Top 10 Downtown Souks To Check Out

10 December 2015

Written by Shalabieh

You can find just about anything you need in Downtown Amman. It is where our city's commerce originated and a lot of the famous local stores and chains started and still maintain a presence. If you are new to downtown Amman or haven't done much exploring beyond the thresholds of places like Jafra and Zorba then try to stroll through these souks and get better acquainted with the alleyways and districts of the Balad.


Photo by Amer Sweidan

 

1- Souk Mango
This is where you can find bridal wear that is less blushing bride and more risque costume.  Strolling through here is worth a giggle or two.

2- Souk El Sri Lankiytat

A small little enclave that caters to the migrant workers of the city and surrounded by some really good cheap Indian restaurants. I loved to go through here for some cheap fabric and sarongs.

3- Souk Asfour

This souk specializes in the traditional dresses and thobs and has a dazzling array of embroidered goods. Walking through you can get the traditional and the modern versions of women's embroidered dresses. You can also get custom made dresses, cushions and wall hangings here.

4- Souk El- Sagha/ gold souk

This Souk is full of beautifully crafted gold and jewelry, most famous west Amman jewelers started in this spot. However, not everything that glitters is gold and be wary of what is called Russian gold and make sure to negotiate a good price on whatever you buy.

5- El- Share3 Eltalyani (Italian Street)

This is the bale market, bales of clothes, shoes, bags, curtains, bedding... just about everything that can be put in a bale and sold is found here. The word baleh comes from these big bales. Most things are second hand but the well versed can spot a brand new item still with its stub on it. It takes time and a hawk-eye to find these sweet bargains, so make sure you have a couple of hours to spend when walking around this street.

6- El-Joura

This is the place to finds a decently priced sofa set, table, beds, cupboards...etc. Make sure to drive a hard bargain when shopping here and keep an eye out for those amazing deals. But be warned, you need to check each piece out and test it before taking it home.

7- Souk El- Boukhariyeh

This souk is a haberdashery heaven. It has morphed over the years but the general rule is if you need any trimmings,  lace or other sewing needs this is a good place to go. Know you can find all sorts of goods here,  not just the ones needed for sewing.

8- Souk El-Khoudra

There are actually two different vegetable markets downtown. Whichever you choose, walking through is an assault on all the senses. The colors, the smells, the sounds and yummy feel and taste of the fresh produce is wonderful.

9- Souk El3atareen

Behind the mosque in a small area you can find a few apothecaries selling everything from spices to herbal remedies for every malady.

10- Souk Elkoutoub

For the bibliophiles amongst you there is plenty of choice when it comes to books. Near the mosque is the biggest collection of bookstores, mostly selling religious books. But the most famous bookseller in Albalad is Kushk Elthakafeh that has a larger sellection of books that is not focused on the religious only. But my favorite and not part of any souq is Khaznet al Jaheth, find this little kiosk and ask him to show you the old manuscripts hidden away in his little store and be wowed by the hidden treasures of the Balad.

 

I haven't given much direction to where these souks are because it takes away from the fun of finding them. Explore and ask around about these souks and while you wander around you will find many more. The Balad is full of treasures. Share your explorations and let us know what other souks you find.