There are many interesting things to do in Amman. The capital of Jordan is a fun place to explore. Though most people who visit only spend 48 hours in Amman, you may want to stay a bit longer to fully appreciate it. This is a city packed with archeological sites, markets that are fun to explore, a thriving food scene and an even more thriving art scene. Add to this the easygoing atmosphere and the friendly locals, and you’ll want to stay!
Curious to find out more about this city? Keep reading!
17 Cool Things To Do In Amman
Visit the Roman theater
The Roman theater was likely built in the 2nd century AD, it resembles many other Roman theater: it is cut into the side of a hill (which was once a necropolis). The theater used to have a seating capacity of 6000 people.
TIP: The best views of the Roman Theater are from the Citadel. Make sure to go at sunset for the most impressive experience.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: The theater is located downtown. It’s open from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm Saturdays to Thursdays and 9:00 am to 4:00 pm on Fridays. Between April and October the site closes at 7:00 pm.
Wander Around the Jordan Museum
Located next to the City Hall, this museum is entirely dedicated to Jordanian culture and history. There are three permanent galleries – namely the Traditional Life Gallery, dedicated to the many ways of living in the country; the Modern Jordan Wing, focussed on the history of Jordan from the Great Arab Renaissance to contemporary times; and the Archaeological and Historical Gallery, dedicated to archeological finds including the Copper Scroll from the Dead Sea Scrolls.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: The museum is open every day but Tuesday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Friday opening times are from 3:00 to 6:00 pm.
Go to Amman Citadel
Located on the highest hill in Amman, Jebel al-Qala’a, at around 850 meters above sea level, this incredible archeological site counts many impressive buildings such as Umayyad Palace, built around AD 720 by the Umayyad Arabs and subsequently destroyed by an earthquake in AD 749.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: The Citadel is open from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm Saturdays to Thursdays and from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm on Fridays. Between April and October it closes at 7:00 pm (except on Fridays).
Take in the view of the Roman Temple of Hercules
Located inside the Citadel, I am sure you will enjoy even more admiring it from a distance. The remaining pillars can be seen from various places in town. Not far from the temple, there is a fantastic lookout from where you can instead get views of the modern city.
Visit King Abdullah Mosque
Also known as the Blue Mosque, King Abdullah Mosque was completed in 1989 and can house up to 10000 worshippers – 7000 inside and 3000 in the courtyard. There is a small section that can also house up to 500 women.
Women will have to cover their head before getting in – head-dress is available at the entrance of the mosque. Modest clothing is necessary – you’ll have to cover your arms, legs, chest and back. Abayas are available as well. All visitors need to remove their shoes before entering.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: The mosque is open Saturdays to Thursdays from 8:00 to 11:00 am and from 12:30 to 2:00 pm. Admission is JD2.
And Al Husseini Mosque
One of the best places to visit in Amman, it’s located in King Talal Street, close to the Souq Al-Sukar and the Souq Bukharia markets, the most famous in town. It was built in 1932 on top of a 7th century mosque. The site is open to tourists but you have to be dressed modestly.
Enjoy Amman art scene
The Jordanian capital has a truly artsy heart so make sure to appreciate its street art! Murals are spread around town. The best place for art, however, is Darat al-Funun, on the hillside to the north of downtown Amman. This complex includes an art gallery with exhibits of the most prominent contemporary Jordanian artists. To top this off, the views from there are breathtaking.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Darat al-Funun is open from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm Saturdays to Thursdays. It is closed in August and during public holidays. During Ramadan it closes at 3:00 pm.
Explore Jabal Amman
Close to the center of town, this neighborhood takes its name from the hill where it is located and is the capital’s main hub of cultural life and art, with plenty of art galleries, book shops and a nice bohemian feel. It’s where you’ll find Rainbow Street.
Go to Jadal for Knowledge and Culture
To fully appreciate the cool vibe of the city, go to Jadal for Knowledge and Culture. This is a great combination of a café, art gallery, and a place for education. It is located in a traditional house dating back to 1933 and renovated a few years ago. You can get there from the Kalha Stairs that connect Downtown with Jabal L’Wiebdeh.
The area is a cool one to explore, as it’s bursting with creative initiatives and start-ups.
At Jadal for Knowledge and Culture visitors can take art and language classes and foreigners can enroll to learn Arabic. The center works alongside an NGO that helps refugees integrate in Jordan.
For yet more art, visit the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts
This small museum has a nice collection of 2800 works that include paining, but also sculptures and photos from artists from 60 countries, though most would be Jordanian. It regularly hosts workshops, seminars and other cultural events. Check the calendar to see what’s on and plan to attend!
Discover Duke’s Diwan
This historic townhouse was built in 1924 and was used as a post office. It then became the seat of the Ministry of Finance; and finally a hotel. The house belongs to a local businessman who’s also the Duke of Mukhaybeh. He restored it to its original splendor, with period furnishing, and opened it to the public to appreciate it. It’s a lovely place, with a unique, vintage atmosphere. You may even be lucky to meet the Duke in person as I was!
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Duke’s Diwan opens at 8:00 am and closes at dusk.
Walk along Rainbow Street
One of the things to do in Amman that you really should not miss is a walk along Rainbow Street. This lovely street is lined with Ottoman architecture, and street art abounds. This is also where you should hang out for the best nightlife in town.
Al-Balad is located in the old downtown, just below the citadel, and it is a great place to explore with nice historical shops, cafés and restaurants – it’s probably the best place to look for souvenirs to take home with you.
Stuff your face with hummus and falafel at Hashem restaurant
Amman is a great food scene. For hummus and falafel head straight to Hashem Restaurant, literally a local legend. This small restaurant is located in the downtown area is open 24/7. There’s no menu – a waiter will come to take your order and clarify that all the food is vegan and that each item costs 1 Jordanian Dinar (JD).
It’s very convenient and incredibly tasty – you are likely to have the best falafel of your life. A meal of falafel, hummus, baba ganouj, olives and pita, a bottle of water and a mint tea will cost around 4 JD, about $ 5.6 USD and will be enough for two.
Eat at Al Quds
For a more complete meal head straight to Al-Quds – that’s the Arabic name of Jerusalem, so ask anybody where the Jerusalem Restaurant is and you will be pointed there.
It is a very matter of fact place with waiters that may at time appear abrupt, but food is good and the atmosphere easy going and very local. There is an English version of the menu but this must have been a literal translation put together with Google translate as it hardly makes sense.
Go on a day trip to Jerash
Jerash is the perfect place for a day trip from Amman, located about 1 hour drive north of the city. It has some of the best preserved Roman ruins in the Middle East. At its peak, its population grew to more than 20000 people.
Spend a day at the Dead Sea
Depending on the exact beach you want to go to, it takes little over one hour to drive from Amman to the Dead Sea, where you can spend a day relaxing in the mud baths, baking in the sun and floating in the Dead Sea.
For ease, I recommend joining a guided tour that will take you to one of the beaches where you can safely swim in trunks or bikinis. You may want to consider this tour which also goes to Madaba, one of the oldest cities in the Middle East, or this one.
Guided Tours Of Amman
To make the most of the city, you may want to consider joining a guided tour. I have selected the best for you!
- Amman sightseeing private tour – excellent half day tour to the most famous attractions in town, including the Citadel, the Roman theater and King Abdullah Mosque.
- Amman Day or Night Private Sightseeing Tour – a tour of downtown Amman going to all the most important sites.
- Amman: Private Car & Downtown Walking Tour – a downtown but you can have the add on to go to the Citadel for an additional price.
- Private Street Food and Walking Tour of Amman – a great way of discovering Amman through its many flavors.
To make the most of Amman, you may also want to get a Jordan Pass, which gives you access to more than 40 attractions including Amman’s Roman Theater, the Citadel, Jerash, Ajloun, and Petra. The pass also acts as a visa waiver so that you don’t have to pay to get in the country. There are three Jordan Pass packages – the most basic one costs $99 USD and gives you a one day access to Petra. You can get the pass on the official website here.
If you are planning a longer trip to Jordan or the Middle East, make sure to read my other posts:
- Where To Stay In Amman
- 11 Amazing Places To Visit In Jordan
- The Best Travel Tips For Jordan
- 13 Things To Know Before You Visit Petra, Jordan
- A 3 Day Itinerary For The Jordan Trail
- The 10 Best Places To Visit During A Trip To Israel
- 29 Things To Do In Jerusalem You Can’t Miss
- 21 Absolutely Unmissable Things To Do In Tel Aviv
- A Guide To The Things To Do In Haifa, Israel
- 17 Truly Unmissable Things To Do In Eilat, Israel
- Everything You Need To Know To Hike The Jesus Trail
- What You Should Know Before Doing A Hebron Tour
- Everything You Need To Know Before You Visit Palestine