Before going to Amman I didn’t have many expectations. I hadn’t done a lot of research and the city really blew me away and is unlike anywhere I have been in the past. I want to share some things to do in Amman Jordan. With only two days there, I covered a lot of ground but I would guess you need more like 4 days to explore it more in-depth. You can get more information on Visit Jordan, which is the Jordan tourism board.
The Amman airport is located outside the main parts of the city as you can see below and you can either get a cab there or rent a car. The roads are very good, traffic isn’t bad, and they drive on the right side of the road. There are many automatic cars so renting is a very good option here. I use rentalcars.com because they compare all the major sites.
Jordan Travel Guide
- How to dress in Jordan and Look Cute
- 10-day Itinerary for Jordan
- Best Luxury Hotels in Jordan
- 5 Best Things to do in Jordan
Amman Jordan is usually people’s starting off point before they go to the hotspots of Petra, Wadi Rum, and the Dead Sea but I hope you take at least a couple of days to explore what the city has to offer. Amman weather varies and can be quite hot (this is the middle east!) but you still need to stay covered up while exploring. Although I didn’t prepare much for my itinerary, I DID prepare my outfits lol! You guys know I like to be stylish no matter where I travel. Here are tips for what to wear in Jordan.
Everything mentioned in pinned on this interactive map below. Just click the zoom in button so you can see it more clearly.
Top Things to do in Amman
1. Check into the city’s oldest 5-star hotel
There are many options for Amman hotels, but the Intercontinental has a rich history and fantastic location. You are only about 10 minutes from the very cool “rainbow street” which I’ll share about later. The spa is great (I had a signature massage), there are two pools which once you feel the heat of Jordan, you will really appreciate, and there are 6 restaurants. The buffet lunch was delicious. We tried the Cinco de Mayo Mexican (because we can’t get Mexican food in India) and it was actually REALLY good. Keep in mind the alcohol in 5 stars in Jordan is really expensive because you can’t get it in a lot of places.
Because it’s an older hotel and rates are less here than say, Europe, you will be shocked how good of a deal you can get! Read more reviews and book here.
2. Eat the best falafel and humus in Amman
Hashem Falafel is renowned for being the best place for your falafel lunch. Honestly, it’s the best hummus I’ve had in my life and I didn’t have any better while I was in Jordan. The olive oil on it was SO freaking good I wish I could have bought 10 bottles! There are so many restaurants in Amman as you walk around but while you’re downtown, take the time to search this place out. We had to wait about 5 minutes for a table. Try the mint tea too!
3. Grab a snack at the most famous local shop
Habibah Knafeh on Al-Hazzar St is very famous as well for their khunafa. It’s a traditional dessert which is a layered desert: goat cheese, some crusty bits (I don’t know what!), and pistachios on top plus a sugary sweet syrup. I love goat cheese but this was a little sweet for me- but most sweets are. You’ve got to give it a try though! It’s very near to Hashem so you can do these back to back no problem.
4. Rainbow Street
This is a little trendy road that has so many restaurants and shops along it. I loved looking at the Ottoman architecture and taking photos of the colorful graffiti. I cannot get over how many ice cream shops there were! Seriously, every 3 shops were ice cream. We went itothe first one we saw and I have never seen anything like it… all shops should do ice cream this way! They had gelato and sorbet ON A STICK! THEN you choose a melted flavored chocolate to dip it in… THEN, before it dries you choose a candy to ROLL IT IN! then it dries and is the perfect layered customized popsicle! I also loved the old Mercedes everywhere; it seems everyone drives one!
This is considered the heart of Amman and really a place you must explore. It’s just below the Citadel and is the old downtown- so old it’s from the Neolithic period! There are a lot of shops around here, but in Jordan most shops are closed on Fridays. The Habibah shop mentioned above is in this area. Check out the famous Arab Bank, buy some roasted peanuts, Souk Bukharia (market), and more! This all connects through to the Citadel & Roman theatre I’ll mention further down.
We visited a souvenir shop which has won awards by the tourism board, and I agree. As someone who thoroughly enjoys shopping in India and other places I visit, this shop was amazing. They were so friendly so I want to give you their information: Qusaybate Shop, St Al Hashme, Amman.
6. King Abdullah Mosque
One place I didn’t have time to make on this list. I wasn’t that bummed since I was just in Istanbul at the Blue Mosque but photos of this place look really cool and if this is your first time seeing a Mosque, you should take the time to visit. I would have if I had more time!
7. Grab a Shawarma
There was a VERY popular little place just near us at the Intercontinental that had a HUGE line. I’ve pinned it on the map “Shawarma Reem”. Shawarma is a don’t miss while here.
Once called Philadelphia… wait, what!? Yes, which means “brotherly love” in Greek. The whole of Amman was called Phili which is definitely a fact I didn’t know! It was very cool wondering these ruins especially since Ben hadn’t seen them before. It was neat to learn about which designs were Roman and which were Greek ruins as they took their turns running this town. This is where you’ll get some of the best views in town. I highly recommend taking a tour so you can learn the history while you’re here.
PS If you want even more tips on where I shop for stylish clothes, check here
We continued on from the Citadel to the Roman theatre down a back way with a lot of stairs, thank goodness going downhill! But you can google maps this to make sure you take a best route. Definitely a very cool ruin to see. It always makes me sad at theatres to learn about the fights that went on for entertainment. Here, you can see in the middle a slight slope and drain… for the blood. You can see as well there are a few different entrances, as the highest classes wouldn’t use the same as the “peasants” or “commoners” or whatever they called lower-class people back then.
10. Smoke shisha
Ben was sick so we didn’t go out and check out the nightlife. Luckily, Loren lives there and wrote a few great places to go. You can smoke shisha all over Jordan, but Amman would have been a really cool place to do so and see what the scene is like once the sun has gone down.
Tips for Visiting Amman
- You will want a cheap flight. I search kiwi.com first. They are literally the best.
- Get travel insurance, especially if you are riding camels and such. Check rates on my preferred company, World Nomads. They are who Lonely Planet and most top bloggers say to use and I have for years.
- Probably a rental car unless you plan on doing a tour or hiring a driver through a travel agency. I use rentalcars.com.
- You’ll want to pre-book hotels here. I have info on all the places I stayed in my articles on each city I went in Jordan.
- You do need a visa and you get it on arrival at the airport.
Day tour options to try in Amman are a great idea! I had a guide with me who was from the tourism board as I was there for work – but you can get a guide on Get Your Guide GYG) or Viator, my two favorite sites.
- A 2-hour dinner experience with a local family for $34 per person. Read reviews and book on GYG.
- City tour of Amman for 2 hours with a guide and driver. Read reviews and book on GYG.
- Add in Jerash and you can do a full day of Amman and Jerash for $143. This tour has a lot of 5-star reviews. Book it on Viator.
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I do love a city (or an area) that has ruins to visit! It’s like you are trying to teak a peek into the past :).
Ohhhhhhh this is bringing back some very happy memories of my trip there 10 years ago. I really liked Amman, and thank you for sharing these pics and stories – it looks like it hasn’t changed that much <3
Glad this brought back some happy memories for you! Amman was SUCH a surprise to me – I had no clue what to expect.
My name is Ola, I am the owner of Ola’s Garden; work shop/arts and crafts gallery were I display my one of a kind art pieces, paintings, sculptures, jewelry pieces, scarves and hangings. My visitors think that my garden is one of the must see in Amman.
Make sure to give it a visit next time you’re in Jordan
Have a nice life
I am planning to come to Amman (and whatever in the rest of Jordan I can cover in around 5-6 days) via my own car from within GCC countries, with family including Kids (8 and 4 years). Would appreciate if you can
Can you please recommend some activities aside from touring historic heritage which can be done. Are there zoos, theme parks and the alikes for kids fun as well.
Can you recommend a nice friendly upmarket (vicinity of shopping and dining) neighborhood available on AirBnB
Any recommended guided tour for family from Getyourguide.
Thanks for the responses.
Hi. This is a great article. I wanted to check if Marriott Amman is centrally located? And also can we do hot air balloon ride in Wadi Rum?
Amazing article…. I really want to visit this place…