Visiting Amman as a Family
Family is a cornerstone of Jordanian culture. Combine that with tribal traditions of hospitality passed down through the generations, friendly people, ancient architecture, and tasty local flavors, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a fun-filled family vacation.
When planning your Amman adventure, it's important to consider the weather. Summer can be extremely hot while winter can be quite cold. Keep the kids comfortable and bring them in spring or autumn when the weather is much more pleasant. Amman is a city built on hills, so no matter what season you visit, be sure to pack good walking shoes and breathable layers.
Jordanians tend to bring their children along whether they are going to the grocery store or out to eat. As such, you'll find that aside from bars, most restaurants and businesses welcome children, so you won't need to seek out "kid-friendly" specific places to stay or dine.
For more ideas on traveling with kids throughout the country, read our guide to Family Travel in Jordan. And to learn more about visiting Amman, these Tips for Visiting Jordan's Capital have you covered.
What to Do
The Children’s Museum Jordan
If you’re bringing the kids to Amman, the Children's Museum (located in Al Hussein Public Park), is a must. Interactive exhibits, daily activities, art and science workshops, and a recently renovated garden will keep the little ones occupied for hours. There is also an outdoor area where families can get some fresh air and a bit of exercise. Check the Daily Visitors Program schedule on their website or call ahead to inquire about special events.
Wild Jordan Center
The Family Café at Wild Jordan Center in Jabal Amman offers much more than its name implies. While they do indeed serve up delicious and healthy meals, coffees, teas, and smoothies sourced from local, organic ingredients, this café also provides a comfortable space for families to relax, read a book or engage in an activity about Jordan’s natural environment and reserves, or simply enjoy the view of the Citadel through the floor-to-ceiling windows.
During the summer months, the small street directly across from the entrance to Wild Jordan Center transforms into Souk Jara, an outdoor market with vendors selling local products. Take a stroll there anytime between 10 am and 10 pm, chat with the vendors and artisans, and shop for souvenirs, such as ceramics, spices, scarves, and jewelry.
As the summer sun can be intense, it’s best to visit either first thing when they open or after the sun sets. If you must go midday, be sure to carry and drink plenty of water, apply sunscreen, and keep your skin and head covered to protect it from the sun. For more on worthwhile souvenirs to bring home with you, see this guide to shopping in Jordan.
No trip to Amman is complete without a visit to the city's open-air museum Jabal Al Qala'a—Citadel Hill. Explore these ancient ruins and snap the perfect family photo with the Temple of Hercules and the Old City of Amman as your backdrop. For families looking for a more in-depth experience, arrange a guide who can provide additional historical and cultural information. Better yet, book a half-day guide to take you on a walking tour to include Citadel Hill and the rest of downtown.
Hashem Restaurant and Habibah
One thing is for certain: your family will not go hungry in Amman. With an abundance of family-friendly restaurants and cafés all around the city, you are much more likely to find yourself stuffed to the brim and even invited into a local family home for a meal. While you’re wandering downtown, save time for legendary Hashem Restaurant. Kids (and adults!) can feel free to eat with their hands at this casual streetside spot, scooping creamy hummus up with fresh Arabic bread and snacking on fresh falafel.
When you’ve had your savory fill, grab a sweet treat just down the street at Habibah. Kunafeh—a cheese-filled, syrup-drenched pastry—is a crowd-pleaser sure to bring a smile to your family member’s faces. And don't stop there—introduce your kids to more Levantine specialties with this article on What to Eat in Jordan (and Where to Eat It).
The Orenda Tribe
Your family can support the socially-conscious Orenda Tribe and take home a souvenir. The Orenda Tribe aims to serve disadvantaged communities and children through art. Visitors can arrange an “Art for Hope Experience” where you will learn about The Orenda Tribe work and create a piece of art, such as painting on a tote bag made from upcycled tent fabric by women in the Za’atari Refugee Camp. These art experiences are by reservation only, so do call ahead to inquire and book.
The family that cooks together creates Amman memories together. Book a lesson at family-run Beit Sitti in Jabal Al Weibdeh, and spend an evening cooking— and of course, eating—Arabic dishes with your loved ones. Join a “cook and dine” group class or arrange for a private one, depending on your schedule, preferences, and budget. When the weather is good, Beit Sitti often moves the lesson outside so you can enjoy your meal and the tranquil terrace experience. For more cultural activities for your family, check out this article on Jordan's Best Local Experiences.
Amman Waves Aqua Park and Resort
Bring the kids to cool off at Aqua Park and Resort on Airport Road, the first and largest water park in the country. If you are visiting Amman during the late spring to early autumn months when the weather is warm, children can enjoy cruising down the slides, dipping in the pools, splashing in the waves at the artificial beach, floating on the Lazy River, or relaxing in the shade of the pine and palm trees that dot the park.
Haya Cultural Centre
This experiential educational space was specifically designed with children in mind. Since 1976, the Haya Cultural Centre has been welcoming children to play, learn, and participate in workshops, art, dance, and cultural classes. In 2014, it relaunched and rededicated itself to being a safe, multicultural space for children to learn, engage, and interact. If you’re in Amman for an extended period of time in the summer, you can inquire about summer camps for children.
Active adventurers will love Climbat, a climbing wall facility located just off the Dead Sea Road on the outskirts of the city. The wall can accommodate climbers of all skill levels, and even children age four and up. Be sure to call ahead to reserve your time slot. And if you’re heading out of the city in this direction, you can consider continuing on to the Dead Sea—learn more in our guide to Jordan's must-see places.
Where to Stay
Traffic in Amman can be intense, so it's best to base yourself close to sites you plan to see—this way, you can spend more time exploring and less time sitting in the car. In general, hotels in Amman welcome guests of all ages.
The Four Seasons Hotel Amman in Swiefieh goes the extra mile to make kids feel comfortable, offering kid-friendly amenities at check-in, providing child-sized robes, and inviting children for an in-kitchen experience at brunch. And of course, their rooftop pool is a treat on desert-hot days while their indoor pool can be enjoyed year-round. Kempinski Hotel Amman in Shmeisani is another family-friendly option, with an on-site entertainment center where you can challenge your kids to a game of darts, billiards, or bowling.
If you're on a budget and prefer to stay at the center of the action, several downtown hotels and guesthouses such as Gallery Guesthouse offer basic accommodations in a prime location, steps from some of Amman's most popular family-friendly attractions and restaurants.
Sidewalks are inconsistent and you may be surprised to find they are often blocked by parked cars or planted trees, so walking in some areas may be tricky. Book a guided walking tour customized to be appropriate for little ones.
You can rent a car and self-drive or arrange a private car and driver. Keep in mind that rules of the road are likely different here than in your country—and sometimes it seems there are no rules at all! So if you are not a highly experienced and fearless driver, it's better to leave the driving to the paid professionals.
If family members have food allergies, carry some of your own snacks and a printed note that explains the allergy issue in Arabic. Food allergies are much less common here and even with explanation, some restaurants may not fully understand. Have your guide double check with the chef at every meal.
As with most businesses in Jordan, it’s recommended to call or book everything ahead; advertised hours are not always accurate and some businesses may be closed unexpectedly, seasonally, for religious or personal reasons or for private events.