THE AMMAN GUIDE 2020 | JORDAN

“Welcome to Jordan”, is a phrase you will hear time and time again in this majestic land from the locals who are delighted to have visitors in their country.

From the moment you step off your flight and arrive in Jordan’s capital Amman, you’ll be impressed with the best of the Middle East this 2020.

Where to stay in Amman

There’s only one place to head to as soon as you arrive in frantic Amman and that’s the city’s 4th tallest building, otherwise known as the W Hotel. At a striking 150m high, it is a towering spectacle within Amman’s skyline. When you enter you are immediately blown away at the interior. It features a canyon – designed in homage to the country’s most famous archaeological site, Petra. The W Hotel is somewhere you want to wake up again and again. The 240 rooms are contemporary in look and feel, yet bring local characteristics through colours and textures.

W Hotel Entrance, Amman
Entrance of W Hotel Amman

Hotel bedroom Amman

Take time to explore the hotel in full: you’ll have a luxury spa to visit (we recommend the reflexology and full body massages). Aswell as a gym and not to mention the picturesque roof top poor which delivers quite a luxe experience. The rest of the hotel offers a Living Room area for guests to chill and read many of their impressive coffee table books while enjoying a cocktail. After dark the area becomes one of the best bars in the city with a who’s who of Amman flocking to be seen alongside an international array of guests. Book your stay here.

W Hotel Rooftop Pool

Jordan is one of the most progressive and modern countries in the Middle East and it’s also one of the safest. Woman have equal rights to men and the royal family have a huge influence on their people by championing education.

What to do in Amman

If you can tear yourself away from the W Hotel to marvel at the sights of Amman there’s plenty to do! (Though don’t get us wrong – the best of Jordan lies outside of the capital). Amman was built on seven hills so be sure to wear your most comfortable walking shoes as they’ll be putting in the hard work. The hustle and bustle of the capital city is sure to inspire and delight..

City of Amman, Jordan

Plan a morning exploring the Citadel which sits on the highest mountain in the city so provides the best point for getting your bearings. Built during the Bronze Age, the site was destroyed by an earthquake in 749AD and never rebuilt yet it’ll leave you with a sense of a time gone by. The scale of the columns still standing provide insight into how magnificent the site once was. From here you’ll be able to see the Roman Theatre which provides a 7,000 seater stadium. You can buy tickets to music and theatre performances.

Amman Citadel
The city’s Citadel

Theatre Amman, Jordan

Rainbow Street acts as a central hub of restaurants, bars and coffee shops which cater for tourists and locals alike. If you want to eat like a king you’re best to set off for Hashems which has hosted royalty here since it opened in 1953. This legendary eatery is famed for its falafel and hummus! You can order a classic lunch meal for around 3JD and be sure to sip their mint tea too. 

Amman City, Jordan

Culture

After you’ve refuelled with falafel, the Jordan Museum is not to be missed. Built in 2014, this is a modern building in the centre of the city. Its home to some of the most incredible ancient treasure in the land. The experience here is entertaining, informative and like no other. You’ll first be guided around the Jordan exhibition which tells the rich history of this nation. Illustrating the countries impact and evolution within the surrounding Middle East. The space also holds the oldest-known human statues. But it’s what lies at the very end which is why this stop is firmly on our must-do list: the Dead Sea Scrolls are housed here. These biblical manuscripts are one of the most important discoveries of the 20th century! When in 1946 a Shepard stubbed across them in a cave near to the Dead Sea. They give great historical, religious significance from the era when they were written from around 300BC.

Roman Theatre, Amman

The last cultural stop on your Amman to-see list should be the vast King Abdullah Mosque. This blue-domed landmark is open to worshipers as well as non-Muslin visitors. (But only during certain hours and if you’re a female you’ll be asked to wear a abayas. Standing as a some-what timeless looking building, over 7,000 people come on a daily basis to pay their respects. It’s a peaceful and reflective experience – while the outside is covered in decorative mosaic tiles.

King Abdullah Mosque, Amman

Where to Eat in Amman:

  • Wild Jordan Cafe (good for a a healthy lunch)
  • Shams el Balad (an outdoor hipster hangout with the most delicious beetroot hummus)
  • Levant (great for dinner – order everything on the menu, nothing will disappoint)
  • Primal (for anyone following a Paleo diet)
  • Sufra (a Rainbow Street must-visit)

Good to know ahead of visiting Jordan:

  • Buy the Jordan Pass for £75. This includes your tourist visa as well as entry fees for the likes of the Citadel in Amman as well as Petra and the Dead Sea.
  • There are 9 million people who live in the country, while only 8 years ago there were 6 million. The sudden rise of inhabitants is due to the influx of refugees coming in from their neighbouring countries. 4.5 million people live in the capital city Amman.
  • Weekends in Jordan fall on a Friday and Saturday, so it’s likely that shops, some attractions and restaurants may be shut on a Saturday.
  • Smoking is allowed indoors, so don’t be surprised when people light up in hotels, restaurants and shops.
  • All hotels have their own airport-like security in the entrance meaning that your suitcase and day bag will need to go through the x-ray scanners every time you enter the building.
  • Uber is currently available in Jordan, however they can’t pick up from the airport. If you’ve not arranged airport transfers via your hotel, you’re best to use a licensed cab when you land and be sure to tip the porter.

In short, before you head into the rest of Jordan, Amman is a worthy stop for a few days!

Love,

Stephanie

7 X MUST VISIT PLACES FOR THIS FALL

Summer is almost over but that doesn’t mean you can’t start planning your next trip. October is a great period to pack that suitcase and enjoy those last rays of sunlight or visit a beautiful city. These are our  must visit places for this fall.

1. Marrakesh, Morocco

With a reasonable short flight of 3,5 hours (from Amsterdam) it’s the perfect getaway to soak up the sunshine in October. Check our Marrakech Guide ffor the best tips and try to book your accommodation beforehand to get the best deals. Besides Marrakesh, Morocco has a lot more to offer. You can surf in Taghazout, ride camels in the Sahara or take a dip into the shallow waters of Paradise Valley.

Marrakech Guide 2019

2. Dubai, Emirates

If you want heat, you’re gonna get it here. (31-36 degrees!) It might be a little more expensive than a European break but this will be an experience you won’t forget. Shopping, fine dining and skydiving are some of the things Dubai brings to the table. KLM is offering flights from €397 in their world deal weeks at the moment so be quick!

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Camels with the skyline of Dubai

3. Dubrovnik, Croatia

This affordable getaway is still warm in the fall and prices are particularly low during this period. You have all the space to enjoy the magnificent beaches. Dubrovnik is also great for mountain hiking and enjoy the beautiful colors. Take the train and go interrailing!

4. Miami, Florida

It’s the best time to visit Miami the locals say. Why? Because most tourist will be gone (a lot better than spring break!) and temperatures are still very nice. If you’re visiting with kids, you can always visit Disney World (yes, it’s a must see with kids) or if you’re the adventurer you can watch crocodiles in the everglades. 

5. Folegandros, Greece

If you want total zen, no fuss, good food and stunning views, you must visit FolegandrosIt’s great the whole year round but summer is still happening in Folegandros in the fall. You can fly to Athens (about 180 euro’s) and take the speedy boat service to the island in just 4 hours. You can also fly to Santorini and take the boat in just 45 minutes. Flights to Santorini are more expensive though. One thing is for sure; you will feel completely recharged when you return.

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Stunning views in Folegandros

8. Jordan, Middle East

One of the worlds most spectacular sights are found right here but remain unseen by so many. In October there are still bright sunny days that light the rock of Petra up rose-red; but it is cool enough to journey into the Valley of the Moon on camel or horseback by day, and warm enough to sleep out under the starry sky by night. Flights from 300 euro’s with Turkish Airlines.

7. Munich, Germany

Why Munich? Because it’s the Oktoberfest of course! Starting from the 19th of Sept until the 4th of October. The festive fall event is not just about beer drinking anymore but also offers music, dance, food, markets and a fair. Grab your car and make a roadtrip!

Love,

Elke

9 x Amazing Autumn Destinations for 2018

As the leaves start to fall from the trees, it reminds us that Autumn is really here and it’s time to trade those skirts and short trousers for warm coats. During this time, a lot of travelers seek some sunshine. Here are 8 Autumn Destinations that you want to book NOW.

Lake Placid, New York
As voted by Booking.com and it’s travelers, this region is stunning during the Autumn season. Apart from the beautiful lake, there is a forest with colorful leaves and wild animals. Enjoy the view whilst sipping on a cup of hot chocolate from one of the cabins that you can rent during this time. Check out the Mirror Lake Inn Resort to get the luxurious break from it all.

Autumn Destinations
Stunning views over the lake at the mirror lake inn resort (source: Lake Inn Resort)

Canada 
A friend of mine recently sent me some photo’s of  his trip to Montreal and I couldn’t believe the amount of colors in just one picture. Just wow. Besides the colors, this city gives you the feeling that you’re in Europe. The architecture, street art and food choices make it feel like New York, Berlin and Buenos Aires are added into a blender and poured in your glass. Drink up and enjoy! Flights from Amsterdam are available from around €600.

Canada lake

Budapest, Hungary
This city is beautiful during the Fall but there’s also lot’s to do! There are several Autumn festivals going on like the Cafe Budapest Contemporary Art Festival which runs between 7th and 23rd of October. The summer crowds have disappeared so Budapest is a lot comfortable to explore during this time as it can be very busy during high season.  Outdoor temperatures remain mild but if you want to heat up, you should try one of the many bathhouses the city has to offer. When it comes to food, you can totally find your taste as they offer something for the carnivores but also have lot’s of veggie and vegan options available. Flights to Budapest go from as little as 200 euro if you book for this month.

Budapest in Autumn

Black Forest, Germany
Now, I have been here many times because my sister lives here and I can’t get enough of it. During summer, all you see is green and during Autumn is like a field of colors with snowy mountains in the background. My favorite city near the black forest has to be Freiburg. This is a cute student city near the border of Switzerland and France is packed with lot’s of cute German restaurants, shops and market squares. It was actually voted one of the best cities to live in Germany because of the fresh air, lack of danger and good schools. My boyfriend took his motorbike this summer and crossed through part of the forest so you can only imagine how it looks when the colors are there. You can fly to Baden-Baden or Basel with Easyjet for around €100 euro from Europe.

Black forest Germany
The black forest during summer

Sicily, Italy
If you are looking for the sun and doing nothing more than relax for a whole week, we tip you to take a break with Club Med at their newly opened Cefalù Resort. With wooden cottages nestled atop rugged cliffs with a breathtaking view over Cefalù Bay, you’ll fall for the charm of this amazing (and luxury) Resort. It’s close to Palermo, so if you want to explore, it’s easily done. We are heading over there this October, so keep an eye out for our Instagram Stories! Stay’s are available from €1841,- based on 7 nights for 2 adults.

Club Med Sicily

Prague, Czech Republic
This destination is great if you only have a little to spend but still want to get away. Sarah and I were there during spring time and we also noticed the nature that surrounded this city. Many visitors never set a foot out of old town and although that completely understandable, it’s a shame because just outside the city walls you will find something quiet beautiful. You can do a lot of hiking and enjoy stunning views. 60km outside Prague you will find the Kokořínsko Nature Reserve for example. If you still want to opt for the city itself, you won’t be disappointing. Food is super tasty and so cheap to other European standards! To read our Prague city guide, check here

Old town square Prague
Prague from above

The Lake District, UK
Easily overlooked, but so worth visiting. The colors are amazing, even though it rains a lot over at the lake district. Instagrammers travel to the lake district if they can’t afford a trip to Iceland, and we understand why. 

Raven Crag, Keswick, United Kingdom
Raven Crag, Keswick, United Kingdom

Cyprus
It’s the perfect autumn destination because of the nice temperatures and to soak up the last summer sun that you may need to re-charge yourself. Yes the climate is blissful and it has some fantastic beaches to stroll. But don’t forget about the many vineyards and amazing food. This island is one of best Autumn to-go-tip. 

Cyprus

Jordan
It’s a great time to visit this visitor-friendly country because of the nice weather and golden sun hours. It remains a place this unseen by many, but on the list of most travelers. Don’t forget about those magical nights underneath the prettiest starry sky you may ever see.

Jordan
Stunning, yet unseen by many

Are you going to book any of these last minute Autumn destinations?

Love,

Elke