Amman City is the capital and most populous city of Jordan. It is among of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Amman is currently the political, commercial, and culture center of the country, and is considered to be the most westernized and liberated of all the Arab cities.
It is also a major tourist destination in the region, specifically popular with Gulf tourists.
Amman is situated on the northern part of Jordan. It has a total of 27 districts and bordered by Israel to the west, which is only an hour away from the city. East Amman is predominantly filled with historical sites that host frequent cultural activities, while the West Amman area is more modern, stylish, and holds the economic center of the city.
How to Reach (Transport)
By Plane – Amman is served by the Queen Alia International Airport. It handles over 12 million passengers per year, offering both domestic and international flights, as well as serving as a base for the military. The airport is located 30 km from the city center.
By Bus – The Tabarbour Bus Station is the main bus station serving the city. It’s located on the northern outskirt of the city, offering bus routes mostly to the north of Jordan. Buses to and from Israel are frequent, with most routes offered by the JETT (Jordan Express Tourist Transport). In the city, minibuses and jitneys are abundant, which are mostly used by the working majority.
By Train – Train services to and from Damascus are available twice a week through the Hejaz Railway.
By Taxi – Taxis are abundant in Amman, with different colors serving different purposes. White taxis are shared – they follow a certain route similar to buses; while the Yellow and Grey taxis are regular taxis that can be flagged down within the city.
By Car Rental – The car is the most popular mode of transportation in Amman. Since the city’s public transportation system lacks in modernization and reliability, residents use private cars to get around. Tourists are encouraged to rent cars, as some companies even offer free drivers when you avail of their car rentals. Stations can be found throughout the city that cater to car rentals only.
When to Visit
The best season to visit Amman is in spring, from the months of March to May. Spring in Amman is when the weather is at its most pleasant, as well as the best time of the year for the least humidity. The months of October to November are also great months to visit the city, as temperatures begin to be tolerable again after the summer season.
Culture (Fairs and Festivals) and Traditions
Amman Summer Festival – Held annually on July, the Amman Summer Festival is an event of cultural activities aimed at showcasing folk culture of the country. Musicians, dancers, and folk artists from all around Jordan, and even international performers highlight the national culture in concerts and performances.
Souk Jara – A popular yearly flea market, the Souk Jara is held every Friday from mid-May to early September on the street of Fawzi Malouf. In this bazaar, people get to see and buy antiques, crafts, clothes, art, food, local produce, and just about everything under the sun. Concerts, film screenings, and other fun activities are also held within the premises of the market.
Amman International Book Fair – Held every September, the Book Fair showcases over 1 million books published by over 220 publishing houses from 17 countries all over the world. Aside from the massive book fair, the event is also witness to 10 days of cultural activities, lectures, and workshops.
Points of Interest (Places to Visit)
Citadel aka Jabal al-Qal-a – The most popular tourist site in Amman, it is the area of the city that holds a good number of historic sites and monuments. Here, you get to visit the Temple of Hercules, the Byzantine Church, the Ummayad Palace, the National Archaeological Museum, and the Ammonite-era Watchtower.
Roman Ampitheater – The one place that tourists must visit when they come to Amman is the Roman Theater. This historic site was built during the reign of the Roman empire in the region. The theater can seat a total of 6000 people and was recently reconstructed to host productions in the summers.
Jabal Amman – This area of Amman is renowned for its historic buildings, monuments, and early 20th century architecture. Today, it is the home of many souks, museums, cafes, and charming little shops.
Because Amman is a major tourist destination in the region, it offers a wide array of accommodation facilities that cater to every kind of tourist. For people on a budget, hostels and hotels with dorm accommodation are popular. The Cliff Hostel and Farah Hotel are popular choices for backpackers. On the other end, luxury hotels such as Four Seasons Amman and Sheriton Amman are available for those who want to splurge.