Downtown Amman: Tips & Advice

Images by Traveler - Talented Photographer:  Ronald Woan /

You’re now in Amman. The sun is shining, aromas from the Turkish coffee stalls fill up your lungs. All of a sudden you get this rush of excitement; you want to start exploring this beautiful city! You’ve read tour pamphlets, surfed the internet but you ask the locals where to begin and more often than not they’ll reply with “Downtown!”. And they’re not wrong. In this post we’ll give you a few tips and pieces of advice on where to go and what to see.

The first thing you’ll want to do is pick out your outfit for Downtown or the Balad. Even though Amman is an exceptionally modern city with so many different cultures, women can go out in skirts or tank tops, the Balad is a traditional area, think Aladdin’s souq with people selling their products on stalls and in shops. The less skin one shows the better.  I would choose a pair of loose jeans with a long sleeve cotton shirt. Don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes because there will be a lot of walking too.
You’re dressed and ready to go. Finding a taxi to take you to the Balad will be easy. Depending on which area you are staying in. The cab fare should range from 3-6 JOD.

You’re finally there, the sounds, smells, tastes and scenery will bring an instant smile to your face. There really isn’t a specific place to start, once you arrive you just begin to roam around. They offer everything from souvenirs, scarves, traditional dresses to bicycles, kitchen utensils and old music cassettes.  I’m going to give you some tips to make your Balad experience more pleasurable.

Tip # 1.
Haggle, haggle haggle. I cannot say this enough. Forget your pal who’s stuck with you throughout the hard times, haggling is your new best friend.  All shop keepers will welcome you with a smile, probably offer you refreshments and ask where you’re from to find some common ground between you both. Jordan is famous for its hospitality but there’s a chance that if they know you’re a tourist they’ll give you a higher price but never fear! Once they see you haggling they’ll know that you’re aware of what’s going on and usually will give you a better price so everybody leaves happy.

Tip # 2.
If you’re planning on visiting the historic sites such as Petra, Wadi Rum and Jerash I advise that you purchase a “Keffiye” or “Shemagh”(the traditional white and black or red and white head dress) from the Balad. More often than not purchasing these from the actual historic sites will cost more.  So when you arrive in Petra you’re already prepared and saved a couple of JD’s.

Images by Traveler - Talented Photographer:  Ronald Woan /
Tip #3.
There’s nothing like a cup of fresh squeezed OJ in the morning right? WRONG. When you go to the balad grab a cup of freshly made sugarcane juice. That’s right. It’s smooth silky texture will keep you refreshed and at 36 calories per serving it’s good for you too!

Tip #4.
Last but not least grab lunch at the Al-Quds (Jerusalem) restaurant. It’s mix matched plate settings and delicious menu will fill you up while admiring this fifty year old restaurants, one of the oldest in Amman. Order the Mansaf!

With these simple tips it’ll make your Balad experience that more enjoyable! Happy Souq-ing! 
Downtown Amman: Tips & Advice Reviewed by Unknown on 03:05 Rating: 5

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