Aug 1, 2008

Amman Underground Jabal Amman - Balad Tour

myAmman downtown Jabal Amman Balad theater Jafra map

my favorite places in old Amman .
this started as me trying to give direction to a friend to Jafra cafe' down town ,i found myself adding most of my favorite places in Jabal Amman and some from Down Town ,i wish i could add to it Lwaibdeh area but this one took long time so :/) so here is a map ,and read this for explanations I'll explain all the letter n stuff :

you could reach down town from many places,i chose 1st and 3rd circle.i think everyone knows how ot reach there,if you don't just ask anyone in the street they'd tell you its easy :

start from the top of the map (right to left) :
1st circle, go straight you'll be in "Rainbow Street" i tried drawing Rainbow colors on the street but i have no clue wut are rainbow colors!!anyway,so there u'll find "the British council" right after it "Abo EL Dahab Center" there you can play bowling ,billiard ,it has a nice view up there,if you're in you're 20s then your parents probably had took you there long ago to something were called "عالم التسليه" with a big Panda hung on the building. opposite to Abo El Dahab there is a small Falafel place "Al Quds" one of the oldest in Amman,its very famous for it's delicious sandwiches,if you haven't been there once and had your sandwich on the deck next to it on the side walk then you missed on a lot ,you should try it.

if you're following on the map,there is a left turn (its gonna be a downhill way) ,but before we go on to the left,lets keep straight,you'll pass Rainbow street (they made some construction there the street is no more asphalt neither its comfortable to be on either in a car or walking,they ruined it :/) anyway keep straight and the road will start to go downhill ,to the right,find "R n B" for a good snack ,marked (1) on the map .

keep going down don't worry you're not lost,spot (Batata) to the right with its big orange sign,its the best fried batata in Amman TRY IT with different dips,they offer some 10 different dips i think ,and please try having it either in the cozy place there or on the side walk ,side walk is a must in Jabal Amman experience.

before u reach Batata ,to the left there will be a narrow street (marked 3) thats where Jara Market is held every Friday in summer time,click here for more on Jara market.

now keep straight (main road downhill )and take the 1st right,keept stright there will be an uphill narrow streets,thats where the RCC (Royal Film Commission) is (market 5 on the map) .

if u didn't go uphill and kept straight,couple of meters and you'll be at Books@cafe (marked 4),one of my fav in Amman it has a library down stairs,interent connection,and a cafe upstairs, if you don't like to go places where alcohol is served and might be couple of gays around then don't go there,otherwise you're gonna love the view .

notice at the end in gray (on the map) -DARAJ TWEEL- ,that stairs takes u down to wasat el balad, I've came up and down that stairs many times when i wanted to meet friends there and were broke :DDD so if u r tafran enjoy the walk :D.

lets go back now to Falafel Al Quds , as explained on the map, take the 1st left downhill, if you went to the left form the intersection you'll find "Wild Jordan" it has an amazing view,smoking is prohibited (or was at least when they 1st opened it),menu is all healthy and herbal stuff,the view is really amazing from there,down town Amman and Lwaibdeh opposite to u.

back to the map : if u took the right turn then the 1st left turn ,you'll find Al Balad Theater ,a lot of events are held there,concerts,poetry, book signing,...if you're into art,poetry ,etc, its good to know where it is, next to it there are "stairs سلالم" - lol @ salalem - those are long narrow stairs would take you down town,park somewhere close to masra7 el balad and take it down,Jafra cafe will be to your left hand side,look up for its wooden balcony you won't miss it .

OR lets assume you don't wanna take the 1st cirlce tour (lol),lets go from 3rd circle to down town directly ,

as u can see on the map,coming from 2nd circle or where ever go from 3rd circle downhill alllll the way till you reach that traffic light,keep straight and it won't take you long to be at Jafra ,opposite to you is Ittesalat ,post office and Arab Kuwaity bank,park there if you can and look up for Jafra's balcony ,you'll see the stairs too,Jafra's entrance should look like a big garage ,take up the stairs (once u entered Jafra) and enjoy the wooden furniture ,nice music,art pieces for display,antiques for sale,a nice library where you can read there ( or give books you wanna donate to the library) ,traditional delicious fresh food ,argeeleh etc,the place is really nice people who go there are generally young university students ,guys n girls,families (don't expect children tho),its different i recommend it to everyone.

back to the map,go straight on (walking now leave the car where it is ) at the corner i marked (DVD) you'll notice lots of DVD places,go to the one right on the corner (Hammoudeh) thats my fav DVD place :D 99% of the movies they had worked fine with subs n stuff,and they're really cheap,and even if you're a girl don't be afraid no one bites there,actually lots of girls go DVD shopping there ,mrattab el eshe don't worry.

back to the map,keep straight on the same side walk and look for a narrow alley with tables and ppl having Hommos and Falfel,thaaaats the famous Hashim Restaurant ,you must have heard of it ! (side note : look up Elias Farkouh's complete work,look for a story called “Avo” ,its about an Armenian man called Avo who used to work at Hashim back in the days,I love that story) .

keep going straight after Hashim and cross the traffic light intersection (stay on the same side walk when u cross) and you'll notice a police hut next to it is a biggg old building with a big golden doors,thats the Arab Bank,(marked A on the map,now we're on that area i enlarged in the corner on the map) right next to Arab Bank there is Abo Ali Book Hut ,Kushk Abo 3ali (marked B),the famous book "store" ,its on TV all the time,if you talk about Amman's cultural life you must come across it somewhere in the discussion, the man is as nice as he appears on TV,get urself a book from there some years later you'd brag about it :D.

next to it is a small alley ,you'd probably notice people standing there eating something,ITS KNAFEH (wa3 beddy) ,its an old Habeebah place there,really small,the tradition is you get some and eat it outside ,again if you're talking with someone about their Amman memories they'd probably mention this Habeebah place. while u r having your knafeh outside,look up,you'll notice a balcony ,yes I'm taking you ther just finish you're knafeh, TYT.

finished yet? (after 5 mins I'm entertaining myself sho a3mal zhe2et w ana baktob w bardom :D) aywa, next to the hut and the alley is a small building that has two balconies,you've seen one of'em above the alley,the other one on the main street side,there should be a small wooden door (last i remember it was green) ,go up the stairs if it was opened,thats Diwan El Duke (ديوان الدوق) it is one of the oldest buildings in Amman,it was the location of the ministry of health back in the 1920's if I'm not mistaken,its owner Mr Bsharat is keeping it the way it was,its opened for all visitors for free,there is usually some kind of art gallery there,paintings,photography ,or if there was not,the place is worth looking at for the heck of it,once you go in they would usually greet you with some lemonade,if you're lucky and the owner was there while visiting,he'd happily explain to you about old Amman,traditions,and architecture of the buildings ,even if he wasn't ,ppl there are really nice,there are information leaflets in many languages,one time i was there and they ordered knafeh for us from Habeebah with this tool they used to use long ago,from the balcony :D they'd drop a rope thats attached to a tray and the Habeebah place would put the knafeh in there and you pull it up its really nice.

across Diwan El DUKE on the other side walk you'll notice a balcony with some plants on it and lots and lots of flags drawn on the walls,thats Balat El Rasheed Cafe',its the oldest cafe in Amman,a lot of people call it as "قهوة الأعلام" its nice but something happened to it ,there isn't much tourists visiting it and you'd notice lots of Egyptian workers there nowadays (nothing against them) but being there with family or big bunch of friends isn't as comfortable as in Jafra ,but no one will bite u there too be sure about that :D.

and thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaats a wrap.

i hope some of you would go there and enjoy it ,don't miss these places they're really nice ,inspiring and different,despite the traffic and the noise and the people filling the streets like ants ,you should try it and be willing to like it to love it.iiiiii love it and miss it much.I'd have posted some pics i took myself but they're all in Amman i don't have any here.


Bino said...

Hey, thx for this post ! i'll make sure i take this map once i'm in Amman :)

NasEr said...

hey Bino,welcome to my blog.
glad u liked it ,and its not as complicated as it may look on the map.
enjoy ur time.

LioneSS said...

Thanks naser 3ala el map
because i want to go exactly to this cofe shop 2ad ma seme3et 3anno so 5afafet 3alle el so2al ^_^

Nice blog :give:

NasEr said...

glad it helped Lioness,and welcome to my blog :)

I am... said...


that was brilliant dear... combining elaboration with the map's surprised :\

n' i may proudly say: yes i do agree with ur map content .... 70% of them r my fav' places too...abu el dahab...jafra...jara..hamoudeh dvd..3amo abu 3ali...u've missed 3amo taba3 azka hareeseh bl balad the one next to hamoudeh dvd :D....el balad itself!! n' i would probably agree with u 100% if u added louaibdeh places :D

NasEr said...

ahlan Noooooooooooooooooooor,nawwar el blog, thx my dear ,well Lwaibdeh bedha 5areetah bent 7aram :D i'll see bejooz a3mal volume 2 men had :)

The Observer said...

excellent road map

you missed Licky licious ice cream, right in front of falafel al quds few meters after it in rainbow street :)

Ashwaq said...

Maaaaaaaan ! I salute you for such effort ! I been in amman since 5 years and I didnt know that there is such route that leads to wast al balad !! definitely I will be going for a walk hnak !!

btw Jara cafe has a nice view too !! bs I dont think you need to mention it since anyone who goes through Ranbow St. will notice it !

Hamidah said...

Beautiful elaboration. Thanks alot

NasEr said...

Thanks for stopping by.

you're welcome.

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