13 Epic Things to Do in Amman (Jordan) on a Budget

By on Published: June 11, 2018 | Last Updated: May 1, 2020 in Budget Travel Ideas, JORDAN, Middle East with 4 Comments

Top 10 Budget-Friendly Things to Do in Amman, Jordan

Amman in Jordan is possibly the most chilled capital city I’ve ever been in!

Arriving here from Cairo, I could scarcely believe it when I woke up to find myself in the most, relaxed, stress-free and quiet of capitals, where life rarely even seems to stir before 10am!

But when it does get going there’s a surprising amount to do in this cute city and, with it being so small, most things are even within easy walking distance – my favourite!

As such, I actually ended up spending over a week in Amman (ha!) and while you might not hang around for that long, it’s likely that you’ll spend at least a few days in this city on your arrival in and / or departure from Jordan.

But, a word of warning!

Most travellers start by saying they’ll spend just a few days in Amman, but as they relax into this country’s way of life and inevitably meet other travellers in this Middle Eastern hub, it’s amazing how the days roll into each other!

So if Jordan is on your travel horizon, check out these 13 epic things to do in Amman – the perfect budget travel companion guide to your time in this very loveable capital.


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#1 Explore the Souk

Amman’s lovely Souk sits in the centre of town and is a great place to pick up, well, just about anything you could need!

With an amazing array of fresh fruits and veggies, nuts and dried fruits, clothes, electrical bits and beauty products, it’s the place to head if you’ve forgotten anything when you packed!

There’s also some wonderful coffee shops situated within its many streets and taking time to refuel at one of these and watch the action pass you by is a great way to get into the spirit of Amman.

And it goes without saying, that the photo opps in this Middle Eastern market are pretty good too!

All in all, exploring the souk is defintiely one of the best things to do in Amman.

 

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#2 Visit the Blue Mosque

Visiting the Blue Mosque in Amman, otherwise known as the King Abdullah Mosque, is definitely one of the top entires on my “what to do in Amman” list.

Holding an impressive 7000 potential worshippers, this gorgeous structure is the only mosque in the city that welcomes non-Muslim visitors.

Heading here may give you your first direct insight into the primary religion of the Jordanian people and the blue dome that gives this mosque its nickname is very beautiful indeed.

 

#3 Climb to the Citadel

Jordan, Amman, Citadel Views

One of my favourite budget-friendly things to do in Amman is to climb up the Roman Citadel, which sits on a hill peering down over the city.

And while the ruins of this ancient outpost are ok, it’s really the views from its elevated position that make it worth the hike!

The cheapest way to visit Amman’s Citadel is with the Jordan Pass – an online attraction ticket you should buy in advance of your visit to this country.

Including your visa fee, free entry to Petra, as well as a while heap of other attractions around the city, such as the Citadel, with the Jordan Pass you can get into this hilltop attraction for free!

 

#4 Discover the Amman Museum

Jordan’s newest museum sadly isn’t included in the Jordan Pass, but it’s well worth the reasonable entrance free and is certainly one of the top things to see in Amman.

With tons of interactive displays, interesting exhibits and its trump card – some of the Dead Sea Scrolls – this is the one museum you should definitely visit if you’re interested in learning more about the incredibly rich history of the country of Jordan and its people.

 

#5 Marvel at the Roman Theatre

Jordan, Amman, Roman Theatre

Sticking with the history vibe, checking out the extremely well-preserved Roman Theatre, which literally sits in the heart of this capital, is a great budget-friendly thing to do in Amman, especially if you have the Jordan Pass, because then again, entry is free!

If you’re staying at Jordan Tower Hostel, then the Roman Theatre is literally next door, otherwise it’s a few minutes walk from the main street and the Souk.

There’s a small museum attached to the theatre included in the entrance price and while the signage isn’t great, it’s amazing to be able to scale the seats and stalls of a place that humans have been visiting for hundreds of years.

 

#6 Visit the Oldest Building in Amman

When it comes to things to see in Amman, you absolutely can’t miss the oldest building in the city, which is thought to have been built in 1924.

Formerly the Central Post Office, and later a Hotel, Duke’s Diwan (as it is called) is a wonderfully well-preserved stone building that’s become an architectural treasure.

Visitors and artists are welcome to step inside – indeed the word Diwan references the Arabic word for the room of the house always open to guests – so beautifully typical of this culture.

Located at 12 King Faisal Street, this is definitely one of the top places to go in Amman if you fancy a walk down history lane.

 

#7 Snap the Colourful Streets

Jordan, Amman, Umbrella Street

There’s some really fun and funky streets to discover in Amman and just taking yourself for a wander in the city can be a great way to stumble upon them.

But, if you weren’t aware, Jordan is built across a series hills, meaning a wander can also turn into a hike!

Add to this the thin, winding and often cobbled streets of this city, and getting lost here as a traveller is almost guaranteed!

But that’s ok, because this safe city is kind of the perfect place for it and, in doing so, you never know what beautiful treats you might stumble upon.

My favourite was the umbrella stairway – let me know if you find it too!

Another colourful street – Rainbow Street – is also a top pick on my “where to go in Amman” list.

 

#8 Treat Yourself at Wild Jordan

Jordan, Amman, Wild Jordan

One of the city’s best cafes, a trip to Wild Jordan is one of Amman’s must-do things.

Not super easy on the budget to be fair, it is worth however stopping by even just for a juice or a coffee to take in one of the best views of the capital.

A non-profit organisation that supports many of Jordan’s national reserves and promotes environmental issues, Wild Jordan do a great job and it’s worth supporting them.

Plus, their café makes for a great digital nomad spot and the staff will happily let you sit there and work for hours… trust me!

 

#9 Feast on Hashem Falafels

Jordan, Amman, Hammesh Falafels

And while we’re on the food vibe, it’s hard to talk about budget-friendly things to do in Amman without mentioning the famous Hashem eatery.

Supposedly a favourite of the King of Jordan, this long-standing family kitchen is renowned for its amazing falafels and I can definitely testify to the fact they are delicious.

Served night and day, and accompanied by yummy hummus, tea and ful, tucking in for a least one meal here while you’re in Amman is almost a rite of passage!

This is an absolute must when it comes to the places to go eat in Amman.

 

#10 Get Your Sweet Tooth Fix

And after Hashem, it’s all about heading to the local hotspot of Habibah Knafeh for kunafa.

A typical middle-eastern desert comprising of a noodle-like pastry soaked in sweet syrup, kunafa is then typically layered with cheese and topped with nuts.

Personally, it’s way to sweet for me, but people go wild for it!

I don’t really need to relay to you where this place is, because it’s right near Hashem and you’ll see the queues down the street, but just in case you don’t, it’s on Al-Hazzar St!

 

#11 Day Trip to Jerash

Jordan, Jerash, Thistle

Ok, so granted this one isn’t in Amman itself, but Jerash – an incredibly well-preserved Roman City – is an easy bus ride away and is a must-see from the capital.

Just a short drive away, Jerash makes for an easy day trip from Ammsn, but do set out early in the morning as you’ll want at least a few hours to explore all of these amazing ruins.

Of course, the local minivans that run to Jerash also don’t depart until they all full, so heading here early will give you plenty of time if the journey does take a bit longer than you’d hoped!

Jerash is absolutely one of the best places to go in Amman, if not the whole of Jordan!

 

#12 Float at the Dead Sea

Another out of town suggestion, I couldn’t resist squeezing this one in as it really was a highlight of my time in Amman.

Honestly, who knew floating could be so fun!

Hard to get to on public transport however, the best way to float in the Dead Sea is one of the budget-friendly tours organised by Jordan Tower Hostel.

This hostel groups backpackers together and arranges a driver and transport too, making it the best and easiest way to experience this crazy salt lake for yourself.

Also included in the Jordan Towers Dead Sea trip are the nearby sites of Mount Nebo and the Madaba Mosaics, as well as some seriously panoramic drives and lookouts.

Paired with a local driver, the tours are also a great way to learn more about regular life in Jordan and to get some top tips on the best places to eat, shop and drink tea!

Otherwise, if you want to book something in advance, or spend the whole day at the Dead Sea, check out this top-rated day tour gives you plenty of time to float and enjoy a mud bath at this high-mineral content sea.

 

#13 Smoke Shisha

And after all that activity, you’ll be more than ready to chill out at the end of your time in Amman.

So why not do as the locals do and head out to smoke some shisha?

While you can buy alcohol in Jordan, it’s certainly not prevalent, but smoking flavoured tobacco definitely is… and it’s cheap too.

Numerous cafes line the streets of Amman, from where you can head up to the rooftop to enjoy Shisha with a fruit juice or coffee and a view over the city – perfection!

 

Best Budget Accommodation in Amman

Jordan, Amman, Cityscape

In case you weren’t aware Jordan isn’t, unfortunately, as cheap as you may imagine to travel in.

This means even the price of budget accommodation here is likely to surprise you… and not in a good way.

In Amman, there’s several choices and while some of the cheapest options might at first seem appealing, my advice would be to spend a few dollars more a night and rest your head at Jordan Tower Hostel.

With an awesome location, delicious breakfasts and spotlessly clean, the dorms here are the best deal.

Otherwise, if you want some space, request a private room with a balcony!

I ended up staying in Jordan Tower Hostel for the 10 days I was in Amman and was really pleased with the opportunities it gave me to meet other travellers as well as locals.

 

Travel Safety in Amman, Jordan

Jordan, Amman, Local Man

Which leads me on nicely to talking about travel safety in Amman.

Having travelled all across Jordan as a solo female, I’m happy to say I found adventuring in this Middle Eastern country incredibly safe.

Staying at Jordan Towers, I met loads of other great travellers and we even teamed up on some trips to make things more fun and cheaper too!

As safe as it is however, I would never think of travelling to Jordan without proper coverage and always recommend travel insurance from World Nomads which I’ve used during my time in this country and throughout the Middle East.

I love their great coverage of hiking activities – crucial for travel in a country like Jordan – as well as their excellent customer service and ability to claim online, which is very handy if you’re travelling in remote places for a long time.

Other tips when it comes to staying safe in Jordan include getting a local SIM card, making sure you stay hydrated and dressing appropriately. Learn more about what to wear in Jordan here.

 

5 Packing Essentials for Jordan

Jordan, Kings Highway, Me

#1 Jordan Lonely Planet – I’m still a big fan of the Lonely Planet as my travel companion of choice and am delighted they do an entire Jordan Guidebook, which is jam-packed full of historical info that will save you the cost of a guide in many of this country’s amazing sites. Otherwise, the Lonely Planet Middle East guide also has a good section on Jordan if you’re travelling more in this part of the world.

#2 Camera – I love my Sony A6000 mirrorless camera, which I can’t recommend enough for adventurous travellers. Light, compact and easy to use, this is a must if you want to snap some amazing pics of Jordan’s epicness.

#3 Thin Pants – Jordan is a predominantly Muslim country and while it’s not super strict, I wouldn’t advise walking around in shorts in Amman, and definitely not if you want to visit the Blue Mosque. As such, a pair of thin, long pants, like this would be great for your time in the city.

#4 Sweater – I didn’t realise, but Amman does get cool in the evenings (outside of the summer months) so bringing a light, thin sweater, like this, which you can throw on when the sun goes down, is a great idea.

#5 Day Pack – There’s so many historical sites in Jordan, that you’re likely to be doing at least a few days of fairly exhausting sightseeing while you’re here. As such, I highly recommend bringing a good day pack with you, so that you can comfortably carry your camera, water, sunscreen and guidebook hands-free. As always, the Bobby Anti Theft Backpack is my go-to!

 

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So there you have it, my list of the 13 best things to do in Amman, the capital of Jordan, on a budget!

Is this little Middle Eastern beauty on your bucket list yet?

It definitely should be – I loved my time there!

 

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About the Author

About the Author: Creator of Big World Small Pockets, Stephanie Parker is a budget travel addict! Originally from Jersey in the Channel Islands, Stephanie backpacks the world collecting tips, advice and stories, to share with a smile .

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There Are 4 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Zaiga says:

    Thank you for this post! It’s really helpful and this made me think that we could stay in Amman more than only one day. 😉

    • Steph says:

      Hi Zaiga, yes you can definitely pass a few days in Amman, especially if you take some day trips out. It’s a very relaxed capital, which can come as a bit of a relief! Enjoy, Steph 🙂

  2. Diala says:

    Great post
    Next time you want to try kunafa ask them to add little to no Qater (or Kater)
    It makes the kunafa taste extra sweet

    • Steph says:

      Wow what a tip Diala! Love this info. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of sweet, but I’m sure other readers are gonna love this! Thanks, Steph 🙂

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