Amman, the capital of Jordan, is a beautiful white city full of contrasts. It is a unique blend of old and new and is ideally located between the desert and fertile parts of the Jordan Valley. Amman is often called the “White City” because of its unusual whiteness – the houses are built of limestone.
In downtown Amman, state-of-the-art buildings, hotels, restaurants, galleries and boutiques sit side by side with traditional coffee shops and artisan workshops. Here on every corner you will find evidence of the antiquity of the city.
Almost half of the population of Jordan is concentrated in Amman, as the economic and climatic conditions in the city are optimal. Residential suburbs are an extensive system of streets and avenues lined with beautiful, almost always white houses. The city center is much older than the suburbs. It houses traditional workshops and shops that produce and sell a variety of goods. Here you can find everything from gold and silver jewelry to simple household utensils.
The city lives a noisy night life, offering its guests all kinds of leisure activities: cultural and theatrical events, traditional Arab entertainment, relaxation in modern restaurants and clubs.
Amman’s people are multicultural, well educated and incredibly hospitable. Residents are always happy to see tourists and are ready to show them their beautiful lively city.
Amman will be the best starting point for traveling around Jordan, since the journey from any part of the country to the capital takes no more than four hours.
Acquaintance with the archaeological sites of Amman is best to start with the Citadel. In its place was the ancient city of Rabbat-Ammon. During excavations, numerous artifacts dating back to the Roman, Byzantine and early Islamic periods were found here. The Citadel, located on a hill, not only tells visitors about the amazing history of the city, but also provides an opportunity to enjoy amazing views of the surroundings.
Attractions of the Citadel:
- The Umayyad Palace dating from 720-750. n. e. Magnificent monumental cruciform gates with four niches lead to the courtyard and to the colonnade that runs through the ruined palace complex.
- Temple of Hercules, built during the time of Emperor Marcus Aurelius (161-180 AD).
- Byzantine church circa 6th or 7th c. n. e. The building is decorated with Corinthian columns.
City center attractions:
- The restored Roman theater (2nd century AD) consists of three parts, resting on the slopes of the hills. It accommodates about 6,000 people. There are performances to this day.
- Roman forum. The square for public meetings, bordering the theater and the Odeon, one of the largest in the empire (100 x 50 meters). A row of columns opposite the theater is a preserved part of the colonnade that once surrounded the square.
- Nymphaeum. Roman cities were always adorned with gardens and public fountains. The main fountain is located next to the theater complex and dates back to the end of the 2nd century. n. e.
- King Hussein Mosque. Nearby rises a mosque of pink and white stone. It was built by Emir Abdullah in 1924 on the site of an ancient mosque from the Umayyad period and restored under King Hussein in 1987.
On top of a hill 12 kilometers south of the city is Kan Zaman. This restored complex of stables, warehouses and living quarters has become one of the most popular tourist destinations. In Kan Zaman, which means “once upon a time,” restaurants and shops are considered among the best in Jordan. The cobbled courtyard is lined with shops selling handicrafts, jewelry and spices. Visitors can smoke a hookah in a coffee shop or taste delicious Arabic dishes in a national cuisine restaurant. In addition, they will be offered unusual entertainment.
Wadi Rum is a unique corner of the planet, a “lunar landscape” of rocks intricately cut by wind and sand, located on a desert plateau, a lunar landscape of pink sands and black mountains, the kingdom of the Bedouins, peace, echo and singing wind, which has become the scenery for a real story about which told director D. Lin in the movie “Lawrence of Arabia”. Wadi Rum is the largest and one of the most breathtaking desert landscapes not only in Jordan, but on a global scale. Powerful cliffs rise like a wall above the arid red plain. Some peaks reach a height of 1750 meters, and only those who have serious mountaineering training can climb them. But no less exciting routes can be made along the gloomy gorges and bright hills, built of local multi-colored sandstone and burning in the rays of the local hot sun, like precious stones.