Getting around Amman
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.
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).
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.
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 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.