"Amman makes a unique destination as a city break, a stop on a multi centre or tailor made holiday, or on a guided tour."
As Jordan’s historic capital it marks the crossroads between Damascus, the Red Sea, Jerusalem and Mecca, and oozes ancient history to create the perfect holiday package. There you will find the famous hospitality of the Jordanian people, bustling places crammed with culture, such as Rainbow Street and historic landmarks like the Citadel. It is also within touching distance of the Dead Sea, offering visitors the chance to see the lowest land point on Earth. It is both a modern, cosmopolitan centre - home to tree-lined streets of elegant houses, cafés and shops - and an ancient city, evidence of which can be found all around with the remains of Neolithic, Ammonite, Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Nabatean, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman civilisations abounding. Together, these two different aspects of Amman combine to make an unforgettable city worthy of several days’ exploration.
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Amman is the administrative capital of Jordan, situated on top of the Jabal al-Qala’a hill, it combines modernity with a host of fascinating ancient ruins to create the perfect city break. Foremost of these are the series of Roman and Hellenistic ruins, along with the 8th century Unmayyad Palace complex, renowned for its grand dome. The city itself is located in the very heart of the country and has a population of around 4 million people.
With a warm Middle Eastern climate it guarantees hot summers and cool winters. The best time to visit is in the Spring and Autumn, when the temperatures sit in the high-teens and early-twenties and the city is not too hot. The hottest months are July and August when temperatures sit in the mid-to-high twenties, which can feel slightly stifling due to its inland location. The winters are generally cool, with the coldest month, January, averaging around 8 degrees.
History and Culture
Having been occupied for at least 5,000 years, it has been inhabited since the Bronze Age, with many artefacts found in the area demonstrating that the people there traded with Greece, Cyprus and Mesopotamia. It is the site of a great battle in the Bible, when King David of Israel destroyed the city after being insulted by the people who lived there. By the 3rd century BC it had come under the Ptolemies following the war of the successors and was named Philadelphia after one of the kings that rebuilt the city. It was subsequently conquered by the Romans and was ruled by Herod a client ruler in the area. Many Roman temples and amphitheatres were built during this time, which can still be seen to this day. The city then fell into disrepair, until the Arab Conquests of the 7th century when it became a bustling trading post again. The city then shrank again until the early 20th century when it became a crucial stopping point between Saudi Arabia and Damascus, eventually becoming the capital of Trans-Jordan and then Jordan in the 1940’s and 50’s.
A great place for people of all ages, it has a plethora of great activities for children to enjoy. Visitors should be sure to check out the Children’s Museum, which offers a multitude of interactive, fun and educational activities and is located in the Al Hussein Public Park. Older children are sure to appreciate the historical attractions in the area such as the Citadel, while boys will be especially enamoured by the cars on show in the Royal Automobile Museum. While the ancient Roman Amphitheatre is a stunning example of Roman architecture and sometime hosts performances and shows, ensuring it is the ideal place to soak up local culture.
Tours and Attractions
A vibrant and modern city, it combines ancient culture with a bustling cosmopolitan feel to create the perfect holiday package. No visit there would be complete without a trip to the ancient Citadel that contains attractions like the Temple of Hercules and the Umayyad Palace and offers stunning views over the surrounding area. Visitors can also take a tour to the Dead Sea, which is around 45 minutes’ drive from the capital and allows you to float on the salty waters and visit the lowest land point on the entire planet.
Considered as one of the more liberal Muslim capitals, it ensures that there are a great range of night-time activities for those who want to party. These are largely centred around Zahran Street, which runs through the heart of the city. This along with a smattering of pubs and gastro pubs means that there are plenty of places to have a quiet drink or dance the night away.
During your stay try shopping for artisan handmade goods, with items such as coffee pots, textiles and jewellery all readily available. The best place to purchase jewellery is the Gold Souk, which is located just of King Faisal Street, while handicrafts are most commonly found in the Rainbow Street area. There are also many shopping centres in Amman which stock Western fashion designers, while many streets also contain pop-up markets selling handwoven Bedouin robes and much, much more.