You are interested in visiting or living in Jordan as an expat? Exploring and discovering a small Kingdom in the Middle East is your dream? You are considering moving to Jordan for work or studying? Expat Life in Amman is something you want to know more about?
Then you came to the right place.
This website is about living and traveling Jordan. We are a family from Germany and grew to four persons in the meantime. We moved to Amman in 2016 and have been living in the capital of Jordan, since. I decided to start this blog in early 2018, to support other expatriates in their decision making before coming to Jordan. Additionally, I intend to support the orientation process and share with you my experiences of expat life in Amman. I have previously lived in Jordan around 2008-2009. Therefore I have already seen most of the tourist places, and have traveled the country extensively in recent years. I invite you to join us on our journey in Jordan. Ahlan w Sahlan and Welcome to Jordan.
This is my personal journey, my experience, underlined with hundreds of pictures and sometimes videos. If you like what you read and see, please subscribe to my blog. Also make sure to follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. If you like to get a quick start about living in Jordan, see one of my top resources about Moving to Jordan.
If you are interested in collaborating, contributing with a guest post to my site, or want to explore further business opportunities with me, then please read more under Work with me. I am always open for new ideas and suggestions. Looking forward to hearing from you. For the latest posts, scroll down or see here for my recent posts about life in Jordan.
Enjoy your stay in Jordan and on my site. Please Like, Share, Comment, and Suggest!
About the Jordanian Desert Castles Essentially, the Desert Castles are a group of castles across the Levant. The Umayyad built most of them between 660 and 750 during the Umayyad Caliphate. In the past, the castles connected trade routes between Medina and Damascus, the former capital of the caliphate. Up to now, the original use …
The Jordan Trail Hiking in Jordan has gained attention in the recent years. The most obvious reason is the implementation of the Jordan Trail. One of the highlights is supposed to be the section between Dana and Petra. This part connects one of Jordan’s most beautiful biosphere reserves with the most iconic tourist attraction, Petra. …
In the colder season there are still many places you can visit in Jordan. Especially, those that are situated in wide open places without shadow are more suitable for a visit in Winter. Previously, we visited already the Desert Castles, Karak Castle, Azraq Castle or Ajloun Castle in the North. Recently, we made our way …
You are considering moving to Jordan? Maybe you are already living in Jordan. Have you seen one of the guest posts from other expats living in Amman? Find here all information on moving to Jordan and living in Amman. As it is not always easy to move, especially when coming from another country, I decided to focus on the initial steps after moving to Jordan. Hopefully, this will support you in your decision making and the first weeks after your arrival. On my blog, you find more than 150 articles about tourist attractions in Jordan, useful apps in Jordan, kids’ activities in Amman and around, outdoor adventures, gifts and souvenirs to buy, and where to go for a nice dinner or drinks with friends Jordan.
Living in Amman
Amman is the capital of Jordan and the most populated city of the kingdom. Most likely, foreigners, who come to Jordan for work, will work and live in Amman or the near cities of Fuhays, Salt, Madaba or Irbid. A few expats working in the hospitality industry will most likely live in Aqaba or at the Dead Sea. This is an introduction to life in Jordan and I provide you with information regarding orientation in Amman, SIM cards in Jordan, how and where to rent a place, as well as information on utilities such as Water, Electricity, Internet, and finally banking in Jordan. These are probably the main things to get settled.
Orientation in Amman
Amman is built on many hills known in Arabic as “Jebal”. Many parts of the city are named after these hills such as “Jebal Amman” or “Jebal Al-Webdeh”. Keep this in mind when you want to walk, because short distances might turn out to be quite long and exhausting depending on the elevation between the points. That also applies of course when driving in a car. Another word you might find useful is “Wadi” meaning valley. So you know already a part of the meaning of “Wadi Rum“.
The other most important things you need to know are some main streets and the eight circles. Aside from Medina and Mecca Street, a long street runs from East to West through the city named Zahran Street. It connects the circles “Duwar” from the first up to the eighth circle. Since street names and house numbers are not commonly used by citizens or taxi drivers, people tend to indicate nearby landmarks when they want to tell somebody where to go or where they live.
Thus, it is very common to name the part of the town or a name of a big well-known street, a mall, a mosque, or one of the circles as the first indicator where to go. After that you go right, then right again, left, then next to that small kiosk you turn left, after that a u-turn and then opposite you arrived… Inshallah.
If you like the first introduction to Amman, you might consider getting your own guide for a city tour.
Setting up Your SIM Card and Internet in Jordan
The first thing you will need after moving to Jordan is a SIM card, so you can make calls and use the internet. Note that nothing in Jordan relies on official snail mail and you will be identified and contacted in most cases through your mobile number. That said, it is the first thing you should get done. Zain and Orange are the most common providers. To know about where to get a phone number, the provider, and their offers, see my article on Communication.
House Hunting – Living in Jordan
After moving to Jordan, you first need to find a place to live in. So you might return later to that article for the internet. However, since the choice depends heavily on where you live, you should first have a look at finding an apartment. Read my article on renting a place, to know more about utilities and what else to keep in mind when renting in Amman.
For your first days in Amman, I can recommend Sydney Hotel, which is a stone throw away from Down Town and allows you to explore the vivid life of the locals. At the same time, it is located in a safe and comfortable environment that doesn’t stretch your budget too much.
If you came on a tourist visa, your employer will hopefully take care of all arrangements to acquire a residency (Iqama) and a work permit. Before, and or during that, you might need to extend your visa. Chelsea from myammanlife wrote a short guide, how that works. However, please keep in mind to consult with your embassy, as I cannot give legal advice. When you found a place, check back on Communication for the internet at home.
If you are looking for a hotel or some Airbnb stays for the first days or weeks after your arrival to Amman, see the maps below:
Shopping and Buying Groceries in Amman
Soon you will need to buy some things. Towels and shampoo, groceries, or tools. See my article on where to buy what. Even though most expats opt for furnished places you might wanna exchange or swap some furniture or need some more household goods and appliances. However, also be warned as Amman is a really expensive place to live in, which not many people expect before living in Jordan.
Banking and Paying Bills in Jordan
Since you came for a job or even if you are studying here for the long term, you need a bank account in Jordan. Before even thinking of going to any of the branches, read my article on money and banking in Jordan. That way you know what you need to open a bank account in Jordan. Since there are several documents and information required, you should be prepared. It will take some time, either way. Refer to my article on E-Fawateer for How to Pay Your Bills in Jordan.
If you are looking for a great travel guide book for Jordan either in electronic or paper format check out Welcome2Jordan’s travel guide available in English and German. Kitty prepared a great and authentic travel guide for those who like to arrange their own Jordan journey for about 1 to 2 weeks.
If you rather have someone else creating your travel program for Jordan, make sure to fill out the contact form under Your Jordan Itinerary. A travel agency will get back to you with a tailored program to your needs whether you are a single traveler or in a group and whether you like adventure or rather historical sites.
Useful Apps and Websites for Living in Jordan
You might be surprised but there are plenty of ways to make your life easier in Jordan by using some apps. You need food from local kitchens to be delivered? Then check Bilforon. Do you need some maintenance, a gardener or cleaning staff? Have a look at Aoun. Do you want to discover some new places to hang out with friends? Try out Aroundtown. Do you need some groceries delivered to your home? Check out Basket.jo. You are thirsty for some drinks but don’t wanna leave home – download Get Spiritz. For the ultimate list of the best Apps in Jordan, read my article. I would like to mention that I am not the only one blogging about Amman, so check some more blogs.
Ahlan w Sahlan – Welcome to Jordan – Enjoy reading
Arabic or Levantine Food
Amman is the capital of Jordan, right at the center of the Levant. Jordan shares many of its typical foods with Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq to some extent. Besides the many traditionally places offering typical Arabic food in Amman, there are plenty of restaurants that have an international menu. If you are looking for the best places to eat in Amman, continue to read.
Arabs love food and gatherings. Typically, if you are invited to a family, there will not just be one dish. No, there will be three to five main dishes, and of course, you have to try them all. Arabic cuisine has so many great dishes to offer. From Starters (Mezze) over BBQ (Mashawi) to nice Sweets such as Kunafeh, Baklawa, and other treats. Food of course comes with Drinks and Jordanians love their Tea and Coffe and in summer you must try Lemon Juice with Mint. If you love to discover some great Arabic restaurants, see my list of The 11 Best Arabic Restaurants in Amman and Around. And if it is summer time, head over here to eat at one of Amman’s best rooftops.
Where to Eat in Amman and Around
There is a diverse range of restaurants and cafes in Amman. They offer anything from excellent Arabic food to International Cuisine, Cakes, Sushi, Pizza, and of course burgers. Many of the places are just scattered around town, some of them located in a mall or in the hotels of Amman. You will find a few gems in Downtown Amman but also many great restaurants just anywhere in the city. In Amman, decent food comes at all price ranges from ridiculously cheap to in-affordable. If I whet your appetite a little bit, feel free to explore my posts about Arabic Restaurants, Drinks, Bakeries or Cake, Sweets & Ice in Amman. Have a look at all my restaurant reviews in Delicacies. If you want to bring a gift when visiting friends, have a look at some place to buy chocolates.
One of my absolute favorite restaurant that offers delicious dishes is Eostrix near 2nd circle. They also have a nice terrace and serve alcohol. If you want to cook at home and look for some local food producers, then read my article on local food produced in Jordan. Anything from local poroduced peanut butter, Maqdous, cookies, or pasta, you can find. Do you consider yourself a cheese lover, then make sure to visit Mistaka to buy your locally produced cheese. If you can’t bother to leave the home, then just order your food online through one of The Best Apps in Jordan.
My name is Bastian and I have been living in Jordan since 2016. I work for an international NGO that is working on improving the livelihoods of the people in many dry countries, including Jordan. I am a nature enthusiast, I love hiking, photography, and making music. Blue skies and good food make me happy, so Jordan is a great place to be for me. With my blog, I let you join me on my journey through the deserts, the valleys, green hills, and all the great culinary spots of Jordan.
If you like to know where to start then I suggest you read my Ultimate Guide to Moving to Jordan, where I touch on pretty much any aspect of expat life in Amman and Jordan. If you love to travel to Jordan one day, then you can find lots of information on Jordan by looking at Traveling Jordan. Of course, I have visited all the main tourist sites such as Petra, Wadi Rum, and the Dead Sea. But I am proud to also have been to many of the lesser-known spots. This includes the Desert Castles, Wadi Al-Hasa, or Wadi Al-Rayan. So if you like to know more about the not so famous spots in Jordan, read on.
About the pictures
Photography is one my biggest passion and took all the pictures for this site myself unless indicated otherwise. The majority of these pictures or from October 2016 onwards. I love photography and take pictures both with my Nikon D5300 and with my Huawei Mate 10 Pro. While the Nikon DSLR still provides more natural and correct pictures, it is of course heavier and not always with me. The camera in the Huawei Phone with the integrated AI and the Leica lenses, provide pretty great images, as well. Therefore, on my site, I have a mix of pictures from these two cameras. I usually also slightly edit them.
On my site, I will not discuss religion, politics, or other sensitive topics. Of course, you need to know that Jordan is a mainly Muslim country and it has an impact on everyday life. It is a good idea to consult other websites and travel guides, or friends or colleagues who live here about this, before making a decision whether to move here or not.
Keep in mind that this is a personal website reflecting my views and therefore am not liable for the validity of any of its content or anything else that might result from that. While I strive to update the site, within a fast-changing world, it is impossible to keep track of everything. So please double-check information before relying on this site, especially when it comes to numbers. This website includes affiliate links. When you click on these links I might receive a small fee with no additional costs for you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
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Bastian Mueller, Amman Jordan. For detailed information, please contact me via the email form.
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