Marhaba ala Amman!
Spread across seven hills, dotted with white houses, and surrounded by staggering scenery – Amman is one of the oldest cities in the world. Also known as The White City, the city beautifully bridges the gap between the mystical and the modern. The city houses hundreds of historical relics, cultural sites and is your gateway to Jordan’s must-see sights like Petra, the Dead Sea and Wadi Rum. 7 days in and around Amman will be more than enough to give you the needed introduction to the Middle East, its cultural heritage that can be seen in every street in Amman and the current development that the entire region is going through.
Today – Now
PLANNING & BOOKING
The dreaded part of any vacation - planning! Every savvy traveler knows that it’s always better to plan and book early in advance to bag those irresistible bargains. Not only do you get to save up to 25% on flight and hotel prices, but you also get to never settle for second-best! Lower flight prices, room deals and early bird discounts are only some of the many benefits of booking your tickets, excursions and accommodation early on. We recommend planning and booking 3 to 6 months in advance – a surefire way to have a worry-free pre-holiday buzz when the time to travel is near!
Unforgettable Moments - Amman
From the sprawling views from the top of Amman’s Citadel to the nearby site of Jerash, to floating in the Dead Sea and getting lost in one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Amman and Jordan feel like they’re straight out of a movie. Unleash the Lawrence of Arabia inside of you and get ready to see ancient ruins, Roman Temples, palaces, and historical neighborhoods that pulsate with an unparalleled energy.
Day 1: Arrival + Amman
Landing in Amman does not prepare you for the adventure you’re about to embark on in the next seven days. The airport looks modern, familiar (almost too familiar) and doesn’t give you a gist of what your trip is about to be like. That’s why we want you to get out of the airport as soon as possible! The fastest and most efficient way to get to the hotel is by using a taxi, as we don’t recommend the buses since they aren’t usually on time and take a lot of time to get to the center.
Welcome, welcome, and welcome to Amman or as the locals like to say…Ahla wasahla w marahaba ‘ala Amman! Now that you’ve dropped off your bags at your hotel, it’ll be time to fuel up for the rest of your day. Let us just tell you one thing here: You will be eating, and you will be eating a lot. Amman’s food is renowned around the Middle East for how good it is and no matter how big or small the restaurant you’re going to eat at is, the food will always be irresistible. Start your day by visiting the legendary Hashem Restaurant for the best stuffed falafles you’ll probably ever taste and sample some Jordanian snacks like the muttabal and hummus with a side of pita bread.
Once you’re filled up (hopefully not too filled up to walk), stroll towards Al Balad, the historic downtown that sits in the middle of the seven surrounding hills. Pop around local shops, learn about the country and its people, revel in the local atmosphere and don’t forget to put your bargaining skills to use!
Try the traditional Jordanian dishes called the mansaf and the makloubeh at Al Qudas, and don’t forget to leave some room for Arabic kunafeh from Habibah. With your stomach now satisfied, head over to Amman’s most famous attraction – The Roman Theatre. This magnificently restored edifice is the epitome of grandeur and will probably be the highlight of your Amman visit. Spend the afternoon exploring the theatre, the seats, and the gorgeous views during sunset.
You’ve got a long, hectic trip ahead of you, so we recommend having an early night in on your first day. Head over to Le Calle for some Italian food and cocktails, or opt for a chill night in!
Day Two: Amman
Start your morning by visiting Jabal Amman (don’t have breakfast just yet!), one of the oldest inhabited mountains in Amman. Jabal Amman itself is chockfull of art galleries, restaurants, bars and studios and it’s slowly becoming Amman’s cultural hub.
Grab a coffee and breakfast at the Wild Jordan Center, a center that offers scenic vistas of Amman from above with a gift shop, and incredible food. All the profits go straight to funding the ecotourism in the city.
Your first stop for the day will be the renowned Amman Citadel, one of the city’s top attractions and one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited places…Pretty cool, right? There’s more! The Citadel has been inhabited by all sorts of civilizations and culture from the Romans to the Byzantines and is an incredible reflection of many cultures intertwining together. Check out the Temple of Hercules, and then move over to the Umayyad Palace. Stand and simply taken in the dozens of minarets piercing the sky with the backdrop of the hills in the background.
Nearby is the Rainbow Street, a popular promenade in Amman that is filled with all types of shops you can ever imagine. From souvenirs to clothes, to home décor – there’s pretty much everything in this street. Grab some tea at Turtle Green and then enjoy some delicious shisha as the locals do at Talet Al Jabal.
For sunset, we recommend chilling at one of Amman’s many rooftop bars – specifically Cantaloupe or Sekrab.
For a little bit more history and culture, stroll around Al Lwiebdeh at night. The neighborhood is one of the oldest but is brimming with street art and cool shops. We recommend having a really early night in because tomorrow will be a really long and hectic day.
Day 3: Wadi Rum
Beyond the culture of Amman, you’ll find the inherent beauty of Wadi Rum, with a rich history, and an undeniable mystical allure. Wadi Rum defines what it feels like to be right in the middle of a quintessential desert and a trip to there is a surefire way to cleanse your soul and bring it back to basics. Everything about it is just so raw, and there’s something to be said about being right in the middle of the desert surrounded by scattered ruins, petroglyphs and inscriptions that date back to millions of years ago. Apart from the scenery, you’ll also get to enjoy an authentic cultural experience as you mingle with the nomadic Bedouins who live there.
We recommend renting a car with a driver to take you to Wadi Rum. The drive takes around 4 hours so we really recommend going there as early as possible so you can enjoy a full day there. We also believe that going with a tour (specifically if you’re going to visit for just one day) will help you get a better gist and feel of all the attractions there. There are multiple hiking routes there that range in difficulty. Look for the Lawrence Spring (where Lawrence of Arabia was filmed!), and check out the Khazali Canyon with its famed ancient inscriptions. Of course, make sure you explore the attractions on a camel!
If you want a little bit of adventure added to your trip then there’s no better place to do that other than in Wadi Rum. Indulge in a 4x4 adventure, go on a safari tour or even a rock-climbing adventure.
There’s something magical about deserts at night and before going back to Amman, spend some time gazing up at the clear Milky Way and having a delicious Jordanian dish under the stars amidst the desert.
Day 4: Petra Day Trip (overnight)
The lost Nabatean city of Petra is one of the most popular attractions around the world and is one of the main reasons people even visit Jordan. The excavations are still taking place, uncovering more of this straight-out-of-Aladdin place, and we recommend spending at least 48 hours there. People travel across the world to visit Petra, so if you’re in Jordan, it’s best to stay there for as long as you possibly can!
The park sprawls for over 100 sq miles, and is filled to the brim with famous sites, ancient temples, tombs and so much more. There is a town right next to Petra called Wadi Musa and since tourists aren’t allowed to stay overnight in Petra, this is where you’ll be staying for your fourth day.
If you’re looking for a more authentic experience, you can always opt for the Bedouin camps that are outside the parks.
Your first day will be a direct exploration of the most popular sights, so before you start your hike, grab a breakfast at Sanabel Breakfast and try to bring some more food to keep with you. Arrive at the park’s entrance at 8 am at the very latest and then start your walk towards Bab El Siq. The Bab El Siq Path will take you through some notable sights like the Obelisk Tomb and Djinn blocks and you can ride a horse around the sights and the treasury. As you walk after the treasury, you’ll reach the stunning (and naturally occurring) Siq. Spend some time there enjoying their organic curves, tombs, and richly colored walls.
Your next stop will be The Treasury where you’ll get “the” Petra photo. We’re talking a camel, dramatic backdrops, and a soaring ancient edifice in the background. Try to climb the stone stairs to the left so you can get the perfect dramatic views from the top.
You can grab lunch at Basin Restaurant and then explore the ruins of the Royal Palace and the Winged Lion Temple after. Once you’re a bit more energized, walk up to the Royal Tombs and go through the dramatic attractions on the way including the Sextius Florentinus Tomb, and Um Tomb.
If you still have any energy, schedule a cooking class at Petra Kitchen in the evening to learn how to cook some Bedouin dishes. After all, they say the best thing you can bring back home from your travels is a good meal! Try and have a really early night in, because you still have tomorrow at Petra!
Day Five: Petra
After you’ve had breakfast, take a taxi to Little Petra and start your hike towards the Monastery (very recommended to hire a guide because the trail is not marked!).
Unpack your lunch at the Monastery and indulge in some dramatic scenery of the Wadi Araba from above while savoring on some tasty food. Walk down until you set out to explore The Madras Mountains and Wadi Farasa for the rest of your afternoon. The trail will take you around 4 hours.
Don’t miss out the Petra by Night experience held every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday where The Treasury is all lit by candlelight with the tunes of Arabic music ringing into the air in the background. You can also visit the Cave Bar for a drink afterwards, and then drive back towards Amman.
Day Six: Jerash + the Dead Sea
Everyone knows that you can’t visit Amman without visiting the nearby Jerash and floating by the Dead Sea! Amman is close to so many incredible towns that would all be fighting for your attention throughout your one-week-stay but we recommend enjoying a short morning at Jerash, only 30 minutes away from Amman, to check out the famous Temple of Artemis. Dedicated to the goddess of hinting and fertility, this temple boasts incredible architecture, houses temple treasures, and is simply impressive!
Drive for one hour to the Dead Sea and expect to spend the rest of your day there. Being the lowest point on earth, and brimming with minerals, swimming in the Red Sea is nothing less of impressive. Due to the natural buoyancy of the water, you can naturally float without doing anything (in fact it’ll be hard not to float). Don’t forget to use the mud on your face and body – the minerals in there are known for their healing properties!
Spend the evening walking around Amman’s street where juice stalls and sidewalk cafes are the norm and are more common than normal bars and restaurants. Spend the rest of the night at Ghoroub, Amman’s longest bar, to enjoy a glass of wine while taking in the panoramic views of the city. It’ll be the best way to say goodbye to this bustling metropolis.
Day 7: ma’asalama Amman!
We recommend taking the latest flight out Amman so you can explore a little bit more of the city. If you still have time, we recommend visiting Darat Al Funun, a cultural haven and a center for artists in Jordan. This haven is dedicated solely to contemporary art and features an art gallery and an art library and workshops.