As Middle Eastern cities go, Amman is a relative youth, being mostly a creation of the 20th century. But though it lacks the storied history and thrilling architectural tapestry of other regional capitals, there’s plenty here to encourage you to linger awhile before making for Petra, the Dead Sea or Wadi Rum. In fact, Amman is one of the easiest cities in which to enjoy the Middle East experience.
Downtown Amman is a must-see. At the bottom of the city’s many hills and overlooked by the magisterial Citadel, it features spectacular Roman ruins, an international-standard museum and the hubbub of mosques, souqs and coffeehouses that are central to Jordanian life.
Elsewhere, urbane western Amman has leafy residential districts, cafes, bars, modern malls and art galleries; and in earthy eastern Amman, it’s easy to sense the more traditional and conservative pulse of the capital.