Welcome back to another Wednesday edition of I Heart My City. Today’s insider guide to Amman, Jordan comes courtesy of our very own Director of Online Content Development, Zain Habboo, a proud Jordanian who travels back to the homeland at least once a year to visit family and friends. Check out Zain’s favorite spots in Amman, then tell us what you love about the capital city in the comments section below.
Amman is My City
The first place I take a visitor from out of town is Rainbow Street for local flavor, boutiques, and the “shisha” café vibe.
When I crave shawarma I always go to Cafeteria Reem.
To escape the noise I head to the Citadel.
If I want to shop I go to Aydi, an amazing store carrying the best artisanal textiles and goods.
For complete quiet, I can drive to Maqawir (old castle outside of the city).
If you come to my city, get your picture taken with one of the soldiers who guard the Queen Mother’s Palace on Zahran Street.
If you have to order one thing off the menu from Azka Dinya it has to be Kufta bi Tahiniah.
Za’tari Bazaar is my one-stop shop for great tchotchkes.
Locals know to skip hotel buffets and check out Hashim’s instead.
When I’m feeling cash-strapped I go to Souq Jara (at the first circle).
For a huge splurge I go to Lama Hourani for jewelry.
Photo opps in my city include downtown views and the best vantage points are from the balcony of the Soap House.
If my city were a celebrity it’d be Harrison Ford.
The most random thing about my city is sheep wandering across major highways!
My city has the most flirtatious men.
My city has the most creative women.
In my city, an active day outdoors involves using the “Bike Rush” service and cycling all over the city.
My city’s best museum is the Jordan Archaeological Museum.
My favorite jogging/walking route is when I join the Amman “Fast Walk” group and walk around the city at night.
For a night of dancing, go to Canteloupe. Or, for live music, check out Kan Zaman.
Hashim’s or Al Dawwaq is the spot for late-night eats.
To find out what’s going on at night and on the weekends, read Go magazine (Amman’s Time Out).
You can tell a lot about my city from people’s generosity and hospitality.
You can tell if someone is from my city if they offer to feed you, drive you wherever you need to go, or give you copious amounts of hot mint tea!
In the winter you should go to the Six Senses Spa in Ma’in (hot springs).
In the spring you should pack a picnic and visit the Hellenistic site known as Iraq Al Amir.
In the summer you should camp overnight at the new eco lodge in Wadi Feynan.
In the fall you should visit the Dead Sea.
A hidden gem in my city is Al Quds Falafel shop on Rainbow Street (fun fact: this was the late King Hussein’s favorite sandwich place!).
For a great breakfast joint try Za’tar U Zeit.
Don’t miss the Jordan festival in the summer (most events are held in Jerash).
Just outside my city, you can visit Mount Nebo.
The best way to see my city is on foot.
If my city were a pet it would be a sheep (remember, we are Bedouins!!).
If I didn’t live in a city, I’d live in Zabda overlooking the Jordan Valley.
The best book about my city is Old Houses of Jordan.
When I think about my city, the song that comes to mind is Hashimi Hashimi.
If you have kids, you won’t want to miss the Children’s Museum.
Sheep crossing the street could only happen in my city.
My city should be featured on your cover or website because it’s the friendliest city in the world.
What you love about Amman? Leave the details in the comments section below.
Want to see your city on Intelligent Travel? Copy and paste our list of fill-in-the-blank questions into an e-mail, fill in your answers, and send your responses (with any photos, videos or links) to IntelligentTravel@ngs.org.
Photo: Daniel Lopez/My Shot