Day 8 – Jerash
The breakfast at Abbasi Palace hotel was the worst so far in all our travels. With two tiny pieces of Falafel, cucumber, a banana and a pita bread with butter & jam, this is the so-called minimalist breakfast! Although this is free, we recommend heading out and exploring the city’s souqs for varieties of delicious meals, but remember that most of the restaurant don’t open until 9:30am. You may still find some street side options that won’t look hygienic so eat at your risk.
A walk to the post office for a stamp on the passport and back took 20 minutes.
To reach Jerash, you need to follow these steps:
- Head over to the taxi stand right next to the Roman Theater, at the Raghadan Al Seyaha station.
- Take the #6 Serviis taxi to Trababour bus station. This is a 15 minute drive and costs about JOD 2 per person. Remember that Trababour bus station is the last stop for the Serviis taxis.
- From Trababour bus station, take a mini-bus to Jerash or Ajloun. Ask around for the exact departure gate. Most buses going to Ajloun pass through Jerash and will drop you right outside the ruins. Note that these mini-buses are not state-buses, but privately owned. Buses leave every 30 minutes from this bus station to Jerash. Services on Friday may be limited so check you hotel before heading out.
It takes lees than an hour to reach Jerash. Inform the bus driver while getting in that you want to go to Jerash, because the last stop for most buses is far ahead up north at Ajloun.
The entrance to the ruins costs JOD 8 per person for all foreign visitors, which includes the Jerash Archaeological Museum. Admission for residents costs JOD 0.500. Summer hours are 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM; winter hours are 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Some initial ruins are outside the core city and are viewable free of charge:
- Hadrian’s Arch – built in 129 AD to mark Emperor Hadrian’s visit, this was intended to become the new southern gate of the city.
- Hippodrome – a partially restored Roman-era stadium. At only 245m long and 52m wide, it was the smallest hippodrome in the Roman Empire.
The Visitor’s Center is located at the entrance to the archaeological park. The site is poorly signposted, so be sure to pick up a map to orient yourself and understand what you are seeing. The ruins are fairly extensive, but it’s not hard to see everything in a matter of hours. It is unlikely that visitors will miss anything important, but some of the notable sites are:
- Forum (Oval Plaza) – an unusual wide, asymmetrical plaza at the beginning of the Cardo (or Colonnaded Street), built in the 1st century AD. The Oval Plaza is 80 m by 90 m (262 ft by 295 ft) and is enclosed by 160 Ionic columns.
- The Cardo – a 600 m (660 yards) colonnaded street that runs the length of the city. It was once lined with the city’s major buildings, shops and residences. A complex drainage system lies below the stone paving. Look for chariot tracks in the stone.
- Agora – the city’s main food market, which has a central fountain.
- Nymphaeum – an ornate public fountain that was decorated with lions heads and dedicated to the nymphs.
- Temple of Artemis – impressive temple ruins dedicated to the patron goddess of the city.
- South Theater – an amphitheatre that seats up to 3000. It is occasionally used today for concerts and musical productions. Daily features include bag pipers in traditional Jordanian military dress.
- Jerash Archaeological Museum – features a collection of artifacts found during excavation, including coins, statuary and sarcophagi.
Watch the Roman Army and Chariot Experience at the Hippodrome. Two daily shows are at 11:30am and 2:30pm (check the timings on their website) that include Roman Legion tactics, mock gladiator fights, and chariot exhibitions. Just ask and you will be allowed to go on a chariot ride after the show. Admission JOD 10, students JOD 6.
After spending about 3 hours at the ruins, we took the first bus back to Amman and headed directly to the most well-known Hashim restaurant for a filling meal. Walked up to the hotel and relaxed for a while, before heading out to Books@Cafe at Al-Rainbow street for dinner and drinks.
Note: All values in USD, unless otherwise mentioned, are approximate and based on the exchange rate of USD 1 = JOD 0.75. Each cost is for one adult.
|Taxi from Amman city center to Trababour bus station||JOD 2 or $2.80||For 1 person|
|Bus to Jerash||JOD 0.750 or $1||For 1 person|
|Bus to Amman||JOD 0.750 or $1||For 1 person|
|Taxi from Trababour bus station to Amman city center||JOD 1.75 or $2.45||For 1 person|
|Lunch at Hashim Restaurant||JOD 4.50 or $6.35||For 2 persons|
|Dinner & drinks at Books@Cafe||JOD 12 or $17||For 2 persons|
|Total Costs||$18.90||Per person|
|Overall Costs||$2,522.95||Per person|