In 2015, just two months after a move from Southern California to Bahrain, I took my first off-island trip. This trip took me to the magical Kingdom of Jordan. The country, its people, history, and topography are a site to be seen. The religious significance of Jordan and its geographic location are reasons enough to visit there in their rights.
Jordan sits at the crossroads of Asia, Africa, and Europe. It shares borders with Saudi Arabia to the east and south; Iraq to the north-east; Syria to the north; Israel, Palestine and The Dead Sea to the west; and The Red Sea in its extreme southwest. While the country itself can offer you many different versions of Jordan, my travels would take me to its capital; Amman.
Amman sits in the north-central area of Jordan and is roughly 21 miles from Queen Alia International Airport. As you move from the airport to the city of Amman be sure to keep both eyes open as you will begin to see history unfolding right before your very eyes. Shepherds will litter the side of the highway tending to their flock of sheep. Villages of Bedouins with what would appear to you or me as having nothing have everything they could ever want. It is a living juxtaposition of a country moving forward yet still embracing traditions. The next time you desire a taste of something new embedded with history, find your way to Amman.
Stay: The InterContinental Amman. Located on the top of one of the seven hills of Amman, rated the #2 hotel of 142 hotels, as well as 2017 Travelers Choice Award Winner on Trip Advisor, you will not be disappointed. The hotel itself offers five restaurants, a fitness center, swimming pool, as well as a full-service concierge to help you navigate your day to day excursions. One of the best benefits of this lodging choice is it’s proximity to Rainbow Street and the heart of downtown Amman.
See: Stop by the concierge desk and make your first tour one of Old and New Amman. For roughly 120 USD you can rent a tour guide that comes with a private car to drive you around and through these very different areas. Within Old Amman, you have the opportunity to walk through history with stops at The Roman Amphitheatre, The Citadel, and Al Balad. Still not convinced this is right for you? Rest easy knowing you get unlimited time at each stop to stroll leisurely through history knowing your ride is waiting patiently for you. Tip: Be sure to have Jordanian Dinar on you to pay the entrance fees to The Citadel and The Roman Amphitheatre. The entrance fees for both are JD2 per person.
Eat Casually: Amman is not short on places to get your fill of fantastic food. If you take a stroll down Rainbow Street, you will eventually come to Cantaloupe Gastro Pub. While a gastropub may not sound like your idea of a good time, you’ll thank me when you see the views. After you take the stairs up to the main level of the restaurant go up just one more flight to their rooftop level. From here you have unobstructed views of Old Amman. During the daytime will not disappoint you with views of The Citadel but nighttime is when you can see Old Amman shining like a diamond from above it. Be sure to check their Facebook page for daily happy hour deals.
Eat like you mean it: Romero Restaurant aka The Living Room Restaurant will make you feel as though you have transcended right into the heart of Little Italy in New York City. With indoor and outdoor dining options this restaurant is as much of a visually appealing place as it is delicious. The outdoor area is set up garden style much like you would hope to see in a movie. The inside is adorned in the same fashion you would expect to see in the most welcoming of homes anywhere in the world. Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, and Dean Martin serenade you as you mull over the food and wine choices. While the menu is small in variety it is big in flavor. Walking distance from the InterContinental Hotel they do offer valet parking should you choose to drive here. While they aren’t required, reservations should be made to ensure you have a table at the time you would like.