Jordan’s capital city of Amman is constantly sidelined by the country’s top destinations and UNESCO World Heritage sites like Petra and Wadi Rum. But in all fairness, how many destinations can compete with such astonishing beauty? Any trip to the Hashemite Kingdom should certainly highlight these two bucket list sites and would be incomplete without them. But if you want to get to know the real Jordan, spending at least 2 days in Amman is an absolute must. 2 days is the perfect amount of time to fall in love with the city’s charming character. Plus, it is home to some of the best things to do in Jordan. First, figure out whether you need a visa for Jordan. Then keep reading our itinerary for an in-depth understanding of the city’s fascinating history, vibrant culture, and irresistible cuisine.
Wake up bright and early with the call of the muezzin, echoing in the distance as the sun rises over the ancient city. Enjoy an Arabic coffee and some delicious khubez bayd (traditional pastry) to fuel yourself for the exciting day ahead. Then make your way to the Citadel, which sits proudly at the top of Amman’s highest hill. There you’ll find some of the city’s top attractions, including the Temple of Hercules, Umayyad Palace, and The Jordan Archeological Museum. While you’re in the area, make sure to stop by the impressive 6,000-person capacity Roman Amphitheater nearby. It continues to host important cultural events up to this day! This Amman Cultural experience will shepherd you through these sites and more with fascinating insights of a local guide. It culminates with a cooking class where you’ll learn to prepare Jordanian specialties with a local.
Spend the afternoon shopping while making conversation with the friendly local shopkeepers. Take advantage of the opportunity to test out your bartering skills, which Jordanians practice like a sport. Hop from one colorful souk to the next, exploring Souk Jara, Souq Al-Sukar, the Gold Souk, and Souq Bukharia to stock up on spices and a variety of other local treasures. Our Amman shopping guide lays it all out in helpful detail. For a uniquely Jordanian experience, visit the Pigeon Market near Al-Hashemi street. Locals congregate here with paper bags full of pigeons to train – a truly authentic Jordanian pastime. If you’re in need of some rest and relaxation, head to one of Amman’s best spas to indulge in a traditional hammam and classic massage treatments.
Watch the sun set over the ancient city as you unwind on a rooftop, smoking traditional shisha and feasting on a variety of mezze dishes. Then discover the city’s buzzing nightlife, with something for every appetite. As you hop around the best bars in Amman, you’ll experience everything that Jordan’s capital city has to offer, from international favorites like Dubliner’s Irish Pub and Cafe de Paris to the upscale rooftop lounges at the Fairmont and W Amman. Tuck in at one of the hotels on our curated list; we’ve named our top picks in our guide to where to stay in Amman.
You’re sure to wake up with a roaring appetite after your first day in Amman, so indulge in an authentic Jordanian breakfast, with endless plates of colorful salads, hummus ful, and fluffy flatbread straight from the oven. If your stomach is craving something quick and greasy, Shawarma Reem serves up the best crispy lamb in the city. Then take a leisurely stroll to King Abdullah mosque, for a rare opportunity to enter the only mosque in Jordan that welcomes non-Muslim visitors. If you feel like a short drive outside the city, Jerash and Madaba are both less than one hour away. They boast some of the best Roman ruins outside of Italy and an impressive collection of ancient mosaics. You can see Madaba and other nearby highlights with this Amman, Madaba, Mount Nebo, and Dead Sea Tour from Amman.
Soak up some Jordanian culture with an art and museum-filled afternoon with the help of our Amman Design Guide. With so many options to choose from, you’ll be tempted to extend your stay in Amman indefinitely. Visit as many as you can squeeze in, including The Royal Automobile Museum, The Jordan Museum, The Children’s Museum, The Jordan Folklore Museum, and The Royal Tank Museum. For art lovers, Amman has another collection of galleries to discover. Darat al Funun, the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, Dar Al-Anda Art Gallery, and TIRAZ Widad Kawar Home for Arab Dress are all excellent. You’ll end the day with an impressive knowledge of Jordanian culture to complement your unforgettable memories.
All that exploring fired up your appetite? Then head to one of the best restaurants in Amman to refuel for more adventures. Rainbow Street is a great choice to enjoy a leisurely dinner and people-watch as you admire the city’s unique energy. Wherever you choose to indulge, don’t leave Amman without experiencing some cheesy, syrupy knafeh for dessert. After following our 2 days in Amman itinerary, you’re sure to leave with amazing memories and a deeper understanding of the country’s rich history, vibrant culture, mouth-watering cuisine, and non-stop nightlife.
2 Days in Amman and Beyond
Amman is the perfect base for further explorations of the rest of the country. Day tours and multi-day tour packages are the best ways to experience the off-the-beaten-path metropolis and combine it with other Jordanian highlights. A private tour to Petra from Amman gives you one-on-one guidance through this World Wonder. Or, spend two days exploring both Petra and the Wadi Rum desert. But if just one night in the storied Wadi Rum isn’t enough for you, why not spend 2 days hiking with a stop in Aqaba? Or get up close in personal with Bedouin customs and traditions with a Bedouin Desert Immersive Food & Cultural Experience. But if you want to hit all the highlights of Jordan from top to bottom, check out the 4-day Highlights of Jordan tour. No matter how you decide to travel in Jordan, make sure not to miss spectacular Amman!