Guides

26 Best Things to do in Amman ✔️ From Experience!

Panoramic view of Amman, Jordan showcasing the densely packed buildings in various shades of white and beige, with the ancient Roman theater in the foreground. The city's hills create a staggered skyline under a clear blue skyPanoramic view of Amman, Jordan showcasing the densely packed buildings in various shades of white and beige, with the ancient Roman theater in the foreground. The city's hills create a staggered skyline under a clear blue sky

Hiya travelers, welcome to my post on the 26 best things to do in Amman!

I spent a week in this charming city packed with ancient treasures, and it was one of my most exciting Middle Eastern trips! I visited a local friend who took my husband and me above and beyond and showed us all the top sights and mouth-watering restaurants. So I dare say I have some good local tips there in my sleeve and now I can’t wait to share our experience with you!

Other than top attractions and restaurants (I’ve also got a couple of hidden gems for you), I’ve got you covered with practical information on public transport, SIM cards, and hotels! So just sit back and enjoy the only guide to Amman, Jordan, you’ll need!

If you are in a hurry

Here are the main things to book in advance:

And here are the best hotels: Hilton Amman (Luxury), New MerryLand Hotel (Mid-range), The Castle Star (Budget)

1. Capture the beauty of the Roman Theater & Nymphaeum

A panoramic view of the ancient Roman Theater in Amman, Jordan, showcasing the historic architecture with rows of stone seats and a stage set against a modern city backdropA panoramic view of the ancient Roman Theater in Amman, Jordan, showcasing the historic architecture with rows of stone seats and a stage set against a modern city backdrop

If you were to ask a local person, “What are the top sights tourists should visit in Amman?” they’ll tell you right away – the Roman Theater (map)! I’ve talked to so many locals and watched tons of YouTube videos that only confirmed how much city residents appreciate this place.

The stunning Roman Theater in Amman was built around 140 CE and can fit up to 5,000 spectators! It is very well preserved and is still used today for performances!

There is always police guarding the area, so you’ll feel totally safe (much like in the rest of Amman actually!).

Best of all, you’ll have the whole of Downtown Amman in the palm of your hand after climbing the stairs of the Theater! There’s no better way to get acquainted with the city and feel its vibe than from this very spot!

And then, as you head toward the Grand Husseini Mosque (map), you’ll pass another important sight from the Roman times – the Nymphaeum! This Roman public fountain is one of the best-preserved ones in the region, and it dates from the same period as the Theater!

PRICE: 2 JOD ($2.80), includes entry to Nymphaeum

PRO TIP: If you have time, visit the Jordan Folklore Museum (map) located next to the Theater. It’s a nice place to learn about the popular traditions of Jordan.

NOTE: The gates to the Nymphaeum close around 3 PM every day (totally closed on Fridays), so plan your visit accordingly.

2. Taste local cuisine

An overhead view of a traditional Jordanian meal with hummus, falafel, salads, and large flatbread, served on a plastic-covered tableAn overhead view of a traditional Jordanian meal with hummus, falafel, salads, and large flatbread, served on a plastic-covered table

Now, if you were to ask me what the first thing tourists should do in Amman, I’d tell you to EAT!

Seriously though, Jordan has delicious cuisine if you eat meat (but also if you don’t!), and I was so lucky to have a local friend take me to the best eateries in town!

I’ll quickly share with you the best dishes and where you can try them:

  • Shawarma – Sliced meat (lamb or chicken) inside lavash bread with tahini and veggies: Shawarma Reem (this place is crowded day and night; we waited for 30 minutes in line at 1 AM!)
  • Falafel – Chickpea balls, deep-fried, served in a lavash or pita bread, with tahini and vegetables: Al Quds Falafel and Hashem Restaurant
  • Galayet Bandor – Fried tomatoes, hot peppers, onions, and olive oil, usually served as a side for breakfast or as a main dish with lamb: Sufra Restaurant
  • Moutabel – spicy eggplant dip, Grilled eggplant, yogurt, and tahini dip: Hashem Restaurant
  • Kebab – Grilled and skewered meat with a side choice of rice or fries and a salad: Jubran Amman Abdali Boulevard
  • Mansaf – Rice, lamb, and yogurt sauce, the national dish of Jordan: Restaurant for Mansaf Sharebha (our friend took us here specifically to try the best mansaf; it’s a restaurant that ONLY serves this dish, so the meat was so good and fresh I can still remember the taste! And the portions are huge!)
  • Maqluba – An upside-down one-pot dish with chicken or lamb, rice, and fried vegetables: Sufra Restaurant

PRO TIP: If you only have 1-2 days in Amman, Jordan, eat at Hashem Restaurant (breakfast & lunch) and Sufra Restaurant (lunch & dinner) – they’re both centrally located, and you’ll find most of the dishes there!

3. Take breathtaking pictures from the Amman Citadel Hill

The writer of the post seated on ancient ruins at Amman Citadel with a sweeping view of the city during duskThe writer of the post seated on ancient ruins at Amman Citadel with a sweeping view of the city during dusk

Amman Citadel (map), located on the Jabal Al Qala’a hill just across the Roman Temple, is another important heritage and UNESCO World Heritage Site with fabulous views of the city.

The amount of sights here makes the Amman Citadel one of the best things to do in Amman for history lovers. You can see the long walls that date back to the Bronze Age, the Temple of Hercules as a remnant of the Roman era, and the Umayyad Palace dating from the period of the Umayyad Caliphate.

The Umayyad Caliphate was a large Islamic caliphate that was most active in the 7th and 8th centuries; its capital was in Damascus, and its territory spread across North Africa all the way to Al-Andalus, Spain!

MUST-DO: Climb the Amman Citadel Hill just before the sunset, grab a seat with a view overlooking Downtown (you should be able to see the Roman Theater), and enjoy a surreal experience once the call for prayer starts to come out of dozens of mosques in front of you!

PRICE: 3 JOD (US$4)

PRO TIP: Get a Jordan Pass before arriving in Jordan to save time and money on tickets for the main tourist attractions, including the Amman Citadel. Other popular places you can visit for free with the pass include the Jordan Archaeological Museum, Museum of Popular Traditions, Roman Theater, Wadi Rum, Petra, and many historical sites around the country.

4. Admire the Grand Husseini Mosque 

The Grand Husseini Mosque in Amman, Jordan, under a clear sky with decorative street lights and city life bustling around itThe Grand Husseini Mosque in Amman, Jordan, under a clear sky with decorative street lights and city life bustling around it

Grand Husseini Mosque (map) is one of Amman’s oldest mosques. It was built by King Abdullah I in the 1930s as the first major architectural project in the Jordanian Kingdom!

The mosque was built on the site of an ancient mosque that dates from around 640 CE (just about the time Islam appeared as a religion).

You may wonder why one of the city’s OLDEST mosques dates only from the 1930s. Well, Amman as we know it today (the capital, modern city of Jordan) only started developing in the 1950s following a large influx of Palestinian refugees.

Overall, the Grand Husseini Mosque is pretty big and important, but it’s less impressive than, for example, Abu Darwish Mosque, which is easily one of the most beautiful mosques I’ve seen! I totally recommend you to visit it if you’re interested in beautiful Islamic architecture.

However, Grand Husseini has a central location in Downtown, and it’s truly an experience to be here during the Friday prayer or to visit the souks nearby, which leads me to the next best thing to do in Amman.

5. Explore the bustling souks (markets)

A vibrant display of various dried fruits, nuts, and spices at a bustling souk in Amman, JordanA vibrant display of various dried fruits, nuts, and spices at a bustling souk in Amman, Jordan

The souks of Amman are the heart and soul of the city. It’s where the locals go to buy fresh fruits, veggies, meats, and spices. Exploring Amman just wouldn’t be complete without a visit to these bustling places.

By the way, I highly recommend you stock up on Jordanian spices while here! Ask for spice blends (spice mixes) for chicken, meat, or fish, whichever one you love best. We took all 3, and I loved every single one!

All the most popular souks, Al Nada Souq, Souq al-Sukar, and Souk El-Khodra (veggies market), are all next to each other and just a short walk from Grand Husseini Mosque. You can literally do a self-guided souk tour and see them all within one hour!

This is also where the Souk El-Sagha is located (Gold market), as well as the Pigeon Market (also known as Friday market)!

FUN FACT: Training pigeons is one of the national sports of Amman, with the tradition being hundreds of years old. People buy pigeons at a market and train them to travel to different places in town. The pigeons fly back home when the owner whistles at them! The top of Citadel Hill (the part that overlooks the Downtown) is a great place to spot this practice, especially before sunset!

Finally, Souq Jara is open on Fridays, it’s on Rainbow Street nearby, and it mostly has local artwork and souvenirs. I only visited the most central souks next to the Grand Husseini Mosque, but I’ve heard that many tourists actually prefer to shop for souvenirs in Souq Jara!

A man in traditional Jordanian attire walking through a lively street market in Amman, with storefronts displaying a variety of goodsA man in traditional Jordanian attire walking through a lively street market in Amman, with storefronts displaying a variety of goods

The atmosphere in Downtown Amman (and notably in Jabal Amman, the trendiest part of Downtown) is best felt when you explore on foot! Amman is a giant city, and there’s always something going on in the streets.

Visiting Amman on foot is honestly one of the best things to do to experience the local culture of this charming city. Whether you’re visiting the souks and attractions or going food tasting, you’ll be surrounded by rushed locals and the smell of shisha, spices, and bread on every corner.

I highly recommend grabbing a tourist map from your hotel or downloading one on your phone and then walking around central streets Downtown before you climb Citadel Hill or go to the Roman Theater.

Freshen up from the heat at Downtown fruit juice stands, and if you’re in for a very special treat, ask for sugar cone juice (available at stands decorated with sugar cones)!

For an educational and immersive walking experience, you can join this free walking tour! And if you have a good budget, you can even join a private sightseeing tour (from US$132) that also includes street food tasting! The middle ground between the two options would be this group walking tour (from US$21), as it’s super educational and also an excellent value for money!

HEALTH TIP: Amman is pretty hilly and gets super hot in the summer, so if you’re visiting when the temperatures are high, a hat, sunscreen, and water are a must whenever you walk! Also, plan the time for short breaks. You’re guaranteed to break a sweat, even if you visit in November like I did!

7. Take a day trip to the nearby ancient city of Jerash

An aerial view of the ancient Roman ruins in Jerash near Amman, Jordan, during golden hour, with visitors exploring the vast archaeological siteAn aerial view of the ancient Roman ruins in Jerash near Amman, Jordan, during golden hour, with visitors exploring the vast archaeological site

Jerash (Gerasa in Latin) is one of the most popular attractions in Jordan, and it’s for a good reason.

It’s where you can see the best-preserved examples of Roman architecture outside of Italy!

Yes, it is preserved SO well that it felt as if I were actually walking those ancient streets, checking out their houses, visiting the markets, etc.

Also, some sites here even date to 6,500 years ago, as this ancient city actually was inhabited way before the Romans came!

Alexander the Great transformed Jerash from a tiny village into a regional center that later became one of the 10 great Roman cities (the Decapolis League)! Other Decapolis cities in Jordan include Umm Qais, Philadelphia (today’s Amman), and Raphana in the very North.

Some of the most beautiful pictures I took on my trip to Jordan came from here, so make sure you have enough memory on your phone before you visit, especially if you’re there during the sunset!

Getting there: You can get from Amman to Jerash in around 45 minutes by taking a bus from the North Terminal (ticket is around 1 JOD or 1.50 US$), by taxi (around 40 JOD for a round trip, US$55) or by car. Alternatively, you can take a tour (from US$63) that encompasses Jerash and other nearby sights!

NOTE: You can hire a private guide near the entrance in Jerash in case you want to tour the site but forgot to book ahead (which I highly recommend you do, as on-site guides are more expensive).

PARKING: If you’re driving, there’s plenty of parking at the dedicated car park and around the complex, and it’s free of charge. Getting here with a car is definitely the most recommended and fastest way. Check out my guide on renting a car in Jordan to make your commute easier!

TICKET PRICE: 12 JOD (US$17)

8. Get inspired in the Jordan Museum

Interior of a museum display in Amman, Jordan, featuring an array of ancient artifacts, sculptures, and informational displays softly lit against peach-colored wallsInterior of a museum display in Amman, Jordan, featuring an array of ancient artifacts, sculptures, and informational displays softly lit against peach-colored walls

Jordan Museum is the country’s largest museum and a top destination to learn about Jordan’s past. You can see artifacts from multiple time periods, including Pre-Historic, Historical, Islamic, Classical, and Modern.

The parts of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which are ancient Jewish manuscripts found by the Dead Sea containing the Old Testament, Ten Commandments, and other sacred texts, can be seen in the Jordan Museum!

Another highlight of the Jordan Museum is the ‘Ain Ghazal statues, some of the world’s oldest human statues (more than 9,000 years old!)

The exhibits here have English text, which is a lifesaver! If you’re visiting during the summer heat, there’s no better place to be during the hottest time of the day.

PRICE: 5 JOD (US$7)

NOTE: Closed on Tuesdays

9. Smoke shisha from one of Downtown’s balconies

A man enjoying shisha at a local café in Amman, Jordan, with the busy street and lit shops in the backgroundA man enjoying shisha at a local café in Amman, Jordan, with the busy street and lit shops in the background

One of my dearest memories from Amman is sitting on a balcony Downtown on a breezy November evening, chilling with friends while they smoke shisha (hookah), and people-watching towards the main street of town.

You wouldn’t believe the sights in just a few hours we spent sitting there – from the diversity of people (especially women) to funny situations to crazy honking to the sights of old people playing board games and having the time of their lives.

My advice is to hit the terrace of the Amoun Café, order some black tea and shisha, maybe grab a dessert, and just enjoy passive sightseeing!

10. Stroll past the vibrant Rainbow Street

Nightlife on Rainbow Street in Amman, Jordan, with glowing street lights, busy traffic, and people enjoying the urban evening atmosphereNightlife on Rainbow Street in Amman, Jordan, with glowing street lights, busy traffic, and people enjoying the urban evening atmosphere

Rainbow Street (map) is easily one of the most walkable and scenic streets in Amman! I couldn’t get enough of it and kept walking back and forth!

With beautifully decorated and colorful shops and cafés, small bands playing live music in local eateries, full-scale clubs with live DJs, and tourists admiring the sights, something’s always going on on Rainbow Street!

Whether you’re a foodie or a partygoer, you’ll find a place for you! The iconic Sufra restaurant is located here, as well as popular clubs and pubs like the Cantaloupe Gastro Pub with fabulous views of this ancient city.

So, if you’re wondering about the best things to do in Amman for nightlife, chilling here is your best bet!

If you have time, visit Rainbow Street both during the day AND night! It’s two completely different vibes, both with its own charm!

PRO TIP: The street is liveliest on Thursday nights, which is when most locals start their weekend.

11. Visit the King Abdullah Mosque

The King Abdullah Mosque in Amman, Jordan, distinguished by its large blue dome and tall minarets, set against a clear blue skyThe King Abdullah Mosque in Amman, Jordan, distinguished by its large blue dome and tall minarets, set against a clear blue sky

King Abdullah Mosque in the Al Abdali neighborhood is one of the most popular and beautiful mosques in Amman. It has an impressive blue dome made of mosaics that you just must see with your eyes to grasp their beauty!

The stunning King Abdullah Mosque is situated just next to the Jordanian Parliament and is considered an important Islamic complex with a museum and Qur’an memorizing school!

The mosque was finished in 1989, and today, over 3,000 Muslims pray here every day (but it can fit up to 10,000 worshipers!).

The entrance is free of charge, but much like in all other mosques in the city, you’ll have to dress modestly. If you don’t have appropriate clothes, you can get a gown at the entrance, so you can still visit!

NOTE: The entrance to the King Abdullah Mosque for tourists is from tourist gate number 3 (in the souvenir shop).

12. Admire contemporary Arab art at Darat al Funun

A silhouette of a statue overlooking the cityscape of Amman, Jordan, suggesting a blend of art and urban scenery at Darat al-Funun art galleryA silhouette of a statue overlooking the cityscape of Amman, Jordan, suggesting a blend of art and urban scenery at Darat al-Funun art gallery

One of the highlights of our trip was the visit to the Darat al Funun Gallery. From the lovely garden in front to the captivating artwork of Arab artists inside and a really well-equipped library, everything about this place was amazing!

You can also see old photographs of Amman and nearby cities as well as modern photography examples – just the perfect place for contemporary art from the Arab world.

Whether you want to unwind after a day full of sightseeing or learn something new, you’ll love Darat al Funun! You can check out their current program on the official website. Also, the visit here is free of charge!

Apart from museums, this is a great place to be if you’re looking for things to do in Amman during the heat (which can happen quite often, trust me!)!

PRO TIP: Combine the visit to Darat al Funun with the Dar-Al-Anda Art Gallery, located just 4 minutes away on foot! The entrance is free, there’s beautiful artwork (paintings, photographs, sculptures), and the space is just as lovely and decorated as Darat al Funun!

13. Buy traditional (and beautiful) mosaic souvenirs

A detailed shot of a craftsman's hands working on a traditional mosaic piece in Amman, JordaA detailed shot of a craftsman's hands working on a traditional mosaic piece in Amman, Jorda

Madaba, a city just a short drive from Amman, is like the capital of mosaic souvenirs in the region. I’ve been there, and there were souvenir shops with all types of magnets and artwork you can imagine made in mosaics.

Amman has a more modest but still very good selection of mosaic souvenirs, many of which actually come from Madaba! My fridge is surely a testament to how beautiful their magnets are since we probably bought 4 or 5. They were so nice we couldn’t just pick one!

If you’re lucky, you’ll get the chance to make or edit your own souvenir, as many shops also have integrated workshops where the artists both make and sell their work!

I recommend checking the area around Paris Square, notably the Al-Afghani for Oriental Gifts store, as we bought beautiful magnets and gifts for the whole family here!

14. Explore Amman’s bustling Abdali Boulevard

Nighttime scene of Abdali Boulevard in Amman, Jordan, lined with modern buildings, illuminated palm trees, and people strolling along the pedestrian pathwayNighttime scene of Abdali Boulevard in Amman, Jordan, lined with modern buildings, illuminated palm trees, and people strolling along the pedestrian pathway

Al Abdali is the urban district of Amman with skyscrapers, art galleries, museums (including Jordan’s National Gallery of Fine Arts), and tons of modern architecture. It’s located around 4 km from Downtown Amman, and it takes some 15 minutes by car to get here.

Abdali Boulevard (map) here is the place to be for shopping and entertainment! The iconic Abdali Mall awaits with hundreds of shops of worldwide brands, outdoor cafés, a food court, and tons of fun activities for kids.

You’ll probably be tempted to eat at the mall, but I’d actually recommend hitting the Jubran Restaurant on the Boulevard! They have a fantastic breakfast buffet, so you may want to start your day in the Al Abdali District from here!

15. Be in awe in the Royal Automobile Museum

A classic red convertible car displayed at the Royal Automobile Museum in Amman, Jordan, with historical photos in the backgroundA classic red convertible car displayed at the Royal Automobile Museum in Amman, Jordan, with historical photos in the background

There’s no better thing to do in Amman for car aficionados than a visit to the Royal Automobile Museum!

The Royal Automobile Museum houses 80 vehicles of Jordan’s late King Hussein, with some of them being more than 110 years old! And all of them can actually run! 

A highlight from the Royal Automobile Museum is definitely the Mars rover from the 2015 film The Martian (filmed in Wadi Rum!)

You’ll learn tons of things and can appreciate the sights of popular cars like the Porsche Carrera GT, World War I Rolls Royce, and many more!

I didn’t have the time to visit this museum during my stay in Amman, but I’ll definitely check it out the next time I’m in town! I’m not even a big fan of cars, but I know it’s unlikely to find a more awesome royal automobile collection in the Middle East than this one!

PRICE: 3 JOD (US$4.50)

NOTE: Closed on Tuesdays

TIP: If you’re visiting with kids, take them to the Children’s Museum Jordan, located just next to the Royal Automobile Museum! They’ll be forever grateful for the fun (+ educational) time they’ll have there!

16. Satisfy your sweet tooth in the best dessert shops

A selection of Middle Eastern desserts, including baklava, arranged elegantly on a white plate with a box full of assorted treats and a jug of syrup on the sideA selection of Middle Eastern desserts, including baklava, arranged elegantly on a white plate with a box full of assorted treats and a jug of syrup on the side
photo credit: @habibah_sweets

Jordan has some of the best dishes I’ve ever had, including desserts. Their pastry with cream cheese and pistachios are just out of this world, and if you have a sweet tooth like me, you’ll have the time of your life here!

For traditional Arabic desserts, Hajj Mahmoud Habiba and His Sons are the absolute winners! There’s always a line for their sweets! We tried kunafeh (a spun pastry dessert with cheese soaked in sweet syrup) as this is their specialty.

Gerard Ice Cream on Rainbow Street is the best place in town for ice cream! Try their Mixed Berry Sorbet; it’s perfect!

17. See the world’s largest collection of Arab dresses

Travelers interested in Arab cultural heritage, notably that of Palestinian and Jordanian women, should definitely check out the Tiraz Cultural Center.

In Tiraz, you’ll find the largest collection of 2000+ Arab costumes, some as old as 200 years!

The institution behind this program is from Jordan, and its goal is to promote the living traditions of its beautiful people. You can visit the place on your own or take a guided tour with a local tour guide employed at the museum.

NOTE: Closed on Fridays

PRICE: 2 JOD (US$2.50)

18. Get lost in the bohemian Jabal Al Weibdeh neighborhood

A colorful mural in the Jabal Al-Weibdeh neighborhood of Amman, Jordan, depicting diverse faces and expressionsA colorful mural in the Jabal Al-Weibdeh neighborhood of Amman, Jordan, depicting diverse faces and expressions

The Jabal Al Weibdeh (Al Weibdeh Hill, map) is so charming that you can easily spend hours walking around, admiring local street art, sitting in bohemian cafés, and not having a worry in the world. It’s one of Amman’s older districts and is located between Downtown Amman and Jabal Amman (Amman Hill).

I loved the historic buildings and how they were preserved, but what got most of my attention were the colorful stairs (check one location here) that you can find all over the place!

The Paris Square I mentioned above is also located here, and it’s where you can find tons of laid-back cafés and ceramics souvenir shops.

Some of the best examples of street art are also here! You’ll literally see street art on every corner! And for organized street art tours across Amman, I found this website that specializes in them! Or you can use this cool map to browse through street art examples and visit the ones you like!

19. Attend a cooking class (the best thing to do in Amman for foodies!)

A cooking class in Amman, Jordan, showing a chef stretching dough while a young girl looks onA cooking class in Amman, Jordan, showing a chef stretching dough while a young girl looks on

If you’ve read this far, you probably realized by now that I’m in love with Jordanian food! As a foodie myself, I couldn’t recommend attending a cooking class more while you’re in Amman! It’s definitely one of the best things to do in Amman for foodies!

As we were walking in the Al Weibdeh neighborhood during our stay, I noticed there were tons of cooking schools (with writings in English, so my only guess is that they are targeted at tourists), but since our time in the city was limited, we never got the chance to attend one.

Luckily, I found a great opportunity for you, so the gourmet in you won’t be left disappointed! This private half-day cooking class takes place in Al Weibdeh, and it’s set on a hill overlooking the Amman Citadel (yes, you’ll be cooking while having an AWESOME view of Amman)!

You’ll make traditional Jordanian food, learn how to use spices, and discuss daily life in Jordan while eating your delicious meal! How cool is that? Oh, and do tell me in the comments how you liked the experience if you end up going!

PRICE: from US$108

20. Feel nostalgic in the Old Signs of Amman Museum

A playful photo opportunity at the Old Signs of Amman Museum with the writer of the post posing in a cutout of a vintage car alongside a life-size cardboard figure, reflecting the nostalgic charm of the museumA playful photo opportunity at the Old Signs of Amman Museum with the writer of the post posing in a cutout of a vintage car alongside a life-size cardboard figure, reflecting the nostalgic charm of the museum

This hidden gem is another one of our trip highlights. You won’t find the Old Signs of Amman in most online guides, but it’s located just Downtown and is guaranteed to make you feel nostalgic about the times when not even your parents were born yet!

The museum is totally free, has beautiful views of Downtown from the balcony, and features hundreds of old street signs from old shops, bakeries, and stores dating from the 19th and 20th centuries!

Overall impression, it feels like you get to know the soul of Amman after visiting this museum!

21. Chill in the oldest residence in the city, Duke’s Diwan

There’s so much history in this small place in the central street (King Faisal) of Amman! From the first post office building in 1924 to the Finance Ministry to a hotel, the place has seen so many transformations over the years!

Today, it’s a museum and a café with so much charm. The entrance is free, and since you’ll be passing next to it anyways while you explore Downtown Amman, make sure you get inside!

The staff working here is very friendly, and they’ll give you educational flyers in English so you can learn more about this unique place in Amman!

22. Relax in Al Pasha Spa, the oldest Turkish bath in town

A woman enjoying a luxurious bath in the Al Pasha Turkish Bath in Amman, Jordan, surrounded by traditional décor and a festive atmosphereA woman enjoying a luxurious bath in the Al Pasha Turkish Bath in Amman, Jordan, surrounded by traditional décor and a festive atmosphere
photo credit: @pashaturkishbath

Hammams or Turkish baths used to play an important role in the daily lives of all peoples in the Middle East, and modern-day Jordan and Amman are filled with remnants of what used to be cozy public steam bathrooms.

Al Pasha Spa is the most iconic and one of the oldest hammams in Amman. You’re in for an exclusive experience, including body scrubs, steam room sessions, jacuzzi, breakfast, tea, and much more!

TIP: It’s best to give them a call (+962 7 9550 4471) or text (they’re pretty active on Facebook, too) to schedule your visit!

PRICE: From 25 JOD (US$35)

23. Visit Qasr Al-Abed, a Hellenistic pleasure palace

The ruins of Qasr Al-Abed, a large limestone structure with towering columns and carved doorways, standing under a clear sky in Amman, JordanThe ruins of Qasr Al-Abed, a large limestone structure with towering columns and carved doorways, standing under a clear sky in Amman, Jordan

Some 25 km from Downtown Amman, you can find a beautiful Hellenistic palace dating from the 2nd century BC, arguably built by the Tobaids.

The Tobaids were a Jewish family that lived in the Second Temple Period (597 BC – 70 AD), although there’s no scientific proof yet that this archaeological site actually belongs to them.

Whether this palace is or isn’t built by Tobaids, it’s still older than all of the Roman buildings in the city, as it dates to pre-Roman times! It’s fascinating to see the well-preserved tiger, lion, and jaguar decorations on fountains and walls that are so old!

If you want to see something new and unique but want to escape Amman’s chaotic traffic, this place is usually quiet and off the beaten path! A nice hidden gem (and so well preserved) with more than 2,000 years of history!

Getting there: It’s best to get here by car (no direct public transport routes are available), but you can also get a taxi or an Uber.

NOTE: The entrance is free

24. Go local wine tasting at JR The Wine Experience

The very first wine-tasting experience in Jordan is now open on Amman’s Al Abdali Boulevard, and it’s for sure one of the best things to do in Amman for wine aficionados!

They have over 40 grape varieties and 20 types of wine produced in Jordan’s desert!

You can book your visit independently on the official website or join a cool tour (my recommendation, it’s much more fun to visit with other tourists!). The tour costs around US$25 and includes 3 wine glasses of your choice!

25. Enjoy bird watching at the Prince Hashem Bird Garden

If you’re looking for things to do in Amman with kids, take them to the Prince Hashem Bird Garden!

You can spot geese, ducks, parrots, peacocks, and other birds in one of Amman’s best-preserved parks. This is a small place, but it also has a kids’ playground and a nice dessert shop nearby (Zalatimo Sweets) to grab a quick snack!

The park is conveniently situated in the Shimeisani area (the area I actually recommend as the best place to stay for families), and it’s free to visit!

26. Take a day trip to the Cave of Seven Sleepers

A man in traditional white attire standing in the doorway of an ancient stone cave at the historical site of the Cave of Seven Sleepers near Amman, JordanA man in traditional white attire standing in the doorway of an ancient stone cave at the historical site of the Cave of Seven Sleepers near Amman, Jordan

The ancient Cave of Seven Sleepers (map) is a sacred site situated in a small village called al-Rajib, some 10 km from Amman. It makes a great destination for a short half-day trip from the city

According to the Byzantine legends but also the Qur’an, 7 young men hid in this cave, escaping the persecution of Decius, a Roman emperor at the time. The Qur’an says they stayed there for 300 years!

These young men escaped persecution for their Christian faith, and the cave in which they hid is an important sacred site today.

This awesome guided tour (US$76) takes you to the site as well as some other top sights in Amman.

NOTE: Entrance is free

Getting there: You can also visit the Cave of Seven Sleepers by yourself. The best way is to take a chartered taxi (around 8 JOD, US$11) or a bus from the Wihdat bus station to the Rajib village. The bus stop is just 500 m from the cave.

🏛️ Best museum: Jordan Museum
🎢 Top paid attraction: Al Pasha Spa
🚶🏽‍♂️ Best free activity: The Amman Citadel
👧 Best attraction for kids: Children’s Museum
🕺 Nightlife: Rainbow Street
🥟 Must try food: Mansaf

Where to stay in Amman

A typical street scene in Amman, Jordan, with cars parked along the road and a man walkingA typical street scene in Amman, Jordan, with cars parked along the road and a man walking

Amman is a big city and has plenty of accommodation that caters to all types of travelers, from luxury seekers to backpackers. To help you plan your trip further, I’ve handpicked 6 BEST hotels in Amman and sorted them according to budget!

For a more detailed guide on where to stay in Amman, check out my article where I recommend the 6 best areas and hotels!

Luxury (US$100 and up)

  • Hilton Amman – A 5-star luxury in Amman’s commercial district featuring an indoor swimming pool, a fitness center, fabulous breakfast, and free parking. I highly recommend this hotel if you’re wondering where to stay in Amman with a car.
  • The House Boutique Suites – This 5-star boutique hotel has a seasonal outdoor pool, complimentary breakfast, and a 24/7 front desk. A great option if you’re traveling without a car (although they also have free parking) since it’s closer to the City Center.

Mid Range (US$50 – US$100)

  • Khan Khediwe Hotel – With a fabulous location just 200 meters from Grand Husseini Mosque, this 4-star property has also got you covered with a fitness center, family rooms, and super clean rooms with comfortable beds.
  • New MerryLand Hotel – A convenient location just outside the Downtown crowds, featuring delicious breakfast (all past guests seem to agree on this one) and extremely helpful staff. You’ll have easy access to tourist attractions from here!

Budget (up to US$50)

  • Carob Hostel – The best hostel in Jordan features a garden, shared lounge, daily à la carte breakfast, table tennis, darts, and even live music events. It’s a hostel that easily feels like a home away from home!
  • The Castle Star – This cozy place is located a short walk from the Grand Husseini Mosque and offers compact Double Rooms, an airport shuttle, and nice common areas with a kitchen.

Practical Information

A classic Volkswagen Beetle parked on a street in Amman, Jordan, with the city's limestone buildings and a minaret in the backgroundA classic Volkswagen Beetle parked on a street in Amman, Jordan, with the city's limestone buildings and a minaret in the background

I’m really determined to make your trip planning to Amman easy – that’s why I’ve also prepared this convenient guide on how to get around and where to get SIM cards!

How to get around

Public Transport

Let me start by saying that Amman is a pretty hilly city. If you don’t have a car, you’ll want to rely on public transport to get around.

Buses are the cheapest way to get around (others are taxis and car-sharing options; more on them below).

To pay for the tickets, get an Amman Bus card (available at kiosks around the city). The price for one bus ride is around JOD 0.55 (US$ 0.80). You can also buy your bus ticket cashless inside the bus.

You may find an app called Amman Bus for trip planning, but apparently, this one hardly ever works, so you’ll just have to test it and see for yourself! You can download both the bus maps and the app from the official website of Amman Bus.

Taxis/Ride Sharing

The writer of the post esting against a stone wall in Amman, Jordan, looking contemplatively into the distance, set against a backdrop of lush greenery and traditional architectureThe writer of the post esting against a stone wall in Amman, Jordan, looking contemplatively into the distance, set against a backdrop of lush greenery and traditional architecture

Amman has yellow and white taxis. White taxis have a fixed route and run when they get full. This makes them cheaper, but it can be chaotic to use them if you don’t know the exact route where you’re headed.

For yellow taxis (private, only you and the driver), make sure the driver starts the meter as soon as you start the ride. Also, have small money with you (1 JOD) since they likely won’t have the chance to give you back.

You shouldn’t pay more than 3-4 JOD (US$5) for rides inside Amman. The price per one mile (1.6 km) is 0.93 JOD (US$1.30).

However, the best and most convenient way to get around is through ride-hailing apps. Uber, Careem, and TaxiF are all good options, with the last two being the most popular, so you can expect the shortest waiting times.

Still, my overall impression is that the best way to get around in Amman is either on foot (for short distances like top attraction sightseeing) or with a car. You can read my guide on car rentals in Jordan here – it has got you covered with tips on booking, car insurance, things to consider, and more.

All about SIM cards

A framed view from the archway of the Amman Citadel, overlooking the towering ancient columns with the cityscape in the distanceA framed view from the archway of the Amman Citadel, overlooking the towering ancient columns with the cityscape in the distance

Getting a local SIM card during your stay will make your life so much easier. You’ll always have access to the Internet and can make calls uninterruptedly.

You can get the best deals in the Zain (the main mobile network provider) store in the arrivals section of the Amman airport or in the city. From January 2024, you can also get an eSIM from them!

The Zain plans start from 10 JOD (US$15) for 7 days, with 12 GB of data.

Even though Zain is a good option, I highly recommend you get an eSIM from Airalo because it’s the easiest and one of the cheapest ways to secure data. Their plan starts from US$6.50 for 1 GB of data for 7 days, and they have 2 local plans for Jordan and multiple regional ones for the Middle East (covering Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and 13 other countries in the region).

Local Customs and Safety

A bustling indoor market in Amman, Jordan, filled with fresh produce and nuts, with shoppers and vendors engaging in the vibrant local commerceA bustling indoor market in Amman, Jordan, filled with fresh produce and nuts, with shoppers and vendors engaging in the vibrant local commerce

In this section, I want to discuss some local customs and safety practices that are frequent in Jordan:

  • Dress code: Jordan is considered more progressive than many other Middle Eastern countries, but women here are still expected to dress modestly. Although this is not a rule outside of mosques, it’s recommended to have your shoulders and knees covered just to avoid looks on the streets.
  • Luggage scanning: Entry to public places, like malls, hotels, and stations, usually includes luggage scanning (small purses and backpacks, too). This is a completely normal safety procedure, and you’ll get used to it fast.
  • Tipping: Tipping in Jordan is not mandatory (like, for example, in Israel), but it’s highly recommended to leave 10% as a sign of gratitude.
  • Photography: You’ll be tempted to photograph people during your stay here, I’m sure. That’s usually ok when you’re on a souk, for example, and just want to capture the atmosphere. But if you want to photograph someone specific (especially a woman) doing something, always ask for permission. Also, don’t take pictures of military or government offices.
  • Hospitality: Middle Easterners show hospitality that may seem exaggerated to foreigners. Imagine walking in Chicago, and a taxi driver or a stranger you asked for directions on the street invites you home for lunch or coffee – you’d probably be weirded out. This is totally normal in Amman! People LOVE receiving guests, and there’s a whole culture around it, especially towards foreigners. Happened to me many times, so it may happen to you, too! Of course, you don’t have to accept, but just know that their invitation was honest and part of their hospitality.

FAQs about things to do in Amman

A group selfie of the writer of the post and friends at sunset with the Amman Citadel ruins in the background, capturing the shared experience of exploring the city's ancient heritageA group selfie of the writer of the post and friends at sunset with the Amman Citadel ruins in the background, capturing the shared experience of exploring the city's ancient heritage

❤️ Is Amman, Jordan, worth visiting?

Absolutely! Amman is a lovely city with plenty to offer, including ancient sites, delicious food, kind people, and fun tourist attractions.

🏛️ What is Amman best known for?

Its ancient heritage! The Roman Theater and The Amman Citadel are two of the most iconic remnants of Amman’s rich history. Amman is also where you can taste the best of Jordanian cuisine!

✈️ Is 2 days enough in Amman?

Yes and no. Yes, if you only want to see the top Downtown attractions like the Amman Citadel, Roman Theater, and the souks. No, if you want a more in-depth tour of the city, its mosques, museums, etc.

🗓️ How many days do you need in Amman?

I recommend at least 2 full days in Amman to make the most out of your visit. 3 days would be perfect to see most tourist sights and not feel pressed.

📸 What are things to do in Amman in one day?

Visit the top sights like the Roman Theater and The Citadel, walk around the Downtown streets, visit the souks in the area, and then eat local food at the Hashem Restaurant.

🌃 What are the best things to do in Amman at night?

Hanging out at one of many rooftop bars or listening to live music in cafés and restaurants across the city are great things to do at night in Amman.

✅ Is Amman, Jordan, safe?

Absolutely. Amman is a very safe city, and no extra caution is needed, especially around Downtown and the historical attractions. Just be mindful of your belongings as you would in any other tourist destination.

Conclusion

An evening view of Amman, showcasing the lit Roman Theater amid the glowing city lightsAn evening view of Amman, showcasing the lit Roman Theater amid the glowing city lights

Yay, you’ve made it! This is the end of my article on the best things to do in Amman, Jordan! Hopefully, you now have plenty of ideas on how to organize your trip!

I loved my time in Amman, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy yours, too! Book the tours and hotels you like in advance to secure the best deals, and don’t forget to try mansaf and other Jordanian dishes once you arrive!

If you have any questions about your upcoming visit to the Middle East, let me know in the comments below! I’ll be happy to answer!

Enjoy visiting Amman,

Darija


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