If you should ever travel to Jordan for any reason, the dinar will be the currency you will use. The official currency symbol for this is JOD but it is also sometimes referred to by the letters JD. The currency is also sometimes used in the West Bank but this is in an unofficial capacity.
One thing you will soon notice about this currency is that it is divided into three subunits. It is a decimal currency though and the dinar is basically split into 100 piastre. This unit is also known as the qirsh. In addition there are ten dirham in each dinar, and 1,000 fils in each dinar. As such it might take you a while to start getting used to the coins and what they are worth.
There are a variety of coins used for this currency. Two coins exist in the qirsh denomination – these are the ½ and 1 qirsh coins. In addition three other coins exist that are valued in piasters – the two and a half, 5 and 10 piastres coins. Finally there are three dinar coins valued at ¼, ½ and 1 dinar each.
If you have wrapped your mind around all that you will be pleased to know there are banknotes available for dinars only! These are the 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 dinar notes.
Originally Jordan used the Palestinian pound, but this was taken out of circulation in 1949 and replaced with the Jordanian dinar. When this happened the powers that be replaced it at par with the old currency. While it has dropped in value somewhat since then, it still remains a relatively strong currency in the region.
Some areas of Jordan are more popular with tourists than others. If you go to these areas you shouldn’t have any problems getting hold of the currency. There will be cash machines in the capital as well as other major cities, but this does not apply in all areas. Try and find out how well served your destination will be so you can plan in advance.
In some cases you may be able to use US dollars to pay for goods and services. Again this is only likely in major tourist areas and in this case restaurants and hotels are likely to accept them. However you shouldn’t always assume this is the case because it may not be. When it comes to exchanging currencies for the dinar, you are better off relying on either the US dollar, the euro or the British pound. Other currencies may not easily be exchanged.
You can use credit cards to pay for things but not all outlets will accept them. Generally speaking the larger the outlet the more likely it is that they will.
The best way to do this is to use an online currency converter. Just be sure you choose the Jordanian dinar as the dinar per se is about as common in this part of the world as the dollar is in other parts. If you pick the wrong dinar you won’t get the exchange rate information you are looking for. You should make sure you start with your home currency too, and then select the Jordanian dinar as the one to convert to.
Some people who are thinking of travelling to Jordan, whether on business or for personal reasons, decide to check out the official embassy website of the country before they go. This is at http://jordanembassy.org.uk/ and represents the Embassy of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
For the most part Jordan is a safe place for tourists to visit, but you should check the latest information before you go. Some areas are not advised for people to visit, so you should make sure you are not going anywhere near these locations. Generally speaking they do not include tourist areas but again do check before you travel and be aware of your surroundings while you are there. The advice of the UK government is that you should stay away from large gatherings of any kind in case something should happen.
You shouldn’t have to worry too much about crime while you are in the country. However as is often the case in some countries pickpocketing and other petty crime can occur. Take the usual measures you would in this situation and divide up your cash to store in different pockets. This kind of thing does minimise the amount you might lose if you were unlucky enough to be targeted.
Hang onto your credit cards as well and don’t be tempted to let anyone take them out of your sight when taking payment for anything. It might also be worth alerting your card companies to the fact you are travelling to Jordan in the first place. It might prevent your card from being stopped as soon as you try to use it there.
Jordan can be found on the western side of Asia. It shares a border with Syria to the north and Iraq and Saudi Arabia to the east. On the western side it shares a border with Israel and Palestine. Only a tiny bit of the total border of the country borders any open water. This is the part of the country in the west that meets the Gulf of Aqaba. Elsewhere along the western side of the country the border runs through the middle of the Dead Sea.
So which areas of Jordan are worth visiting? Well there is the capital Amman for starters. This is a hugely advanced city that is doing very well financially. Tourists flock to the city and in particular to the downtown area. One of the highlights here is the souk, which is a market. Simply wandering around here and enjoying the sights is an experience in itself. If you are brave you can barter for some goods to take home with you! It is quite something to see the old part of the city because it is nothing like the modern city that has sprung up around it. However the contrast is quite something and well worth a closer look.
If you want to find out more about the history of the city and indeed the country as a whole, the Jordan Archaeological Museum is a must-see here. You can enjoy the Roman forum and also the Roman theatre, both of which still survive to some extent today. It is this type of sight that reminds you of the extensive history of the country.
Petra is another must-see place on any visit to Jordan. You will probably have heard of this city already, but you may not realise it is an ancient city rather than a modern one. It won’t surprise you to learn this is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and rightly so too – the carvings into rock that exist here are quite something to see. It is often called the Rose Red City or simply the Rose City. The reason for this is due to the colour of the rock that people carved the buildings out of. It is quite something to see. Even the path to Petra itself is an experience to walk down: it takes you through a relatively narrow opening in hugely tall rock structures. You will get an aching neck simply trying to look up at the towering rocks above you all the time. What’s more, when you arrive at the end of the path you will see a glimpse of the famous Treasury building, peeping at you from beyond. As you walk out into the open it is there to behold.
Elsewhere in Jordan you can also see Wadi Rum, which is a protected area and for good reason. You can take a camel tour here that takes you through the Valley of the Moon, which has been home to people ever since prehistoric times. Bedouin people still live here as well. It is quite an experience and again reveals something of the history – as well as the landscape – of Jordan.
You can enjoy plenty of sporting activities as well. For example if you head for the popular resort of Agaba by the Red Sea, you can enjoy scuba diving among other activities. But perhaps the best water sport you could do is to head for the Wadi Mujib gorge, which is by the Dead Sea. You can actually hike through this gorge, even though doing so means being hip-deep in water. Needless to say it is unlike any other hike you will ever have been on!
Jordan certainly does pack in a few surprises. You will enjoy an amazing experience if you go there, especially if you make sure you slot in some of the best destinations it has to offer. With the likes of Petra and the Dead Sea to visit, you cannot fail to be impressed by the modern attractions of Jordan.