In the heart of the Middle East, where history whispers through ancient stones and modernity paints its canvas on urban landscapes, Amman, the capital of Jordan, unfolds its enchanting narrative. Beyond the confines of conventional travel guides, this is an exploration into the soul of a city – a journey woven with threads of tradition, pulsating with the rhythms of modern life, and flavored with the warmth of Jordanian hospitality. As we embark on this odyssey through Amman’s streets, we’ll not merely uncover historical marvels or hidden gems; we’ll navigate the rich tapestry that makes Amman more than a destination—it’s a living, breathing story waiting to be unveiled.
Amman’s Timeless Charm: Unveiling the Iconic Landmarks That Define Jordan’s Capital
There’s a ton of stuff to do in Amman, Jordan that’ll keep you busy whether you’re there for a long weekend or a whole week. Since the main airport in Jordan is right here (Queen Alia International Airport), Amman is a perfect starting point for exploring the rest of Jordan and the Middle East. Plus, there are lots of cheap flights straight to Amman from different cities in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, so it’s a great option for a quick weekend getaway. In this article, we’ll talk about all the coolest things to see and do in Amman.
Amman Citadel – The Amman Citadel is super old, like thousands and thousands of years old. People have been living here since forever ago, like back in the day of cavemen. Different groups of people have taken over this place over time, like the Nabateans, Romans, Greeks, and a bunch of others.
Pigeon Market of Amman – The pigeon market in Amman is seriously one of the most bizarre things to check out. You can find it near Al Hashemi-street. The place is buzzing with excitement as vendors try to sell their pigeons. And get this, people aren’t buying them for dinner or anything, but for pigeon training! That’s some seriously quirky Jordanian hobby right there!
King Abdullah Mosque – The King Abdullah mosque in Amman is a pretty new building, built between 1982 and 1989. But let me tell you, it’s become one of the most impressive religious structures in the whole capital of Jordan. The late King Hussein built it to honor his father, and it’s seriously stunning.
Roman Amphitheatre – The roman theater on Taha Al-Hashemi St. in Jordan is one epic historical spot. And guess what? It won’t cost you a dime to get in! This ancient theater goes way back to 138-161 CE when Emperor Antoninus Pius ruled the Roman Empire. It’s mind-blowing because it’s literally carved right out of the rock on Jabal Al-Jofeh hill.
Jordan Archaeological Museum – The Jordan archaeological museum is this cute little museum inside the Amman citadel. It was built in 1951 and designed by this British architect named Austen Harrison. They’ve got all these cool artifacts from the region that tell the story of Jordan’s capital city throughout history.
Jordan Museum – The Jordan museum in Ras al-‘Ayn is like, the biggest museum in the whole country, ya know? It’s all about Jordanian history and culture, from way back in the day to today. But dude, the coolest thing to check out is definitely the Dead Sea scrolls exhibition. These scrolls are like super old documents from way back in the 3rd century BC, man.
Palace Of Qasr Al-Abad – Qasr al-Abad is like this super old palace from way back in 200 BC. It’s just chilling in the Wadi as-Ser valley, not too far from Iraq al-Amir, about 17km from downtown Amman. Honestly, not much is known about this place. Like, no one really knows why it was built or who even built it.
The Cave Of Seven Sleepers – Just like Qasr-al Abad, the cave of the seven sleepers is shrouded in mystery. It’s like a scene straight out of an Indiana Jones flick, with a bunch of sealed tombs that have these creepy little peepholes where you can catch a glimpse of a bone chilling collection of human bones.
Culinary Odyssey: Savoring Jordanian Delights in Amman
Oh man, you’ve gotta try out Jordanian cuisine! It’s like this awesome mix of flavors from the Middle East, North Africa, and the Mediterranean. And when you’re over in Jordan, make sure you don’t miss these top five dishes that are just famous over there.
Mansaf – Mansaf is a total must-have in Jordan’s food scene. Basically, it’s all about that juicy lamb cooked up in this sauce made from fermented dried yogurt, which they call jameed. They serve it up on a bed of rice, and to top it all off, they throw on some almonds and pine nuts. Oh, and don’t forget the side of salad and flatbread that usually comes with it. Yum!
Makloubeh – Makloubeh is like a superstar dish in Jordan and all over the Middle East. It’s basically a fancy dish with layers of rice, eggplant, potatoes, and your choice of chicken or beef. They are cooked together in a pot. Then, the big reveal happens when you flip it all upside down onto a fancy platter. The result? A crispy bottom layer that rules them all. To top it all off, you sprinkle some fried nuts on it and serve it with a side of creamy yogurt. It’s a real crowd-pleaser!
Falafel – Falafel is, like, a super popular grub on the streets of Jordan! They take chickpeas, herbs, and spices, mush it all together into little balls, and then fry ’em up real nice. You usually get your falafel in a pita bread, all decked out with lettuce, tomatoes, and this amazing tahini sauce. It’s like a veggie feast that tastes absolutely incredible!
Knafeh – Knafeh is this super delicious dessert that’s both sweet and savory. It’s made by shredding phyllo dough, adding cheese, and pouring this amazing syrup made from rose water and orange blossom water. Then, it’s topped off with some crushed pistachios and served warm.
Shawarma – Shawarma is a super popular food from the Middle East. They take these thin slices of meat, like chicken or beef, and marinate it real good. Then they cook it on a spit, and wrap it up in pita bread. They top it off with pickled veggies, hummus, and this bomb tahini sauce.