15 Interesting Things to do in Amman, Jordan (For First Timers)

This post may contain affiliate links. Read our Disclosure Policy here

Amman is the capital of Jordan, an eclectic city where the old merges with the new, and historical sights sit seamlessly along modern streets. 

This is the gateway to the deserts and canyons of Jordan, and the sunny coastline and dive sites of the Red Sea, but there’s a lot to do in Amman before you explore the rest of the country. 

Visit the ancient Citadel or the archeological ruins of the Roman Empire. Learn about the modern history of the Jordanian nation, visit mosques and eat falafel, and learn about the surprising diversity of the Jordanian capital across the city’s many different districts. 

To inspire your next adventure, here are the best things to do in Amman Jordan. 

Want to visit Jordan? We took this tour 8 Day Jordan Explorer

15 Things to Do in Amman, Jordan

1. Explore the Ancient Amman Citadel 

Amman Citadel, Jordan

Start your trip to Amman Jordan by visiting one of the oldest and most impressive places in the capital, the Amman Citadel. 

The Amman Citadel is found in the old heart of the city, spread over the seven hills that make up the ancient ‘Downtown’ of Amman. 

The hills have been occupied by humans for thousands of years, with archeological finds being dated back as far as the Bronze Age. 

You can explore a range of ancient ruins, from Byzantine Churches to Roman Temples at the Amman Citadel. 

Our Top Recommended Tours:

2. Contemplate History at the Temple of Hercules

Temple of Hercules Amman, Jordan

The Temple of Hercules is located in the Amman Citadel and has long had pride of place looking over the rest of this historic city. 

The temple was dedicated to Hercules, the famous Greco-Roman God who was revered by many in the ancient era. The tall pillars that once formed the entrance still stand, but much of the rest of the temple has fallen into ruin, including the monolithic statue of Hercules.

Our Top Recommended Tours:

3. Visit the Jordan Archaeological Museum 

Jordan Archaeological Museum

One of the best things to do in Amman Jordan is to visit the excellent Jordan Archeological Museum, which is the centerpiece of the Citadel. 

The museum dates back to 1951 and has for decades housed many of the most important archaeological discoveries which have been unearthed from across the country. 

The depth of the finds on display here is astounding and you can see exhibits from the Prehistoric through to the ancient and then medieval eras.

Our Top Recommended Tours:

4. Wander the Jordan Museum

The Jordan Museum

History lovers won’t want to miss out on a trip to the Jordan Museum either, a much newer museum which only opened its doors to the public in 2016. 

The Jordan Museum was built specifically to house the wealth of archaeological finds being discovered across the country that couldn’t fit into the much smaller Jordan Archeological Museum.

It’s the largest museum and one of the best things to do in Amman Jordan, holding such vital exhibits as the Dead Sea Scrolls.

These ancient Jewish texts – and the ‘Ain Ghazal Statues – are thought to be the world’s oldest human statues –  all of which are thousands of years old. 

The Jordan Museum helps visitors to truly appreciate just how many civilizations and different peoples have made Jordan their home over millennia. 

Our Top Recommended Tours:

5. Climb the Roman Theatre

Roman Theatre Amman, Jordan

One of the most iconic places to visit in the Jordanian capital is the ancient Roman Theatre.

This famed sight is one of the oldest tourist attractions in Amman and can trace its origins back to around 100 AD, making it almost 2000 years old.

The impressive theatre is very much still standing after all those years and is used to host extravagant music concerts and cultural performances.

The stadium was designed to hold 6000 people, and considering its age it is a remarkable work of ancient engineering. 

Our Top Recommended Tours:

6. See the Odeon

The Odeon Amman, Jordan

As impressive as the huge Roman Theatre is, nearby you can also visit the much smaller, yet equally astounding Odeon.

The Odeon is a much more intimate theatre, a theatre that was designed to hold only 500 people, rather than thousands. The Odeon also dates back to the Roman era and it continues to hold small concerts today. 

Our Top Recommended Tours:

7. See the Roman Ruins of Nymphaeum

Nymphaeum Roman ruins in Amman, Jordan

The capital is a treasure trove of Roman ruins, many of which have been restored in recent years.

One of the best things to do in Amman Jordan is to visit the ancient Nymphaeum, which is one of the most intriguing of those restored Roman ruins.

The Nymphaeum is an old Roman fountain, which at its height held a huge amount of rainwater.

It’s a wonderful work of Roman engineering and like the nearby theatres, also dates back to the same era, being almost 2000 years old. 

Our Top Recommended Tours:

8. Stroll Along the Hashemite Plaza

Hashemite Plaza Amman, Jordan

Hashemite Plaza is both the ancient and modern center of the capital, and a visit here is one of the best things to do in Amman Jordan.

Hashemite Plaza is the heart of Amman’s historic Downtown, the same area where you can find the Roman theatres and fountains, all overlooked by the imposing figure of the Amman Citadel. 

Hashemite Plaza was much restored alongside the theatres and other ruins too and was officially reopened in 2014, being named after the country’s Hashemite Royal Family. 

Today, the wide-open plaza is not only a lovely place for a stroll but is surrounded by history and often the location of public events and performances in the city. 

Our Top Recommended Tours:

9. Visit the Jordan Folklore Museum 

Jordan Folklore Museum

Another interesting museum, and one of the best things to do in Amman Jordan, is the Jordan Folklore Museum.

Again found in the center of Amman’s Downtown, the Jordan Folklore Museum has a central place next to the huge Roman Theatre, on the edge of Hashemite Plaza. 

Despite its ancient location, the Jordan Folklore Museum actually has a focus on more modern aspects of Jordanian life.

It offers an insight into the culture and history of the Bedouin and Arabic tribes through the 19th and 20th centuries that would go on to create the country of Jordan that you have today.

There are some great exhibits, mostly depicting what desert life was like for the nomadic groups that wandered through Jordan.

Our Top Recommended Tours:

10. Check Out the Royal Automobile Museum

Royal Automobile Museum Jordan

If you’re more interested in the modern rather than the ancient, then one of the best things to do in Amman Jordan is to visit the Royal Automobile Museum.

The excellent museum is home to an eccentric collection of cars that have been owned by the Hashemite Royal Family over the years. 

You don’t need to be a car connoisseur to appreciate the Royal Automobile Museum, because the cars also help to show a unique side of the country’s royal family and their intertwined histories. 

Our Top Recommended Tours:

11. Visit the King Abdullah Mosque 

King Abdullah Mosque Amman, Jordan

To learn more about religious life in the capital, then one of the best things to do in Amman Jordan is to call into the famed King Abdullah Mosque.

The mosque is named for King Abdullah, who helped to overthrow the Ottoman Empire in World War I before establishing the Hashemite family as rulers of Jordan. 

Tourists are welcome to visit and can visit the museum that’s found inside. Make sure you visit outside of prayer time though and dress respectably in long sleeves and trousers. 

Our Top Recommended Tours:

12. Spend Time in the National Gallery of Fine Arts

National Gallery of Fine Arts

For a look at the cultural rather than purely historic side of the country, then one of the best things to do in Amman Jordan is to explore the National Gallery of Fine Arts.

The art gallery is home to a wonderful collection of contemporary artworks collected from across Jordan and the rest of the Middle East, offering a unique insight into the colorful and intricately detailed world of modern Islamic art.  

Our Top Recommended Tours:

13. See Rainbow Street 

Rainbow Street Amman, Jordan

The most famous street in the capital – and one of the best things to do in Amman Jordan – is Rainbow Street.

Rainbow Street makes its way through or close to the most important parts of Amman, including the Citadel and the old Downtown district with its ruins and history. 

This is where tradition and history meet with modernity and youth, and as well as bustling markets and shops you can find nightlife and late-night cafes staying open until the early hours of the morning all along its length. 

This is the place to drink coffee in the mornings, beers at night, and to gorge on excellent falafel all through the day. Rainbow Street is a different side of the Jordanian capital, and a must-visit when you’re exploring the city. 

Our Top Recommended Tours:

14. Learn the Legends at the Cave of the Seven Sleepers

Cave of the Seven Sleepers Amman, Jordan

On the outskirts of Amman, you can find the fascinating Cave of the Seven Sleepers. This unique cave is steeped in legend and is said to be where persecuted Christians fled to escape the Romans.

You can find the ruins of churches and mosques, as well as ancient graveyards by the caves. Not too many people visit the Cave of the Seven Sleepers, but for history lovers, it’s a must. 

Our Top Recommended Tours:

15. Take a Day Trip to Mount Nebo

Mount Nebo Lookout, Jordan

If you’re looking to escape the city then take a trip into the nearby mountains, where you can visit Mount Nebo. 

The mountain is important in biblical stories because it’s here that Moses supposedly saw the Promised Land.

From its summit, at 800 meters in height, you can see all along the Jordan Valley, and right into Israel and Palestine. The views are incredible, as is the history of Mount Nebo too.

Our Top Recommended Tours:

Recommended Tours
Highlights of Jordan
8 Days
Small Group
12-16 People
Egypt & Jordan Adventure
15 Days
Small Group
12-16 People
Explore Israel & Jordan
15 Days
Small Group
12-16 People
Check PriceCheck Price Check Price

More on Jordan:

Did you like this story? Share it!


Looking to get started on your trip planning process? Let us help!

Travel Gear & Packing: Check out our packing lists and travel gear guide to ensure you're bringing the right items on your trip.

Book Your Flight: Ready to fly? Check out our tips for finding cheap flights.

Find A Car Rental:We use Discover Cars to compare car prices, find deals and book rentals.

Book Your Hotel: Compare prices and book with our recommended hotel search engine. You should also check out our tips for finding cheap accommodation.

Find Vacation Rentals: Search vacation rentals & apartments on VRBO for the best prices and options.

Protect Your Trip:Don’t forget your travel insurance! Protect your investment and yourself. Read Is Travel Insurance Worth It?

If you need more help planning your trip, be sure to check out our Step by Step Trip Planning Guide where we break down our process for getting the trip planning process right every single time.

About Lina Stock

Lina is an award-winning photographer and writer that has been exploring the world since 2001. She has traveled to 100 countries on all 7 continents. Member: SATW, NATJA, ATTA, ITWA

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. We are also a member of other affiliate programs. For more info please read our disclosure page

Leave a Comment

Divergent Travelers- Adventure Travel Blog