If you are flying Royal Jordanian (or not), you can get to the airport or from the airport which is about 30 minutes away for JD 3 one way. Buses leave every half hour from about 5 in the morning to 10 at night - every half hour from city terminal (Royal Jordanian office) near 7th circle to the airport. They drop you at the departure level (Level 1). You can take the bus from the arrival level every 15 min past the hour and 45 min past the half hour back to city terminal
many of the tourists going to Jordan and are arriving at the Queen Alia International Airport are christian pilgrims doing a holyland tour and Jordan is on the first leg and these pilgrims first stop after alighting at Queen Alia International Airport is at Madaba City and Mount Nebo, located 30 kilometers south of the airport and are using the big buses. this is the means of transport so that they can go to mount nebo church, the st. george church, the church of the virgin and the apostles and archeological musuem. after the tours, they then proceed to amman for check in at their respective hotels and these big tour buses then used to go to Petra on a day tour and to other areas like Jerash and then to shuttle back the tourist back to the airport for the return flight or right before the 3 border crossing points to Israel for the rest of their holyland pilgrimage schedule.
In November 2012, I moved around by public transportation (not even by taxi) in Amman. There are big buses (for cc.50 persons, with line numbers and sometimes even marked bus stops) and small buses (for cc.20 persons, without line numbers, stop anywhere, usually with a boy in the door, announcing the terminus and collecting the travel fee). Small buses have a terminus -among others- in Downtown (el-Balad), at the junction of King Talal and Prince el-Hassan str. They go from here to the south (and maybe also to other directions).
Big buses have a terminus -among others- at Al-Mahatta bus station (between King Abdullah and Al-Jaysh street, close to the junction of Al-Yarmouk and King Abdullah str.) They go to different directions, this is a very busy bus station. F.ex. the line nr. 446 takes one from here to Al-Abdali bus station. It can happen that one can reach from location A to location B by changing at Al-Mahatta.
On board of the big buses, one has to drop the travel fee into a plastic box before the driver, except the driver does not ask otherwise (to his hand). The price varies, I paid between 250-500 piasters (marked as 25-50 JOD on the coins).
I always found somebody at the station who could tell me which line I should take. While out of the station, also police men can be addressed with questions about public transport.
I found that statistically, Jordaniens' English is still very poor, so it is pratical to know the arabic name of the place where one wants to go. (f.ex. people do not understand 'centre' or 'downtown', but understand 'al-balad'; or the citadel is called 'jebel al-kala'a'). Street names can be said as 'sharia ....', local names of the town quarters or hills are very useful. I found that the majority of people can not read maps. They have in their heads a network of important buildings, shops, institutions, hills, etc. So when I talked to them in those terms, they could better indicate me the way anywhere.
Another thing - maybe needless to say: women do not seat in the bus next to a man. The boy in the door of the small bus will even arrange the passangers so that a new woman passanger has an appropriate seat.
In November 2012, I wanted to travel from Amman to Aqaba by bus. First I booked at the company Mutamaymuz (Al-Abdali bus station, a place between King Hussein str. and Umayyah bin Abd Shams str. ) for next day at 14:00. The (one-way) ticket cost 7 JOD. This company has 3 buses per day to Aqaba: 7:00, 14:00 and 19:30. The office contains ticket sale and waiting room, and is located on the street King Hussein (close to the junction with Al Ba'ouniyyah str.). Theirs buses depart or stop just before the office.
When I went next day 20 min before the departure time, and I asked about the bus, I was asked to sit down in the waiting room. After 14:00, after the 3rd question, I learned that the company cancelled the bus due to lack of passangers. They suggested to me to take their bus in the evening, at 19:30! I had to insist on getting back the ticket price. If they would have told me at my arrival about the cancellation, I could have taken the bus of another company at the same bus station. The English of the office staff was very poor, I could better communicate with one of the bus stewardesses.
Then I went to the JETT office in Al-Abdali (office on King Hussein str. close to Al-Ahli hospital, buses depart either in front of the office or closeby in a courtyard on AlRazzi str.). Jett has now a homepage: http://www.jett.com.jo/#. They have buses the most frequently, six times daily going to Aqaba (7:00, 9:00, 11:00, 14:00, 16:00, 18:00). The ticket cost 8.80 JOD, incl seat reservation. For more frequented time periods, it is recommended to book in advance. The journey takes 4 h 10-15 min. In Aqaba, Jett office and bus station is close to Movenpick hotel, on King Hussein bin Talal str. Please, note that Jett buses from Aqaba go to Amman also to other terminus than Al-Abdali.
You have 2 options:
1- Use local transportation,
Amman - Petra: you can take the bus from Wehdat bus station (or sometimes called south station), it's 4 JDs
OR you can take the JETT bus to Petra leaves everyday at 6:30am arriving at Petra around 9:30 (8 Jds one way) leaves from Abdalli - Jett company.
Petra - Aqaba: you can take the local buses to Aqaba, last one leaves around 5pm ... but you need to check as times changes in summer (so just ask when you first set foot in Petra about the Aqaba buses times)
2- Rent a car: AVIS has offices in Amman & Aqaba (both at airports and inside the city), so you should have no problem leaving your car in Aqaba after your trip is over. Prices also changes depending on the season and how long you want it for but it will cost no less than 40 JDs/day
Consult their website www.avis.com
To get from Amman to anywhere else, you must go by bus.
There are 3 bus stations, so you must see which you need. In general, the North station serves anywhere North, the West serves the W..... you get the idea.
West station is just about walkable from Downtown (15 mins), the other 2 are a taxi ride away (approx 2-3JD).
Buses tend not to have a time, they leave when full, so be prepared to sit on the bus for up to 2 hours.
Buses tend to run more in the early mornning, and are often cancelled after noon.
Getting busses leaving Amman for other towns was one of the biggest frustrations I had. The travel guide (a very good guide in general, publsd – 2006) I used, was unfortunately inaccurate. It seems that most bus stations have changes location during the past year or so.
It is possible to get a public bus to Madaba, Petra, Salt, Jerash etc.
I took the bus from Petra to Amman, which was only 5 JD. To Madaba, Salt and Jerash from Amman, costs less than 1 JD.
I often saw JETT busses, but did not have the chance to use them – but, it does seem like a good option as they are air-conditioned and most probably more comfortable.
Tabarbour bus station is the main station to get you out of Amman to head North, to visit cities like Irbid, Ajloun, Oum Qais, Salt, Fuhais etc ...
Buses are available all day long till mid-night, this is the cheapest way to get around the country & is mostly reliable (ecxept when the bus break down sometimes)
There are a few different bus stations in Amman, which can be used to get to other tourist cities. If you tell a taxi driver that you want to go to the bus station and which city you want to go to, he will know which station to go to. The buses are cheap, or from the station you can negotiate a price with the service taxis (easier to do if you have an arabic speaker with you, because jordanian drivers are con-artists). There are a couple of different bus companies running, and different ones go to different places. The main bus operator is Jett Bus, which can be more expensive than the others, but goes nearly everywhere. Jett bus does not have a website, but these are their most current phone numbers:
I like to discover cities by walking and using public transport. In Amman both walking and buses are not a pleasurable experience. Amman pavements are obstructed by trees, building work, rubbish bins, etc... broken or lead to no-where and they are very very high literally more than 1/2 metre high. One needs to carry a ladder!!!
Although I was advised not to take the bus, I did. Taking the bus in Amman is a test of patience. Bus stops, if there are any, lack the sign, a map and even destination; There are no timetables. All writings on the buses are in Arabic. At major bus stations they do not operate on fixed schedules; they wait for the bus to fill up before moving. The driver would do his sales pitch on the footpath shouting out to everyone that the bus was about to leave. Buses are very shabby and usually have ripped seats because they are so old; and very noisy, not to mention the state of cleanliness which in this regard many taxis have the same problem.
Alas, the best way to get around Amman is by taxi. However beware the drivers will try and rip you off. Always insist on the meter being put back to .15 fils when you get in, do not believe if they tell you it's broken!
TRUST and a similar express bus AFANA leave from Abdali station.
JETT bus station is about 5-10 minutes from Abdali. There are no stops or drop offs with express buses, so you CANNOT use it to get to Wadi Rum Junction.
PETRA, KARAK, MA'AN, WADI RUM
Mini buses South (Ma'an, Karak, Petra) are available at Wahadat Station downtown, a short taxi ride from the Amphitheatre in the opposite direction of Grand Husseini Mosque. Buses to Ma'an run late into the evening, if you missed your bus to Petra, catch one and from Amman to Ma'an, then take a taxi for 5JD from Ma'an to Petra.
To get to Wadi Rum take a mini bus to Aqaba or Ma'an (then another from Ma'an to Aqaba), get off at the Wadi Rum Junction, then take a taxi for a flat rate of 5JD to Rum Village or make arrangements to have your guide meet you.
From Abdali Bus Station in Amman, buses to Jerash and Madaba run every hour, the fare is 0.400JD.
Tip: To get to Mount Nebo, take the bus to Madaba. Mount Nebo is another 8km away, to get there take a service taxi (white car) for 1JD at the traffic round about near St. George's Church with its famous mosaic map on the floor.
At Abdali Bus Station are AFANA express buses to Aqaba for 4.35JD, buses leave 7:30am, 11:30am, 3:00pm, 5:00pm, 7:00pm. The schedule from Aqaba to Amman is the same. Travel time is 4 hrs, no stops or drop offs.
The drop off in Aqaba is in front of Dream Hotel.
Coffee, tea, mineral water and sodas available on board, buses are modern with A/C.
Once outside Amman, a movie (Arabic) is played.
The landscape through the Kings Highway is beautiful!
The three main bus station in Amman are Abdali station for transport to the north and west; Wahadat station for the south; and Raghadan station for Amman and nearby towns.
Private buses can be booked from the JETT office. It is located about 500m northwest of the Abdali Bus Station. They go to Aqaba, Hammamat Mai'n, King Hussein Bridge, and Petra.
JETT buses cost:
Aqaba 4.2 JD
King Hussein Bridge 6.5 JD
Petra 6 JD
Minibuses from Abdali cost:
Aljun 500 fils
Jerash 350 fils
Madaba 270 fils
Minibuses from Wahadat cost:
Aqaba 3 JD
Karak 800 fils
Petra 1.5 JD
There are a few busses going to Amman from Baramke station every day. As I didn't want to wake up to early (for the bus) it suited me better just to show up at the station when I was ready and take a service taxi. They leave when they are full and probably you don't have to wait to long. I paid 500 SP.
The time to reach Amman depends on how long it takes at the border. For me it was quick but we had to wait for one passenger in two hours. Don't know why it took so long for him.
The service taxi stops at Abdali bus station in Amman.
Also three years later I took a service taxi the same way for 500 SP. This time we were only three people in the car (me, a girl who spoke English and her uncle) and it was quick at the border. It took about three hours between Damascus and Amman.
There are several buses every day for Damascus, leaving Abdali busstation in Amman. The journey takes about 4 hours + the time at the border.
Another way, just a little bit more expensive but probably quicker (as there are fewer persons to go through customs) is to take a servise taxi. Just go to Abdali busstation and wait until a car fills up. I paid 5,5 JD (in 2002)between Amman and Damascus. The service taxi will stop at Baramke busstation in Damascus.