Check out our take on gay Amman including safety tips, LGBTQ friendly hotels, gay friendly hangouts and more…
“I love A-man” Seby says, wistfully staring out the car window as we cruised away from the city. Before my jealous rage could take hold, I realized he wasn’t talking about falling for another man, but the capital city of Jordan…!
Having spent days traveling around this treasure trove of a city, we can safely say that Jordan has been one of our favorite gay friendly places in the Middle East. Not only is it one of the few Arab countries that has long discarded its anti-gay laws, but it is filled with charming locals, delicious foods, and ancient sites that set our love for history alight!
As well as being the entry point into a very beautiful country, Amman also offered us plenty to see and do – from venturing down the bustling streets of Rainbow Street to visiting the Roman Theater, where crowds of bygone eras would have collected to be entertained, to exploring archaeological sites filled with artifacts and artworks that date back to the Neolithic period.
There are also a few “gay-friendly” (or perhaps “gay tolerant” is a better phrase to use!) venues to check out along Rainbow Street. For us, Amman delivered an extraordinary experience, blending the old world with the modern. Read on for our take on gay Amman and also be sure to check in with our more detailed guide to gay Jordan.
Heads up: We just wanted to let you know that this post contains affiliate links. That means if you book something through one of those links, we'll get a small commission, at no extra cost to you. It helps us keep our blog going – so thank you in advance for your support! ♥
Visit Petra. Stay for Amman.
Fall in love with the rosy sandstone cliffs of Petra. Whiz through the dramatic canyons, towering dunes, and deep valleys of Wadi Rum. Float across the waters of the Dead Sea ahead of a relaxing dip in a healing mud bath… All this beautifully sums up OutAdventures' excellent gay trip to Jordan!
Claim $150 off this tour by quoting promo code NomadicOA when booking.
Is Amman safe for gay travelers?
It’s a tricky one! On one hand, Jordan got rid of its anti-gay law back in 1951, well before Canada (1969), the UK (1967), and the USA (2003). As far as Arab countries go, this puts Jordan right up at the top of the gay-tolerant barometer! However, the LGBTQ laws of Jordan don't really go any further than that.
For example, there are no anti-discrimination laws protecting the LGBTQ community in Jordan, there are no laws recognizing any form of gay unions, and Jordanian society remains extremely conservative, harboring a very negative view toward gay people.
Travel worry free!
Don't skimp out on your travel insurance: make sure your trip is fun, frivolous, and free! Most importantly, good travel insurance will cover you for any medical emergencies, flight cancellations, pricey hospital bills, car rental protection, and more.
That’s not to say that you should feel unsafe visiting Amman. Jordanians are a super hospitable bunch and we felt welcomed by every local we met. They love meeting foreigners and showing off their land, but we would advise erring on the side of caution when it comes to PDAs – seeing two gay guys or gals holding hands or kissing wouldn't go down here very well at all.
So…. yeah, we’re sorry to have to say, but avoid all PDAs in Jordan!
In terms of checking into our hotels, we never experienced any issues with the ones we set out in this article despite it being obvious we are a gay couple. If you book a place that isn’t on our list below and you have any doubts, we recommend contacting them beforehand to check if they're ok to host a gay couple/traveler.
Updated Gay Travel Advice: August 2023
In addition, My.Kali reported on escalating attacks on the LGBTQ community in 2023, which we highly advise you to take note of.
Is there a gay scene in Amman?
So this baffled us – Jordan is far more tolerant than most other countries in the Arab world, particularly Lebanon. However, Amman is a very sleepy city with no obvious gay parties taking place, very much unlike the gay scene of Beirut! There are no gay bars in Amman, no gay clubs, nor any gay parties that we can write about.
There are also no gay events in Amman. This is not to say that gay events don’t happen, it’s simply all underground and you have to seek it out. Our best advice is to connect with a few locals on Grindr or Scruff and find out if there’s anything happening. The upside is that the Internet in Jordan is not as monitored as it is in other Arab countries, so it's perfectly legal and easy to use gay dating apps – you won't need a VPN to use Grindr during your gay trip in Jordan!
Gay friendly hotels in Amman
There are no outright gay only or officially LGBTQ hotels in Amman. However, the big brand hotels adhere to international standards and are your best bet for gay friendliness. In this section, we include the best gay friendly hotels where you will feel welcome as a gay couple.
InterContinental Jordan, an IHG Hotel
In a nutshell
- Close to all main attractions
- Spacious, luxurious rooms, big enough to make you feel like a queen
- Japanese, Lebanese, Indian, and Jordanian-inspired restaurants on site
- Indoor and outdoor pools with spa
Perched atop the hills of Amman, the gay friendly InterContinental Jordan hotel is everything one imagines when they think of the Middle East: idyllic, grand, elegant. And it’s become a subtle haven for LGBTQ travelers over the years! At least we found it to be so during our visit.
All rooms, whether they be standard, executive, or a suite, feel regal and luxurious. They allow for tons of natural light and sights of the bustling city and surrounding hills. For dining, there is the “Soba Sushi Bar”, one of the best spots for authentic Japanese cuisine in the city. Or perhaps you're peckish for some fiery Indian food at “Indu”? Not everyone can handle the burn though (side glance at Seby!), so if you want something tamer, the Lebanese eatery “Bourj Al Hamam” has tons of scrumptious seafood.
For relaxation, we loved their spa treatments, which included massages along with a visit to the sauna and steam room.
Prices at InterContinental Jordan start from $150 per night:
STAY WITH A GAY LOCAL
Misterb&b is the Airbnb equivalent for the LGBTQ community. Unlike on Airbnb, you know your host is gay, voiding any nasty surprises when you check-in. It is also a great way to meet gay locals and discover the underground gay scene. Click below to get 10 € (or $10) off our first booking.
In a nutshell
- Big, cozy rooms to doze off in
- Several dining options with world-class chefs
- A massive spa with an array of treatments and experiences
- Stunning views over the city
Whether you're planning to fill your time taking in the views of the spectacular Amman hills whilst curled up in a king-sized bed like Seby loves doing, or merely using your room as a base to explore as you spend most of your days rambling around the city, the gay friendly Fairmont Amman hotel will make your experience in Jordan’s capital city truly special!
The Fairmont is luxury at its finest. From the moment you walk into the lobby till the moment you leave. There are several in-house restaurants and venues in the hotel, including, “Nur”, with its enticing selection of Levantine cuisine. Another one we loved is, “Caprice” – their range of cocktails is absolutely epic! And also, “Tsuki”, a popular, Japanese eatery. For something more traditional and local, we loved the “Nasim” restaurant, where the expert chefs whipped us up a yummy mix of hot and cold mezze.
Other highlights at the Fairmont that we loved include their Willow Stream Spa, where we enjoyed sauntering between vitality pools, the Hammam scrub room, and the Dead Sea pool.
Prices at Fairmont Amman start from $250 per night:
Nu Fifty Two
In a nutshell
- A warm and familial style B&B
- Breakfast delivered right to your bedroom door
- Close to the bustling Rainbow Street
- Completely self-contained
If you don't want to stay in a hotel, then we strongly recommend this little gem! Nu Fifty Two is a gay friendly set of apartments that we found on Booking.com due to its terrific reviews and location. It's a few minute's walking distance from the heart of Rainbow Street.
Nu Fifty Two is set in a charming 1950s building, split into apartments that the owners rent out to guests. This is the place to book if you want complete (ahem!) privacy: check-in is seamless as everything is done electronically.
Inside our Nu Fifty Two apartment, we felt completely at home with a fully functional kitchen, ample space, a large living room area, two balconies, and a massive comfortable King-sized bed! Whilst privacy is respected, the staff isn't completely hands-off. For example, if you need anything they are a phone call or Whatsapp message away, and more than willing to offer any advice for your trip or help you book a taxi.
Prices at Nu Fifty Two start from $80 per night:
Gay bars in Amman
Let's be clear, there are no gay bars in Jordan. However, we did find a few more tolerant and open-minded spaces and one unofficial “gay friendly” spot called Books@Cafe located just off the hustle and bustle of Rainbow Street.
Why yes, we do love to read. Oh wait, you meant read books? Well, they’re great too! The Books@Cafe is a lovely spot to swing by during the day. It’s a quiet corner amid the thriving city of Amman, where you can grab a coffee, some sweet brunch-y treats, and tuck into a good book.
As the day creeps into the wee hours, the DJ comes out, music comes on, and the dancefloor opens. Known for being the first internet café in Jordan, Books@Cafe has helped connect Amman to the modern world, where young, closeted gay kids can find one another, and where progressive views can be shared.
Opening hours: Books@Cafe is open daily from 9 or 10am until around midnight or 1am
Location: You can find it at Omar Bin Al-Khattab Sreet 12
On top of the Shepherd Hotel is the ever-so-chic, ever-so-sleek, ever-so glam, District Bar! Its outdoor terrace is always packed full of locals and travelers socializing, drinking, and dancing, as they take in the sights of Amman's unique Old Town.
Everyone we met had a fascinating story to tell. We left with a heap of new travel buddies to keep in touch with. District has a wide selection of food and drinks, and most importantly, cocktails! The staff was also very kind and welcoming, taking time to walk us through their suggestions, making our experience unbeatable.
Opening hours: District is open daily from 1pm until 1am
Location: It's located on the rooftop of the Shepherd Hotel on Zeid Ben Harethah Street 33
Another popular rooftop bar in Amman – atop the Sheraton Amman Al Nabil Hotel. This was the venue for our date night – romantic sunset cocktails! Wandering around Club on Five is like finding the perfect blend between the old and new world. Everything looks sophisticated and modern, yet the level of service and charm of the staff made us feel like we were in a 1950s lounge bar.
It’s a rooftop bar, so as you sip on your drinks, you can look out onto the dramatic skyline of Amman. The view is particularly beautiful during the Azan call for evening prayers which creates an almost ethereal-like atmosphere. There is a good mix of cocktails including Margaritas, Old-Fashioneds, and Sour Mojitos. Food-wise, they offered a mix of salads, tacos, truffle fries, and falafel.
Opening hours: Club on Five Lounge is open daily from 10am until midnight
Location: You can find Club on Five at the Sheraton Amman Al Nabil Hotel
Gay Clubs in Amman
Like the bar scene, the gay club scene of Amman is also lacking in any full-on gay hangouts. We got many tips from gay locals on some LGBTQ friendly clubs in Amman, but as with the bars, these are more places that are perceived as tolerant because they attract a young and international crowd.
Nü House of Music (formerly the Cube Lounge)
Hot. Loud. Intense. A sensation! There’s no way to truly capture the experience at Nü House of Music. The word “nü” translates to “now” and “the current moment”, which we think perfectly encapsulates the experience. It’s all about celebrating the present, throwing all your regrets of the past and your anxieties about the future away.
If you’re a hardcore raver, you won’t want to miss out on this place. Their expert sound system and lighting design are on another level – you can practically feel the vibrations of the music on your skin!
Opening hours: Nü House of Music is open between 8pm and 3am on Thursday and Friday nights
Location: You can find Nü House of Music at the Shepherd Hotel on Zeid Ben Harethah Street 33
Locals told us that Trader Vic’s was “home to the best tropical cocktails” so we had to put that to the test! After sampling one (ok more like 5…) drinks for ourselves, we can happily confirm that they were right. The bar was originally opened in California by keen nomad Vic “The Trader” Bergeron, who was inspired by the cuisine he encountered whilst traveling.
Fast forward, and Trader Vic’s has taken the world, including Amman, by storm! They also feature live music acts and themed events. The most popular themed party at Trader Vic's to check out is, “Latin Night”.
Opening hours: Trader Vic's is open every day from 6pm until 1am
Location: You can find it at the Regency Palace Hotel, Queen Alia Street, Sports City Road
Gay saunas and gay cruising in Amman
There is only really one nice gay sauna/bathhouse in Amman. This is the Old Turkish Bath Nights Hamman, which is called Hammam Layali Zeman El Turki in Arabic. It's a small but western-style spot containing a steam room, jacuzzi, shower stalls, a massage room, and lounge areas where you can order drinks or socialise. Discretion is the norm here, but the staff seem to be either gay or unbothered by gay hookups, so this is your best bet if you want to make some steamy friends. You can find it on Google maps here.
There are also a few places listed online (like the AlPasha Turkish Bath and the Meridien Hotel Sauna) where fellow gay travelers have been and happened to meet other gay guys there.
In terms of gay cruising in Amman, we’ve read reports that the city’s famous Roman Amphitheater in Hashemiya Square is popular(!) in the evening. Whilst we can’t verify this, we ask that you exercise caution if going outdoor cruising – leave all valuables locked up in your hotel’s safe and always be on your guard.
Our favorite restaurants in Amman
We are self-admitted foodies – and we always have high expectations when traveling somewhere new. In Amman, we were bowled over by the incredible selection of restaurants! Here's a slice of some of our favorites restaurants gay travelers should try:
To get a true sense of the Jordanian spirit, visit the Sufra restaurant. They are all about reveling in their ancestral traditions through its cozy, homely ambience, hiring welcoming staff, and featuring a menu filled with authentic national dishes. It’s the closest you’ll come to experiencing mealtime in a Jordanian household.
We dined out on the terrace, watching the sunset behind the stony Amman skyline, whilst gorging on hummus and bread for mains, and a delicious plate of raha (a Turkish delight) and biscuits for dessert. Heads up – Sufra is a very popular spot, so we recommend booking ahead of visiting.
From its modest beginnings as a small corner shop, set up by the candy-crazed l-Haj Mahmoud Habibah and his brother in 1951, to one of Jordan’s most successful chain stores, Habibah is THE place to go for indulging your sweet tooth.
This is where we tried our first helping of kunafa, a delicious pastry dripping in sweet syrup, and topped with cream, cheese, and pistachios.
The staff behind the counter were super welcoming and friendly, and made us excited to tuck into our treats – and most importantly, did not judge us when we returned for a second, third, and fourth helpings…!
Levant is a love letter to Arabic cuisine. It is everything wonderful about Middle Eastern culture, with friendly staff, beautiful décor, and delicious food. Word of advice? Book ahead, as you simply won’t get in otherwise. We were massively impressed by its jam-packed menu, which was full of items that originate across Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Palestine. From doughy manti to succulent chicken liver, it is truly the best the Middle East has to offer.
Cozy, plush seating, open fire pits, and soft lighting make Mijana the perfect place for a relaxing evening meal. There is an outdoor terrace, where you can sit and people watch. Lots of people come here to try their famous shisha, so don’t be alarmed when you walk in and see plumes of white-flavored smoke puffing from various directions.
Their menu is fairly broad, with a mix of traditional and international items. Think pizzas and pasta, kebabs and salads, plus soujok (spicy sausage).
What started off as a small business on Rainbow Street has now become one of the city’s most popular restaurants. They’ve even opened a 2nd shop! They are best known for their Egyptian Feteer pies – which we happily scoffed down in minutes. The idea for the store came from one man’s wish to share his love of traditional food with the local community.
He also wanted to celebrate Egyptian culture as well, and it’s easy to see how much that has influenced the menu. The owner also takes pride in serving his community by employing local young people and teaching them how to celebrate their culture through cooking. Which we love!
Best things to do in Amman
We’ve teased you with all the best hotels, bars, and restaurants in Amman. Now it’s time to fill out that itinerary with all sorts of exciting activities! Here are some of the must-see highlights in Amman that every gay traveler should add to their planning Bucket List.
The Roman Theater
Built in the 2nd century, there is no denying how significant the Roman Theater is in Jordanian history and culture. It fits up to 6,000 people and is easily one of the most impressive theaters we’ve ever been to. Though, I hadn’t realized how afraid of heights I was until I stood at the very top of it.
Those ancient audiences must have had extreme resistance to vertigo. Today, the theater is still used as a performance space, for events like the Amman International Book Fair, the Amman Marathon prize ceremony, and the Al-Balad Music Festival.
The Amman Citadel is an archaeological site in downtown Amman. It is filled with ancient structures and is believed to have been occupied since the Neolithic Period. The most notable things to watch out for are the Temple of Hercules, a Byzantine church, and the Umayyad Palace.
It is also home to the Jordan Archaeological Museum, which brings visitors through the site's history, from prehistoric times to the 15th century. Inside is a collection of artifacts from the Citadel and other Jordanian historic sites. It displays everyday items like glass, pottery objects, jewelry, and statues.
Don’t make the same mistake we made – despite the name, this is not a gay-themed street! Sadly. It just happens to be called Rainbow Street. A bustling thoroughfare that cuts right through the heart of Amman, we enjoyed wandering down there every evening as it sent our senses spiraling.
The pungent scent of spices wafting from the restaurants, the loud chattering of friends and families wandering around the shops, the splash of color of artworks and food on shop fronts, and the brimming Jordanian heat on your skin. It is utterly unmissable!
Falling in love with Jordan? Prepare to fall even deeper by visiting the Jordan Museum. A series of three galleries that detail Jordan’s ancient history, how its modern culture came to be, and what its people hope for its future, we believe a visit here is a fantastic way to kickstart your journey in Jordan.
Not only did we get some ideas for activities and tours we could do, but we also felt we got acquainted with Jordan's unique and wonderful story, from seeing the displays, artifacts, and artworks up close and personal.
Day trip to Jerash
A tour from Amman to Jerash is for anyone with a love for Ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. The city looks like it fell straight from the pages of The Iliad (or The Song of Achilles). You can take it as part of a wider tour or go via private taxi hire, to go at your own pace.
We did this guided tour, which took us down Colonnaded Street, known for its iconic towering white columns, then to the Roman amphitheater, built during the reign of Emperor Domitian between 90-92AD (with a capacity of over 3,000 people), then over to the Temple of Artemis, the Oval Plaza, and finishing up at Hadrian’s Arch.
Day trip to the Dead Sea from Amman
The Dead Sea is a big highlight for all travelers to Jordan. We loved putting on the mud mask on our bodies, then floating across the highly concentrated salty water whilst soaking up the glorious Jordanian sun. If you're pressed for time, you can visit it as part of a day trip from Amman – the public bus takes 45 minutes to the nearest beach from downtown Amman.
However, locals discouraged us from doing this saying that this local beach is not the best and instead recommended we go further south, which you can do as part of a guided day trip tour from Amman.
Plan your trip to Amman
We've put together some handy hints and tips to help you plan your own trip to Amman. Read on to find out everything the gay traveler should know before they go.
Travel insurance: We never travel without the security of having travel insurance and recommend you do the same for your trip to Amman (and any travels really!). We've been using Heymondo Travel Insurance for years and found them to be so helpful if things do go wrong and we need to make an online claim. Their cover is also both comprehensive and affordable. Check out this post on how to choose a good travel insurance.
How to get there: The main airport is the Queen Alia International Airport, located south of the city. There are flights into Amman from most major cities in Europe and the Middle East. Once you arrive at the airport there are airport shuttle buses and taxis, although we prefer to pre-book a private transfer especially since it can take at least 45 minutes to get to the city from the airport when there's heavy traffic.
With a private transfer, you can just relax in air-conditioned comfort without needing to worry about your luggage or haggling about prices.
When to visit: Fall and spring are the prime (and most popular) seasons for visiting Jordan, as the weather is mild without the rains of winter and fierce sun of summer. Of course, this is also the most expensive time, so if you're looking to save money then travel to Amman in the off-season but be prepared for inclement weather.
Visa requirements: Travelers from most countries to Jordan will need to organize a tourist visa ahead of time, including citizens of the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, and most EU countries. You can apply for this easily online though!
Getting around: Amman is not a terribly pedestrian-friendly city and while there are buses, they don't usually run to a fixed timetable. There are taxis to get around the city but if you aren't comfortable with Arabic then we suggest using Uber or Careem (which is similar to Uber) for minimal fuss as they both work in Jordan.
Vaccinations: The CDC recommends all travelers to Jordan have routine vaccines for things like measles, mumps, rubella, and Covid-19. It's also recommended to be vaccinated against Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, rabies, and typhoid (if you are going somewhere rural). Dogs in Jordan can have rabies, so be careful about making any canine friends in Amman even if you have been vaccinated.
Currency: The currency used in Jordan is called the Jordanian dinar and abbreviated to JOD. 1 Jordanian dinar converts to about $1.41, €1.41, or £1.23.
Tipping culture: Jordan doesn't really have much of a tipping culture so no one will bat an eyelid if you don't tip. However, if you really want to show your appreciation for good service your tips will probably be well received. If you want to tip, around 10% of your restaurant bill is normal and you can tip bellhops or cleaners at your Amman hotel around 1 JOD per bag or day.
Internet access: WiFi access in Amman can be a bit hit-and-miss, often quite slow or unreliable. We found that purchasing a local SIM when arriving at the airport gave us as much internet access as we needed and for a low price.
Online privacy: Gay dating apps like Grindr are NOT blocked in Jordan, so you don't need a VPN in order to use them while you're in Amman. However, if you'd prefer to keep your online activities private, then we recommend this VPN to ensure you can access the internet safely, securely, and anonymously.
Accommodation: We always use Booking.com when looking for accommodation in Amman (and everywhere else)! They have the best selection at great prices, often with free cancellation included, which we love as we're often quite spontaneous with our plans and might decide to stay on somewhere longer. Their online customer support is available 24/7 and very helpful if you encounter any difficulties.
Sightseeing and adventure: When looking for fun tours and activities in Amman our go-to is GetYourGuide because it has so many choices all around the world. It's super easy to book online plus their excellent customer service is available 24/7 if you need help with anything.
Gay map of Amman
Here's a map of all the places we've mentioned in our gay guide to Amman. We hope you find it useful when planning your own gay trip to this fascinating city!