Jordan is primarily a Muslim country, although the freedom of all religions is protected. Muslim women's clothing often covers their arms, legs and hair. Western women are not subject to these customs, but revealing clothing is never appropriate and conservative dress is advisable for both men and women in the downtown part of Amman. Shorts are rarely worn by either sex, and would be out of place in the downtown area. Topless sunbathing is prohibited and one-piece swimsuits are preferred, although two-piece swimsuits are acceptable at hotel pools.
Friday and Saturday are the days when everything closes. Many businesses, including airline offices, travel agencies and some shops, also close on Thursday afternoon, although department stores and supermarkets remain open. A few businesses and shops close for some of Sunday. Banks are open 8.30am to 3pm, and some reopen between 3.30pm and 5.30pm.
Shaking your coffee cup from side to side is the way to indicate that you don't want it filled up again.
'Al Salamo Alaikom' ('peace be upon you') is the traditional greeting. More simply 'marhaba' is the equivalent to 'hello'.
Post office opening hours are 7am to 7pm (closed Fridays) in Summer, and 7am to 5pm (Closed Fridays) in Winter.
DID YOU KNOW ?
Some of the world's earliest known churches have been recently discovered in Jordan. The remains of a mud brick building in Aqaba may be the world's oldest known purpose-built church, dating from the late third or early fourth century AD.
The black iris is the official flower of Jordan. It usually blooms in late March, but don't pick it up; it's not only an endangered species but also won't live indoors.
Irbid, Jordan's second-largest city, has the longest street of internet cafes in the world, according to the Guinness Book of Records.
The Flag of Jordan
The Jordanian flag symbolizes the Kingdom's roots in the Great Arab Revolt of 1916, and is adapted from the revolt banner.
WHAT TO PACK
If you're planning any hiking, bring a backpack with you. Those manufactured in Jordan are very badly made.
Pack swimming gear even in winter, since the temperature is fine for bathing all year round in the Dead Sea or at Aqaba.
Pack a pair of comfy walking shoes, especially if you are planning to visit Petra or Wadi Rum.
Winter is mild, although it often rains and sometimes even snows. Summer is very hot. There is almost no humidity in summer and often a nice breeze at night. The Jordan valley and Aqaba are 5-10 degrees warmer than Amman.