"Welcome to Jordan!"
While visiting some of the most hospitable people on earth, you will hear this phrase countless times throughout your stay in Jordan. This itinerary is geared toward those who are already planning on visiting Jordan, but may be dedicating more scheduled time to her more famous locales such as Petra and Wadi Rum. As your flight and "home" base will likely be out of Amman, you may be wondering what to do with your spare time in this highly underrated city. After living in Amman for 8 months, I fell in love with and never found a dull moment in Jordan's capital city. I have returned to Amman several times for work for a few weeks at a time, and this passion for Jordan only grows. This itinerary will provide travel to and from "must-see" activities and information on their historical and societal contexts within Amman.
While Western media often makes the Middle East seem unstable and scary, Jordan is arguably the ideal location to experience hospitable Arab culture and breath-taking ancient wonders. This itinerary provides advice on safely traveling around Amman and respectfully interacting with Jordanians.
This itinerary will feature activities exploring this interaction of the modern and traditional in contemporary Jordan. Visitors to this hospitable country will be exposed to the unique balance of historical traditions and a developing contemporary Jordanian identity. You will explore ancient Roman ruins nuzzled in Amman's hilltops, trendy cafes and shops in "Westernized" neighborhoods, and dine on delicious Jordanian cuisine. Many activities are under $5.00 or free!
The appendix provides cultural information on travelling to a Middle Eastern country, useful Jordanian Arabic phrases and directions, and food and transportation etiquette.
- Ancient ruins tucked in Amman's hillsides, such as the Roman Citadel and Umayyad Palace. As the ancient crossroads between the East and West, Amman has been continuously inhabited since the 13th century BCE.
- Detailed maps through Amman's hot pop culture neighborhood, Rainbow Street. Do you want to watch a Jordanian movie (with English subtitles), smoke shisha while enjoying a cold beer, or shop at the locals' favorite summer souq? This itinerary provides all of the details!
- Directions on where to find the best kunafeh - arguably Jordan's most delicious dessert. You won't believe it's mostly made out of village goat cheese!
Sample from the Itinerary
Explore the Roman Citadel Complex
"Prior to the creation of the state of Transjordan following World War I and the break-up of the Ottoman Empire, Amman was a sleepy village centered around the Roman ruins of the Citadel and the Roman Theater below. To get to this first destination, tell your cab driver "jabal al-qal'a fee wast al-balad."
The complex actually features ruins of the Roman city of Philadelphia, the Temple of Hercules, an arm of an old Colossus statue, and ruins of a palace complex from the Umayyad dynasty.
Additionally, Amman's Archaeological Museum is located in this complex, featuring artifacts from near-by prehistoric civilizations ('Ain Ghazal) and portions of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
To the left of the Citadel (picture on the left/top), you will see an amazing view of the Roman Theater downtown from the mountainside. Definitely take a picture, and stand in awe of Amman's complete expansive. The Umayyad Palace (picture on the right/bottom) can be found by making a sharp right once you are standing in front of the Citadel. Directly across from the Palace is one, solid ruined wall. This used to be one of the original Umayyad mosques, and the wall is all that remains. Once you go through the Palace gates, you will be led through a maze of crumbling walls and gorgeous arches. Get lost - it makes for a wonderful, whimsical experience."
- My e-mail address is provided in the itinerary, so feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need some quick Arabic help. I love Jordan, and I want you to as well!
- While you may not be able to fit everything in, you'll want to come back for more!