Dating back 18,000 years to the reign of Antoninus Pius, Amman’s restored Roman Theater is a popular visit on any trip to Jordan’s capital. Carved into the northern side of a hill that held the city’s necropolis, its position was designed to shield spectators from the sun.
Big enough to fit an audience of 6,000, as you wander the huge arena you’ll notice that the seating is split into three tiers, or diazomata: the lowest seats, closest to the action, would have been reserved for the ruling class. The middle seats were for the military, and the top seating, known as “The Gods,” would have been reserved for the general public. Head down to the stage and you’ll see how easily your voice carries. The top tiers would have heard everything!
In summer, you can see Amman’s Roman Theater come back to life with regular sporting and cultural events in July and August especially. You can also visit the Jordanian Museum of Popular Traditions on the right side of the amphitheater, which displays items related to traditional Jordanian life such as Bedouin tents and looms. Just to the left of the theater is the Amman Folklore Museum, where you can see displays of traditional costumes, jewelry, and facemasks.
Five minutes’ walk east of downtown, and just downhill from the Citadel, tickets to Amman’s Roman Theater cost 1 JD, and this includes entry to both onsite museums.