Amman 1 Day Itinerary

Planning your trip to Jordan? Great choice! You’re going to love it! But don’t skip over Amman, even though it might seem daunting with its crazy traffic. Amman, the capital of Jordan, holds some incredible heritage gems. Just 40 minutes away by car, you’ll find the ancient city of Jerash.

Here’s all the advice you need to visit Amman and Jerash in just 1 day. What to see? What to do? Where to sleep? And most importantly, what to eat? Amman is full of great local spots to try. Let’s get started on the ultimate Amman 1 day itinerary.

A few words about Amman Jordan

Amman 1 Day Itinerary

Amman is a city full of contrasts where history, modern life, and culinary delights collide. You can see a shopping center right next to a Roman amphitheater, showing how modernity and tradition coexist. Amman’s history dates back to the Stone Age, nearly ten millennia ago. It was once called Philadelphia and Rabbath Ammon, making it one of the oldest cities in the world. Ancient treasures are hidden among its narrow, lively streets.

Located in the far north of Jordan, near the Dead Sea and the Syrian and Israeli borders, Amman is surrounded by nature reserves and archaeological sites. It’s been the capital of Jordan since 1921, and now nearly half of Jordanians live here due to its location and temperate climate, totaling about 4 million people.

Yes, Amman can be overwhelming when you first arrive in Jordan, especially after a long trip. The chaotic traffic can give you a taste of driving in Jordan, which is why many travelers skip Amman and head straight to the Dead Sea.

But I encourage you to give Amman a chance. If you don’t want to stay overnight, consider the nearby city of Madaba, closer to Queen Alia International Airport. You can visit Amman at the end of your trip before your return flight.

Amman has its charm with rows of small yellow and orange houses on little hills. This unique panorama is typical of the Middle East. Imagine the evening as night falls and all the houses light up—it’s a beautiful sight. There’s much more to discover, so keep reading for more details!

What to see and do in Amman?

For your Amman 1 day itinerary, I suggest starting with an incredible ancient city a bit further from the city center. Visiting it early is a good idea because there are few shaded spots, and sunburns can happen quickly. Then, return to Amman to explore its historical and cultural heart.


The Archaeological City Of Jerash

Visiting time: 3 hours 

Price: included in the Jordan Pass

This fabulous city is worthy of the Roman and Greek cities of Antiquity, and one of the best preserved in the Middle East. Located more than 30 minutes by car from Amman, Jerash is the main tourist site of Gerasa , if not of all the North of the Hashemite Kingdom. The city is full of remarkable monuments that testify to the power of ancient civilizations: a triumphal arch, a theater, temples, a library and much more. Legend has it that it was Emperor Alexander the Great who founded the city of Jerash during his passage (in the 4th century BC), but the city would not have taken off until much later. After centuries of apogee, the city was gradually abandoned following the decline of the Byzantine Empire, and the invasion of the Persians. 

You will find that the Greco-Roman remains and ruins in Jerash are numerous, offering plenty to explore! Setting aside half a day is essential to get a good overview of the ancient city.

Here are the important temples and monuments not to miss in Jerash:

TIP: Free parking is available at the entrance to the archaeological park, where you can leave your rental car without any problem. The site opens at 8am, and I advise you to arrive as early as possible . Not only will the temperatures be much more pleasant for visiting, but you will also have a lot less people on site! Believe me, getting up early in Jordan is definitely worth it. 

If you don’t have a rental car, I can recommend you to book your Jerash tour from Amman with a private driver . It will be much more pleasant than taking a local bus, and avoid the stress on the Jordanian roads. I invite you to book by clicking on the link below:



Amman Citadel

Visiting time: 2 hours 

Price: included in the Jordan Pass

Visiting Amman without visiting the Citadel is impossible! Here is a must-see in the Jordanian capital.

After your trip to Jerash, head back to Amman’s city center and park in the free lot (details are further down in the article). We walked to the Citadel of Amman, which is on one of the highest points. It’s a bit of a hike, but a great way to explore the alleys. You can take a taxi back, but be aware of potential traffic jams.

Amman Citadel location

More about the Citadel

The Jabal al-Qal’a Citadel is a renowned archaeological site, though only a few buildings remain visible. The main attractions are the Umayyad Palace and the Temple of Hercules, both of which have their own unique charm. What we especially appreciate is the panoramic view the Citadel offers over Amman. The 360° view is simply breathtaking, with the large flag of Jordan rising in the distance

You can combine your visit to the Jabal al-Qal’a Citadel with the Archaeological Museum. 

It is possible to visit Amman and its main monuments with the help of a private tour in a small group. Transportation is taken care of to avoid the stress of Amman traffic. Here is the link to book below:


The Roman Theatre In Amman

Visiting time: 30min 

If you choose the same accommodation as we did for your stay in Amman, you’ll enjoy a direct view of the Roman Theater from the terrace. It’s very accessible, and I always love finding such historic structures right in the middle of a city center.

This theater is the largest in Jordan, with its 6,000 seats. Even Petra and Jerash don’t have a bigger one. Its stands and some statues are still in good condition, despite its construction dating back to 140 AD, showcasing its past grandeur. In the summer, you can sometimes sit in these stands to watch shows or theatrical performances. If you visit at nightfall, you’ll see the illuminated stands, adding to its mysterious and impressive aura.

Roman Theater location


Rainbow Street Amman

While we’re on the subject of restaurants and rooftops on Rainbow Street, don’t hesitate to spend an evening on one of the rooftop terraces of the bars. Generally, you’ll get a fantastic view of Amman’s houses, which are especially photogenic at night.

Rainbow Street location

Rooftop Recommendation

Cantaloupe Gastro Pub

I highly recommend travelers to spend at least one evening here to witness this spectacular view for themselves. Enjoying a cocktail while soaking in the night view of Amman is an experience not to be missed.

Cantalope Gastro Pub location

What to see around Amman? 

Are you curious about what Amman has to offer? We can’t blame you! Amman is just a taste of the wonders that await you in Jordan. If you don’t want to go straight to the Dead Sea or Wadi Mujib (an exceptional nature reserve), here are some other places not too far from the Hashemite capital:



 To sum up, Madaba is a small, charming city with a warm atmosphere. It has a rich historical past, particularly known for its mosaic art. You will find stunning pieces in Byzantine and Christian churches. Madaba is home to the oldest cartographic representation of the region, also made entirely of mosaics.

If you’re looking for thrills, I highly recommend canyoning in the Wadi Mujib natural park (or Wadi al-Mujib).

Madaba location


As-Salt Jordan

What if you went to discover the ancient capital of Jordan? Before Amman, it was the charming city of Salt. Perched on hills near Balqa, As-Salt has preserved its traditional houses and offers a unique experience.

Salt is known for its traditional houses with a distinctive triple arcade made of yellow limestone, creating a unique and surprising sight. The city’s lively streets and souks are filled with stalls offering a variety of local products, creating a joyful cacophony that shoppers will love. The warm and bustling atmosphere of the souk is a highlight for those who enjoy vibrant markets.

Salt is also recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, celebrated as a “place of tolerance and urban hospitality.” Its historical significance and well-preserved architecture make it a fascinating place to explore.
As-Salt location


Amman Itinerary

Jordan’s Queen Alia Airport is located south of Amman, about a 40-minute drive away. Although driving in Jordan might seem daunting, renting a car is the best way to travel between cities. We found little information on local transport, so a rental car is a convenient choice. It gives you the freedom to travel without time constraints and stop whenever you want.

Taxis from the airport to Amman cost around 20 JOD.

Since Madaba is closer to the airport than Amman, consider spending your first night there, especially if your flight arrives late in the day. This can help you avoid the traffic chaos of Amman.



Be careful, the vast majority of parking spaces in the main streets of the city center are paid . Our hotel recommended that we leave our car in a free parking lot with several spaces, some of which are in the shade under trees. To access it, there is only one lane that serves as an entrance and exit (only one lane).

What is very strange about this parking lot is that this entrance/exit is quite narrow. So if a van or partner parks there, you better have a small car like our Nissan Micra. 


Shams El Balad Restaurant In Amman
Shams El Balad restaurant

What to eat, and especially how to eat well in Amman? Don’t forget that the local gastronomy is just crazy in Jordan! And believe me, there are many restaurants in Amman that will allow you to taste traditional Jordanian dishes. So, ready to treat yourself?

Focus on baklava, Jordanian pastries that we lov


A Wiew From The Arab Tower Hotel In Amman
A wiew from the Arab Tower Hotel

We had the opportunity to test two accommodations in different locations in Amman, and our choice clearly goes to the first one. Both addresses are very accessible in terms of value for money.