2 Roman ruins I visited in Hashemite Kingdom, Amman

Amman, Jordan, downtown, international travel, jordan travel, jordan tourism, hashem, hashemite, kingdom, middle east, 2016, the journey, severe weather, adventure travel, cost analysis, i wander to wonder, cost breakdown, the journey, weather, people, food, sightseeing, customs, verdict, tips, visit rating, market, muslim, roman theatre, citadel, cheaters, hummus, falafel, yogurt, arab, middle east, middle east travel, expensive, roman empire, roman ruins

Expectation

The numerous Roman ruin sites (pleasantly) surprised me, didn’t know there would be so many. I didn’t expect women to be seen in public areas. I thought Arab women don’t work in Jordan. And on my first day here, I was afraid to step out of the hostel to explore the downtown streets alone.

Alhamdulillah, I met an American lady in my hostel room and she showed me around downtown Amman the whole day!

Me: Is it safe for women to walk alone here?

American doctor: Yes! of course. I’ve been travelling around Middle East for quite some time and I never experienced anything dangerous. Nothing at all!

The Journey

Flight

I took a plane from Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel to Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, Jordan. A mere 45mins that costs me a few hundred dollars. I knew I had the option to go by bus, which is definitely cheaper but I felt it was too risky.

I was stupidly imagining the Israeli soldiers rejecting my customs clearance and I was detained in the middle of a dusty, barren road. Not a good situation to be in and I had ZERO margin for failure. So to avoid that, I took a flight instead.

Airport Shuttle

Upon reaching Queen Alia International Airport, I had to pay for a tourist visa which was a total rip off. I then took the airport shuttle towards downtown Amman.

It’s easy to spot the bus because the arrival hall is not big and there’s not many people around. Pay at the counter outside the airport and board the bus. The driver helped me with my luggage.

The bus started to move when there’s more passengers, I was the first one so I had to wait quite a while. But I had time. Bus ride itself was about an hour.

Taxi

There were a few stops before I reached a bus station. Had no idea which bus station it was. I alighted when the bus driver told me to (he knew where I was headed because an English-speaking Arab woman told him to help me).

As soon as I got off the bus, I had to look for a taxi to get to the hostel. Here is my first fare rip off. The taxi driver (it was his personal car, not even the official taxi) agreed a different amount before I got in his car and then simply refused to return my change when I paid him after we arrived.

Weather

Cool and sunny weather, not too cold. Loved it!

Temperatures was around 7 to 16 degree Celsius while I was there.

People

Generally, people were polite and friendly but I hated the taxi drivers – I got cheated everywhere! And it’s not a city where you can easily walk.

As long as you’re a tourist, you’ll be paying so much more than the original price. Not just the taxi drivers, some shopkeepers as well.

Food

Just as amazing as Tel Aviv! Pita bread, yogurt, hummus, olives, falafels – all so awesome!

Again, it’s big breakfast culture.

Breakfast: Hostel

I met a Filipina staff here and she was so nice! She was so happy to meet me because we are Asians (feeling of familiarity) and she said she’d love to work in Singapore one day.

Amman, Jordan, downtown, international travel, jordan travel, jordan tourism, hashem, hashemite, kingdom, middle east, 2016, the journey, severe weather, adventure travel, cost analysis, i wander to wonder, cost breakdown, the journey, weather, people, food, sightseeing, customs, verdict, tips, visit rating, market, muslim, roman theatre, citadel, cheaters, hummus, falafel, yogurt, arab, middle east, middle east travel, expensive, roman empire, roman ruins
Big Breakfast! The hostel gives 3 breakfast options – everything pictured is a constant except the omelette (bottom left).
Amman, Jordan, downtown, international travel, jordan travel, jordan tourism, hashem, hashemite, kingdom, middle east, 2016, the journey, severe weather, adventure travel, cost analysis, i wander to wonder, cost breakdown, the journey, weather, people, food, sightseeing, customs, verdict, tips, visit rating, market, muslim, roman theatre, citadel, cheaters, hummus, falafel, yogurt, arab, middle east, middle east travel, expensive, roman empire, roman ruins
This is the Arabian Platter option. As if this is not enough, the staff would gladly refill whatever you want more of, for free!

Who serves cake for breakfast?

Hashem Restaurant

This is a very famous restaurant, even the Jordanian royal family love eating here. It serves only vegetarian food though.

Amman, Jordan, downtown, international travel, jordan travel, jordan tourism, hashem, hashemite, kingdom, middle east, 2016, the journey, severe weather, adventure travel, cost analysis, i wander to wonder, cost breakdown, the journey, weather, people, food, sightseeing, customs, verdict, tips, visit rating, market, muslim, roman theatre, citadel, cheaters, hummus, falafel, yogurt, arab, middle east, middle east travel, expensive, roman empire, roman ruins
This is a set for 2 – all for 14 JOD and we couldn’t finish them all.
Amman, Jordan, downtown, international travel, jordan travel, jordan tourism, hashem, hashemite, kingdom, middle east, 2016, the journey, severe weather, adventure travel, cost analysis, i wander to wonder, cost breakdown, the journey, weather, people, food, sightseeing, customs, verdict, tips, visit rating, market, muslim, roman theatre, citadel, cheaters, hummus, falafel, yogurt, arab, middle east, middle east travel, expensive, roman empire, roman ruins
Pita bread, my favourite! I really like the puffy ones but these are just as good. 1 of it is enough.
Amman, Jordan, downtown, international travel, jordan travel, jordan tourism, hashem, hashemite, kingdom, middle east, 2016, the journey, severe weather, adventure travel, cost analysis, i wander to wonder, cost breakdown, the journey, weather, people, food, sightseeing, customs, verdict, tips, visit rating, market, muslim, roman theatre, citadel, cheaters, hummus, falafel, yogurt, arab, middle east, middle east travel, expensive, roman empire, roman ruins
Didn’t think I’d like these because it’s all vegetables but I was wrong.
Amman, Jordan, downtown, international travel, jordan travel, jordan tourism, hashem, hashemite, kingdom, middle east, 2016, the journey, severe weather, adventure travel, cost analysis, i wander to wonder, cost breakdown, the journey, weather, people, food, sightseeing, customs, verdict, tips, visit rating, market, muslim, roman theatre, citadel, cheaters, hummus, falafel, yogurt, arab, middle east, middle east travel, expensive, roman empire, roman ruins
Hummus here is simpler and more authentic than the ones in Israel, where there are variations and additions like mushroom hummus, egg hummus, eggplant hummus, etc.
Amman, Jordan, downtown, international travel, jordan travel, jordan tourism, hashem, hashemite, kingdom, middle east, 2016, the journey, severe weather, adventure travel, cost analysis, i wander to wonder, cost breakdown, the journey, weather, people, food, sightseeing, customs, verdict, tips, visit rating, market, muslim, roman theatre, citadel, cheaters, hummus, falafel, yogurt, arab, middle east, middle east travel, expensive, roman empire, roman ruins
Don’t remember what this is but its bean-based and a little spicy.

Chicken Crave

I’ve had so much healthy vegetarian food at this point that I started craving for chicken.

I looked for chicken kebab on one of the days and there was this shop somewhere near Hashem. I was expecting (too healthy = nothing delicious) kebabs like those in Europe but I was very wrong! No pictures though as it was a takeaway shop and I ate it at the hostel.

As for the price, I had no idea because the currency was too confusing for me. I just showed the cashier whatever change and he took whatever was right. I didn’t even bother to notice if I was being ripped off anymore.

Sightseeing

Downtown

Soooo many shops! They sell clothes, jewellery, food, everything!

Amman, Jordan, downtown, international travel, jordan travel, jordan tourism, hashem, hashemite, kingdom, middle east, 2016, the journey, severe weather, adventure travel, cost analysis, i wander to wonder, cost breakdown, the journey, weather, people, food, sightseeing, customs, verdict, tips, visit rating, market, muslim, roman theatre, citadel, cheaters, hummus, falafel, yogurt, arab, middle east, middle east travel, expensive, roman empire, roman ruins
View from the hostel window
Amman, Jordan, downtown, international travel, jordan travel, jordan tourism, hashem, hashemite, kingdom, middle east, 2016, the journey, severe weather, adventure travel, cost analysis, i wander to wonder, cost breakdown, the journey, weather, people, food, sightseeing, customs, verdict, tips, visit rating, market, muslim, roman theatre, citadel, cheaters, hummus, falafel, yogurt, arab, middle east, middle east travel, expensive, roman empire, roman ruins
Art around the city
Amman, Jordan, downtown, international travel, jordan travel, jordan tourism, hashem, hashemite, kingdom, middle east, 2016, the journey, severe weather, adventure travel, cost analysis, i wander to wonder, cost breakdown, the journey, weather, people, food, sightseeing, customs, verdict, tips, visit rating, market, muslim, roman theatre, citadel, cheaters, hummus, falafel, yogurt, arab, middle east, middle east travel, expensive, roman empire, roman ruins
This is on one of the alleyways
Amman, Jordan, downtown, international travel, jordan travel, jordan tourism, hashem, hashemite, kingdom, middle east, 2016, the journey, severe weather, adventure travel, cost analysis, i wander to wonder, cost breakdown, the journey, weather, people, food, sightseeing, customs, verdict, tips, visit rating, market, muslim, roman theatre, citadel, cheaters, hummus, falafel, yogurt, arab, middle east, middle east travel, expensive, roman empire, roman ruins
Painted paint drips
Amman, Jordan, downtown, international travel, jordan travel, jordan tourism, hashem, hashemite, kingdom, middle east, 2016, the journey, severe weather, adventure travel, cost analysis, i wander to wonder, cost breakdown, the journey, weather, people, food, sightseeing, customs, verdict, tips, visit rating, market, muslim, roman theatre, citadel, cheaters, hummus, falafel, yogurt, arab, middle east, middle east travel, expensive, roman empire, roman ruins
A little shocked to see this while walking along the streets but they were so cute!

Market

Amman, Jordan, downtown, international travel, jordan travel, jordan tourism, hashem, hashemite, kingdom, middle east, 2016, the journey, severe weather, adventure travel, cost analysis, i wander to wonder, cost breakdown, the journey, weather, people, food, sightseeing, customs, verdict, tips, visit rating, market, muslim, roman theatre, citadel, cheaters, hummus, falafel, yogurt, arab, middle east, middle east travel, expensive, roman empire, roman ruins
Walking through the market – very similar to what we have in South East Asia but with slightly different things on sale.

We tried what I call the “Arabian Churros” and some weird looking vegetables.

King Hussein Mosque

I didn’t go into this mosque because my American companion wasn’t allowed in – I don’t remember the reason why though. Only muslims were allowed in, maybe it was during prayer times, not too sure.

Managed to catch the muezzin calling for prayer though. Beautiful.

Roman Theatre

This is a very small place and just a walking distance from my hostel.

There is a small entry fee but i don’t think there’s a need to go inside because it’s visible from the outside and it’s really too small for any exploration. So don’t waste your money.

Although small, the theatre can sit 6000 people!

Amman, Jordan, downtown, international travel, jordan travel, jordan tourism, hashem, hashemite, kingdom, middle east, 2016, the journey, severe weather, adventure travel, cost analysis, i wander to wonder, cost breakdown, the journey, weather, people, food, sightseeing, customs, verdict, tips, visit rating, market, muslim, roman theatre, citadel, cheaters, hummus, falafel, yogurt, arab, middle east, middle east travel, expensive, roman empire, roman ruins
The Roman Theatre was built into a hillside and towards the north to keep the sun off spectators.
Amman, Jordan, downtown, international travel, jordan travel, jordan tourism, hashem, hashemite, kingdom, middle east, 2016, the journey, severe weather, adventure travel, cost analysis, i wander to wonder, cost breakdown, the journey, weather, people, food, sightseeing, customs, verdict, tips, visit rating, market, muslim, roman theatre, citadel, cheaters, hummus, falafel, yogurt, arab, middle east, middle east travel, expensive, roman empire, roman ruins
Pretty ruins
Amman, Jordan, downtown, international travel, jordan travel, jordan tourism, hashem, hashemite, kingdom, middle east, 2016, the journey, severe weather, adventure travel, cost analysis, i wander to wonder, cost breakdown, the journey, weather, people, food, sightseeing, customs, verdict, tips, visit rating, market, muslim, roman theatre, citadel, cheaters, hummus, falafel, yogurt, arab, middle east, middle east travel, expensive, roman empire, roman ruins
Area near the theatre
Amman, Jordan, downtown, international travel, jordan travel, jordan tourism, hashem, hashemite, kingdom, middle east, 2016, the journey, severe weather, adventure travel, cost analysis, i wander to wonder, cost breakdown, the journey, weather, people, food, sightseeing, customs, verdict, tips, visit rating, market, muslim, roman theatre, citadel, cheaters, hummus, falafel, yogurt, arab, middle east, middle east travel, expensive, roman empire, roman ruins
More columns
Amman, Jordan, downtown, international travel, jordan travel, jordan tourism, hashem, hashemite, kingdom, middle east, 2016, the journey, severe weather, adventure travel, cost analysis, i wander to wonder, cost breakdown, the journey, weather, people, food, sightseeing, customs, verdict, tips, visit rating, market, muslim, roman theatre, citadel, cheaters, hummus, falafel, yogurt, arab, middle east, middle east travel, expensive, roman empire, roman ruins
View of the hilly city from the theatre
Amman, Jordan, downtown, international travel, jordan travel, jordan tourism, hashem, hashemite, kingdom, middle east, 2016, the journey, severe weather, adventure travel, cost analysis, i wander to wonder, cost breakdown, the journey, weather, people, food, sightseeing, customs, verdict, tips, visit rating, market, muslim, roman theatre, citadel, cheaters, hummus, falafel, yogurt, arab, middle east, middle east travel, expensive, roman empire, roman ruins
View of the Roman Theatre from the Citadel; Photo credit: Lauren Yarger

Citadel

The Citadel has had a long history of occupation by many great civilizations, notably the Romans, Byzantines, and Umayyads.

It was inhabited by different peoples and cultures until the time of the Umayyads, after which came a period of decline.

Year 1878, the former city became an abandoned pile of ruins only sporadically used by Bedouin and seasonal farmers. However, the Citadel of Amman is considered as one of world’s oldest, continuously inhabited places.

Entrance

Amman, Jordan, downtown, international travel, jordan travel, jordan tourism, hashem, hashemite, kingdom, middle east, 2016, the journey, severe weather, adventure travel, cost analysis, i wander to wonder, cost breakdown, the journey, weather, people, food, sightseeing, customs, verdict, tips, visit rating, market, muslim, roman theatre, citadel, cheaters, hummus, falafel, yogurt, arab, middle east, middle east travel, expensive, roman empire, roman ruins
No, I wasn’t in America. Philadelphia was Amman’s name when Roman Empire made it its trade centre; Photo credit: Lauren Yarger
Amman, Jordan, downtown, international travel, jordan travel, jordan tourism, hashem, hashemite, kingdom, middle east, 2016, the journey, severe weather, adventure travel, cost analysis, i wander to wonder, cost breakdown, the journey, weather, people, food, sightseeing, customs, verdict, tips, visit rating, market, muslim, roman theatre, citadel, cheaters, hummus, falafel, yogurt, arab, middle east, middle east travel, expensive, roman empire, roman ruins
View from the Citadel; Photo credit: Lauren Yarger

Roman Temple of Hercules

Built in the same period as the Roman amphitheater between (162-166) AD when Geminius Marcianus was governor of the Province of Arabia.

Amman, Jordan, downtown, international travel, jordan travel, jordan tourism, hashem, hashemite, kingdom, middle east, 2016, the journey, severe weather, adventure travel, cost analysis, i wander to wonder, cost breakdown, the journey, weather, people, food, sightseeing, customs, verdict, tips, visit rating, market, muslim, roman theatre, citadel, cheaters, hummus, falafel, yogurt, arab, middle east, middle east travel, expensive, roman empire, roman ruins
Magnificent ruins; Photo credit: Lauren Yarger
Amman, Jordan, downtown, international travel, jordan travel, jordan tourism, hashem, hashemite, kingdom, middle east, 2016, the journey, severe weather, adventure travel, cost analysis, i wander to wonder, cost breakdown, the journey, weather, people, food, sightseeing, customs, verdict, tips, visit rating, market, muslim, roman theatre, citadel, cheaters, hummus, falafel, yogurt, arab, middle east, middle east travel, expensive, roman empire, roman ruins
Beautiful in the distance; Photo credit: Lauren Yarger

Umayyad Palace

Probably used as an administrative building or the residence of an Umayyad official, the palace has distinctive Byzantine style – the entrance hall is shaped in a Greek cross plan and it may have been built on top of an existing Byzantine structure in this shape.

Amman, Jordan, downtown, international travel, jordan travel, jordan tourism, hashem, hashemite, kingdom, middle east, 2016, the journey, severe weather, adventure travel, cost analysis, i wander to wonder, cost breakdown, the journey, weather, people, food, sightseeing, customs, verdict, tips, visit rating, market, muslim, roman theatre, citadel, cheaters, hummus, falafel, yogurt, arab, middle east, middle east travel, expensive, roman empire, roman ruins
Pretty palace; Photo credit: Lauren Yarger
Amman, Jordan, downtown, international travel, jordan travel, jordan tourism, hashem, hashemite, kingdom, middle east, 2016, the journey, severe weather, adventure travel, cost analysis, i wander to wonder, cost breakdown, the journey, weather, people, food, sightseeing, customs, verdict, tips, visit rating, market, muslim, roman theatre, citadel, cheaters, hummus, falafel, yogurt, arab, middle east, middle east travel, expensive, roman empire, roman ruins
Inside the gateway, very intricate and still visible carvings
Amman, Jordan, downtown, international travel, jordan travel, jordan tourism, hashem, hashemite, kingdom, middle east, 2016, the journey, severe weather, adventure travel, cost analysis, i wander to wonder, cost breakdown, the journey, weather, people, food, sightseeing, customs, verdict, tips, visit rating, market, muslim, roman theatre, citadel, cheaters, hummus, falafel, yogurt, arab, middle east, middle east travel, expensive, roman empire, roman ruins
Zoomed out, inside the gateway

Museum

Generally, I don’t like museum visits. I find it really boring.

There’s this small museum here and as usual, nothing much interests me except this baby skeleton.

Amman, Jordan, downtown, international travel, jordan travel, jordan tourism, hashem, hashemite, kingdom, middle east, 2016, the journey, severe weather, adventure travel, cost analysis, i wander to wonder, cost breakdown, the journey, weather, people, food, sightseeing, customs, verdict, tips, visit rating, market, muslim, roman theatre, citadel, cheaters, hummus, falafel, yogurt, arab, middle east, middle east travel, expensive, roman empire, roman ruins
Goosebumps

The Verdict

Remove the cheaters, everything would be pleasant.

I love the clear existence of the ancient Roman empire in Jordan’s history – the ruins were beautiful, although I have not read much on the Roman history yet (I will!).

Food was great but being a tourist in Jordan can be very expensive. Their currency is a bit more than twice of SGD.

Visit Rating

3/5 stars.

Tips

  • There’s this tourist pass that includes the tourist visa and entrance fees of some tourist attractions at a fixed price and this is much cheaper than paying for each individually. I didn’t know until my German friends told me about it.
  • Prepare smaller denominations of Jordanian currency. If the taxi drivers want to overcharge you, feel free to give them the original price and then run off. My American companion did this while buying some food items in the market. We didn’t run off, just be firm. It helps to know the local prices.
  • If you, like me, can’t help yourself out of being cheated, bring a Maestro card to withdraw money because it WILL run out.

Cost Breakdown

  • Flight: $450.89; TLV-QAIA
  • Tourist Visa: $80
  • Shuttle bus: $6
  • Taxi: at least $10/trip
  • Hotel: $2.98/night x 4 nights = $11.92 (on member’s discount)
  • Breakfast: Free, complimentary of hostel
  • Lunch: I didn’t eat lunch, too full
  • Dinner: $7/meal
  • Other food items: less than $10 (water, kebab, snacks)
  • Citadel entrance fee: $6 (including museum)

*All prices are in SGD (estimate).

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11 thoughts on “2 Roman ruins I visited in Hashemite Kingdom, Amman

  1. Very Informative post! Well written !

  2. Wow mashaAllah what an exciting trip and what beautiful scenery! And those falafel looked perfect

  3. Wow love the post! looked like I was roaming around the area myself. Definitely pinning this post for future references!

    1. Nur

      Masya Allah! Thank you Ayesha!

  4. The roman temples were breathtaking. It’s so amazing to see the contrast between the ancient parts and the more modern aspects 🙂

  5. This was great and an eye-opening read. So much history! I hope I am not missing somethin by asking this but where did you start your travels from? I.e you mentioned taking a flight from Tel-Aviv, where did you start your travels?

    1. Nur

      It was a business trip in Tel Aviv, after which I extended my stay to travel to Jerusalem, Jordan and Egypt 🙂

  6. OMG,such Beautifully written like It looked like I was there too & experiencing all this❤
    Mashaa Allah.
    And you know what you took such good photos I mean wow
    Food us that paintings & everything.
    Thanks for sharing your journey with all of us,i really loved it.

  7. Wow what an adventure! As a foodie myself, I was really drawn to the food. It looks SO good, especially the falafel!

  8. This was such an informative post! I love how you’ve popped in lots of photographs and videos and the tips at the end are really helpful for anyone planning a trip. Those coloured chicks made me laugh – they use to be all over markets in Dubai when I lived there!

  9. Sounds like an awesome trip and the pictures are beautiful. I’d love to visit Jordan one day, I hear a lot of great things about it, especially about how nice and hospitable the people are. So glad you enjoyed!

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