The collections of the Jordan Archaeological Museum, established in 1951 near the Amman Citadel, run from the Stone Age to the Islamic era and include Nabatean and Roman works of art. The museum has lost some of its most important pieces to the Jordan Museum, which opened in 2014, and there are plans to update it.
A small fee gains you admittance to the Jordan Archaeological Museum. Most people visit as part of a trip to Amman Citadel, the archaeological site atop Amman’s most prominent hill, which has been home to a wealth of civilizations since the Bronze Age. While you don’t need to join a tour to visit either the citadel or the museum, a guide can help contextualize the many layers of history and steer you straight to the most interesting finds. The citadel and museum are common stops on Amman city tours and historical tours of Jordan.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Jordan Archaeological Museum will be of interest to history buffs.
- Bring a hat when visiting the Amman Citadel during summer. There is not a lot of shade.
- While the citadel is wheelchair-accessible, the Archaeological Museum is currently accessed by steps.
How to Get There
The Jordan Archaeological Museum stands beside the Amman Citadel, atop 2,788-foot-high (850-meter-high) Jabal Al Qala’a, Amman’s defining hill. It’s a stiff walk up to the top with no public transport, so many travelers prefer to join an organized tour that includes round-trip transfers or book a private driver/guide.
When to Get There
The Jordan Archaeological Museum is open every day, from morning until afternoon. It closes early on Fridays and during the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan, with extended hours during the summer months. Get to the citadel early in the morning to beat the crowds, then visit the museum after the site, as it’s rarely busy.
Why Jordan Is an Archaeological Paradise
The land that is now Jordan has been important to many cultures throughout history. Sites such as Mt. Nebo, where some believe Moses first saw the Holy Land, are sacred to Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike. Petra pays tribute to the mysterious Nabatean civilization, which dominated desert trade routes over 2,000 years ago; both the Roman and the Byzantine empires built cities here; and Muslim dynasties and Christian Crusaders left their mark in the form of castles.