Jordan, officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, is an Arab kingdom in Western Asia. The country is located to the north of Saudi Arabia. The location at the crossroads of the Middle East has served as a strategic nexus, connecting Asia, Africa and Europe. Jordan is considered by some as the safest country in the Middle East, maybe even the safest Arab country. The places to visit in Jordan are the capital and the largest city, Amman and a 2000 year old city in the south of the country, Petra.
Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's economic, political and cultural center. It is often described as one of the most liberal and westernized Arab cities, one that is civilized and rapidly growing through new investments and rising buildings. There are new neighborhoods being built and leisure activities are being opened all the time. The city is a young Arab capital that is still making its way to the world and is often, for no reason, overlooked by travelers.
Amman offers a great variety of culture for the visitors to enjoy. The arts centre of Darat Al Funun, the National Gallery and regular music events can change your experience of the city's life. The Downtown is a place where one can find the most traditional cafés and small shops passed from father to son. Surely worth visiting! The ancient Citadel, on the other hand, features the monumental Temple of Hercules, Umayyad Palace and amazing views of Amman's hills. The city also makes a good base for day trips to places such as the Dead Sea, Petra and Jerash.
Amman also offers great opportunities for shopping with its many malls and souks. One can find the latest top brands for clothing and accessories from the malls, or enjoy a more traditional shopping experience in the souks around the city. The city is renowned for its handicrafts, such as coffee pots and handmade textiles. One will definitely find everything needed from Amman!
Getting to Amman is cheap and easy from Riyadh. There are many nonstop flights operated and the travel time is only a little over two hours. Roundtrip flights can be found for around 300 euros (c. £220 or c. $330). There are plenty of choices for accommodation and the price range is wide. One will have no problem finding a suitable one!
Petra is a magnificent city that should perhaps be on everyone's bucket list. Located in the heart of southern Jordan's Shara Mountains and protected from outer world by huge barriers of rock, the city is full of mystery. It is famous for its rock-cult architecture and water conduit system. The city is also often referred to as the Rose City, due to the color of the stone. Petra has a lot to offer, whether it is for a weekend trip, or just a day-visit from Amman. There is a great deal of history and culture to be explored.
The ancient city does not disappoint its visitors. Entering through the Siq is said to be dramatic and an epic start to your visit. When arriving to The Treasury, you will encounter one of the most famous parts of the site, which is really breathtaking. Next you will see the largest monument in the city, the Monastery. It offers amazing views and is one of the most magnificent things you will see.
The city can be explored in one day, but that would make quite an exhausting day, given the amount of walking required. Therefore it is not out of question to stay a bit longer and perhaps explore a little wider area and visit places such as Wadi Turkmaniyyeh and The High Place of Sacrifice for more astounding views and experiences! There is accommodation available for a wide price range from hostels to luxurious hotel resorts in the surrounding area!
The best time to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site would probably be during spring or autumn, when the temperatures are more pleasant. Petra, just like the rest of Jordan, is a very safe place to visit. The biggest danger will probably be forgetting to drink enough water in the heat!