11.05.2020
5 min.

Answers to all the questions you may have

One of the hardest things to do when visiting a new country is to know where to start exploring. You’d want to start somewhere central and easy to get to since the place is all new to you. In Amman, that starting point is nothing other than the Amman Citadel.
Read on to

Views from the Citadel

When thinking of where you should start for a tour of Amman, the Citadel is the perfect starting point. Situated on the top of a hill (Jabal Al Qala’a) in the middle of downtown Amman, the Citadel has a beautiful 360-degree view of Amman, 850 meters above sea level. As well as the beautiful views, you can bask in various architectural remains as it is an excavation site for many different civilizations that once inhabited the area.

Best time to go

Although the Citadel opens from 8 am until 7 pm on Saturdays to Thursdays between April and September and until 4 pm between October and March. The Citadel is only open from 10 am until 4 pm on Fridays throughout the year.

The best time to go, in my humble opinion, would be a little bit before sunset (which is when they close). The golden hour definitely gives the Citadel and the view of Amman an extra little bedazzle for you to gaze your eyes upon (and take a couple of snaps to make your friends and family back home just a little jealous they’re not with you).

Entrance to the Citadel is 2 Jordanian Dinars per person or free for holders of the Jordan Pass.

Tip: Although the site officially closes at 7 pm (or 4 pm in winter), ticket sales and entry stops an hour before, so make sure to get there with plenty of time to explore.

History of the Amman Citadel

As an excavation point of many different historical eras, the Amman Citadel boasts a wide range of history to “dig into” if you’re a history buff. Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans, as well as Umayyad and Ayyubid dynasties all, left a mark atop this hill.

Imagine walking around were these great civilizations once were? Signs of human inhabitants can be dated back to 1550 – 1650 BC (The Middle Bronze Age). History enthusiasts can take a look back in time by walking around the 3 major sites which are: The Roman Hercules Temple, The Umayyad Palace, and The Byzantine Church. As well as what can be said as an “open-air museum”, the Citadel hosts an “indoor museum” – The Jordan Archaeological Museum, which is open to visitors of the Citadel and entrance is included in the ticket price. The museum has excavated pieces from the Citadel itself, as well as jewels and statues.

It’s also good to know that a large area of the area has yet to be excavated so think of all the things you don’t even know you’re walking around/on. The hilltop is surrounded by a 1,700-meter-long wall which had been rebuilt many times during the Bronze and Iron Ages.

The most famous site at the Citadel has got to be Hercules Temple. As well as the few structures that remain from the temple, the must-see object has got to be the giant hand which is believed to be the remains of a huge statue of Hercules. Just looking at the size of the hand makes you wonder just how big the actual statue was! Experts guess that the statue would have measured upwards of 40ft high. It’s a shame all that remains is the hand as the statue if it was still standing, would have been amongst the largest marble statues to have ever existed. Isn’t that something?

Do I need a guide?

If you aren’t too interested in the history of the Citadel, then you can skip the guide. However, if you are interested to know more about the history, then a guide would come in handy. Having a guide with you from a reputable tour company would come in handy and they will be sure to show you everything worth seeing at the Citadel and the rest of Amman.

Not into history? Still worth the visit

The Citadel is definitely worth the visit even if you aren’t into history. The location has a cute little café/supermarket where you can sit down, relax, and enjoy the view of Amman as well as the unique atmosphere it brings with it; from the mix of tourists and locals to tourists basking in the history and kids playing football or flying their kites. If the beautiful view of Amman wasn’t enough to motivate you to go, it is also located just a short distance (downhill – if you needed extra motivation) from the Roman Amphitheatre (another place worth visiting) and the Husseini Mosque (also worth a visit).

You could also take a picnic along with you to enjoy while sitting amongst the ruins, basking in the sun, and enjoying the view and fresh mountain breeze.

Why there are kids playing football at an archaeological site?

This may be an odd sight to see at an archaeological site, but you may come across a bunch of kids playing football among the ruins. Although a rare sight to see in other countries, this site is not so rare in Jordan as Jordanians love children and like to see them having fun in a relatively safe environment. It’s quite nice to see such a historical place filled with life (and balls).

How to get there?

If you take my recommendation and use it as your starting point, then the best (and easiest) way to get there would be to take a taxi from downtown Amman (which will cost you around 1 Jordanian Dinar) taking the only road which lease to the Citadel – Al Malek Ali Bin Al Hussein Street.

This will avoid the uphill trek you would otherwise have to make and will save you energy for your walk down when you’re done basking in the beautiful views and archeological remains at the top.

To walk down from the Citadel to downtown Amman, you will find the steps going down east of the Citadel. The steps take you down right opposite the Roman Amphitheatre.

How much time do I need?

Depending on how “in-depth” you want to get, your time spent at the Citadel will vary.

If you just want to walk around browsing the ruins and enjoying the views, then an hour should be enough. If like mentioned before, you’d like to dig into history, then you should estimate spending no less than an hour and a half to two hours. That would give you enough time to indulge in history as well as beautiful views.

What to wear?

Amman is still considered a rather conservative place so try avoiding really short shorts, tank tops, or anything that may be considered too revealing. Although it may seem odd, actually wearing loose pants would be cooler and more comfortable for you than shorts as, in the summer, the temperature can get quite hot and shorts aren’t always the best option for staying cool.

Being respectful towards the Jordanian culture is always advised. Covering your shoulders and arms and wearing anything that goes below the knee when visiting certain touristic spots is recommended.

More importantly, you should keep in mind that you would be doing quite a bit of walking, so wearing trainers or sturdy shoes is highly recommended over flip-flops or flimsy sandals. Taking a hat or a scarf to cover your head if it gets too hot is also recommended.

Where can I book a tour of Amman including the Citadel?

Amman has many ‘must-see’ spots to visit; the Citadel is just one of many. If you would like to check out Amman as a whole, you can browse the many different tour options we offer on our website including a tour of the Citadel and downtown Amman, Multiday tours, One day tours of Amman, and many more.

The Amman Citadel should be at the top of every Amman itinerary. It is a significant archaeological site located in the downtown area which is very each to reach.

AbdulAM
AbdulAM
April 11, 2021.
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The Best Tour of My Life!!!!! I did a private tour with Zaman for all the highlights of Jordan, and I don't have enough words to thank them for such an amazing and memorable trip. The tour was so well organized and they made me feel I was traveling with a friend. The driver was so professional and friendly and during the entire trip I felt so safe. I feel so fortunate to experience Jordan with Zaman Tours, and If I am visiting Jordan again, I would definitely reach out to them again :-)
JP Vann
JP Vann
March 31, 2021.
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The Best of Jordan with Zaman Tours We had little time to plan for our February 2020 Jordan trip, 2 weeks to be exact. We contacted Zaman Tours as they are accredited by the Jordan Tourism Board. Ms Eman quickly responded to my email and offered an 8-day private package that suited our budget. Ms Eman was patient in answering my queries and requests. She arranged our itinerary and our package included airport transfers, a good choice of 3 and 4-star accommodations, sightseeing and admission tickets, a modern Hyundai Sonata for our transportation, bottled water & wifi onboard and half board meals i the hotels. Local guide services in Jerash and Petra as well as Petra by Night tour were optional and can be bought either in advance or on-site. Airport pick up was a breeze. Zaman Tours representative, Mr Freddy, welcome and helped us through immigration and baggage claim. Our English speaking driver for our entire stay was Mr Shareef, an excellent and courteous driver. He was on time all the time. He did all the check-ins for us. During drives, he gave short insights about the place we would be visiting. He also gave recommendations on other activities you could do for extra cost like Turkish bath after a tiring walk in Petra, an additional jeep tour in Wadi Rum and a private cruise in Aqaba. Along the way, he would stop where we could eat lunch, drink coffee, use toilet or buy souvenirs. We appreciated his flexibility with time. We were able to adjust pick up times enabling us to stay a bit longer at our selected sites. We traveled to almost all the significant and picturesque places in the whole of Jordan. We went to Ajloun, Jerash, Amman Citadel, Mount Nebo, Madaba, Petra, Little Petra, Wadi Rum, Aqaba, Bethany and Dead Sea. We stayed 2 nights in Amman, 2 nights in Petra and a night each in Wadi Rum, Aqaba and Dead Sea. I had to say all the accommodations booked by Zaman Tours were centrally located and clean. We were also happy that we never had to worry where to have dinner every night as all dinners were included in the price that we paid. My recommendation to those who would like to see both the Treasury and the Monastery is to book 2 nights in Petra. My suggestion when buying souvenir items and Dead Sea products is to purchase them in Aqaba where the prices are a lot cheaper. And for the other activities, hotels offer more choices at friendly prices. Thank you to Zaman Tours... Ms Eman, Mr Freddy and Mr Shareef for a wonderful first trip to Jordan. Hope to be back someday... Shokran! See the best of Jordan with Zaman Tours!
german.z
german.z
March 21, 2020.
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mar muerto mucho más que flotar llegas a un resort 5 estrellas con todas las comodidades y luego te sumergis en el agua flotando con el barro de las orillas. el cutis y la piel te quedan increíbles. luego disfruté completo en los hoteles....
arianna_gianola
arianna_gianola
March 10, 2020.
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Zaman Tour agenzia super affidabile Siamo appena tornati da una settimana in Giordania. Ci siamo affidati a Zaman Tour per il servizio driver. Itinerario e hotel deciso e prenotati da noi. Non abbiamo avuto nessuna difficoltà nella comunicazione e nell'organizzazione. Sempre velocissimi nelle risposte prima della partenza. Il driver che ci ha seguito in tutto il viaggio è stato davvero molto preciso, professionale, parlava un ottimo inglese, bravissimo e cordiale con i bambini. Sembrava una persona di famiglia. Sempre disponibile per ogni esigenza o consiglio. La Giordania è un paese fantastico. Si visita tranquillamente, gente ospitale e cordiale. Davvero ha superato le nostre aspettative. Consiglio a tutti di andare in Giordania con Zaman Tours!
52Elli
52Elli
December 7, 2019.
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windy/cold our driver was great. He helped us to get the tickets, was at the meeting place on time at the ship and return. Would recommend him again and again.
GunhildAA
GunhildAA
October 17, 2019.
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magical horse riding with superb service Vi hade en veckas ridning med start i Petra och sedan i Wadi Rum. Hela resan var fantastisk!! aldrig upplevt något liknande. Hashem och hans team tog hand om oss på förträffligt sätt och allt var välordnat och bra, fina hästar, god mat, gott om vatten och en upplevelse som man bär med sig hela livet!!
MissM
MissM
September 29, 2019.
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Esperienza indimenticabile Abbiamo fatto il tour di 5 giorni da Amman - Petra- Wadi Rum-Mar Morto. È stata un esperienza indimenticabile, la guida locale parlava benissimo italiano e ci ha fornito argomenti interessanti, molto gentile e disponibile. Essendo il nostro gruppo composto da 5 persone , la guida ha potuto organizzare le escursioni in maniera più pratica gestendo meglio il tempo che avevamo a disposizione, grazie a questo abbiamo potuto assistere al tramonto nel deserto e all’escursione in cammello all’alba ( non compresa nel tour). Sono felice di aver fatto questo viaggio, la Giordania è meravigliosa!
Vittoria C
Vittoria C
September 2, 2019.
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Bravissimi Ho trovato Zaman Tours guardando sul sito della Bit di Milano le Agenzie che avrebbero partecipato per la Giordania. andando sul loro sito, mi è piaciuto molto l'impostazione iniziale per l'organizzazione personale del viaggio, dunque li ho contattati e ho organizzato con loro il nostro viaggio, io e mio marito. La disponibilità, la pazienza, e la competenza di Maiss mi hanno aiutato nell'impostazione del tour, tutto tramite mail, visto che il mio inglese non è al top. ho richiesto torur con driver e guida parlante italiano. Questo è in breve il resoconto: assistenza completa all'arrivo in aereoporto, macchina super confortevole con il driver parlante arabo/ingliese e la guida parlante italiano. La macchina dotata di wifi, aria condizionata, e acqua fresca continua. Gli hotel che ci hanno proposto erano tutti ottimi, con tutti i confort. Nei ristoranti dove siamo stati durante il tour abbiamo mangiato bene, con ottimo rapporto qualità/prezzo. Spendo due parole meritate sulla guida: Nabil, un signore giordano, laureatosi anni fa in Italia, con una passione per il lavoro tale, da farti vivere i luoghi, anche se antichi. Ci ha continuamente assistito, anche durante i giorni liberi. E alla fine è diventato un amico. Ho fatto questo tour: Amman - Jerash- Amman city tour- Desert Castle - Mar Morto con giorno libero - Bethany, Monte Nebo , Madaba - Petra - Petra by night - Wadi Rum, con notte al campo - Aqaba 6 giorni - riassumendo ho trovato Zaman tours, un'agenzia seria e professionale, che dunque consiglio per qualsiasi tipo di tour o visita.
Dianadub
Dianadub
June 6, 2019.
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Visit a fantastic country with fabulous Zaman tours Highly recommend booking your trip with Zamen tours. We booked a 7 day trip and from the moment we touch down in Jordan our expectations were exceeded. Customer service is really important to them. Jordan is a fabulous safe country that has something for ever one. From Its historic sites, adventure and leisure. Will most definitely be back to Jordan and booking Zaman tours again. This was our itinerary - Jerash Amman city tour - Madaba - Mt. Nebo - Shobak - Petra - Little Petra - Wadi Rum Camp, Wadi Rum Jeep Ride, Dead Sea.