Underrated Things to Do in Amman – Full City Guide – Curls en Route
Amman is hands down my favorite city that I visited in 2022, and if you’re planning a trip to Jordan, then you’ve come to the right place. I put together this guide, compiling the best things to do in Amman (underrated activities and hidden gems included). The guide also covers transportation, accommodation, food, and much more.
But first, why Amman?
I’ve had Jordan on my radar for so long but I was more excited for the desert adventures – I didn’t have much expectations of Amman itself, to be honest. Surprisingly, from the minute I set foot out of the airport, the good energy came rushing in, stealing my heart right away.
The thing I loved the most about Jordan’s capital is that it’s a very aesthetically pleasing city to walk around –or “hike” to be more accurate with my wording. There’s always a surprise in every corner or staircase – be it a mural, a pretty building, or a breathtaking view.
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Top 8 Things to Do in Amman
#1 Go for a walk around the city
Yes, that’s right! Exploring the city on foot is one of the best things to do in Amman. As I said, it could be a very pleasant experience – from street art to breathtaking views, there’s always a surprise on every corner. Plus, it could be a great way to familiarize yourself with the city on day one, which is something I usually do whenever I go to a new destination. By day three, I was able to navigate my way without having to use Google Maps!
Here are some of my favorite areas to go for a walk:
- Al Weibdeh
- Rainbow street
- Some parts of Al Abdali (those closer to Downtown and Al Weibdeh)
#2 Walk Around Rainbow street
Speaking of pleasant walks, you need to go explore the famed Rainbow street! It’s one of the very few spots in the city that is walking-friendly as it’s flat and also aesthetically pleasing. There are lots of rooftop cafés and dining options in the area too, so it’s a win-win whether you go during the day or in the evening.
#3 Explore Al Weibdeh
If you’re an artsy person, then you’ll definitely enjoy a stroll around Al Weibdeh, which is hands down one of Amman’s coolest neighborhoods.
There are lots of small shops, coffee shops, murals, and a few hidden gems here and there. It’s a quiet, urban addition to the city away from the hustle and bustle. It’s also where you’ll most likely find other expats hanging out, along with the local thinkers and artists.
#4 Catch the sunset at the Amman Citadel
The highlight of things to do in Amman is definitely visiting its iconic citadel, which is probably on your list anyway. But did you know it’s one of the best places to witness a beautiful sunset too?
Skip the morning queues and head there a couple of hours before sunset. You’ll have enough time to explore the archaeological site, snap a few shots for the gram, and take in the magical golden hour.
- Jan – Mar (8:00 – 17:30)
- Apr – mid-May (8:00 – 19:00)
- Mid-May – Aug (8:00 – 20:00)
- Sep – Oct (8:00 – 18:30)
- Nov – Dec (8:00 – 17:00)
#5 Visit the Old Signs of Amman Museum
One of the city’s hidden gems, located in Downtown, is the Old Signs of Amman museum, also known as the Armat Museum.
As the name suggests, the place displays a wide collection of old shop signs from the streets of the Jordanian capital, that date back to 40 years ago. The purpose of this non-profit project is to preserve an integral part of Amman’s history and identity. If you’re a vintage lover, then this place is definitely worth a visit!
#6 Visit the Duke’s Diwan
If you fancy a trip back in time, then the Duke’s Diwan is definitely one of the coolest things to do in town. Situated in the heart of Downtown Amman, the Duke’s Diwan is the capital city’s oldest building open to the public.
It was first built in 1924 as Amman’s very first post office, which later became the main office of the Ministry of Finance. Then in 1948, it was turned into Haifa Hotel. Fast-forward around 50 years later, it was bought by the Duke of Mukheiheh, Mamdouh Bisharat –hence, the name.
The building, the furniture, the interiors, and even the doors and windows at the Duke’s Diwan are well-preserved and pretty much untouched. It’s both aesthetically pleasing and an interesting look back at traditional Jordanian houses.
#7 Explore West Amman
West Amman is a lot more modern than the Eastern part of the city. It’s not that it’s any prettier, but it’s just different and it’s interesting to get to see another side of the city. One of the nicest places I’ve stumbled upon was Swefieh Village, which is a cool urban outdoor space for shopping dining, and entertainment.
Other Touristy Things to Do in Amman
If you still want to do the whole touristy thing, there are still more sites and attractions you could visit such as:
- The Roman Theater
- The Jordan Museum
- King Abdullah Mosque
- Al Husseini Mosque
Best Restaurants in Amman
The Levant is known for its mouthwatering cuisines, and due to their shared similarities, there are some differences. And since Lebanese food is one of my all-time favorite cuisines, I found it interesting to try out Jordanian cuisine too.
Actually, one of the best things to do in Amman is to explore the culture through its traditional dishes. But before we delve straight into my restaurant recommendations, here’s a list of all the foods you must try when in Jordan:
- Chicken liver
Street Food in Amman
- Hashem (Downtown)
- Falafel Al Quds (multiple branches)
- Shawerma 3a Saj (multiple branches)
- Shawerma Reem (multiple branches)
- Kebdet Nofal (Downtown)
- Gawharat Al Ordon Bakery (Downtown)
Nice Restaurants in Amman
- Sufra (Rainbow street)
- Book@Café (near Rainbow street)
- Old View (near Rainbow street)
- Oliva (Italian) (Al Weibdeh)
- Dali (Al Weibdeh)
Best Coffee in Amman
- Manara Arts & Culture (Al Weibdeh)
- Rumi Café (Al Weibdeh)
- Puffs Coffee Bar (multiple branches)
- Bun Bun (Swefieh Village)
Best Desserts in Amman
- Habibah Sweets (Downtown)
- Patisserie Fayrouz (Al Weibdeh)
- Gerard’s Ice Cream (multiple branches)
- Marmalade (multiple branches)
- Wonderland Ice Cream (Swefieh Village)
Where to Stay in Amman?
Budget Stays – Best Hostels in Amman
- The Cabin (This is the hostel I stayed in and I highly recommend it. You can check out my full review here.)
- Nomads (I also stayed there but at the branch in Wadi Musa and I loved it.)
- Battuta Hostel (formerly known as The Wanderers)
Mid-Range Hotels in Amman
Luxury Hotels in Amman
How to Get Around?
The best to commute in Amman is via Uber or Careem, or a regular taxi only if the meter is working. Renting a car in the city isn’t really practical as it’s not cost-efficient and it’s also not easy to find a parking spot. On the other hand, Ubers are pretty cheap in there – most of the time, it’ll only cost you around JOD 1-2 for a ride.
My GOLDEN tip? If it’s a walking distance, WALK IT! As I previously mentioned, Amman is a very scenic city. And even though walks around the city can be rather strenuous, it’s a great workout. Trust me, you won’t regret it, and if you’re a photographer, you’re welcome!
Day Trips From Amman
Jordan is a small country, and given that Amman is quite central, it’s in close proximity to plenty of destinations that are worth exploring. So, if you ever feel like renting a car, or hiring a driver, to embark on a new adventure beyond the capital, here are a few ideas:
- The Dead Sea
- Wadi Mujib
- Madaba, Mount Nebo, Wadi Mujib, and the Dead Sea.
Don’t Forget Your Travel Insurance!
Travel (solo or not) isn’t always rainbows and butterflies – things might go down south sometimes. You might fall ill or lose your luggage, and that’s when you’ll thank me for having your back covered with travel insurance.
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Nadine is an Egyptian curly-head who decided to quit the norm because it just doesn’t suit her. She ditched her 9-5 as a magazine editor to pursue her dream of becoming a full-time digital nomad and to inspire aspiring travelers to embark on their own solo adventures.