Jordan, Travel Destinations

A look into the bustling City of Amman ~ Travel and Leisure Ideas

Amman Old and New Downtown

Our third day is about Amman.

After having a good night sleep at Wadi Musa, we woke up and took our time eating breakfast as we're not that much in a hurry to take the bus going to Amman. At around 9:00 AM we checked out and proceeded to the bus terminal in Wadi Musa, which luckily is a very short walking distance from where we're staying.

The bus we took going to Amman doesn't have a scheduled time of departure, they wait for passengers to fill in the bus before leaving the terminal. We waited for 30 minutes which is not that bad considering that we're not in a hurry but it is not advisable if you want to quickly arrive in Amman.

Other options are to rent a car to bring you to Amman (possibly the best choice if your a group of 4 people) or take the Jett bus which leaves on scheduled time. Since this is the cheapest option, we chose to ride the said bus, we believed that it is only 3 hours of inconvenience, we can take on that.

We were used to riding cramped buses back when we were still studying which is why we didn't hesitate to try and take the local bus going to Amman. But their local buses are not that hard to travel with, it is fine by our standards, only the leg part which has little space, nothing out of the ordinary. If you want it cheap, you can take the said local bus as well, there was one other tourist who also rode the bus with us and the rest are locals.

The ride was smooth and full of stops as passengers goes on and off the bus from different places, once we have entered the desert highway the stops lessen but still, the bus is dropping and picking people along the way. After around 1 to 2 hours our bus made a 15 minute stop/break at a local convenience store along the highway. Passengers went out to buy food and drinks, others went to the restrooms available in the area.

After the stop, it took us around 1 hour to arrive at Amman. Amman is very different from Madaba or Wadi Musa, lots of highways, stoplights, and the number of cars using the road multiplied. It is somewhat similar to how Manila (Philippines) looks like which gave us a feeling of familiarity. It took some time for us to arrive at the terminal because compared to the first two places we went to, Amman's roads are very busy.

We went down at the bus terminal and was welcomed by taxi drivers offering to take us to our accommodation, before arriving here one local from Wadi Musa advised us to take the white taxis instead as it will cost us 1 dinar for the service only and sometimes the taxis waiting for passengers don't use the meter and will try to charge more. One driver approached us and offered us the same rate which made us decide to take his offer instead of looking for the white taxis.

The place we booked was near the Citadel (one of our reasons why we went to Amman), to lessen our expenses on visiting the tourist attractions. The hotel was located in the old downtown Amman, which was like a marketplace full of shops selling different souvenirs, garments, shoes and food stalls. The place was very busy which made the travel time longer. We arrived at the place at around 2 in the afternoon, checked in and immediately went out to have lunch.

We went to a mall (Abdali Mall) near our place which the receptionist suggested as the nearest good place from our location. Abdali Mall was a newly built mall in Amman, which is why the taxi we took didn't know the place, we also had a hard time as he is not speaking English, good thing "google maps" saved our day lol. We were able to arrive at the place paying 1 dinar and 25 fils only. We were advised to tell the cab drivers to use the meter as they will charge around 4 or 5 dinars for one way.

The location of the mall is around a place full of tall buildings, unlike the place where we stayed (full of three storey old buildings), with clean surrounding and less crowd. It looks like the business place of Amman, where people going to offices are working. Mall security is a bit tight compared to Dubai, as they check your belongings and doing a body check for guys as well before entering the mall. The interior of the mall was very nice, it is clean since it is still new and it looks the same as the malls in Dubai. We ate at McDonalds, the price of the food is the same which is good because we know that we're not being overcharged. The mall has an outdoor piazza with restaurants and coffee shops and seats where you can relax while admiring the landscape of Amman.

After spending some time at the piazza, we went to "The Boulevard". The Boulevard is an outdoor space with a pedestrian strip bordered by buildings, even though it's an open space, security checks are present before entering the premises.

Lots of high street coffee shops and restaurants are available in the area, retail outlets, fountains and bleachers at the center. It is a good place for people to hang out, a refreshing urban escape after the rough mountain tours of our first and second day. We roamed around up until past 5:00 PM then took a cab back to our place, paid almost the same amount 1 dinar and 75 fils (always remember to tell the driver that you want it to be metered).

At around 7:00 PM, the old downtown is still bustling with people, although there were fewer cars on the street it is still lively. We looked around to buy souvenirs and eat dinner. There were a lot of tourists in this place unlike the first place (Madaba) we went to. We settled at another local fast food chain serving fried chicken like Popeyes and KFC.

After having our dinner we walked a little bit more, walking in Amman at night is not that hard and scary, as locals were very nice, although some are being playful and calling/greeting you as they know that you are a tourist. Just be mindful and alert of your belongings and surroundings which is pretty much the same for every new or unfamiliar place that you visit. We stopped and bought Arabic coffee at a local shop and stayed for a while at the shop because we still want to enjoy and watch the busy night of Amman and it is also our last night in Jordan.

At around 9:30 PM we decided to call it a night.

You can visit Amman stroll around town but if you're the type which wants a little bit of silence and less crowd we suggest you find a place far from downtown Amman, although you'll have to sacrifice taking a cab to the Citadel and the Roman theatre.

I will talk more about those two attractions on our Day 4.

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