Amman was the first stop of our adventures in Jordan. We arrived late at night so we took an Uber to our hotel located in the heart of downtown Amman. We stayed at Art Hotel Downtown, a great place specially if you are on a budget.
The city was built in its seven hills where you can find a mixture of old and modern. It’s a busy city so don’t mind the constant horns from the cars or the calls to the prayers that echoes through the entire city, it might even wake you up during the night!
We started our day by walking uphill to the Citadel, a historical site that was occupied by many civilisations, from the Roman, the Byzantine to the Umayyad periods. It sits on one of the highest hills in Amman, hence the amazing views over the entire city. There are many historical ruins to see, the Temple of Hercules and the Umayyad Palace are the most well known.
After this, we started going downhill towards the Roman Theatre, which has a sitting capacity of 6,000 seats. On the way down we passed through a residential area with very narrow streets filled with kids going back home from school. Make sure you go up the stairs at the theatre where you can rest and catch your breath.
We decided to have lunch at Books @ Café. At the entrance you can find a great selection of books (for the book worms out there). Upstairs there is a lovely terrace with great views. We had an amazing Musakhan Flat for lunch, something like a pizza crust made of Taboon Bread with chicken and sauteed onions.
Afterwards we went for a stroll around the city. One of my favorite things to do while traveling is to just get lost. You can’t imagine the amount of beautiful places you will find just by walking around with no fixed plans. This is when we found the coziest place to chill out and smoke shisha, Zajal Café.
For dinner, we went to Hashem Restaurant, the best place to have a falafel in Amman, oh boy and was it good! You just have to find a table and they will bring you everything. Needless to say that the food was delicious and it was our cheapest meal in the entire trip, just 4,50 JD.
On our second day, we went to King Abdullah I Mosque, the only mosque in Amman that allows non Muslims to visit. It has and impressive blue dome and the entrance fee is only 2JD. Women have to cover their hair but don’t worry headscarves and abbeyas (to cover arms and legs) are available at the entrance. To enter you are also required to take your shoes off. Make sure you don’t go during prayer time!
Back at the city center, we wandered the streets of the Souq. Such chaos and at the same time, such beauty. On the sidewalks and on the alleys you will find all sorts of stuff to buy: jewelry, food, clothing, electronics, chickens, you name it! I can’t find the right words to describe this place so have a look at the pictures below.
After all the walking we had lunch at Wild Jordan Café, a place with stunning views over the city. We had Dibeen Chicken Shawerma (saj bread, chicken, tahini sauce, pickles, roasted potatoes) and Mushakan Rolls (saj bread, onions, sumac and chicken, cucumbers and yogurt) for lunch. Hungry already?!
Later we went to Jafra Café to drink some tea and smoke shisha. You’ll love this place, you will feel immersed in the Jordanian world. For dinner we went to Sufra Restaurant, a very lovely restaurant. Here we tried the Fatayer Jibneh (pastries stuffed with white cheese and parsley), Kufta (minced meat with tahini sauce and potatoes), Mufarakeh Billahmeh (minced lamb meat with eggs and potatoes), just delicious!
And these were our 2 full days in Amman. We didn’t get the chance to enter the Husseini Mosque because it was prayer hour so make sure you take this into account. We loved the city, its friendly people and their delicious food.
Let me know if you are planing a visit soon, will be happy to offer you some insights!