A not-so-well-known but fantastic museum in the capital of Jordan is the Royal Automobile Museum of Amman. Now while this is avowedly a treat for those who adore automobiles, do not be fooled into thinking that it is solely for them to enjoy. Countless person who have come here intending to only pass through the premises swiftly have ended up spending over an hour lingering in the edifice, due to its attractions. This is not just among the best-kept of all the museums in the country: it also boasts some of the most patently expensive items on exhibit. That in itself can exert a powerful pull on many, after all.
The cars are superbly preserved, and they chronicle a period that runs from the 1920’s to today, although its oldest vehicles are actually from the late 1880’s (they are replicas of the first motorbikes and cars to have ever been made and patented in the world). You can find a medley of automobile makers represented here in startlingly minty-looking cars. Some of the makers you can find here would be Mercedes Benz, Aston Martin, Lincoln, Cadillac, Jaguar, Rolls Royce, Lamborghini, Ferrari, BMW, Ford, and Bugatti. You can also find such exotic and well-loved landmarks in automobile design as the Cadillac Type 53 and the gullwing-door Mercedes, which was later the inspiration for the modern-day SLR.
All these cars are here to honour the late King Hussein, who was a great lover of vehicles and racing machines, and even participated in races like the world-famous Jordan Rally. Indeed, he is said to have placed in that rally at least once. Some of the exhibited items here come from before his rule, however, as they date back to the reign of the first Abdullah of Jordan. The person who had the museum built was Hussein’s son, King Abdullah II of Jordan.
You can expect recorded narrations in English, Arabic, French, Spanish, and German in the museum, so you shall definitely get a nice guided tour when going there. As with most other museums, non-citizens of the kingdom have to pay a slightly higher entrance fee than locals do. The museum is open from 10:00hrs to 19:00hrs daily, though it opens one hour later on Fridays and is not accessible on Tuesdays. Just in case there are irregularities to the schedule, though, it is best to check ahead in advance.
To get to the museum, head over to the public King Hussein Park in west Amman. Near the structure are several other places worth a visit in case you are interested in making a day of your sightseeing. For example, the Children’s Museum is nearby, and just behind the museum itself is the national mosque of the kingdom, the King Hussein Bin Talal Mosque, a large and handsome structure that should definitely be on the tourist’s list of places to see in Amman. Note that the Royal Automobile Museum of Amman operates its own website at http://www.royalautomuseum.jo/default.aspx, so you can visit that URL for more information.