Amman: Hustling, bustling, modern and historic!
Originally built over 7 hills, it has expanded to 19 and continues to grow!
Amman is a great place to start your holiday in Jordan. The Jordan Tourist Board (JTB) lists 99 ‘Things to do’ in Amman. And, of course there are more than 99, but I mention the number just to give you an idea of how great Amman is for tourists. Please don’t neglect this amazing city of contrasts.
I was very fortunate to be able to spend four days there in mid December. The weather was amazingly warm and I had to pinch myself to remember that it was indeed December. I did crazy things like: drive in downtown Amman, I got lost – I found the route, I got lost again – I found the route AGAIN!!!, I took taxi’s, I ordered food from a local bakery (and received free food – because the Jordanian’s are so lovely and hospitable!), I ate wonderful food at Books@Cafe.com, and found the most wonderful array of books there.
Aside from my 4-day experience, I feel it only fair to give you a few more ideas. I have randomly picked out 3 ‘must sees’ from JTB’s list. (and … here’s a piece of shameless bit of advertising: you can book your Amman and Jordan experiences through: Jordan History Tours !)
1. Climb the steps of the Citadel where you can see the remains of Ancient Rabbath-Ammon – one of Amman’s many historical names. If ruins are your thing, then you will find remains from Roman, Byzantine, and early Islamic periods. Plus you can see the amazing and vast Umayyad Palace while browsing the Citadel’s site. (#14 on JTB’s list)
2. Visit Iraq Al-Amir. Located a short drive outside of southwest Amman, this site is famous for it’s olive trees, springs and hillside caves dating back to the Copper Age. Whilst there, why not visit the Iraq Al Amir Womens Association. You can learn the art of olive oil soap making and other handicrafts and have lunch – it will be freshly made to order. (this one is # 21)
3. Taste Jordanian Coffee with local Ammanies! If someone you meet offers you coffee – try it! Enjoy the powerful kick of the local falvour-rich blend infused with cardamom. Coffee here is much more than a drink, it’s surrounded by customs and treated with reverence, so treat yourself to the experience. (# 24 on their list)
Come and try out Amman … it was the ‘getting lost’ that I mentioned earlier that really did it for me. It’s no longer a scary hustling and bustling city for me … it is actually somewhere I can appreciate and enjoy!