As the capital city of Jordan, almost half of the country’s population resides in Amman. The city is one of the oldest continuously occupied cities in the world, a fact which is reflected within the ancient souks and Roman ruins in the city’s historic “Balad” (or “City Centre”). Indeed, the juxtaposition between the ancient and modern world is Amman’s most charming feature.
Where I’ve Been’s Top Picks in Amman:
- A trip to Amman just wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the Citadel, arguably one of the city’s most famous attractions. As the site of ancient Rabbath-Ammon, excavations here have revealed numerous Roman, Byzantine and early Islamic remains.
- Immerse yourself in history at the National Archaeological Museum. The museum features artifacts highlighting the rich history of Jordan and the surrounding region, including examples of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
- For a wonderful view of Amman, visit the Abu Darwish Mosque. Note that although non-Muslims are typically not allowed inside, the Mosque features beautiful architecture worth seeing.
- Mingle with the locals within one of the city’s many souks. One can find jewelry, textiles and crafts within these markets. Take note that it is against Jordanian law to remove anything over 100 years old from the country.
- Although not within the city of Amman itself, it would be a shame of we did not mention the plethora of amazing day trips from the city, including excursions to Jerash, the Dead Sea, Wadi Rum and Petra (one of the Wonders of the World).
Amsterdam is most notorious for its, erm, nightlife activities; however, the real gems of this city lie within its rich culture, museums, art and architecture. As the 6th largest city in Europe, Amsterdam has all of the amenities of a large city paired with a distinct Dutch feel.
Where I’ve Been’s Top Picks for Amsterdam:
- Visit the Anne Frank House to see the place where Anne hid – and penned her iconic diary – during World War II. The museum not only highlights the life of Anne Frank but also the holocaust as a whole.
- Perhaps one of the most famous museums in Amsterdam, the Van Gogh Museum boasts the largest collection of Van Gogh paintings under one roof - truly a can’t-miss while in Amsterdam.
- A trip to Amsterdam isn’t complete without time spent taking in the canals. Known as the “Venice of the North”, the canals span roughly 62 miles, boasting 90 islands and 1,500 bridges. A great way to tour the canals is via a boat tour. For those who prefer to travel by land, one of the best views of the canal is via the bridge at the corner of Reguliersgracht and Herengracht
- Take in classic Dutch architecture, meet some friends and relax with an espresso at the Dam Square, the natural center of Amsterdam and home to notable statues, monuments and a plethora of street performers. Note that many tours also meet up within the square.
- For more ideas, check out the Matador Network’s list of Ten Things to do in Amsterdam.
Located 16 miles outside of Marseilles, Aix-en-Provence is considered by many to be the “Left-Bank” of the Provence region. Those that visit Aix-en-Provence can expect a quaint city that describes itself the “town of water, town of art”. Aix-en-Provence’s location in the South of France ensures a relatively warm climate year-round, thus making the lush greenery and gardens one of the town’s top attractions.
Where I’ve Been’s Top Picks for Aix-en-Provence
- We normally wouldn’t focus in on one restaurant for a top pick; however, L’Amphitryon comes highly recommended. Voted as the #1 restaurant in the Provence region and the #1 thing to do in Aix-en-Provence by Lonely Planet, Amphitryon is a can’t-miss stop.
- With some portions dating back to 1285, the Cathédrale St-Sauveur is one of Aix-en-Provence’s architectural gems. We recommend paying a visit on Sunday evenings when visitors can enjoy Gregorian chants sung live.
- Built on the site of an ancient Roman bath, the Sextius Baths have played host to many notable figures including Winston Churchill, Pablo Picasso and the Princess Borghese. Spanning almost two square miles, the Sextius Baths are a wonderful place to spend a day – or perhaps even a week.
Of course, these tips are just a few out of the hundreds of wonderful things to experience within these great cities. Have you visited or lived in one of these cities and have tips you’d like to share? Comment below – and don’t forget to share your photographs with us! Don’t forget – we’ll be voting on Monday for which cities to feature next week so join us on Facebook and cast your vote!