The capital of Jordan has an abundance of ancient charms and interesting places to visit. This human settlement, which today is home to more than four million people, is one of the world’s oldest cities. One of the cradles of civilisation where a wander through its many winding streets is akin to an exciting journey back in time, where vestiges of the most important civilisations in the history of humanity are etched in the city’s walls. These are some of them.
Almost 40% of the country’s population live in Amman, one of the most liberal and westernised cities in the region. A city connected to today’s modern world but strongly marked by the weight of history and the civilisations that have passed through it. Greeks, Romans, etc. so it comes as no surprise that, according to legend, you can arrive at the place where Jesus Christ was baptised, the Jordan River, in less than 45 minutes by car.
To start soaking up the city’s atmosphere, the first place on your list should be a visit to the magisterial Amman Citadel. Its walls and streets have witnessed the birth of the principal monotheistic religions, with buildings from the Roman, Byzantine and Umayyad periods still visible today. The Jordan Archaeological Museum is also located here and displays artefacts and sculptures dating back thousands of years. Highlights include the anthropomorphic ‘Ain Ghazal Statues dating to between 6000 and 8000 B.C, considered to be some of the oldest human statues ever found, the Roman Temple of Hercules (2nd century A.D) and the Byzantine Church.
From the Citadel you can see another of Amman’s famous landmarks, the Roman Theatre built into the hillside. It’s one of the Roman legacies to the city, with seating for 7000 people, and is still used today for cultural and musical events. Just to the left as you enter the amphitheatre is the interesting, yet small, Museum of Popular Traditions in Amman that was founded in 1971.
The Amman Souk is just a 15-minute walk from the amphitheatre, but it more resembles European shopping districts than those in Marrakesh or Istanbul. The Al Husseiny Mosque and the Jordan Museum are also worth a visit to help in understanding the country’s past, present and future.
On your tour of the city among the historical ruins and crowded neighbourhoods you’ll surely spot the figure of an imposing building that stands out from the rest. The impressive, majestic Le Royal Amman Hotel ***** is the most iconic hotel in the city due to its extraordinary architecture and one of the best places to relax and unwind before starting another adventure in the country, maybe to the magical city of Petra. A hotel with all the charm of the Arab world topped off with European quality and luxury. In short, the best service and food in Jordan with the BlueBay Hotels seal of approval.