Hello to all readers. My name is Iva Znaor (@iva.znaor) and welcome to my travel article on Amman, Jordan. I grew up on the beautiful island of Krk in Croatia. For the last seven years I have been living and working in the city of Rijeka. I showed an interest and talent for art at an early age, which was quickly recognized by my father who is a professor of fine arts.
After graduating from art high school, I enrolled in the Academy of Applied Arts and graduated in photography. I fell in love with photography in college and got a desire to only do photography in my life. My primary job now is wedding photography, and my greatest passion is documentary and portrait photography of various people from my travels (especially Africa).
After my first trip to Kenya and Tanzania and getting to know the Maasai tribe, I got an indescribable desire to get to know as many cultures of this world as possible (and of course) capture everything with my camera.
Three Amazing Days in Amman
I have always wanted to see the wonder of the world – Petra. And I have to admit that before doing research, I didn’t know much about Jordan other than Petra. I was encouraged to take a trip there because of ridiculously cheap return airline tickets from Budapest to Amman for only 20 Euros.
My plan was Amman for two days, Petra for two days, Wadi Rum for a day, from Wadi Rum back to Amman for a day, and at the end of the trip a day at the Red Sea and the city of Madaba. All in all, I spent one week in Jordan.
I was in Amman for about three days. I should say that it was too short for me because I discovered that the atmosphere in this city was phenomenal! We arrived in Amman late in the evening and already in the taxi I decided to go to the hotel just to leave my bags and head back to the center.
We did an average of 15 kilometers in the city everyday. The first night we walked around the center and beautiful shops with traditional clothes, local food, spices, sweets, and since we were hungry we sat in the acclaimed Hashem restaurant and ate the best falafel and hummus in the world.
The next day we headed to the Jordan Museum. Along the way we met three guys who offered their help to escort us to the museum and were like our local guides. After the museum, we visited the Roman Theater and for the sunset the Amman Citadel Hill at the top of the city. After 17 kilometers, we sat in a local restaurant and tried some nice local specialties.
Highlights of My Amman Visit
Apart from the amazing culture that Amman offers, what thrilled me most about the city was the people. I have traveled a lot, but I have never met such kind and dear people who are ready to help at any given moment!
My favorite restaurant was definitely Hashem which is located in the center. Of all the shops, I liked the ones with traditional clothing the most. Of course, I chose a beautiful kaftan that I will keep for the rest of my life.
As mentioned, the Jordan Museum was a fantastic visit. I didn’t have high expectations, yet the Jordan Museum had a large and rich collection and much could be learned about the history of the people there.
I should also mention that when we visited the Citadel, we came across newlyweds having a photo session. Since my job is wedding photography, I asked if I could take a few photos (which the newlyweds agreed to).
They were so happy, honest and smiling – and they were willing to pose for me. The photos turned out great. I was overjoyed because they shared their most special day of their lives with me, even just for a moment.
Top 8 Things To Do in Amman
As you can tell by now, Amman is a city that offers a lot. Whether you decide to stay for a couple of days or base yourself here for a few weeks, you will never get bored of this Middle Eastern gem. Here are my suggestions of the top 8 things to do in Amman (listed in no particular order):
- Sit on top of the 6,000-seat Roman Theater
- Watch the sunset overlooking the city at the Citadel
- Eat local food with your hands (without a fork and knife)
- Visit one of the many museums like the Jordan Museum
- Spend an evening down Rainbow Street, try hookah and tea
- Walk around the city and explore the streets full of little shops
- Enter a mosque during prayer, especially if you have never visited
- Converse with the locals. Talk to them and get to know their way of life.
Unfortunately, most tourists bypass Amman when they come to Jordan but I think that is a big mistake. Anyone traveling to Jordan should stay for at least two nights to experience the incredible energy this city has to offer.
Recommended Stay at Gallery Guest House
The best location to stay is downtown. We booked our guest house on Booking.com and it was in the center above Hashem restaurant. Our host was kind and we had a great breakfast every morning. An overnight stay for two cost 30 Euros which is a great price for location, accommodation and service. The name of this guest house is Gallery Guest House.
Travel Tips for the Jordanian Capital
Amman is a Muslim city and therefore the dress code should be followed. Always carry a scarf with you and don’t reveal your body too much. Alcohol lovers will not be happy here. There is almost no alcohol and where you can purchase the drink it costs a lot. Tap water shouldn’t be consumed too.
If you eat with locals, don’t be surprised if they offer to eat from their hands – don’t refuse! The currency is the Jordanian Dinar and is 1.41 US Dollars. Amman is a very safe city and you will feel good there. Differences in temperature can be quite large, so it’s a good idea to bring layered clothing. But know one thing for sure – Amman will exceed all of your expectations!