Jordan — Attractions
Jordan is steeped in history and the legacy of ruins, castles and mythical sites are proof enough. From ancient cities to impressive museums and natural wonders, Jordan is certainly not short on attractions. Jordan’s sites are not only historically and politically important, but are also set within eerily beautiful environments, making sightseeing excursions all the more interesting.
A main attraction for many travelers to the region, Petra is an extraordinary ancient city and one of the new world wonders. Carved straight into solid rock, this city withstood centuries of conflict and natural disasters and was the capital of the Nabatean Arab Empire. After a two kilometer walk through a narrow gorge, the ancient town unfolds in all its glory. From monuments and tombs to temples and monasteries, there are many sites to explore and a rushed visit simply will not do it justice.
Address: Wadi Musa, Ma’in Governorate, Southern Jordan
Jordan boasts many desert valleys, but one of the most magnificent is Wadi Rum, home to a spectacular complex of rock arches and pillars just south of the Shara Mountains. This region is one of the most popular areas of the country after Petra in Wadi Musa. The valley is an almost perfect north-south formation of parallel faults made from basalt, granite and sandstone and centuries of weather damage have molded these monoliths into outstanding structures. A visit to this historical region an absolute must.
Address: Southern Jordan
Roman Theater of Amman
With a seating capacity of 6000, the amphitheatre in Amman is a brilliant reminder of the power once wielded by the Romans in the region. Cut directly into the side of the Jebel al-Qala’a, the theatre is remarkable icon of the ancient world. The site of countless cultural displays and battles of honor, the legacy continues and visitors today may be lucky enough to catch a theatrical performance during the peak season in July and August. Photographs are best taken in the early morning when the sun is gentle or in the evenings when the theatre is lit up.
Address: Jebel al-Qala’a, Old Town, Amman
National Archaeological Museum
Located on the same hill as the Roman Theater, the National Archaeological Museum is a great place to engage in the context surrounding Jordan’s famous sites. With exhibits spanning the eras, the museum has a comprehensive collection that tells the story of Jordan’s history. Showcasing everything from human skulls and art to scrolls from the Dead Sea, the museum is definitely the place to go for those travelers wanting to learn more about this enchanting land.
Address: Jebel al-Qala’a, Citidel, Amman
Phone: +962 6 463 8795
Located atop Jebel al-Qala’a, Amman’s highest hill, the Citadel is a remarkable structure which once served as a fortress thousands of years ago. Surrounded by walls spanning 5,000 feet, the complex provides great insight into the Roman, Byzantine and Umayyad eras and artifacts give us clues about the Bronze and Iron Ages. One of the most impressive buildings is the Umayyad Palace, which once served as a home for royalty, quite a sight to behold.
Address: Jebel al-Qala’a, Old Town, Amman
Ruins at Jerash
The ruins at Jerash are one of the most well-preserved sites which point to the Middle Eastern Roman era. The former ancient walled city holds the remains of the administrative and commercial center of ancient Jerash. Travelers are able to wander through the pathways, conjuring up images of bustling markets, merchants and food vendors. For more information about the site, check out the visitor’s center just next to the complex.
Address: Jerash, Northern Jordan
St George’s Church & Mosaic Map
For many, the church itself is not the highlight of a visit to this site, but rather it is the stunning mosaic map that lies within which draws the crowds. St George’s has some architectural appeal, displaying an authentic 19th century Byzantine design, but the interior holds the oldest map of Palestine known in existence. The site is extremely significant to both historians and religious leaders making a visit here rather special.
Address: Talal Street, Madaba