Moving to Jordan
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. Street names and house numbers are not commonly used by citizens or taxi drivers. Hence, 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 as first direction. Then you might name 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.
For further information on how to navigate through Amman see my Post on How to get around in Amman. An areal view of Amman from my helicopter flight is here. 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. It is very important to have a phone and to make calls and use the internet. Note that nothing in Jordan relies on official snail mail. In most cases you organize everything 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.
Living and Traveling in Jordan
If you have been in Jordan for some time and getting bored of everyday life, then there are plenty of things to do despite Petra, Wadi Rum and the Dead Sea. See all about travels, tours, and activities within Jordan. Ever had a Quad Ride in the north of Jordan? Did you stay in one of the Nature Reserves, yet? Want to fly in a helicopter over Amman? Looking for some interesting restaurants outside of Amman? You want to join some cycling groups or you rather enjoy hiking? You looking to cool down in one of the Wadis from the Dead Sea? Have you seen the smallest hotel in the world? If you like to tour Amman with a guide, have a look at Get Your Guide, or the offers from Viator that provide city tours of Amman and surroundings.
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 want to get a 10% discount on the Welcome2Jordan Travel Guide Book for Jordan, make sure to use my promo code: livinginjordan
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 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.
Further Information on Living in Jordan
Eventually friends and family will come to visit you, then see some nice articles about the Jordan Pass by familyinjordan.com. You want to know about the best Arabic restaurants in Jordan or some inspiration where to go with your kids in Jordan? You had enough Falafel and Kebab? See some other places with international food and or drinks. Get some ideas about learning Arabic at an institute or with a private Arabic teacher in Amman? You are looking for, furniture, gifts, or some artwork to take home or suggest something to your visiting friends? See my article on 8 Amazing Artist and Speciality Stores in Amman. You want to make sports and need an idea for a Gym, then read about VEGA Fitness Club Amman. You are looking for an international Kindergarten for your children, then see my article on WABE Amman
Ahlan w Sahlan – Welcome to Jordan – Enjoy reading