If you crave an authentic Middle-Eastern experience, Amman will quench your thirst. Young and thriving, this one place that is forever buzzing with the urban and not so urban aspects. A beautiful melange of the earthy and the contemporary, the city does not cease fascinating you. Rightly so, it is also referred to as the modern and ancient capital of Jordan. Its beautiful topography atop mountains and hills, with a desert on one side and the fertile Jordan valley on the other, renders to the picturesqueness of the capital.
The urban part of the city is an energetic mishmash of swanky buildings, smart restaurants, 5-star properties along with art galleries, traditional coffee shops and quaint tiny artisans' workshops. However, as you explore the city you are likely to encounter several evidences of Amman’s history. Speaking of which, you must know that this is a city which has been continuously inhabited. Thus, justifying its being of one of the oldest cities of the world.
The temperate climate of Amman has been one of the biggest purpose for its flourishing civilization. As you hit the roads of this long-established metropolis, you are subject to sights of tree-lined streets with avenues of white, symmetrical houses and elegant structures with a rather interesting municipal law stating that every construction must be clad with local stone, hence, executing uniformity throughout the city. This against a backdrop of the remnants of the bygone civilization, is simple breath-taking! Like every old city, this one too, has two parts, a modern one and a downtown one. The downtown part is where you will get to experience the authenticity of Amman, with traditional businesses. From handicrafts, kebab stalls roasting succulent meat, besides coffee stalls to jewellery that will leave you smitten and mundane household items. Plus, the locals will further enlighten you about every product warmly, taking pride in their customs.
All in all, Amman promises a rustically primitive experience accommodating a modern vibe, just rightly.
Essential travel information and Amman tips for your visit
- Time Zone: Eastern European Time Zone; UTC +2, +3
- Currency: Jordanian Dinar (JOD)
- Electricity and Internet: The voltage is 230 V/ 50 Hz. Internet in the form of wi-fi is available at most of the hotels, restaurants and places of interest.
- Languages: Arabic is the official language in Amman, albeit English too is widely spoken.
- Security: Dial 4622090/93 for fire brigade, 193 for ambulance and 192 – 191 for police.
- Off-beaten Path: Little Petra and the Neolithic Village is a must-visit, if crave to do something offbeat.
- Tipping: A 10-20% tip of the bill is appreciated, however, not customary.
- Scammers operate in tourist areas.
- Solo women travellers need to be extra careful from persuaders that will promise marriage or companionship, apart from their belongings.
- Be vigilant when using ATMs.
- The narrow and crowded streets of Amman’s city centre, especially the older parts are more prone to opportunistic thieves.
- Bear in mind that you need to respect the Jordanian, Arab and Muslim culture in Amman.
- Dress modestly
- Avoid public display of affection.
- Shaking hands and elaborate conversations with strangers is absolutely normal here, with inconsiderate personal space.
- Always ask for photography permissions here.
The best tours and activities in the city, guided by experts to give you a local insight to the best of Amman
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