Many people know Petra as the a bucketlist must-visit in Jordan, but Jordan has a second ancient lost city. The lost city of Jerash is just as impressive as famous Petra. As one of the best Roman archeological sites in the world, it’s a must-visit on your Jordan itinerary.
The highlights of Jerash
The ancient Roman city of Jerash – or Gerasa in the old days – was built in a remote corner of the Roman empire, but it was one of the ten biggest cities of the entire empire. It had dozens of temples, two theatres, an enormous oval square, communal baths, long colonnaded streets, impressive arches, aquaducts, bridges and plazas. Much of that still remains today, making the Jerash ruins one of the most well-preserved Roman sites outside of Italy.
One of the most beautiful and must-see monuments is the impressive Jerash Hadrian’s Arch close to the entrance, built to commemorate the visit of Roman emperor Hadrian. From the arch, a paved street leads you to the immense oval square, surrounded with colonnades. Next to it are a theatre, the Zeus temple and a colonnaded street which is the main axis of ancient Gerasa.
This long street is the hub of the city. To your left are many impressive temples that you should definitely visit, including the Temple of Artemis and the Nymphaeum. There is a second arch at the end of the main street, and there is a second amphitheater nearby.
Practical: how do you visit Jerash from Amman?
Jerash in Jordan is located in the north of the country. It’s just an 45 minute drive from the capital Amman, making it the perfect day trip from Amman. Add a stop at the nearby desert castle Aljoun to your road trip for splendid view all over Jordan and Israel.
The ancient city of Jerash is big, so make sure you have at least half a day for your visit. Also bring enough drinks, either from the supermarket or from the stalls at the entrance. The Jerash ruins can get very hot, especially in the afternoon, and there is only little shade.
The entrance fee to Jerash is included in the Jordan Pass, just like Petra and most other highlights of Jordan. Your visa is also included in the price, so make sure to buy the tourist pass already at home for your Jordan trip.