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17 Fabulous Roman Ruins In Jordan You Have To Visit

Jordan is an amazing country, with incredible attractions, delicious food, and hospital people. The only thing missing are the tourists, mainly because most of them wonder whether Jordan is safe to visit. In this article, we’ll briefly cover that too but our main focus will be some of the most stunning Roman ruins in Jordan everyone should visit on their trip.

A Quick History

is it safe to visit jordan

Jordan has always been the crossroad in the Middle East, both geographically and historically. Every empire that ever existed in the region conquered the land east of the Jordan River. This means Jordan is not only a crossroad between Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, and Syria, and Turkey. It is a historical crossroad where the Persian, Macedonian, Roman, and Ottoman empires meet. However, for Jordan, this geostrategic location has been a curse as much as it has been a blessing, especially with the turmoil happening in the Middle East in the following years.

This resulted in Jordan accepting 635,000 refugees from Syria but that’s not all. Jordan has a lot of refugees from Palestine and Iraq as well. In fact, according to the World Bank, nearly 35% of Jordan’s population is made up of refugees from neighboring countries.

Is It Safe To Visit Jordan?

jordan desert

Jordan somehow managed to keep itself out of all the turmoil in the neighboring countries and remain relatively safe. In fact, it is one of the safest countries to visit in the region, even if you’re traveling around Jordan with kids. There aren’t any restrictions on travel to any of Jordan’s most famous destinations. This means you can enjoy this country’s rich natural, historical and even biblical heritage.

The huge dip in visitors is really causing problems for Jordan; once a very famous travel destination that received hundreds of thousands of tourists every year. The main reason for this is an outside factor that has nothing to do with Jordan: the ongoing conflicts in Syria and Palestine. And the people you meet will have an urge to emphasize just how safe and risk-free traveling to Jordan is.

I could completely understand them. Most governments have warned their citizens against traveling to the region because of the Syrian War. This left Jordan empty, with the number of international tourists decreasing by over 60%! The country’s most extraordinary sites see only a third of the people that used to visit them back in 2011. This obviously had harsh consequences for Jordan’s economy, as the travel industry has historically contributed to 20% of the GDP. That’s why nowadays you can find a lot of surprisingly cheap tours for exploring this beautiful country.

Why Now Is The Best Time To Visit Jordan?


The answer is simple: because there aren’t many tourists around and nothing can replace the solitary feeling you get as you pass through its ancient sites. It feels like you went back in time when there weren’t any cheap flights and good travel deals. Maybe even further back in the past… This makes you feel the authenticity of a place and experiencing it in a way that you didn’t think was possible. I’m not talking just about one or two places here. Jordan has an extremely rich history despite only being an independent country since 1946.

temple of hercules

From the Nabataean places, through the hills covered with Roman amphitheaters, burial sites, and Greek architecture, to the miles of jaw-dropping desert terrain till the Dead Sea, Jordan has a lot to offer. Imagine having the ability to explore this place that has over 4,000 years of history without the tourist crowd. Sounds like a privilege, doesn’t it? That’s an obvious answer to the question “why now is the best time to plan your Jordan itinerary.

Exploring the Roman Ruins of Jerash

We’re starting this list of Roman ruins in Jordan with Jerash, the city with the city that’s practically famous for this. Jerash is a city in Jordan located north of Amman and has been continuously inhabited since the Bronze Age, making it one of the oldest cities in the world. Here are some of the most popular roman ruins in Jerash. Oh, and if you’re interested in a tour that specialises in Roman ruins in Jordan, check out this full day Amman and Jerash tour.

Hadrian’s Arch

Hadrian’s Arch jerash

Picture this: An arch so grand, it’s like Rome’s version of a red carpet. Hadrian’s Arch isn’t just a structure; it’s a monumental welcome sign built for Emperor Hadrian’s visit in 129 CE. Standing beneath it, you can’t help but feel a tad imperial yourself. It’s not just a doorway to Jerash; it’s a portal to the past.

The Spectacular Hippodrome

Hippodrome jerash roman ruins in jordan

Next, let’s trot over to the Hippodrome. Think ancient sports arena, but instead of football, think chariot races and gladiator battles. It’s easy to imagine the roar of 15,000 spectators as chariots thundered by. Today, it’s quieter, but the echoes of excitement still hang in the air.

The Oval Plaza

Oval Plaza jerash

The Oval Plaza is next, and it’s not your typical Roman square. Imagine a vast, oval-shaped space, ringed by towering columns. It’s like the Romans decided to break the mold and go oval just for the fun of it. This plaza was the social media of its day – a place to see and be seen.

Temple Of Artemis

Temple Of Artemis

Now, let’s wander to the Temple of Artemis, where grandeur meets reverence. Those towering Corinthian columns aren’t just holding up the roof; they’re holding up centuries of awe. This was a place of worship, and even the gods would be impressed.

The Northern Theatre

Northern Theatre

On to the Northern Theatre, a cozier cousin to the Southern Theatre. Here, Romans kicked back to enjoy the arts. It’s smaller but packs a historical punch. Imagine the ancient equivalent of a Broadway show, but with more togas.

Walking the Cardo Maximus

Cardo Maximus roman ruins in jordan

Strolling down the Cardo Maximus is like walking the main street of history. This once-bustling thoroughfare, lined with columns and remnants of ancient shops, was the beating heart of the city. It’s like a Roman shopping mall, minus the food court.

The South Gate and South Theatre

South Gate jerash

Finally, the South Gate and South Theatre. The gate itself is a testament to Roman engineering, while the theatre, with its sweeping auditorium, is where entertainment met elegance. It’s easy to picture a toga-clad audience, hanging on every word of the ancient playwrights.


is Jordan safe to visit

Often forgotten by travelers that come to visit the more famous sites, Amman is an underrated destination in Jordan, despite being the capital. The city has Ammonite ruins dating back as far as 1,200 B.C.  and even classical ancient Greek architecture. However, the city fell victim to multiple earthquakes in the 8th century. This made Amman practically uninhabitable and the city wasn’t restored until 1921.

That’s why today Amman is the ultimate mix of the old and the new and certainly a destination worthy of your time during your Jordan holiday. Surprisingly, in Amman, you will find probably the best-preserved Roman ruins outside of Italy! On the other hand, not so surprisingly, you’ll find the best street food in Jordan. Just like Jerash, Amman is also home to some of the most impressive Roman ruins in Jordan and here are a few of them.

Amman Citadel and the Temple of Hercules

Amman Citadel

Perched atop Amman’s highest hill, the Citadel is a historical goldmine. Within its walls lies the Temple of Hercules, a relic that could give the Colosseum a run for its money in the grandeur department. Though now mostly ruins, the temple’s remaining pillars stand defiantly, a silent yet powerful reminder of Rome’s reach.

The Roman Theatre

Roman Theatre

Descend from the Citadel to the Roman Theatre, nestled in the heart of the city. This 6,000-seater isn’t just an ancient monument; it’s a living venue, still hosting events and whispering tales of spectators past. The theatre’s symmetry and acoustics are a testament to Roman engineering – even the folks in the cheap seats could hear the action. It’s the kind of place that makes you want to break into a Shakespearean soliloquy, or at least take a dramatic selfie.


nymphaeum amman

A stone’s throw away is the Nymphaeum, an ornate public fountain that once gurgled with life and water. Today, its intricate mosaics and semi-circular facade are a window into Roman social life, where gathering around the water fountain was the equivalent of hanging out at a trendy café.

Philadelphia – Amman’s Roman Ancestor

Philadelphia – Amman

While exploring Amman, delve into its ancient core, Philadelphia. This Roman city within a city, now absorbed into the urban fabric, offers glimpses of its grand past. The remnants of Philadelphia are scattered throughout downtown Amman, merging seamlessly with the city’s modern rhythm.

Other Significant Roman Ruins In Jordan

Roman ruins in Jordan are not limited to only Amman and Jerash. There are a few more significant ancient sites that should be a part of every history buff’s Jordan itinerary.

Umm Qais

Umm Qais

Perched atop a hill with panoramic views, Umm Qais, known in antiquity as Gadara, offers a vista that’s worth the trip alone. Here, Roman ruins mix with Ottoman-era architecture, creating a historical cocktail that’s uniquely Jordanian. Stroll through the remnants of ancient streets, theatres, and baths, all while peeking over at the Sea of Galilee.

The Ruins of Umm er-Rasas

Umm er-Rasas ruins

Umm er-Rasas, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is like a cultural jigsaw puzzle. Although lesser-known, this archaeological site is a patchwork of Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic influences. The highlight here is the elaborate mosaic floors of the Church of St. Stephen, a masterpiece that could rival any Roman mosaic museum.

Pella (Tabaqat Fahl)

pella ruins jordan

Pella is an often-overlooked gem that offers a glimpse into Jordan’s glorious history from Roman times to the Islamic era. Pella offers a more off-the-beaten-path experience, where you can wander through ruins that have witnessed the ebb and flow of civilizations without the crowds of more popular sites.

The Ancient City Of Petra

Petra, Jordan’s poster child, is famed for its awe-inspiring Nabatean architecture carved into rose-hued cliffs. However, when Rome annexed the Nabatean Kingdom in 106 AD, they decided to sprinkle a bit of Roman flair into the mix. They were like the historical version of an interior decorator, adding their own touch but keeping the place’s unique charm. If you’re looking to explore the historical marvels of Petra, I warmly recommend this full-day tour.

The Roman-Style Colonnaded Street

Colonnaded Street petra

Picture this: A grand boulevard lined with columns, Roman style. Petra’s Colonnaded Street is a slice of Rome in the heart of the Nabatean city. It’s where Rome’s orderly architectural style meets Petra’s rock-hewn grandeur. Strolling down this street is like walking the runway at a fashion show where the models are ancient columns, and the audience is history itself.

The Hadrian Gate and the Roman Soldier Tomb

roman Gate petra

The Hadrian Gate and the nearby Roman Soldier Tomb are like Rome’s autograph on Petra’s canvas. The gate, named after Emperor Hadrian, who visited in 130 AD, stands as a testament to the Roman architectural prowess. The tomb, with its Roman influences, shows a fusion of styles, like a historical episode of ‘Artistic Collaboration Across Cultures.’

As you could see from this article, Jordan’s location as a crossroad in the Middle East has taken a serious toll on tourism in the country. The First Intifada created the first threat to tourism in the country. The Iraq war and the 9/11 attacks followed. Just when the situation started getting better, the global recession hit in 2008, and the violent aftermath of the Arab Spring followed, culminating with the conflict in Syria.  However, despite all the conflicts surrounding it, Jordan managed to become a completely peaceful oasis. The tourists, unfortunately, aren’t able to see this.

In a time when other countries are setting limits on the number of visitors on sights like Machu Pichu and Galapagos, visiting Jordan feels like a blessing. No matter where you decide to go, you will have plenty of opportunities to relax and enjoy Jordan’s amazing, natural beauty.

So the answer the question “Is Jordan safe to visit?” is yes! And I hope this article convinces you to visit Jordan.

Helpful Tips For Discovering Roman Ruins In Jordan

Looking for a cheap flight to Jordan? This Qatar Airways offer can get you 10% off on all flight bookings.

Need a cheap accommodation? Use this Booking discount code to get 15% off on all accommodation bookings in Jordan.

Are you looking for the best tours in Jordan? Check out these Contiki tours to make most of your time in Jordan without breaking the bank.

Want to rent a car in Jordan? This AutoEurope coupon can help you save 15% on all car rentals in Jordan.

Finally, if you’re looking for travel insurance deals, use this SafetyWing discount code.

How did you like this list of the best Roman ruins in Jordan? Did you ever visit any of them? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Wednesday 5th of December 2018

I have always had this thing in my mind bothering if it was safe to travel to Jordan and thankfully I got everything I wanted to know in this post. I have always wanted to visit Jordan and explore its rich culture and so am planning a trip next year. I agree with your point of going to Jordan now because of the lesser crowds . Thanks for sharing this post

Passport Symphony

Wednesday 5th of December 2018

Thank you, Aareba- I"m glad you could get some useful tips from this article

Archana Singh

Tuesday 4th of December 2018

I have heard so much about Jordan and frankly, I love the people from Jordan. They are so friendly and warm. And, it's so comforting to hear on your arrival, " Don’t worry, you are safe here. There might be some issues in the neighboring countries but you are completely safe here”. I would love to visit Petra and would also like to shop.

Passport Symphony

Tuesday 4th of December 2018

Thank you, Archana and I hope you get the chance to visit Petra and Jordan soon.

Blair villanueva

Monday 3rd of December 2018

I heard that Jordan is really safe, what only the challenge I see is the cost of the flight! Visiting the place with no jampacked tourist is a wonderful feeling - you can admire the place with your own time and and capturing the beauty using your lenses and no distractions. I wish to visit this place, I believe that this place is a must visit, as this is one of the early place of civilization.

Passport Symphony

Monday 3rd of December 2018

Yes, the flight cost can get quite pricey but it's definitely a must visit and I hope you get the chance to experience Jordan someday.

Manjulika Pramod

Sunday 2nd of December 2018

I have always heard all good things about Jordan. I did read about tourism getting affected but dint know that it has reduced drastically. Safety concerns do affects places. The tourism board should work towards reviving it because people will not go until the perception improves. Since you are saying, its safe. This definitely seems like a good time to go and discover Jordan when there are not many tourists.

Passport Symphony

Sunday 2nd of December 2018

Thank you, Manjulika. I think things are going back to normal and the tourism board has been doing a great job recently. I hope you get the chance to visit someday.

Kavita Favelle

Thursday 29th of November 2018

When we visited Jordan about 15 years ago, it was virtually empty. The US were advising against travel (and invaded Iraq a week or two after we got home), the UK was recommending against it, but not saying an outright no (until we were already there!) so we went ahead. If it had been no, we'd have cancelled because it would invalidate any travel insurance. So it was utterly empty, there were literally a handful of fellow travellers in the whole of Petra and everywhere else. We felt very safe, but I appreciate it's a different situation in the ME region now as to then, so it's great to read that it's still a safe country to visit.

Passport Symphony

Friday 30th of November 2018

Thank you, Kavita0 even today some governments advice against traveling to Jordan but it's a fact that Jordan remained one of the safest countries to visit in the Middle East despite all the turmoil in the neighboring countries.