Dive into the rich history and vibrant culture of the city of Salt in Jordan! Discover the charms of this hidden gem in this article full of great tips.
Salt (also known as As Salt and Al-Salt, which is the more formal name in Arabic) is a charming city located in the mountains west of the Jordanian capital Amman. What makes Salt so special? There are several reasons to visit this city while traveling in Jordan.
Salt is like a living museum that bears traces of various civilizations. It began its history as the Biblical city of Ramoth-Gilead (this is mentioned in the books of antiquity) and later became an important Roman city. The Ottoman period, between the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, also left its mark on the city, which can be seen in the many notable buildings and trade centers.
Salt still retains its historic character today while exuding a modern, vibrant atmosphere. The city offers a combination of beautiful old architecture, delicious food, and hospitable people who make you feel like you are at home. Stroll the narrow streets with their traditional yellow sandstone buildings, visit the local bazaars filled with colorful crafts, and taste the rich, delicious flavors of Jordanian cuisine.
Nice to know: As Salt has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since July 2021.
The best things to do in Salt
As you can see, the city of Salt in Jordan must be a great place to enjoy. What to do in Salt? I spend a night in Salt during my last trip to Jordan and in this article, I’ll share the most beautiful sights.
Al Hammam Street
Feel like shopping or trying out some street food? Al Hammam Street is one of the nicest streets in the city. It is a charming street dotted with historic buildings and artisan stores. The place is always crowded and vendors are everywhere advertising their wares. There are also several market stalls and delis where you can sample tasty Jordanian snacks.
Eskafia Street is a small side street (it’s mostly stairs) from Hamman Street. For more than 150 years there have been shoemakers and tailors on this street. The workshops are like little museums. A great place to check out.
Abu Jaber Museum
Want to learn more about the history of Salt and Jordan? Then head to the Abu Jaber Museum. Housed in Salt’s oldest mansion, this museum offers a deep dive into the city’s rich history. There are several interesting exhibitions showing centuries of historical and cultural development. This museum is highly recommended!
Al Ain Plaza
Al Ain Plaza is Salt’s central square and an important meeting point for the community. There are many benches in the square and you often see people playing the traditional game of Manqala here. Most people are also up for a chat and you may be invited to play a game with them. A fun place to enjoy the vibrant city life.
Great Mosque of Salt
At the Al Ain Plaza, you will find one of the largest and most striking structures in the city: the Great Mosque of Salt. This is the oldest mosque in the city and dates back to the 14th century. Architecturally, Salt’s Grand Mosque is a mix of different styles it has picked up over the centuries, with elements of both the Ayyubid and Mamluk styles.
The mosque has a dominant minaret that rises above the surrounding buildings and a beautiful prayer hall decorated with exquisite, handcrafted calligraphy. Want to visit the mosque? You have to take off your shoes and, as a woman, you have to cover your hair.
The Salt Archaeological Museum
See rare artifacts from Roman, Byzantine and Islamic times at the Salt Archaeological Museum. You can see traditional clothing as well as beautiful mosaics of churches in Ash Salt. It is housed in an unusual building: a house built in 1905 for the Touqan family. In 1983, it was converted into a museum depicting the history of the wider Jordan Valley area. Very interesting!
Salt is a city full of elevation changes, which is why there are stairs everywhere. One of them is Al-Jada’a Stairs. This staircase not only takes you to the amazing restaurant Beit Aziz but also gives you a great view of the city.
Al Khader church
Christianity and Islam go together in Jordan, which is why you will see Christian churches in Salt in addition to mosques. The Al Khader Church is a good example. It is an important religious monument in Salt and both Christians and Muslims are allowed to pray here.
Inside the church, you can admire beautiful frescoes. In the corner of the church, you will find a small shrine in a niche. You can write your greatest wish on a piece of paper and leave it here. Who knows, maybe your wish will come true!
The Old English Hospital Museum
The Old English Hospital Museum is housed in a building originally erected in 1914 as a British military hospital during World War I and later served as a civilian hospital.
The building itself is a beautiful example of 19th-century architecture and exudes a certain colonial charm. It has been carefully restored and transformed into a museum where you can learn more about both the history of health care and the cultural and social changes in the Salt region. Inside, you will find a series of exhibits including old medical equipment and historic photographs.
Salt Cultural Center
The Salt Cultural Center is an important venue for arts & culture in Salt. There are several art galleries and spaces for workshops and lectures. Cultural events, exhibitions, and educational programs are regularly held here. During my visit, there was a beautiful photo exhibit on display. In addition, a small ceramics store sits in the basement. They make beautiful tiles, vases, and other beautiful things from ceramics here.
Want to see all the great sights in Salt on a self-guided walking tour? Walking the Harmony Trail is highly recommended. This is a unique route that takes you past various religious and cultural landmarks in the city, including many of the sights in this article. At the Visitor Information Center (next to the Abu Jaber House) you can get a map and explanation (available in English).
Amazing places for coffee & food
Although Salt is a historic city, there are many cool (and surprisingly hip!) restaurants and coffee shops. These are some of my favorite places in Salt:
- Beit Aziz: restaurant in a 120+-year-old building with panoramic views of the city. The menu is very extensive and full of delicious dishes. There are also many vegetarian options.
- Aktham’s 1881 Cafe is the perfect place for a nice cup of coffee. This café is also in a beautiful historic building, full of unusual rooms, staircases, and narrow corridors. There are several rooftop terraces with nice views of the city.
- La Villa Médan is a new joint where you can get coffee with delicious baked goods. It is in a kind of basement and super cute decorated with colorful pillows and beautiful artwork. The owner is making rooms, so you can stay here in the future.
Discover the green nature around Salt
Salt is located in a mountainous area and is surrounded by extraordinary natural areas. I myself walked to Salt via the Jordan Trail, and even near the city, green forests and olive trees could still be seen.
Beautiful places to visit from Salt include the Wadi Shueib, a green valley; King Talal Dam, a large reservoir with beautiful views; and the Dibeen Forest Reserve, one of the few remaining pine forests in the Middle East.
Where to stay in Salt
I myself spent a night at Salt and I really recommend it. It is such a cozy city! And as you have read, there are more than enough things to do in Salt. The city is not overcrowded by tourists (yet) and therefore there are not that many accommodations. Therefore, it is wise to reserve them in time. These are great places to stay in Salt:
- Beit Aziz is a restaurant in a 120-year-old building, but it also has three hotel rooms. I have stayed here myself and it really comes highly recommended! Right in the city, nice view and the food in the restaurant is very good. They don’t have a website, but you can book by phone at +962 79943 6969.
- Jordan Heritage Madhafa is a small and colorful hotel in a beautiful historic building in downtown Salt. Some rooms have balconies with city views.
- Mountain Breeze Lodge & Resort is a half-hour drive from Salt but in a beautiful spot in nature! A perfect place to recover. It consists of small chalets and there are two swimming pools.
Check out Booking.com for more options and prices. There are not many accommodations in Salt itself, but there are more than enough in nearby Amman!
Book a trip to Jordan
Would you like to visit the extraordinary city of Salt while you’re in Jordan? Book your trip now!
✈️ Plane tickets
To get to Jordan, you need to fly to Queen Alia International Airport in Amman. Check WayAway to find the best deals and get cashback on plane tickets.
🚘 Rental Car
Traveling by public transport in Jordan is possible, but it takes a lot of time. If you want to see a lot in a short amount of time, it is smart to join an organized tour. But if you’d like to have a lot of freedom, make sure to get a rental car. This makes it even easier to get to the really interesting places off the beaten track and you can stop where you want. Check Rental Cars to find the best deals.
💊 Travel insurance
🎡 Tours and activities
Are you interested in guided tours so you can learn more about the country? Check out Get Your Guide for interesting tours and fun activities.
Read more about Jordan
Do you have plans to travel to Jordan and looking for more tips for this beautiful country? Make sure to get one of these travel guides.
Jordan Travel Guide 2023 – Explore the Wonders of Jordan
You can also read more about Jordan on this website. You might like to check out these articles as well:
- 16 Best things to do in Amman Jordan
- This is why you should hike the Jordan Trail: a comprehensive guide
- Is Jordan safe for female travelers? My experience & tips
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I visited Amman and Jordan on the invitation of Visit Jordan. I always give my honest opinion about a destination or product. Read more about collaborations on this page. This article also contains some affiliate links. If you book or buy something through these links, it will not cost you anything extra, but I will receive a small commission. With this, I can improve this website. Support Travel with Co.