Amman is the capital of Jordan and is located in the northern part of the country, between desert and land that is more favourable to agriculture, here is about half the population of the country.
An interesting mix between new and old, chaotic and organized. You will certainly notice the more historic part of the city center, where most of the tourist attractions are. For Amman, you have to prepare yourself with comfortable shoes because the whole city is built on hills. So far we have not seen streets with such high inclination streets.
What to visit in Amman
The most important tourist objective in Amman is the Roman Theater. Restored in the 20th century, it has a capacity of 6000 places. Even if you are not scared of heights, your heart might raise a bit when you are at the top of the theater. The last rows were for ordinary people, and those in front were reserved for the leaders. After the restoration, the theater has once again become a lively place, during the summer concerts are held here.
Entry Fee: 2 JOD (included in Jordan Pass)
Located on the highest hill in Amman, the Citadel dates back to the Bronze Age. And from the walls that surround it, you can admire every part of Amman. Among the artefacts, you will admire here is the Temple of Hercules, which dates from 161–80 AD. All that is left of this temple are some columns and part of a huge hand. Can you imagine how impressive it was when it was fully built?
The most impressive part of the Citadel are the ruins of a palace dating back to the 8th century. The only building still standing is the one where the royal visitors were welcomed and heard.
Entry fee: 2 JOD (included in Jordan Pass)
Al Bukhariya Bazar
In the centre of Amman is the oldest market. The market was named after the traders who migrated here from the city of Bukhara in Uzbekistan.
It is ideal to visit the bazaar in the afternoon when most shops open, and the whole area becomes full of life. The difference between the new and the old is visible at just a glance. You can choose from a huge range of souvenirs, from spices and antiques to fridge magnets. But do not forget to negotiate.
This is one of the oldest streets in Amman, around it you can still find old stone houses. Rainbow Street is the favourite place for locals to go for a walk. The whole street is full of cafes and restaurants, but also shops with souvenirs.
Day trips from Amman
In Amman, we stayed for 4 days, because we did not want to hassle with changing accommodation. But actually, in Amman, you need just a day – a day and a half to discover it. But there are plenty of places to visit and explore around Amman.
The Jerash Archaeological Site contains the best-preserved Greek-Roman ruins outside Italy. For this reason, it is also known as the “Pompei in the Middle East”, although it was not buried by the volcano.
Jerash became an urban centre in the 3rd century BC. and it flourished by trading spices. Its destruction took place in 1112 AD during the Crusades.
The city of Jerash is just 48 km away from Amman, perfect for visiting for a few hours.
You will definitely spend a few hours in Jerash getting lost between the ruins and trying to imagine what life was like a few centuries ago. You will be able to admire: the Oval Square, the smallest Hippodrome in the Roman Empire, streets surrounded by columns, the Theater, and the Temple of Artemis.
Entry Fee: 10 JOD (included in Jordan Pass)
With a height of approximately 710 meters, Mount Nebo is 38 km away from Amman. According to the scriptures here is the place where Moses was allowed to see the Promised Land. The view is incredible, and on a very clear day, you can see Jerusalem.
Entry Fee: 3 JOD
The Baptismal Site of Jesus Christ
Located on the banks of the Jordan River, 9 km away from the Dead Sea and 50 km away from Amman. This place is considered to be the one where Jesus was baptized. The exact location is known because it was found in several writings of that period.
Now, the river has moved 200 m away compared to 2000 years ago. So there is no more water in the exact place of the baptism, except in the rainy times.
Being so close to the border, you will leave the car (or taxi) in the parking lot near the ticket office. After purchasing the ticket you will be transported by a minibus (which comes every 30 minutes) a few kilometres to the border. Both the transport and a bored guide (or at least when we visited) that will present you the area are included in the ticket price.
Entry fee: 12 JOD
What we would also include here is the Dead Sea, but it was such an amazing experience that we decided to tell you more in detail here.