Aqaba(Jordan), The Arabian Nights

Aqaba is a coastal city located in the southern part of Jordan, near the Red Sea. It is known for its stunning beaches, rich history, and vibrant culture. In this article, we will explore the history of Aqaba, how to get there, top sights, and delicious cuisine.


Aqaba has a long and rich history dating back to the Bronze Age. The city was an important trade hub in ancient times, connecting the Red Sea to the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean. Throughout history, Aqaba was ruled by various empires, including the Nabataeans, Romans, and Ottomans.

During the Islamic Golden Age, Aqaba was a major center for Islamic learning, and many scholars and philosophers studied and taught in the city. In the 20th century, Aqaba became an important part of Jordan’s modern history when it was captured by Israeli forces in 1949 during the Arab-Israeli War. The city was returned to Jordanian control after the war ended, and today, Aqaba is a popular tourist destination and a thriving commercial hub.

How to Get There

The easiest way to get to Aqaba is by flying into King Hussein International Airport, located about 20 kilometers from the city center. The airport is served by several major airlines, including Royal Jordanian, Emirates, and Turkish Airlines. From the airport, you can take a taxi or a bus to the city center.

Another option is to take a bus from Amman, Jordan’s capital city. Buses run regularly between Amman and Aqaba and take about four hours. You can also rent a car and drive to Aqaba, which is a scenic drive that takes you through Jordan’s beautiful desert landscape.


Aqaba is a city rich in history and culture, with plenty of sights to explore. Here are some of the top attractions:

Aqaba Castle: Aqaba Castle is a 14th-century fort that was built by the Mamluk Sultanate. The castle has been restored and now houses a museum that showcases the history of the city.

Aqaba Archaeological Museum: The museum is located in the city center and features a collection of artifacts from ancient times. Visitors can learn about the history of Aqaba and the surrounding region, including the Nabataean kingdom.

Aqaba Marine Park: Aqaba Marine Park is a protected area that is home to a diverse range of marine life. Visitors can take snorkeling and diving tours to explore the coral reefs and see colorful fish and other sea creatures.

Aqaba Beaches: Aqaba is known for its beautiful beaches, and there are several to choose from. South Beach and Tala Bay Beach are popular spots for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports.

Wadi Rum: Wadi Rum is a desert valley located about an hour from Aqaba. It is known for its stunning red sandstone formations and has been featured in several movies, including Lawrence of Arabia.


Jordanian cuisine is known for its rich flavors and diverse influences from neighboring countries. Aqaba is no exception, with a variety of delicious dishes to try. Here are some of the top dishes to sample:

Mansaf: Mansaf is a traditional Jordanian dish that is often served at special occasions. It consists of lamb cooked in a yogurt sauce and served over rice. Mansaf is usually eaten with the hands and is considered a communal dish, meant to be shared among friends and family.

Falafel: Falafel is a popular Middle Eastern dish made from ground chickpeas that are shaped into balls and deep-fried. It is often served in a pita bread with vegetables and tahini sauce.

Makloubeh: Makloubeh is a classic Jordanian dish that is served at family gatherings and special occasions. It consists of rice, vegetables, and meat that are layered in a pot and cooked together. The pot is then flipped upside down to serve, creating a beautiful and delicious dish.

Jordanian mezze: Jordanian mezze is a collection of small dishes that are served together, similar to Spanish tapas. The dishes include hummus, baba ganoush, stuffed grape leaves, and falafel, among others.

Shawarma: Shawarma is a popular street food in Jordan and consists of marinated meat that is cooked on a vertical spit and then shaved off into a pita bread with vegetables and sauce.

Jordanian sweets: Jordanian sweets are a must-try when visiting Aqaba. The sweets are often made with honey, nuts, and dried fruits and include dishes such as baklava and knafeh.


Aqaba is a city full of history, culture, and delicious food. Whether you’re interested in exploring ancient ruins, relaxing on beautiful beaches, or trying new cuisine, Aqaba has something for everyone. With its easy access from major cities in Jordan and neighboring countries, Aqaba is a perfect destination for a weekend getaway or a longer vacation. So pack your bags and head to Aqaba for a truly unforgettable experience.

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