The Queen Alia International Airport is a multi-award-winning, state-of-the-art airport and where you'll fly into if you have a layover in Amman, Jordan. The airport is located thirty kilometers away from the city. The airport authorities recommend being at the airport three hours before your flight is due to take off as check-in lines and passing through security and passport control can be a slow process.
That, along with the fact there's only a bus, taxi or car hire services operating between the airport and the city, which take on average forty minutes, means options for leaving the airport on a short layover are very limited. The shuttle bus service is the most economical way of getting into the city for anyone on a long layover in Amman. It's a service that runs regularly throughout the day and departs from outside of the arrivals area every thirty minutes.
6 hour layover in Amman
Forget about leaving the airport to go sightseeing in Amman if you have a layover that's six hours or shorter. It'll only give you just enough time to negotiate your way through all the necessary procedures on landing and for your connecting flight. If there are minimal lines you may find yourself with a couple of hours to spare. Fill them by taking an exploratory walk around the airport to admire the unusual architecture of the ceilings which are designed to represent Bedouin tents. Alternatively, make sure you have a good book with you and settle down somewhere comfortable to read it from start to finish.
- While Amman airport may be award-winning, there's a distinct lack of eateries and cafeterias, so you won't be spoiled for choice.
- If you really want to see something of Jordan before you take off again, you can arrange for a private car to take you out for an hour and a half. It'll be great as long as you enjoy desert scenery.
8 hour layover in Amman
With an eight-hour layover in Amman you'll have approximately four hours free. It doesn't sound much but it's enough time to be able to leave the airport and either head into Amman for a short spell or do something equally exciting like arrange for a private driver to take you to have a look at the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is only around an hour's drive from the airport so you'll be able to slip in a short stop at the Ma'in Hot Springs as well.
- Use the airport's Smart Transportation Application to avoid wasting your layover time queuing for a taxi or private car. You can book your driver before you arrive and it'll be waiting for you outside of arrivals.
- A very economical way to go sightseeing on your stopover is to catch the airport shuttle bus into Amman. The bus's final destination is North Station and it passes through the center of the city to get there. Stay onboard and ride directly back to avoid the risk of being late back for your Amman connection check-in.
10 hour layover in Amman
With a ten-hour layover in Amman looming before you, it's time to start thinking of visiting some of the city's popular sights. You won't want to lug your bags with you, so drop them at a luggage storage service then jump on the shuttle bus. Get off in the city center and you'll find there are several incredible places bunched close together. Start off by heading for the Temple of Hercules. It sits high up on a hill and you'll get some amazing views of Amman from there as well as of another major archeological site, the Roman Theater.
- Avoid getting lost by taking a taxi between the sights. It'll give you more time to explore them too.
- There are two museums well worth browsing around at the Roman Theater site, so add them to your list of must-sees in Amman. Viewing all the exhibits can be time-consuming, so keep an eye on your watch.
12 hour layover in Amman
A twelve-hour layover in Amman will fly by, so think carefully about what you really want to see and plan accordingly. You'll have time to take a six-hour private tour out to Mount Nebo, to see the Byzantine mosaics at Madaba, and have lunch by the Dead Sea without being rushed. Going to the Mujib Nature Reserve to hike through the Wadi Mujib river canyon will take up about five hours of your layover and show you some of Jordan's fantastic and very rugged landscapes.
- Combine eating with sightseeing by taking a guided food tour of Amman. You'll be taken around the downtown district and get to try some traditional Jordanian food.
- Going for a full Arabic dinner in a traditional caravanserai accompanied by music and dancing is a great way to discover more about the culture of Jordan.
24 hour layover in Amman
There's one definite must-do when you have an overnight Amman layover and that's to go to see Petra. This ancient city carved into the rocks by a race of people known as the Nabataeans is over two thousand years old and truly one of the wonders of the world. There you can ride a horse or camel through the one and a half kilometer long canyon, the Al Siq, which is the entrance to the city, or walk it if you prefer.
- It takes at least two and a half hours to drive from Amman to Petra so expect the visit to take up pretty much all of your day.
- Take a jeep safari through the desert to Wadi Rum to see the red dunes and the Khazaali Springs.
- Spend a therapeutic two or three hours floating in the waters of the Dead Sea. It doesn't matter if you can't swim as you won't sink.