Amman fuses half-crumbled Roman theaters with Byzantine church domes and dynastic Islamic palaces between its lively districts. It's a cultural hub of the whole region, boasting the enthralling collections of the Jordan Museum (think 10,000-year-old statues and fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls) and the tight-knit bazaars of Al Balad, where falafel stalls mingle with tea shops and spice emporiums. Cheap flights to Amman from Australia aren't just about exploring the capital of Jordan, though. They can also be a steppingstone to the UNESCO-attested wonders of Petra – an unforgettable relic of the Nabateans that showcases rock-carved treasuries and mystical monastery tombs in the desert.
Climb the Amman Citadel to uncover the Roman-era ruins of the Temple of Hercules and the 8th-century Umayyad Palace, not to mention sweeping panoramas of the capital.
The ridges of Mount Nebo are now a site of holy pilgrimage. Sat to the west of Amman, the peak is topped by a perplexing serpent statue and has sweeping views of the Biblical Promised Land.
Although it's a three-hour drive south of Amman, Petra is a must for any first-time visitors to Jordan. An ancient wonder, it's got stone-hewed palaces and tombs aplenty.