Umm Qais jordan

23rd April 2024

8 Best Things to Do in Umm Qais: Exploring the Highlights of Umm Qais (2023)

Looking to discover the best things to do in Umm Qais? If so, we’ve got you covered in this blog post. 

Get ready for an exciting journey through this ancient city, where history comes alive, and breathtaking landscapes await. 

From our last visit to this place, we learned that Umm Qais is a true gem, offering a remarkable blend of archaeological wonders, stunning panoramic views, and a rich cultural heritage. 

Join us as we explore the top attractions, uncover local secrets, and share our insider tips for an unforgettable journey in this captivating destination.

5 Facts about Umm Qais

1. Umm Qais is an ancient city located in northern Jordan, overlooking the Sea of Galilee and the Golan Heights.

2. The city is renowned for its impressive ruins, including a well-preserved Roman theater and the remains of a Decapolis city.

3. Umm Qais offers breathtaking panoramic views, with vistas stretching across the Jordan Valley, Lake Tiberias, and the surrounding countryside.

4. The city was once known as Gadara and was an important cultural and intellectual center in the ancient world, producing notable philosophers and poets.

5. Umm Qais is not only a historical site but also a hub for outdoor enthusiasts, with opportunities for hiking, exploring archaeological sites, and experiencing Jordan’s captivating natural beauty.

Best Things to Do in Umm Qais

1. Wander through the Ancient Ruins

Embarking on a journey through the ancient ruins of Umm Qais is like stepping back in time. As you wander through this historical site, you’ll be immersed in the remnants of a once-thriving city that dates back to the 2nd century BC.

The Roman ruins stand as a testament to the incredible architectural prowess of the past, with structures such as the Greco-Roman theater and the agora capturing the imagination.

Exploring the ancient ruins offers a unique opportunity to witness the intricate details and grandeur of a bygone era, providing insights into the daily life, culture, and achievements of the people who once inhabited this remarkable city.

  • Location: Umm Qais, Jordan

2. Take in the Panoramic Views

Prepare to be mesmerized by the awe-inspiring panoramic views that Umm Qais has to offer. From strategically located viewpoints, you can feast your eyes on breathtaking landscapes that stretch as far as the eye can see.

The sweeping vistas encompass the picturesque Sea of Galilee, the majestic Golan Heights, and even the distant hills of Syria and Lebanon. These panoramic views provide a sense of wonder and tranquility, allowing you to connect with the natural beauty of the region.

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or a photography enthusiast, capturing the ever-changing colors and textures of the landscape will be a truly unforgettable experience.

  • Location: Umm Qais, Jordan

3. Explore the Ottoman Village

Step into the charm and allure of the Ottoman-era village nestled within Umm Qais. The narrow, winding streets of the village beckon you to explore its hidden treasures and immerse yourself in its authentic atmosphere.

As you wander through the village, you’ll encounter traditional Ottoman architecture, with its distinctive stone houses, archways, and courtyards. The village showcases a vibrant blend of past and present, with local shops, cafes, and art galleries adding to its cultural tapestry.

Interacting with the friendly locals provides an opportunity to learn about their traditions, stories, and way of life, making for a truly enriching experience.

  • Location: Umm Qais, Jordan

4. Visit the Archaeological Museum

The Umm Qais Archaeological Museum serves as a portal to the past, offering a fascinating glimpse into the history and heritage of the region. Housed within its walls are a myriad of archaeological artifacts meticulously excavated from the ancient ruins.

From intricately carved sculptures to delicate pottery and beautifully preserved mosaics, the museum’s exhibits provide tangible connections to the lives and achievements of the people who once thrived in Umm Qais.

Through these artifacts, visitors can gain valuable insights into the city’s architecture, religious practices, daily life, and the broader historical context of the region.

  • Location: Umm Qais, Jordan

5. Indulge in Culinary Delights

Umm Qais is not only a feast for the eyes but also a paradise for food enthusiasts. The region’s culinary scene is a delightful reflection of its cultural heritage. By indulging in the local culinary delights, you embark on a gastronomic journey that unveils the flavors and aromas unique to Umm Qais.

Whether you’re sampling the national dish of Jordan, mansaf, which consists of tender lamb cooked in a rich yogurt sauce, or savoring the heavenly combination of freshly baked bread, aromatic spices, and flavorful mezze platters, your taste buds are in for a treat.

Umm Qais offers a range of dining options, from traditional eateries to modern restaurants, ensuring a memorable culinary experience for every palate.

  • Location: Umm Qais, Jordan

6. Embark on a Nature Walk

Embarking on a nature walk in Umm Qais allows you to immerse yourself in the stunning natural beauty that surrounds this captivating region. As you set foot on the well-marked trails, you’ll find yourself amidst rolling hills, verdant landscapes, and picturesque vistas.

The nature walk offers a peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle of city life, allowing you to reconnect with the tranquility of the great outdoors. With each step, you’ll discover the hidden gems of Umm Qais, from vibrant wildflowers to meandering streams.

The walk presents an opportunity to engage all your senses, breathing in the fresh air, feeling the gentle breeze against your skin, and listening to the soothing sounds of nature.

Whether you choose a leisurely stroll or a more challenging hike, a nature walk in Umm Qais promises to rejuvenate your spirit and leave you with lasting memories of the region’s natural wonders.

  • Location: Umm Qais, Jordan

7. Engage in Birdwatching

Umm Qais is a haven for birdwatching enthusiasts, offering a wealth of avian diversity and captivating bird-watching opportunities. The region’s strategic location, nestled between different habitats, creates an ideal environment for a wide range of bird species.

From wetlands to agricultural fields, Umm Qais attracts both migratory birds and resident species, providing a unique and rewarding bird-watching experience.

Grab your binoculars and prepare to be enchanted by the graceful flight of eagles, the melodious songs of colorful songbirds, and the delicate beauty of waterfowl.

As you explore the bird-rich habitats, you’ll have the chance to observe these winged wonders in their natural habitats, capturing their beauty and behavior.

Birdwatching in Umm Qais not only offers an opportunity for a closer connection with nature but also allows you to contribute to the conservation efforts by appreciating and understanding these fascinating creatures.

  • Location: Umm Qais, Jordan

8. Connect with Local Culture

To truly immerse yourself in the essence of Umm Qais, it’s essential to connect with the vibrant local culture that thrives in this region. The people of Umm Qais are known for their warm hospitality and rich cultural heritage.

Interacting with the locals allows you to hear their stories, share experiences, and forge meaningful connections. You can visit local shops and markets to explore handicrafts, taste authentic Jordanian cuisine, and learn about traditional practices.

By connecting with the local culture, you not only deepen your understanding of Umm Qais but also foster mutual respect and appreciation for the diversity that makes this region truly special.

  • Location: Umm Qais, Jordan

Best Time to Visit Umm Qais

The best time to visit Umm Qais is during the spring and autumn months, from March to May and September to November. These seasons offer pleasant weather with mild temperatures, making it ideal for exploring the ancient ruins and engaging in outdoor activities.

During these months, the temperatures are comfortable, ranging from around 20 to 25 degrees Celsius (68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit), allowing visitors to enjoy their time without extreme heat or cold. Moreover, the landscapes come alive with vibrant colors, especially during spring when wildflowers bloom.

It’s advisable to avoid the peak summer months as temperatures can soar, making it less enjoyable for outdoor exploration.

How to Get to Umm Qais

1. By Road

The most convenient way to reach Umm Qais is by road. From Amman, the capital of Jordan, you can take a taxi or rent a car for the approximately 90-kilometer (56-mile) journey.

The drive takes around 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on the traffic and road conditions. You can follow the signs and take the highway leading to Irbid, then continue towards Umm Qais.

2. By Train

Currently, there is no direct train service to Umm Qais. However, if you prefer to travel by train, you can take a train from Amman to Irbid, which is the nearest major city to Umm Qais.

From Irbid, you can then hire a taxi or take a local bus to reach Umm Qais, which is approximately 20 kilometers (12 miles) away.

3. By Air

The nearest international airport to Umm Qais is Queen Alia International Airport (AMM) in Amman. From the airport, you can either rent a car or hire a taxi to travel to Umm Qais by road, as mentioned earlier.

Alternatively, you can take a domestic flight from Amman to King Hussein International Airport (OMF) in the city of Mafraq, which is relatively closer to Umm Qais.

Where to Stay in Umm Qais

1. Beit Al Baraka: This charming guesthouse offers a unique and authentic experience in Umm Qais. Located in a restored historic building, Beit Al Baraka provides comfortable rooms with traditional décor, showcasing the region’s cultural heritage. The guesthouse offers warm hospitality, delicious local cuisine, and stunning views of the surrounding landscapes.

2. Umm Qais Hotel: Situated near the archaeological site, Umm Qais Hotel offers convenient access to the ancient ruins and breathtaking views of the Jordan Valley. The hotel features comfortable rooms with modern amenities, a restaurant serving local and international cuisine, and a terrace overlooking the picturesque countryside.

3. Ajloun Hotel: Although located a short distance away in the nearby city of Ajloun, Ajloun Hotel is worth considering for its quality accommodations and services. This well-appointed hotel offers comfortable rooms, an on-site restaurant, and friendly staff. Ajloun Hotel provides a tranquil retreat after a day of exploring Umm Qais, and it allows visitors to experience both the historical site and the hospitality of the surrounding region.

Where to Eat in Umm Qais

1. Beit Al Baraka: This charming restaurant offers a delightful culinary experience with its authentic Jordanian cuisine. Located in a beautifully restored traditional house, Beit Al Baraka serves a variety of delicious dishes prepared with locally sourced ingredients.

2. Karam Qais Restaurant: Situated near the Umm Qais ruins, Karam Qais Restaurant provides a scenic setting for a memorable dining experience. The restaurant specializes in Middle Eastern cuisine, serving delectable dishes such as grilled kebabs, flavorful rice, and aromatic stews.

3. Panorama Restaurant: As its name suggests, Panorama Restaurant offers not only delectable food but also breathtaking views. Perched on a hilltop, this restaurant provides an ideal vantage point to admire the picturesque landscapes of Umm Qais. The menu features a mix of Middle Eastern and international dishes, catering to a range of tastes.

Travel Tips & Suggestions

  • Plan your visit to Umm Qais during the spring or autumn months for the best weather and comfortable temperatures.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and clothing suitable for exploring the ruins and engaging in outdoor activities.
  • Don’t forget to bring sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun.
  • Carry a bottle of water to stay hydrated throughout your visit.
  • Consider hiring a local guide to enhance your understanding and appreciation of the historical and cultural significance of Umm Qais.

Conclusion – Things to do in Umm Qais

In conclusion, Umm Qais offers an unforgettable journey for history enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. From exploring ancient ruins and uncovering hidden treasures to immersing oneself in panoramic views and rich cultural heritage, this gem of a destination has it all.

Whether you’re hiking through archaeological sites, indulging in authentic Jordanian cuisine, or simply marveling at the breathtaking landscapes, Umm Qais captivates with its blend of history and natural beauty.

So, plan your visit during the spring or autumn months, follow the tips and suggestions, and embark on a remarkable adventure that will leave you with cherished memories of this ancient city.

FAQs – Things to do in Umm Qais

What are the top attractions in Umm Qais?

Umm Qais is home to remarkable attractions such as the well-preserved Roman theater, ancient ruins of Gadara, and the breathtaking panoramic views of the Jordan Valley and Lake Tiberias. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the Decapolis city and immerse yourself in its historical significance.

Are there any outdoor activities to enjoy in Umm Qais?

Absolutely! Umm Qais offers a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. You can embark on thrilling hikes, explore archaeological sites, and soak in the captivating natural beauty of Jordan. Don’t forget to capture the stunning landscapes and enjoy a leisurely stroll amidst the ancient wonders.

What is the best time to visit Umm Qais?

The best time to visit Umm Qais is during the pleasant spring and autumn months, from March to May and September to November. These seasons offer comfortable temperatures and vibrant landscapes with blooming wildflowers. Avoid the scorching summer months for a more enjoyable experience.

How can I get to Umm Qais?

To reach Umm Qais, you can take a road trip from Amman, which is approximately 90 kilometers away. Alternatively, you can consider flying into Queen Alia International Airport or taking a train to Irbid, the nearest major city. From there, you can hire a taxi or local bus to reach Umm Qais.

What are the recommended places to eat in Umm Qais?

Indulge in authentic Jordanian cuisine at Beit Al Baraka, where you can savor delicious dishes while enjoying stunning views of the countryside. Karam Qais Restaurant offers Middle Eastern delicacies in a scenic setting near the Umm Qais ruins. For a memorable dining experience with breathtaking views, head to Panorama Restaurant perched on a hilltop.

Are there any nearby attractions to explore?

Yes, Umm Qais serves as a gateway to other captivating destinations. Within driving distance, you can visit the Ajloun Castle and the ancient city of Jerash, both offering a glimpse into Jordan’s rich history and cultural heritage.

Any travel tips for visiting Umm Qais?

Plan your visit during the spring or autumn months for the best weather. Wear comfortable shoes and clothing suitable for exploring the ruins and engaging in outdoor activities. Consider hiring a local guide for a deeper understanding of the historical significance. Respect the local customs and traditions while interacting with the community, and don’t forget to capture the mesmerizing views through photography.
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