Jordan is one of the most touristic countries in this part of the world and one of the best relations with the United States. The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is on the banks of the Jordan River and borders Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Palestine, the Red Sea and the Dead Sea so it is in a great location for history buffs.
Amman is the capital of Jordan and the gateway to this country that many knew with the stellar appearance of Queen Rania in the magazine Hola! It is the city with the largest number of inhabitants and considering the Middle East it is quite liberal and quite westernized. So it is a city where the foreign tourist feels comfortable. Today it has become one of the most visited Arab cities, so here is all you can see and do in Amman.
Amman is in a valley area and was originally built on seven hills so the mountain profiles are still very characteristic Enjoy a semi arid climate so even in spring the temperature is close to 30 ºC. Summers are usually hot and winter begins when November ends. It is usually cold and it can even snow in a cold wave.
42% of the Jordanian population lives here and it is a population with a lot of immigration. There are descendants of Arabs and Palestinians and they keep coming. Much of its population is Sini Muslim and that is why there are many mosques. There are also Christians, although they are a minority. Amman it is a city of low buildings, except in the center that have been built some modern towers and with a lot of glass. Residential buildings are no more than four stories tall and often have balconies and porches.
There are western malls, shops, restaurants and bars everywhere so far away is to be a conservative site.
Amman is a city with centuries of history so it has a prehistoric chapter, also Greek, Roman, Ottoman, even British, until it achieved its independence. It has a good public transport system, recently renovated, so you can move by bus once you arrive at either of its two international airports. The main avenue of the city has eight roundabouts and although the traffic is chaotic, getting your bearings is relatively easy.
What are the tourist attractions in Amman? We can talk about the most important ones, which are the ones you should never miss: the Citadel, the Roman amphitheater, a Turkish bath, a spice shop, the Royal Automobile Museum, the Jordanian Museum, the Archaeological Museum and the Gallery. Nacional de Bellas Artes, for example. In addition to the day trips where our first destination is Petra.
The Citadel of Amman It is on the highest hill in the city, Jebel al-Qala'a, at about 850 meters of altitude. This hill has been inhabited since the Bronze Age and the citadel is surrounded by a wall that has been rebuilt several times in different historical periods and is 1700 meters long. Inside, what not to be missed is the Ummayad Palace and Temple of Hercules. This temple was built in the time of Marcus Aurelius and what remains of it reveals that it was a highly ornate temple.
The Umayyad Palace is a royal residential complex that was the home of the governor and was destroyed in an earthquake in 749 AD to forever remain in ruins. The huge audience hall in the shape of a cross and a wonderful ceiling that was rebuilt by Spanish archaeologists has remained. The tank with its ladder to the bottom and the column that measured the water level and the Byzantine basilica from the 15th century with its mosaics. There are audio guides to visit the entire Citadel, at JD XNUMX per hour.
El Anfiteatro Romano It has been restored. It is on the side of a hill and has capacity for six thousand people. It is believed to have been built in the 50nd century and has a sanctuary that housed the statue of Athena that is now in the National Archaeological Museum. It was restored in the late 'XNUMXs but no original materials were used so it doesn't look that good. The morning light is the best for taking photos and the sunset light, it is superb.
To relax a little we can visit a Turkish Bath. Here women bathe on one side and men on the other. There are hot or warm jacuzzis and also cold saunas. The experience is great and we relaxed a lot. Another good experience is visit a spice store. The aromas are incredible! You can smell, taste and buy unique spices to take home with you. You can also try a tasty Jordanian coffee, choose between a Turkish or a Saudi, taste the half, appetizers or tapas (falafel, hummus, tabbouleh, fattoush, olives ...).
El Royal Museum of Car reveals the history of Jordan from the 20s to the present. The cars are those of the previous kings, from King Abdullah I, founder of the kingdom, onwards. There is a 1952 Lincoln Capri, a 810 Cord 1936 and a 300 Mercedes Benz 1955SL. Tourists pay JD 3 and the museum is open every day except Tuesdays, from 10 am to 7 pm, although in summer the doors close at 9 pm
For his part, Jordanian Museum reveals the cultural history of the country through its rich heritage. It is in the center, in Ras al-'Ayn and if you are interested in the past, present and future of this Kingdom in the Middle East it is an interesting place. Be careful that it closes on Mondays. The Archaeological Museum It has exhibition halls, a conservation laboratory, many galleries and temporary exhibitions that also deal with the culture, heritage and history of this country.
In two or three days you can easily tour Amman enjoying its mornings, afternoons and nights. There are restaurants and clubs to dance, there are cafes and bars to relax, drink something fresh and feel part of the Jordanian city for a while. And of course, if it is your opportunity to meet Petra you will not miss it: a private tour lasts about 10 hours and leaves early, at 7 am Petra It is 225 kilometers away from Amman. Calculate about $ 200.
If you are not going on a tour you can take the bus and buy the ticket at the Petra Visitor Center in Wadi Musa, the closest city to the ruins, two kilometers away. You reach the ruins on foot or on horseback crossing high rock walls, the Siq. A day ticket costs 90 JD and if you stay longer, one night, it costs 50 JD. There are places to eat on site and with the entrance they give you a map to locate the entire complex. Sure you can bring your own food.
Do you want stay in Petra to sleep and continue the visit the next day? You have a camp, the Seven Wonders Bedouin Camp with beds from 22 euros per night per person, the Rocky Mountain Hotel with rooms from 19, 44 euros with Arab breakfast included or the Hotel Al Rashid, with breakfast and air conditioning and rooms from 16 euros , for example.
As you can see, with less than a week in Amman you have a good postcard from Jordan. I would add a few days in a spa on the shores of the Dead Sea to sing the lottery.