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Amman Citadel | Mo'taz Sulaiman / © Culture Trip
Amman Citadel | Mo'taz Sulaiman / © Culture Trip
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Explore Amman in 20 Beautiful Photos

Picture of Abby Narishkin
Updated: 1 February 2018
Often seen as a mere jumping off point for other Jordanian sites like Petra, the capital city of Amman has plenty of sites, side streets and soul to render it worthy of a few days of exploration. Take a trip through Amman in these stunning photos.

As far as Middle Eastern cities go, Amman is quite young. While it did serve as an important trade center under the name Philadelphia during the Hellenistic period, Amman was all but forgotten under Islamic rule. It wasn’t until the last century that the city made a name for itself as a cultural center.

View from Jabal Amman | Mo'taz Sulaiman / © Culture Trip
View from Jabal Amman | © Mo’taz Sulaiman/Culture Trip

In the 1920s, Amman was named the capital of Jordan, and in the 1940s and 1960s, it became a safe haven for Iraqi, Palestinian and Syrian refugees.

Jabal Al Wiebdeh | Mo'taz Sulaiman / © Culture Trip
Jabal Al Wiebdeh | © Mo’taz Sulaiman/Culture Trip

Today, the convergence of varied Middle Eastern cultures creates a diversity of thought, architecture, music, art and food that’s a unique find in the region.

Downtown | Mo'taz Sulaiman / © Culture Triprip
Downtown | | © Mo’taz Sulaiman/Culture Trip

The tolerance and grittiness of Amman have made it an oasis of both modernism and traditionalism.

Roman Amphitheater| Mo'taz Sulaiman / © Culture Trip
Roman Amphitheater | © Mo’taz Sulaiman/Culture Trip
Amman Downtown streets | Mo'taz Sulaiman / © Culture Trip
Amman Downtown streets | © Mo’taz Sulaiman/Culture Trip

To the west is modern Amman. With its elegant villas, ritzy hotels and steel high-rises, the neighborhood is determined to imitate the luxury of Dubai. But to the east, centered around downtown, is Amman’s crowning joy: the pulsating heart of the old city.

Downtown | Mo'taz Sulaiman / © Culture Trip
Downtown | © Mo’taz Sulaiman/Culture Trip
Za'amta |Mo'taz Sulaiman / © Culture Trip
Za’amta | © Mo’taz Sulaiman/Culture Trip

Here, winding neighborhoods of white, and box homes hug the rolling hills.

Jabal Amman | Mo'taz Sulaiman / © Culture Trip
Jabal Amman | © Mo’taz Sulaiman/Culture Trip

And make for breathtaking views of the city below.

Stairs to downtown |Mo'taz Sulaiman / © Culture Trip
Stairs to downtown | © Mo’taz Sulaiman/Culture Trip
Roman Amphitheater | Mo'taz Sulaiman / © Culture Trip
Roman Amphitheater | © Mo’taz Sulaiman/Culture Trip

Quirky street art and vibrant markets remind wanderers of the deep culture engrained in this architectural labyrinth.

Downtown | Mo'taz Sulaiman / © Culture Trip
Downtown | | © Mo’taz Sulaiman/Culture Trip
Istiklal | Mo'taz Sulaiman / © Culture Trip
Istiklal | © Mo’taz Sulaiman/Culture Trip
lwiebdeh to Abdali | Mo'taz Sulaiman / © Culture Trip
lwiebdeh to Abdali | © Mo’taz Sulaiman/Culture Trip

But no Middle Eastern city would be complete without a nod to the past, and despite its youth, Amman proudly embraces its rich history.

Za'amta | Mo'taz Sulaiman / © Culture Trip
Za’amta | © Mo’taz Sulaiman/Culture Trip

Visitors can walk through remnants of Biblical and Roman times while searching for the scars of its fall under the Ottomans.

Roman Amphitheater | Mo'taz Sulaiman / © Culture Trip
Roman Amphitheater | © Mo’taz Sulaiman/Culture Trip
Temple of Hercules | Mo'taz Sulaiman / © Culture Trip
Temple of Hercules | © Mo’taz Sulaiman/Culture Trip
Temple of Hercules | Mo'taz Sulaiman / © Culture Trip
Temple of Hercules | © Mo’taz Sulaiman/Culture Trip

So, on your next trip to Amman, postpone your bus to Petra and stay for a while. Walk the souqs, sip some Arabian coffee and breathe in the city whose storied past, shining culture and tolerant people make it a diamond in the rough.

Downtown souvenirs | Mo'taz Sulaiman / © Culture Trip
Downtown souvenirs | © Mo’taz Sulaiman/Culture Trip
Roman Amphitheater | Mo'taz Sulaiman / © Culture Trip
Roman Amphitheater | © Mo’taz Sulaiman/Culture Trip
Amman Citadel | Mo'taz Sulaiman / © Culture Trip
Amman Citadel | © Mo’taz Sulaiman/Culture Trip