"
is open 7 days a week in both Amman and in Aqaba, as are nearly
all small shops.
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 travelling on a Friday.
are easily found, and are in several denominations. You might
note that the shopkeepers get a rake off on the sale of these
cards, so the official price is a little higher than that
actually marked on the card. This is quite normal - I did say
might consider buying a prepaid SIM card costing 3JD. Compared to Europe, phone
calls, even international ones, are very cheap in Jordan, and the amount should
be plenty for a couple of weeks in the country.
I do not need
to tell you how very useful is it to have a cell phone available both to call
and to be called.
are three mobile phone operators : Fast Link, Orange and Zain. Most people seem
to prefer Zain, the most recent arrival, but Orange is also more than
respectable as far as service goes.
are many Internet cafés all around, and several places like the "Safeway"
supermarkets also offer Internet access. This has become much cheaper during the
last year : until lately there was only one provider based in Amman, so any
login to the Internet from elsewhere immediately involved a long distance call.
Now there must be a good half dozen providers, with special telephone numbers
that are even cheaper than local calls. Everybody is taking it up.
Most Internet cafés offer broadband - don't let's mention the private
The most usual price charged by Internet cafes tends to be 2JD/hour, but this
But please note that there is a problem with
Hotmail in Jordan. You can send your messages, and hotels etc in Jordan receive
them and reply - but all too often their reply doesn't reach you. So it is a
good idea either to avoid Hotmail altogether if you have any alternative, or
give another address for reply. I have no idea why this is, but there is no
doubt that it happens, I have heard of a number of cases.
Wifi isn't yet generally available in Jordan,
but the idea is spreading rapidly, and since it isn't really expensive for a
commercial establishment, you may well find it in ordinary coffee shops as well
as in a number of hotels. Sometimes it is charged for, sometimes it isn't. Most
hotels do offer free access. However I was shocked to hear that the Movenpick in
Aqaba, a hotel which charges up to 100JD/night for a room, demands 14JD/day for
Wifi access. This really comes into the heading of a ripoff. Apparently if you
arrive with a portable computer the charge is automatically applied!!
are just about everywhere, except again in Wadi Rum. This also
might change when the new Tourist Centre is finished, but right
now you need to draw whatever you need before you reach Wadi Rum.
Your guide there will expect payment in cash, but is probably not
overly worried in what currency.
careful during an official holiday. The ATMs have caught on in a
big way and everybody uses them. This means that they are very
likely to run dry during weekends, and almost certainly during a
longer period of banks being closed.
cards are not yet really popular in Jordan except for use in ATMs.
The card most usually accepted is Visa, and sometimes you may be
asked to pay a surcharge to cover the charges levied by Visa on
the sale. Obviously, most of the places you can use them are
upmarket, but more and more shops, hotels and restaurants are
always worth asking if you can use yours, even if the shop itself
doesn't take them, they can often arrange something with the shop
The electric current in
Jordan is 220V and the plugs are the same as in Continental
Europe ie two sized plugs with two prongs and little round holes.
Like everywhere else, "earthed" plugs are taking over,
with the third prong a simple one. (Please
excuse the complete lack of technical vocabulary, I think you
understand what I mean!) Visitors
from the UK or the US will need adaptors, visitors from France,
Germany ,Spain etc etc won't. The most widespread plugs are like
http://kropla.com/!c.htm but in fact they are being phased
out and being replaced by these :
http://kropla.com/!g.htm. There are plenty of adaptor plugs
together with most Jordanians, happily drink tap water. However,
first of all most tourists are not used to it and secondly, it
would spoil your holiday if you did catch a bug. So I advise you
on the whole to stick to bottled water. You can perfectly well
clean your teeth in tap water, and you shouldn't worry too much
about salad dishes. If you do run out of bottled water, then a
glass or two of ordinary water is most unlikely to upset you
seriously. Be more careful in the north than in the south. Many
houses here prefer to buy treated water to use for drinking.
again Wadi Rum is an exception, this time positively! Their mains
supply of water comes directly from the aquifer at Dissieh, and
is far purer than any other water around. If you find yourself
drinking water that came from a jerrycan you may rest assured
that the quality of this water is likely to be at least as good
as any mineral water, and possibly better. You will realise
however, that for this reason mineral water is not normally
supplied by any of the guides there. If you prefer to stick to
bottled water then you should stock up before heading out into