From eTripTips Wiki
Amman is the capital and largest city of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (population c. 2.1 million). Amman forms a great base for exploring the country and does, in fact, hold a few items of interest to the traveler. The city is generally well-appointed for the traveler and the people are very friendly.
A city built of white stone, Amman's growth has skyrocketed since it was made the capital of Trans-Jordan in the early 1920s, but especially after the 1948 and 1967 wars with Israel where hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees settled. Another wave arrived after the second Iraq war, with Iraqi refugees forming the majority of newcomers.
Its history, however, goes back many millennia. The settlement mentioned in the Bible as Rabbath Ammon was the capital of the Ammonites, which later fell to the Assyrians. It was dominated briefly by the Nabataeans before it became a great Roman trade center and was renamed Philadelphia. After the Islamic conquests, Amman became part of the Muslim empire, until the Ottomans were forced out by the Allies, with the help of the Hashimites, who formed a monarchy that continues to rule until the present.
Today, West Amman is a lively, modern city. The eastern part of the city, where the majority of Amman's residents live, is predominantly poor and underdeveloped. While possessing few sites itself, Amman makes a comfortable base from which to explore the northwestern parts of the country.
Most Jordanians understand English so communication shouldn't be that much of a problem but it never hurts to know a few useful phrases and come prepared with a translation book.
 Get in
 By plane
Most travelers to Amman (and to Jordan) will arrive via Queen Alia International Airport. For most western visitors, entry visas to Jordan can be purchased at the airport, if not already obtained from a Jordanian consulate overseas. The price of visa is 10 Jordanian Dinars ($15). Taxi transportation from the airport to Amman averages 15 Jordanian Dinars ($21).
Although the capital of a diverse kingdom, Amman is not what one would call "packed" with things to see, making it a great gateway to explorations further afield. Even so, the city does hold a few items of historical and cultural interest (allow maximum 2 days to see them).
The cultural scene in Amman has seen some increased activities, notably cultural centers and clubs such as Makan House, Al Balad Theater, the Amman Filmmakers Cooperative, Remall, and Zara gallery. Around the 1st of September the Jordan Short Film Festival takes place.
Due to accelerated growth the past several decades, the styles of living differs considerably as one travels from east to west throughout Amman. Visitors desiring to experience "Old Amman" should explore the central downtown, or Balad, which features numerous souqs, shops, and street vendors.
Amman has numerous antique dealers littered throughout the city. Those located in the western parts of the city will most likely be serviced by those with a competent grasp of the English language, but you run the risk of the items being a bit overpriced. For the more adventurous, some of the best tourist shopping can be done in downtown Amman (the Balad). Shopping in the Balad has a more primitive feel with shop after shop filled with wares and prices not always clearly marked and extremely negotiable.
Some interesting, original souvenir items that one may consider taking home are:
For the coffee lover, Amman's Starbucks locations (Swefieh, Adboun, Mecca Mall) offer various mugs, tumblers, and to-go cups with distinctive Jordanian and Middle Eastern flair.
Those who crave gourmet coffee have a number of choices such as Broadway in Abdoun, or Wakim and Chez Helda in Swefieh, or Paris Cafe in Elwaibdeh.
Amman features many different styles of restaurants, from traditional Middle Eastern fare to more familiar Western fast food and franchises. Prices range from ultra-cheap to moderate, depending on one's taste buds. For those on a budget, Arabic food is very affordable and can be obtained everywhere.
Arabic food generally consists of several general basic groups. Meat dishes will generally consist of lamb or chicken; beef is more rare and pork is never offered. Shwarma, which is cooked lamb meat with a special sauce rolled in piece of flat bread, is a local favorite. Rice and flat bread are typical sides to any meal. Jordan's specialty, mansaf, is a delicious lamb and rice meal, typically eaten with one's hands. Arabs serve plenty of cucumbers and tomatoes, many times accompanied by a plain white yogurt condiment. Another favorite is chick pea-based foods such as falafel, hummus, and fuul. One of Amman's most famous local foods restaurant is Hashem, located in downtown Amman. Nearby, there is Habeebah, which serves traditional east Mediterranean sweets such as baklava, but is most famous for serving a traditional dessert known as knafeh nabelseyyeh in reference to its origin from the Palestinian city of Nables.
And even if you can afford the above-mentioned, do not forget the good surprises coming from the countless shawarma outlets and other very cheap places.
Amman is also known for all the jewelers that reside in the bustling metropolis.
Amman has the full range of accommodation options from very basic 1 star accommodation to luxurious 5 star facilities.
 Stay Safe
Report to the Jordanian police any suspicious activity; this may be a terroist plot. In light of the 2005 Amman bombings, the Jordanian government is on alert for any terrorist cells operating within the country. Amman is safe at all hours for tourists and you find Amman to be very hospitable.
Jordan is mostly Muslim with a sizable Christian minority. Try not to say anything that might be considered an insult to King Abdullah II or Islam. Jordanians love their nation, religion, and ruler equally. Wear modest clothing.
 Get out
Amman makes a convenient base for day trips to: