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With a strong period of economic growth, Amman is one of the pinnacle cities in the Middle East to visit right now.
It’s not just Middle Eastern culture that you’ll get to experience with a visit to this incredible city. You see, the region has been settled since the 13th century BC and Amman is even mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. The Romans held control over the region for some time as well and the ruins of their buildings can be seen as well.
Much of the tourism for Amman is focused on the old city, where you’ll find an incredible market and the King Hussein mosque. There are a few other essential sites to see when you visit Amman as well… let’s take a look below!
Citadel Hill Is the One Place You Must Visit
Known as Jabal al-Qal’a, this national historic site is one of the world’s oldest continually inhabited places. There are fortification walls around the site, but experts believe that there is so much potential in the surrounding area for massive archaeological finds that there always seems to be some activity going on. The birth of the three primary monotheistic religions are symbolized here and the Jordan Archaeological Museum has some of the best artifacts on display that have been found to date. The Temple of Hercules on the grounds is said to have been constructed by Marcus Aurelius.
You can also enjoy the Roman forum and the Roman theater, which is the largest theater in Jordan. It holds 6,000 spectators and is believed to have been built around the year 150 AD. It is still used today for cultural and sporting events. There are also a number of new mosques that provide a magnificent blue color to the cityscape, while the Abu Darweesh Mosque is checkered in black and white.
You Can Get a Taste of Western Life in Amman Today
Even just a decade or two ago, life in Amman was much different. A walk down Wakalat Street would have taken you past a few falafel places or shwarma stands. Today you can find plenty of American restaurants, French bistros, and even Asian fusion restaurants vying for your tourism dollars. Add in a McDonald’s and TGI Friday’s and you’ve got pretty much anything you want to eat available to you.
For a country in the Middle East, the dress code and nightlife is also much more liberal than in neighboring countries. Women, for example, routinely wear tank tops and short skirts. Sorry guys – if you don’t have someone on your arm when you want to visit Abdoun Circle, you’ll be denied at the door. Many clubs have a strict policy of allowing couples only. You can recover in the city mall, however, which features four floors of shopping bliss for your enjoyment.
Are you ready to visit Amman? This beautiful city has a lot of modern amenities to offer as you explore the ancient sites that humanity has called home for thousands of years. Plan your trip today and see for yourself why Amman could be called on of the cradles of modern humanity.
Weather in Amman
Information, Best sights and Must See in Amman
Below you will see a list, in table format, of the best sights in Amman with a short description. You can search and sort the list using the field just above the table. Links to the actual sights opens in a new window.
|Sight||ROMAN THEATRE. 2nd-century Roman theatre. It dates back to the Roman period when the city was known as Philadelphia. The theatre and the nearby Odeon are flanking the new Hashemite Plaza from the south and the east, the Roman Nymphaeum is also nearby.|
|Museum||JORDAN MUSEUM. Modern, large building in the centre of Amman. The ground floor has an exhibition of the history of Jordan from paleolithic times to the Byzantine. Paleolithic is on the right, go round counter-clockwise through the Greek (Hellenistic) and Roman to the Byzantine. Up one level to see some photographs from the Great Arab Revolt (1916) that marked the end of the Ottoman era|
|Museum||ROYAL AUTOMOBILE MUSEUM. The museum is the first public automotive museum in the Arab region, opened in June 2003, with over 80 cars and 50 motorcycles. Each vehicle tells a unique story along the timeline of the late King's life.|
|Sight||CITADEL JABAL AL-QALA. In the citadel you will find the Temple of Hercules, the Byzantine Church, dating to the 5th-6th centuries, the Ummayad Palace from where you will have a great view of Amman. the National Archaeological Museum.|
|Museum||DARAT AL FUNUN. Has a permanent collection and also holds changing exhibitions. In the same area there are other small art galleries and the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts.|
|Museum||JORDAN NATIONAL GALLERY OF FINE ARTS.
Collection of temporary arts from the 1970s to 2012, mainly artists from Arabic areas. The museum consists of two buildings, three floors each, which are located face to face on a oval park. The park features sculptures
Information, Shopping in Amman and Jordan
Opening hours: Generally the shops are open 9.30-13.30 and again 15.30-18.00, but the opening hours are very flexible, during the month of Ramadan shops close earlier.
Tax refund: Shopping Malls and well established shops offers tax refund sales. This is 16% for non Jordanian citizens, remeber to ask for tax free slip in order to claim refund when leaving Jordan.
Some interesting, original souvenir items that one may consider taking home are:
- Gold and jewellery are very popular, here sold by weight
- Keffiyeh, the traditional checkered headpiece of Jordanian men
- Antique brass tea/coffee pot, distinctly Middle Eastern with its artistic etching and curved spout
- Olive wood carvings of various objects or figures can be purchase nearly everywhere
- Hand-crafted Jordanian daggers
- Hand-made Bedouin-style embroidered clothing
- Dead Sea products
Below we list some shopping ideas, interesting special shops, shopping streets and areas and off course shopping malls and centres. You can search and sort the list by using the fields just above the table. Links to the actual shops and centres opens in a new window.
|Market||ABDALI MARKET. A large outdoor market that is open on Thursday night until Friday afternoon. People come with trucks full of fresh produce, rack after rack of clothing, and truck loads of toys.|
|Area||AL BALAD. Busy crowded streets, with the real taste of Jordan. in the heart of the old city. A must-visit for every traveller. Al-Balad is the traditional market area of Amman where you can find almost everything for much less than you would pay in your own country. As in many markets, the initial price is usually higher than will be accepted, so feel free to bargain with a smile.|
|Street||ABDALI BOULEVARD. New downtown of Amman, it's a picturesque boulevard with mixed use buildings, for shopping, restaurants and entertainment.|
|Street||WAKALAT. One Amman's most vibrant shopping districts. and the first pedestrian street in the city. Open areas for sitting and walking and some restaurants and cafes for people watching. Carries a lot of label name clothes.|
|Street||SHARI AL-RAINBOW. The famous Shari' Al-Rainbow is a cobblestoned street in Amman. Here you will find Falafel al-Quds, the best falafel shops in Amman. You will also find the popular restaurant, Sufra, specialising in Jordanian cuisine.|
|Mall||CITY MALL. Ammans biggest one-stop shopping mall situated in the heart of Amman. It offers a distinctive combination of global brands, restaurants, cafes, banking services, a 10-screen Cineplex, and an exciting family entertainment zone.|
|Mall||TAJ MALL. Taj Mall in Abdoun is the new mall in town and is probably the most upmarket one|
|Mall||MECCA MALL. Mecca Mall is the only mega mall in Jordan for today, with a variety of facilities services and 450 well-known brand's, 6 cinemas, restaurants, entertainment, and children's games|