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Colorful markets, so-called souks, are among the typical things that many people associate with Arabic countries. There are plenty of souks in Amman, filled with oriental treasures and original gifts. You will find typical Arabian products such as clothing, jewelry, pottery and glassware, spices and herbs as well as local artwork. Walk along the small stands with products in all shapes and colors and enjoy the incomparable scent composition of fresh spices. The atmosphere is a feast for all senses!
Even if you do not intend to buy anything, you should definitely not miss out on one of Amman’s souks. Below the three most interesting souks in Amman.
#1 Souk Jara
One of the most beautiful and diverse markets in Amman is the Souk Jara. As this market is especially popular with locals, Souk Jara offers a huge selection of all sorts of products. Besides food and spices, you will find traditional products like Jordanian clothing, jewelry, cosmetics, antiques and handicrafts. Souk Jara is an outdoor market that takes place every Friday evening during the summer months. Located in a side street at the end of the famous Rainbow Street, you can combine a visit to Souk Jara with a dinner on Rainbow Street.
#2 Gold Souk
The Gold Souk is one of the most popular markets in Amman. It owes its name to its rich offer in precious jewelry. Most jewelry is made of real gold and exquisite silver. The prices are very affordable, especially if you have a knack for bargaining. Besides jewelry you will also find typical oriental treasures such as clothing, pottery and spices. The Gold Souk is located in the center of Amman, between the Husseini Mosque and the Citadel.
Keep in mind that the price consists of two factors. Firstly, the price of the material (depending on the type of gold) and secondly, on the craftsmanship. The latest determines roughly 20-30% of the price and this is where you can negotiate! Keep in mind that paying by credit card may result in additional fees, which might be higher than withdrawing funds from a nearby ATM.
#3 Souk Mango
One of the oldest markets in Amman is Souk Mango, which can be found in downtown Amman near the Roman Theater. At one of the oldest markets of the city, you will find numerous small shops. Open during all seasons, downtown Amman is a great place to find traditional Arabic products and original souvenirs. Consequently this souk in Amman is very popular among tourists. Make sure to compare prices and don’t be afraid to bargain!
In addition to the traditional souks and open-air souks like Souk Jara in Amman, there is OpenSooq (pronounced as “Open Souk”). This is not a traditional souk, but an online marketplace similar to Craiglist in the US or Gumtree in the UK.