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Jordan

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Table of contents

Things to do and See in Jordan

Amman


Amman has been the capital of the country since 1921 and often referred to as the ‘white city’, Amman was originally, like Rome, built on seven hills which still form its natural focal points. Amman is a very modern city as it has all the top hotels here and yet you can still look at ancient buildings that have been in the city for over 2000 years. The central souk (market) is lively and provides a taste of a more traditional city. For more information on the city go to www.tourism.jo

Roman Philadelphia

Located down from the Citadel on Al-Hashami Street the Corinthian colonnade is Philadelphia's original market place. The Forum, leads to a Roman Theatre, built during the reign of Antonius Pius (138-161BC). On the left side of the theatre stage a statue of a Bedouin warrior guards the Museum of Popular Tradition with its sixth-century mosaics, collections of antique jewellery and displays of traditional costumes, which is definitely worth a visit. Also, on the other side the statue of a Circassian in traditional dress stands at the Jordanian Folklore Museum. It’s an interesting area of the city and worth a visit.

Royal Automobile Museum

This museum has a collection of old motorbikes and cars, which goes back to the Great Arab Revolt. Two of the most popular vehicles are the late King Hussein's 1952 Lincoln Capri and the 1955 Mercedes 300SL. If you are into old vintage vehicles then this a place you should visit.

The Citadel

The Citadel contains the remains of the Temple of Hercules, which was built between 161BC and 166BC. Also, you will find the Jordanian Archaeological Museum, which has collections of pottery, metal tools, a copy of the Mesha Stele and the Dead Sea Scrolls. It’s one of the most visited places in Amman and definitely worth a visit.

Dead Sea


The Dead Sea, 400m below sea level and spanning the border between Israel and Jordan, the Dead Sea is a natural wonder. The Biblical cities of Sodom and Gomorrah are thought to be beneath its waters. It contains more minerals and salt than any other stretch of water in the world, and it’s really possible to float on top of the water. Its natural properties make it a prime centre for spa treatments and relaxation therapies and there are three resorts in the area. These include the Movenpick Dead Sea, the Dead Sea Spa Hotel and the Dead Sea Rest House. There are also several interesting sites around the Dead Sea, including Bethany, where it is believed Jesus was baptized, and Lot’s Cave, where the prophet Lot lived after his village was destroyed by two angels sent by God. This is definitely worth checking out if you are in the country. For more information go to www.see-jordan.com

Petra


Jordan’s best-known tourist attraction, Petra, is one of the great wonders of the Middle Eastern world and it’s a city that was carved straight into solid rock. Also, known as 'The Rose City'  this gigantic natural amphitheatre was setteld by the Nabataean tribe more than 2000 years ago and its considered the jewel of the country.  It was lost for hundreds of years and only rediscovered in 1812 by a Swiss traveller named Johan Ludwig Burckhardt.

Today, there are still many sites to see including the el Khazneh (The Treasury) monument, which is a giant tomb carved out of rock, the Temple of the Winged Lions, the al-Deir (Monastery) and the small Archaeological Museum, which displays artefacts found at Petra during the 19th and 20th centuries. If you are a Indiana Jones film then Petra might ring a bell, as they used this area for shouting one of the films. This is strongly recommended if you come to the country as this is must for every traveller.

The Rest of the Country

 
Aqaba

The Gulf of Aqaba is the countries most popular resort destination. It has an excellent beach and good tourist facilities like hotels and restaurants. If you are into your water sports than this is the place for you, as you can windsurf, sail, or go diving and snorkelling. Also, if you like you historical monuments then you should check out Aqaba’s Church, which was destroyed by an earthquake in 363, was recently excavated and is one of the oldest buildings in the world.

Jerash

Jerash is less than one hour’s drive from Amman through the picturesque hills of ancient Gilead. A magnificent Graeco-Roman city on an ancient site, Jerash is justly famous for the Triumphal Arch, the Hippodrome, the great elliptical forum, the baths, the Roman bridge and the wide street of columns which leads to the Temple of Artemis.

The King's Highway

This road between the Dead Sea and Petra passes through remote villages and monuments, which should definately be checked out, as its something out of a Star Wars movie.

Wadi Rum

If you want to do a camel ride and sleep in tents like Benouin style then you should definately do this. It's like something out of a Lawrence of Arabia movie.


Irbid

Located 80km southeast from Amman and are a city of Roman tombs, statues, and narrow streets with close-packed shops and arched entrances. If you are looking for a day trip outside the city, this is where I would recommend if you like your history.

 
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