To really see a destination, sometimes you need to view it from a variety of angles. Amman’s abundance of open-air terraces and rooftop restaurants offer ample opportunities to rise above the rush of the city streets. Here are six of the best spots to kick back and enjoy Amman’s iconic skyline – day or night.
Let the afternoon fade into evening on the lofty terraces at Cantaloupe © Sunny Fitzgerald / Lonely Planet
Keep it classy at Cantaloupe
Rise above Rainbow St and head up to Cantaloupe’s terraces for an elevated experience. Cantaloupe’s clean lines and modern design set against the backdrop of Old City buildings offer unparalleled – and uniquely Amman – views. From this lofty vantage point on Jebel Amman (one of the city’s seven main hills), you can watch the national flag waving from Jordan’s second-tallest flagpole, spot the Citadel and see the square homes stacked up and down the hills that this city was founded upon. Whether you're dining on international cuisine and local wines on the lower terrace or watching the sun set and celebrating with craft cocktails on the upper terrace, you won't find a bad seat in the house. There is a dress code, and reservations are recommended. Dress smart casual and call ahead if you’re planning an evening out here.
Order up organic eats with Old City views at Wild Jordan Center
Sip a fresh fruit smoothie and savour unobstructed panoramas of Amman’s ancient ruins from Wild Jordan Center. Perfectly perched across from Jebel Al Qala'a (Citadel Hill), Wild Jordan’s cafe – fittingly called The View – affords visitors an incomparable view of Umayyad Palace and the towering Temple of Hercules from its open-air balcony. Even if you opt to sit inside, you won’t sacrifice the scenery; all of the seating and eating areas at Wild Jordan Center have more windows than walls, allowing sights of the Old City from almost any angle. Stunning vistas aren't the only thing on the menu; Wild Jordan also serves up colourful salads, sandwiches and mains that feature a creative combination of organic, local, and international flavours in a smoke-free, family-friendly environment.
Relax with happy hour drinks at an upcycled table at Sekrab © Sunny Fitzgerald / Lonely Planet
Discover treasure amongst the treetops at Sekrab
Enjoy the eclectic atmosphere and slightly greener scene at Sekrab. Contrary to its name (which means ‘junkyard’), the views and vibe from this third floor outdoor terrace are anything but rubbish. The decor, made of upcycled materials once destined for the scrap pile, is playful, and the cocktail list is extensive. In a desert city with so few green spaces, a skyline speckled with trees (and blossoms when they are in season) is extra inviting. Pull a recycled pipe chair up to an old tyre table, and tip back happy hour drinks while the sun sinks.
Pull up a seat to Amman’s longest bar at Ghoroub
If you’re looking for a lounge vibe, get thee to Ghoroub. Located on the 13th floor of the Landmark Hotel, this upscale open-air lounge boasts the longest bar in Amman and some spectacular, bird’s eye views of old and new. Grab a cocktail, gather in a group around one of the long high-top tables, order some tapas and watch while the sunset transforms the sky, cars zip by in the streets below and the lounge lights up in neon for the night. Like its location and ambience, Ghoroub’s dress code is elevated, so be sure you level up your wardrobe as well.
Savour your coffee and the street scene at Jungle Fever © Sunny Fitzgerald / Lonely Planet
Sip a coffee to support a cause at Jungle Fever
From the moment you step through the street-level entrance of the National Gallery of Fine Arts, you’re greeted by the intoxicating aroma of fresh coffee. Let your nose lead you to the top floor where you’ll find one of Lweibdeh’s newest gems, Jungle Fever Coffee and Tea House. Get your caffeine kick and satisfy your sweet tooth with locally sourced coffees, teas, and treats. Lounge on brightly coloured hand-embroidered cushions (made by a women’s cooperative in India), and enjoy views of King Abdullah Mosque, Al Bishara Greek Orthodox Church and The National Gallery of Fine Arts Park from the outdoor terrace. The vibe at Jungle Fever is casual, and creator Ghazel Etoum is on a serious mission to showcase artists and local products while helping at-risk youth. Jungle Fever employs and trains young adults, giving them an opportunity to learn a skill and make their own money. All snacks sold on site are made by local producers, and all coffee and teas served are sourced solely from Jordan’s own Dimitri’s and Turtle Green. Amman artists have also painted a playful mural on one of the interior walls.
Head to District's rooftop for sundowners or a night cap © Sunny Fitzgerald / Lonely Planet
See and be seen at District's urban rooftop
Whether you want to watch the setting sun cast crimson hues over the Old City or you are seeking a be-seen scene after dark, District does not disappoint. Arrive early to enjoy a quiet moment, sweeping city views and 50% off drinks at this 4th-floor rooftop spot. Or come later and join the well-dressed set, sipping on creative cocktails while navigating the packed patio. Head to the far end to find clear views of the city below. Bartenders can mix up a Minty Passion (vodka, passion fruit juice, fresh local mint, cinnamon, lemon and apple juice) to match the chic mood or fire up a Marshmallow Vanilla Martini (vanilla vodka, Kahlua, Baileys, amaretto and a lightly flamed marshmallow) for dessert. Be sure to call ahead and reserve a table – this hotspot is often fully booked at least a day in advance.
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