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World Travel Guide > Guides > Middle East > Jordan > Amman

Amman Weather

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Local time Amman

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Getting around Amman

Public transport

There is no integrated public transport system in Amman. A variety of different forms of transport operate in competition along a number of routes throughout the city, but there are no timetables and many pick up on demand. Downtown acts like a transport hub and most routes radiate out from there.

The city has a choice of minibuses, buses, yellow city buses and what is known locally as serveeces. These are shared taxis, containing between four and six people each paying a flat fare. They are easily recognisable: white cars with the route number they serve and a cab number in black Arabic lettering on the front doors. They operate much like a bus, running along one particular route and picking up and setting down passengers. You can also book them through travel agents or hotels for longer trips to tourist attractions like Petra.

Taxis

All licensed cabs are metered and provide an inexpensive way to get around Amman. Make sure the driver starts the meter as soon as you get in the cab. Some drivers may try and claim that their meter is broken or negotiate a fixed fee. Have nothing to do with them and hail another cab.

You can hire taxis by the day or half day for sightseeing. Reliable taxi providers include Taxi Al-Barq (tel: +962 6 464 129) and Intercontinental Hotel Taxis (tel: +962 6 464 1361).

Driving

In much of the Arab world, driving in the city can be hairy and chaotic, and Amman is no exception. Drivers in the capital can be unpredictable at best and crazy at worst - and there seems to be no great liking for using indicator lights. Friday is the quietest day on the roads, but travelling by taxi is recommended.

Visitors are not allowed to drive a vehicle with Jordanian plates unless they have a Jordanian driving licence.

Car hire

A valid driving licence is necessary to hire a car in Amman, provided you have held it for at least one year. An International Driving Permit is also recommended. Many big, international car hire firms have offices in Amman but you can often find the best deals from local companies. Reliable car hire companies include Avis (tel: +962 6 445 1122; www.avis.com.jo), Hertz (tel: +962 6 471 1771; www.hertz.jo), Rent a Reliable Car (tel: +962 6 592 9676; www.rentareliablecar.com) and Watanieh (tel: +962 6 560 1350).

Bicycle hire

Bicycle hire is practically unknown in Amman, although more hotels are offering bike tours of the city. One place where you can pick up a bike is Cycling Jordan, Mamdouh al Sarayrah Street (tel: +962 79 885 4454; www.facebook.com/cycling.jordan), which hires bikes and runs cycling trips.

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Four Seasons Hotel Amman

Undoubtedly the city's most luxurious hotel, the Four Seasons knows its place as it sits atop the highest of the Amman's Jabels (hills). Naturally, the hotel's signature service, beds and ambience are otherworldly, but you can't put a price on its wonderful views. Dead Sea mud treatments and salt scrubs are available in its spa and its run of excellent onsite restaurants might mean you don't eat anywhere else.

Corp Amman Hotel

Located opposite the Royal Cultural Centre, the Corp Amman Hotel has 108 rooms, so if there's nothing on across the road, it opens up ample bargaining opportunities for nabbing a knocked down price. Sleeping quarters approach apartment sizes, and each comes with a large TV, free Wi-Fi and soundproofed windows. The small gym and swimming pool is enough to keep guests primed during their stay, while the rooftop lounge is best at dusk.

Crowne Plaza Hotel Amman

At Crowne Plaza hotel, you can overlook the white city of Amman. International fast food restaurants, the main shopping area of Sweifiyeh, and the popular Gold Souk of Um Utheina are within walking distance. This 5 star hotel is an acclaimed destination for business trips, family visits and even solo travels to Jordan.

The Amman Pasha Hotel

Look past the floral bedspreads, and rise above the dodgy water pressure, and The Amman Pasha Hotel is a bit of a bargain. Leaning towards the hostel side of accommodation, rooms are clean and staff are friendly, and there’s a lovely roof terrace. The quirky café is adorned with stained glass windows, and Arabian carpets and onsite cooking classes are worth a few hours of your time. Toss up between rooms with views of the Roman Theatre or those away from the hubbub of the road outside. Breakfast is included.

ibis Amman

With a solid stamp of standardisation, ibis Amman works hard to provide perennial hotel needs: quiet rooms, decent beds and clean bathrooms. The location is central enough, while Wi-Fi and breakfast is included as part of the deal. Funky, Ikea-like furniture adorns the public spaces and staff are super helpful.

Toledo Hotel

Modern with a hint of faux-Moorish architecture, this moderately priced, 4-star hotel combines a great location with tasteful decoration and air-conditioned bliss. Under the shadows of some 5-star stalwarts, Toledo Hotel offers decent room dimensions, a restaurant that marries East and West, plus a spa with a lap pool, Jacuzzi, steam room and sauna.