Amman is a crazy, hectic, busy city – which is typical for an Arabian city, but it is still different.
Jordan’s capital is a good starting or end point if you are doing a Jordan trip. While some people don’t spend much time here or skip it altogether, you should spend at least one day here, if you can arrange it. It probably is not the highlight in the country but still worth a visit.
If you are planning your trip and are wondering about the best things to do in Amman in 1 or 2 days, then read on and find out about the best activities plus travel tips.
It is a great historic city with a lot to offer – lots of authentic places and ancient sights. It is also quite modern with nightlife and modern buildings outside the downtown area. Since it is in a hilly area, you have great views and can catch some beautiful sunsets.
And let’s not forget the numerous restaurants and take-aways that serve great (and affordable) food! Yes, there are many reasons to add Amman to your Jordan itinerary visit Amman and here are some places to see and things to experience.
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TRAVEL TIPS FOR YOUR AMMAN ITINERARY
Before talking about what to do in Amman itinerary here are a few travel tips.
Best time to visit Amman
March until May is the busiest time in Jordan and thus Amman. The weather is quite moderate at that time, and warm (it can get quite hot in the summer months and chilly in the winter).
I visited in October, which is also a good time – the weather was pleasant most of the time and there was little rain, also November is a good time to visit. However, if you are looking for a less busy season then consider visiting in December or in the hot summer months.
How to Arrive
Most likely, you will arrive in Amman. From there, you can take an official airport taxi. Prices are fixed (about $28 to downtown Amman) and you get a receipt/voucher outside the terminal to take to the taxi.
There is also a bus running once or twice an hour that costs about $4 (buy tickets at the ticket office outside the terminal). You can get off the North Station and then either take a cab or an Uber. From there, it is about $2-4 to get to your hotel in/near downtown.
Uber works in Amman, but apparently, they are not allowed to pick you up from the Amman airport.
In Amman you can easily get around my buses, shared or regular taxis, Uber, or guided tours/personal drivers.
Though, I loved my road trip in Jordan, I was happy I did not drive in Amman myself. Personally, I am happy that I did not get a rental car for my time in Amman as it can be busy and driving in an Arabic capital can often feel crazy – and so it does in Amman.
Many sights are located in Downtown (also those mentioned in the Amman itinerary) but you might want to grab a taxi here or there – in this case, discuss the price beforehand (and $2 gets you a few kilometres).
Where to stay
I am normally not a big hostel fan – but stayed at Nomad Hostel for one night and loved it. Especially for solo travelers this is a good choice – good location, nice hostel, friendly staff and clean rooms.
Check out the hostel and its rates here.
I also stayed at another simple apartment for two night but do not really recommend it as it was a few kilometres from the main attractions.
If you go to Jordan, you will likely have to pay for a visa. It is $56 for a tourist visa upon arrival. What does this have to do with Amman?
Well, I truly recommend getting a Jordan Pass if you are staying more than 4 days.
The cheapest version is around $100, and with it, you also gain entrance to Petra (which is quite expensive and is $70 for a day pass), entrance to Jerash, but also access to attractions in Amman, and entrance into many more museums. So, if you visit Amman with a Jordan Pass, you don’t have to think about entrance fees for tourist attractions in Amman.
You can buy it in person or online.
PLACES TO VISIT IN AMMAN IN 1 DAY
Okay, here are the top places to visit and top things to do on day 1 in Amman.
Grand Husseini Mosque
Start your day in Amman Downtown and head to this mosque: the Grand Husseini Mosque.
Built in 1932 by the late King Abdullah I, it is one of the oldest mosques in the city. I must admit, I almost passed it because it looks – compared to other mosques in the Middle East – quite humble from the outside.
As a foreigner, you can visit the inside if you dress appropriately.
Since I didn’t have a scarf with me to cover my head, I skipped going inside. Make sure you bring one, since there was no one passing out scarves as you sometimes see at other places.
Then head to the Roman Theater which was probably built around 138 AD and it is another top Amman activity.
Back then, it could hold about 6,000 people and is still really impressive today. It was restored in 1970 and is now used for civic activities, concerts, and graduations, and is one of the main places to visit in Amman.
Jordan Pass holders have free entrance.
Falafel & Fresh Juice
You should definitely have a lot of food in Amman. It is quite cheap and affordable to eat here, especially takeaway food. So, falafel for the win.
Hashim is a popular place where I went for food, and it was very affordable. For 2€, I had falafel, a drink, bread, and a salad. So, make sure to eat your weight in falafel because it was just amazing and tastes different than in other countries.
Only downside: They use A LOT of plastic which led a bad taste in my mouth (not figuratively).
However, you can get also small falafel sandwiches for less than 1€ and they are amazing at one of the takeaway shops.
And then have fresh juice afterwards – you will see a couple of shops selling fresh juices. And as a fresh juice lover, I can say that they are amazing. I always have my water bottle with me and just asked them to pour my juice into that – no need for more plastic use in Amman. Prices were about 1,30€ for around for almost half a litre.
Al Balad (Downtown Amman)
There are lots of restaurants, souvenir shops, and all kinds of stores and shops, and it is all kinds of crazy here. So, make sure to be prepared for that and enjoy. I am not a big shopper but I got some souvenirs for my little nephews from here.
So, if you are looking for presents, souvenirs for yourself or Arabian clothes, then Al Balad is the place to visit. And if you are not into shopping, then it is still a fun place to visit in Amman and strolling the area is actually one of the best things to do in Amman.
I liked it more in the evening than during the day time and as in Arabic countries common, shops are open until late so you can combine your evening stroll here with some shopping, eating and more.
From Al Balad head to the Citadel.
One of the highlights of Amman is the Citadel. You can also kill two birds with one stone when you visit it. First of all, you have amazing views because the Citadel is located on Citadel Hill, known as Jabal al-Qal’a, and this is amazing for watching the sun set and even staying after it has set.
Also, the Citadel is one of the most ancient places to visit in Amman and you can visit the museum and learn all about the history of the city.
Opening hours vary, so check them out before your visit.
Free with the Jordan Pass.
In the evening, check out Rainbow Street. During the day, it was a little less spectacular, but in the night, this is where you want to be.
Have dinner, drinks – there are so many bars. Also, check out the side streets for beautiful cafes, restaurants, and street art. I personally really enjoyed it in the evening, so come here to end your day (you can head to Rainbow Street after your visit from the Citadel).
My favorite side street was the Ahmad Bin Toloon Street with the prettiest street art, cafes and restaurants and also decoration.
There is quite a lot of street art in the downtown area. I made the mistake of walking all the way from the Boulevard to Al Balad, thinking there would be a lot going on. Funnily, there wasn’t.
However, there was a lot of street art that you should check out, and it is probably not what you would expect in a city like this – often with a political message.
Above mentioned places/activities can be done one one day in Amman – if you have more time you can do some of the following activities in/near Amman.
THINGS TO DO IN AMMAN IN 2 DAYS
So, if you have only 1 day in Amman then above mentioned activities will cover some of the best places. However, there are a few more activities to add for day 2 in Amman. Especially the trip to Jerash is a must.
Go to Jerash
Jerash, which is about an hour’s drive from Amman, is a must-see place. So, don’t miss out on this half-day trip to visit one of the best-preserved and largest Roman towns in the world.
Hopefully, this post has helped you find the best places to visit and things to do while in Amman. It is a vibrant city with a lot to offer, so enjoy!
You could end your two days in Amman with some time at a haman.
Normally, I always take time out to experience a hamam, a Turkish bath. Quite a few of the hamans in Amman had bad reviews and I then stopped looking.
However, but there are a few that are supposedly very good. So, if you have some time off and want to relax, then go to a hamam. Amman is so crazy – especially Downtown – that a few hours in a harman seems to be a perfect way to relax in an Arabic way.
Traveling to Jordan as a solo female traveler? Then check out my solo female travel guide for Jordan.
Yes, visiting Amman is one of the best things to do in Jordan. With two days in Amman you can manage to see the main highlights but as always, you just scratch the surface of an exiting city that has much more to offer than just the things mentioned above but even with one day in Amman you will get a good glimpse of the city and what it has to offer.