Aqaba is a dynamic seaside city on the Red Sea coast that combines history with modernity. It is situated near the southernmost point of Jordan. This city serves as a gateway to Jordan being the only seaport in the nation. As a result, since the beginning of time, many cultures and civilizations have blended together.

Similarly, Aqaba’s year-round pleasant and sunny weather draws visitors from all over the world. Divers who want to explore the Red Sea’s underwater treasures are drawn to it by its immaculate coral reefs and crystal-clear waters. Moreover, Aqabq is a crucial tourist.


Aqaba’s history began before the writing of the Bible, when it was referred to as Elath or Ayla. The Old Testament records that King Solomon erected a naval base close to the present site of the city. Aqaba has been ruled by the Romans, Byzantines, Muslims, and Crusaders over the ages. which has left behind an intriguing legacy of architecture and archaeology.
The ancient Islamic city of Ayla, whose archeological remnants include Quranic inscriptions and Fatimid gold coins, is one of the historical treasures. Furthermore, it is said that the earliest Christian church in the world, which dates to the third century AD, is located in Aqaba. 

Formerly known as Elath or Ayla, Aqaba’s history extends back to pre-Biblical times. A naval base near the present-day location of the city was constructed by King Solomon, according to the Old Testament. Arabs, Muslims, Byzantines, and Crusaders have all ruled over Aqaba over the ages. It has produced an amazing legacy of architecture and archaeology.
Ayla, an ancient Islamic city with gold coins from the Fatimid era and Quranic inscriptions on its archaeological remains, is one of the historical treasures. Furthermore, the world’s earliest Christian church, thought to have been founded in the third century AD, is thought to be located near Aqaba.

How to get to Aqaba

Located just a 15-minute drive from the Wadi-Araba border with Israel and 20 minutes from the Aqaba International Airport, Aqaba’s town center serves as a convenient pit stop for travelers heading to Petra. It is also possible to reach Aqaba from Amman, the main gateway for tourists traveling to Jordan, by a 4-5 hour drive. Both buses and taxis are available for transportation.

Things to do in Aqaba

Aqaba Fort

Within the center of Jordan’s coastal city of Aqaba is a historical landmark called Aqaba Fort, sometimes referred to as Qal’at Al-Aqaba. Christian crusaders constructed it in the twelfth century, and the Mamluks of Egypt renovated it in the sixteenth. The area’s most significant historical occurrences are chronicled in real time by this fort. Aqaba and the Red Sea are breathtakingly visible from the fort’s hilltop location. It draws tourists interested in discovering more about the region’s history and its protective architecture.

However, over the ages, it has played host to a number of conflicts, such as the Battle of Aqaba in World War I, a turning point in the struggle for Arab independence. Today, visitors can tour the fort’s formidable walls, making it one of Aqaba’s top tourist destinations. They can also investigate its watchtowers and discover its historical strategic significance. Lastly, it features a small museum indoors as well as knowledgeable tour guides. In addition, anyone interested in the history and culture of Jordan can learn a lot from Aqaba Fort.

Ruins of the city of Ayla

The interesting remains of ancient Ayla, a medieval Islamic city that thrived from the seventh and the twelfth centuries AD, are located in the center of the current port city of Aqaba. The hectare-plus archeological complex includes the remnants of a mosque, cobblestone streets, public baths, and a fortified castle. Ayla is a treasure for history and culture enthusiasts because of its many archeological discoveries, which include Quranic inscriptions, gold coins from the Fatimid era, and ornate Islamic ceramics.
Discovering the Ayla ruins is a singular experience that immerses tourists in the day-to-day activities of a medieval Islamic city. See expansive vistas of Aqaba and the Red Sea from the top of the fortified citadel’s towers. While tour guides provide educational tours about Ayla’s history and culture, a tiny museum on the premises showcases the most noteworthy discoveries.

Sharif Hussein bin Ali Mosque

Located in the heart of the coastal city of Aqaba, it is a stunning monument that combines architectural beauty with rich cultural history. The mosque stands out not only for its large dome, but also for its slender minarets and intricate decorations on the outer walls. Reason why it is considered the largest of all the mosques in Jordan. Its location is strategic as it is next to the Red Sea and also offers a picturesque and spectacular environment for visitors.
As a bustling center of worship for the local Muslim community, the mosque was constructed in honor of Sharif Hussein bin Ali, the mastermind of the Great Arab Revolt. Regarding proper attire and behavior, guests are welcome to explore the building’s exteriors, snap pictures, and, if they so choose, enter. An enhanced experience is provided by the educational excursions provided by tour guides.

Souk and traditional markets

Souks, sometimes referred to as traditional markets or souks, are an integral aspect of Arab culture. In addition to being a popular travel destination in North and Middle Eastern nations. These vibrant outdoor markets provide a one-of-a-kind experience, bursting with sounds, scents, and colors. These components transport visitors back in time and teach them about the customs of the area.
Exploring a souk is an exciting opportunity to discover a wide variety of products. Some of them include exotic spices, dried fruits, unique crafts and gold jewelry. Shoppers will enjoy haggling for treasures such as silk fabrics, colorful saris and handmade rugs.

While the vibrant and authentic atmosphere of the market will captivate the senses with characteristic smells, sounds and flavors. In addition to traditional souks, some cities have created modern shopping areas that offer a similar experience in a more comfortable and refined environment.

Souk Aqaba

Aqaba beach

Beaches and coral reefs

Aqaba has beaches and coral reefs that provide life-changing experiences for those who enjoy the outdoors and the coast. These tropical beaches are the result of the erosion of adjacent coral reefs, which goes beyond their aesthetic appeal, such as the beaches of Queesland, France. Additionally, coral reefs are extremely diverse underwater ecosystems that provide divers and divers the opportunity to explore a world full of vibrant marine life.

Coral reefs serve as natural barriers that protect the coasts from the wrath of the sea, in addition to their scenic appeal. Unfortunately, pollution, climate change and irresponsible fishing pose a danger to them. By implementing eco-friendly habits and sponsoring regional conservation efforts, tourists can help preserve it.

Aqaba Archaeological Museum

The Aqaba Archaeological Museum, which is situated in the center of the port city, provides visitors with a singular opportunity to discover Jordan’s rich past and culture. Leader Sherif Hussein Bin Ali formerly called this place home, and inside is an amazing assemblage of relics documenting the history of the area. Explore the ruins of the historic Islamic city of Ayla, where you can find gold coins from the Fatimid dynasty and Quranic inscriptions. But marvel at Roman and Byzantine relics, as well as ornate Islamic ceramics.
The museum takes visitors on an enthralling historical tour of the various periods that created the area. Apart from the displayed items, knowledgeable museum guides provide in-depth analyses of the objects and their historical setting. It enhances the experience even more for those who enjoy history and archaeology.

aqaba archeological museum

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