Amman, the city of stairs in Jordan
Amman, the capital of Jordan is a perfect blend of ancient history and modern culture. We can see an organized elegance with thousands of white limestone buildings which make it a city of stairs. So, a day in Amman means lots of views, food, and fun. Above all the hospitality, food, and family are at the heart of Jordanian culture, so don’t be surprised if locals invite you in for tea or even for a meal.
How to get around in Amman?
Amman is comprised of seven hills and therefore isn’t exactly a pedestrian-friendly city. In Particular, we can use the following means of transportation within Amman City
- Public transport. Not an established system
- Taxis. Most of them have meters. However, you can ask before a ride
- Car rental. Most convenient and easy to drive within Jordan
- Hired cars with drivers. It is expensive but Hassle-free
- Uber/Careem. The good thing is you can use Careem/Uber in Amman city.
Key places we visited in Amman
- Amman Citadel
- Jordan Archeological Museum
- Temple of Hercules
- Umayyad Palace
- Byzantine Church
- Roman Theater
- Tawaheen al Hawa restaurant
- Seven Sleepers cave
Day tour highlights
Our bus took us to downtown Amman where we get off from the bus and went to our first stop, Amman Citadel.
Our guide arranged the tickets for us and we entered the citadel premises. At the entrance, four stone marks indicated the citadel history. Then we followed the left side gravel trek and reached the viewpoint within five minutes. The viewpoint was a great point to get beautiful panoramic views of the city.
Apart from history, the panoramic views over the Roman Theatre and the city are enough to make the Citadel a worthwhile visit. This hilltop citadel has been inhabited by many different cultures, including the Byzantine or Eastern Roman Empire, evidenced by the ruins of a Byzantine Church that was built in 550 AD.
Entry Ticket 3Jd and free with Jordan Pass
Temple of Hercules
Our 2nd stop was the Hercules Temple and its huge upside pillars are a specific landmark of the Amman Citadel. A giant hand of Hercules was also there from which we can estimate the size of the original statue of Hercules.
This temple was constructed during the reign of Marcus Aurelius. After excavation, only a few parts of the Hercules statue were found. There is an assumption that the statue was never completed before its destruction.
Jordan Archaeological Museum
As our 3rd stop, we visited Jordan Archeological Museum, built on the Amman Citadel site in 1951. It presents the artifacts from Jordanian archaeological sites includes, including Pottery, ancient coins, statues, metals, and jewelry, etc. These artifacts dating back to prehistoric times to the 15th century AD. It took around one hour to admire these antiques.
While going to our last point on Amman Citadel, we had a quick and shortstop to look at the ruins of the Byzantine church which is dated back to the 5th to 6th century AD. We can see the pillars which used in the central part of the church. We can see a beautiful view of the cityscape behind these ruins.
Umayyad Palace Amman
Finally, we explored the Umayyad Palace, a large palace complex built over the Roman structure, which is thought to have been built in 724-743 AD during the reign of Umayyad Caliph Hisham. Today, the palace sees a steady stream of visitors who come for its archaeological significance and the panoramic views of Amman.
All the above places were at the same high place. After visiting these sights we again got on the bus and reached Roman Theater where we visited the theater which is known as Amman’s most famous archaeological artifact.
Roman Theatre is a 2nd century AD theatre with seating for 6000 peoples. It had a restoration work in 1990. There’s also a smaller theatre beside the main theater. Nowadays, the amphitheater is still used for concerts and other musical events.
An entry fee of 2 JD and free with Jordan Pass.
Beside the entrance of the Theater, we visited two museums which were the Jordanian Folklore Museum and the Jordan Museum of popular traditions.
Jordan Museum of Folklore
It is established in 1971, The Folklore Museum of Costume and Fashion was established in the eastern part of the Roman Theatre in Amman, to collect Jordanian and Palestinian folklore from all parts of Jordan to protect and preserve for future generations. You can find it in the right direction when you enter the Theater Area.
Jordan Museum of popular traditions
It is also established in 1971 and you can find it in the left direction after entering into Roman Theater. This museum exhibits the Jordanian and Palestinian heritage in form of Dresses, traditional costumes, headdresses, and Jewelry. You can see the Mosaics of 6th century Madaba, Jerash, and Byzantine times in a dedicated room.
Seven Sleepers Cave
We had our lunch at Tawaheen Al Hawa restaurant which is considered one of the best restaurants in Amman and tasted many Jordanian dishes there.
After lunch, we visit the seven sleeper cave which was at a distance of one hour from Amman. The Cave of the Seven Sleepers is a historical and religious site in the suburbs of Amman. It is claimed that this cave housed the Seven Sleepers – a group of young men who, according to Byzantine and Islamic sources slept there for three centuries.
What we missed
We visited Amman in March 2021 when there was a strict lockdown in the county. So, we have very limited time when we start and end our day tours. We missed the Nightlife of rainbow street. Also, the Jordanian museum which is operational since 2014. We spent only one week in Jordan and by keeping in view the present situation we need at least one week for Amman city only. In addition, you can make day tours to Petra, Dead Sea, Madaba, and Umm Qais from Amman.