As we found out that Jordan had a lot to offer for a visitor and we did not have that long time, we decided to hire a private driver for 4 days.
Looking around some trave forum I git reccomended this Mr. Joe and so I contacted him (and a few more).
Our trip was: day 1 Madaba Mount Nebo and Bethany.
Day two Amman to Petra
Day 3 Petra to wadi Rum and then to Aqaba
Day 4 Aqaba to Amman and airport transfer.
All costed 435JD, which is not cheap, but not that bad too if you like to be totally flexible.
I must say I had a very good eperience with Joe agency, no hidden costs and the driver was good.
Joe's email firstname.lastname@example.org
For those who doesn't speak Arabic,taxi may be the best way to move around. Since the price to hire a taxi is A lot cheaper than Western countries or even say my Taiwan. And you mostly can trust your taxi driver's technique. Because traffice condition in Amman or even the whole Jordan is incredibly HORRIBLE.
Taxi is the best way (and almost only) to get around Amman on your own. It's very inexpensive, and rather fast compared to big tourist coaches, cause taxis tend to move faster in often city traffic jams.
There are two kind of taxis. The yellow ones are a la carte route. You catch one, and you go where you want. The lighting word TAXI is at the top of the car. The white ones, which a lighting pannel in arabic, have already fixed routes, which are expressed in arabic signals, and you share them with others who want to take the same route. Is quite inexpensive too.
One important thing: almost everybody in Jordan speak english, at least basic english. Taxi drivers are not an exception, and they can understand you and speak basic words. But, mind to tell your destination in the arabic name, otherwise they won't have a clue of where you want to go. It happened to us twice out of three taxis we took.
Finally, try to avoid those taxis waiting at hotel's entrances. They will try to charge you more, just for the only reason of being a tourist and staying at a hotel. Just walk a couple of minutes away from the hotel and you'll be able to find one almost everywhere.
For a taxi, in case you dont find a collective taxi or a bus, take a regular taxi. not only this, take the one of my new Palestinian friend, Sam... a cool rock musician who drives cabs during the day... and speaks a very funny English (read: not so faint Louisiana accent - and the victim of many of my jokes). He knows everything and everyone, and he's witty as hell.
Taxi to Damascus and Beirut are leaving all day from Abdali Taxi Station.
The yellow taxi (see pic) are the syrian one and the white are jordanian.
I guess it is a bit more comfortable to use a jordanian taxi as they only board 4 pax.
Syrians always manage to pack 5 people !
There are no direct buses between Amman and Jerusalem. From Amman you take a service taxi or a bus from Abdali station. As I arrived to Abdali station by taxi (400 files) a bus was just leaving. The bus took an hour to the border at King Hussein Bridge and I paid 2 JD. I saw someone pay less but they said I was going to another gate (but it was not far away). It seems like all foreign people, or none arabs, leave from another gate (and also arrives to another gate at the Israeli side). After getting a stamp in the passport I was shown to sit down outside to wait for a bus together with many others. After an hour a bus came and for 3 JD it took us all way over the bridge to the building of the Israeli passport control.
For some people it was fast at the passport control and they got the stamp after a few questions. But I, and some others, who had a Syrian visa and stamp from Lebanon had to answer many questiona and then wait. After 1,5 hours I finally got the stamp in my passport (you can get it on a paper if you ask) and could continue.
It was sabbath (Saturday) and therefore no buses were running, but there are service taxis (sheruts). The service taxi to Jerusalem was 30 shekels and it took about one hour.
An American expatriate who has lived in Amman for a long time, and takes about 50 cabs every month. estimates that 90% of the drivers are decent chaps, but the other 10% are scoundrels and can create a miserable travel experience.
To avoid getting ripped off by a taxicab driver, you should know the following:
1. The driver must turn the meter on. If he says it is "broken," or it "needs to be reset for benzene" get out of the cab and hail a different one.
2. There is no such thing as a "hotel taxi." Many ordinary yellow cabs hang out around the major hotels, claiming to be "hotel taxis" and charge exorbitant rates. The bellhops and concierges of the hotels are in on the scam. These cabs never turn their meters on, and will quote fares up to 5 times higher than what should be charged. To avoid them, simply walk away from the hotel a block or two and hail a cab there. A genuine hotel taxi should be more like a limousine -- a different kind of car and not the usual yellow color.
3. Prices in Jordan, including taxi fares, are shown to the third decimal place. When you first get into a cab and the driver turns the meter on, the meter should read 150 or .150 . This means 150 fils (also called 15 piasters), which is only 15% of a Jordanian Dinar (JD). One dinar is represented by 1000 or 1.000 . Some sleazy cab drivers take advantage of tourists who do not know this -- telling them that 1000 means ten dinars, instead of the correct one dinar. In the early summer of 2008, the initial charge was raised from 15 piasters to 25 piasters. However, some of the meters have not been reset to reflect this higher initial charge. It is legitimate, in this case, for the taxi drivers to ask you for 10 extra piasters on top of the quoted meter fare. But you should always note what the initial fare is as soon as he turns the meter on.
4. Carry plenty of 1 JD notes, and save coins for taxi rides. Taxi drivers will always grumble if you try to pay with a 5 JD note, and they may refuse to make change from a 10 JD note. Taxi drivers do not expect tips, but if the fare is close to a round number (say, 1.750) it would be customary to round up (in this case, 2 JD).
4. All taxi drivers are required to display a card either on the visor or in the windshield, on the passenger side, with their photo, name, driver number, and license plate number. Many drivers, however, do not display this card.
5. If you believe that you are getting ripped off, note carefully the date and time of the trip and the driver number or license plate number(preferably both), and file a complaint. The telephone numbers and email address on the display card with the driver's photo do not work. Instead, call 487-4310 x273 (this is a land line) or 077-719-6196 (this is a mobile phone). The person answering speaks little English, so it's preferable to have an Arabic speaker call. They may ask you to fax a written complaint. The fax number is 489-1397.
Taxis are everywhere.
White taxis are like shared rides going to set locations (written in Arabic on the door). You can ask any passer by and they will point you to the right car.
Yellow cars are proper taxis. Some have meters, some you just negotiate the fare. To most places in Amman, the fare will be under 2-3JD by the meter, so don't pay more if negotiating.
I found that before 10am, it was very tough to find a free taxi, all busy. After this time, very easy. Prices are quoted as much higher at busy times.
Getting around in Amman is very easy. Is not a city to walk around, but you can get a taxi very easy. At the airport, you can arrange with one of the taxi drivers to get you to your hotel. It's a set fare!.
Taxi are yellow and they are eveyrwhere. You just do the "New York style'' to raise your arm. There are other white taxis, but these one are not private. I cannot recommend because I didnt try it.
We went around taxis to bunch of places. Al taxi drivers now the location that you are going. You must set up the price before riding in and it goes around 1 Jordanian Dinar to 2 dinars... I would say 3 if you are going very far away.
It costs around 20 dinars to the hotel from the airport by taxi. There is little public transport available and most people just use taxis as petrol is VERY cheap in Amman.
The main type of taxi is a yellow taxi but you can also hire a white taxi but they are written in Arabic.
Most taxi drivers speak English.
Taxis in Amman are plenty.
They usually have a meter and the drivers use it !
just few of them are using the airco as it consumes more petrol and in Jordan, petrol is not cheap.
The starting price is 0.15 JOD and go according to the distance.
You can get to most places in town for less than 1.5 JOD.
Street taxis are widely available throughout the city. However they do not accept credit card payment, ie it has to be cash, it has to be in Jordanian Dinars and they do not give you any sort of receipt.
Because I had to claim my taxi expenses back from the company, I asked the hotel to arrange a taxi for me and add it to my room bill, which allowed me to use my credit card for that and gave me a receipt as well.
To go almost anywhere in Amman, a taxi fare is approximately 1JD.
From Abdali Bus Station to downtown, the fare is 0.5JD.
The Taxi Driver is required by law to put the meter on. The Meter price is always less - example from old Souk to Jama Janoub Bus Station is just over 1JD, the driver will offer you a flat rate of 2JD.
Women should sit in the back seat - always - even if the driver suggests you sit in the front. Don't be shy about this - Jordanian respect assertive women.
Taxis are yellow, service cars are white - which are basically shared taxis.
That’s probably the easiest way of transportation within the city. You can easily recognize them, these yellow cars are everywhere. Simply stand for a couple of minutes at the corner of a street and one of those will magically pop in…
Small hint: if you are staying in an international hotel, they will charge you 5JD by default if you call them directly from the hotel. However if you walk a bit and call them from a nearby street, the price will vary between 1 and 3JD depending on the destination.
Each time, you are also playing kind of a lottery as well. Either your driver will speak English fluently, either he does not! In the last case, beside the few Arabic words you can learn from any guide book, “diram” is quite a useful word (depending where you are staying). That means “circle”. In the eastern part of the city, this is an easy way to know where to go. Usually a roundabout, these circles represent indeed the successive limit of this growing city. I was staying at the 5th circle but there are now 7 or 8.
The taxis have counters, so it gives you less chance of being ripped off, but once you leave Amman, that is another story. It is really an expensive place in this view. From the Dead Sea to Amman expect to pay around 25 JD (1 JD = 1.41 USD) ... So it can be quite expensive. If you plan on going to be tourist sights outside of Amman, then find the bus station and take the public transportation unless u can afford the large cab fares. From Amman to Aqaba, it is 3.5 Dinars by bus verses 110 JD. The choice is yours.