Amman is a pleasant mix of old and new. Leafy, historic districts such as Jebel Al Weibdeh sit next to buzzing metropolitan downtown neighbourhoods where you’ll find cinemas, restaurants, theatres and luxurious hotels.
There’s no doubt it’s a metropolis on the up and retail is booming in this part of the Arab world. Witness frenetic buying and selling in the souks and a host of uptown shopping districts such as Sweifieh, where travellers can splash their cash. International hotel brands such as Four Seasons, Le Méridien and Marriott all have a presence here.
There are plenty of distinctive markets to explore. It’s easy (and fun) to haggle for keepsakes to take home, or simply get lost among the intricately embroidered fabrics, locally crafted silver, and the aroma of herbs and spices.
Like much of the Middle East, Amman’s architecture is a testament to centuries of rich, colourful history. Crumbling classical ruins such as Amman’s Roman Amphitheatre and the faded ruins of a Greek metropolis sit next to stunning Arabic mosques. Don’t leave the city without a trip to the ancient Amman Citadel, towering above the capital.
Visiting the Amman Citadel is like stepping into the pages of a Greek myth, thanks to the impressive Temple of Hercules. Then there’s the Umayyad Palace and the National Archaeological Museum, both architectural gems in their own right.
Venture here just before sunset to enjoy one of the region’s most stunning views, matched only by the symphony of sunset calls to prayer from the city’s mosques.