Amman has one of the strongest contrasts between the old and the new that we have ever seen. It hosts the Roman Temple of Hercules and the 8th-century Umayyad Palace complex in the Citadel but also has modern high rise apartments and bars. We were only there for 24 hours but we squeezed in as mush as we possibly could to get the most of this strikingly divergent city.
We stayed at the Amman Marriott Hotel in the modern side of the City but we did our exploring in downtown Amman.
We started the day at the Citadel which host stunning view over Amman as the highest peak. We never expected the city to be so striking but its hills are covered with white-washed houses and the vibe of the city echos for miles. Up in the Citadel you are removed from the bustling streets below and taken back thousands of years. You can wander around the Roman Temple of Hercules with no restrictions and the 8th-century Umayyad Palace with its dome roof.
Top Tip: Get a taxi up here, its quite a hill!
After you have had your fill of ancient ruins its time to get down and dirty with the locals. Head down to old town as there are a number of markets to explore, the vibe is electric throughout with locals shouting, mopeds beeping and loud Arabic music beating right through. You’re are thrown into a stereotypical Middle Eastern City and it is thrilling.
Top Tip: If you do feel as if you need a break from the hustle and bustle don’t forget to head to the impressive Roman Amphitheater!
Now by this time you will have worked up a rather healthy appetite, as we said Amman spans over numerous hill so it’s not a nice stroll in the park getting around! Pair that with the fact you will have had to do some vigorous bartering in the markets (Jordanian’s are no soft cookies) its time to head to Rainbow Street.
Rainbow street has a much more modern vibe with numerous western restaurants, bar and ‘clubs’. It has a wide variety of cuisine to pick from, but as it’s your first day here, stick with Jordanian! We ate at Nabteh O Fatteh and it did not disappoint! Now, it’s still Jordan so don’t expect Rio Carnival type scenes, but if you’re looking for a fun-frolicking evening this is your best bet!
Amman is a fantastic place and it throws you in at the deep end straight away. It’s a vibrant city and a place that cannot be missed if in Jordan. The locals are warm, kind, proud and eager to tell you all about their country. Amman has seen a huge decline in tourism since the start of the war in Syria but we did not feel threaten in anyway and it is truly heart warming to hear how lovingly they speak about the Syrian refugees who have arrived in their homeland.