things to do in amman

Last Updated on: 2nd July 2024, 06:04 am

As I stepped off the plane in Amman, the capital of Jordan, I felt the city’s vibrant energy and rich history. The locals’ friendly smiles, the smell of spices, and the tall citadel welcomed me. It all made me excited and curious about what lay ahead.

Jordan has always fascinated travellers, and Amman is the best place to start exploring. You’ll find ancient ruins and bustling markets full of local crafts. There’s a lot to see and do in Amman, from things to do in amman to amman attractions and amman sights. Jordan, including its vibrant capital Amman, offers a wealth of attractions. Discover more about the country’s highlights in our ultimate guide to things to do in Jordan.

If you’re looking for an amman adventure or want to dive into the city’s culture, Amman won’t disappoint. Let’s explore the amman tourist spots and exploring amman together. We’ll discover the hidden gems that make Amman a unique destination in the Middle East.

Things to Do in Amman, Jordan

1. Explore the Historic Citadel and Roman Ruins

Amman, the vibrant capital of Jordan, is full of ancient history and stunning architecture. At its heart lies the Amman Citadel, a symbol of the city’s long history. This site has seen the rise and fall of many civilisations, from the Bronze Age to the Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic eras.

The Citadel, Roman Theatre, and Roman Odeon

The Amman Citadel, also known as Jabal al-Qalʿa, is a key spot for history lovers. It sits on a hill, offering views of modern Amman. This lets visitors see how ancient and modern Amman coexist.

In the 2nd century AD, the Citadel was known as Philadelphia, a busy city in the Decapolis network. Today, visitors can see the ancient Temple of Hercules, the Umayyad Palace Complex, the Byzantine Church, and the Jordan Archaeological Museum. This museum has artefacts from the Paleolithic era.

Next to the Citadel, the Roman Theatre and Roman Odeon show off Greco-Roman architecture. The Roman Theatre is a well-kept amphitheatre from Philadelphia’s past. It once hosted cultural and entertainment events. The Odeon was for smaller performances and discussions.

Witness the Ancient Greco-Roman Architecture

Amman’s Greco-Roman heritage is clear in its ancient ruins and buildings. The Amman Citadel, Roman Theatre, and Roman Odeon highlight this influence. They show how Greco-Roman culture shaped the city.

Visiting these sites gives a deep look into Amman’s history and its past civilisations. It’s perfect for those interested in architecture, history, or the city’s origins. The Amman Citadel and its Roman ruins are key to understanding Jordan’s history.

amman ancient ruins

Attraction Key Facts
Amman Citadel
  • Inhabited since the Bronze Age, showcasing its historical significance and longevity
  • Entrance fee: JOD 3 (around $4 USD)
  • Opening hours: 8am – 4pm (winter), 8am – 7pm (summer)
  • Major attractions: Temple of Hercules, Umayyad Palace Complex, Byzantine Church, Jordan Archaeological Museum
Roman Theatre
  • A well-preserved relic from the ancient city of Philadelphia
  • Impressive Greco-Roman amphitheatre that hosted cultural and entertainment events
Roman Odeon
  • A smaller theatre-like structure used for intimate performances and discussions
  • Example of Greco-Roman architectural influence in Amman

“The Amman Citadel has been inhabited since the Bronze Age, showcasing its historical significance and longevity.”

2. Wander the Vibrant Streets and Souks

Amman, the bustling capital of Jordan, invites visitors to explore its lively streets and markets. From the vibrant Rainbow Street to the enchanting Souk Jara, these places show the heart of Amman’s culture and charm.

Rainbow Street: Amman’s Arts and Shopping Hub

Walking down Rainbow Street, you’ll see colourful murals, trendy cafés, and a lively arts scene. It’s perfect for those who love art and shopping. You can spend hours checking out the unique boutiques, galleries, and places to eat. Here, you’ll find everything from handcrafted items to contemporary art and delicious Jordanian food.

Souk Jara: Traditional Marketplace Experience

For a real market feel, visit Souk Jara, a lively market in Amman’s heart. Get lost in the stalls filled with artisanal products like textiles, jewellery, spices, and local foods. Bargain with the vendors and find unique items that show off Jordanian craftsmanship.

Whether you’re into art or markets, Amman’s streets and souks offer an unforgettable journey into its culture. Amman’s bustling markets are reminiscent of those in other culturally rich cities, like the vibrant markets in Southport and Christchurch.

Rainbow Street Amman

“Wandering through the bustling streets and traditional marketplaces of Amman offers a glimpse into the city’s local culture and charm.”

3. Savour Authentic Jordanian Cuisine

Amman, the vibrant capital of Jordan, is a place where food lovers can dive into rich culinary traditions. It’s a city where visitors can taste the real flavours of Jordanian cuisine. Exploring the city’s food scene is a must for anyone wanting to experience the region’s true taste.

Beit Sitti: Learn to Cook Traditional Dishes

For a deep dive into local cooking, visit Beit Sitti. This cooking school is run by three sisters who aim to keep their grandmother’s recipes alive. You can learn to make maqluba, a classic Jordanian casserole with rice, meat, and vegetables. The sisters will teach you the traditional ways to make these dishes, letting you in on the secrets of these beloved recipes.

Taste the Iconic Falafel and Maqluba

No trip to Amman is complete without trying the famous falafel. These are fried chickpea fritters that are a big hit in Jordanian cuisine. You can find them at street stalls and cafes all over the city. Another dish you must try is maqluba, a tasty rice casserole that shows off Jordanian cooking’s versatility.

Dish Description Popularity
Falafel Fried chickpea fritters, a beloved street food Iconic and ubiquitous in Amman
Maqluba Rice-based casserole with meat and vegetables A signature Jordanian dish

Trying out Amman’s food scene is essential for anyone wanting a real taste of Jordanian culture. From cooking classes to tasting street food, there are many ways to enjoy the flavours of this amazing place.

jordanian cuisine amman

“Exploring the flavours of Amman’s authentic Jordanian cuisine is a true delight for the senses.”

5. Discover Jerash’s Greco-Roman Ruins

Just an hour from Amman, Jerash awaits with its stunning Greco-Roman ruins. It was a favourite of Emperor Hadrian. Now, it shows off archways, theatres, baths, and more, taking you back in time.

Jerash goes back to the Greco-Roman times, founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BC. By the first century AD, it was a thriving Roman city with over 10,000 people. It was known for its culture and art, hosting famous artists like Virgil and Horace.

Then, an earthquake in 749 AD destroyed much of Jerash. But, its ruins are remarkably well-preserved. Today, they’re a top spot in Jordan, after Petra, drawing visitors worldwide.

  • The ruins are about 50 kilometres north of Amman. They have an upper city with temples and a lower city with markets.
  • The Temple of Zeus, built in the 1st century AD, honours the king of Greek gods.
  • The amphitheatre, from the 2nd century AD, could hold up to 15,000 people.

Visitors can join guided tours, events, and activities like horseback riding and hiking. Spring and autumn are best for mild weather. Summer brings fewer crowds and festivals. Explore Amman’s historical sites, much like the historical treasures found in Cromer and Stoke-on-Trent.

“Jerash, one of the grandest ancient Roman cities in the world, is a must-visit destination for any traveller to Jordan. The well-preserved ruins offer a truly immersive experience, transporting you back in time to the glory days of the Roman Empire.”

jerash roman ruins

Jerash is a day trip from Amman you can’t miss. It has a rich history, stunning architecture, and lots to do. Whether you love history, archaeology, or unique cultural spots, Jerash will impress you.

6. Experience Bedouin Culture in Wadi Rum

In southern Jordan, Wadi Rum is a place of wonder for those who love adventure. Its vast desert is like nothing you’ve seen before, with red rocks and huge dunes. It’s a place that will leave you amazed and inspired.

Overnight Stay at a Bedouin Desert Camp

Staying at a Bedouin desert camp is a unique way to connect with the area. These camps are run by the local Bedouin people. They offer a peek into their traditional way of life. You’ll sleep under the stars, enjoy Bedouin food, and experience their famous hospitality.

Explore the Lunar-Like Landscapes by Jeep Safari

A jeep safari in Wadi Rum is a must-do. You’ll drive through amazing rock formations, dunes, and canyons. It’s like being in another world, a place that has been in movies like Star Wars and The Martian.

For a special view, try a hot-air balloon ride. It lets you see the Bedouin culture and the Jordan desert adventure from above. Whether by jeep or balloon, Wadi Rum will leave a mark on you.

Activity Duration Price
Wadi Rum Jeep Safari 2-3 hours $50-$70 per person
Hot-air Balloon Ride 1 hour $200-$250 per person
Overnight Stay at Bedouin Camp 1 night $70 per person

Dive into the world of the Bedouin culture and see the wonders of Wadi Rum. It’s an adventure you won’t forget.

7. Journey to the Ancient City of Petra

A trip to Jordan isn’t complete without seeing Petra, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. This UNESCO World Heritage site is full of discovery. Visitors are amazed by the petra treasury and the petra monastery. These sites show off the Nabataean architecture.

Marvel at the Iconic Treasury and Monastery

The petra treasury is a top spot in Petra, famous for its iconic photo spots. The Monastery is even bigger and up high, needing about 800 steps to get there. These buildings highlight the Nabataeans’ amazing engineering and art skills.

Uncover the Nabataean History and Architecture

Petra is a huge archaeological site full of discoveries. The Siq, a narrow gorge, leads visitors to the petra ancient city. It’s about 1.2 kilometres long, with walls up to 80 metres high.

The Nabataean Theatre could hold around 8,500 people. The High Place of Sacrifice offers great views after a tough climb.

Visiting Petra is a key part of any trip to Jordan. Most people spend 1-3 days there. One day is usually for the main sights like the Treasury and Monastery. More days let you explore more.

Petra Entrance Fees Cost (GBP) Cost (USD)
One Day Ticket £53 $71
Three Day Ticket £64 $85
Non-Accommodated Visitor (Day Ticket) £96 $127
Resident (with valid residence card) £1.07 $1.41

8. Visit the Historic Crusader Castle of Kerak

The historic Crusader castle of Kerak sits high on a cliff, looking over Wadi Karak and the Dead Sea. It’s a symbol of Jordan’s rich medieval history. Visitors can follow the scenic King’s Highway to reach this impressive fort. It was once the stronghold of Crusader lords who ruled the area for centuries.

Kerak Castle, or Karak Castle, is one of the largest and most well-kept Crusader castles in the region. Work on the castle started in 1142 under Raynald of Châtillon, a famous Crusader known for his bold actions. Later, it was taken by Saladin in 1183 after a long siege, ending the Crusaders’ rule in the area.

Today, visitors can see the castle’s strong walls, tall towers, and hidden passages. The castle has seven levels, taking you back to the time of great battles and secrets. It’s a chance to imagine the past.

Kerak Castle is not just historic; it offers many activities and experiences. You can join tours in English or Arabic to learn more about its history. There are shops and places to eat, letting you dive into Jordanian culture. For the adventurous, there’s horseback riding and camel safaris too.

If you love history, architecture, or just want a unique adventure, don’t miss Kerak Castle. It’s a key spot for anyone exploring Jordan’s wonders. Discover the Crusaders’ legacy and the fascinating stories of this amazing fortress.

9. Float in the Buoyant Dead Sea

The Dead Sea in Jordan is the lowest point on Earth, offering a unique and refreshing experience. Its waters are incredibly salty, with a salinity of 33.7%, making it 10 times saltier than the ocean. This lets visitors float easily, feeling the joy of being weightless.

Enjoy the Rejuvenating Dead Sea Experience

The Dead Sea is packed with minerals like magnesium, calcium, bromide, and potassium. These minerals are great for your health. Floating in the water can ease skin problems, joint pain, and muscle tension, making you feel new again.

Since the 1960s, the Dead Sea’s surface has dropped by over a metre. Now, it’s a perfect time to see this amazing place.

Lather in the Mineral-Rich Mud Baths

For a special treat, try the famous Dead Sea mud baths. The mud is full of minerals that are good for your skin. When you cover your body in it, these nutrients soak deep into your skin, making it soft and fresh.

This mud therapy is great for many health issues, like arthritis, back pain, and psoriasis. It leaves your skin feeling smooth and lively.

FAQ

What are the must-visit attractions in Amman?

Amman’s top spots include the Citadel, Roman Theatre, and Roman Odeon. The Citadel offers stunning city views and ancient ruins. The Roman Theatre is a piece of history from Philadelphia, showing off Greco-Roman architecture. Visitors can see ancient Greco-Roman architecture all over the city.

What can visitors experience in Amman’s vibrant streets and souks?

Amman’s streets and souks are full of life. Rainbow Street is the arts and shopping hub, with cafes, galleries, and Souk Jara market. Walking around, you’ll feel the city’s local culture and charm.

What are the must-try Jordanian cuisine experiences in Amman?

Trying Jordanian food is a must. At Beit Sitti, learn to make dishes like maqluba, a traditional casserole. Don’t miss the famous falafel, a local favourite.

What can visitors discover at the Greco-Roman ruins of Jerash?

Near Amman, Jerash is known for its Greco-Roman ruins. It was a favourite of emperor Hadrian. Visitors can see archways, theatres, and more, showing Jordan’s history.

What can visitors experience in the desert lands of Wadi Rum?

Wadi Rum is a magical desert. Stay in a Bedouin camp and go on a jeep safari. The red rocks and dunes make it feel like another world.

What are the highlights of visiting the ancient city of Petra?

Petra is a must-see, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. See the Treasury and Monastery, showing Nabataean architecture and history. It’s a vast, amazing place.

What can visitors discover at the Crusader castle of Kerak?

On the King’s Highway, visit Kerak Castle. It’s on a cliff over Wadi Karak and the Dead Sea. The castle shows Jordan’s medieval history and old battles.

What can visitors experience at the Dead Sea?

The Dead Sea is a unique spot. Float in its salty waters and enjoy the Dead Sea mud for a special treat.