Visiting Jordan has been on our bucket list for quite some time. This part of the world always fascinated us and we knew that Jordan would be the perfect first stop on a trip to the Middle East.
Back in December of last year, we started chatting about where we’d like to visit in 2019 and we both agreed that the Middle East was next on the list. We booked the flights later that month and the plan was to fly into Beirut, fly out of Tel Aviv 3 weeks later and take in as much as possible in between.
We planned for 3 days in Amman as we figured that it would be plenty of time to see all of the highlights and it would be a great stop to get familiar with Jordan before moving on down to Petra, Wadi Rum and Aqaba.
And we made the right choice as it was the perfect amount of time to see and experience all of what Amman has to offer.
Here’s what we did in 3 days in Amman;
Located in the middle of Downtown Amman, you will find the Citadel. Home to the ancient site of Rabbath-Ammon, the Citadel is surrounded by a wall that has been rebuilt many times. Rebuilding took place during the Bronze Age as well as the Iron Age, Roman, Umayyad, and Byzantine periods too.
One of the most amazing parts of the Citadel has to be the Temple of Hercules and, of course, the Ummayad Palace. While many visitors to the area do not expect to see the Roman influence, these iconic structures help to give the area a fascinating history.
Have a gentle stroll around the Citadel as you’ll no doubt want to take it all in. Don’t forget to bring water, sunscreen and plenty of snacks as there’s a lot of walking involved.
When you visit the Citadel you may want to jump in a taxi as the road up to it is quite steep. However, we recommend that you walk back as the views are nothing short of stunning. Once you’ve visited the Citadel you could take a walk around Amman’s Downtown area as it’s quite an interesting place to be.
The Roman Amphitheater
Another destination we thought was well worth visiting was the Roman Amphitheater. The theatre has been restored and is quite something to look at.
Cut into the hill on the northern side, the Amphitheater can seat 6,000 people and is the ideal place to be as the sun starts to set.
Built around the 2nd Century AD, the theatre was built on 3 tiers and those who used the theatre had a particular place to sit depending on who they were. The local rulers were sat at the front. The military was sat in the middle, and the public was sat right at the top.
When you visit the Roman Amphitheater you’ll no doubt find that it’s quite awe-inspiring. However, it could be just that little bit more inspiring if those who restored it during the 1950s had used original materials. This does mean that some of the reconstruction is not quite accurate but it doesn’t take away from the fact that this Amphitheater is just stunning and it makes for a great backdrop for photos.
It gets super hot at midday so we recommend visiting the Amphitheater during the evening. Not only will it be a bit cooler during this time of day but you’ll get some great views and that beautiful golden sunset glow.
Located approx 45 minutes away from Amman, Jerash is found north of Jordan and has been inhabited since the Bronze age. With a mixture of Greco-Roman influence along with a touch of the oriental, this city was a major surprise for us.
The Festival of Culture and Arts takes place in the summer months and it’s a special time when the whole city enjoys theatrical performances, music and folk dance. We didn’t get to experience this but I’d imagine it’s the best time to visit the city.
The area has some very nice restaurants such as Artemis and Nowwara if you’re hungry after exploring. And, if you would like to enjoy something slightly adventurous, we recommend you visit the Dibbin Forest Reserve. This reserve is home to endangered animals and is perfect if you want to enjoy a picnic or a hike.
Jerash is just a taxi ride away from Amman and when you arrive you’ll see Hadrian’s Gates welcoming you. Full to the brim of Roman ruins, you should expect to spend at least half of a day here and don’t forget to take an extra battery for your camera as you’ll need it!
We also spent a whole afternoon at the Dead Sea but I want to write a full post on that as there are lots of things you should know when taking a day trip to the Dead Sea from Amman.
Where we stayed in Amman
We stayed in the Liwan Hotel in Amman for 3 nights and it was the perfect base to have. This hotel has quite a relaxed atmosphere and an oriental-style to it, and it was a haven to come back to after hours of wandering around the city.
The location is great and the Citadel and Amphitheatre is just a short UBER ride away. There are also lots of nice restaurants and shops within walking distance too if that’s what you’re looking for.
Do not arrive in Jordan without booking your Jordan Pass online. Trust us; you’ll save a small fortune and lots of time when it comes to queuing to get into sites like Jerash and Petra.