Kerak (also spelt Karak, Arabic al-Kerak) is a small, Arab city (population 170,000) in southern Jordan. It has a significant Christian population. Kerak is located on the King's Highway, some 124 km south of the capital Amman, and is the site of a magnificently-situated Crusader castle, now an evocative ruin on the skyline above the city.
Minibuses to Amman (JD 0.750) and Aqaba (JD 1.750) run roughly hourly.
Citadel of Kerak (Qasr). A former Crusader stronghold, it was ransacked by Saladin and left to rot for 500 years until restoration started. It would be impressive if it was rebuilt as it once was, but at the moment it's a confusing and entirely undocumented jumble of collapsed ceilings and unlit corridors. Admission JD 1.
The museum (Karak Archaeological Museum) is situated in the lower court of the castle. This museum introduces the local history and archaeology of Kerak castle, region and city. Detail history of the Crusader and Muslim dynasty at Kerak is introduced in museum, in addition to the exhibition of excavated artifacts from Kerak castle. Open 9 AM to 5 PM daily, no separate admission.
Karak Rest House (see also Sleep). Conveniently located next to the citadel and with views all the way to the Dead Sea on a good day, but the food is overpriced and mediocre. Beers JD2.
Delicious Meal Walk down the steep hill towards the main road in Karak, turn right and walk down past the Circle and it's on the left hand side, there is a giant sign with its name on it. You can get the best schwarma in Jordan here and it's really cheap too. Much better than the overpriced mediocre food located next to the castle.
Karak is famous for its traditional Jordanian meal called mansaf.
Karak Rest House. Tel. 03-2351148. The fanciest digs in town with 3 stars, located 20 meters from the citadel with excellent views. That said, JD27.500/40 (including taxes and breakfast) for comfortable but rather minimal rooms is still a little steep, and you'll be woken up bright and early by the mosque next door.
Cairwan Hotel. With nine well-appointed rooms, this bed-and-breakfast style hotel is a good option for visiting Karak. It is located very close to the bus station for convenient transportation. King's Highway, Town Centre, 962-3-2396022
Al-Kemmam Hotel. This small, men-only guest house in Karak's central neighborhood is a good option for males seeking basic accommodations. The kitchen is available for guests to prepare their own meals. Al-Maydan Street, Town Centre, 962-79-5632365
Al-Mujeb Hotel. The Al-Mujeb Hotel is located about 3 miles south of Karak and is a convenient option for those traveling with a private vehicle — public transportation is not nearby. Guests will find satellite television and refrigerators, as well as a helpful staff. This hotel is somewhat larger than other area guest houses, and it is a good choice for groups traveling through the area. King's Highway, 962-3-2386090
Towers Castle Hotel. Towers Castle in downtown central Karak is an Egyptian-run hotel with large, clean rooms, and it is popular with business and pleasure travelers. Breakfast is included in the room rate. Double Room: 25JD. Al-Qala'a Street, Town Centre, 00962-3-2354293