Luckily, nowadays you can use google maps and it works very well to get around in Amman. You just need to make sure how the name is written in English or whatever language you use in case you don’t know Arabic. Since the translation into different languages with another alphabet than Arabic can differ, it is good to check before you go. Most streets have also the name in English on the sign, again that might be different from the name used by Google maps. Also, keep in mind that, at least so far, the building numbers are not taken into account when you search for something, hence Google will just search for the street name. That might work OK with smaller streets but on larger streets, it will just point to the middle of the street, which might be close to worthless. So, if you visit somebody and you don’t know exactly where they live, ask for the building number additionally. If somebody knows the place or you sent markers on the map, there is no problem usually. Most of the restaurants and malls or other well-known destinations are easy to find and you can search for them in English.
From and to the airport
From Queen Alia Airport (AMM), you can take an airport taxi. They are outside a bit on the left side and have a beige color. The prices are fixed and written and announced on a board. See below the price list as of June 2019. This should avoid any surprises. The good thing is, it does not only show prices to Amman but also to other cities, including Madaba, the Dead Sea, Irbid, Aqaba or Petra.
From and to the airport there are busses running every 30 mins between 6.30 and 6 PM, every hour from 6 pm to 12 am (midnight).
Don’t let other random strangers approach you, and trust the bus is coming.
See the website here for information and schedule. Keep in mind that the busses might look different. Later in the evening, they might use a smaller bus (Coaster) rather than a big bus. You can also take Careem or Uber to the airport
Transportation within Amman
Well, not everybody can afford the Mercedes G500 V8 AMG Tuning with 24″ Alloy Wheels and leather interior. And even if you will be able to by a car in Amman, it is a lengthy process and at least in the beginning, you will rely on taxis. Also if you come for a shorter period or as a student, you will probably not have many other options. So let’s see how it goes.
I try to be short on this. It is the cheapest form of “public transport” apart from the busses, that you most likely will never understand, and are covered later in this post. There are plenty of stories to tell. Sometimes it can be totally fine, on many occasions, it is just annoying.
- Tell the driver to turn on the meter. If he says it is broken or he doesn’t want to turn it on, tell him to turn it on, again and again. You need to be persistent. If he doesn’t wanna do it, get out and take another taxi or call the police if you are in the mood for that and have time to wait.
- Make sure you have change, such as 1 JD bills and coins, if you don’t wanna get ripped off and/or tip too much because very likely the taxi driver will tell you he doesn’t have any change.
- Sometimes he won’t take you anyway, where you wanna go, cause he has something different in mind. Then it is just back luck and there is no choice other than waiting and calling for another taxi. It exists another way of thinking when it comes to “customer service” here in Amman, especially referring to yellow cabs.
- There might also be more annoying situations, such as that the driver will go to the gas station with you, drive a different way, although you know where to go, pick up random people, but let you pay for them etc. In order to avoid these situations, I suggest avoiding yellow cabs at any cost, if you can.
Al Moumayaz Taxi
These ones are probably cleaner, have more polite drivers that likely do speak at least a little English and they don’t rip you off. This service results in slightly higher costs. Used a few times. You can call them also pre-order for a certain time. They have a silver color usually and a blue logo on the side.
White Taxi – Services
I mention them, to be thorough, but I don’t use them. The white taxis run on fixed routes, leave when they are full (4/5 people) and they are even cheaper than the yellow taxis. However, it is very unlikely to have an English speaking driver, and if you don’t speak Arabic, you need to be familiar with the route. Used maybe twice.
Uber runs in Amman and it works very well. The good thing is, you can find a taxi usually pretty quickly, pre-order to a certain location on a set time, and search using google maps style of the map within the app, so it is fairly easy. Of course, it is more expensive than the normal taxi, but if you want a clean car, no painful arguing and a ride on time it is worth considering. Another advantage is, you know the price before and you can pay cash or with a credit card, so don’t rely on cash to ride. If you have Uber already installed in another country before, it will still work in Jordan, which is really great. Used primarily.
In June 2019 the New Amman Bus (website Arabic only) system started. So finally new busses operate, a map exists and you pay cashless with a card. Their Facebook site is in English, so you might be able to get more information there. The area covered is mostly in Northern and Eastern Amman rather than the center.
If you are interested in a guided city tour, take a look at Get Your Guide, where you can search for local guides, who show you the city.
Jett Bus or sometimes Jet Bus is the most common, affordable way to travel as a single traveler on a budget through Jordan while having some sort of comfort and reliability rather than public transport that might be difficult to figure out if you don’t speak Arabic. Jett bus has their main office right off 7th circle, have another office at the Intercontinental near 3rd circle. The website will also show you the exact google maps location for the other stops across the country. Despite providing transportation only, you can also book daily tours from Amman to nearby cities and also between Petra, Wadi Rum and Aqaba, etc. There is also an app available on Apple Store and Google Play.
Dry Ver Jo is a relatively new, reliable way of getting to different locations in Jordan using a private driver at reasonable prices.
Bus Rapid Transit Amman – Website provides some insight into the long-planned RTB, which is still in construction, and information on progress is sparse.
Also, a metro might be introduced according to an article. Possible Metro in Amman?
Here is an interesting article about the Sustainability of Amman.