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Discover Amman: Your Ultimate Travel Guide

Oct 15

Planning a trip to Amman? Get ready to experience Jordan's capital city's rich history, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality. Amman has something for everyone, whether you're a history buff, foodie, or adventure seeker. In this ultimate travel guide, we'll take you through the must-see attractions, the best time to visit, and how to get around to make your trip to Amman unforgettable.

Overview of Amman and what makes it a popular travel destination

Amman is a city with a deep-rooted history that dates back thousands of years. From ancient ruins to modern architecture, you'll find a fascinating blend of old and new in this cosmopolitan city. The city's rich cultural heritage can be explored through its historical sites, such as the Roman Amphitheater, the Citadel, and the Jordan Museum.

Amman is also known for its vibrant food scene. Try traditional Jordanian dishes like Mansaf (a delicious lamb and yoghurt dish) or Falafel with hummus and tabbouleh. The bustling local markets, known as souks, are a treasure trove of spices, textiles, and traditional handmade crafts.

Best time to visit and how to get around

The best time to visit Amman is spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is pleasant and mild. Summers can be hot, while winters can be quite chilly, so it's advisable to pack accordingly.

Getting around Amman is relatively easy. Taxis are abundant and affordable, but negotiate the fare before getting in. Public buses and minibuses are also available, providing a more budget-friendly option for getting around the city. If you prefer a more personalized experience, consider hiring a private driver or joining a guided tour to explore the city and its nearby attractions.

Amman is a city that seamlessly blends history, culture, and modernity. With its vibrant atmosphere and welcoming locals, it's no wonder why it's becoming an increasingly popular travel destination. So pack your bags and get ready to discover the wonders of Amman!


Exploring Amman's Historical Sites

Amman Citadel: A glimpse into the city's rich history

Amman Citadel, also known as Jabal Al-Qal'a, is a renowned archaeological site that offers a fascinating glimpse into the city's rich history. Perched on a hill in the heart of Amman, the Citadel offers panoramic views of the bustling city below.

This ancient site dates back to the Bronze Age and has been occupied by various civilizations, including the Romans, Byzantines, and Umayyads. Visitors can explore the ruins of the Temple of Hercules, which dates back to the Roman era, and marvel at the impressive Roman columns that still stand tall today.

Roman Theatre: A must-visit ancient amphitheatre

The Roman Theatre is another must-visit historical site in Amman. This well-preserved ancient amphitheatre is believed to have been built during the reign of Antonius Pius in the 2nd century AD. With a seating capacity of around 6,000, it was once a prominent venue for performances and cultural events.

Visitors can walk through the grand entrance gates and imagine the vibrant atmosphere that once filled the theatre. The acoustics are impressive, and standing at the centre of the stage allows you to appreciate the architectural brilliance of this ancient structure.

Archaeological Museum: Uncovering Jordan's archaeological treasures

Located within the Citadel complex, the Archaeological Museum houses a vast collection of artefacts that showcase Jordan's diverse archaeological heritage. The museum displays a range of artefacts, including pottery, statues, and jewellery, providing visitors with insights into the country's ancient past.

One of the museum's highlights is the Dead Sea Scrolls section, where you can see fragments of these ancient manuscripts. The museum also offers educational exhibits that delve into Jordan's history and the various civilizations that have shaped the region.

Exploring Amman's historical sites is a journey through time and an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of Jordan's rich cultural heritage. These sites offer a captivating glimpse into the past and are a must-visit for history enthusiasts and tourists alike.


Immersing in Amman's Culture

Rainbow Street: The heart of Amman's vibrant nightlife and local culture

When visiting Amman, one cannot miss the bustling and colourful Rainbow Street, which has become the centre of the city's vibrant nightlife and local culture. Located in the heart of downtown, Rainbow Street has trendy cafes, bars, restaurants, and shops catering to all tastes and interests.

Rainbow Street has something for everyone, whether you want to enjoy a cup of traditional Arabic coffee, indulge in delicious Jordanian cuisine, or soak in the lively atmosphere. The street comes alive in the evenings, with locals and tourists enjoying live music, street performances, and mingling with the friendly locals.

Souq Jara: Experience authentic Jordanian crafts and street food

For a truly authentic cultural experience, a visit to Souq Jara is a must. This open-air market, set in Jabal Amman, offers a wide range of handmade crafts, artworks, clothing, and jewellery, all made by local artisans. Strolling through the market is a feast for the senses, with the aroma of traditional street food wafting through the air and the vibrant colours of the stalls enticing visitors to explore further.

You can find unique souvenirs to take home, immerse yourself in the local culture, and even talk with friendly vendors who are always happy to share their stories and customs.

Jabal Al Lweibdeh: A neighbourhood filled with art galleries and cafes

Jabal Al Lweibdeh, known as the "bohemian quarter," is a hidden gem in Amman, filled with art galleries, hip cafes, and boutique shops. This neighbourhood showcases the modern face of Jordanian creativity through its vibrant art scene.

Visitors can explore the numerous art galleries and admire the works of local and international artists or relax in one of the cosy cafes nestled among the narrow streets. The unique blend of traditional and contemporary art creates a captivating atmosphere that inspires and engages any art enthusiast.

When visiting Amman, immersing yourself in the local culture is essential to appreciate the beauty and diversity of this vibrant city. Whether it's exploring Rainbow Street, experiencing the hustle and bustle of Souq Jara, or indulging in the artistic ambience of Jabal Al Lweibdeh, you are sure to come away with lasting memories and a deeper understanding of Amman's rich cultural heritage.


Outdoor Adventures in Amman

Amman, the capital of Jordan, offers abundant outdoor adventures that cater to all types of travellers. Amman has something for everyone, whether you're seeking relaxation, eco-friendly activities, or a stroll in a beautiful park.

Amman Beach: Relax and unwind by the Dead Sea

Located just a short drive from Amman, the Dead Sea is a must-visit destination. It's the lowest point on Earth and is known for its high salt concentration, making it impossible to sink. At Amman Beach, you can soak in the mineral-rich mud, believed to have healing properties for the skin. Dip in the buoyant waters and experience the unique sensation of effortlessly floating on the surface. The stunning views of the surrounding landscapes make it a perfect spot to relax and unwind.

Wild Jordan Center: Eco-friendly conservation and adventure activities

For those looking for a more eco-friendly adventure, the Wild Jordan Center is a great option. This organization focuses on promoting conservation and sustainable tourism in Jordan. At the centre, you can embark on nature hikes and bird-watching tours and even participate in workshops that educate visitors about the local flora and fauna. The centre also offers a rooftop cafe with panoramic city views, providing a perfect setting to relax and enjoy a meal.

Al-Hashemite Square: Enjoy a stroll in the city's largest public park

If you prefer a stroll in a green oasis, visit Al-Hashemite Square. Located in the heart of Amman, this park is the largest public park in the city. It features beautiful gardens, fountains, and plenty of seating areas to relax and enjoy the fresh air. Al-Hashemite Square is a popular spot for families, joggers, and those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a peaceful moment in nature.

Amman offers a wealth of outdoor adventures that allow you to connect with nature and explore the beauty of Jordan. Amman has it all, whether you're seeking relaxation, eco-friendly activities, or a stroll. So, pack your bags and prepare to embark on your ultimate outdoor adventure in Amman!


Indulging in Amman's Cuisine

When visiting the vibrant city of Amman, Jordan, one cannot miss the opportunity to explore its rich culinary scene. From traditional Jordanian dishes to bustling food markets and popular restaurants, Amman offers an array of delightful experiences for food enthusiasts.

Traditional Jordanian dishes worth trying

Indulging in the local cuisine is an essential part of experiencing Amman. Here are some traditional Jordanian dishes that are worth trying:

  1. Mansaf: Considered the national dish of Jordan, Mansaf is a hearty and flavorful dish consisting of lamb cooked in a yoghurt-based sauce and served over a bed of rice. It is often garnished with almonds and served with flatbread.

  2. Falafel: A popular street food, Jordanian falafel is made from ground chickpeas, herbs, and spices, deep-fried to perfection. Served in a pita bread with tahini sauce and fresh vegetables, falafel makes for a delicious and satisfying meal.

Popular restaurants and eateries in Amman

Amman is home to a diverse range of restaurants and eateries offering both local and international cuisines. Some popular establishments include:

  1. Hashem Restaurant: A local favourite, Hashem Restaurant is renowned for its traditional Jordanian dishes, including hummus, falafel, and grilled meats. The casual atmosphere and affordable prices make it a must-visit spot for authentic Jordanian fare.

  2. Fakhr El-Din: For a more upscale dining experience, Fakhr El-Din offers a fusion of Lebanese and Jordanian cuisine in a stylish setting. The menu features a variety of mezze, grilled meats, and freshly baked bread.

Exploring Amman's bustling food markets

Visiting its bustling food markets is a must to immerse yourself in Amman's culinary scene. The downtown area is home to Souk Al-Jumma, a vibrant market where you can find a wide range of fresh produce, spices, sweets, and street food. The market offers a glimpse into Amman's local food culture and allows one to try various traditional snacks and delicacies.

Whether you sample traditional Jordanian dishes, dine at popular restaurants, or explore the lively food markets, Amman's cuisine promises a memorable gastronomic journey. Don't miss the chance to indulge in this vibrant city's flavours and culinary traditions.


Day trips from Amman

If you plan a trip to Amman, Jordan, you're in for a treat. This vibrant city is rich in history and culture and serves as a perfect base for exploring some incredible nearby destinations. Here are three must-visit places for day trips from Amman.

The ancient city of Jerash

Just 30 miles north of Amman lies the ancient city of Jerash, one of the largest and best-preserved Roman ruins outside of Italy. Step back as you wander through this archaeological marvel, marvelling at the well-preserved temples, theatres, and collonaded streets. Don't miss the stunning Hadrian's Arch and the Oval Plaza, where chariot races were once held. Immerse yourself in the city's rich history and imagine what life was like during the Roman Empire.

Petra: A UNESCO World Heritage Site

A trip to Jordan wouldn't be complete without a visit to Petra, the ancient Nabatean city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Marvel at the iconic Treasury, carved into a towering sandstone cliff, and discover the intricate facades of the Royal Tombs and the Monastery. Take a leisurely walk through the narrow Siq, a dramatic canyon leading to the city, and be prepared to be awestruck as you emerge into the breathtaking UNESCO heritage site. Don't forget to explore the High Place of Sacrifice and hike to the spectacular viewpoint for a panoramic view of this magical city.

Wadi Rum: Explore the stunning desert landscapes

If you want a unique and adventurous day trip, head to Wadi Rum, the Valley of the Moon. This vast desert landscape is famous for its towering red dunes, rugged rock formations, and ancient carvings. Take a jeep or camel safari to explore the stunning landscapes, visit natural arches and springs, and experience the warm hospitality of the Bedouin tribes who call this place home. Don't forget to catch the sunset, where the desert comes alive with vibrant colours.

Embark on these day trips from Amman and experience Jordan's incredible history, culture, and natural beauty. Each destination promises a unique and unforgettable experience that will leave you with memories to cherish forever.


Practical Information and Tips

Currency, language, and local customs

When visiting Amman, it's important to be aware of a few practical aspects. The local currency is the Jordanian Dinar (JOD), and it's recommended to have some cash on hand for small purchases. However, credit and debit cards are widely accepted in larger establishments. English is widely spoken in the capital city, so communication won't be a problem. Arabic is the official language, and locals appreciate visitors who make an effort to learn a few basic Arabic phrases. As for local customs, Jordan is known for its hospitality, so it's customary to greet people with a warm smile and a handshake. Modest dress is also recommended, especially when visiting religious sites or more conservative areas.

Visa requirements and safety tips

Most travelers to Jordan will require a visa to enter the country. However, many nationalities can obtain a visa on arrival at Queen Alia International Airport or other designated entry points. It's always a good idea to check the specific visa requirements for your country before you travel. 

As for safety, Amman is generally considered to be a safe city for visitors. However, it's important to take standard safety precautions, such as avoiding walking alone at night in unfamiliar areas and keeping an eye on your belongings. It's also advisable to follow any travel advisories from your home country and stay informed about the local situation.

Useful phrases for travelers

Learning a few basic Arabic phrases can go a long way in enhancing your travel experience. Here are some useful phrases to help you communicate with the locals:

  • Hello: Marhaba
  • Thank you: Shukran
  • Please: Min fadlak
  • Excuse me: Law samaht
  • Where is...?: Ayna...?
  • How much is this?: Bikam hadha?
  • I don't understand: La afham

Using these simple phrases will not only help you navigate your way through the city but also show respect for the local culture. So, don't be shy to give them a try!