Darat Al Funun

Top choice in Amman

On the hillside to the north of the downtown area, this cultural haven is dedicated to contemporary art. The main building features an excellent art gallery with works by Jordanian and other Arab artists, an art library, and workshops for Jordanian and visiting sculptors and painters. A schedule of upcoming exhibitions, lectures, films and public discussion forums is available on the website.

Almost as significant as the centre’s artistic endeavours are the architectural features of the site. At the base of the complex, near the entrance, are the excavated ruins of a 6th-century Byzantine church. Buildings further up the hill are mostly restored residences from the 1920s in the lovely Mediterranean-Venetian style that was popular in the region in the 1920s. There is also a peaceful cafe and gardens with views over Amman.

Access is easiest on foot. From near the southern end of Al Malek Al Hussein St, head up the stairs under the ‘Riviera Hotel’ sign. At the top of the stairs, turn immediately right onto Nimer Bin Adwan St and walk uphill for 50m where you need to take the left fork. The entrance gate (no English sign) is on the right after a few metres.