Are you ready for a truly unique adventure? Pack your bags and get ready to explore Zarqa, Jordan! Located barely 20 kilometers northeast of the country’s capital Amman, this city is known as the industrial capital and has something for everybody.
Explore the captivating blend of history and modernity in Zarqa, Jordan. From ancient citadels like Jawa and Al-Qasr Castle to the natural wonders of Zarqa Wetland Reserve, this city offers a unique experience. Satisfy your taste buds with traditional Jordanian cuisine at Al Siran or enjoy global flavors at Al-Madinah Restaurant. Visit in spring or autumn for ideal weather.
So why wait? Read on to find out everything you need to know about planning a trip to Zarqa!
History of Zarqa
Zarqa’s rich history is as captivating as its industrial prowess. The city, named after the river that runs through it, has been a hub of activity for centuries. Its roots stretch back to the times of Alexander the Great, who founded a military encampment here in 331 BC. Over the centuries, Zarqa witnessed the rise and fall of numerous empires, each leaving a mark on its cultural and architectural landscape.
The modern city of Zarqa was established during the Ottoman era in the 19th century and rapidly grew into an industrial powerhouse during the 20th century. Today, Zarqa’s historical heritage perfectly blends with its modern industrial ambiance, offering an intriguing journey through time for its visitors.
Things to Do in Zarqa
Zarqa has plenty to offer tourists looking for a unique experience while visiting Jordan. The city is home to several archaeological sites and monuments, including:
The ruins of Jawa Castle, located on the outskirts of Zarqa, are an impressive sight. The castle is thought to have been built in the late 13th century and boasts several towers, walls, a mosque, and a well-preserved citadel.
Located in the heart of Zarqa, Al-Qasr Castle is a well-preserved citadel that was built by the Ayyubids at the end of the 12th century. This majestic castle is open to visitors and offers stunning views of Zarqa from its walls and towers.
Just outside of Zarqa, you’ll find the ruins of Khirbat al-Mafjar, an impressive Crusader fort. The fort was built in the mid-12th century and is surrounded by a stunning natural landscape.
Zarqa Wetland Reserve
The Zarqa Wetland Reserve is a must-see for any nature lover. The reserve is home to more than 250 different species of waterbirds, including flamingos and pelicans. It’s also an important breeding ground for several endangered species, making it a popular destination for birdwatchers from around the world.
Where to Eat in Zarqa
Zarqa is a food lover’s paradise with an array of delightful cuisines to satiate your taste buds. Here are some must-visit dining spots:
Al Siran Restaurant
For a taste of traditional Jordanian food, head to Al Siran Restaurant. Located in the center of Zarqa, this restaurant offers delicious dishes like kibbeh and kofta. It also has an extensive selection of local wines and desserts that are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Address: 36 street شارع مكة, Az, Zarqa, Jordan
Hours Open: Sunday – Saturday 8:00 AM – 3:00 AM
Phone: +962 7 8140 2225
This eatery boasts an eclectic menu brimming with local specialties and innovative fare inspired by international cuisine. From mouthwatering mansaf, a Jordanian dish made of lamb cooked in a sauce of fermented dried yogurt, to the savory falafel and tangy tabbouleh, the food here is a gastronomic delight. The restaurant’s ambiance is equally enchanting, with a warm, inviting décor that reflects Zarqa’s vibrant culture and heritage.
Address: 23RV+XR8, شارع الجيش،, Army St, Zarqa, Jordan
Hours Open: 24 hours
Phone: +962 5 365 5590
This eatery is well-known for its fusion of traditional Jordanian and international cuisines. From rich Mansaf, a traditional Jordanian dish made from lamb cooked in yogurt sauce, to classic pizza, there is a dish that will appease every palate. The restaurant also boasts a comfortable and warm ambiance, making it a great spot for family dinners or get-togethers with friends.
Getting Around Zarqa
Navigating Zarqa is a thrilling adventure. The city is well-served by a network of public transportation, including buses that connect to major points of interest in the city and taxis that are readily available throughout Zarqa. For those who prefer to explore at their own pace, car rentals are available and provide a convenient way to venture beyond the city limits.
However, remember that Zarqa is a bustling city, and traffic can be heavy during peak hours. The city also features a pedestrian-friendly design, making walking an enjoyable option. Regardless of your choice of transport, the city’s compact layout makes getting around simple and convenient.
The Best Time to Visit Zarqa
The best time to visit Zarqa is during the spring (March to May) or autumn (September to November) when the weather is pleasant and the temperatures are mild. During these periods, you can avoid the intense heat of the Jordanian summer and the chill of winter, making it the perfect time to explore the city’s landmarks and enjoy its natural beauty.
Spring is particularly beautiful as the landscape is blooming with desert flowers, and migratory birds can be seen at the Zarqa Wetland Reserve. However, each season has its charm in Zarqa; the summer draws in the festival crowd while the winter captivates with a serene atmosphere.
Ensure to check the local weather and plan your trip accordingly to have the most enjoyable experience.
Zarqa, with its rich history, vibrant culinary scene, and stunning natural landscapes, is an undiscovered treasure in Jordan that’s waiting to be explored. From the ancient ruins of Jawa Castle to the bustling streets of the city center and the tranquil beauty of the Zarqa Wetland Reserve, there’s something for everyone in this captivating city.
Whether you’re a history buff, a food enthusiast, or a nature lover, Zarqa promises an unforgettable encounter with Jordanian culture and heritage. So pack your bags, and prepare to create lasting memories on your next adventure to Zarqa, Jordan!