Syria is a country located in the Middle East, sharing borders with Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, Israel to the southwest, and Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the west. The capital city of Syria is Damascus, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Other major cities include Aleppo, Homs, Hama, and Latakia.
Syria's terrain is diverse, ranging from coastal plains along the Mediterranean to mountain ranges, deserts, and fertile river valleys. The Syrian Desert covers a significant portion of the country's eastern region. The Euphrates and Tigris rivers flow through northeastern Syria, providing important water resources for agriculture and communities. The Orontes River flows westward through central Syria. Syria has a coastline along the Mediterranean Sea, which extends for about 193 kilometers (120 miles). The coastal region is relatively fertile and populated.
Syria has a rich history, with numerous historical and archaeological sites. Palmyra, an ancient desert city, and the Crac des Chevaliers, a medieval castle, are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Before the conflict, Syria had a population of around 18 to 20 million people. However, due to the displacement of millions of Syrians as a result of the civil war, the population has been significantly affected.
Best Time to Visit
Syria has been facing a protracted civil conflict and ongoing security concerns that have severely impacted its tourism industry and overall safety. It's important to prioritize safety and follow travel advisories from your country's government or relevant international organizations before considering a visit to Syria. However, below are some general information about the best time to visit Syria based on its climate:
Spring is considered one of the best times to visit Syria, especially if you're looking for mild temperatures and pleasant weather. During this period, the weather is usually comfortable, and the landscapes are lush and green. It's a good time for sightseeing and exploring historical sites.
Similar to spring, fall is another suitable time to visit. The weather tends to be cooler than the peak of summer, making it more enjoyable for outdoor activities and sightseeing. It's also a time when cultural events and festivals might take place.
If you were to visit Syria under more stable conditions, it's generally respectful to dress modestly, especially in more conservative or rural areas. This includes avoiding clothing that is overly revealing, tight-fitting, or transparent. Women might wear loose-fitting, knee-length or longer dresses or skirts, and tops with sleeves. While headscarves were not mandatory for non-Muslim women, they were sometimes worn out of respect in more traditional areas. Men typically wear long trousers and shirts. T-shirts and casual attire were commonly acceptable in urban areas. When visiting mosques, churches, or other religious sites, both men and women should ensure that their clothing covers their arms and legs. Women might be required to cover their hair with a scarf.
The primary and official language of Syria is Arabic. Syrian Arabic, a dialect of Levantine Arabic, is spoken by the majority of the population and is used in daily communication, media, and official documents. Moreover, it's worth noting that there are also various other languages spoken by different ethnic and religious groups within the country: Kurdish is spoken by the Kurdish minority in northern Syria, particularly in regions along the border with Turkey. Syrian Armenians speak Armenian, particularly in areas with significant Armenian populations, such as Aleppo and the capital city, Damascus. Aramaic is spoken by some Assyrian and Syriac communities in northeastern Syria. English and French are often taught in schools as second languages, and some educated Syrians may be proficient in these languages, especially in urban areas.
We offer tours only to areas which are considered to be safe. The situation is monitored and might change from time to time. Please familiarize with the travel advisory of your country before making a decision to travel to Syria; still most western governments advise against all travel to Syria.
Travellers will find adequate medical care in Damascus and some coastal areas, though not necessarily in remote regions. Anyone visiting Syria should get travel insurance, as serious illnesses and emergencies may require evacuation to a neighboring country or Western medical facility.
Passport & Visa
Visitors should be aware that if their passport (or airline ticket) contains an Israeli stamp, or any evidence of an intended visit to Israel, entry to Syria will be refused. Visas are not required for any traveler whose passport states that he or she was born in: Algeria, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, or Yemen. All travelers must hold return or onward tickets, all documents required for the next destination and sufficient funds to cover their stay. It is highly recommended that travelers’ passports have at least six months' validity remaining after the intended date of departure from their travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.
The official currency is the Syrian Pound (SYP), which is divided into 100 piastres. Travelers can change money at official exchange offices, hotels and at different shops; GBP and USD are the best foreign currencies to visit with. International sanctions have blocked ATMs and credit cards, so traveler will have to bring enough cash for the duration of their stay.
Visitors ordinarily tip waiters, bartenders, hotel staff and taxi drivers in Damascus. Waiters generally receive a tip of between 10 and 20%, depending on the quality of the service. Taxi drivers expect a tip of between 10 and 20%; hotel staffs usually receive between 2 and 5 USD.
Syria's climate is largely affected by the desert, with hot, sunny summers (June to August) and cold winters (December to February). Winters are milder along the coast, but wet, and humidity is higher in summer. Snowfall is common in winter on the mountains. Summer temperatures can reach in excess of 95°F (35°C) during the day, but evenings are generally cool. Spring and autumn are the best times to travel, with milder temperatures averaging 72°F (22°C) during the day.
Due to the conflict, internet infrastructure in Syria has been heavily affected, leading to slow and intermittent connectivity in many areas. Some hotels, cafes, and public places in larger cities might offer Wi-Fi access for tourists. However, the quality of the connection may vary.
If you plan to stay in Syria for an extended period, consider getting a local SIM card. This might give you better access to mobile data, and it could also be useful in emergency situations.
Always be respectful of local customs and people's privacy when taking photographs. Always ask for permission if you plan to take photos of individuals, especially in more conservative areas. Avoid taking photos of military or security-related sites, checkpoints, and government buildings. These areas have historically been sensitive, and photography could lead to misunderstandings or unwanted attention.
The standard voltage in Syria is 220-240 volts at a frequency of 50 hertz. This is the typical electrical system used in many countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa. The most common plug types in Syria are the Type C and Type F plugs. These are the two-pin plugs commonly used in Europe. However, plug types may vary, and it's a good idea to carry a universal travel adapter that can accommodate different plug configurations.
Syria is predominantly a Muslim country and visitors should respect religious sensitivity, especially when it comes to dress and public conduct. Women, in particular, should wear loose fitting clothes that cover most of the body, though headscarves are unnecessary unless entering mosques. Eating, drinking and smoking in public during the holy month of Ramadan should be avoided, as it is forbidden by the Muslim culture. Homosexuality is illegal; the death penalty is enforced for drug trafficking.
Travellers are allowed to import 200 cigarettes or 25 cigars or 250g tobacco, 1 pint of spirits, perfume for personal use, and gifts to the value of SYP 250 without paying customs duty. Firearms are prohibited. There is no limit on the amount of tobacco or spirits for export.
The international dialling code for Syria is +963. There is good mobile phone coverage in Damascus; internet access is limited, but is available in the capital.
-Before traveling, research the current situation in Syria, including safety concerns, travel advisories, and local customs. Keep yourself updated on any changes that might affect your trip.
-Choose local businesses for accommodations, dining, and shopping to contribute positively to the local economy. This helps support communities and ensures a more authentic experience.
-Dispose of waste properly and minimize your impact on the environment. Avoid single-use plastics and be mindful of your ecological footprint.
-Interact with locals in a respectful and friendly manner. Learn a few basic phrases in Arabic to show your effort and interest in the local culture.
-Check with your country's government for travel advisories and recommendations. Follow their guidance to make informed decisions about your trip.
-If certain areas are designated as off-limits due to safety or preservation concerns, respect these restrictions.