Located fifty kilometers north of Jerash, Umm Qais was renowned in its time as a cultural center and home to several classical poets and philosophers and was often referred to as "a new Athens". Umm Qais has become a popular tourist attraction, and a frequent destination for day trips from the capital, Amman, as it is around 110 kilometers away to the south. It is popular not only because of the extensive ruins but because its position on a high hill near the northwestern corner of the country, allowing for panoramic views. 

This Greco-Roman town is snugly located in a hillside of northern Jordan, and marvels at the sweeping view of Lake Tiberias, the Yarmouk River, the hot springs of Hammeh and the Golan Heights from atop this Decapolis.