Aqaba – Top Things to See in Jordan’s Only Coastal City
Being the only coastal city in Jordan, Aqaba is popular for its golden beaches and vibrant coral reefs. While the sea may be a distinct feature of this city, there’s also plenty of landmarks that stand as a testament to the legacy of Jordan’s history and culture.
There’s a lot of fascinating places for you to visit in Aqaba starting with these popular locations.
The Aqaba Archaeological Museum
If you want to truly take in the history of Jordan, then there’s no better place to be than the Aqaba Archaeological Museum. Located near the 130m high Aqaba Flagpole, and adjacent to the castle, the Aqaba Archaeological Museum houses a vast collection of bronze age relics that date all the way back to 4000 BCE.
Before becoming a museum, the building was formerly a palace for Hussein bin Ali, the founder of the Hashemite dynasty. Today, the most well-known relics housed within, and ones you should make sure to check out, are the Medieval Fatimid coins and a Quranic verse inscription that once hung above the eastern gate.
Located just a few blocks from the Gulf of Aqaba, this 16th-century castle, built by the Mamluk sultanate, was once a traveller’s inn, hosting pilgrims on their journey to Mecca. It was also the site of a famous battle that occurred during World War 1. Today, the ruined fortress stands as a passageway into the past, one that, if you’re someone fascinated by history, you should be sure to take.
The Red Sea
As stated in the opening paragraph, one of the reasons for Aqaba’s popularity is the coral reefs of the Red Sea. These vibrant reefs are home to many wonders such as turtles, the Cedar Pride, a Lebanese freighter wreck and the Seven Sisters Coral reef, a towering coral wall where you can often spot hammerhead sharks.
The weather in the region is generally always mild, thus making diving a perfect adventure for you to partake in. This spot is also especially suited for amateur or first-time divers and you can arrange diving trips at the Aqaba Scuba Diving centre.
Aqaba Bird Observatory
At the northern tip of the Red Seas lies the Aqaba Bird Observatory which receives flocks of birds from Asia Africa and Europe every migration season. While you’ll find a desert-like environment in most of Aqaba, here things are different. The artificially cultivated forests and wetlands are beautiful to behold and the numerous birds, over 70 species, passing through on their migration routes are an equally grand sight to witness. For all you animal lovers out there, this is one place in Aqaba you definitely want to visit.