While in Jordan, aside from visiting refugee camps, Jordan TV and various other places, we were given time to shop!
In the Middle East, it’s all down to haggling, there’s no fixed price and you can always barter to get to the price you’re willing to pay.
If you’re foreign, the shopkeepers will automatically raise their price by almost double so as long as you know how much items are usually worth, it’s not too hard.
In terms of currency, the Jordanian Dinar is practically the same value as Sterling so it was really down to haggling in order to get a good deal.
My first stop was Downtown Amman home of all things cheap and cheerful and the most amazing Falafel restaurant. (Hashem restaurant offers no menu, you’re just handed mounds of flat bread, hummus, dips, salad and falafels. It’s so famous even the Royal Family have dined there (photos of them on the walls!))
The best form of transport was the good old taxi. A 10-minute taxi drive from my hotel to Downtown cost around 2JD (Jordanian Dinar) but only if the taxi uses a meter.
I spent 15 minutes hailing a taxi only for it to charge 5JD! The taxi system was appalling, taxis refuse to drive you without an explanation but £2 for a 10-minute drive – you can’t go wrong really!
Downtown Amman can get slightly confusing so I’d always take a taxi to Jamma Hussein Mosque which is situated right in the middle of the city centre – you can go left/right but you’l always be able to see the Muezzin tower.
While in Jordan, I couldn’t help buying bracelets – there’s something about them that feel touristy especially the handmade ones. You have to go home with at least one new bracelet!
The first bracelet was free of charge! The lovely shopkeeper had a small stall with his machinery and was making bracelets upon request – he kindly tied this around my wrist for me, adding the cutest owl and heart charms.
It’s extremely colourful but a lovely gesture.
These bracelets were bought from the same stall because I really like the evil eye/hand charms – it’s huge in the Middle East and even Western retail shops, i.e. River Island and he was only selling them for 2JD each.
I also purchased a couple of bracelets in Petra. Ideally, I was searching for cultural bracelets without being sold something made in China!
While climbing 900 steps to the Monastery, I came across around 10 different stalls located on the mountain – most were traditional Bedouin women who made the jewellery by hand using real turquoise stone.
Also the metal finish on the bracelet makes them look slightly antique and that’s exactly the look I wanted.
Finally, I was made to wait in a jewellery shop for over an hour while my friend haggled and spent an eternity deciding what to buy her family.
The shop offered real silver jewels and an assortment of bracelet.
Due to my patience and good behaviour, the shopkeeper gave me a free bracelet!
Again the evil eye attracted me to choosing this bracelet as well as the abstract stones. Also, I don’t have any red bracelets (well I do now!)
We also went to Rainbow Street, a long artistic/European-styled road where we found the British Council building and the most amazing views of the city.
We visited a number of modern shops includding Mlabbas where you’ll hear Katy Perry ‘roar’ing through the speakers and an amazing variety of customised t-shirts.
Everyone is incredibly hospitable and welcoming and there’s so many gelato bars and shisha lounges you can visit to unwind.
P.S: I will also include a post about the presents I bought for my family in a few weeks once I’ve actually given them out!