Aqaba is the capital of Jordan’s Aqaba Governorate, and it is a pleasant city to go around in, being fairly well-developed and equipped with a good number of paved roads. While it has been the primary port of the kingdom to the Red Sea for ages, getting around Aqaba by boat is not actually a popular option for itinerants within its boundaries. The most popular ways of getting around the city are still land-based, for this is not a city strewn with rivers and waterways that render it navigable by boat. This, much like the rest of Jordan, is still a place where terran travel dominates.
Travel by land in the region is easy. Rail is not popular and is in fact very underdeveloped, as far as passenger travel is concerned. Most of the still-functioning rails are mostly just for transporting goods and products, not people. Road travel, on the other hand, is strong and convenient.
There are at least two large highways that begin (or terminate, it depends on how you look at it) in Aqaba: the King’s Highway and the Desert Highway. Both see a fair deal of traffic, and you can take either one to get to the city depending on your starting point in the kingdom. If you are coming in from the capital, you are most likely going to be taking the Desert Highway, which ramifies into a dozen other roads once you enter Aqaba. The most popular means of travelling here, if you do not have your own car, would be the cab and the bus.
Taking a cab in Aqaba is popular and is certainly easy, since they are ubiquitous. Taxis tend to be relatively clean too and are generally air-conditioned-this is a hot place, after all, and comfort would certainly be sacrificed too if air-conditioning is. The fares, on the whole, are reasonable and metering is regular for destinations out of the cab’s usual routes. However, you should still have the fare or meter-rate clear from the outset before you get into a cab. Remember too that you should always ask if the fare the driver is quoting is for the whole ride and for the entire group, or you might get tricked into thinking the fare that was quoted was for everyone only to be told at the end of the ride that the agreement was for that fare to be collected from each person. This can save you a great deal of trouble later on, so keep it in mind.
Another thing to note about cabs is that you have to be prepared to pay more if someone else calls one for you. For example, if the hotel calls your taxi, you can expect to be charged around double the usual rate. This is because the hotels get a cut in the fare.
Getting around Aqaba with minibuses is possible as well, although the routes are more limited than with taxis, naturally. Fare is cheap and the buses are in decent condition. To get a list of routes, you can head to the central bus station, which is on King Talal Street.