If you’re tempted to pretend that those colorful dinars are monopoly money, or your American Express card is jealous of all that exercise you’re getting scaling ancient ruins, Amman is your go-to city in Jordan when you feel like treating yourself. The Amman shopping experience offers something for every taste and budget, from colorful souks to shopping centers with quirky names like the Taj Mall (no, not that one!). Check out our ultimate Amman Shopping Guide for the best places to take a break from exploring historic sites and find Jordanian treasures that you’re actually allowed to bring home with you. If you need to chill after shopping til you’ve dropped, check out some of the best spas Jordan has to offer (there are more than a few in Amman).
Traditional Jordanian Souks
If you’re searching for authentic Jordanian keepsakes and artisan products, there is no better place to explore than the local souks (markets). For handmade leather sandals, colorful beads, intricate mosaics, and traditional garments, head to Souk Jara just off the popular Rainbow Street. This weekly favorite is a Friday morning must, with a little bit of everything and lots of character. If you’re looking for less color and more glimmer, check out Souk El Sagha, the gold souk where hundreds of merchants show off their bling and customers shop for high-quality jewelry that is literally worth its weight in gold, as pieces are priced by weight. This souk is as one of the cheapest places in the world to buy high-quality gold, and make sure to go early for the best prices, as many vendors still follow the ancient tradition of discounting the day’s first sale for good luck! Learn more about Jordanian customs and cultures here.
If you’re in the mood to stroll the boulevard as you simultaneously window shop and people watch, Amman is filled with bustling streets lined with colorful shops and cafes. Head to the popular Rainbow Street and visit The Jordan River Foundation’s showroom, where you can shop for handmade products while supporting women’s empowerment and the local community. Then stop by The Soap House, tucked away in a beautiful courtyard at the bottom of Rainbow Street, to peruse the intoxicating array of handmade and cruelty-free products. While you’re in the area, stop by one of Amman’s best restaurants to rest and refuel, because you don’t actually want to shop until you drop. Once you’re recharged, King Talal Street is a great choice to explore a variety of stores selling knick-knacks and fabric, and Amman’s main fruit and vegetable market is nestled just behind a row of its eclectic shopfronts.
Amman Shopping Malls
If you’re nostalgic for bustling food courts and popcorn-scented cinemas, your Amman shopping adventure may lead you to the city’s malls, which offer a local twist on a universal pastime. Mecca Mall is home to internationally recognized brands, as well as traditional shops selling kaftans, a bowling alley, and an enormous children’s play center. The Taj Mall, a self-proclaimed “lifestyle center”, boasts five levels of stores, outlets, and an impressive sixteen-screen cinema. For quaint European vibes, stunning architecture, and couture fashion, head to Abdali Boulevard’s high-end shopping center to experience a unique taste of middle eastern luxury.
Handmade Jordanian Crafts
Amman is a crafts lover’s paradise, with yards of beautifully patterned fabrics, colorful ceramics, and delicate beads to inspire your inner creativity. For locally made treasures, Amman offers a variety of centers where you can discover your new favorite pieces while supporting Jordanian artisans and cultural traditions. Visit the Jordan Craft Center, where you can learn about the fascinating history of textiles in the region, as you sip tea and admire the exquisitely hand-embroidered dresses and delicate jewelry. The Wild Jordan Center is another favorite. It is owned by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature and aims to provide an income for the rural communities of the eight reserves in Jordan protected by the RSCN. The center sells a variety of products that are made and manufactured in the reserves, while also promoting eco-tourism experiences in the area.
Local Art Galleries
Jordan boasts a dynamic art scene, and its capital city demonstrates why the Hashemite Kingdom has so much to offer in addition to its stunning landscapes and ancient ruins. Art lovers will be in their element while discovering local treasures like Darat Al Fanun, a home for the Arab arts since 1988, housed in six historic buildings and warehouses with a restored archeological site in its garden.
The Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts was founded in 1980 and has a legacy of promoting cultural dialogue and artistic exchange in the kingdom, serving as an institution for contemporary art and collaborating with international museums and ministries. Don’t leave Amman without visiting Dar Al-Anda Art Gallery, the passion project of Majdoline Al-Ghezawi Al-Ghoul, who previously owned a high-end tea house gallery that hosted musical performances by refugee Iraqi musicians. In its expanded glory and new location, Dar Al-Anda exhibits impressive collections of paintings and sculptures for art enthusiasts to admire and collectors to take home. In the lower house, Majdoline hosts art courses for the children of the mountain, most of whom come from low-income families.