Difference between revisions of "Madaba"
Revision as of 01:37, 6 October 2008
Madaba  is a small town in central Jordan located south of the capital Amman on the King's Highway, some 10 km from Hesban. A town with a long history, Madaba is best known as the location of the "Madaba Map", a 6th century mosaic depiction of Jerusalem and parts of the Holy Land.
Madaba is approximately 20% Christian (Catholics & Greek Orthodox). Much of the traveller and pilgrim infrastructure is run by the Franciscans however.
Madaba is about a half hour from Amman. There are frequent minibuses each way (about 500 fils each way). A taxi is a good option, especially if you're in a group. The cost depends on your bargain abilities but it can go from JD 8 - 12. If you are coming into Madaba from Amman, make sure you get off the bus on the "Kings Highway" before getting to the bus terminal as it is now located east of the town and you'll need a taxi to get to the centre. The city is also only 25 Km from Queen Alia International airport, making it the ideal place to start and end your trip to Jordan.
Madaba is a very small city, one can easily get around by on foot. Although a taxi from downtown to the bus station is a good idea (about JD 0.5 - 1). Taxis traveling within the city do not use the taxi metre the car is equipped with, but operate at a standard fare of 0.65JD per trip. Make sure you agree on this price with the driver before hopping on.
One of the most breathtaking views in Jordan is witnessed from the top of Mt. Nebo, located just 10 minutes to the east of Madaba. From this vantage point you can see the Dead Sea, Jericho and on a very clear night, even the hills overlooking Jerusalem. This is the spot where the Hebrew Bible says that Moses stood and witnessed the "promised land". Visit before sunset to take in the Franciscan Monastery and Church located here.
Very good quality and cheap rugs. There are places where you can have them made on order if you have the time to wait for them. Excellent mosaics and great Dead Sea products.
There are many little falafel and kebab places, some better than others. Ayola's is a great coffee shop that welcomes tourists. They have very good sandwiches and excellent fruit shakes. It is the place to ask for a sheesha and people watch. Newly open Chili Ways offers decent hamburgers and fast-food at very reasonable prices.
Haret Jdoudna is one of Madaba's finest eatery's located in the centre of the city along the main street. Located within a restored Late Ottoman house, this restaurant features the best of Jordanian fare along with a cozy atomosphere that is welcoming at all times of year. Offers excellent Lebanese-style mezza, Arabic-style barbecue "Mashawi", and Italian pizzas. The restaurant also offers shishas. Sit on the rooftop patio at sunset for an enchanting experience watching the sun go down as you listen to the call to prayer from the numerous minerets nearby.
Since there are a lot of Catholics in Madaba, alcohol is widely available. There are a lot of liquor shops in town. Buy it here for your trip to Petra and Wadi Rum. There are no alcohol shops in Petra or Wadi Rum.
Good hotels in Madaba are Mariam hotel and the Black Iris hotel. Great service, good prices (about JD 30 for a double with breakfast included), and great service from the owners. They help with guides, directions, renting cars or taxis. The Mariam hotel is one of the best 2 star hotels in Jordan with 57 rooms and a large outdoor swimming pool, Restaurant and Bar also they do have a meeting room for work shops. The room rate is about 43 US$ for a double room with open buffet breakfast.
If you have a bit extra to spend, a better hotel would be the 4 star Madaba Inn Hotel, located conveniently at the city centre opposite to the Church of the Map.