Walking Amman – A Walking Tour of Jordan’s Capital City

Walking Amman was a magical experience. People were friendly and welcoming as we visited the King Abdullah Mosque and various street vendors throughout the city.

We could have had another buffet dinner at a fancy hotel, but our clever guide Ali decided that we would enjoy a meal out with the locals for our final day in Jordan.

He was absolutely right.

Walking Amman – A Walking Tour of Jordan’s Capital City

It was an incredible 10 days in Jordan courtesy of the Jordan Tourism Board and it started off on a high note with our stay at the luxurious Four Seasons Amman. W

e know the Four Seasons well here in Toronto. The Flagship store is located in the heart of Yorkville and we have visited many a room during our days working in the film business

. It is a very busy place during the Toronto Film Festival.  Every movie star that comes to the city stays here. We never thought that we’d stay in a Four Seasons ourselves let alone one of the top hotels in the entire Middle East.

walking amman four seasons hotel
The Fours Seasons Hotel Lobby

We were greeted by Halla upon our arrival and dinner was set for 7:30 pm. It was a delicious 4 course meal of seafood, pastas and decadent desserts. Oh yes, we could get used to living like this. Even though the Four Seasons Amman is a luxury hotel, we never felt the stuffiness or uncomfortable feeling you get when you sit somewhere you don’t belong. Everyone is relaxed and welcoming; the guests and staff included.

amman tour four seasons hotel
Our suite at the Four Seasons

The Four Seasons Amman has a reputation of being the best hotel in Jordan and it lives up to it.

What we loved about it was how, yes, it is well known around the world, but it had a definite Jordanian feel and atmosphere. We had the best of both worlds, a little bit of home with a Middle Eastern Flare. We made sure to wake up early to use the pool and spa before setting out on our Jordan adventure, but it was difficult because we didn’t want to leave our cozy yet spacious room.

It was time to venture out and see the country.

We had amazing adventures in Jordan from Canyoning in Wadi Mujib, Swimming in the Dead Sea, Visiting Petra, A Safari in Wadi Rum and Hiking through the Dana River Biosphere Reserve.

We felt that we got a taste of the best of what the country has to offer and we can’t wait to go back one day to explore some more!

Back to Amman

amman city tour head scarves
Head scarves for sale

Upon our return to Amman, we were eager to see how people lived in Jordan’s largest city.  Our driver Mahmoud and our guide Ali had gotten to know us quite well over the course of 10 days and knew that it was time to take us out of our luxurious bubble and into the streets of Amman.

Read: Petra, Jordan – The Ancient City by Day

Fact: Amman is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.

tour amman jordan the blue mosque
Steps to the King Abdullah Mosque

We started by visiting the King Abdullah Mosque, it is one of the most famous mosques in Jordan. Ali and Mahmoud were quick to point out the large church right next door.

They stated that the Jordanian people get along with each other and different religions live in peace. I thought is was a wonderful sentiment.

While people are protesting a mosque in New York, others around the world are opening doors and practicing tolerance.

amman walking tour featured image
Amman Walking tour

We drove around the different districts and checked out the higher end shopping areas and cafés where the young and hip meet on Thursday nights, but it was our arrival to the market that made us feel like we were a part of the city.

For a historic tour of Jordan, enjoy our post on the Ancient Roman City of Jerash

Street Food in Amman

amman city tour
Enjoying a Kunafa Habibah Sweets

It started with a stop for dessert.

Ali always eats dessert first. If he had it his way, he’d skip the main course completely and only eat dessert. That is unless his mother is cooking. She is the best cook in Jordan.

We stood in the rain outside a crowded and small stand named Habibah Sweets where we ate the delicious and filling Kunafa dessert. This place is one of the most popular sweet shops in Amman and we could understand why.

street vendors amman
Amman street Vendors

Now that our stomachs were filled, we were able to walk along the streets to enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city.

People were warm and friendly and we couldn’t believe how open they were towards us. When we strolled through the market, men asked Dave to take their picture.

They were yelling and singing and Mahmoud translated what they said. It sounded much more exotic when I didn’t know their words. “1 kilo for 1 dinar, buy now!” To me it sounded like they were singing, “The Day is beautiful, The Birds are singing, I’m in Utopia”

See – Petra By Night in Photos

The storefronts were decorated with Shishas and colourful headscarves. There were handcrafts and jewellery on display and people walked down the street smiling and chatting, it seemed like Mahmoud knew everyone in the city as we passed. We met his boss and other shop owners who invited us in for tea.

amman tours shishas
Shisha’s were in almost every store front.

We decided to pass on the tea and move on with the tour.  We had a constant guilt of keeping Mahmoud and Ali away from their families for such a long time.

They put in 14 hour days with us during our time in Jordan and we always had the thought in the back of our heads to move things along so that they could get home.

tour of amman jordan sheeshas

Not that they ever made us feel that way, it was us worrying for them. In the West People wouldn’t think of working so late into the night unless they were getting paid their overtime above and beyond their salaries.

In other cultures we always have a difficult time grasping how hard people work and how long they are away from their families. It is something we will never get used to and something we will always do our best to help send people home a bit early if we can.

amman walking tour street food
Making Friends in Amman

We ended off the night at the Hashem Restaurant an outdoor café located in an alleyway packed with patrons.  When we arrived, they busted out a table for us and quickly brought a feast of food. I was still full from the Kunafa and had a difficult time putting back all that food, but it was so delicious, I couldn’t say no. It is the oldest restaurant in Amman and is The King himself has eaten here and I can see why, we were eating a feast made for a king!

Our night with Ali and Mahmoud turned out to be one of the most memorable moments for us in Jordan and it was a perfect way to end our time there. We had ups and downs in the country, but one thing that was never down was the people we met, the friends we made and the scenery we saw.

For a different perspective of Jordan, Visit Solo Travelers, Shopping in Jordan, Souvenirs and my Wish List.

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About The Planet D

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine, the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.

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65 thoughts on “Walking Amman – A Walking Tour of Jordan’s Capital City”

  1. EXCELLENT ARTICLE…
    THIS ARTICLE SOUNDS REALLY GREAT…
    YOU GUYS ALWAYS NAIL US WITH THE MINDBLOWING PICTURES…
    THANK YOU FOR SHARING THIS ARTICLE…

    Reply
  2. I love the colours in your pictures! I’ve just been to Petra last autumn and it was so beautiful and stunning that I definitely want to return to Jordan. I’ve spent a lot of time in Israel, but your report makes me want to spend a little more time in Jordan, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Best, Alissa

    Reply
    • Petra would be beautiful in Autumn I think. We’ve never been to Israel but would love to go there sometime soon too.

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  3. Recently I’ve been to Jordan !! We started in the capital then headed up north then down south.

    We’ve hired a driver called Which I recommend, they call him the king of tourism. He has been working in the industry for 20 Years.

    He makes daily tours, shared ones, Airport pickups and other transfers through the country,

    We took a 7 day tour with Nick, and it was great !! we hadn’t charged us much comparing to his services.

    Here is his email : [email protected]
    We stayed at Petra for a couple of nights then headed to wadi rum which was more than we expected, over all our tour in Jordan was amazing … Thanks

    Reply
  4. You pictures are really nice! I saw hummus in your meal…I can totally understand when you say you enjoyed your feast! Hope to visit Jordan one day, soon!

    Reply
  5. It would be helpful to share more about costs and logistics for those of us visiting Jordan who are not on a 5-star trip sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism. The various trips you took are quite costly, especially for the solo traveler, and the logistics involved in arranging a trip can be challenging and frustrating. Amman has heavy traffic so it’s also a challenge, and a bit stressful, to get around – especially as a pedestrian. It is an amazing, beautiful place with much to offer, as your blogs indicate, but your trip was definitely an idealized experience.

    Reply
    • Hello Chris,

      We did sponsor The Planet D’s trip to Jordan; however, Amman, and Jordan as a whole, offers something for every budget. They are countless options for transport, accommodation, and food that will fit whatever budget you may have. Even solo travelers, and those that are not on organized tours, find it easy to travel through Jordan. If you need any help with planning your trip, please send us an email at [email protected] and we will be more than happy to help ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  6. Fantastic post. Your shots are amazing. I really want to get to Jordan. Maybe that will this coming winter’s destination. I need to do some serious thinking. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
    • Hi Nancie, Jordan is an amazing destination. There are beaches, diving, hikes, the dead sea, amazing ruins, ancient civilizations and incredible people. It really is a destination all to itself and doesn’t need to be tacked onto a Middle East itinerary that so many people believe. Let us know if you go and let us know how you like it.

      Reply
  7. GREAT pictures!! I love Jordan- I’m going back next week and am sooooooo excited! I’ve only been in Dec/Jan, so I’m excited to come in the summer where I won’t freeze, lol.
    Out of curiosity, who said that Amman is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world? They just celebrated their 100 year anniversary last year; I know that after the Romans left, it was more or less abandoned, but I suppose some people stayed… Just curious- I know those types of things are hard to prove anyways- I just have always only seen 4 cities in the ‘official’ running, lol ๐Ÿ™‚
    Love, love, love your pictures and I’m glad you liked the food! I LOOOOOOVE the food; my husband and I have been dieting so that we have no restrictions going home! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
    • It’s Jerash, actually, that boasts an unbroken chain of human occupation that dates back more than 6,500 years. Although, Amman has been continuously inhabited for a long time as well, being inhabited by several civilizations, starting with the Neolithic period. 100 years ago, Amman was very small, and not comparable to what it is today obviously. It was a village, as opposed to the vibrant, fascinating city it is today.

      Hope you have a great stay in Jordan when you visit next week! Enjoy lots and lots of food ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
      • Thanks Guys for clearing that up. I missed the previous comment my bad:-) It wasn’t until I saw your reply that I saw Mabsootah question. I was just stating that maybe it was the area in general that has the continuous chain of civilization. Since Jerash is so close to Amman, maybe historians think of them as the same? I’m not sure. I thought that Jerash was abandoned an un-hinhabited for awhile. But then again, people have lived in the entire area for centuries, so it probably wasn’t eh?

    • Thanks Mabsootah for bringing it my attention. I did hear that while in Jordan and upon looking it up to answer your question, I saw the answer at the Jordan Government website http://www.kinghussein.gov.jo/tourism1.html
      It was their modern capital that only started in the 19 century. Maybe it was the area that has been inhabited for so long. Between Jerash and Amman there is thousands of years of civilization, but maybe it seems that neither one is continuously inhabited. I am still researching, but just wanted to reply.

      Reply
      • Very cool- thanks so much for that link! I should look up that more as well- I’m sure someone has always lived there, but it’s neat how they really define the modern from the older parts! ๐Ÿ™‚ I remember reading somewhere also that they really considered the 7 Roman cities (Amman, Umm Qays, Jerash.. and then a bunch in Syria) kinda’ like one big metro area, so that’s probably part of it too.
        I just looked- they took down the Centennial webpage, but they have something about it here – http://interruptionsblog.wordpress.com/2009/10/08/ammans-centennial-website-narrating-a-100-years/ ๐Ÿ™‚ I guess it is celebrating it being the modern city, but then I get confused because I always read that nothing really happened until after WWI?
        Anyways, no more history- I LOVE your pictures and I love Jordan so I’m glad you did too! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Great photos. Love how your guide says his mother is the best cook in Jordan, as if everyone doesn’t say the same! Haha

    Reply
  9. Sounds like you had a great time! I was in Amman a couple months ago and saw a lot of great sights, but sadly missed out on eating at Hashem. I’ve heard it’s great!

    Reply
  10. What a great trip – sounds like such a cool place! Hard to beat the Four Seasons, huh?… I love the lobby shot.

    Reply
  11. hey Dave,

    i am glade you had the chance to visit jordan and experiance Amman the city, looks like your guide did a good job after all in showing you my beloved city Amman.. Habiba and Hashem to me (as a citizen of Amman, Jordan) are the Ammani experiance.. there is something about standing in that old ally with all of those people and having Konafa.. it feels like home doesnt it ๐Ÿ™‚

    cheers from Amman, looking forward to having you in our town again..

    Reply
    • You are right FADi, standing in that Alley with everyone else dressed from tailored suits to jeans or robes truly felt like an authentic Ammani experience. We will definitely be back.

      Reply
  12. Jordan is on my list as well. Even though the Jordan Tourism Board has hosted so many of us travel writers of late, your photos provided a new perspective on the country and makes me want to go all the more.

    Reply
    • Thank you Barbara, we appreciate the compliment from you it means a lot. We definitely wanted to give a different perspective to our time there rather than just listing off the sites. It is always the people that make a place and it was our time at Feynan Lodge when we met Mohammad’s family https://theplanetd.com/feynan-eco-lodge-dana-biosphere-reserve-jordan and here where we got out to meet the people that were stand outs and special moments. Getting away from the hotel buffets and from behind the high secure walls of the hotels is where the real travel begins in Jordan.

      Reply
  13. Terribly jealous of the both of you for being able to do this trip, but they’ve picked a great duo to do it. Excellent photos, as always. I especially like the man in the market with the ripe red tomatoes.

    Reply
    • Hi Sherry, thank you so much for the compliment. The man in the market is my favourite as well. I loved walking through that market it was so alive with positive energy! Cheers,Deb

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    • Yay, you must go to Jordan then. It is very popular there. Our guides Mahmoud and Ali bought us one as a gift to bring home. Since we don’t have a home right now, my mom has it on display by her fireplace:)

      Reply
    • Thanks Jill, I’m glad that it shows we had a good time. We really did, especially when we had moments like these. The visit to Jerash earlier that day, not so much – not our thing:) It’ll get a photo of the day if it’s lucky:-)

      Reply
  14. Four Seasons Amman — Awesome!
    Heads with scarves — Awesome!
    Blues on that mosque — Awesome!
    Me not currently in Amman — Not so awesome… ๐Ÿ™‚

    Great post — love you pics!

    Reply
    • Dalene, thanks so much. I hope they like the posts, but I have to say, we aren’t writing about our experience to please the tourism board, we are truly writing about the great time that we had there. If we didn’t like Jordan we would definitely be saying so and certainly not be writing so much about it. We found the country to be such a spectacular destination that we really enjoy sharing it with people.

      Reply
      • We do indeed like the posts and are glad you had a good time in Jordan. Thank you for shining the light on the beautiful city of Amman ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Thanks for stopping by, we really appreciate the comment. Yes, Amman is an amazing city and we are looking forward to exploring more and coming back. Like we said in one of our previous posts, we got a taste of the best of Jordan and when we come back we can stay in each place longer to really explore and get to know the culture and the people. Thanks again!

  15. Great photos as usual. And if there’s anyone who can make travel adventures look so much fun, you two can. Hats off! Again.

    Reply
    • Thanks Michael. We do have fun together most of the time. It’s when we have to do our taxes that we don’t have so much fun:)

      Reply
  16. Aww! Not only are your photos as out-of-this-world as always, but you guys look like you’re having so much fun!

    Reply
    • Thanks Abby, we did have a lot of fun. It helped that our guide and driver Ali and Mahmoud were so friendly and caring.

      Reply
  17. Wow – I never saw the fancy side of Amman!! A whole other world!
    Looks like the last pic was form Hashem…yum!

    Reply
    • You guessed right Sherry. One of the best eats in Jordan! I went through the country feeling stuffed every day. Each meal was an event.

      Reply
  18. I have to agree with other comments, you do make Jordan seem very safe. It is great to read about experiences people have in countries we may feel are unsafe for travel. That label is not always true. Thanks for sharing your wonderful journey.

    The pictures have been amazing. All the colors and textures definitely make me want to add Jordan to my list.

    Reply
    • Thanks Debbie. It is true, the colours in Jordan are beautiful. It is very contrasting against the desert landscape. I am glad that you are putting it on your list of destinations to travel to, you won’t regret it.

      Reply
  19. What fantastic photos! The Jordan Tourism Board is so smart to have had so many bloggers, writers and journalists over in the past few months. It’s quite clear we’re all gaga for the country. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
    • Very true Lori. When there is a crisis in the world, it is a great idea to get people over there to see that everywhere isn’t affected and Jordan definitely didn’t. You said it perfectly…we’re all gaga for Jordan!

      Reply
  20. Sounds like you two really had a great time ๐Ÿ™‚ and of course all of Dave’s photos are gorgeous! I love the blues!

    Reply
    • Thanks Cailin. We had another perfect day in Jordan for photographs to work out. Hey, what about my fabulous photo of Dave holding the Kanafah,(the framing and structure is perfection;-) I think that is the best on in there:D

      Reply
    • Angela, you will love it. We had heard about how incredible Jordan was, but to experience for ourselves we really got to see just how beautiful the country is first hand. And the people are kind and warm and welcoming.

      Reply
  21. What a gorgeous and fascinating place! I have some reservations about traveling to that part of the world but you make it sound so safe, it’s really tempting!

    Reply
    • Jan, you won’t regret it. We have been through the Sudan, Egypt and Jordan and can honestly say that the people there are the most welcoming and friendliest that we have ever met. It is a fascinating land filled with rich history. I was amazed every day that I was there.

      Reply
  22. Amazing trip you have! I also enjoyed Amman albeit very briefly. It’s great that you get out on the street to see how the city actually lives especially in Downtown. There’s so many juice bar which is great but to be honest I didn’t find the food as tempting. Maybe I went to the wrong places and ate very cheaply. Great report though!

    Reply
    • Hi Amer, Downtown is very lively and exciting for sure. I can honestly say that I loved the food. I looked forward every morning to breakfast. Olives, breads, spreads and yogurts. MmmmMmm. I want some now. It was some of my favourite food on earth. But I understand it isn’t for everyone. We are in the minority of the world when we say that we don’t like Indian Food. I can’t stand it, and people think I’m crazy. MIddle Eastern, Ethiopian and Thai Food are now my favourites in the world!

      Reply
  23. such fantastic photos of Jordan, keeping coming we need all the vistors we can at the moment. Jordan is such a stable, peaceful and beautiful country but we are suffering from the current situation in the region. But with the help of great folks like you we will prevail.

    All the best,

    Laura

    Reply
    • Thank you Laura and yes, we agree. People shouldn’t be afraid of going to Jordan. It is one place where you don’t have to worry about your gear or luggage in the car. We left our cameras and computers in the truck often as we went around exploring and we never worried once about someone breaking in to steal anything. We have never felt more relaxed about our valuables.

      Reply