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Things to know before visiting Jordan

A welcoming haven for travellers for centuries, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan remains a safe destination for today’s avid adventurers. From its lunar-like desert landscapes to the ancient wonders of Petra, Jordan has something to offer everyone. If you’re planning a trip to this fascinating country then here's a few things to think about before you travel…

 

  1. Budget before you go!

The local currency is the Jordanian Dinar, with ATMs widely available in larger cities and with some hotels offering currency exchanges.

Jordan is by no means a cheap travel destination, although prices do vary wildly depending on where you are visiting.  With 1JD roughly equivalent to 1GBP you should budget carefully.

Some tourist spots will only accept cash (especially the more remote locations) so enquire before you travel.

 

  1. Best time to visit

Jordan’s climate switches from snow covered streets in the winter to blazingly hot sunshine in the summer. The best time to travel is from March to May or October to November, with warm temperatures (25-30 degrees) and fewer crowds.

Make sure you hydrate frequently when you’re out and about and remember to pack sunscreen!

 

  1. Visas

If you’re travelling independently then you’ll benefit from investing in a Jordan Pass when you enter the country. This will cover the cost of your visa along with entrance fees to most of the main attractions in Jordan, including Petra. They can be obtained before you travel and provide excellent value for money.

If you’re part of a group tour then this will usually be included in your trip and you’ll just have to pay for the visa upon arrival.

 

  1. Language

The national language is Arabic but English is widely spoken with road signs being written in both. Of course English will be more common in tourist areas but learning a few local phrases will always help you out.

Using the Google Translate app will be particularly useful where any English translations aren’t available for the Arabic script.

 

  1. Ramadan

If you travel during Ramadan; the Muslim month of fasting, prayer, reflection and community, then you should be prepared to have a slightly different travel experience.

You’ll notice that there are fewer locals about during the day and some shops may be closed during daylight hours. However, once the sun sets, the streets will come back to life as the locals break their fast.

Although Jordan is a Muslim country, drinking alcohol is not taboo and it will be available in hotels and some bars in tourist locations. Outside of larger cities you may find it more difficult to obtain.

 

  1. Smoking

It seems like everyone smokes in Jordan with cigarettes being readily available all over the country. Unlike many countries in the West, smoking is not banned indoors, which you’ll notice as soon as you step into hotel lobbies.

 

  1. Locals

Jordanians are used to tourists and are welcoming and friendly. Ask a question and they’ll gladly tell you about their country and its fascinating culture. With many locals keen to show you around, it may involve a visit to their friend’s shop or restaurant but it is all done with the best of intentions.

 

Jordan is an amazing country to visit with a rich history and diverse culture. It’s small enough to see the highlights in a few days but it will leave you wanting to return to explore it in more depth.

 
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