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Amman Travel Guide

About Amman

Amman, the capital of Jordan, is the Middle East for beginners. As one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world, it now finds itself as a cross between traditional Arabic sensibilities and Western commercialism.

Divided between western Amman, with its modern cafés, bars and malls, and eastern Amman, where traditional Jordanian culture is still deeply rooted, the best way to get a sense of it all is to take to the streets, starting downtown.

Amman’s historical heredity is embedded in the crumbling Citadel (Jabal al-Qal'a) and the ruins of the Temple of Hercules; the nearby archaeological museum joins the chronological dots together. Downtown also exposes its Roman roots with the imposing Forum and impressive Theatre.

This is a capital that charms the curious into simply wandering around, perhaps stopping for a na'na-flavoured tea.

Amman’s history is as rich as its ambrosial cuisine, which is sprinkled generously with outside influences. Whether it’s the olives and garlic of Mediterranean gardens, or Persian spices such as cinnamon and saffron, meal times are an event in themselves. Typically, they’re feasts of fresh mezze, mopped up with khubz (pita) and washed down with cardamom coffee.

Thousands of years old, Amman has managed to retain both its authenticity and its small town charm. It isn't uncommon to see luxury hotels shadow traditional coffee shops where elderly men still sit to play backgammon. Old Arabia can be found in the city’s souks, among its handmade crafts and Bedouin jewellery.

Founded on seven hills, urban creep means Amman now sprawls over about 20 surrounding mounds, but beyond its borders, explorers can get a real sense of Jordan by trekking the nearby jebels (hills) where flat roads are a rarity.

As one of the easiest cities to explore in the region, Amman allows visitors to get lost in a truly Middle Eastern experience.

Key facts

A digital image at https://illuminoto.com

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Featured Hotels


Four Seasons Hotel Amman

Undoubtedly the city's most luxurious hotel, the Four Seasons knows its place as it sits atop the highest of the Amman's Jabels (hills). Naturally, the hotel's signature service, beds and ambience are otherworldly, but you can't put a price on its wonderful views. Dead Sea mud treatments and salt scrubs are available in its spa and its run of excellent onsite restaurants might mean you don't eat anywhere else.

Corp Amman Hotel

Located opposite the Royal Cultural Centre, the Corp Amman Hotel has 108 rooms, so if there's nothing on across the road, it opens up ample bargaining opportunities for nabbing a knocked down price. Sleeping quarters approach apartment sizes, and each comes with a large TV, free Wi-Fi and soundproofed windows. The small gym and swimming pool is enough to keep guests primed during their stay, while the rooftop lounge is best at dusk.

Crowne Plaza Hotel Amman

At Crowne Plaza hotel, you can overlook the white city of Amman. International fast food restaurants, the main shopping area of Sweifiyeh, and the popular Gold Souk of Um Utheina are within walking distance. This 5 star hotel is an acclaimed destination for business trips, family visits and even solo travels to Jordan.

The Amman Pasha Hotel

Look past the floral bedspreads, and rise above the dodgy water pressure, and The Amman Pasha Hotel is a bit of a bargain. Leaning towards the hostel side of accommodation, rooms are clean and staff are friendly, and there’s a lovely roof terrace. The quirky café is adorned with stained glass windows, and Arabian carpets and onsite cooking classes are worth a few hours of your time. Toss up between rooms with views of the Roman Theatre or those away from the hubbub of the road outside. Breakfast is included.

ibis Amman

With a solid stamp of standardisation, ibis Amman works hard to provide perennial hotel needs: quiet rooms, decent beds and clean bathrooms. The location is central enough, while Wi-Fi and breakfast is included as part of the deal. Funky, Ikea-like furniture adorns the public spaces and staff are super helpful.

Toledo Hotel

Modern with a hint of faux-Moorish architecture, this moderately priced, 4-star hotel combines a great location with tasteful decoration and air-conditioned bliss. Under the shadows of some 5-star stalwarts, Toledo Hotel offers decent room dimensions, a restaurant that marries East and West, plus a spa with a lap pool, Jacuzzi, steam room and sauna.