The local currency in Jordan is the Jordanian Dinar (JD) which is broken down into 100 piasters or 1,000 fills. So when you see a price of 3,250 that’s 3 JD and 25 piaster. Many international currencies can be exchanged at banks, hotels and exchange bureaus throughout Jordan, namely US dollars, British pounds, Euro and Canadian and Australian dollars. Street money-changers should be avoided wherever possible. Credit cards can also be used in most hotels, restaurants and larger shops, although cash payments in the local currency is essential for shopping in the local Souks and smaller shops.
Although you can exchange traveller’s cheques in Jordan, we don’t recommend doing so as they often charge a commission of 5%.
Health and Vaccination
Although no immunisations or vaccinations are needed to enter Jordan, it is a good idea to make sure you’re up to date with the following: typhoid, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, rabies and influenza. Malaria is not present in Jordan.
Perhaps the biggest threat to your health in Jordan is the heat, especially when travelling in the desert. For this reason you should really do everything you can to avoid expose to the sun, and head protection is vital. Adversely, if travelling during December and February, be aware that desert temperatures will plummet during the night, so make sure you have warm blankets or hyperthermia is a legitimate risk.
Also, we highly recommend that visitors take medication for travellers’ diarrhoea.
While the tap water is actually safe to drink, we suggest buying bottled water which is available everywhere. When staying in the south of Jordan, especially Wadi Rum, the tap water comes directly from natural springs and so is very pure. And of course it goes without saying that you should always have plenty of water with you on your travels, especially in the desert.
A strange (albeit somewhat annoying) quirk of Jordan is that you can never be sure what kind of electrical socket you’ll need to use. You can find plug types C, D, F, G and J in a haphazard mishmash from hotel to hotel, so be sure to take plenty of adapters.
Plug type C has two round pins.
Plug type D has three round pins in a triangle.
Plug type F two round pins with two earth clips on the side.
Plug type G has three rectangular pins in a triangle.
Plug type J has three round pins.
Food and Drink
Dining in Jordan is an experience in itself, with a whole world of aromatic spices and delicious flavours to explore. Succulent meat dishes, cheeses, yoghurts, exotic fruit and dried vegetables… as an honoured guest, prepare to be served large portions of them all. If you’d like to experiment in the kitchen back home, there’s even more great news – most of the spices are sold in the streets of the cities, so you can even bring a taste of the country back home to enjoy with family and friends. Za’atar, a mix of thyme, sesame seeds and salt, is perhaps the most popular and definitely a favourite with most visitors.
Jordan is fairly liberal and westernised, so most of the hotels and restaurants you visit during your stay will have alcohol available, including excellent local wines and beers. Tipping is considered part of the culture of Jordan, as many places pay lower wages to the employees. 10% is considered standard, more if the service was particularly amazing. Remember that some restaurants will add a small surcharge for service to your bill, in which case you might want to consider giving the worker a small tip anyway, as it’s unlikely this service charge will make its way into their hands.
The cities of Jordan are busy, vibrant places that are buzzing with activity and life, and perhaps none more so than its capital Amman. As you wander it’s streets you’ll be immersed in the city’s culture, finding everything from designer clothes to locally produced items. These include handmade mosaics, which Jordan is famous for, as well as rugs, pottery, all manner of beauty products from the rich muds of the Dea Sea, salts, spices, handmade jewellery, and gold and silver items galore. The perfect place to give your haggling skills a run for their money!