Amman, the capital of Jordan, is a fascinating city of contrasts, combining a unique blend of old and new, ideally situated on a hilly area between the desert and the fertile Jordan Valley. In Amman, guests can experience the ultra-modern buildings, hotels, smart restaurants, art galleries and boutiques while also experiencing traditional coffee shops and artisans’ tiny workshops. Guests should also visit the downtown area with its older and traditional smaller businesses producing and selling everything from jewellery, to spices and everyday household items. The people of Amman are multicultural, multidenominational, well-educated and extremely hospitable. They welcome visitors and take pride in showing them around their fascinating and vibrant city. Amman provides the ideal home base to discover all the marvels of Jordan.
Jordan is blessed with a Mediterranean climate, making Amman an extremely inviting year-round travel destination.
Things to Do in Amman
Concierge Recommends: Amman
The Concierge Manager at Four Seasons Hotel Amman shares travel tips and recommendations to make your stay in Amman a memorable one.
Fun Activities for Kids and Families in Amman
Discover ancient history and modern appeal during a family holiday to Jordan’s capital city.
The Dead Sea
The Dead Sea is the world’s most spectacular natural and spiritual landscape that is more than 400 metres (1,312 feet) below sea level. The lowest point on the face of the earth, the Dead Sea is bordered by mountains to the east and the rolling hills of Jerusalem to the west, giving it an almost other-worldly beauty. While visiting the lowest point on Earth, the fabled Dead Sea, go for a swim, or more likely a float, as this body of water is the saltiest on the planet.
Ancient Jerash was an open city of freestanding structures richly embellished with marble and granite. Its engineering was so advanced that large parts of the city still survive today. Much more has been painstakingly restored by archeological teams from around the world. The main attractions in Jerash are, not surprisingly, the ruins themselves.
Dana Reserve is an area of staggering beauty, history and biodiversity. So far, a total of 800 plant species and 449 animal species have been recorded in the Reserve, of which 25 are known to be endangered, including the Sand Cat, the Syrian Wolf, the Lesser Kestrel and the Spiny Tailed Lizard. Guests can escape into the beauty and remoteness of the Reserve along one of hiking trails. Local Bedouin guides are available for longer excursions.
Deep in the heart of the mountainous Dana Biosphere Reserve, at the end of a rugged track, an idyllic candle-lit lodge rests in the magnificent Wadi Feynan. It is hailed as one of the best 25 eco lodges in the world by National Geographic Traveler Magazine. The solar-powered Feynan Ecolodge offers the most developed eco experience in Jordan where guests can take an adventure through the untouched outdoors, sipping sweet tea with the native Bedouins, exploring local archaeological sites or simply unwinding in the serene courtyards and terraces of the candle-lit complex.
Near the East coast of the Dead Sea, the Mujib Reserve is the lowest-altitude nature reserve in the world, with its spectacular array of scenery. The reserve is located within the deep Wadi Mujib gorge which enters the Dead Sea at 410 metres below sea level. This 1,300-metre variation in elevation, combined with the valley's year-round water flow from seven tributaries, means that the Wadi Mujib enjoys a magnificent biodiversity that is still being explored and documented today. Water hiking through Wadi Mujib is guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience for guests and a guide is recommended.
The Azraq area has a rich cultural history due to its strategic location and water resources. It was used as a station for pilgrims traveling to Mecca and Medina, as well as a military site for many armies. Today there are two villages near the Reserve. A large number of bird species have been recorded in Azraq, most of which are migratory. As Jordan lies on the main migration route between Russia and Africa, many birds stop in Azraq to rest on their long journey. Guests can also visit the local town and farms, and discover nature-inspired handicrafts.
This rich history of Ajloun is reflected in the archaeological ruins scattered in the woodlands and surrounding villages. Also, the area’s cool forests, beautiful picnic areas, and extensive walking trails attract guests throughout the April through October season. Today, there are more than 10 villages surrounding the Ajlun Reserve. Some villagers are involved in farming crops such as grapes, figs and olives. Don’t forget to pass by the Ajlun Castle, more formally known as Qal'at Ar-Rabad, which is the major ancient monument.
Beach and adventure seekers visiting Jordan will be in their element when they visit Aqaba. The southern part of Aqaba is situated on the coast of the Red Sea and offers a wide range of sports and activities of an aquatic nature including: scuba diving, windsurfing, waterskiing, jet skiing, snorkelling and sailing. Guests can choose from over 30 main diving sites in Aqaba, most of them suitable for all levels of competence.
Madaba has a long history, being first mentioned in the Bible at the time of Exodus, about 1,200 BC. A tomb of this period has been found in the east of the town. When in Madaba, guests should visit the Madaba Mosaic Map that covers the floor of the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George, which is located northwest of the city centre. The church was built in 1896 AD, over the remains of a much earlier 6th-century Byzantine church. The mosaic panel enclosing the Map was originally around 15.6 x 6 metres, 94 square meters, only about a quarter of which is preserved.
One of the new Seven Wonders of the World, Petra is an awe-inspiring experience that cannot be missed and it is without a doubt Jordan’s most valuable treasure and greatest tourist attraction. Petra is a vast, unique city, carved into the sheer rock face by the Nabataeans, an industrious Arab people who settled here more than 2,000 years ago, turning it into an important junction for the silk, spice and other trade routes that linked China, India and southern Arabia with Egypt, Syria, Greece and Rome. Entrance to the city is through the Siq, a narrow gorge, over 1 kilometre in length, which is flanked on either side by soaring, 80-metre-high cliffs. Just walking through the Siq is an experience in itself. The colours and formations of the rocks are dazzling and when you reach the end of the Siq you will catch your first glimpse of Al-Khazneh (Treasury).
Movies likes The Martian and Laurence of Arabia were filmed in this stupendous, timeless and virtually untouched desert in Jordan. A maze of monolithic rockscapes rise up from the desert floor to heights of 1,750 metres, creating a natural challenge for serious mountaineers. Hikers can enjoy the tranquility of the boundless empty spaces and explore the canyons and water holes to discover 4,000-year-old rock drawings and many other spectacular treasures this vast wilderness holds in store. Also known as The Valley of the Moon, this is the place where Prince Faisal Bin Hussein and T.E. Lawrence based their headquarters during the Arab Revolt against the Ottomans in World War I. There are quite a few things to do in Wadi Rum. Guests can hire a 4x4 vehicle and explore some of the best-known sites, or they can hire a camel and explore the vast desert in a more traditional way. Guests can also hike or just relax under the stars in a Bedouin tent with a traditional campfire meal.
Karak Castle is a dark maze of stone-vaulted halls and endless passageways. The best preserved are underground and can be reached via a massive door. The castle is an impressive insight into the architectural military genius of the Crusaders. On clear days, guests can look across the Dead Sea and see all the way to the Mount of Olives bordering Jerusalem. Other than the castle, guests can visit the Castle Plaza, where beautiful 19th-century Ottoman administrative buildings have been redesigned to house a tourist centre, with restaurants, a crafts centre and other facilities.
Jordan's desert castles, beautiful examples of both early Islamic art and architecture, stand testament to a fascinating era in the country's rich history. Their fine mosaics, frescoes, stone and stucco carvings and illustrations, inspired by the best in Persian and Greco-Roman traditions, tell countless stories of the life as it was during the fifth to the eighth centuries. Called castles because of their imposing stature, the desert complexes actually served various purposes as caravan stations, agriculture and trade centers, resort pavilions and outposts that helped distant rulers forge ties with local Bedouins. Several of these preserved compounds, all of which are clustered to the east and south of Amman, can be visited on one or two-day loops from the city.
Umm Qais & Pella
In addition to Jerash and Amman, Gadara now known as Umm Qais and Pella now known as Tabaqat Fahil were once Decapolis cities, and each has unique appeal. Perched on a splendid hill top overlooking the Jordan Valley and the sea of Galilee, Umm Qais boasts impressive ancient remains such as the stunning black basalt theatre, and Pella is exceptionally rich in antiquities, some of which are exceedingly old. Besides the excavated ruins from the Greco-Roman period, Pella offers visitors the opportunity to see the remains of Chalcolithic settlement from the 4th millennium BC.