Home to historic sites, culinary delights and a rich culture of Arab traditions and hospitality, Amman is an exciting place to start — or spend — your journey in Jordan.
Don’t be intimidated by the near-constant buzz of the city. Locals are quick to replace the so-called “Jordanian scowl” (Jordanians have a reputation for maintaining a stern demeanor) with a smile, and they’re just as keen to sit down for shai (tea) and a chat as they are to honk their car horns. In addition to friendly people and plenty of perfectly fried falafel, you’ll find old markets and ancient ruins alongside modern hotels and high-end shopping malls in this city built upon hills.
The best time to visit Amman
The summer months (May through August) in Amman are hot and dry, with temperatures in the 90s. Winters (November through February) can be cold, dreary and wet, with a great deal of rain and sometimes even hail when the temperature drops below freezing.
Spring (March and April) or autumn (September and October) tend to be the ideal periods to visit when the weather is typically more comfortable. Of course, this means that these are also peak travel times, so if you visit Amman during these months, expect higher rates and more crowds. It’s best to book well in advance as hotels do fill up during the high seasons.
What to pack for a trip to Amman
Save the hiking boots for Petra and the shorts and sundresses for the resorts at Aqaba and the Dead Sea. If you’re spending time in Jordan’s capital city, you’ll need urban apparel that’s suited to the seasons and culture — heavier layers for winter; lightweight, breathable clothing for summer; and no matter the weather, you’ll see that most people keep knees and shoulders covered.
If you’re visiting in the spring, summer or fall, a light jacket, fleece or sweater for evenings will be sufficient. But if you’re arriving in the winter, pack a warm coat, preferably one that’s waterproof. Be sure to bring your swimsuit and sandals, just in case your hotel has a pool, sauna or spa. For business meetings or fine dining, do bring appropriate attire — Jordanians tend to take pride in their appearance and some restaurants and bars enforce a dress code.
Don’t forget sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, comfortable shoes for walking the uneven city streets and a scarf to use as a head and neck cover when entering mosques or other sites where conservative dress is required. Be sure to bring an adapter for your electronics.
The best way to get around Amman
If you’re comfortable driving where the rules of the road are not always clear or enforced, you can take the wheel and rent a car. Ride-sharing apps such as Careem and Uber are another option, but be sure to allow for extra time when booking them; the roads in Amman are often congested and it can take a lot longer than you’d think to cover short distances. For those who prefer to sit back and relax, hire a private car and driver through your hotel or tour operator.