Jerash city is just an hour drive from Amman city, but will transport you 2000 years back in time.
Located only 48km North from capital city, in a quite valley lays ancient, but majesty ruins of Imperial Rome. Jerash is considered as the largest and most well preserved site of Roman architecture in the world.
Theaters and public squares, fountains and ancient baths, city walls and towers - still remain in stunning condition that will blow your mind.
If you can combine your visit with blooming spring flowers - you will be charmed by its beauty! I promise!
History of the city dates back to the early 1st century BC, but only as late as in the beginning of the 3rd century, Jerash's reached a peak . It was bestowed with the rank of Roman Colony. During this "golden age", Jerash had a population of 20,000 people. But numerous monuments and temples dates back even to pre-Roman times.
To help the ruins come alive, I would suggest to hire one of the local guides (20D) at the ticket checkpoint to help you navigate the main complex. Walking at a lazy pace, and allowing time for visualizing the history to come alive, you can visit the main ruins in a minimum of three to four hours.
What to see
- The entrance is south of the ancient city, close to Hadrian’s Arch (Triumphal Arch) The ticket office is in a modern hut with souvenir and antique shops. Also small museum that contains a good collection of artifacts from the site.
- one you enter behind the arch is the hippodrome, which hosted races and up to 15,000 spectators.
- The remains of the Temple of Zeus, built around year 162, worth the climb, even if only for the view.
- Next - the South Theatre was built in the 1st century with a capacity of 5000 spectators. The acoustics are still impressive
- The colonnaded street is punctuated by the nymphaeum, the main fountain of the city.
- The Temple of Artemis, overviewing the city at the top of the stairs, was dedicated to the patron goddess of the city
- Next on north is the North Theatre, built in 165 and now restored to its former glory.
How to get to Jerash
Heading to north-west road towards Salt. As you head north, look for the brown tourism signs that will direct you towards Jerash.
Cheapest option since it will cost you about 4 dinars for the round trip. First, you need to make your way to Tarbabour station. It is accessible if you catch the #6 Serviis taxi from Raghadan Al Seyaha station next to the Roman Theater.
Once at Tarbabour, you just need to catch the bus that heads to Jerash, however, these buses don’t depart until they’re full. Note that there are two Raghadan Al Seyaha stations in Amman so clarify you want the downtown one if taking a cab.
Taxi’s are very cheap in Jordan so it’s worth just paying the extra money to make your life easier. A one-way trip to Jerash, will cost you around 10 dinars, that's $14usd.
If you hire a driver for an entire day it will cost you 40-60 dinars, with option to visit nearby Ajloun, to visit the castle.
- The cost to enter the Roman ruins is 12D for foreigners and includes the Archaeological Museum
from 7:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the summer and
from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the winter.
How long time you need for visiting Jerash
What else to do once in Jerash?
- Beyond the city's urban history, Jerash is known for the region's fertile soil. When you head out of town, embrace the food stands you'll see along every road, making sure to try the region's famously delicious plums, figs, and olives.
Where to stay?
- great choice outside of town is the Olive Branch Hotel, about five kilometers from Jerash and named for the lovely olive groves growing on the surrounding land.
- Overlooking Dibbin Nature Preserve, mountaintop property also offers a campground.