You may be an expert on your own neck of the woods, but exploring one you’re not so familiar with actually makes for a surprisingly fun summer activity — so, go ahead and visit Jabal Weibdeh, one of Amman’s historic districts that has recently become a meeting ground for the city’s rising artistic crowd.
From observing the old, stone homes to visiting quaint cafes that serve coffee by day and shisha by night, the following eight activities are guaranteed to catch you up to speed on why Jabal Weibdeh is one of Amman’s most prized neighborhoods.
1 || Admire the Old Architecture
Weibdeh’s appeal can be owed to its fusion of old and new, and, more often than not, old is simply gold. Large homes with antique exterior design, overlooking Insta-worthy Amman views, are dotted along the neighborhood, and these landmarks are what give Weibdeh its characteristic charm that other neighborhoods can’t seem to live up to.
2 || Grab Coffee
Suggestion: Rumi Cafe
Getting coffee may seem like a blasè activity, but not if it’s at Rumi. Menu items, like “shai na’ na’” served in a kettle and small glasses, and the funky Middle Eastern design exude “old” Amman vibes, but the environment is all trendy and spirited. This cute coffee shop, with an even cuter outdoor section, effortlessly combines tradition with modern edge, making it a hotspot frequented by Jordanians of all ages. Oh, it’s also super delicious (order their Rose Cake) (seriously).
3 || Search for Street Art
We weren’t kidding when we said Amman’s artsiest were flocking to Weibdeh — you can see it for yourself just by strolling through the neighborhood. Creative, and sometimes political, art pieces are plastered over empty walls, alleys and garage doors, and are especially interesting when done alongside the neighborhood’s more archaic sites. These gems make the walk through Weibdeh extra vibrant.
4 || Visit a Unique Art/Food Venue
Galleries are also sites of Weibdeh’s flourishing art scene, and the most enjoyable ones double as eateries with creative culinary concepts. One staple is Fann wa Chai, where you can awe over a selection of local art pieces in a calm atmosphere, all while sipping away at a warm drink, courtesy of their tea bar. Admire art over a heartier meal at Jasmine House, an old home turned restaurant led by a born and bred Italian chef. Inventive, yet delicious, menu items change regularly, and so does the photography exhibition, which is beautifully displayed on walls throughout the venue. There’s no liquor license here, but feel free to bring your own wine to sip on over a quintessential Italian meal in an even more quintessential Jordanian-style setup.
5 || Shopping
Suggestions: Local ceramic stores, Jo Bedu
Weibdeh’s shopping scene mimics its character: antique and traditional. For a different take on your conventional shopping day, walk along the district’s hilly roads, and you’ll find a variety of stores selling local — mostly ceramic — collective items that make great home staples. Stock up on these classic national artifacts, but also be sure to stop by Jo Bedu for some funny Jordanian-themed apparel.
6 || Eat!
All that walking through the neighborhood needs some fuel, doesn’t it? Luckily, Weibdeh’s food scene is a bustling one, with creperies, falafel joints, and full on sit-down eateries situated on just about every corner. Nibble on pizza at quaint Italian restaurant, Oliva, then curb your sweet tooth at Atir, a modern-concept dessert store serving an array of fusion Knafeh treats.
7 || Shisha Bars
Suggestion: Cafe Kepi
A gathering with friends at a hip shisha bar is how Weibdeh does nightlife, which may explain why they’re the most happening spots to hit past sunset. A relaxing, yet upbeat space where you can bubble away at your favorite shisha flavor alongside open windows bringing in the summer nights’ breeze is what makes a place like Cafe Kepi perfect for a typical Jordanian night out.
8 || Get Drinks
Suggestion: Cafe de Paris
If you’re looking for something less tame than just shisha, Cafe de Paris is calling your name. Located right on Paris Square (how fitting?), Cafe de Paris is a casual pub open till late, and an ideal place to conclude a day’s worth of exploring Weibdeh. Sip on some well-deserved drinks while dancing with friends over music and good conversation — I think we can all raise our glasses to that!
In a city where our longest walks are the ones we take from our houses to the car, traversing through a different neighborhood, like Weibdeh, is the perfect shock to your summer routine. These eight activities are all you need to enjoy the ins and outs of the trendiest part of town.