Amman of the Present

Amman's the capital of Jordan and also its most populous city.

Modern downtown

Amman's a sprawling city that hasn't built up vertically, which gives it some charm.

Little storefronts line its busier streets. Shops often sell similar goods in a cluster. On one block is a gold souq, on another a souq for only coals and other household fossil fuels. There's even an alleyway across from the open air produce market filled with vendors selling only vacuums and hookahs. Why the two, I'm not sure.

A food market.

Vacuums and hookahs.

Worn postcards in front of a closed gift shop.

King Abdullah I Mosque.


The majority of Amman's residences are situated on its steep hills. As a result, there are a ton of stairways slinking through the hills. Some house works of colorful street art, others are rather dilapidated. If you're the urban explorer you'd probably want to trek up at least a handful to see where you end up (hint: almost always to a decent view of the city!).

The glow of night

On one of my evenings in Amman I have dinner at Hashem Restaurant, a famous hummus joint that's served world leaders, the King, and a roster of celebrities. I sample just about everything and it really does live up to its hype. The food is delicious.

There are several other restaurants I visit in the area in the other evenings I'm here, including a restaurant named Jersualem famous for its yogurts and roasted chicken.

Hashem Restaurant.

One of the things I love about the city is its atmosphere at night. It's lively in a pleasantly restrained way—seldom is it crowded. There's no better way to end a day than to stroll shop to shop, browsing for souvenirs while munching on a warm kunafa.

The gold souq.