As-Salt, Jordan is a beautiful historic location, located near the capital, Amman. It was recently added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site as “the place of tolerance and urban hospitality.” The most mesmerizing part of As-Salt is its unique architecture, with yellow sandstone and many old buildings.
The traditions and culture in As-Salt highlight a beautiful eclectic part of Jordan in the fact that it is unique from the North and the South. To many people’s surprise, different parts of the country hold vastly different cultural traditions and even clothing.
But what are some things you can do in As-Salt, other than mesmerizing at the site of the beautiful architecture, of course.
1. Stop by Thaera’s Store
Thaera, known as the “Sheikha of As-Salt” has been making hadab (designs) on a shemagh for over 27 years. She has passed down this old methodology to the new generation of women to ensure that it continues to stay alive.
When visiting her store, you can see the many handcrafted goods that she has created, learn more about As-Salt’s history and even have a chance to try on traditional As-Salt clothes.
The traditional As-Salt clothing for women shows is over 3 meters long and called a Khalaga. It is then folded in layers and a head wrapping is added to it.
To many people’s surprise, the Khalaga stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter, despite its almost scary appearance when first seen hung.
2. Play a Game of Al-Mancala
Requiring focus, intelligence skills and math, Al-Mancala is a game that requires you to truly lean into your mathematician as well as your competitive side.
It is still played in As-Salt with traditional rocks and As-Salt residents who are keeping it alive today.
Don’t be afraid to share some competition and learn about why it is still a highly revered game today.
3. Visit Souk Al-Hammam
The Souk is full of different types of items you can purchase and even has some fresh fruit and vegetables. There are still people today that are keeping traditions alive from many years ago and if you’re lucky enough, definitely ask for “khabeesa”
“Khabeesa” is quite literally an adult fruit roll-up, Levantine Addition. It is made from grapes, then added with different types of seeds and almonds to make for a great dried fruit snack.
Just be aware, while scary to look at first, due to the size that it is sold at, you can ask for a dinar or two’s worth to try.
4. Visit the As-Salt Archeological Museum
The As-Salt Archaeological Museum is absolutely breathtaking and still has some of the old preserves of the homes intact.
Be aware of the steep stairs, but still have the chance to truly see the way that As-Salt residents lived many many years ago. And, don’t forget to take a picture at the top with the beautiful view intact.
5. Make Jam with the Queen of Jams
Um Omar, while not technically located in the cityside of As-Salt, resides in the countryside of As-Salt where she makes almost 24 kinds of jam. In this experience, you will have the chance to try your hand, quite literally, at making jam and then be treated to a traditional breakfast and lunch throughout the day. Don’t forget cash, because you will most certainly want to buy some jam to take home.
6. Up Some Hills to Heritage Houses
The heritage houses are still intact and highlight the old architectural uniqueness.
Just be ready to walk up some stairs and some hills to get to the most beautiful views.
7. Al-Khadr (St. George Orthodox Church)
Built in the 17th Century in a cave where it is an old story that a saint appeared to a shepherd, the church gets many visitors from many different denominations.
8. Visit Al Gherbal Restaurant
Al-Gherbal restaurant is one of the most famous restaurants in As-Salt due to the fact that it still has a lot of old traditional and preserved items.
The food is also exquisite and you will most certainly want some food after indulging in a whole day of walking around.
9. Get a Cup of Coffee at Iskandarani Cafe
Another great place to sit and relax after a long day of walking. The Iskandarani Cafe is located on the same street as Souk Hammam, so you are able to fully relax and also take in some of the hustle and bustle of daily life from the many As-Salt residents who pass by.
10. Take a Guided Tour
Love everything you see above, then you most certainly should think about booking a multi-day tour in Jordan with us, where you will have the chance to visit As-Salt and really take in everything it has to offer. Just make sure to choose Global Tribes…exclusively.
From the history to the architecture and the great food in between, As-Salt has many things for you to see and do, so you definitely should add this UNESCO World Heritage Site as a must to your list.