Amman, the capital of Jordan, is a city steeped in history and culture, offering a fascinating blend of ancient artifacts and modern-day vibrancy. For those pondering things to do in Amman, exploring the ancient Citadel, which offers panoramic views of the sprawling city and houses historical sites like the Temple of Hercules, and experiencing the Roman Theatre, a 2nd-century amphitheater at the heart of the city, are essential activities.
The city’s diverse culinary scene, from traditional Jordanian dishes in local eateries to upscale dining experiences, reflects its cultural melting pot status. Nearby, the Jordan Museum presents artifacts from the Dead Sea Scrolls to the ‘Ain Ghazal statues, providing a deep dive into the region’s rich archaeological heritage.
Beyond its historical and culinary attractions, Amman serves as a gateway to the country’s natural wonders and archaeological sites, including the majestic Petra and the lunar-like landscape of Wadi Rum. For those seeking the best places to visit in Jordan, Amman’s combination of history, culture, and accessibility to other Jordanian landmarks makes it a compelling destination.
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Attractions & Things to Do in Amman, Jordan
1. The Citadel
Situated on the highest hill in Amman, the Citadel presents a historical site with ruins dating back to the Bronze Age. It’s home to significant structures like the Temple of Hercules and the Umayyad Palace, offering a glimpse into the city’s ancient past.
Travel Tip: Visit near opening or closing time to avoid the heat of the day and the crowds.
2. Roman Theater
The Roman Theater, a 6,000-seat, 2nd-century amphitheater, is a marvel of ancient engineering nestled in the heart of downtown Amman. This well-preserved monument is still used for events today and gives visitors a taste of Roman architectural prowess.
Travel Tip: The theater can be quite hot and exposed, so bring a hat and sunblock if you’re visiting during the day.
3. King Abdullah Mosque
Known for its stunning blue dome, the King Abdullah Mosque is one of the few mosques in Amman open to non-Muslim visitors. It can accommodate up to 7,000 worshippers and is an important spiritual site for the local community.
Travel Tip: Remember to dress modestly, covering arms and legs, and women are required to cover their hair.
4. Rainbow Street
Rainbow Street is a vibrant and lively area known for its historic buildings, cafes, and shops. It’s an excellent place for people-watching and experiencing the modern side of Amman.
Travel Tip: Thursday and Friday evenings are particularly bustling, but for a quieter experience, consider a weekday visit.
5. Jordan Museum
The Jordan Museum, located in the Ras Al-Ain district of Amman, is the largest museum in Jordan and hosts an extensive collection of artifacts that tell the story of Jordan’s history and cultural heritage.
Travel Tip: Allocate a few hours to explore the museum fully; there’s a lot to see, including the Dead Sea Scrolls.
6. The Royal Automobile Museum
This museum showcases King Hussein’s personal collection of cars and motorcycles, highlighting the history of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan through the lens of automotive development.
Travel Tip: Car enthusiasts should check the museum’s schedule for special exhibitions and events.
7. Al Balad – Downtown Amman
Al Balad is the old downtown area of Amman, offering a bustling scene of shops, markets, and eateries. It’s a great place to explore, shop for traditional goods, and try local foods like falafel and kunafeh.
Travel Tip: The area is best explored on foot; wear comfortable walking shoes.
8. Abdoun Bridge
A modern architectural feat in the city, Abdoun Bridge is a suspension bridge that offers a panoramic view of Amman. It’s particularly striking at night when it’s illuminated.
Travel Tip: There’s a pedestrian walkway on the bridge; take a walk across at sunset for stunning city views.
9. Bisharat Golf Club
For those looking to enjoy a game of golf, Bisharat Golf Club offers a nine-hole course in a serene desert setting. It’s a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get active.
Travel Tip: Book your tee time in advance, especially during the cooler months when it’s more popular.
10. Darat al Funun
A home for the arts, Darat al Funun is situated in six renovated historical buildings with beautiful gardens and terraces overlooking downtown Amman. It serves as a cultural hub with art exhibitions, workshops, and a research library.
Travel Tip: Check their calendar for art workshops or lectures that you might join during your visit.
FAQ About Things to Do in Amman, Jordan
What are must-visit historical sites in Amman?
The ancient citadel, Roman Theatre, and the Jordan Museum are among the top historical attractions in Amman. They offer a glimpse into the city’s rich past spanning several civilizations.
Can visitors explore local cuisine in Amman?
Absolutely! Amman is famous for its culinary scene. Visitors can explore Rainbow Street and Jebel Amman for traditional Jordanian dishes, street food, and cafes.
Is there a place to experience nature in Amman?
Yes, you can visit Dibeen Forest Reserve for a nature escape. It’s one of the few remaining pine forests in Jordan and offers hiking trails and picnic spots.
Are there any art galleries or cultural hubs in Amman?
Art lovers should visit the Darat al Funun or the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts to enjoy contemporary and traditional art from the region.
What are some activities for families in Amman?
Families will enjoy the Children’s Museum, the Royal Automobile Museum, and the Amman Waves Aqua Park & Resort, offering educational and entertaining experiences for all ages.
How can I experience the local markets in Amman?
Spend time at the Souk Jara or Al Balad downtown market for a vibrant shopping experience. You’ll find everything from spices and souvenirs to handmade crafts.
Are there any wellness or spa retreats in Amman?
Amman offers several luxury spa and wellness centers, such as the Ma’in Hot Springs and the Dead Sea spas, where you can relax and enjoy the therapeutic benefits of the mineral-rich waters.
What are some unique experiences in Amman?
For a unique experience, visit the Royal Stables to see Jordan’s prized Arabian horses, or take a hot air balloon ride over the Wadi Rum desert for an unforgettable view.