If Amman is the city of seven hills, it’s only fitting that the next one you explore is named after that very fact: Jabal Amman, one of Jordan’s archetypical neighborhoods where old cultural landmarks, mod coffee shops and hip nightspots harmoniously complement one another’s charm.
Learn just why Jabal Amman manifests everything that makes our city so great with these activities you won’t want to miss out on this staycation.
1 || Art Galleries
Jabal Amman is a hub for local businesses, and The Khalid Shoman Foundation – Darat al Funun proves that it’s one for art as well. This venture, spanned over six remodeled buildings, features visual pieces from all over the Arab world, but still places value on art that isn’t just limited to a canvas. Providing a space for films, concerts and other performances to be presented, Darat Al Funun, an establishment that’s been around for over two decades, memorializes our artistic culture and the work that comes out of it, in both the past and the present. Another favorite is Jacaranda Images, which isn’t a gallery of local masterpieces, but, rather, global ones. Observe or purchase original works of art, and even stationary items at their next door extension, Jacaranda TOO!
2 || Umbrellas
Be sure to bring a fully charged phone for some insta photos, because this downtown umbrella display is certainly one you’ll want to post. Hovering among a variety of local shops, and above an antique outdoor staircase made modern with colorful paint, hangs this bright umbrella arrangement. The old stone and classic Jordanian architecture that surrounds the area complements this vibrant display, adding color and zest to your neighborhood expedition among emblems of old culture.
3 || Views
The best part about exploring a hill? The views that surround you in the process. Jabal Amman, especially along Rainbow Street, is known for its cute stone roads with trees lining the sidewalks that guard landmark, old homes and buildings, which, themselves, make the walk delightful — but walk a little further, and a view of hills upon hills topped with old, downtown homes, the historical Citadel, ancient Roman Amphitheater and our tall national flag await you. Bask in the sight of nothing but our culture and history standing strong, among a blissful residential neighborhood.
4 || Cafes
Coffee culture is just what we millenials live life by, and Jabal Amman gets that. Modern concept coffee shops perfect for getting work done, meeting with friends and fetching your morning pick-me-up line Rainbow Street. One staple is Turtle Green, which is actually a tea bar, but one that serves up great coffee, a beautiful array of cakes and even kombucha in a laid back, cozy atmosphere with wooden decor. Caffe Strada is another, with adorable brick-wall and clean white finishes. It’s an Italian establishment, meaning the coffee and food, like paninis, follow suit — but you can still sip on eccentric sweet beverages, like a Nutella frappe.
5 || Restaurants
Coffee may be Jabal Amman’s drink of choice, but its food scene tells a whole other story. Sufra is a Romero Group Levantine restaurant on Rainbow Street with decor resemblant of old homes, so your meal out can feel just like a classic Jordanian home-cooked one. Da Esmat is another fine dining Italian eatery with irresistible pasta dishes, one favorite being the Frutti di Mare. If you’re pining for fast casual grub, hitWazzup Dog for a classic hot dog, or Fatatri for enticing wood-fire oven baked, stuffed flatbreads.
6 || Souk Jara
This Friday-only outdoor souks exemplifies a prototypical Middle Eastern shopping experience. Souks are central to our history, and this Jabal Amman bazaar helps revive that emblematic past. From books to ceramics, clothes, food, art, and even live-music and face-painting sessions, Souk Jara is a family Friday must, and literally provides a day’s worth of activities in a mere strip of a marketplace. From 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., spend hours here exploring, shopping and admiring local businesses coming to thrive and be celebrated.
7 || Shop
You don’t always have to wait until Friday for a successful Jabal Amman shopping day, and at The Jordan River Foundation Showroom, located off Rainbow Street, it can actually double as a good cause. The showroom sells designs and products from Wadi al Rayan Project, Bani Hamida Weaving Project and Al Karma Embroidery Center, which are all humanitarian business ventures that contribute to local causes as well as furthering the role of women in Jordanian society. Be sure to also stop by Urdon Shop and Cafe andMlabbas for novel Jordanian merchandise. From mugs to decorative items, pillows, bags and t-shirts, you can find it all here.
8 || Nightlife
Jabal Amman is just as exciting by night as it is by day, with fun bars and lounges dotted throughout the neighborhood. Books@Cafe, which is also a fun daytime venue with excellent food, views and a bookshop on the bottom floor, is a great place to hit and get drinks at past sunset — and it even has karaoke nights!Sekrab is another, and their fun, antique, decorative car on the top floor is always an attraction. You can sit indoors with their cool decor or outdoors with funky views and an evening breeze, but either way, your night will be filled with loud music, yummy drinks and an all round good time.