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Two half-days in Amman, Jordan - what to do?

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Mar 31st, 2008, 05:51 AM
  #1
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Two half-days in Amman, Jordan - what to do?

We're adding 4 days in Jordan to the end of our Egypt trip in May 2008. My focus has been on Egypt up to this point so now I'm trying to quickly catch up with Jordan info before we go.

Our tour gets us to the hotel in Amman (flight arrives 10:45 a.m.) and then you have the rest of the day free.

The next 2 days you visit Jerash and then Petra.

The final day we're alone all day -- flight out is not until 8:45 p.m.

So I'm trying to figure out for the half day after arrival and the final day -- what would be best to do with our time?

If we take a taxi from our hotel to the Citadel area are the sites there all within walking distance? Could we spend a half day seeing the Temple of Hercules, National Archeological Museum, Roman theater? And would it be possible to get a taxi back to the hotel from there?

We could do that either the first day there or the last.

What about a trip to the Dead Sea - would doing that the first day we arrive be possible if we get to the hotel close to noon (hopefully earlier)? Would that work combined with a stop in Madaba or do you need more time to do both? Should I set this up with a guide in advance or would the hotel (Crown Plaza Amman) be able to arrange that kind of thing?

Another thing that I'm considering is the Turkish hammam -- that sounds very interesting and maybe a good way to spend a free half day.

Any advice would be very much appreciated!
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Mar 31st, 2008, 07:15 AM
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Someone might be able to respond with specifics, but you should email the hotel. Have them send you list of tours available? Half- or full-days and costs.

It'll give you time to review what's available and determine which fit with your time allotments.

If you want something for the first afternoon, I would suggest you pre-book at least that to be assured they have a guide/vehicle available.

However, with 4/days I'd suggest 2/days at Petra with a hotel overnight there. This way you can stay late for sunset, and have the privelege of sunrise... when few other visitors are around. Suggestion only.

We did Jerash and the immediate surrounds of Amman in a morning. Farther afield might fill in another day (or half).
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Mar 31st, 2008, 08:43 AM
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Sandi - the tour we are on (with STI) has made the arrangments for Jerash & Petra and, sadly from what I've been reading, we'll only be at Petra one day. Hope to make the most of that.

I'll look into what the Crowne Plaza might offer. I agree that booking ahead for the first day would be better than playing it by ear. My mom thinks we should wait in case we're exhausted after 12 days in Egypt and ready for a day of relaxing. Not me!! Too much to see and not enough time as it is...
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Apr 1st, 2008, 09:38 AM
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I would suggest not booking anything for Amman until you get there. amman is very easy to get around - taxis are plentiful and all run on fixed meters and, in my experience, drivers are honest. You can take a taxi from hotel to Cital area. It's pretty compact, with the museum, citadel together and a short walk (10 min) to Roman theater and couple small museum there. That's an easy afternoon. Then, you can wave down a taxi on the street (it's in a busy area and lots of taxis) and go back to hotel. If in down, take business card of hotel with name and address written in Arabic. this will ok for either the first or second half-day. The archeological museum is a MUST. it's small, but has some interesting things.
Drive to the dead sea is about 1 to 1.5 hrs (depending on where you are in Amman as it can take a long time to get through downtown traffic). that's better organized with a car/driver. another option is on your last afternoon rent a car in the morning, go to the Dead Sea and drop off car at the airport. saves on taxi cost to airport. But if it was me, I'd spend the time in Madaba. It's about 1 hr from Amman and has wonderful early Greek mosaics, a good arechological dig of Roman mosaics and houses, and a few other things.
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Apr 1st, 2008, 10:24 AM
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lerasp -- thanks for the good info!

I think we'll do the taxi to the citadel and museum area the last day.

Do you think it's possible to do Madaba, Bethany beyond the Jordan, and the Dead Sea (maybe not spend a lot of time swimming just pop in & out) all in one day? Not a full day, really only an afternoon since it would be our first day there - not sure how early we could get going with that.
Is that too much? Looking at maps it seems things aren't too far apart but maybe that doesn't leave enough time to see things in Madaba.

If we do wait until we get to Amman to arrange that kind of tour, is it possible on the spur of the moment? I understand a taxi would be easy to flag down to get around town but to do a trip away from Amman do we need to arrange now rather than wait?

I guess one problem with arranging ahead of time would be a delayed flight or our tour group changing our hotel at the last minute or being really wiped out when we get there (not me but maybe my mom).
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Apr 1st, 2008, 11:32 AM
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The flight from CAI is 1/hr to AMM. AMM airport to downtown is maybe 30/min.

The Jordan segment operator should certainly know by now what hotel in AMM and not change it.

However, for the 1/day Jerash tour, for which you only needs maybe 1.5-2/hrs, you have time to visit Madaba, Mt.Nebo and probably even the Dead Sea. Ask the tour operator exactly what is planned for the Jerash day.
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Apr 2nd, 2008, 05:18 AM
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I see -- maybe our tour to Jerash already visits some of those places so we wouldn't want to duplicate it. The literature on the tour for that day says Jerash and Aljoun and then late afternoon departure to Petra.

You wouldn't believe how hard the tour operator here in the states is to work with -- they were fine until we booked and now getting information or even a phone call returned is like pulling teeth. Even email - who can't take the time to respond to email?!
Anyway, I'll try to pin them down on what exactly the tour does in Jordan.
Thanks, Sandi.
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Apr 2nd, 2008, 06:59 AM
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>>The literature on the tour for that day says Jerash and Aljoun and then late afternoon departure to Petra.<<

Don't have my map in front of me, but believe Aljoun is north or AMM in the vicinity of Jerash. If others know, please pipe in.

If it's south and thus on the way to Petra, and if you and mom are the only ones traveling, ask the guide the stop where you want. Find out from him when he's scheduled to get you to Petra for overnight and see what extras stops, i.e., Madaba should be easy, you can pack into the time you have. Give him an extra trip.

Yes, you will be spending overnight in Petra, enabling you to enter early for sunrise. Should be nice.

You'll then probably depart Petra late afternoon to AMM (arriving in dark). That leaves next day for sites you missed.
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Apr 2nd, 2008, 09:31 AM
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Sounds like a plan, thanks!
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