Amman offers few monuments of interest, though it does provide an ideal base for touring the Greco-Roman city of Jerash, 45 minutes to the north. Often referred to as the “Pompeii of the Middle East” because of its remarkable state of preser vation, Jerash is a fineexample of a provincial Roman city. Shoppers should visit Amman’s gold market and colorfulsouksladen with handicrafts. A knowledgeable English-speaking driver/guide is vital if you wish to feel secure. Following your stay in Amman, proceed south along the Kings’ Highway through the Holy Land of Moab to Petra. En route, stop at Mount Nebo, which affords breathtaking panoramas of the “Promised Land.”
WHEN TO GO: Jordan is 90 percent desert. Only the northwestern section receives much rain. Avoid a visit at the beginning or end of summer, when violent dust storms occur.
CURRENCY: Dinar (JOD). Fluctuating rate valued at JOD1.00 = US$1.40 as of January 2012.
TRAVEL ADVISORY: The Islamic holy fasting month of Ramadan is strictly observed and should be avoided, as tourist services are noticeably curtailed throughout the country; in 2012, Ramadan begins around July 20.
U.S. EMBASSY: Amman, Tel. 6-590-6000.
DIRECT DIAL CODES: To phone hotels in Jordan, dial 011 (international access) + 962 (Jordan code) + city code and local numbers in listings.