Amman

Amman



I have lived in Amman for four years.

The least you could say is that this city stays under the radar of the outside world.

Tourists merely stay here for a few hours on their way to Petra and it’s quite overlooked by the glamorous and stylish travel magazines and guides.

However, there is more to do here than you would think and Amman has evolved tremendously well these last years, thanks to people who care about their city and heritage.

If you look closer (and you will thanks to our help!), you will discover a city that is eager to develop its artistic potential.

There are also signs that the country wants to build on its strengths, an extraordinary nature and a millinery heritage, by developing great cultural, sports and eco-tourism concepts.

On top of this, Jordan’s capital city is very central and can be a great base for some fantastic one-day excursions.


  • Essentials :

  • 01

    Kindness. people are usually very kind and you’ll often hear “Ahlan was Ahlan”, which translates as “welcome to Jordan”.

  • 02

    Weather. Amman is located at 850m above sea level. The weather is great but can be really cold in the winter (it can even snow!). Even in the summer, there is quite a lot of wind. Always take a jacket or a shawl for the evenings.

     

  • 03

    Dress code. Jordan is a Muslim country, but is liberal in the sense that women are dressed in a western manner and although a lot of women (more and more actually) are wearing a headscarf, there is no need to do so. Avoid short skirts and don’t wear shorts when visiting. Dress “modestly” when going downtown. A pant and a loose shirt (chemise) are your best options. In the resorts and the hotels, there’s no problem to wear a bikini. You’ll sometimes see burkinis but there’s no reason for you to cover). Both bikinis and burkinis (the “halal” swimsuit”) live side by side without a problem.

  • 04

    Security. There is (up until now) no security issue. Normal precautions apply, but Amman is quite safe, much safer in fact than any western city. You can walk around without any problem. You should not be harassed as a woman: you’ll just attract lots of stares but that’s normal. All women do. So just look straight ahead and you’ll be fine. You’ll also hear taxis honking but it’s not because you’re a woman, it’s just that it’s not really normal to be walking in Amman and they just want to attract your attention and tell you they are available for a ride.

  • 05

    Money. the currency is the Jordanian Dinar (JD). It’s linked to the USD. IJD is equal to 1000 fils or 100 piasters. Tipping is a common practice. Have lots of 1JD bills in your pocket.

    The list continues in Practicalities.

Contemporary art in Amman: Darat al Funun exhibits the works of Emily Jacir

Amman - 4 February 2015

Darat al Funun
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Elmorabba3 is a Jordanian band promoted by Shermine Sawalha (read our interview)

Shopping :

The main areas are:

Rainbow street. Restaurants, art galleries and some cool shops.

Jebel Weibdeh. Art galleries and a few nice shops.

Malls. Taj Mall or City Mall (see practicalities)

Abdali. The next big thing but it’s not totally opened yet. Close by, there’s the Abdali Flea market on Fridays but just if you like to dig into piles of old (or new) clothes.

Souk Jara. In Spring/Summer, in a street perpendicular to rainbow street (corner with the Jordan River Foundation). On Fridays, stalls with handicrafts, T’shirts,… (10 am to 10 pm)

Sweifieh and Wakalat street: the old commercial neighborhood.