Stroll through the university campus to get a taste of student life
hough quieter than Amman, Irbid’s city is bustling with student life. Home to two of Jordan’s main universities, Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST) and the Yarmouk University , you’ll find a noticeably younger and hip crowd walking around University Street. Walk along the main university drag, which won the Guinness World Record for most internet cafes – 150 in a single kilometre!
Try some food
One of Irbid’s many hidden secrets is its delicious Yemeni cuisine. Head to a restaurant called Hadramaut, located just off University Circle, where you’ll be taken down a set of stairs. Take off your shoes and sit cross-legged on a carpet, traditional-style. Make sure to order a plate of ful medemes (fava beans), shakshouka (eggs with green chilli and tomato), fahsa (sizzling beef stew served in a black clay pot), and malawah (a flakey layered bread fried in butter). Top off your dinner with an order of shai Adeni, or traditional Yemeni tea, brewed with condensed milk, cardamom, and cinnamon cloves.
Take an afternoon break at Hotels and Cafe
Tucked away behind University Circle, check out Irbid’s old Hotels and Cafes, which features a quaint outdoor courtyard. You’ll find a mix of local and Western art pieces inside the cafes, where you’ll see the university’s hip crowds sipping coffee or sharing an order of lemon and mint flavored shisha, or hookah.
Wander the souks in front of Irbid’s main mosque
Head to Irbid’s main mosque and just get lost. While listening to the sound of the call to prayer, wander the streets lined with fruit and vegetable sellers calling out prices and haggling with locals. At this time of year you can find Jordan’s delicious seasonal fruits, including sour green plums, watermelons, and small peaches. They’re much cheaper than what you’d find in Amman.
Escape the city for a day hike through one of Irbid’s wadis
Escape the city for a day to one of Irbid’s beautiful wadis. Discover the area’s greenery while hiking through Wadi Rayyan, also known as Wadi al-Yabis. The area is located south-west of Irbid city and characterized by a vast terrain. Take a day or two to explore the wadi’s many mountains, valleys, plains, and waterfalls. There you’ll also find a number of religious shrines and ancient sites
Explore Irbid’s ancient archaeological sites in Um Qais
A northern town perched on top of a hill, Um Qais is home to the ancient Gadara ruins. Located right at the axis of Jordan’s borders with Palestine, and Syria, you can enjoy the site’s stunning panoramic views of the Sea of Gallilee, the Golan Heights, and the Yarmouk River. The site was once a bastion of Greek cultural life. If you care for another day or two of exploring Irbid’s ancient sites, you can also check out Pella and Beit Ras (Capitolias).
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