Jordan: Exploring Amman

When I went to Petra on a day trip from Egypt back in 2009, I always knew I wanted to go back and do Jordan properly. That time finally came last September and we began our adventure in Amman, Jordan's capital.

We stayed at W Amman, located in trendy Abdali, which is a great location with a great pool and great cocktails - Jordan is a Muslim country but it's not a dry country. Ubers cost us between 2-3JOD to get around the city (about £2.30-3.50, so super cheap!), and we found the nightly rate really reasonable for a W - this one's entrance rather coolly resembles the Siq at Petra.  

Our first sight was the famous blue-domed King Abdullah Mosque, which is one of the few mosques that allow Western travellers to enter. Entry is 2 JOD (about £2.30) and you must cover up your body in the gown they give you - hair as well if you're a woman. It closes around prayer time so check when that is if you're planning to drop by - our hotel was close enough for us to walk here. 

One of the biggest sights to explore is Amman Citadel, which has free entry if you have the Jordan Pass, though is only a few dinars if you don't. (I'll talk more about the Jordan Pass in my general Jordan blog post, but it's worth it if you're staying more than four nights and you're going to Petra.) Dating back to at least 1800BC the citadel houses, amongst other ruins, the remains of the Roman's Temple of Hercules. This UNESCO World Heritage Site has great views over the city and is definitely somewhere you should explore in Amman. You'll also find the Jordan Archaeological Museum here. 


Amaan's Central Post Office, built in 1924, is now known as The Duke's Diwan and is a cool stop-off to have a poke around in. Entry is free to what is, believe it or not after telling you the citadel dates from 1800BC, the oldest building is Amman. Hard to believe, right. Have a mooch. And if you fancy a drink, there's a coffee shop there as well. The light was spectacular in there. 

Finally, the last sight we explored in Amman was the Roman Amphitheatre (also included in the Jordan Pass). Which we could see from the citadel. Interestingly, back when the Romans were in Amman, the city wasn't called Amman. It was, funnily enough, called Philadelphia! There are also two small museums in the amphitheatre complex, and if you're there at the right time, there might even be a show on. Riverdance had been there a few days before we were, for example.  

Food-wise we had the best meals of the holiday in Amman. Shams El Balad has the best brunch in town - and it's a cute location - whilst we had the best dinner at Bar in the Back. Lots of yummy meat dishes, including a divine Wagyu katsu sando, some yum lamb chops, but also some super fresh ceviche (pictured below with our desserts).

We had lunch at 
Hazourah, near the hotel, where you can try a great selection of Jordanian dishes. Then dinners at Eostrix Gastro Pub, which has a rather eclectic menu, and Sufra on Amman's famous Rainbow Street. Sit outside, if you can, and make sure you book, though all restaurants seem to prefer if you book ahead. Doesn't matter if they look empty when you get there, they were all a bit funny if you didn't have a booking. 

Is Amman on your list? x

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