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Overview

Light on antiquity, Jordan's young capital is no Damascus or Cairo but still has its pockets of charm. A modern, outward-looking capital and reluctant player in Middle Eastern politics, the city has long been dominated by events outside its borders and today shelters a large population of both Palestinian and, more recently, Iraqi refugees. Desperate to avoid blowback from the conflict in neighboring Iraq, Amman remains one of the region's safest cities, despite a couple of isolated terrorist incidents in 2005. A Roman citadel and amphitheater still dominate a downtown that overflows with bustling backstreet bazaars and cafes. Farther west ...

Light on antiquity, Jordan's young capital is no Damascus or Cairo but still has its pockets of charm. A modern, outward-looking capital and reluctant player in Middle Eastern politics, the city has long been dominated by events outside its borders and today shelters a large population of both Palestinian and, more recently, Iraqi refugees. Desperate to avoid blowback from the conflict in neighboring Iraq, Amman remains one of the region's safest cities, despite a couple of isolated terrorist incidents in 2005. A Roman citadel and amphitheater still dominate a downtown that overflows with bustling backstreet bazaars and cafes. Farther west are the swanky modern districts of Abdoun and Shmeisani, the place to share a latte with hip young professionals, dine at one of the city's excellent Lebanese restaurants and then hit the clubs to experience some chic Arabic nightlife. Once you've exhausted the local sights, Amman offers excellent day trips to the Roman ruins of Jerash, the citadels of the eastern desert or the spas of the Dead Sea. And with nowhere in the country more than four hours' drive from the capital, Amman is the perfect springboard to the rest of Jordan.

Bradley Mayhew
About the Expert

Bradley Mayhew is the author of more than 25 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, including Central Asia, Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan and Jordan, and is coauthor of the Odyssey guide to Uzbekistan.

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Bradley Mayhew for Triporati

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Now Happening in Amman

Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Capital of Jordan, located in the Northeast of the country
  • Language: Arabic
  • Currency: Jordanian Dinar
  • Research: Wikitravel | Amman
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Spring (March, April), fall (September, October)