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welcome to Transit car rentals - Jordan Amman car rental & Amman Jordan- AMMAN rent a car Amman - Amman Car Hire .wadi. rum. petra and Aqaba Entry Into Jordan| Transit Car - Jordan Car Rental - Amman Car Hire

Entry Into Jordan| Transit Car - Jordan Car Rental - Amman Car Hire

Jordan is a country in the Middle East. Almost completely land-locked (save for a small outlet on the Red Sea in the Gulf of Aqaba and a frontage on the Dead Sea), Jordan is bordered by Israel and the West Bank (Palestinian Territories) to the west, by Syria to the north, by Iraq to the east and by Saudi Arabia to the south.

Visitors to Jordan from non-Arab countries will need a visa, easily obtainable on arrival at most border points. One key exception is the crossing from the West Bank at the King Hussein ("Allenby") Bridge. Visas are available at all other land crossings into Jordan, including the two crossings from Israel at Eilat/Aqaba and the Sheik Hussein Bridge near Irbid. Previously notoriously complex (and expensive), visa prices have finally been standardized for non-Arabs at JD 10 for single entry, JD 20 for multiple entry, though you can receive a free, one month, ASEZA visa if you arrive in Aqaba with no visa. If you receive an ASEZA visa, you will still theoretically have to pay the visa fee if you leave the Aqaba economic zone, paid either with your departure tax, or on reentry to the Aqaba zone.

By plane

Jordan's national airline is Royal Jordanian Airlines. In addition, Jordan is served by a number of foreign carriers including BMI, Air France, airBaltic, Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines, Egypt Air, Emirates, Alitalia and Delta Airlines. Low-cost airline Air Arabia flies between Jordan and destinations all over the Middle East. UK based airline easyJet has announced plans to fly three times a week from London Gatwick to Amman from March 2011, cutting the cost of getting to the Middle East from the UK substantially.

Queen Alia International Airport is the country's main airport. It is 35km south of Amman (on the main route to Aqaba). You should allow 45 minutes to reach the airport from the downtown Amman, approximately 30 minutes from West Amman. Transport into Amman is provided by the Royal Jordanian bus service to the city terminal near the 7th circle, or by taxi (around 20 JD, meant to be fixed).

In addition to Queen Alia, Jordan has two other international airports:

  • §Marka International Airport in East Amman (serving routes to nearby Middle Eastern countries, as well as internal flights to Aqaba).
  • §King Hussein International Airport in Aqaba.

By train

The last functioning part of the famous Hejaz Railway, twice-weekly trains used to arrive from Damascus (Syria) at Amman's Mahatta junction just north-east of the downtown area, close to Marka Airport. However, services have been suspended since mid-2006 due to damage to the tracks, and it's unclear when they will resume. Even when they were running, trains took a very leisurely 9 hours (considerably slower than driving), and provided a very low standard of comfort. There are no other passenger trains in Jordan.

By car

From Israel

You can cross into Jordan by car from Israel, but the border formalities are time-consuming and expensive as Jordanian insurance is required and you will even have to change your license plates. The only available crossings are at Aqaba (if coming from Eilat) and at the Sheikh Hussein Bridge for those coming from Northern Israel. Note that the Allenby/King Hussein crossing does not allow private vehicles of any kind.
Allenby/King Hussein Bridge Crossing This is the closest board to Jerusalem; however, it may not be the most convenient. If you require a VISA into Jordan it is not possible to obtain one at the King Hussein Bridge. You will have to prearrange a VISA with the Jordanian embassy in your country (expensive), or if you are travelling through Tel Aviv you can wait at the Jordanian embassy there and get one on site (time consuming).

The King Hussein Bridge border crossing is very busy as it is the most popular crossing for people making the pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Expect long queues and waits.
Sheikh Hussein Bridge Crossing: If you have not pre-arranged a visa for Jordan this bridge is one option. The border crossing is mainly used by tour bus companies to cross the border and trucks bring in goods. The wait time can be a bit longer if a tour group arrives ahead of you.

Getting to the border: Busses from Jerusalem (central bus station) run hourly Beit She’an (about 7k from the border), take around 2 hours to reach the border and cost 42 NIS. Ask for bus 961 or 966. The busses are large comfortable busses with free WIFI lots of room for luggage. Toward the end of the route the bus passes through a checkpoint so have passports handy. Expect to see Israeli armed personnel on the busses travelling to their posts. A taxi from Beit She’an to the border costs 5-10 NIS and taxis usually wait outside the bus stop.

Leaving the Israel: Israel charges an exit tax at their northern border of 103 NIS per person. This has to be paid before you can exit (duty free at exit allows extra NIS to be spent). After paying the exit charge walk through duty free and wait for a bus to take travellers across the bridge. The bus costs 2 NIS per person (walking is not an option).

Entering Jordan: Upon entering Jordan a visa is required to be purchased (20 JOD). It is advised to bring JOD with on the trip because the exchange office at the border does not offer very good rates. After purchasing the visa wait in line for immigration. After exiting the immigration building take a left and walk to through security. After security there is a taxi stand with fixed prices to various destinations (33 JOD to Amman). The taxi to Amman can be nerve racking. Expect to climb and descend steep hills at high speeds (people susceptible to car sickness be warned). The ride takes 1 hour to 1.5 hours.

From Syria

Long distance taxis operate the route from Damascus to Amman.

The drive between Amman and Syria is not as you might be used to in the USA or Europe, and the standard of driving and vehicle maintenance in both countries is poor (but generally worse in Syria). Don't be afraid to ask your driver to slow down and take extra care when overtaking. It's worth hiring a taxi just for yourself or your party and paying a little extra money to ensure the driver isn't tempted to race the journey to make more money. If you mind smoking, before hiring a driver make sure you’re that your driver does or would not smoke.

This trip should take around 3.5 hours.

From Iraq

It is theoretically possible to enter Jordan from Iraq depending on your nationality. Flights from and into Iraq involve a high speed high altitude cork-screwing dive down to the capital Baghdad, to reduce the likelihood of missile or rocket damage. Given the ever present threat from insurgents and the ongoing military operations in Iraq, it is strongly recommended that you do not attempt this journey from Baghdad or anywhere else in the country.

From Saudi Arabia

Entry from Saudi Arabia is by bus. Jordan-bound buses can be taken from almost any point in Saudi Arabia or the Gulf. Most of these are used by Arabs. The border crossing, called Al-Haditha on the Saudi side, and Al-Omari on the Jordanian side, has been recently rebuilt. Waiting time at customs and passport control is not too long by Middle Eastern standards, but allow for up to 5 hours on the Saudi side. As the crossing is the middle of the desert, be absolutely sure that all paper work is in order before attempting the journey; otherwise you might be lost in a maze of Arab bureaucracy. The trip from the border to Amman is 3 hours and up to 20 hours to the either DammamRiyadh or Jeddah on the Saudi side. The trip can be uncomfortable but is cheap.

By bus

Long distance services operate from a number of Middle Eastern destinations including Tel Aviv and Damascus.

By boat

Jordan can be entered at the port of Aqaba via the Egyptian port of Nuweiba. There are two services, ferry and speedboat. Expect to pay around $30 for the ferry or around $60 for the speedboat (both one way) if you are a non-Egyptian national (Egyptians are not required to pay the prices inflated by the authorities). The slow ferry might take up to 8 hours, and can be a nightmare in bad weather. The speedboat consistently makes the crossing in about an hour, though boarding and disembarking delays can add many hours, especially since there are no fixed hours for departures. You cannot buy the ticket in advance and the ticket office does not know the time of departure. You can lose an entire afternoon or even a day waiting for the boat to leave. UPDATE: prices have increased. The speedboat is now $70 and the ferry is $60 (+$10 or 50 EGP departure tax from Egypt).

Get around

By plane

The only domestic air route is between Amman and Aqaba.

By bus

The JETT bus company has services connecting Amman to Aqaba, the King Hussein Bridge (to cross into Israel), and Hammamat Ma'in. Private buses (mainly operated by the Hijazi company) run from Amman to Irbid and Aqaba. Minibus services connect smaller towns on a much more irregular service basis - usually they leave once they're full.

The Abdali transport station near Downtown Amman served as a bus/taxi hub to locations throughout Jordan, but many of it's services (especially microbus and service taxi) have been relocated to the new Northern bus station (also called Tarbarboor, or Tareq). Here you can find buses into Israel and a 1.5JD bus to Queen Alia airport.

By service taxi

Service taxis (servees) cover much the same routes as buses. Service taxis are definitely more expensive than minibuses, but a lot faster and more convenient.

Service taxis only leave when full so there is no set timetable. You may also be approached by private cars operating as service taxis. If you use one of these, it is important to agree the price in advance

Service taxis are generally white or creme in colour. They can sometimes be persuaded to deviate from their standard route if they are not already carrying passengers. It is quite likely that you would be asked to wait for a yellow taxi though.

By regular taxi

Regular taxis are abundant in most cities. They are bright yellow (Similar to New York yellow-cabs) and are generally in good condition. A 10km trip should cost around 2 JDs.

All yellow taxis should be metered, however most drivers outside Amman do not use them therefore you should agree on a price before departing. If you do get picked up by an unmetered taxi, make sure you agree on the price before driving away. If you do not agree on a price you will most likely pay double the going rate. Using the meter is almost always cheaper than negotiating a price so it is best to insist that the driver uses it before you depart. Keep your luggage with you - it's not uncommon for unmetered taxis to charge a ridiculous rate ( 30 JDs for a 10 minute ride ) and then refuse to open the trunk to give you your bags back until you pay up.

Day rates for taxis can be negotiated. These are usually through specific taxi drivers that have offered the service to friends or colleagues before. If you are staying at a hotel, the reception desk should be able to find you a reliable driver. It is also quite common in quiet times to be approached (politely) by taxi drivers on the street looking for business. There are plenty of good English speakers so it pays to wait until you find one you like.

A full day taxi fare should cost around 20-25 JD. An afternoon taxi fare would be around 15 JD. For this price the taxi driver will drop you off at local shopping areas and wait for you to return. You can then go to the next shopping location. You can leave your recently purchased items in the vehicle as the driver will remain in the taxi at all times, but it is not recommended to do so.

If you are planning a trip outside of Amman, the day rates will increase to offset the fuel costs. For day trips within 1-3 hours of Amman, a taxi is by far the easiest method of transport. A trip to Petra in a taxi would cost approximately 75 JD for 3 people. This would get you there and back with about 6 hours to look around and see the sights.

When negotiating taxi rates, ask if the agreed-on rate is the total or the cost per person. Often taxi drivers will quote a low rate and then when it comes time to pay will tell you that the rate is "per person."

If traveling a long way try to use buses or coaches rather then taxis. Some taxi drivers are not averse to driving people into the middle of the desert and threatening to leave you there unless you give them all your money. This is very unlikely if you stick to recommended drivers however. Jordan is generally very protective of its tourists and while overcharging is common (if not agreed in advance), threats and cheating are rare.

By car

Jordan's highways are generally in very good shape, but the same cannot be said about its drivers or it vehicles. Many trucks and buses drive with worn or defective tires and brakes and in the southern and more rural parts of the country there is the tendency for some people to drive at night without headlights (in the belief that they can see better and that this is therefore safer!). Avoid driving outside the capital, Amman, after dark.

Renting a car should be inexpensive and not too time-consuming. Fuel prices are all fixed by the state-owned company, so don't bother looking for cheaper gas stations. Expect to pay around JD 0.55 per liter, although prices may change in time.

The main route is the Desert Highway, which connects AqabaMa'an, Amman and continues all the way to Damascus in neighboring Syria. Radar speed traps are plentiful and well positioned to catch drivers who do not heed the frequently changing speed limits. Traffic Police are stationed regularly at turns and curves, well hidden, with speed guns. If you are even 10% over the speed limit, you shall be stopped and made to pay a steep fine. Better to drive within limits.

One particular stretch, where the road rapidly descends from the highlands of Amman to the valley that leads into Aqaba through a series of steep hairpin curves, is infamous for the number of badly maintained oil trucks that lose their brakes and careen off the road into the ravine, plowing through all in their path. This stretch of the road has been made into a dual carriageway and is now a little safer - however exercise caution on this stretch of the road.

The other route of interest to travellers is the King's Highway, a meandering track to the west of the Desert Highway that starts south of Amman and links Kerak,MadabaWadi Mujib and Petra before joining the Desert Highway south of Ma'an.

Organized tours

Much of Jordan's more dramatic scenery requires 4x4 vehicles with drivers or guides familiar with the territory. Most people visiting Jordan opt for organised tours, although it is possible to use local guides from the various visitors' centers at Jordan's eco-nature reserves. These include Wadi Rum, the Dana Reserve and Iben Hamam. The majority of tourists crossing into Jordan from Israel are on one-day Petra tours or in organised tour groups. They make up a significant percent of the daily visitors in Petra and Jordan's natural attractions.