A jumbled layout and busy atmosphere amid markets and museums create a film-like scene in a historic district enclosed by a citadel and seven hills.
Downtown Amman is the area’s initial commercial area, dating back thousands of years. In this oldest part of Amman, you’ll find many of the city’s most fascinating historic attractions. Learn about its intriguing past through the array of sights adorning the city center.
As you stand in the heart of the district, admire the exceptional form of the undulating terrain. The city center appears to breathe, with hills rippling up and around it. Climb up and down the tall sets of steps connecting the hills to the valley, as you consider the long history of the place. The area is thought to have been inhabited since about 6500 B.C.
The seven hills are known as jabals, one of which hoists the imposing Amman Citadel that has been occupied by many different dynasties over the centuries. Within the citadel lies a range of architectural treasures. Marvel at the domed Umayyad Palace and enter through the Monumental Gateway to check out the ruins inside.
The Hashemite Plaza is named for Jordan’s royal family. This vast open space with fountains, gardens and cafés comes alive on weekend evenings. Get a sense of the local culture by exploring the souks and bazaars nearby. The sounds of street vendors and regional music boom from the charming alleys.
Beside the plaza is the Amman Roman Amphitheater, whose semi-ruined stadium with a capacity of 6,000 is one of the city’s enduring sights. Inspect the adjacent Odeon that was built at the same time as the amphitheater.
The district occupies the central core of Amman, lying within the perimeter of the seven hills that incorporate the citadel. It is sandwiched by the areas of Al Rjoum and Wadi al Srour. Get around the narrow lanes of this downtown area on foot or take a taxi.
With its markets and historic attractions, Downtown Amman is the heart and soul of the city.