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.

Silvia P
Silvia P
Fantastic tour with an Italian speaking guide We received an excellent service and support from zamantours. Our Italian-speaking guide, Abdullah, was outstanding: he gave us precise and comprehensive information about places and culture, he was highly flexible in the program and tireless in his work. He has been a reference for us throughout our trip. Also Yusef, the driver, was kind and flexible. All the personnel were always punctual and professional.
Paula S
Paula S
Amazing experience It was a wonderful experience. Petra is an awesome place, breathless sunset at the Wadi Run desert, there are many archeological sites and significant religious places of the Bible.Floating on the Dead Sea was just incredible. Thanks to Ahmed, our tour guide, he's really professional and kind, with a great sense of humor and Samir, excelent and safety driver, both of them are the best advicers in Jordan.
Alberto D
Alberto D
Best experience in Jordan We enjoyed one week touring Amman, Jerash, Petra, Wadi Rum and the Dead Sea. The sites were extraordinary, the guide Fadl very competent and the driver Samir very kind. Hotels were first class, people always very friendly. Food very appreciated.
Maclain N
Maclain N
Skip the Petra by Night experience. Don’t be tricked into doing Petra by night. We saw it last night on 6/12/23 The production value is horrible and the show is really short. Basically by the time you hike down the show is over within 30 min and it is not lit well. The city of Petra is amazing by day and the donkey ride to the monastery was the an incredible experience but I would NOT recommend the night experience.
Deepan P
Deepan P
1-week trip to Jordan Excellent organization, accomodation, and meals. Our driver Hisham is very knowledgeable, great communication and attitude that made our trip memorable. Hisham is a very safe driver, took us often on interesting side routes, and made extra effort to show as much of Jordan as he could in the time we had. He is punctual, and checked on our accomodations and visits. Hisham cares deeply about Jordan and his guests
John Moorcraft
John Moorcraft
Family Holiday with 5yr old expertly delivered. We booked our holiday for our five year old through Zaman and couldn’t have been happier. Everything around booking was painless and easy. All airport procedures were a breeze and they fast track you through immigration. We were out of the airport with all luggage within 15mins of landing! Our driver, Sayall, was outstanding with my daughter and ensured she was the focal point of the whole trip. First class. I would strongly recommend the Hilton in the Dead Sea if you have young children. Very friendly and great swimming pool. The Labdmark Hotel in Amman also good for kids and 100pct do the children’s museum. Our kid loved camel riding in Wadi Rum and found Petra fascinating (she climbed up to the high place of sacrifice). She enjoyed snorkelling as well. I’d caution against the Intercontinental in Aqaba. The policies there on swimming pool access work against 5-10yr olds. I’d look elsewhere there given the pricing structure. Overall, if you want to go to Jordan (and you should) and you want to travel with young children then Zaman will have you sorted. Top agency and it really worked for us.
fabrizio g
fabrizio g
Grazie Sam! Grazie Mohammad Saleem ci hai guidato attraverso la Giordania con professionalità competenza simpatia sempre molto attento alle nostre esigenze. Lo abbiamo molto apprezzato
Cheri R
Cheri R
Terrific value, tremendous fun Samanta of ZamanTours, whom we accessed through KimKim, was honestly fantastic. She planned our itinerary around our dates and requests, got us luxury hotels and meals, and best of all--arranged for driver/guide Hamdi Das. We were able to contact her anytime and she was immediately responsive (we made an error and she was able to help us rectify it--cheerfully!). All communications were clear and easy--fantastic Hamdi accompanied us to every entrance (even hotels) and made sure there was never a problem. We had 6 terrific days in Jordan, and are so completely happy. On our flight home, we talked with others who had used a luxury tour group and our experiences were hugely better --at half their price! We highly recommend Samanta at Zaman Tours and Hamdi, guide/driver-extraodinaire.
Carmelo L
Carmelo L
Amazing tour of Jordan Dear Zamantours, We would thank you for the quality of the service provided us during our travel in Jordan. We were very happy for the assistance we got at the Airport and especially for the professional driver Mr. J. Al Z. who has safely and kindly driven us for the entire week across Jordan A special thanks for our tourist guide Mr.M. Al-S. that made an excellent job explaining us a lot of things about Jordan History and beeing available for each of our need. Thank a lot for your great work Kind regards Carmelo & Fiorella
Peter Tass
Peter Tass
Petra once in a lifetime tour Zayed was extremely helpful. Beautiful waiter. He attended to us all the time. And the cocktails were very well priced.